Leading IT in government is a special calling. The work is hard, the pay is modest and the obstacles can seem overwhelming. Yet, for Connecticut state CIO Mark Raymond, the mission of public service makes his job profoundly rewarding. “There are very few industries that have such a huge impact on people’s lives,” he said.
Government IT came late in Raymond’s career. He worked in the consulting industry for 21 years, but his specialty was helping government. Already a resident of Connecticut, in 2011 he became state CIO. Nearly a decade later, Raymond is more excited than ever about his work.
Part of the reason is Gov. Ned Lamont’s goal of creating the first all-digital government in Connecticut. “We are breaking through some of our old processes and biases, and taking an external, end-to-end view of how to meet the business needs of our customers,” Raymond said.
After nearly a decade as Connecticut CIO, Mark Raymond has helped to shepherd the state’s first all-digital government and continues to work to meet the businesses needs of all agencies #govtech @ConnDAS
Work has started with the business community; already Raymond has figured out how to eliminate two-thirds of the time in the procurement process. Meanwhile, work has intensified around user-based design and developing flexible, iterative platforms driven entirely by constituent needs, not agency processes.
An even bigger opportunity, already underway, will be the digitization of consumer services. “Less than a decade ago, consumer use of technology was periodic. Now, it’s every day.” In response, the state is adopting cloud and development platforms that make consumer technologies more accessible to government.
Raymond is preparing Connecticut for its digital future by creating roles that have enterprise skills, user experience, research capabilities and communications skills, and allowing the state to have digital services that take advantage of scale.
It’s what makes being a state CIO so rewarding, according to Raymond. “Every day, I can bring some of that enterprise vision into conversations with our leaders to create a vision of what tomorrow will be and do it through incremental delivery, so that we create value at each step along the way.”