The Transformation of the State of Ohio Computing Center

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NASCA, Public Sector, Innovation, Information Technology, Optimized Enterprise, Shared Services, Leading Change, Culture Change, Change Management, Citizen-Centric Services

Learning Objective

This case study explores the leadership challenges developing an effective change management strategy, generating buy-in across a diverse group of stakeholders, developing effective funding models for new initiatives, and establishing new organizational structures and systems.


In the early 2000s, the State of Ohio had a silo-ed information technology system and a decentralized approach to data. Twenty-six agencies were using approximately 9,000 servers to support more than 32 data centers that were running at less than 10% of their capacity. Moreover, of the close to one billion dollars that were being spent to support IT, approximately 70% of that was dedicated to infrastructures, such as servers and routers, while only 30% was being spent on public facing applications. This case examines how in five years, Ohio made tremendous strides in restructuring and optimizing IT systems, migrating 5,000 servers to the cloud, and re-allocating spending to what’s important. Success required building strong, diverse relationships with different agencies, legislators, the private sector, the University system, local governments, and others. As a result, in just two years, Ohio had seen more than $100 million in direct savings and produced $60 million of cost avoidance for higher education and local government partners.

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