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For Emerging Tech in Pennsylvania, Age Is Just a Number

Pennsylvania CIO John MacMillan explained that emerging tech has always been part of IT services. As long as it solves a problem, a technology is innovative regardless of whether it’s cutting edge.

Pennsylvania CIO John MacMillan
Pennsylvania CIO John MacMillan
eRepublic/David Kidd
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The term “emerging technology” often implies the bleeding edge of what the next big thing in gov tech will be. But Pennsylvania CIO John MacMillan looks at it differently, saying he thinks emerging tech is “part of our day to day.”

At the National Association of Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear Conference, MacMillan noted that every technology in a CIO’s portfolio was once emerging. But any technology his agency can use to solve a problem can be considered innovative or emerging.

That doesn’t mean that Pennsylvania wouldn’t use tools that are newer to public-sector work — like low-code/no-code solutions, blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation — and MacMillan is open to those options if they make sense for the problem at hand. But if an older technology can be used in a new way, that’s innovative in itself.

Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.
Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including <i>Government Technology</i>, <i>Governing</i>, <i>Industry Insider, Emergency Management</i> and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle 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.