October 19, 2012    /    by

NASCIO Annual Conference 2012

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) is holding their annual conference in San Diego this year from October 21-24, 2012.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) is holding their annual conference in San Diego this year from October 21-24, 2012.

The agenda is packed with many interesting topics, such as an opening keynote by Ken Miller, Founder, Change & Innovation Agency. Here’s how this 90-minute session is described in the program:

“Pinnacle General Session Overhauling the Ship: Extreme Government Makeover

Government is under incredible pressure right now. The economic crisis has hit us with a double whammy: exponential increases in demand and dramatically reduced resources.  How have we responded to these new pressures? By trotting out the old ideas. We outsource, upgrade and right-size. The house of government doesn't need another layer of paint or some new carpet -- it needs an extreme makeover. And just like on the show, it needs it done fast! This presentation makes obvious the real problems plaguing government, how you can join the crew and gives you the tools to complete the makeover.”

There are several interesting sessions on topics ranging from multi-jurisdictional collaboration, to health data exchange, to data and analytics to the “choppy seas of outsourcing.”

On the cybersecurity side, there are three sessions that are of special interest to readers of this blog.  On Monday afternoon, there is a breakout session on mobile device management. That session is described this way:

“Striving to Protect: Mobile Device Management and Security

Whether the data is in your pocket, on your desktop or in your network, how do you strive to protect the information and manage the devices? … And a new generation of workforce and citizens used to being connected -- anytime, anywhere, all the time - are requiring CIOs to rethink policy and security….”

On Tuesday morning, there is a panel session discussing the results of the cybersecurity survey sent from state governments and U.S. territories. I am participating in this session, and the session is presented with the title and description:

 “State Governments at Risk

NASCIO initiated the 2012 cybersecurity study to assist state leaders in understanding the current cybersecurity environments and to provide key insights to aid state leaders in making informed decisions relative to cybersecurity threats, risks, priorities and strategy. Survey questions covered topics across information security governance, budget, use of security technologies, quality of operations and more. This special briefing will be an interactive session covering the aggregated study results.”

Last, but not least, there is an important session entitled:

Charting the Course: Public Safety Broadband

We have all heard that Congress reallocated the 700-MHz D-Block spectrum to public safety and established the FirstNet Board to create a nationwide public safety broadband network for first responders. Come and hear what the creation of this network can mean to state government and how first responders and others will use the network….”

Other topics include data transparency, redesigning procurement and the explosion in mobile applications.

I think this agenda looks outstanding overall, and the best part is almost always the networking and side-discussions. I know we say this every two years or so, but I think we are at an important crossroad in state government support of technology and security, and I find these annual NASCIO conferences to be “must-attend” events each year.

It is easy to gain “tunnel vision” regarding the activities locally, but NASCIO always provides insights on the national picture. With the election coming up soon after the conference, the conversations always get interesting.

In addition to the topical experts who speak, I like hearing the perspectives from CIOs from around the country. There are always plenty of federal partners in attendance as well who want to talk about various interfaces and systems. Not to be outdone, our vendor partners will be available to brief us on their latest offerings.

Lastly, I will be writing a blog on my thoughts about the national cybersecurity survey as well as observations from several other sessions. I look forward to seeing many of you in San Diego next week.