Gov. Neil Abercrombie pushed his technology initiative another step forward by unveiling his plan to transform the way the state does business.
He gathered his cabinet members at the Hawaii Convention Center for the launch.
"Can you imagine someone keeping a computer alive for 36 years? That's phenomenal," exclaimed the state’s chief information officer, Sonny Bhagowalia.
The technology czar says he was floored to find that decades old relic in the Department of Education.
The DOE, long maligned for a bloated bureaucracy, most recently came under fire because it can't track its transportation costs, or manage bus routes and student ridership, because of outdated systems.
"We keep talking about that the things that are inefficient in the Department of Education, and the whole state. But it's not about the people, it is because they struggle with technology that is well past its time," said Kathryn Matayoshi. school superintendent.
The goal is to transform Hawaii into a digital state.
"We are trying to transform so many business functions and services,It’s a massvie challenge. We have 740 IT systems to transfer. All these business technology and services, it's going to take time," said Bhagowalia.
The state's information technology systems are 30 years behind the times.
And, while it may take 12 years to totally overhaul the system, Bhagowalia points to the changes in the state tax office that have already made it faster to get tax returns into taxpayers hands.
"That doesn’t mean you will have to wait 12 years to get results, you are going to get results this year. I am trying to get something every three to six months so we can shart to show incremental progress," said Bhagolwalia.
What used to take weeks to get checks deposited into the state's coffers now takes four days.
"This was just one process on the collection side of it but it proves a point," said Bhagowalia.
And more hardware and software changes are coming.
"Just imagine what they can do with the new technology," said Bhagolwalia.
The information guru rolled out the blueprint for the transformation to the governor’s cabinet and pulled out his smartphone to make a point.
"As we all know, these devices are changing the world," said Bhagowalia. He underscored, it's high time the state changes with it.
To see the transformation plan, click here.