Technology in Utah  

News related to the growth of technology-centric ecosystems in the State of Utah

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Just finished the morning's first session, on cybersecurity. The presenters were very general and didn't provide a lot of new or detailed information that might help states structure or enhance their cyber-security efforts or even coordinate more effectively with the federal government. Hamit Yurin of the NCSD mentioned that they have 4 million subscribers to the National Cyber Alert system. Indiana said that they have been able to access $1 million from ODP funds for intrusion detection. I would love to get 1/10th of that. Indiana's cyber security efforts are supported by an organization called CERIAS that is run out of Purdue University. In responses to the online poll of CIOs, only 18% said that they were familiar with the US-CERT definition of cyber-security.

It looks like a google search on cybersecurity in government still brings up my other weblog as a top ten result even though I have been less regular in posting to that category lately. And no government entities show up as top search results meaning these entities need to better understand how to get their information out to users who might be looking for it...

  posted by David @ 7:27 AM

Tuesday, April 27, 2004  

April Night in Chicago

I haven't spent much time in Chicago, but it is a much more beautiful than I had anticipated. My room overlooks the Chicago River with a view out onto Lake Michigan. The city lights are spectacular. The air is crisp with an occasional whisp of bakery scents for additional flavor. We spent two hours at the Lucky Strike where they had two sumptuous spreads, one with about a dozen different pizzas and the other, a sandwich and salad bar. Tomorrow, I'll head home after three more NASCIO tech sessions.

  posted by David @ 7:50 PM

Monday, April 26, 2004  

Information Technology and Public Policy

Three state chiefs-of-staff just finished speaking about information technology and its relationship to public policy in the governor's office.

Here are my unedited notes. I will comment later in my Government and Technology weblog.
Toby Roth, Alabama Gov. Riley
Intersection of IT and Pubic Policy
Leaner government - Gov Schwarzenegger,
"We have a typewriter govt. in an internet age."
"Is IT instinctive to policy makers, generally no" - but it doesn't take long for them to realize the importance
"We are just tinkering around the edges of reform if IT is not a central part of our effort."
E-Government is a reiteration of the campaign message
"eGov message did not work well in lean budget times" - why not?, eGov can lead to leaner, more cost-effective govt.
"How's Bubba going to react" - he likes hunting and fishing licenses online
IT Planning -
Estimate that Alabama spends $150-$200M on IT
Executive Order will come out reviving the Office of Information Technology which will require an annual IT budget, require
an annual IT plan, annual technology report, monitoring projects, etc. - this is not an effort to consolidate IT, but
to coordinate it. There is a lot of opposition in Alabama to IT consolidation (that is apparent)
Align policy advisors and CIOs. CIO is a deputy to the Finance Director, not a cabinet member. Demonstrates the weakness
of central IT in the state. CIO is in a merit position. He feels that having an appointed CIO could undermine the longterm
viability of IT policy.
Moved ahead with self-funded egov services which has been one of the successes of the Riley administration.
Alabama has only had one-term governors for twenty years.
No Service Level Agreements at operation IT level to tie it with policy - performance measures.

Bill Goetz, North Dakota
Second longest term for current chiefs of staff.
IT requires a lot of strategic planning and progressive thinking. North Dakota - 65% of citizens have a computer, 70% have
access to internet. High expectation for IT in government. Agencies want their own technology, own hardware, own hardware.
"We have turf, we have a culture" IT dept. actions are viewed as "empire building" by agencies and by legislature.
Governor's policies must be clearly understood. People in IT need to know what the Gov wants to accomplish in econ.
development, education, corrections, etc. We need to think long term in IT. We cannot expect an IT base for CIOs without
support, understanding of policy issues.
He thinks the CIO should be a cabinet position. The IT dept. is not only an area where the technical stuff gets done. Where
are we going with linking higher ed with economic development. CIO is more than a technician, more than an administrator,
more than a politician.
We need a holistic approach to public policy, collaboration between IT, agencies, legislature, and public-at-large.
Functional consolidation - recognize that these functions take time. Need for flexibility.
Successful projects in ND - Connect ND, integrated university and government networks into a "seamless" network. "Will be the
first of its kind in the nation
StageNet - broadband connection to ND communities, libraries, municipalities, state agencies, all shared on the same network.
Legislators must become investors in the process (what process? planning? budgeting? implementing? - he didn't say)
Need to conduct public outreach to get legislative support. Drive the agenda through K-12 education.
(He was quite vague about a lot of things)
Conflict between government and private sector cultures - things take time in government. Says that CIOs need to be more
patient in the public sector.
Comprehensive IT planning and performance measures are reviewed by IT and then by Gov's Office.

Bill Leighty, Virginia
In the third day of a budget impass. Leighty was not present, but teleconferenced due to this. May have to take some proactive steps in shutting down state government - will not have a budget.

51% of CIOs rated their relationship with their chief of staff as an 8 or higher on a scale of 1-10. 35% for their relationship with
the Governor. 26% rated their relationship/access with the Governor as a "2".

No one could answer Gov. Warner's question about how much Virginia is spending on technology. Most governors do not run
on a technology platform.

"Technology is generally not the highest priority unless it becomes a problem." Gov. Warner made it a priority by creating a
central technology organization. Virginia is consolidating through a process - small, then medium, then large agencies.
CIO is in an independent agency (VITA) from any branch.

They had 15 different contracts with Dell with 15 different prices. They expect $100 million in savings through their IT
consolidation process. The problem is, they had more to gain.

Laura Larimer asked about VITA's independence and if it could lose its correlation with the governor's agenda by being an
independent agency. He responded about that being a good thing, particularly since VA's governor is elected for only
one four-year term. Legislature holds more power over long-term policy.

Absolutely, have performance measures built into VITA so agencies have clear expectations.

Thom Ruble reviewed 44 state-of-the-state addresses and only saw the words "information technology" twice and "e-government"

  posted by David @ 1:36 PM

"Blogs as a Disruptive Technology"

Blawgs have taken off in the legal community. I think that is because many attorneys are more concerned about content/substance than they are about design. Jerry Lawson just published a new article, "Blogs as a Disruptive Technology" in Law Practice magazine.

  posted by David @ 1:28 PM

Technology Champion

Former Governor Jim Geringer of Wyoming received NASCIO's "technology champion" award, a very worthy recipient. Gov. Geringer has long been a great advocate for GIS in government, but has also done much more. He gave an excellent address, among his quotes, "Today (in technology in government), if you're not making decisions, you're not adding value." Then, he quoted Governor Leavitt, "put a face on it (tech issues), connect it with people." And, "data that does not lead to a decision is not very good data." He also quoted his favorite Rock Springs mayor, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got." He stressed the importance of using web services to integrate data from various sources - leave the data where it is. Overall, he demonstrated a great understanding of how to use technology to improve the process and results of government. Former Governor Engler of Michigan, another good tech governor, was also in attendance for the presentation.

  posted by David @ 11:58 AM

Utah in NASCIO Presentations

In Zittrain's presentation on the internet, security, and privacy, he began with a discussion on the origins of the internet and the initial planning diagram with Utah in the center (Utah was one of the original four nodes of ARPANET - see Vint Cerf's "How the Internet Came to Be")

Later on, Hank Garie, who heads up the Geospatial One-Stop project did a demonstration of using Utah and showed how to add layers of cadastral data and then specific data about the range of the sage grouse. Very interesting.

  posted by David @ 11:50 AM

NASCIO in Chicago

I am at the mid-year meeting of the National Association of State CIOs for a couple of days. The first two sessions have been quite interesting, particularly the keynote by Jonathan Zittrain of the Harvard Law School. He has posted Realvideo of some of his earlier presentations.

  posted by David @ 9:02 AM

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