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May 2021 Newsletter

Does your agency have an IT strategy?

Does your agency have an IT Strategy? If not, let the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) help you put one together.

Many agencies struggle to both define and then communicate how the information technology (IT) resources at their disposal help to support their mission and to further important initiatives.

IOT can help you!

Experts at IOT will lead your agency in defining a strategy for your approach to IT, managing a future for your business applications and to better connect those efforts to your operating strategy, culture, and key objectives.

Working to understand the many value streams of your agency, “we will help identify your current approaches and chart a path toward an ideal state that aligns well with your vision and goals,” Deputy Chief Technology Officer Chris Henderson said. “Most importantly, we can help you translate that strategy into language that your team can easily and broadly communicate to your staff, your colleagues, and even constituents.”

To work with Chris and his team, email Chris at chenderson3@iot.in.gov.


Indiana Office of Technology 2022 rates

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The reliance on technology to conduct government business was never more apparent than in the past 15 months. The Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) and its expert technologists assisted in delivering great government service during the pandemic that ensured continuity in operations. In total, IOT offers more than 120 services to support agency business needs.

During the past few years, IOT and the State Budget Agency have focused on keeping costs low, sometimes artificially so, and some rates have fallen far behind the actual costs. In the fiscal year 2022 (FY 22), there is a course correction for many products, with the most impactful change happening on the SEAT cost.

The SEAT rate has traditionally included the computer and the standard Microsoft software license, which covered Exchange, SharePoint, Teams and other Office 365 products. However, as Microsoft has changed its licensing structure to a user-based subscription model, covering those costs through the monthly seat rate has become extremely difficult. For instance, several agencies have multiple users who share one computer, but all of the end-users of that machine are consuming Office 365 services and licenses. To provide more transparency in charges, IOT has removed all Microsoft licensing costs from the SEAT charge and created a specific software charge that is a passthrough of Microsoft fees.

Beginning on July 1, 2021, there are rates for SEAT (1001), User Licensing (1001L) and Kiosk User Licenses (1001KL). The Kiosk fee is for instances where a computer may not require the full suite of Office 365 services such as a lobby computer that does not need an email account.

A majority of IOT service rates were reduced or stayed the same. IOT also reviewed its products and eliminated many (36), offering a replacement service (30) in most cases.

The IOT Service Catalog details each rate, the associated benefits and the agency metrics. These documents are a central place to find information about services provided by IOT, including how to: request a service, request help if you have an issue with a service, monitor the progress of your requests, resolve billing issues and how to terminate service.

IOT is a revenue-neutral agency that operates on a charge-back model; it does not profit from its services. IOT continues to review contracts and potentially renegotiate to reduce your costs. To figure out other ways to potentially reduce an agency's bill, IOT has a billing dashboard to represent agency spending graphically and provides tips on reducing usage. If you cannot access the billing dashboard, the agency Financial Manager or Controller should contact their agency's security coordinator to request access.

If you have questions about these rates, please contact IOT CFO Kevin Wilson.


Elimination of Some Project Success Center Fees

Starting July 1, 2021, IOT’s Project Success Center (PSC), will not be charging a PM service fee for managing the IOT portion of any agency-initiated project.

The IOT Project Success Center's mission is to Organize, Execute and Deliver a quality product or service for the State of Indiana utilizing industry best practices and a structured framework.

Listed below are the criteria for non-fee and fee-based PSC services.

  • Agency Initiated Projects — non-fee-based
    • Agency will be responsible for creation of Charters, Statement of Work and Master Schedule for work to be done between agency and vendor(s);
    • The IOT PSC project manager will create a Project Charter for the IOT work only. The charter will be reviewed, approved and signed by IOT and Agency Project Sponsors;
    • The IOT project manager will work with vendor and/or agency project manager to add IOT tasks to master schedule;
    • IOT will work with agency project team to create a RACI (Roles and Responsibilities Matrix); and
    • IOT project managers will provide a project status report for the IOT work to be completed.
  • PSC Service — fee-based
    • The PSC performs the Business and IT project management services for a project;
    • Business Analysis work;
    • Process Improvement work;
    • Project management training and mentoring; and
    • Consulting and setup of Project Online.

Indiana to increase cybersecurity info sharing among local and state government

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Governor Holcomb recently signed legislation that will greatly increase the amount of information sharing regarding cyberattacks and threats against local government IT with the Office of Technology (IOT).

What is it?

This new law requires public-sector entities to report incidents like ransomware, denial-of-service attacks, website defacements and software vulnerability exploitations, including zero-day attacks to IOT.

According to House Representative Mike Karickhoff, the author of the legislation, after the incident is reported, IOT will keep record of these breaches or attempted breaches and warn other units that could be vulnerable to a similar attack.

“With state and local government frequently sharing information, a breach in one spot, opens up vulnerabilities in another. This partnership helps secure Hoosier data,” Graig Lubsen, IOT’s Director of Communications & External Affairs said.

IOT worked closely with Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (AIM) and the Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) and Rep. Karickhoff before the session to craft a bill that worked for all parties.

“This is the first legislation of its kind in Indiana that places responsibility on the state Office of Technology to gather, capture and report on cybersecurity incidents across state and local levels of government,” IOT Chief Information Officer Tracy Barnes said.

What does my agency need to do?

Nothing new. Agencies should already be alerting IOT to any cybersecurity incidents.

What’s Next? More information is going to be placed on the Indiana Cybersecurity website.


IOT Helps Deliver a Better Remote-training Experience

The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) is a training academy located in Plainfield, Indiana, that conducts basic training of law enforcement officers across the state.

When the pandemic began, the Academy had to adapt like the rest of the country and find a way to offer their training remotely to all new police officers, jail officers, town marshals, and police chiefs who would typically come in-person to the facility.

The Academy was using a borrowed Zoom account from Indiana University to host all of their training until the Indiana Office of Technology offered a better solution.

logo2The Use Case

The basic training course for new police officers consists of more than 600 hours of training. Significant areas of instruction include criminal and traffic law, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, physical tactics, emergency management services awareness, and human behavior. Officers must also study other police-related subjects such as accident investigation, criminal investigation, domestic violence and sexual assault, water rescue training, standardized field sobriety test, crime prevention and drug and narcotics. All of this had to be completed virtually.

“With Covid causing the shutdown, we were behind by several classes, but with IOT’s help, we are now able to attempt to catch up,” John Glover, ILEA Systems Analyst, said.

Real-time Collaboration

The Office of Technology (IOT) consults with state agencies to help find technical solutions to business problems. After meeting with ILEA and understanding their needs, IOT suggested Microsoft Teams as their collaboration toolset. Microsoft Teams enables people to join meetings, chat, share and co-author files, video conference with others, and more.

IOT Microsoft Specialist Stephanie Williams met with ILEA and documented their current set up and designed their future needs. Williams set up a Microsoft Teams account and a SharePoint site for sharing files for the agency. She trained ILEA on how to use Teams, including creating a meeting and sending a link to attendees to join the meeting.

A SharePoint Collaboration site was created so the team can work on projects, class material and recordings, and share information from anywhere on any device.

“We had great help working with Stephanie and Aaron when it came to the process of creating the SharePoint sites and any Teams accounts that were needed. It has helped us by increasing productivity and making training available to agencies across the state, and we will continue to use the SharePoint site to make training material available to officers,” Glover said.   IOT Deputy/Assistant IT Director and Agency Liaison Aaron Corbett commended Williams on a job well done.   “I cannot stress enough how impressive Stephanie was, jumping into the project with both feet and immediately setting ILEA’s expectations and moving the agency in a direction that best suited and fit their needs,” he said.

ilea2About the ILEA

The governing body of the academy is a 17-member Law Enforcement Training Board who are appointed by the governor. The board mandated sets the requirements and criteria for the basic training.

In addition to the main training academy in Plainfield, there are five satellite facilities located in South Bend, Bloomington, Anderson, Terre Haute, and Jeffersonville that are certified by the board to offer training courses.


Find new IT Training page on IOT’s website

The Indiana Office of Technology strives to provide its partner agencies with the most cost-effective way to train their employees in information technology (IT). IOT has contracts with multiple certified vendor sites for instructor-led classroom training.

IOT has consolidated all training into one convenient location on the IOT website.

Under IT Training, you can find variety of services for your learning needs, including Microsoft products, external training, IN.gov tools, LinkedIn Learning and more.

Why is continuing your learning important?

IT is an ever-evolving industry, and we want to help you grow in your field and career.

IOT also provides information of the training vendor: ETI Performance Improvement, a 3rd party training provider located at Keystone at the Crossing. They offer a large variety of training related to information technology.

They offer classroom training, on-site training, and on-line training. This is NOT free training.

You may contact ETI directly to select and schedule your training or contact IOT for assistance.

Contacts

Website: https://etindy.com/


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