Florida Names Deputy CIO Amid IT Agency Reorganization

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature turned the Agency for State Technology into the Division of State Technologies, placing it under the Department of Management Services. Now, leadership is being named.

by / July 1, 2019
Florida Capitol Building Shutterstock/Felix Mizioznikov

Florida’s newest iteration of its state IT agency now has a new deputy chief information officer, though a permanent CIO has yet to be assigned. 

Heath Beach, an IT veteran who had previously served for a brief period as the chief business officer for the now dissolved Agency for State Technology (AST), will be taking on the role at the newly created Division of State Technologies (DST) within the Department of Management Services (DMS). 

The agency was launched Tuesday, the same day as Beach's appointment. DST was created after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that launched a massive reorganization of the state’s IT agencies. The bill dissolved the state’s predominant IT agency, AST, merging its staff and operations with the telecommunications division within DMS, the state’s workforce and business department.

The state has yet to appoint a permanent CIO. Beach had previously been selected to act as the new agency’s interim CIO, though his new role negates that previous designation, according to James Taylor, CEO of the Florida Technology Council. 

Taylor said in an interview with Government Technology that it's unclear when the new agency will pick a permanent CIO, noting the vetting process for a candidate would obviously be rigorous. 

“DST is only one day old and right out of the gate they've named a deputy state CIO,” Taylor said. “Of course now everyone is wondering if and when they will name an official CIO. It could happen next week or a month from now. Whatever the timeframe is, you should expect this organization to craft an extremely strategic ad that casts a broad net when it comes to hiring a CIO.”   

“This will not be an easy position to fill, especially when you figure in Florida's parameters,” he added. 

Beach, who previously served as the director of telecommunications for the DMS for a number of years, also worked for the city of Tallahassee as the manager for the Office of Budget and Policy, according to his LinkedIn.  

Lucas Ropek Staff Writer

Lucas Ropek is a staff writer for Government Technology. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and writer in Massachusetts and New York. He received his Bachelor's degree in English from Kenyon College in Ohio. He lives in Northern California.

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