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Louisiana’s IT Resilience Goal: Rebuild in 24 Hours

Deputy Chief Information Officer Neal Underwood of Louisiana has his staff focused on being ready for catastrophic infrastructure failure so if the worst ever happens, they can rebound quickly.

Louisiana Deputy Chief Information Officer Neal Underwood
Government Technology/David Kidd
Neal Underwood has served as Louisiana deputy chief information officer alongside state CIO Dickie Howze since 2014, with more than a decade of additional state experience beforehand. So his take on resilience is hard-earned. At the annual NASCIO conference in Seattle earlier this month, Underwood talked to GT about the importance of building infrastructure that can withstand cyber attacks. But Underwood is realistic about the fact that smart investments in prevention and mitigation won't ward off every potentially damaging incident.

And while Underwood specifically mentions a debilitating incident impacting state IT infrastructure, the state also has a lot of experience with disasters that have even more far-reaching impacts.

"We're always looking at a better way to give support more efficiently," he said, noting some recent additions to the state's digital service catalog, including to their D-SNAP (Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance) program. State IT also has a role to play in enabling emergency response, including by using satellite technology to bring connectivity to first responders delivering services to citizens.

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 more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.
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