The CIO Exchange: Transforming Government Workspaces
As in the private sector, governments are undergoing an accelerated digital transformation to equip workers to deliver mission-critical services efficiently and securely. The new normal includes hybrid workspaces where workers achieve the same level of performance whether in the office or working remotely. Delivering a smooth experience for employees and constituents requires having the right digital and data tools in place.
At the CIO Exchange, technology executives discussed how they are implementing and using new technology — and what the results have been.
- Susan Kellogg, Chief Deputy State Chief Information Officer & Chief Services Officer, North Carolina Department of Information Technology
- Russell Nichols, Deputy State Chief Information Officer & Chief Deputy Director, California Department of Technology
- Ervan Rodgers, Chief Information Officer, State of Ohio
- Nancy Sieger, Chief Information Officer, Internal Revenue Service
- Benny Thottam, Chief Information Officer, New York City Fire Department
- Caroline Hyde, Anchor, Bloomberg TV
- Anurag Rana, Senior Analyst, Software & IT Services, Bloomberg Intelligence
Below are some highlights from the event.
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On the work model they will have in place going forward as we exit the pandemic: Russell Nichols, Deputy State Chief Information Officer & Chief Deputy Director, California Department of Technology, shared California’s approach: “Our governor has taken a very strong stance on it. As we come out of the pandemic, his goal is to have 75% of the state workforce that can telework to continue to telework. And, so, we are actually reducing [the] physical footprint in our buildings around the state and have already executed some budget reductions to help enhance that process or put that process on the fast track.”
On how technology has enabled new services for constituents: Benny Thottam, Chief Information Officer, New York City Fire Department, said, “So, we started to take electronic documents and signatures and we decided to give more self-services, but COVID made us take it to another level. For example, in New York City, the New York City Fire Department provides certificates of fitness to operate certain devices. So, the mayor announced that a sort of task force certificate of fitness for preparing times was going to be given online. So, we had to hustle and make that online testing in less than three weeks.”
On making technology work for the citizen: Susan Kellogg, Chief Deputy State Chief Information Officer & Chief Services Officer, North Carolina Department of Information Technology, said, “So, you know, we’ve done a lot to really focus on that customer journey and the experience of the citizen and mapping out what those are. We have a group of about 400 citizens that we use to do testing for our nc.gov environment and make sure that what we’re doing is something that’s gonna work for them.”
On the strategy for implementing a cloud architecture: Ervan Rodgers, Chief Information Officer, State of Ohio, said, “I call it CIO cloud broker where we’re setting up, you know, from a cloud-architect perspective, we are concentrating those at the center — making sure that infrastructure is set up appropriately. I mean, it’s one thing to get into the cloud, but if you don’t set it up right, oh my gosh. I mean, all it takes is a credit card to get it set up, but you have to make sure that you begin with security in mind so that you have a better product in the very end. And that’s why our cloud-smart initiative enables the agency so that they can take it from the application layer and deliver and not have to worry about that or replicate those skillsets with regards to all over the enterprise.”
On how citizens will benefit from increased investments in technology: Nancy Sieger, Chief Information Officer, Internal Revenue Service, explained, “From a technology perspective, if we make a greater investment in artificial intelligence and the use of data, we will have better analytics to track today what we refer to as the tax gap. We will be able to tell citizens more quickly what they owe, so that at filing, they can settle their tax account.”
On new features enabled by technology: Sieger shared “We continually are adding new features to ensure a seamless experience for our taxpayers. In fact, in the last year, we have seen an increase of 112% in taxpayers using their online account with the Internal Revenue Service. We have a new feature out there where citizens no longer have to go put something in an envelope and put a stamp on it. They can immediately upload documents to us.”
On the role of the IRS in helping citizens during the pandemic: Sieger shared: “I have to tell you, I’m so proud of the Internal Revenue workforce. We saw an opportunity to help this country, and we quickly pivoted and issued economic impact payments to more than a hundred million people as early as two weeks after the legislation passed.”
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