After more than a decade with Utah’s Department of Technology Services (DTS) and two at its helm, CIO Mike Hussey takes a personal view of his work, in a state where leading-edge IT has become the norm. While he knows well the value of initiatives like Utah’s tech consolidation, or the $200 million in savings they saw in centralizing state data centers from 35 down to just two, for Hussey, the highlights are in the details.
Hussey is proud of his agency, yet humble about his own accomplishments. “I’ve been riding the coattails of some very successful CIOs,” he said, yet that does little to account for the nuance he brings to his role. After seeing that IT consolidation through to fruition, he said, what’s left is the culture change, getting everyone involved to see themselves as a unified enterprise system. From there, Hussey can get DTS to do more with less. The department has already met Gov. Gary Herbert’s statewide challenge to become 25 percent more efficient, but, said Hussey, “we’re continually looking at ways that we might find those efficiencies in state government, utilizing technology to help us get there.”
And he sees opportunity for those efficiencies not only for state agencies, but also for citizens — for himself and his neighbors. It all comes back to how to make government more accessible for Utahans. As an example, he described going to the Division of Motor Vehicles to transfer a title when his son purchased a new car, and then asking, “Why are we having to set foot in a building when we can do everything else online?” He then began looking into solutions such as electronic titles built on blockchain technology.
His ability to look at tech from the perspective of both CIO and resident is clear in his focus on simplifying government processes, bringing state services to people where they are. Customer service, as Hussey said, is “just in my DNA.”
Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.