CDT: Taking the Lead in Digital Transformation

The California Department of Technology’s Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) is responsible for providing statewide web, geospatial, and data services. As seen during last year’s devastating fires, Public Safety Power Shutoffs and, currently, the COVID-19 pandemic, every moment counts in an emergency or national disaster—including how many seconds it takes for a website to load.

OET’s goal has been to modernize its infrastructure to support on-demand software development and delivery. In order to meet the demands of 39 million California residents who must access public safety and health information online in times of emergencies, solutions needed to be developed and deployed faster than ever. But digital transformation can be easier said than done. In order to support their new mandate of rapid development and deployment, the OET team knew they had to turn to automation—something their current on-premises architecture couldn’t support.

The team moved quickly from on-premise infrastructure to infrastructure as code. Since the hosting environment maintained its code in GitHub, the team was able to pull the code to OET’s repository, work it out, and monitor it. Additionally, the team adopted an agile framework to help them build even more quickly. Working internally, access was easy, but when there was a need to collaborate with other departments, access was given to their repositories making it efficient to share code among partners.

Once a developer committed to the code, the team wrapped up the code in a continuous integration build – where each team member integrates their work with the work of other team members – before it went through an automated release to the website. This way they were able to see the changes within minutes. Now the team is able to turn out mission-critical code, applications, and websites in a fraction of the amount of time that it took in the past. In fact, many people are surprised that the government could outperform a private entity in keeping these websites up and resilient with all the demands – delivering a more stable solution more quickly.

Since CDT touches just about every department in the executive branch of California government, the team is looking forward to CDT’s digital transformation becoming a blueprint for other state entities. The team is very proud of that.