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Florida Technology Council Creates State Advisory Workgroup

A group of former state and local Florida government IT officials want to foster an ongoing dialogue with state government and policymakers centered on IT modernization and reorganization efforts.

by Lucas Ropek / May 29, 2020

A new technology advisory workgroup has been launched in Florida that seeks to provide guidance to state government as it navigates IT modernization efforts.

The Florida Technology Council recently launched the State Advisory Workgroup (SAW), which will be led by Charles Ghini, former CIO for the Florida Department of Financial Services and former director of telecommunications with the Department of Management Services. 

The FTC, an association dedicated to the advancement of Florida's technology sector, has spent years in dialogue with state government about its modernization initiatives, and SAW is expected to be the next step in that dialogue, said Florida Technology Council CEO James Taylor.

The group will be made up of half a dozen or so former state and local government IT professionals, all of which are FTC members. The group will "focus on agency needs/areas where the state can advance through IT solutions, goals and prioritization," and will hopefully bring to bear the experience of professionals who have spent their careers working in state and local government, Taylor said. 

"The SAW provides a new perspective and input directly from those who spent years in these top seats of our state and local government offices," said Taylor, in an email. "At the end of the day, this positions the FTC to provide clear direction comprised of wisdom from leaders in both the industry and the state." 

Ghini said that the group would hopefully provide ongoing insights about the management and delivery of IT services and how it can be improved in Florida.  

"This group can help state government by creating and sustaining a healthy dialogue about IT issues. Jim foresees the SAW engaging in conversation with other state IT experts (private and public) in an effort to determine what would work for Florida," said Ghini, in an email. "The workgroup will facilitate the flow of ideas between state IT leadership and private industry subject matter experts."

Florida has reshuffled the structure of its IT agency a number of times over the past several years, prompting critics to question the state's sense of direction and organization. 

"Planning and measurement are also important concepts," said Ghini. "Are we looking at ROI effectively and consistently throughout the enterprise? Do we have a uniform way to calculate and report the cost of IT? How do we quantify and measure benefit realization aspects of our IT investment?"

The full list of workgroup members includes David Stokes, former CIO for the Department of Education and former CIO at Florida Health; Erin Rock, former secretary with the Department of Management Services (DMS); Jason Allison, former statewide CIO with the Agency for State Technology (AST); Jonathan Kilpatrick, former CIO for the city of Tallahassee, and DIO for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation; Larry Aultman, CIO for the Florida Department of State; Lincoln Quinton, CIO for the Florida Department of Corrections; and Robert Hosay, former secretary and chief of staff with DMS. 

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