By GRANT SCHULTE
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s state government will save an estimated $5.3 million in computer-related costs over 10 years while improving security under a new plan launched by the state’s technology office, Gov. Pete Ricketts said Wednesday.
Ricketts announced the changes as part of his push to find new efficiencies in state government.
The plan focuses on consolidating computer services and licenses that are spread over different state agencies and counties.
“We’re going to be doing a better job of delivering services while we bring costs down,” Ricketts said.
Ed Toner, the state’s chief information officer, said his office found 20 different cost-saving changes. The office oversees the state’s information technology services and reviews all purchases by state agencies. Toner said the state has secured $71,650 in one-time savings so far.
Toner said 90 counties have agreed to relocate their servers to two secure, central locations owned by the state, which will increase safety while reducing maintenance, power and infrastructure costs. The two central servers _ one in Lincoln and one in Omaha _ will serve as backups for one another and will be easier to monitor by information technology staff.
The state’s three largest counties - Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy - aren’t participating because their systems are already self-sufficient, Toner said. The county servers are used by Nebraska’s county courts to store records.
“We’re providing the support needed to those smaller counties that didn’t have IT support,” Toner said. “With those servers sitting in our data center, we can patch them, update them and make sure the security of those servers is maintained.”
In addition, the Departments of Roads, Labor, Correctional Services and Health and Human Services are consolidating their help desk services with the Office of the Chief Information Office.
Toner said his office is also working to ensure that software licenses already held by the state are shared among agencies, instead of each agency buying one separately.