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Veronica Gilliard

Deputy Director, Platform Services, California Department of Technology

Veronica Gilliard, Deputy Director, Platform Services, California Department of Technology
When California residents and government staffers access the state’s mission-critical services online — and some from its most populous city, Los Angeles — they’re relying on the work of 30-year IT veteran Veronica Gilliard and her team, whether they know it or not.

Gilliard’s state career began in 1988 when she joined the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, rising from a key data operator to operations and ultimately into systems programming. She is now deputy director for platform services at the California Department of Technology (CDT), where she’s been for nearly 14 years; she oversees an annual budget of roughly $86 million and leads a team of 200-plus employees in ensuring key state services are available around the clock. And in the span of less than 12 months from when the three-year, $10.5 million contract was announced in late March 2019, Gilliard — then branch manager of the mainframe team — helped guide the city of Los Angeles’ migration of its mainframe business applications to CDT’s state data center in Rancho Cordova. The project went live seamlessly on Feb. 26, 2020.

“I’m a helper. And I want to help make a difference wherever I go and help improve. And the state sometimes gets a bad rap that the processes and the timelines take a long time. I’m here to show that that’s not necessarily true. That if you have great communications and you have great support and you have a team that’s willing to stand behind you, anything is possible,” Gilliard said.

A contributing member of the state’s Security Governance Workgroup, which helps ensure compliance with state and federal security standards, and of the Technology Operations Advisory Council, a customer-focused cross-agency collaboration group, Gilliard is also a mainframe evangelist.

Her goals here include rebranding the state’s mainframe as “Z+” because “it has so much to offer” and improving its negative perception by re-educating customers to understand it runs the latest hardware, industry-leading CPUs, state-of-the-art encryption and data analytics. Plans to bring open source technologies to Z+ to support and attract new applications are now in development.
Theo Douglas is assistant managing editor for Techwire.net, and before that was a staff writer for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes covering municipal, county and state governments, business and breaking news. He has a Bachelor's degree in Newspaper Journalism and a Master's in History, both from California State University, Long Beach.