Tech Marches On

Citizen demands coupled with changing technologies and landscapes keep government IT in transition.

There is no question that technology and transformation go hand-in-hand. In fact, they’re as closely linked as a CPU in a motherboard. Or is that dual CPUs?

Add an increasingly tech-smart citizen base — with a growing appetite for Web services — and it’s easy to see why keeping pace with transformation is the order of the day.

In this issue, State Tech™ pays homage to states that are effectively dealing with ever-evolving technology and the role it plays in meeting citizens’ needs.

In our cover story on page 38, “On the Right Track,” writer Matthew Sarrel focuses on the state of Alabama and its journey from IT malaise to tech superiority.

When CIO Jim Burns took over in September 2004, the state was plagued by outdated IT systems along with an organizational structure that stifled progress. In a short time, Burns reorganized the division, consolidated servers and migrated almost all state agencies to a shared wide area network. And he’s just getting started.


Interested in how your state ranks in the area of security priorities and practices? On page 16, we feature an overview of CDW•G’s State & Local Government Technology Investment Curve . The TIC is an assessment of IT purchases across the 24 most-active technology states in the United States. This portion of the assessment covers security investment.

Encompassing all 50 states, more than 100,000 products and about 1,000 manufacturers, the TIC provides an accurate, unbiased assessment of state and local government technology investment. Survey details are online at

In our CIO Interview on page 42, writer Melissa Solomon speaks with Gail Roper, CIO of Kansas City, Mo., about how the city improved its IT performance by offering better customer service. Read why terms like “enterprise program management” and “project portfolio” now permeate her staff’s lexicon.

Rounding out this issue is our story on “Bringing Health Care Into the 21st Century ” by Wylie Wong on page 20. According to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, people are overlooking the role states play in their health care economies. This story further facilitates dialog on this timely — and costly — topic.

In this issue you’ll also find coverage of the rising interest in service-oriented architecture and its use in connecting disparate systems; the use — or nonuse — of instant messaging in government; and the ways in which digital video recordings aid police interrogations.

Oct 31 2006