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Rhode Island’s Strategy: Scalable, Sustainable Modernization

Bijay Kumar, Rhode Island’s chief information officer, is looking beyond technology needs related to the pandemic. He’s focused on reducing technical debt and ensuring the long-term stability of state IT.

Rhode Island Chief Information Officer Bijay Kumar
Government Technology/David Kidd
The many needs that grew out of the COVID-19 pandemic took precedence over longer-term projects in many cases. But tech leaders like Rhode Island’s Bijay Kumar maintained their focus on other strategic initiatives as well — initiatives that will outlast the tenures of current leaders.

“Administrations change, governors move on, CIOs move on, but technology stays,” he told GT at last week’s National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conference. “It just doesn’t disappear overnight.”

In addition to reducing technical debt, Kumar is working on a number of modernization efforts, including to the state’s ERP system, as well as taking advantage of artificial intelligence and data analytics technologies.

Equally important is investing in the workforce, and maintaining high standards to ensure the people of Rhode Island are well served by their work. “We want to make sure that we keep the bar high, we continue to invest in our people along with investing in technology and we have the right partners to advance, improve as well as sustain and scale what we do.”

Noelle Knell has been the editor of Government Technology magazine for e.Republic since 2015. She has more than two decades of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she 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. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.
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.
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