Major Accomplishments 2020-2021

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Customer Success

The Customer Success Office is a trusted agency partner bringing the voice of the customer to NDIT. The Customer Success Office provides customer-facing interactions through the roles of Customer Success Managers, Business Analyst Account Managers, Business and Process Analysts, and Project Managers.

Customer Success Manager

The Customer Success Manager has a broad understanding of the business of the customer and a key point of contact for the business overall. This role helps build a long-term strategic partnership to enable technology to transform state government. They lead a recurrent rhythm of business (ROB) which provides transparency, consistent prioritization against strategy, and long-term trust.

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Successes

  • Regular cadence of meetings with unified agency leadership, deepening the understanding of the agencies’ business needs across the Customer Success vertical.
  • Monthly Steering Committee meetings established and held for Department of Transportation and Department of Human Services.
  • Launch and oversite of work submitted through Initiative Intake via Service Now. Review of submission.
  • Implementation of Solution Consulting. In collaboration with Enterprise Architects, providing options to agencies for new work aligning with the agency strategy.
  • Single point of contact for unified agencies and coordinate services with other departments within NDIT.
  • Successful agency moves for Parks and Rec and Department of Environmental Quality in collaboration with CTO vertical.
  • Successful Haunted Fort with proactive event preplanning.
  • Successful engagement with Securities Commission for their new Portal App
  • Regular meetings help with Security, Service Management, and Business Application Support teams, providing insight into both strategic initiatives and operational improvement items from each team.

Participation in continuous improvement of Service Now, providing customer feedback to bring awareness of customer struggles and pain points.

Business Analyst & Business Analyst Account Manager

The Business Analyst has a deep subject-matter expertise in customer business processes and capabilities and supporting systems that NDIT supports. This role is a trusted advisor to the people in the agency who are accountable for that set of capabilities. They analyze new opportunities, bring in additional supporting experts as necessary and delivery high quality specifications for run, grow, and transform work.

The Business Analyst Account Manager is a mix of relationship management and business analyst across a larger set of capabilities within a customer. Provides a trusted advisor services and breadth/depth subject matter expertise within a divisional set of stakeholders for larger customer agencies. Can additionally provide business analysis and understands the complex environment across run, grow, and transform for one or more divisions of a large agency.

Successes

  • Created a business analyst community of practice to create consistent processes, procedures, templates across all NDIT business Analysts along with sharing best practices.
  • Implementation of on-line driver license renewal.
  • Implementation of Driver License and Motor vehicle mobile application allowing users to conduct various driver license and motor vehicle services on any mobile device or tablet.
  • Collaborated with DOT and vendor to implement new DMV services on kiosks and implemented 44 new kiosks, expanding 8 to 52. Services expanded: renew drivers license, request replacement license or ID card, schedule a road test, pay reinstatement fee, change address on motor vehicle or drivers license, edit done registry, temporary registrations, receive demo permits or drive out permits, renew placards, and update email.
  • Added on-line functionality for Motor Carrier division to allow for on-line registration and uploading documents.
  • Moved the processes for purging, correspondence and refunds off the mainframe, reducing paperwork for the Motor Carrier staff.
  • Implemented Lockbox in motor vehicle department interfacing with Stars system. Phase 1 involved the opening and scanning of incoming mail, removing this work from motor vehicle staff.
  • Assisted drivers license with the implementation of a call center in collaboration with Technical Team.
  • Updated drivers license Facial Recognition system.
  • Collaborated with OMB to move all printing from the mainframe and Motor Vehicle Stars system from DOT mailroom to Central Duplicating.
  • Created customer specific Service Now dashboards displaying agency incidents and service requests.
  • Established a shared partnership between DHS, DOCR and NDIT for myAvatar EHR solution. Established and facilitated regular governance discussions.
  • Implemented DOT Aviation solution.
  • Added LIHEAP program to SPACES application.
  • Successful enterprise implementation of Shared Leave in PeopleSoft for all State of North Dakota employees.
  • Converted all active TANF, Medicaid, SNAP, LIHEAP, and Child Care clients/cases from legacy applications to SPACES.
  • Conducted user studies to determine navigation for new Team ND Connect stateside intranet.
  • Engaged with other regional State’s Process Improvement Communities of Practice to learn from other process improvement analysts.
  • Created high level process map and analysis of key functional constraints.
  • Migrated ND Securities Department and NDPERS websites to the state website platform
  • Migrated OMB website to the state website platform with a new navigation based on user studies.

 Project Management

A project manager is a project leader who orchestrates strategy delivery across diverse teams. They promote team engagement and alignment through continuous project communications. The Project Managers proactively and iteratively plan and re-plan work to ensure business objectives and project scope are aligned, improve the predictability of outcomes through risk analysis and project/portfolio performance monitoring, contract negotiating, defining expectations, and ensuring deliverables and milestones are met. They serve as change agent to help manage the people side of change.

Successes

  • Completed the delivery of the portfolio of COVID-19 pandemic response projects.
  • Managed the continuity of government workgroups and related projects.
  • Integration of a structured organizational change management approach into project office processes.
  • Trained all PMO staff on change management, with 2 project managers serving as change management trainers.
  • Hit a record for the amount of IT projects managed concurrently by the PMO, with a project portfolio budget reaching just under $500,000,000.
  • Project-related/project launches (non-CARES Act)
    • DHS Phase 3 Eligibility
    • DHS Budget and Forecasting system
    • SOS voting system replacement
    • DOT Drivers License Kiosks
    • DOH eWIC
    • DOH StarLIMS
    • DHS EHR
    • WSI myWSI Release 3
    • DOT Motor Vehicle System
    • Trust Lands Financial Management System
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Data

To best serve our internal business partners as well as the citizens of North Dakota, NDIT must be able to rapidly and reliably deliver value across all the products and services our state government provides. We must be able to quickly respond to feedback to ensure we are working on and delivering things that provide the biggest impact.

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Agile Transformation is how we’re accomplishing these things. We've partnered with Da Vinci Software to provide Agile expertise and coaching support. NDIT is realigning and transforming to work more efficiently and provide world-class service to our partner agencies. We’re forming Scrum teams, building backlogs and regularly producing increments of working, tested software. We’re scaling to create networks of teams, coordinating dependencies, managing trade-offs and delivering solutions to our citizens faster than ever before.

As a result of our Agile transformation efforts:

  • Nine teams are delivering value to our customers in an iterative and collaborative manner.
  • All incoming work is captured in a backlog within Azure DevOps (ADO), prioritized and executed through 2-week sprints.
  • The organizational design has been optimized through addition of scrum masters and elimination of redundant management positions.

Formed an Agile Leadership Team to guide the transformation effort.

Application Development:

  • Implementation of test automation frameworks for Java, .Net, and PeopleSoft platforms is in progress with a continued emphasis on improving quality.
  • Expanded online services provided by Game & Fish through the addition of online applications for Specialty Permits/Licenses and opening the Online Land Posting system to landowners throughout the state.
  • Improved reliability and security of the State Website Platform while also increasing adoption across State Government.
  • Implemented system enhancements to improve the intake, processing, and distribution of Child Support payments, benefiting both obligors and recipients.
  • Implemented a Docstars Offender Search Module allowing Dept. of Corrections officers and staff to track the offender searches they perform.
  • Implemented the new "CUP" system for the Dept. of Agriculture (DOA), making it easier for DOA staff to look up customer information and review data conflicts.
  • Expanded reporting capabilities of DHS applications, helping to provide valuable business insight into such things as:
    • Families receiving DHS benefits.
    • Ways to more effectively serve youth that touch both the Child Welfare system and the Juvenile Justice system.

Business Intelligence:

  • Development and implementation of Power BI framework, including onboarding, governance and auditing practices.
  • Development and automation of various COVID Power BI dashboards to support DHS, DOH, Job Service, Governor’s Office and other state agencies responding to the pandemic.
  • Production release of a Business Intelligence solution for the Dual Status Youth Initiative to more effectively serve the youth of ND.
  • Deployed new application for the NDUS Dual Credit Scholarship that allows currently enrolled ND college students who took Dual Credit courses in high school to be awarded a scholarship up to $750.00.
  • Production release of enhancements and new reports for release 3 of the Self-Service Portal and Consolidated Eligibility System (SPACES) which will allow the business to gain insights into how they can enhance the services being provided to individuals, families, and community partners.
  • Development of OKR Demand Management dashboard within NDIT to support single picture of demand for NDIT customers.
  • Established best practices for ingesting data into the modern data platform (data lake) in the Cloud.
  • Collaborated with Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to design and develop reports that will be released as part of release 4 of the Self-Service Portal and Consolidated Eligibility System (SPACES).

State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS): · Public interactive dashboards and data site, Insights of North Dakota (https://Insights.nd.gov), expanded to include more data domains including Career and Technical Education (CTE) and additional K12 data along with Workforce Supply and Demand in post-secondary institutions.

  • ND efforts to produce an electronic transcript utilizing blockchain for students to own their own digital credentials has progressed though Co-Labs with many organizations nationally adding input. The student’s transcript may be published to a web wallet and mobile wallet with a rollout expected this coming year. ND continues to expand on digital credentials providing the ability to publish Open Badges as a Comprehensive Learner Record with linked data back to the taxonomy of the courses defined in the ND Open Salt server (https://case.nd.gov). We are working with community colleges to define stackable credentials within Credential Engine to be issued as micro-credential badges to students.
  • The SLDS modernization project kicked off which will redesign the K12 system to use Ed-Fi as a standards-based data collection. It will provide advanced analytics and insight into our education and workforce development programs.

Data Science and Analytics:

Continued to provide data science/analytics support to NDDoH for COVID response efforts:

  • Implementation of Rt (effective reproduction number) model for Smart Restart to support COVID response efforts
  • Collaboration with NDDoH to analyze correlation of wastewater with SARS-COV-2 cases.
  • Analysis of COVID-19 and pregnancy outcomes.
  • Developed and implemented a proof of concept (POC) in Azure Machine Learning in which various use cases/models were operationalized and deployed.

GIS:

NDIT and the North Dakota Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technical Committee operate the GIS Hub. The GIS Hub is an infrastructure comprised of geospatial data storage, data services, and application interfaces. It supports state agencies in the development of their GIS and the dissemination of common interest data to other levels of government and the public. During the past year:

  • State Parcel Program: The goal of the State Parcel Program is to maintain an accurate, publicly accessible, maintained, statewide parcel dataset that supports the State of North Dakota business needs. During the 2019-2021 Biennium the statewide parcel dataset was completed, on schedule and below budget with 100% participation from North Dakota counties and their vendors. The parcel dataset is now being maintained on a regular basis using funding provided by the 67th Legislative Assembly and leveraging the existing North Dakota GIS Hub infrastructure. Data maintenance consists of parcel boundary and tax roll data being submitted by counties and their vendors and/or harvested by the GIS Hub. More information can be found HERE.
  • Bridge Conditions Map: Allows the public to view the condition of any bridge in the state. Users can easily filter bridges based on condition, ownership or geographical area. Additional details about a bridge can viewed by simply clicking on the bridge location. It also provides the user educational information on what is rated on a bridge and how it is rated. The data is updated on a weekly basis, so the user has current information about a bridge any time they access the application.
  • Oracle to SQL Server Migration: The GIS Hub had used Oracle since 2002. Datasets from the multiple databases were copied over, resulting in cleaning out old items no longer used. Imagery datasets were moved to the platform used by other imagery datasets since 2006. SQL Server provides reduced cost (approximately $14,000 per year) and improved self-service by state agency GIS data stewards. SQL Server is also familiar to more vendors.
  • Migration to New Open Data Platform: The GIS Hub Data Portal is used for the cataloging and discovery of state agency geospatial data and information. With this new platform, state agency data stewards can now publish and manage their own data. Data can be downloaded and streamed via web services. Data streamed via web services can in many cases, replace accessing the data from the enterprise geodatabase. This is a great benefit for remote workers hampered by reduced home internet speeds and VPN throttling. Check it out by clicking HERE.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for remote GIS users: At the beginning of the pandemic, State employees were transitioned from at office to working from home. GIS activities are data intensive and require constant interaction with GIS databases. Users quickly learned that using any of the GIS desktop software through the VPN was extremely slow. NDIT stood up a Virtual Desktop Environment that allows the remote GIS users to log into a virtualized desktop where the GIS software interacts with the GIS databases within the datacenter. This provides the user with an extremely efficient and fast GIS experience. A considerable amount of remote workers have transitioned to exclusively using GIS desktop software on the virtualized desktop.

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Health Technology

The North Dakota Health Information Network (NDHIN) is a statewide interoperable health information exchange (HIE) connecting diverse providers, hospitals, clinics, and labs to make electronic health information available on demand at the point of care.

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  • The NDHIN expansion project has provided a platform shift to enable improved health information exchange, population health analytics and care coordination. NDHIN has over 400 health care locations participating across the state with over 4,000 clinical users participating in the system. The master patient index now houses over 1.4 million unique patient records.
  • NDHIN completed COVID-19 Electronic Lab Reporting (CELR) for the state.  CELR data comes into the Department of Health for ELR reporting, which sends a copy of these messages to NDHIN.
  • Prior to and throughout COVID, NDHIN implemented Electronic Test Orders & Results (ETOR) with large integrated delivery networks and out-of-state reference labs.  This allowed test orders to go out and come back electronically with the capability of being imported to the electronic health record.
  • The North Dakota Healthcare Directive Registry development has been completed and is available at https://apps.nd.gov/itd/hin/hdir/login . This system allows citizens to store, maintain, and retrieve important healthcare documents, such as advance directive documents that are key when determining proper patient care. Users can share documents with providers and family as they choose.
  • NDHIN is integrated with the ND Immunization Information System/Registry with bidirectional exchange of data. NDHIN is also providing data to the Autism Registry; syndromic surveillance and electronic laboratory data to Department of Health systems to support public health initiatives.
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Operational Team

Fiscal year 2021 provided many opportunities for the State of North Dakota to make technology advancements. Accelerated by the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic and backed by federal COVID Relief Funds (CRF), North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) made improvements in customer mobility, productivity, and hardware upgrades. NDIT advanced efforts in cybersecurity and was able to digitize work processes that were previously paper driven. The chart reflects the CRF spend as of June 30th, 2021.

Per the budget instructions from the Governor’s Office, agencies including NDIT were to submit budgets with a 10% decrease to the prior biennium’s base budget for general fund allocations. In addition, agencies were asked to reprioritize 5% of the prior biennium’s base budget for special fund allocations.

Operational Update-digital government, cybersecurity, telework spend.

 

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Upon completion and submission of a budget for the 2021-2023 biennium, the Governor’s Office releases a recommended budget outline for the 67th Legislative Session. A final budget was developed. Here are a few summary points

  • Overall NDIT budget was set at $275,146,058. This was approximately $50 million less than the prior biennium, largely due to SIRN project funding included in the 2019-2021 biennium budget.
  • Unification efforts continued into the 2021-2023 biennium with the transfer of 53 full time employees from 11 agencies into the IT Shared Services program.
  • NDIT received $11 million in additional general fund appropriation to continue the cybersecurity efforts from the prior biennium as well as new challenges brought on by the pandemic.
  • NDIT will participate in a number of legislative studies during the legislative interim.  Studies will cover areas in service rates, funding opportunities for cybersecurity, and IT unification to name a few.

NDIT was a key contributor to other important legislation during the 67th Legislative Session beyond just establishing a budget. House Bill 1314 was signed into law establishing the requirement to disclose to the department an identified or suspected cybersecurity incident that affects the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information systems, data, or services. House Bill 1417 was signed into law adding to the powers and duties of the department. The ability to enter an understanding with entities outside the State of North Dakota for the purpose of responding to cybersecurity incidents and offer/receive mutual aid during such incidents was added. This legislation permits the sharing of data, strategy and response techniques amongst participating entities creating a larger knowledge base and greater resources than can be accomplished alone.

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Security

The protection of North Dakota and its citizens is a priority for North Dakota State government. During this last year we have seen the global cyber security threat continue to grow. As an example, supply chain attacks have become a major threat vector for the state.  Criminal gangs, state sponsored attacks and social hacktivists seek opportunities to exploit individuals and organizations.

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In the past six months we have defended against:

  • 187,000,000 threats prevented or detected;
  • Greater than 72,000,000 vulnerability attacks blocked;
  • More than 7,000,000 spam and phishing messages;
  • Over 20,000 security incidents resolved.

In 2021, the state of North Dakota detected and prevented 4.5 billion different threats.  That is double the 2019 number. 

The NDIT Security Team continues to shore up cybersecurity defenses with a goal of establishing a unified security framework across all entities (State, Local, Tribal and Territorial (SLTT), K-12, Higher Ed). As such the North Dakota Security Operations Center is at the forefront of automation and leads the nation.  Automation has allowed us to maintain an average of .4 FTE when compared to the same sized Fortune 30 company. This focus on automation will allow us to grow our coverage of state entities without addition cost to the taxpayers.

We are increasing the scope of our risk management framework for new and updated web applications. We continue to partner with K-12 to help identify and reduce vulnerabilities, block malware, and improve security awareness so individuals can spot and detect threats before they are actuated.

The NDIT Security team has expanded basic security tools and vulnerability scanning by 232% over the last two years and will continue to expand coverage to reduce risk to the state and its citizens.

K-12 IT security services is also being enhanced as part of the IT Shared Services/Unification initiative. This increased the cybersecurity posture for the K-12 community, setting the stage for broader cybersecurity disruption response planning and defense, and better security around school and student data.

The demand for cyber security skills outpaces the ability of in state colleges and universities.  As such the NDIT Security team has adopted PK20W and is working with schools to grow cyber security skills.  We are a leading partner in CyberCon, the largest cyber security event in North Dakota and offer interns and apprentices to help mature needed cyber skills.

The legislature has passed House Bill 1314 which requires schools, agencies, counties, and others to report security incidents so NDIT can better help them defend their infrastructure. We continue to work to mature incident response plans and enhance formal communication channels between NDIT Security and Higher Ed.

The North Dakota IT Security Team continues moving to a “whole-of-government” approach and aligning with private partners, benefiting our operational security and ability to defend all 252,000 people in the STAGEnet environment.

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Technology

The Chief Technology Officer’s team is responsible for all infrastructure including compute, database, storage and network technologies along with providing technology leadership through enterprise architecture. The team is also responsible for providing customer facing support, advanced support statewide along with end user device and associated software support for the majority of the executive brand. In addition, the technology team is responsible for the support and management of all technology support for K-12 education.

The following is a subset of accomplishments and successes for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

Service:

· Enabled a 24/7 service desk supported by live agents. This augmentation of live agent support improves the service provided to the 24/7 operations of our stakeholders.

· Enabled an augmented and improved service catalog allowing stakeholders statewide to request new services, change existing service and deprecate service in a user friendly and easy to use manner.

· Enabled automation of primary account creation of state user ID’s improving the response time in processing requests and reducing the amount of labor to support the effort.

· Improved deployment of end user devices by an average of 50% using a highly automated process.

· Enabled remote support technologies allowing level 2 and 3 support technicians to better support thousands of devices in a remote manner reducing the amount of labor necessary to support the devices and reducing the downtime of affected users statewide.

· Processed on average 12,000 incidents per month.

· Service desk achieved a 96% satisfaction rating related to incident management.

· Service desk achieving 71% first call resolution.

· First call resolution time of 0.12 days.

· Average incident resolution time of 1.4 days.

· Met service level objectives related in incident management 92.9% of the time.

· Increased service management process maturity from a rating of 1.1 to 1.8.

Technology:

· Deprecated the legacy backup and retention solution to meet the current and future needs of state government.

· Upgraded and modernized the wireless core network components.

· Deployed a100G science network.

· The Unisys mainframe infrastructure was replaced with a cloud solution reducing risk and cost.

· Designed and implemented a cloud native data lake and associated warehouse for all the future data needs of state government.

· Deployed the first co-managed government entity firewall with Cass County.

· Formulated a dedicated public safety team.

· The first public safety official's website went live on the statewide interoperable radio network (SIRN). The SIRN effort is to modernize and provide public safety with a feature rich and highly available network to meet the mission critical communication needs of the public safety community. Over the next three years, the entire state will be migrated to this network.

· The first users of SIRN went live with new, feature rich and resilient network providing the public safety community with a communications network they require.

· Implemented a new computer aided dispatch solution provided for the state public safety officials enabling a feature rich platform for years to come.

· Implemented a new voice solution based on Microsoft Teams enabling over 4000 users to leverage a feature rich solution.

· Enabled the first modern unified communications and collaboration call center providing a more feature rich multi-model experience for the stakeholders of state agencies.

· Implemented a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure platform that enables network sensitive and network demanding applications to perform for the modern remote work requirements of state government.

· Implemented and enabled PeopleSoft single sign on coupled with multifactor authentication creating a more secure environment.

· Upgraded the next gen 911 core infrastructure to ensure the highly reliable and resilient requirements of the 911 solution are maintained.

· In partnership with the Bank of North Dakota, decommissioned the legacy AS/400 infrastructure reducing technical debt in favor of more modern and feature rich solutions.

· Enabled automation of operating systems and various application updates saving over 130 days of labor per biennium.

· Designed, deployed and implemented the first decryption effort focused specially on addressing cyber risk embedded within encrypted network protocols.

· Deployed and augmented technologies resulting in a 30% reduction in labor associated with contact tracing and testing.

· Enabled and supported electronic notification of contact tracing and testing resulting in over 2000 labor hours saved.

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Education:

· Merged education service desk with overall enterprise service desk.

· Replaced all end-of-life video collaboration within the K-12 environment.

· Supported 180 school districts and 31 libraries with their e-rate funding resulting in over $7M benefit to the community.

· Supported statewide use and continued adoption of Office 365 as well as providing Teams for Education at no cost statewide.

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· Upgraded the PowerSchool environment to the latest version supporting over 120,000 students.

· Assisted with implementation of end-point cyber protection across 127 districts.

· Assisted ND Career and Technology Education (CTE) with a statewide apprenticeship and non-traditional apprenticeships in IT, Computer Science and Cyber Science.

· Hosted Ignite ND.

· Enabled and offered a comprehensive course catalog allowing numerous hours of credit towards teacher CTE Endorsements.