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Colorado Launches Strategic Plan for Digital Government

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and the Office of Information Technology have announced the launch of the Colorado Digital Government Strategic Plan, which aims to improve digital services for constituents.

Colorado State Capital
Colorado state Capitol Building in Denver, Colo.
The newly announced Colorado Digital Government Strategic Plan lays out a coordinated approach to improve digital services for constituents.

The state has worked in recent years to improve its digital government experience through efforts including the work of the Colorado Digital Service, appointing Brandy Reitter as executive director of the Colorado Broadband Office and an increased focus on security and accessibility.

“We must continue to meet the needs of Coloradans by thinking differently about the delivery of digital government services through equitable, accessible and user-friendly technology,” said Anthony Neal-Graves, state chief information officer and Office of Information Technology (OIT) executive director in an announcement.

To create the plan, the state conducted research identifying the needs of over 2,000 Coloradans, conducting surveys and interviews about the needs related to online government services.

The plan outlines a current assessment of the state’s digital services, future aspirations, strategies to improve the digital user experience as well as a road map to actualize these goals.

The findings detail that 89 percent of residents are likely to keep using digital channels even in a world post-COVID-19. And so, while the majority of residents in the state do have access to broadband, the 14 percent of locations that are unserved or underserved still face access barriers that the state must address. The findings also note that surveyed residents from some marginalized communities reported lower satisfaction with the state, which has been identified as an opportunity for improvement.

In order to better serve all Colorado residents, the plan outlines three key aspirations: connect all Coloradans, expand opportunity and reduce poverty and make government accessible.

To reach these goals, the plan lists six strategies:
  • Connect all Coloradans to high-speed Internet.
  • Digital products and services should be designed around the life experiences of Coloradans.
  • Technology should be used to improve services.
  • Data should be used to improve both the journey and the outcome of digital services.
  • Agencies in the state should cultivate analytics, business intelligence and product leadership.
  • Best-in-class tools should be leveraged in the work of all state agencies where applicable.

Within each of the strategies, the plan lays out more specific steps that can be taken. For example, to connect all residents of the state to high-speed Internet, the plan offers four steps: creating an infrastructure deployment strategy, developing initiatives to address gaps, engaging with stakeholders and growing the workforce for deployment.

The plan also outlines which of the steps should be taken and when by defining three waves, the first of which including steps that can and should be taken within the next zero to six months, the second being steps to be taken within the next six to 12 months and the third being steps to be taken in the next 12 or more months.

The plan concludes by acknowledging that a successful digital transformation will be achieved through having a shared vision and culture across state agencies, support from the governor’s office and the Legislature, an integrated view of technology and accountability.

More information about the strategic plan can be found on OIT’s website.