By Kanuri Murty, Chief Information Officer/Deputy Director of Information Technology, Department of FISCal

Over the past year, the Department of FISCal (FI$Cal) has continued its efforts to implement technical enhancements and improvements to the FI$Cal system, as part of the roadmap of activities set forth in government code section 11865. These included upgrading our software and hardware infrastructure to newer versions or supported models, to not only extend the support for the FI$Cal system, but also improve our security posture. These enhancements, coupled with preventive and perfective maintenance activities, have improved the availability of FI$Cal applications, ensuring our system end users are able to work in the system uninterrupted.

In 2018, FI$Cal implemented our open data website, Open FI$Cal, and started publishing the state’s non-confidential expenditure data. Last year, we migrated this solution to a new platform based on Microsoft’s PowerBI, to improve operational efficiencies and enhance accessibility. This re-platforming effort helped us streamline internal operations and also helped us improve accessibility.

Securing the FI$Cal applications and infrastructure is a top priority, and we continuously look for opportunities to improve our security posture. Using the CalSecure framework as our guide, we continue to plan security enhancements to ensure the system is secure. Last year, we implemented an enhanced asset tracking and monitoring system using the Tanium platform. We also implemented multi-factor authentication for the PeopleSoft accounting application, budgeting application and reporting solution.

In addition to these technical enhancements, we continue our journey to the cloud. As part of our initial 18-month planning portfolio, established following the passage of AB 156, we implemented a disaster recovery solution on the Amazon cloud. The solution increases system resiliency and will protect against major disasters affecting system availability.

We have completed the first phase of migrating our key back-office systems and services to the cloud. Our staff can now perform their functions through cloud-based virtual private networks and virtual desktops without any downtime and without reliance on the information technology infrastructure at our office. Now, we are focusing our efforts on migrating FI$Cal’s non-production environments to the cloud. This will be a longer-term initiative, and will require architecting the cloud infrastructure, securing it, and migrating non-critical workloads first, before planning the migration of critical workloads. In order to minimize the risks and optimize the costs of such a transition, we intend to follow the learn-mature-and-operationalize model.

Our roadmap of activities identifies technical optimization, enhancement, and security of the FI$Cal system as key areas of focus. In addition to the strides we are making in these areas, we are also making progress on our other roadmap activities, including transitioning the accounting book of record, and onboarding deferred departments. We continue to make progress to ensure the technology supports system users and ensures the system will remain modern and secure into the future.