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New NASCIO Mission Statement Reflects Broader Role for CIOs

At the group’s recent Midyear Conference, state CIOs talked about a revision to the statement reflecting the changing role of public-sector technology leaders. The group also honored a state tech leader for his web modernization efforts.

NASCIO Midyear 2024 Fireside Chat session with Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon, Indiana CIO Tracy Barnes and Texas CIO Amanda Crawford on a stage below a NASCIO banner.
Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon, Indiana CIO Tracy Barnes and Texas CIO Amanda Crawford convene for a session at NASCIO Midyear in National Harbor, Md.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Even in this digital age, words matter. A recent tweak of language from NASCIO reflects major, ongoing changes for state technology leaders that have broadened their scope of responsibility.

At the group’s 2024 Midyear Conference in Maryland, state CIOs discussed the implications of NASCIO’s revised mission statement — the first such change in at least 12 years, according to Stephanie Dedmon, CIO of Tennessee and past president of NASCIO.

NASCIO describes its mission as “advancing government excellence through trusted collaboration, partnerships and technology leadership.”

The group has previously emphasized technology leadership before adopting “trusted collaboration” and “partnerships.”

That change reflects the changing role of state and territory chief information officers, a job that is becoming broader and taking on more importance as all types of state agencies deploy the latest technology, up to and including artificial intelligence.

Take Texas, for instance. During a panel discussion billed as a fireside chat, Texas CIO Amanda Crawford told attendees that because the Texas Department of Information Resources has “less than 300 people, partnerships are crucial.”

For Tracy Barnes, Indiana’s CIO, NASCIO’s revised mission statement paints a more accurate picture of the early 21st-century public-sector technology leader.

“We get stuck at times, just being looked at as technicians,” he said. “Our technical value has business value.”

Crawford agreed. The new mission statement, she said, “helps to elevate and get the word out that we are building, [that] CIOs are problem solvers.”

Those problems involve nothing less than making sure state government services keep up with resident demands and expectations. Technological progress on the consumer side, where mobile apps, one-stop shopping and other tools grease the wheels of online commerce, have become what amounts to table stakes.

That was reflected in NASCIO’s most recent Technology Champion Award, which went to Oklahoma Web Modernization Manger Justin Devero during the conference.

According to NASCIO, Devero led the push to move more than “90 state agency websites and 30,000 web pages into the platform, providing centralized web content management across desktop and mobile devices.”

The redesigned site has become a central digital resource where residents can access a wide variety of services from the state including permits, digital driver’s licenses, and essentials like housing and financial assistance.
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.