Framework for Government Change

NASCIO’s ( 2017 annual conference #NASCIO17 in Austin, TX was another blockbuster event.  Doug Robinson and his team continue to improve upon a format and a participant list that is already hard to beat.  Kudos to them.

I have attended NASCIO conventions since 2007 after being appointed by then Governor Sonny Perdue as Georgia’s state CIO.  Governments are hard to change, and what always impressed me about these events is the dedication that state technology executives have to improving government, engaging citizens and delivering services.

Today’s political leaders come to office with a perspective steeped in technology.  Smart phones, Twitter and Facebook are the tools of modern campaigns, and voters expect Amazon-like service delivery.  Pothole?  It will end up on Twitter and a local council member will be blamed.  Better get it fixed quick!  We all view the world now through a glass screen.  The CIO role must adapt and NASCIO helps states understand how they can do that.

To what must CIOs adapt?  NASCIO’s annual survey was titled “A New Engine: Driving Innovation in State Technology.” It spoke not only to emerging technologies and challenges CIOs face, but also the consultative role CIOs must play to communicate business needs to an increasingly technologically astute set of stakeholders.

When I was appointed by Governor Perdue, I knew very little about technology.  I was an English major with an MBA who understood that the old way of doing things was not sustainable.  Working with agencies, the legislature and other stakeholders, using facts, and communicating incessantly, the Georgia Technology Authority built a platform for change that continues to evolve.  We learned a lot along the way and made plenty of mistakes.  But we learned the forces we faced, and we faced them.

CIOs will be successful by understanding the forces they face and developing the forums and relationships to navigate those forces.  Doing this is not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.  NASCIO will continue to help CIOs navigate those forces, just as it helped me.


– Patrick Moore, 21-November-2017 – [bio]

Patrick Moore