One IT FAQs
Why is the State undertaking restructuring?
As Governor McCrory mentioned in his 2015 State of the State Address, a number of inefficiencies underline the need for restructure: Seventy-four percent of IT projects have come in over budget and behind schedule; the State has 40 data centers with over 1,000 different computer systems; obvious opportunities for polling purchasing power of several agencies have been often bypassed. A number of efforts to improve IT over the last decade have fallen short because they addressed the symptoms of the State’s IT challenges instead of the root causes. In 2013, Governor McCrory and the General Assembly directed the State CIO to develop a restructuring plan for more efficient and effective use of the State’s IT resources. In 2014 the State CIO, in collaboration with North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform (NC GEAR), recommended that the State move to a unified structure that provides one source of authority and accountability for IT resources.
What are the benefits of restructuring?
A unified IT structure will provide clear accountability and authority, reduce costs and complexity, streamline IT operations, improve citizen interactions, and enhance the State’s ability to attract, retain and reward IT talent. The NC GEAR initiative estimated that states that move to a unified structure can expect to save 10 – 20% of their initial operating budget over five years.
What will a unified IT structure look like?
The Office of Information Technology Services has been replaced by a cabinet-level Department of Information Technology (DIT), led by State CIO, Keith Werner. All IT professionals in participating agencies will be realigned to work in the new Department of Information Technology. Funding for IT projects will be managed by DIT and agencies will continue to manage funding for IT services delivered by the Department of Information Technology. The new Department will provide statewide project oversight, procurement and IT services to State agencies, educational institutions and local governments. The State CIO’s restructuring report recommended that existing exemptions for the university system, community college campuses, and the Administrative Office of the Courts remain in place.
Where do things stand now?
On September 18, 2015, Governor McCrory signed the state budget, which officially consolidated information technology operations under a single, cabinet-level Department of Information Technology (DIT). Since that time, a pre-planning team has been assembled and is working on plans for a phased transition of participating agencies. Once plans are completed for each agency, personnel and functions will transition. Until that time, it’s business as usual.
How do you define an IT professional, and what job categories will be affected?
Many of the State’s IT-classified positions can be easily identified. As part of restructuring, we will study the roles of employees who work in areas that support IT, such as finance and human resources. Those employees would become part of the new Department if their work relates primarily to supporting IT function and services.
How will IT projects be funded in the future?
We recommended that IT project funding be appropriated to the new Department for improved oversight of budgets and schedule. Agencies would remain in control of budgets for the IT services they consume. No changes would be made until the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year.
How will I learn about the DIT transition and the impact it might have on me?
Information will be provided in a number of ways:
- Email: DIT will periodically send emails to IT staff explaining what to expect, when to expect changes, and if there are any actions they need to take.
- Website: One IT: oneit.nc.gov. DIT will add information about the transition on the website. This is an external website that anyone can access, so proprietary and confidential information will not be hosted here. The website will also include a blog that will provide more narrative on the transition plan, processes and the people of NC DIT.
- SharePoint: Once IT groups are transitioned, they will have access to DIT’s intranet site (SharePoint). It will contain important documents, templates and processes needed to sustain operations for DIT. As staff transition, they will be provided with the link to access the DIT SharePoint site.
- Workshops/Lunch and Learns: DIT staff will occasionally host workshops to discuss what to expect, address concerns and learn how DIT can help make this transition as smooth as possible for employees. As workshops are scheduled, staff will be notified via email and on the One IT website.
- Newsletters: The DIT transition team will develop monthly email newsletters that will contain information about the transition and highlight people, departments and successes within DIT.
- Phone calls/Voicemail messages: The transition team may, infrequently, send an automated message via phone to raise immediate awareness.
- Orientation: Once IT professionals from participating agencies are ready to transition, DIT Human Resources and staff members will coordinate orientation sessions to help facilitate the transition to DIT and familiarize the transitioning personnel with the organization and any changes to their profile or benefits. These sessions will typically combine classroom and online training. Staff members will be notified of training times and locations as they approach their designated transition period.
How often will I receive communication about the transition?
The timing of communications will vary based on transition phase. Generally, staff will receive some form of communication from the DIT transition team every two to three weeks. Communications will occur more frequently for groups who are beginning to transition or who are in the middle of their transition to DIT.
What will happen to my current health benefits?
Health benefits should remain the same with no break in coverage.
Will this impact my paycheck?
The transition to DIT should not impact paychecks. Employees will continue to be paid on the normal pay cycle. Any direct deposit information previously on file will remain the same. The DIT week runs Saturday through Friday.
Will my job change? Will I be expected to support more people? Will my hours change?
In some instances, employees may experience some changes due to the centralization of roles and responsibilities. Managers and the DIT HR team will discuss specific changes with the affected employees.
Will my pay grade change?
In some instances, employees may experience a change in pay grade due changes such as job description and job title. Managers and the DIT HR team will discuss specific changes with the affected employees. There will not be any reductions in pay grade or compensation.
I will be on Leave of Absence during the transition, how will this impact me?
Leaves of Absence will not be impacted. Benefits or pay during this time will also not be affected.
Is the goal of the transition to reduce employee headcount?
No. The goal of the transition is to increase the efficiency of IT support and services to the State’s agencies and to create a world-class state IT organization.
What is the timeline for beginning the organization development portion of the plan (e.g., training, mentoring/coaching, career paths)?
DIT is currently developing these portions of the program for all staff and is aiming to implement them during the transition to DIT. Timeline and schedule information will be communicated to all, followed by specifics on the processes and procedures to be implemented.
Have the transition planning efforts taken the impending wave of IT staff retirements into account?
Yes, and the organizational development plan includes programs that will facilitate knowledge transfer between staff who will retire in the next few years and newer staff.
Is there a chance I might get demoted in this initiative?
No, employees will not see a reduction in pay grade or compensation as a result of the transition. Reporting structure may change, depending on business needs.
I have a lot of time accumulated (e.g., sick, vacation, comp). Will I lose this?
No, accumulated time will not be affected by the consolidation. Payment for authorized overtime or compensation time will be received prior to transition. Employees authorized to accumulate compensation time and request time off as compensation will be allowed to carry over compensation time to DIT. Restrictions on the timeframe within which this type of compensation time (12 months) can be used will still be in effect.
Will I move to the DIT building?
The transition should not impact employees’ locations. Employees are not expected to move to the DIT building as part of the transition.
How would I find a list of contacts for my benefits?
All contacts [health and welfare, pension, 401(k), payroll, etc.] can be found on the Office of State Human Resources website: oshr.nc.gov. In addition, NCFlex benefits can be reviewed in the BEACON system. For agency-specific benefits or insurance, please contact your current HR representative.