Accelerating Illinois’ Modernization: Crafting a ‘Smarter State’

What is a smart state, and how is Illinois is putting this concept into action?

by Hardik Bhatt, CIO, Illinois / March 17, 2016

Editor's note: This 30-day blog focused on Illinois' IT modernization was originally published on LinkedIn, and is republished here with permission.

Within the first six months, we started picking up pace for first two steps for Illinois' modernization:

  1. Improving business of IT
  2. Improving business of state (customer service) with the use of IT

It was time to accelerate Illinois' modernization efforts around step 3: leapfrogging to claim leadership position.

From my past experience, many cities and countries around the globe are trying to implement smart city solutions. However, due to lack of executive support and focused leadership, most of the cities are only completing pilots. There are very few enterprise-scale sustainable efforts using Internet of Things-based smart cities solutions. In Illinois, we are looking for an enterprise-scale, sustainable, smarter state initiative to improve the overall efficiency of the government, improve workforce opportunities and boost economic growth.

Today’s blog is an excerpt from the IDC white paper on smarter states, with a case study on Illinois’ efforts around becoming a smarter state with IoT solutions. Ruthbea Clarke of IDC authored this white paper. Between the publication of the white paper and now (in the last month), we have an Internet of Things Center of Excellence (ICE) in place that includes key agency CIOs and business owners.

Here is the introduction from the white paper:

There has been a tremendous focus on Smart Cities over the past years and with good reason. Cities are the economic, social, and political hubs of the world; they contribute the most to the world economy and consume most of the world's resources. People working in U.S. cities contribute up to 90 percent of the nation's GDP and constitute 83 percent of the population. But U.S. cities operate with the support and influence of U.S. states, and states have an important triple role to play in the Smart Cities movement. IDC and the state of Illinois have identified this triple role as:

  • Transforming state government: States have responsibilities, challenges, and inefficiencies similar to those of many large cities; they need to become more efficient and "smarter" themselves.
  • Supporting the development of Smart Cities: States play a major role in supporting the creation of Smart Cities in their jurisdiction through policies and funding.
  • Creating smart and connected regional clusters: States can connect Smart Cities within their jurisdiction to create smart and connected regional clusters of economic development.

States that strive to do these things successfully are "Smart States." This white paper introduces the concept of the Smart State and discusses how the state of Illinois is putting this concept into action.

Read the blog from IDC about this white paper and Illinois, and the white paper itself at your leisure.