In addition to a statewide push to better secure all of Nevada’s networks, CIO Shanna Rahming has a full plate when it comes to other tech undertakings. Rahming explained to Government Technology that some of the main initiatives on her radar come from completely different directions.
Efforts to improve the state’s public safety communications infrastructure, for instance, are behind a push to set up new microwave towers throughout the state.
“Right now we are in the middle of putting out the new microwave system," she said, "so we have 100-plus mountaintops that are going to get new towers and new equipment so that all of the FCC-based radios will be able to to work on them when the new FCC requirements come out.”
While installing physical infrastructure is clearly a priority, consolidation at various levels of the state government is also taking precedent. Rahming said her team is in the early stages of trying to consolidate state email systems. As it stands, the state relies on more than one, but Rahming is hoping to migrate to an all-inclusive email system.
“We are also looking at putting Microsoft 365 up as a state email system," she said. "So, we are slowly getting in that direction. We are going to one state tenant; right now we have more than one, and the goal is to get to one."
The latest legislative session also meant big changes for security and the scope of the state network. Rahming said that in addition to expanding the cybersecurity assets that come with the creation of the Office of Cyber Defense Coordination, under the Department of Public Safety (DPS), plans to broaden the state’s network pipeline also received budgetary approval from the Legislature. “We will have much bigger pipes going north to south for our state, which is wonderful.”
“On the cybersecurity side, we were fortunate and have gotten a new Office of Cyber Defense and Coordination, and that’s under DPS," she said. "It will work with the security Operations Center and the Network Operations Center."
As Chief Procurement Officer Jeff Haag explained in an earlier interview, the state also has started the process of reviewing and reconciling existing state contracts. Rahming said this process was really born out of the desire to make Microsoft 365 available under one license to state partners.
“We started that way and we are going out from there," she said. "We also have some other contracts we're working on that other people can use at this point in time."