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A new two-year budget proposal released by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last month would centralize the state’s information technology services under a new agency headed by the CIO.

“This coordination will best position Washington for the future by creating a streamlined, agile central IT organization better able to harness modern technology,” according to budget highlights. “The new agency will unify the state IT vision and road map, strengthen IT project oversight and allow quicker adoption of leading industry technology practices.”

The 2015-17 budget proposal includes several additional IT measures, including funding to replace analog 911 telephone equipment and an online portal to support small business owners.

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If you're an IT professional working for a state, local or federal agency, we want to hear from you.

StateTech wants to know what’s on your Christmas wish list this year. Smartphones for all field employees? A cloud-based solution or continuous monitoring tools to enhance security? It doesn’t have to be technology. Your wish may be for greater collaboration with the agencies you serve, a new BYOD policy or for employees to stop using the same password for multiple systems.

Email your wish-list items to nicole.johnson@mcmurrytmg.com, along with your name and title. You can also leave details in the comment section below.

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All states have retention policies for government records. "But those retention policies vary greatly across states," Stateline reports. "Often employees have to determine on their own whether to keep or delete an email. " Open government advocates say this issue is a big deal because transparency and the historical value of public records are at stake. Read more here.  

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Security, cloud services and consolidating and centralizing services are top of mind for state CIOs, according to a new survey by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. NASCIO ranked the top ten priorities for CIOs in 2015:

  1. Security: risk assessment, governance, budget and resource requirements, security frameworks, data protection, training and awareness, insider threats, third party security practices as outsourcing increases, determining what constitutes “due care” or “reasonable”

  2. Cloud Services: cloud strategy, proper selection of service and deployment models, scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities provided "as a service" using internet technologies, governance, service management, service catalogs, platform, infrastructure, security, privacy, data ownership

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Federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are playing a central role in the government's fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak, but "state and local public health departments are the nation’s first line of defense," Stateline reports. Stateline also explains how these agencies work with the CDC and which public health labs are ready to test for Ebola.

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Does your city or county excel at using best practices for 311 systems, web portal technology, telephony systems and mobile communications infrastructure? The Public Technology Institute is taking applications for its Citizen-Engaged Communities designation program, which recognizes excellence in citizen participation, seamless service delivery and democratic accountability. Applications are due Oct. 31, and designated communities will be announced in November.

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Anyone trying to justify an investment in mobility should look to the findings of a study from the Mobile Work Exchange and Citrix: Mobile-ready agencies gain three additional hours of productivity per employee, per week. Respondents cited the following benefits of having employees with access to mobile devices:

Source: Mobile Work Exchange, "State & Local Mobility Map: Road to Mobile Readiness," July 2014

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Video conferencing solutions span a vast menu of options — from $100,000 multicamera, immersive telepresence rooms to roadside Skype calls on a colleague's smartphone — and there are myriad solutions that fit every need. Making sense of all the available technology requires understanding your use case in state and local governments.

CDW's Technology Insights app now includes the Video Conferencing guide to help your organization on its video conferencing journey. Learn more by scanning the app's QR code or clicking here.

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