Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is fond of saying that he wants to make government smaller, smarter and more efficient. Since 2012, it’s been state CIO Tim Robyn’s job to help turn those words into action.
Over the past few years, Robyn’s Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) has consolidated data centers — saving the state millions of dollars — and deployed new online services to improve convenience for citizens. The ITSD also is facilitating new data initiatives that are turning information into valuable assets. Better data sharing among state health and social services agencies recently cut hospital use by Medicaid recipients by 20 percent, for instance.
The impact of these and other initiatives was big enough to earn Missouri an A grade in our 2014 Digital States Survey, one of just three states to win a top mark. Robyn says his success stems from a team effort. “We have a unique situation where everybody is pulling together to leverage technology for the benefit of the state,” he said. “We have support from our Democratic governor and our Republican Legislature, so it’s bipartisan.”
Robyn is particularly happy with recurring funding for cybersecurity approved last year, which provides an extra $4.5 million annually for security enhancements. “The governor and the Legislature both recognize how great a priority that is,” he said.
And Robyn is just getting started. Now he’s presiding over a monumental legacy modernization initiative that will replace Missouri’s tax collection, unemployment insurance, offender management and workers’ compensation systems.
“I’m proud that people have come together and are tackling these very challenging projects,” he said. “We’re not waiting for the people who come behind us to figure it out. We’re modernizing. We want to do it while we’re here.”