NASPO head: Collaboration key to good investments

Information technology projects have a reputation for being expensive and inefficient. But the executive director of the National Association of State Procurement Officials thinks collaboration within the c-suite could change that perception.

Collaboration between the CIO and the CPO is hugely important, NASPOs Executive Director DeLaine Bender told StateScoop TV in April. Especially as we look at cloud strategy and how things are going to progress, collaboration across the board is the way that were going to see things going.

According to Bender, when a chief information officer wants to begin a new IT project involving procurement, he or she should work with the chief procurement officer, or highest-ranking procurement official, as soon as possible.

The CIO and CPO are partners, Bender said. They should be partners start to finish, for a successful procurement implementation and project management plan, they really have to be partners start to finish.

Thats why associations like NASPO and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers have recently been collaborating more.

NASCIO and NASPO are operated by AMR Management Services, an association management company. AMR oversees several government associations, including the National Association of State Chief Administrators.

Earlier this year, NASCIO and NASPO released a case study detailing Californias experience procuring its CalCloud offering, which enabled the state to have its own cloud services to provide to agencies and local government.

In the study, California CIO Carlos Ramos said communication between the Department of Technology and the states procurement officials was key to ensuring that CalCloud rolled out successfully.

In that collaboration, communication is king, Ramos said. Early and ongoing communication helps keep everyone on track and brings in two different and very valuable perspectives.

Bender said other states looking to cloud computing need to develop a strategy for the technology and procurement.

The need for a cloud strategy has got to be paramount in a lot of peoples minds right now, Bender said. Anything as a service is certainly a big deal, cloud is certainly a big deal, so what were seeing is a real sea change in how IT procurement is going to be taking place.