Chicago often grabs the headlines when it comes to technology innovation. But how can the entire state of Illinois catch up to its level of government digitization and online service delivery? By creating the country’s first smart state.
To that end, the state’s Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) held a two-day Smart State Roadmap Workshop in Chicago on Dec. 5 and 6, focusing on implementing information and communication technology tools to enhance livability, workability and sustainability across all cities, towns and rural areas within Illinois. The action steps were announced on Dec.19.
Several key areas were identified along with specific goals, heads of projects and potential partners:
According to the state’s release, the event hosted more than 50 attendees including Deputy Governor Trey Childress; heads of state agencies; city representatives; members from private industry; and officials from universities, national labs and nonprofits.
“Gov. [Bruce] Rauner has charged us to complete a holistic transformation and turn Illinois into a 21st-century enterprise,” Childress said in the release. “Becoming the first smart state in the country is not just about technology; it is about improved processes, governance and, above all, improved customer service.”
The workshop expanded on the initial Smarter Illinois event held in April that helped kickstart the state's technology transformation efforts.
Illinois has partnered internationally with Telangana, India, in order to share best practices and strategies for smart state implementation.
Department of Innovation and Technology Secretary Designate and CIO Hardik Bhatt noted the state's disparity in technology services, adding that "Illinois is aggressively reducing the 45 years of technology debt in only four years by acting boldly and strongly engaging the private sector and other partners in this smart state effort."
“We have the opportunity to leapfrog from legacy technology to global leadership," he said, "by getting a head start in becoming a smarter state.”