The Business Council of New York State, Inc., the state’s leading business and industry trade association, supports this legislation that would permit the state to operate a state information technology innovation center, or iCenter, to pilot technology products.
This new innovative step will enable New York State to draw the most advanced, innovative, and cutting edge technologies and products to a center that, in turn, will allow public information technology professionals to better understand the vastly expanding and ever-changing world of computers, software and technological advancements.
The constant evolution of technology makes it difficult to stay up to date on products. Allowing state agencies to test out new products before purchasing them will both save the state money and allow vendors the opportunity to showcase their wares.
The legislation stipulates that vendor participation in the iCenter would not be construed as creating preferred status for vendors or sidestepping the competitive process. The director shall implement, by regulation, the safeguards needed to insure “technology procurements are awarded pursuant to all applicable laws, including such laws requiring a competitive process.”
North Carolina created a similar innovation center that opened its doors in October 2013; by October 2014, more than $6 million worth of technology has been tested at the iCenter, which led to savings of approximately $7 million in renegotiated IT contracts and $1.4 million/year in storage costs. 1 North Carolina is currently leading a National Innovation Community, a coalition of 25 states dedicated to bringing innovative practices to government technology.
For these reasons, The Business Council supports this legislation.