When Jason Allison stepped up to lead Florida’s Agency for State Technology, he was signing on to lead an organization with a tumultuous past. Funding starts and stops had put the agency into unfamiliar territory. But during his short tenure as interim CIO, Allison impressed the powers that be and put the agency on a fresh and forward-looking course.
“We worked very hard back in 2014 to establish a centralized IT organization with the proper amount of authority, budget and mission to really move the needle in state government IT,” he said recently.
He was officially appointed in late 2014, and securing the state’s data centers was front and center on Allison’s list of priorities. A sharp legislative prod tightened the consolidation timetable from more than two years to just 120 days.
“It can’t be stated enough how much of a challenging, complex and collaborative effort it was to move an entire data center in less than 100 days. ... We were able to adapt and develop a strategy to relocate our State Data Center customers without any [unplanned] outages.”
While putting out fires is a talent required of any CIO, Allison is also a trusted voice in the larger tech community. During the start of the 2017 legislative session, he worked alongside lawmakers to create a geographic information office and a chief data officer role for the state. “Data is one of the state’s biggest resources and we don’t catalog it in a way that is uniform or standard across the enterprise,” he said. “We’re looking to create a governance framework and process around how we document all the different types of data sources we have. That way, we can expose the data to spur all sorts of innovation, both in the public and private sector.”
In February, Allison announced that he was leaving state service to take on a public affairs role with a law firm. “We have such an opportunity to transform how technology delivers services to the citizens of our great state,” he said before resigning, “and I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished.”