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ERP, IAM Systems Headline Illinois Tech Agenda in 2021

As NASCIO convened in person in Seattle for the first time in two years, Acting Secretary and CIO for the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology Jennifer Ricker discusses efforts to streamline access to internal and external state systems.

Illinois Chief Information Officer Jennifer Ricker
Government Technology/David Kidd
SEATTLE — Chief information officers from 31 states are gathered in Seattle this week for the first in-person conference of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) since the onset of the pandemic. Among them is Jennifer Ricker, who serves as the acting secretary for the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology.

Ricker and her colleagues had plenty to say about the changes wrought by the pandemic, but she noted her surprise at how the accelerated nature of IT work has been maintained, even today. “It feels like we’re still running at an extremely fast pace, even 18 months later,” she said. “We’ve settled into this extreme amount of demand that still exists.”

The state has used that momentum to make significant progress on some major organization-wide projects. Like many states, Illinois is in the midst of an upgrade to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

As for citizen-facing initiatives, Illinois recently launched the first major piece of a broad identity and access management project, intended to simplify the way people interact with the state, no matter what agency they’re dealing with. Called ILogin, the first application brought on board was unemployment insurance. But UI, Ricker said, is the first of many. “The goal here is to get as many of our state applications as possible behind this solution.”

Indeed, the quest for single sign-on has the attention of many states. Identity and access management has made its way onto NASCIO’s CIO priorities list for the first time this year.
Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including Government Technology, Governing, Industry Insider, Emergency Management and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history.
Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.