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IT Now Engaged Early and Often Due to Pandemic-Era Needs

Indiana Chief Information Officer Tracy Barnes discusses how the need to deliver quickly in response to COVID-19 has elevated the role of state IT, bringing them into conversations earlier on and throughout the process.

Indiana Chief Information Officer Tracy Barnes
Government Technology/David Kidd
SEATTLE — IT has advanced at a fevered pitch in the past two years, and technology teams have now settled into this new status quo. Indiana CIO Tracy Barnes has seen this firsthand, and relayed his experience to GovTech at this week's NASCIO conference in Seattle.

"This pandemic has put us in such a difficult position that we had to deliver in much more expedient fashions that have challenged our procurement capabilities, our resource capabilities, and just the opportunity for us to really understand what some of the technology solutions that were out there in order to provide the right solution, the right tool, to support the various needs from contact tracing through vaccine management to employment system surge and things of that nature," he said.

But their success in delivering under challenging circumstances has led to changes in how they work with agencies, namely they're now called upon to be involved earlier in the process, as well as continuously along the way. According to Barnes, this enables them to have a more complete enterprise view and better support the needs of the organization as a whole. And he hopes this shift is a permanent one.

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 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.