Illinois takes first steps in move to statewide ERP system

Chief Information Officer Hardik Bhatt lays out his work to move Illinois to a unified system for managing its finances.

Illinois Chief Information Officer Hardik Bhatt is currently in the midst of helping his state inch toward a statewide, unified enterprise resource planning system.

When Bhatt took office in April, he discovered that many of the states systems for managing finances were outdated and used a variety of software to function. However, he noted, the previous administration has done some good investment around procurement for a centralized system, and by July, he was able to secure the contracts necessary to begin moving Illinois to a statewide system.

At this time next year, the state will have four pilot agencies going live on a unified financial system, Bhatt told StateScoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers annual conference in October. At this point, we have about 420 different systems that manage our finances, HR, grants, cash management, etc.

Bhatt called the process of getting those agencies ready for the pilot phase of the project very critical over the next few months, as he sees it as a key first step toward ultimately taking the system statewide several years down the line.

In the next four to five years, the entire state, including a couple of other constitutional offices beyond the governors office, will be on a unified, singular ERP system, Bhatt said.