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2013 Year in Review -- CIOs' Views

State and local CIOs give their take on the biggest issues of 2013.

by / December 4, 2013
James Sills, CIO, Delaware e.Republic/David Kidd

1. James Sills, CIO, Delaware

For me, this year was about collaboration. We put in place a lot of governance when I first came on board. A lot of people didn’t like that oversight, but it helped the state tremendously. Now I need to take it to the next level in terms of being collaborative with the agencies. So we’re doing a lot of outreach. We’ve restructured two of our teams to focus on the agency customer.

2. Carolyn Parnell, CIO, Minnesota

One of our biggest issues is building an IT organization that’s prepared to respond to whatever is coming down the pike. That has not been the case for Minnesota in the past. We recently got quite a bit of money from the legislature to upgrade our legacy systems, and we can’t do that the way it’s always been done. We have to look at new ways.

3. Darryl Ackley, CIO, New Mexico

A big issue for us is public safety broadband. We’re using that as a driver for modernizing public safety communications writ large — so land mobile radio, next-generation e-911 and the way we communicate in general. We’re also modernizing legacy ERP systems, which isn’t fancy but it’s critical. A lot of the work we’re doing is to shore up enterprise services that we provide so that we have a better platform for innovation.

4. Adel Ebeid, CIO, Philadelphia

This year has really been about open data, open government and civic technology – and all three are related. Open data allows government to expose all of its data-rich assets. It allows us to engage the local startup community to help us solve our problems. But at the same time, it breaks down the walls of mistrust between governments and citizens, so open government becomes more of a reality.

5. Bill Oates, CIO, Boston

One area we’re focused on is what we’ve always called ‘constituent engagement’ — but it’s really the customer experience. Getting better at core constituent relationship management and getting good at social media helps us day to day. It’s also important when incidents happen. We’ve had a challenging year in Boston — between storms and the events around the Boston Marathon — and we’ve had the ability to talk to citizens and listen to them when things are happening around the city.

6. Tony Encinias, CIO, Pennsylvania

Consuming IT services as a utility rather than making capital investments — that’s where we’re going. We’re looking at IT as a commodity. We’ll no longer be in the business of infrastructure or storage. We’re going to consume and pay for what we use. I think that’s going to be the trend.

7. Aaron Sandeen, CIO, Arizona

This year the legislature and the governor supported many IT initiatives. We have $67 million of additional funding appropriated for IT projects — everything from replacing our state accounting system with a new ERP, to upgrading our aging offender management system. We’re making infrastructure investments in our state data center, and there are all sorts of security initiatives across the state.

8. Sonny Bhagowalia, CIO, Hawaii

I’d say the biggest issue is mobility. I’ve been watching this thing trend upward. I’m focusing a lot on mobile and how you can actually display information, not only on smartphones but also on tablets.

9. Michael Cockrill, CIO, Washington state

The biggest trend is the consumerization of IT — and that has a bunch of ramifications. As innovation starts with consumers and moves behind the firewall, you end up with a huge amount of change in the way IT works. It used to be in the IT world that you could guide your customers. But today you’re responding to your customers.


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Steve Towns

Steve Towns is the former editor of Government Technology, and former 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. Steve now serves as the Deputy Chief Content Officer for e.Republic. 

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