'Sucky Websites' To Become Cool Under State's New Tech Reform Plan

Nathan Eagle/Honolulu Civil Beat

Let's call it iHawaii. Decades behind in the Information Age, the state is finally getting a long overdue upgrade.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia, who was hired last summer as Hawaii's first chief information officer, unveiled the state’s Business and Information Technology/Information Resource Management Transformation Plan Thursday at the Hawaii Convention Center.

The 1,432-page strategic plan will serve as a 12-year roadmap that guides the state out of its mostly paper-based management system and into the digital world. The multi-million-dollar initiative aims to leverage modern technologies and streamline business processes to improve the delivery of government programs and services.

A public-private partnership got the plan off the ground, but the governor said the Legislature must keep the funding flowing next session if the investment is going to pay off. It's unclear how many millions of dollars will be requested in the budget to complete the transformation, but Abercrombie said his administration will be ready in December to make its case before lawmakers.

"We cannot afford the cost of staying 30 years behind if we expect not just to compete in the 21st Century but to participate in the 21st Century," Abercrombie told the crowd of roughly 80 people which included department heads and lawmakers. "No more Band-Aid approaches are possible. No more short-term fixes that aren't fixes at all."

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