Governor signs Wheeler-backed legislation to modernize Illinois’ IT infrastructure

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), formed by Executive Order in 2016, is now officially recognized as a state agency.  Gov. Bruce Rauner signed HB 5611 today, which passed unanimously in the Illinois General Assembly this spring, codifying the agency into law. The bill’s Chief Co-Sponsor was Representative Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego.

Bipartisan support for the legislation reflects the state's commitment to improve cybersecurity, enhance employee work processes, and provide better services to Illinois citizens.

Rep. Wheeler (standing, second from left) watches as the
Governor signs HB 5611 in Chicago.
"When we first came into office, we discovered that our technology systems had been grossly neglected. Employees at multiple agencies relied on manual, paper processes for much of their work. That was extremely inefficient," Rauner said. "We created DoIT, put a team of experts in place and developed a comprehensive approach to modernize our technology. Now, I'm proud to say we are among the nation's leaders when it comes to using smart technology and making sure our citizens' personal information is secure."

"Improving government operations, increasing transparency, and saving taxpayer money are all goals being achieved by DoIT. This is important legislation to ensure we provide a modern and efficient government to our citizens," said Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego.

Cybersecurity has been a priority for DoIT. Since its inception, the agency has encrypted more than 5.8 billion records, protecting the personal and private information of Illinois citizens. DoIT launched the first statewide security operations center with 24/7 monitoring aimed at identifying risk and proactively responding to cyberthreats.

Staff members at DoIT also have focused on streamlining state operations and improving efficiencies across state agencies. Over half of the state's financials are now managed on a common system to address decades of lack of interoperability and financial management challenges. Infrastructure and network unification efforts in Illinois have already resulted in savings and cost-avoidance of over $20 million.

"Illinois' digital transformation is being realized as a result of Gov. Rauner's vision and leadership," said DoIT Acting Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Kirk Lonbom. "We're making rapid strides toward improving operational efficiencies and offering state services through the convenience of mobility, while placing the security of data and operations at the foundation of all initiatives."

Through its Smart State initiative, DoIT also is helping local governments use SMART technology (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) on things like street lighting — which cuts down on energy costs and saves taxpayer dollars.

These efforts are being applauded by national experts.

"The State of Illinois' move towards consolidation, its development of a Smart State strategy, and the exploration of emerging technologies like blockchain all illustrate advancements we applaud for a government technology organization," said Doug Robinson, executive director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

For additional information, please see the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology strategy at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/doit/Strategy/EnterpriseStrategies/Pages/default.aspx.

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