Imagine a scenario where you get notifications on your phone telling you to update your driver’s license or that your car registration will expire in a month. Personalized government is a key focus for Mississippi, which in 2015 unveiled the MyMississippi program to tailor public-sector services to citizens. These programs, as well as several legacy initiatives, all trace back to CIO Craig Orgeron.
As Orgeron enters his 19th year in the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services, there is more to do than ever. It becomes abundantly clear upon talking with Orgeron that he is constantly thinking of the next project, the next step for government IT, whether it’s updating a decades-old system or figuring out the logistics of a new mobile-focused government service.
The project he is most excited about is the idea of a more broadly focused as-a-service offering, “tech as a service,” which he describes as a customer-centric government. The MyMississippi program centers on making constituent interactions with the state as easy and pleasant as possible. He has automated several programs that used to require Mississippians to take time off to come into offices and wait in line — like driver’s license renewals, for example. Orgeron has streamlined the process and added protections for citizen data.
Apart from these personalized systems, Orgeron has made it a priority to update several internal systems to get them ready for the future. Along with updating Mississippi’s revenue service and accounting system, the state health system has also been modernized in a partnership with the University of Mississippi. Although they aren’t the sexiest programs, they help simplify an often overly complicated system for the people they serve. “It’s really the guts that run government,” he said.