Established as a department in 1999, ITD's history dates from 1969 when it was first created as the Central Data Processing Division with the Office of Management and Budget. The division set up an electronic data processing center used by all state agencies except the institutions of higher education, Job Service, and the office of the Adjutant General. The Higher Education Computer Network (HECN) was funded after a 1969-70 interim legislative study. In 1981 the director of CDP was directed to supervise all executive branch agency data processing activities and to approve data processing equipment acquisitions.

The division was renamed the Information Services Division in 1989. At this time, the division was required to prepare guidelines for agency information technology plans, develop a statewide plan based on those plans, develop statewide information technology policies, standards, and guidelines, coordinate services with political subdivisions and systems and services with higher education, and report non-compliance to the legislature.

Milestones in ND State IT History

Established Central Data Processing within Accounts and Purchasing
First statewide network roll-out
First statewide email system implemented
First state homepage launched on the Internet
Legislative IT Committee created
First statewide IT Plan produced
First CIO hired to oversee the new cabinet level Information Technology Department
Statewide Technology Access for Government and Education Network (STAGEnet) rollout
Education Technology Council created and moved to ITD for coordination of all K-12 education initiatives
Enterprise Architecture initiated to determine technology direction and set IT standards for state government
Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) developed for exchanging information among criminal justice-related entities
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) implemented to share geospatial information held in state agencies
ConnectND launched by the state and ND University System to replace all financial, human resources, and student information systems
State IT Technology Advisory Committee given responsibility for the prioritization of state government strategic initiatives
Server consolidation launched; resulting in maintenance efficiencies and cost savings
Second datacenter located in North Dakota came online; increasing the speed of recovering critical systems in the event of a disaster
Health Information Technology Steering Committee codified by ND legislature