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Team Ohio

Jon Husted, Lieutenant Governor, and Ervan Rodgers, CIO

Jon Husted and Ervan Rodgers, Team Ohio
"This is not your grandfather’s government,” CIO Ervan Rodgers said in reference to the impact of the InnovateOhio Platform (IOP), which has changed how state departments in Ohio share, present and act on data. By Gov. Mike DeWine’s 2019 executive order, agencies have been moving their websites and data sets to IOP and transitioning their IT systems to the cloud. The culture-changing, service-transforming charge has been led by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who, in a unique departure from tradition, also serves as Ohio’s chief innovation officer.

The fruits of this center-led approach became apparent as early as last year, when the Ohio Department of Health launched a coronavirus dashboard before COVID-19 had even started forcing shutdowns. Then in April 2020, IOP allowed for the creation of an essential jobs website that connected job seekers to businesses during the unprecedented crisis.

The state has identified myriad challenges that its new data platform can help address, from background checks for firearms to opioid abuse. As such initiatives advance, agencies continue to forge a uniform brand for their public-facing components and work toward a single statewide identity system.

“Make people’s lives better. Save people time and money. That’s what we should be doing. That’s what the InnovateOhio Platform allows us to do,” Husted told Government Technology last fall.

While supporting Ohio’s top-down vision, Rodgers has put in the work to build a strong IT shop. His achievements include consolidating 1,600 servers into a cloud environment and crafting a strategic plan for IT innovation. He has also exhibited a passion for staff recruiting and development, having hired more than 20 diverse agency CIOs.

These efforts and more point to a simple observation: As long as Husted and Rodgers remain in their positions, the use of technology in Ohio government will likely stay on the national radar.
Jed Pressgrove has been a writer and editor for about 15 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in sociology from Mississippi State University.