Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Kansas IT Guy Fails

  • Nov 10 / 2011
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Kansas IT Guy Fails

I found a story in The Register about the head IT guy for the state of Kansas. He tried to slide a degree by on his resume… The governor defended the hiring claiming academic credentials were not that important.

I decided to take a peek at the IT system in Kansas to see how it was faring. It turns out they have the normal sort of chaos I have seen in many places: each location doing its own thing causing much duplication of effort and incompatibility. The predecessors had come up with a plan to consolidate. They hadn’t been doing too badly, for government, with IT costs rising about 3% per annum. Interestingly when M$ had been telling the world they needed to buy the next release to lower IT costs, Kansas has experienced more or less flat IT costs for the last decade, averaging $685 per PC per annum. Clearly, they haven’t heard of Linux.

There’s no mention at all in the plan of GNU/Linux. The only constant was M$’s products. Their plan of consolidation included migrating everyone to the same version of M$’s office suite to aid compatibility. What a shame they missed the opportunity to lower costs thousands of times. They have about 25000 PCs. By using GNU/Linux they could likely extend the useful life and lower licensing costs dramatically more than all their consolidation efforts. By using GNU/Linux on the thin clients they could eliminate $millions from the annual budget. There’s not even a mention of thin client in the report. There’s not a mention of changing the desktop regime except to go to “7″ globally.

These days, Kansas is spending about $250 million per annum. Only $15-25million of that is for desktops. Clearly they are spending way too much on data-centres and networks. Consolidation will help them a lot there but they are missing out on huge savings by not changing the OS to GNU/Linux. The big failure of the plan is that they plan to stabilize expenditures at current levels instead of reducing them. Clearly, cost is vital to Kansas and they should consider migrating widely to GNU/Linux. They could do a lot more with less.

I recommend Debian GNU/Linux. It is flexible enough to do anything and works well on client, server and database.

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