IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Stephen Elkins

CIO, Austin, Texas

Stephen Elkins, CIO, Austin, Texas
David Kidd/Government Technology
btn-in-20x15.png View Stephen Elkins' profile

With decades of public- and private-sector IT experience, Stephen Elkins is a calming force in an era of rapid technological change. Since being appointed Austin CIO five years ago, he has championed a transition toward shared services, open data, and streamlined IT processes and projects throughout the city.

One current project for Elkins is using data to ease gridlock on city roads, particularly during major events like University of Texas at Austin football games. The plan calls for continually retiming traffic lights using data provided by apps on drivers’ cellphones.

In addition, like many of his fellow CIOs, Elkins faces a looming “silver tsunami” of IT staff eligible for retirement in the next few years — roughly 30 percent of his workforce. To stem the tide, Elkins is embracing innovative hiring practices to fill tech roles.

Staff members, for example, are cross-trained on multiple IT jobs where possible, and retirees often fill in as temporary employees until permanent hires can be made. Elkins also wants to use Austin’s reputation as a college town and live music mecca to recruit out-of-town IT talent.

Collaboration is another priority. Elkins has supported partnerships with Code for America and embraced the value of hackathons to spur IT innovation in the city. But perhaps his most valuable move has been fostering regional cooperation with Corpus Christi, Houston, Fort Worth, Harris County and other local governments in Texas to tackle common issues such as cybersecurity, vendor management and public-safety dispatch.

Return to the Top 25 winners for 2015

Brian Heaton was a writer for Government Technology magazine from 2011 to mid-2015.
Special Projects
Sponsored Articles
  • How the State of Washington teamed with Deloitte to move to a Red Hat footprint within 100 days.
  • The State of Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) reduced its application delivery times to get digital services to citizens faster.

  • Sponsored
    Like many governments worldwide, the City and County of Denver, Colorado, had to act quickly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support more than 15,000 employees working from home, the government sought to adapt its new collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams. By automating provisioning and scaling tasks with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, an agentless, human-readable automation tool, Denver supported 514% growth in Teams use and quickly launched a virtual emergency operations center (EOC) for government leaders to respond to the pandemic.
  • Sponsored
    Microsoft Teams quickly became the business application of choice as state and local governments raced to equip remote teams and maintain business continuity during the COVID-19 lockdown. But in the rush to deploy Teams, many organizations overlook, ignore or fail to anticipate some of the administrative hurdles to successful adoption. As more organizations have matured their use of Teams, a set of lessons learned has emerged to help agencies ensure a successful Teams rollout – or correct course on existing implementations.