Senate Passes Bill to Create a New iCenter to Promote Innovative and Effective State Technology

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would help save money and encourage public-private partnerships by increasing the effectiveness of state government technology. The bill (S3095), sponsored by Senator Rich Funke (R-C-I, Fairport), would authorize a new “iCenter” within the state Office of Information Technology Services to pilot and test new and emerging technology products that would potentially benefit state operations and reduce government costs. 

Senator Funke said, “The iCenter is a win-win for taxpayers and businesses alike because it establishes a new public-private partnership to streamline state services and save costs while exposing emerging technology companies to new market opportunities. Rochester’s growing tech industry will also have the chance to beta-test new products through the iCenter and receive vital feedback to improve marketability. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their support of the iCenter and I look forward to tracking its progress in the Assembly.”

In today’s digital age, it is increasingly difficult to keep up to date with changing technology products. Under the new measure, the iCenter would be a one-stop-shop for state agencies to examine new technologies across their operations to authenticate functionality, guarantee interoperability, and potentially streamline state services.

The approved legislation would save the state money by allowing government agencies to analyze and assess new technologies before using them. State agencies would have the ability to work in partnership with the private sector through the iCenter to understand best practices and incorporate new perspectives in the calibration of state government’s information technology needs. After receiving feedback from the iCenter, interested vendors would still need to participate in the competitive process that follows existing statewide technology procurement guidelines.

Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti said, “This legislation, if enacted, will provide New York State with millions of savings in renegotiated IT contracts and storage costs. We know this because it is modeled after similar legislation in North Carolina that did just that. We applaud Senator Funke for getting his colleagues to unanimously approve the bill and look forward to having it pass the Assembly and signed by the Governor.”

Many states are now implementing a similar technology collaborative. North Carolina established an iCenter in 2013, and by 2014 had begun saving $8.4 million in renegotiated state information technology contracts and reduced storage costs. 

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.