Should the state CIO be the resident expert on emerging technology? Or should that expertise rise up organically from agencies throughout the organization? The finance people might have something to gain from exploring blockchain, for example, and the Department of Transportation likely has some ideas on how Internet of Things technologies could support infrastructure assets like roads and bridges.
In Delaware, CIO James Collins has put together an emerging technologies group to build expertise on disruptors like these with the potential to improve government operations. "If it's going to touch our network, especially, we've got to understand those things," he said.
At the NASCIO Midyear conference last month in Virginia, Indiana CIO Dewand Neely stressed the importance of understanding the state's various business needs in order to most effectively bring emerging technologies to bear.
"The CIO really needs to get more in front of the business and listen to their thoughts, ideas, challenges," Neely said, "and then put the pieces together where we see emerging tech that can really speak to a problem that we've been talking to another business partner about."
Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.