Ed Toner

Blog: Centralized vs Decentralized IT - Is there a middle ground?

State CIO’s are obligated to provide IT services in a cost effective and efficient manner. This was made clear to me during my appointment process as CIO of Nebraska. With that goal in mind I began research on business approaches that exist across State government. Through my investigation which included internet searches and speaking to other CIOs across the country, I found that the majority of State government IT organizational structures consist of two basic approaches: centralized and decentralized. All services are provided by a central organization in the centralized model, while the decentralized approach is characterized by State agencies managing their IT functions as independent departments within the agencies. Both approaches have pros and cons, with advocates writing a multitude of articles basically supporting one approach or the other with only a few supporting a hybrid model... More


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