Experts rank top 25 states as technology leaders

The 25 most digitally-advanced state governments in the nation have been identified by the Center for Digital Government. The Digital States Survey, conducted by the Center, is a comprehensive study that examines best practices, policies and progress made by state governments in their use of digital technologies to better serve their citizens and streamline operations.

2006 Digital States Survey Top 25

1. Michigan

2. Virginia

3. Ohio

4. Utah

5. Arizona

6. Arkansas

7. South Dakota

8. Kentucky

9. Wisconsin

10. Tennessee

11. Minnesota

12. Maryland

13. Mississippi

14. Nebraska

15. Massachusetts

16. California (tie)

16. Washington (tie)

17. Texas

18. New York

19. Illinois (tie)

19. Kansas (tie)

20. Pennsylvania

21. Nevada

22. Georgia (tie)

22. North Carolina (tie)

23. North Dakota

24. Colorado

25. Alabama

Digital States is the nation's original and only sustaining survey of state governments' use of technology in serving the citizen. The all-new 2006 Digital States Survey provides a benchmark for the next generation of digital service delivery and reflects contemporary citizen expectations and the technologies used to meet them.

In June, the Center invited all state governors and their chief information officers to participate in the revised 2006 Digital States Survey. With more than 70 measurements in four broad areas-service delivery, architecture and infrastructure, collaboration, and leadership - this year's survey is the first report on the transition of states to digital government since the 2004 elections.

"With the right leadership, state governments can leverage information technology to greater enhance operations and serve their citizens," said Cathilea Robinett, executive director of the Center. "The states in the top 10 continue to advance 21st century governance and show their commitment to the future viability of their states."

"Information technology continues to play a critical role in creating efficiencies, and it remains at the heart of everything we are doing to provide government service to Michigan citizens," said Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm. "Whether it's making hunting and fishing licenses available online, or making it easier for businesses to get the permits they need, or providing an online talent bank for employers and job seekers to find each other, I'm proud of the many things we have done through technology to improve service to our citizens."

Michigan's chief information officer, Teri Takai, echoed the governor: "I was thrilled when learning that we had been ranked number one again," Takai said. "It's rare to see back-to-back winners, as there are so many states out there doing wonderful things in government technology. This provides independent validation that we are still on the right track and that our partnerships with all of the state agencies are bringing value and benefits to those who live and work here in Michigan."

Verizon Business (www.verizonbusiness.com) was the exclusive sponsor of the 2006 Digital States Survey. The survey is just one of a series of national studies conducted by the Center that examine best practices and IT innovations in government. City and county governments, along with school boards and community colleges, are also surveyed throughout the year. The Digital States Survey is conducted biennially in even-numbered years, providing a longer horizon in assessing state progress.