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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Information Technology Services (ITS) - Information Technology Services - INSA

Information Technology Services (ITS)

DENR IT Plan with 6-Month Updates

Legislative Direction

Each department must complete an IT Plan and submit it to the State CIO by October 1 of each even numbered year.  The departmental plans are then rolled up into a statewide plan that is submitted to the General Assembly by February 1st of each regular session.  It is then updatedevery 6 months.  

Although planning is important in its own right, this year, legislation is pending that would require OITS to reject any project that is not listed in the IT Plan.  

The statute requires each departmental and statewide plan to include the following elements:

  1. Aninventory of current information technology assets and major projects currently in progress thatrequire OITS approval for major projects or that cost more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) to implement.
  2. An evaluation and estimation of thesignificant unmet needs for information technology resources over a five-year time period. The Plan shall rank the unmet needs inpriority order according to their urgency.
  3. A statement of the financial requirements posed by the significant unmet needs, together with a recommendedfunding schedule for each major project currently in progress or recommended for initiation during the upcoming fiscal biennium.
  4. An analysis of opportunities forstatewide initiatives that would yield significant efficiencies or improve effectiveness in State programs.

In addition to the statutory factors required to be included in the plan, the SCIO requests that the following factors also be included.

  1. Major IT Initiatives: Includes IT initiatives that are funded and also those awaiting funding.
  2. Application Modernization and Evolution: Includes plans for upgrading, replacing, and/or integrating existing applications in DENR’s portfolio.  These plans may create cross-agency opportunities for the State.  DENR shall consider Application Modernization in relation to other strategies.  In addition, DENR may wish to address obsolete supporting technologies that are still in use.
  3. Client Computing Strategy:  Include plans for endpoint security, replacement, and renewal of DENR’s desktop and laptop fleet, and new ideas for client delivery, such as expanded use of mobile devices, application delivery onto staff-owned systems, and use of virtual desktop infrastructure.
  4. Customer Segmentation:  In consideration of the staff, citizens, and business partners and how logical groupings of “like” end-users could benefit from common or shared application delivery approaches and technologies.  Also, includes key differentiators such as mobility requirements, application types, and work location.
  5. Enabling Technology:  Includes agency-specific or broader capabilities needed to better support the DENR staff, applications and overall environment.  Also, includes directory services and middleware/ non-application software infrastructure as part of this section.


Each division steering committee or liaison should work with its lead application developer in DENR IT to score the current projects in the division and submit the first cut of project priorities to the division director for review and concurrence.  After director approval, each division will then submit its project priorities to the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) that will then take a second cut at prioritizing projects, but across the entire department rather than a single division.  Any conflicts between divisions will be escalated to the Technology Management Committee (TMC).  After the TMC approves the plan, it will be circulated to DENR's executives and I will ultimately approve the final plan as Assistant Secretary for Information.

Project Prioritization


The five perspectives used to prioritize projects define the connection between business context and IT investment management.  They provide the critical set of perspectives by which to understand, evaluate, manage, and retire IT investments.

The five perspectives are as follows:

  1. Strategic alignment: The alignment of IT investment strategy with the organization's business goals and objectives

  2. Business process impact: The impact on the requirement for the company to redesign business processes and more closely integrate the supply chain or similar process intensive initiative

  3. Technical architecture: The integration, scalability, and resilience of the databases, operating systems, applications and networks that the company has or plans to implement

  4. Direct payback: The conventionally understood financial "benefits" that a project can deliver, such as cost savings and better information

  5. Risk: The identification of the proposed investment's exposure to failure or underachievement



These five perspectives are weighted and defined in the Project Prioritization Criteria Matrix adopted by the TMC.  To view more detail on the criteria, click on the link below:

Project Prioritization Matrix


To read more about the strategy behind ranking projects, read the Gartner article at the link below:

Project Prioritization Article

State IT Plan 2011-13

Target Areas

The State IT Plan attempts to address the impacts of a serious and prolonged recession by targeting three areas:

  • Focuses on IT efficiencies and best practices that impact the bottom line
  • Identifies savings opportunities
  • Recommends ways to reduce and/or eliminate duplication

Business Function Strategies for Cost Savings

The State Plan describes the linkage between the business processes of government and the technology solutions that help enable them.  The business functions that have the highest cost-saving opportunities arise from the following strategies or themes:

  • Simplification
  • Consolidation
  • Privatization
  • Application Delivery
  • Mobility
  • Customer Segmentation (grouping similar customers together for better delivery of services)
  • Technology Roadmaps
  • Enterprise Architecture (standardizing hardware and software)


The State Plan recommends five near-term and four emerging work efforts in the Strategic Initiatives section. These initiatives parallel the vision of Governor Perdue for North Carolina, that is, jobs and economic recovery, career and college, ready set go, setting government straight, and safe communities. The identified strategic initiatives are as follows:

Near-Term Initiatives

  • Private Cloud / On-Demand Services

  • Portal and Citizen Access

  • Directory Services

  • Mobility and Unified Communications

  • Video and Web Conferencing Services

Emerging initiatives

  • Network Redesign

  • Governance Strategy

  • Client Computing Strategy

  • Enterprise Contracts

Some of the initiatives are further along and better defined than others because some independent work has already begun. Others are in the very early idea stage. The initiatives offer the real probability of reduced cost and improved services. These initiatives are further defined within this document.

Funding Strategy

The State IT Plan’s primary focus is the use of technology to reduce costs and improve service. As such the funding strategy emphasizes reinvestment of existing resources — not requests for new funds.  Given the current state budget crisis this plan prioritizes short-term efforts. The plan recognizes that recommendations and actions resulting from the INSA Program later in Spring 2011 may initiate sourcing activities directing IT resources toward some of the strategic initiatives. In addition, the plan proposes to reinvest and consolidate individual/duplicative agency IT spend as a means of providing a pool of money for many of these state-wide strategic initiatives.

Other Statewide Planning Efforts

The State IT Plan does not exist in a vacuum; it coexists with a number of other noteworthy ongoing statewide initiatives which will likely have significant impact on the North Carolina IT landscape. The four programs identified are:

  • MCNC
  • Health Information Technology / Health Information Exchange
  • Race to the Top, K-12 education
  • NC School Technology Commission

Workforce Development (Moving from Internal Service Provider to Vendor Manager)

The State IT Plan envisages a profoundly different IT landscape and one where the IT workforce must adapt to new evolving roles. The role of IT may evolve from an internal service provider to more of a business peer in meeting customer needs. Going forward, IT and business roles may become closer and more integrated. These changes demand a business-capable IT workforce. The role of IT leadership will be more focused on contracting, vendor management, as well as monitoring service level agreements of vendors delivering services. In addition, business process management will become an integral part of strategic IT skills.

Strategic Relationships

The following table outlines the relationship of each of the planned and emerging initiatives to the overarching strategies listed in the Business Requirements section:

Initiatives Linked to Cost-Savings Strategies for Business Functions
 InitiativesSimplificationConsolidationPrivatizationApplication DeliveryMobilityCustomer SegmentationTechnology RoadmapsEnterprise Architecture
Near Term
Private Cloud/On Demand

Portal & Citizen Access


Directory Services

XX    XX
 Mobility & Unified CommunicationsXX XXXXX
 Video & Web ConferencingXX XXXX 
 Network RedesignXX X X X X X
 Governance StrategyXX      

Client Computing Strategy


X  X
  Enterprise Contracts     

To view the State IT Plan in its entirety, click on the link below:

State IT Plan 2011-13

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