Bill Bryan became CIO of Missouri in January, after spending 18 years as an assistant attorney general in the Missouri Attorney General's (AG) Office. While at the AG's Office, he built a reputation for handling complex cases and championing new technologies to make attorneys more effective.
GT: What are your priorities?
A: The first challenge is the state Web sites. We can get the most bang for our buck and time by improving our Web presence and letting citizens know what we're doing, how to get information from us and how to access services more efficiently. Also, we're in the third year of a consolidation effort, and the consolidation to date has been largely financial. We gathered the money, people and other assets, but we haven't set about using them in a unified way. That, I think, is our long-term goal.
Utah recently moved to a 4/10 government workweek for economic and ecological reasons. Do you see things like that being made possible through a more robust Web platform?
A: Absolutely. If you don't have a Web presence in the U.S. today, you don't exist. Our analytics show that browsers like Safari are increasing rapidly. That tells us we're getting lots of people who are accessing our Web pages from mobile devices like iPhones. This is a trend that states can't ignore. If we're not providing services and information this way, we won't be serving our constituents well. I think it's going to provide us a lot of opportunity. As we move to more Web-based platforms, we're going to modernize systems.
What impact will the economic stimulus have on your IT projects?
A: It's very difficult to tell. There are many different projects in all the agencies that are under consideration, and almost all of them have an IT component. There are things we're specifically interested in that'd help us improve our network and capability for reaching out to corners of the state that are really independent of other agencies. But this is a rapidly moving target, and it's hard to say how much we'll benefit.
What's on your wish list?
A: Unified communications. I'd like to see an investment that would allow us to provide productivity tools that would let our employees collaborate and [work remotely].
Editor's note: This interview was adapted from a March 2009 teleconference conducted by Paul Taylor, chief strategy officer of the Center for Digital Government.
Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., is the editor-at-large of Governing magazine. He also serves as the chief content officer of e.Republic, Governing’s parent organization, as well as senior advisor to the Governing Institute. Prior to joining e.Republic, Taylor served as deputy Washington state CIO and chief of staff of the state Information Services Board (ISB). Dr. Taylor came to public service following decades of work in media, Internet start-ups and academia. He is also among a number of affiliated experts with the non-profit, non-partisan Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, D.C.