May 06 2020

Q&A: Virginia CIO Nelson Moe on Scaling Up IT in a Hurry

The commonwealth had to rapidly expand its VPN capacity to handle a surge in state workers teleworking from home.

Over the past few years, Virginia has undertaken a significant transformation in how it procures and deploys technology services.

Starting in 2018, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) moved away from a massive legacy IT contract and embraced a multisourced infrastructure environment, with contracts for messaging, mainframe, managed security, network and server storage, and voice and video network services. All of that work is overseen by a multisourcing service integrator responsible for coordinating and monitoring activities of the other vendors.

So, even before the coronavirus pandemic, Virginia CIO Nelson Moe had a lot on his plate when it came to digital transformation. Now, with telework tools reshaping how the commonwealth does business, Moe has had to manage even more.

As part of StateTech’s coverage of the virtual NASCIO Midyear 2020 Conference, held online due to the pandemic, we are speaking with state CIOs about how they have managed the transition to telework and how they will evolve their approach to IT service delivery moving forward. 

Moe spoke about how the state has adapted to remote work and scaled up its VPN infrastructure and how the culture of the state workforce will change.

STATETECH:  How has VITA adapted to remote work given the governor’s stay-at-home order, and how have you helped other Virginia state agencies adapt to remote work?

MOE: In a matter of a few short weeks, we were able to take a remote work technology set that was arguably geared toward the small peaks to almost seven times that to adjust for a significant amount of the commonwealth workforce working from home or alternate locations, including VITA, my particular agency. 

And we’re working closely with the governor’s unified command structure to make sure that the agencies and suppliers are addressing needs in a timely manner. The response in a tough time has gone and reasonably well, and I’m very excited about it.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY KHUE BUI