CIO Stephanie Dedmon says it’s not enough simply to modernize — new IT projects must be in the state’s best interests.
SAN DIEGO — A theme of this year’s National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) annual conference was that the role of the CIO is moving away from simply the person who manages the data center or fixes broken telecom systems. In recent years, the CIO has become a partner with a seat at the table when it comes to emerging technologies and new initiatives. GT asked CIOs what for their state was the most difficult thing to modernize, and while answers varied, Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon referenced both future-facing tech as well as more traditional systems that may need updating.
For Dedmon, innovation has to have value. As she put it, while new ideas and pioneering technologies can have real benefit, in her state she doesn’t want innovation for innovation’s sake. Exciting, leading-edge projects must make good business sense, and orienting the IT workforce toward that end is key.
At the same time, Dedmon said, there are still older technologies that Tennessee is continually working to update. She wants to make sure agencies are prioritizing the systems they’re modernizing in a way that is efficient and cost-effective. That work, she said, could ultimately have applications across the enterprise, which would then further increase the return on investment.