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States Should Follow in Montana’s Modernization Footsteps

This summer, Montana is expected to retire a mainframe that has supported state agencies for decades. The state moved remaining applications to the cloud to finally discontinue use of the mainframe.

Montana’s freedom from its ­mainframe is somewhat rare among states. Many state governments still rely upon aging mainframes for citizen ­services. Mainframes are deeply embedded in many government ­functions ranging from motor vehicle registration and Medicaid eligibility to tax assessments. Mainframes are even more ­pervasive than they may first appear: Nearly a quarter of state CIOs polled by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers indicated in a 2020 ­survey that they still provided local ­governments with mainframe support.

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