Enterprise Solution Services

​Did you know that of the 4,130 business applications in use in Texas, over half rely on hardware and software technology that is considered obsolete or inefficient? This outdated technology is challenging to maintain and frustrating to use; DIR works with agencies to investigate true solutions to these issues.

The Enterprise Solution Services (ESS) division’s mission is to provide Texas state agencies with strategic information technology guidance built on enterprise architecture, standards, collaborative communities, and awareness of technology initiatives.

ESS services

The ESS division provides services based on the enterprise architecture disciplines of business capability modeling, use case creation, requirements gathering, and related solution guidance. ESS provides technology assessments to Texas state agencies at no cost.

Facilitating inter-agency collaborative communities

The ESS team leads collaboration workshops, special interest groups, and discovery sessions with state agency business program owners and enterprise architects. These forums raise awareness of common needs and encourage discovery of solutions that work for everyone. Agencies that partner in joint solutions have the opportunity to leverage commodity or bulk purchases, shared resources, and reduced net investment of time and money.

Texas Cloud Tiger Team

Texas Cloud Tiger Team was officially Launched by Todd Kimbriel, the State of Texas CIO on March 29, at TASSCC TEC. The primary goal of this technically proficient "volunteer army" was to help accelerate cloud adoption through outstanding collaboration that the state has not seen in the past. The 60-day impact speaks for itself -- 14 Texas state agencies, local and higher education, 14 leading Cloud vendor and industry organizations. The team is driving a new path in collaborating for a cause across process, people and technology. 

There is no cost for agencies to subscribe to tiger team service and it's just a call away. Or create a service ticket via Service Now platform.  To find out more about this program, visit the Texas Cloud Tiger Team website

Texas Department of Information Resource announces Texas Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of excellence

On March 29, 2019, Department of Information Resources launched a Texas Cloud Adoption Center of Excellence (CoE), also known as the Cloud Tiger team and have seen tremendous impact and made great progress. The program and its stakeholders witnessed firsthand the increased adoption and acceptance that such a core team could create. This cloud success drives us towards creation of a CoE around Artificial Intelligence (AI).  For the purposes of this initiative, Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, and Natural Language Processing all fit within the AI umbrella.

As we are addressing several new uses cases to drive government efficiencies as well as response to the Covid-19 pandemic impact, AI can support Texas agencies with digital assistants and automation to deliver services to Texans much faster and quicker.

The AI CoE would be an educational endeavor, leveraging subject matter experts (SME) and working directly with agencies to help them manifest their AI CoE. Each CoE would be positioned explore AI opportunities and to develop a digital workplace that promotes automation as outlined in the state strategic plan.  As  stressed previously during cloud adoption launch, it's critically important that this initiative is NOT to do the work for the agency but rather to coach the agency through the learning process – that is to say  "teach the village to fish, not feed the village."

Criteria to initiate the AI CoE engagement:

  • Confirm the ability to leverage Service Now Idea ticket to document agency's interests.
  • Establish a cloud sandbox limited support environment – Azure, AWS and GCP.
  • Identify current project/RFS to deploy a new service and confirm staff commitment from agency.
  • Identify current project/RFS to automate infrastructure or application tasks and confirm staff commitment from agency.
  • Outreach to applicable vendor partners to provide SME support and guidance.
  • Confirm availability of DIR resources from CTO, COO, CFO, CPO and OCISO.  

Services to be provided (no cost to agency to increase adoption):

  • Incorporate AI into DIR offered managed services.
  • Assist agencies in developing an AI strategy and roadmap.
  • Provide agencies with required AI tools and training guidance.
  • Opportunity to conduct Proof of Technology, Proof of Concepts, Proof of Value and increase AI adoption.
  • Accountable and ethical AI Governance and Legislative guidance.
  • Technical coaching on how to architect a low code AI and ML model.
  • Help develop Process Design Documents (DD) to document business processes to be automated.
  • Operationalizing the AI to enhance business and strategic goals.
  • Business coaching on AI governance with an emphasis on ethical AI.  

Next steps:

  • Build a core team based on resources that are willing to engage.
  • Define trigger point for team activation (everyone will still have their day job!).
  • Construct playbook for best practices to be used while providing services, ie: system use cases, test materials, how to materials/guides/ etc.
  • Identify current projects that are candidates and promote availability to customers.
  • Socialize the need for practical ethics governance and pursue its creation from the beginning.  

Providing solution architecture guidance

These services include solution architecture guidance and mentoring, and the promotion of enterprise architecture practices. All guidance is informed by the tenets of the State Strategic Plan for Information Resources Management, and makes use of various DIR enterprise service offerings (such as Data Center Services, Texas.gov, and Telecommunications) where appropriate.

To learn more about Enterprise Solution Services, contact:
Krishna Edathil
Director, Enterprise Solution Services

Current ESS projects

Legacy Modernization Strategy

ESS is developing a strategy to guide the state in legacy system modernization efforts. Read more about the Legacy Modernization Strategy project.

Previous ESS projects

Legacy Systems Study

During FY 2014, ESS began the technology inventory and analysis supporting 83(R) House Bill 2738, which required a Legacy Systems Study for all non-higher education agencies. This analysis and DIR’s recommendations were presented to the House Committee on Technology in October 2014, and spurred legislation supporting legacy modernization and shared services. Read the Legacy Systems Study — Public Report.

Application Portfolio Management pilot program

ESS has engaged seven state agencies who will form an Application Portfolio Management (APM) pilot. This pilot's purpose is to form a program that helps agencies map a complete record of their systems' costs, relationships, and priorities within their organization. Read more about the APM program.

Shared reporting and business analytics pilot program

ESS is collaborating with agency customers to develop a pilot to provide reporting and business analytics shared services. The pilot should help spur collaboration to identify common reporting and business analytics needs. It will also provide an opportunity to vet cross-agency requirements gathering and deployment of a shared use case. Read more about the shared reporting and business analytics program.

Important terms

  1. Enterprise architecture - Map of an organization's production capabilities, where they interact, and where there may be redundancies.
  2. Business capability modeling - Blueprint of internal and external services that an organization delivers.
  3. Use case creation - List of steps, usually the interactions between a user and a system, to achieve a goal.
  4. Enterprise architects - Works with an organization to develop a map of that organization's production capabilities, where they interact, and where there may be redundancies.
  5. Solution architecture - Model of what a solution to a business challenge should do, or how it should function.