Apr 18 2016

State and Local IT Departments Reorganize for Innovation

In a bid to shake things up and better serve residents, Massachusetts and Seattle have restructured, consolidated and reengineered their IT teams.

IT leaders are peppered with guidance that urges them to reimagine their IT operations, put users first and plan with innovation in mind. At the state and local IT levels, Massachusetts and Seattle have taken bold steps in this direction by making recent changes to their IT organizations.

Massachusetts recently shook up its IT leadership by installing an executive director for its IT department, referred to as MassIT, earlier this month. Gov. Charlie Baker announced in a press release last month that he’d named Mark Nunnelly, formerly the Department of Revenue’s commissioner and Baker’s special adviser for technology and innovation competitiveness, to the position.

“As so much of our lives become increasingly digitized, it is important state government keep up with the daily needs of our constituents,” Baker said in the press release. “Information technology is an important priority for this administration and our ability to provide secure essential services and execute projects in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner is key to a better state government for Massachusetts. This is an important step that not only addresses some of the problems we have, but is an essential way forward to a better future.”

Having named the executive director, Gov. Baker is now tasking Nunnelly and the MassIT team with making it easier for citizens to interact with the state when it comes to things such as licensing, filing taxes and getting information one healthcare services. Massachusetts says that more than 75 percent of its constituents interact with the state online, and given trends and shifts in the private sector, more people expect to engage in certain tasks or services through technology by default. If the state government hopes to give citizens an experience that makes their lives easier and serves their needs, it must reorganize and reprioritize now to make sure it keeps up with broader trends.

Seattle Strives for IT Success and Greatness

In a detailed story from Government Technology, Seattle’s IT leadership spelled out its plan to consolidate, transform and optimize how it delivers and serves the Emerald City’s residents through technology.

“The big thing to me is ultimately better service to the public,” said Michael Mattmiller, Seattle’s chief technology officer. “When we look across technology today, it's inconsistent. Once we're consolidated ... we'll be much more nimble in being able to turn out new solutions that keep up with technology that the public can use to engage with their government, and our city departments are going to get that level of support they need that as they make those decisions.”

The newly consolidated and organized Seattle Information Technology Department (Seattle IT), which previously operated in silos across various sub-agencies, was rolled out in early April.

Mattmiller shared the new digs and touted Seattle IT on Twitter:

The move to reorganize the city’s IT department received approval from the city council last year.

The end goal of Seattle’s three-year strategic shift is to leverage the city’s technology in more meaningful, rapid and secure ways. With the right technology and human resources in place, and with a reduction in inefficiency and waste, the city is poised to do great things for its community.


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