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Transformation Office Modernizes How IT Works With Agencies

Minnesota’s new Office of Transformation uses a modernization playbook to update not only the kinds of technology state agencies are using, but how they’re being implemented with stakeholders and citizens.

Minnesota CIO Tarek Tomes
David Kidd/Government Technology
When GT spoke to Minnesota CIO Tarek Tomes in 2019, his first year on the job, he said that when it comes to modernization, it’s not about technology; rather, “it’s a new way of delivering a service.” That continues to be central to how he’s directing the state’s IT operation.

At the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) annual conference in Seattle earlier this month, Tomes outlined five key elements of how Minnesota Information Technology Services (MNIT) navigated the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency kept outcomes for state agencies, and ultimately digital services for citizens, at the fore.

Tomes described how MNIT’s Office of Transformation drives the modernization efforts that keep so many of those initiatives running. You can’t just modernize old tech, he said, without also modernizing business practices that come with it. The Transformation Office sets guidelines for how MNIT works with business partners and helps guide the cultural shift that comes along with updated organizational — and technology — practices.

Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.
Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including <i>Government Technology</i>, <i>Governing</i>, <i>Industry Insider, Emergency Management</i> and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history.