Technology Modernization Fund (TMF)

The TMF was established to make immediate investments in IT that will yield quick and meaningful results for the people of California. CDT invites California state departments or entities to submit business challenges that require an IT solution to modernize government and improve digital services for California residents and state employees. This will enable departments to deliver timely business modernization wins through a high-value proof of concept, fulfill an immediate need, and optimize services for digital government. A strong commitment from the department’s business and IT leadership and team capability are required to be successful.

What types of projects will be funded by the TMF?

The TMF will be used for efforts that should take no longer than one year to implement from start to finish and provide substantial business value. Solving business problems that have a direct impact on the public or demonstrate solutions that can be replicated or leveraged by other departments will be prioritized.

Submissions can outline fully functional products, or an early-stage prototype or MVP for improving government, allowing the validation of initial concepts before requesting appropriation for further development through normal budgetary processes.

Is my Project a good fit for the TMF?

What is implemented through the TMF should have value standing alone, and while it could be the basis for future modernization, it must be supported by the department. The project may also be the first step in the development of an effort that may warrant future budget action. The project scope should be focused and narrow so that the department can solve the intended business problem quickly.

Note that funding of a project through the TMF does not imply approval by the CDT of the technology or approach for expansion or further investment. The successful project can be used as part of Alternatives Analysis for future project planning and Budget Change Proposals.

Examples of what would be a good candidate for the TMF include:

    • Strong team composition and commitment from department’s business and IT leadership
    • Corresponding investment from the proposing department and agency, and a commitment to dedicate both human and financial resources as part of solution development and ongoing operations
    • Clear, concrete, mission-driven goals (and modernization alone isn’t enough)
    • Sound analysis of the business problem to be solved
    • Viable, fast path to delivery (ideally 12 months or less)
    • Return on investment (measured in risk reduction, financial returns, or increased quality of service)
    • Support of statewide goals (e.g., Vision 2023, stabilizes critical services, addresses security risk, public-facing digital services, encourages shared services or cross-department collaboration)

Some projects may not be good candidates for funding through the TMF. Examples include: upgrading desktops, infrastructure, implementing new security software, etc.

How do I apply?

Proposals to fund a project through TMF will be considered on an ongoing basis.  You may submit your proposal when you have sufficient information to support your request.  You are not restricted to a specific application timeframe.

If you have a project that you believe is appropriate to fund via the TMF,  begin by completing a  Stage 1 Business Analysis (S1BA)(DOCX). In the S1BA, Section 1.10 Funding; mention TMF as the funding source. Submit your S1BA (completed and signed) with attachments to the TMF team: tmf@state.ca.gov with a cc to ProjectOversight@state.ca.gov.

If you have questions about whether your project is appropriate for TMF funding, you can contact the TMF team (tmf@state.ca.gov). If your IT project is still in the early concept phase or if your team is not seasoned in conducting IT projects, we recommend discussing it with your Project Approvals and Oversight (PAO) manager,  who can advise you about what preliminary planning is needed to be considered for TMF funding.  You can look up your department’s PAO manager here: Project Approvals and Oversight Staff Assignments.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will projects be selected?

Business analysis documents will be reviewed on a continual basis. We anticipate making funding decisions monthly beginning in fall 2022. This will allow departments to submit their projects for consideration when the appropriate planning is complete and the team is ready to start the project.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

There is no restriction on the number of submissions. Each will be evaluated based on being well-thought-out and having organizational support. The TMF is a limited fund, and the CDT will be considering the best mix of investments to meet goals related to innovation, modernization, and distribution across the state.

Will I be notified if my proposal isn’t selected?
Yes, CDT will maintain communication with each submitter throughout the process.
If I need help with my submission, who should I contact?
Contact your PAO manager and cc: the TMF team: tmf@state.ca.gov for any additional questions or assistance.

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