Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder believes technology can transform government — and it’s state CIO David Behen’s job to turn the governor’s vision into reality.

By the time Behen took the CIO post in 2011, a decade of economic turmoil had left Michigan with a long list of ancient systems in need of an upgrade. Over the past two years, Behen has shifted Michigan IT out of crisis mode and onto firmer footing.

He created a new strategic technology plan and, working with state agencies, Behen identified nearly 20 projects — most of them large, multiyear initiatives aimed at replacing legacy systems and enhancing automation. Those needs were matched to multiyear tech funding in the state budget.

“2011 was about creating the plan, 2012 was about getting funding and 2013 will be all about implementation,” Behen said.

Michigan already is moving email into the cloud, using Microsoft’s Office 365. The state recently released an RFP for data center modernization, and it’s beginning the process of choosing and deploying a new statewide ERP system. Also on tap are new identity management technology and an overhaul of the state Web portal.

“There’s a huge to-do list,” Behen said. “But we’re well positioned to move forward. We’re definitely headed in the right direction.” 

Photo by Jessica Mulholland

Return to the 2013 GT Top 25

Steve Towns, Editor Steve Towns  |  Editor

Steve Towns is editor of Government Technology, and executive editor for e.Republic Inc., publisher of GOVERNING, Government TechnologyPublic CIO and Emergency Management magazines. He has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at newspapers and magazines, including more than 15 years of covering technology in the state and local government market.