Effective Use of Information Technology

Lessons about State Governance Structures and Processes

by Robert H. Anderson, Tora K. Bikson, Rosalind Lewis, Joy S. Moini, Susan G. Straus


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Created in 1995, the California Department of Information Technology (DOIT) was to provide leadership, guidance, and oversight for IT initiatives and projects throughout the state. The complexity of the state's governance and other circumstances created challenges for DOIT as it attempted to achieve its mission. In 2002, the agency's sunset clause was allowed to take effect and it ceased to exist. To determine what lessons can be learned from other states with exemplary practices in IT governance, the authors conducted case studies in Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. They identified a number of common factors (which did not characterize California's approach to IT governance) that are likely to account for successful IT programs, including: (1) executive leaders who are champions of IT and who emphasize its value for achieving state missions; (2) a management style that is participative and collaborative, that emphasizes "carrots" over "sticks," and that evidences a commitment to employees during periods of change; and (3) a modular and incremental approach to development and implementation of IT initiatives. Finally the authors make recommendations for a new agency of information technology in California and describe a set of challenges that agency will face.

Table of Contents

  • Summary PDF

  • Preface

    All Prefatory Materials PDF

  • Chapter 1

    Introduction to the Research PDF

  • Chapter 2

    California'S Search for Effective It Governance PDF

  • Chapter 3

    Alternative Models of Effective It Governance PDF

  • Chapter 4

    Success Themes PDF

  • Chapter 5

    Common Challenges to State It Governance PDF

  • Chapter 6

    Conclusions and Recommendations PDF

  • Appendix PDF

  • Supplemental

    Supplementary Materials PDF

The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Science and Technology for the Bureau of State Audits.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.