Microsoft began building on its customer success model. It was taking the concept of technology use and adoption and turning it into a conversation about customer-driven outcomes, user experience and usability. That resonated with me. It was a way to translate the complexities of technologies into a user experience outcome. If you looked at the landscape, it was something that we were all struggling with.
It uncovered opportunities to help drive change and improve services for the public. I saw that firsthand at Microsoft. Before the pandemic, many states in New England had already adopted a hybrid cloud model, and so the question was how to maintain public services while working remotely.
STATETECH: When it comes to Vermont and its cloud journey, how are you balancing hybrid cloud?
REILLY-HUGHES: Now that you are using cloud technologies, how do you maximize that to keep information and data and people and identities secure while at the same time making service more available?
We have two priorities for the state of Vermont: One is internal operations, and the other is the supportability and the modernization of the state enterprise. At the state level, we have a number of ongoing modernization projects. We have very strong partnerships with our state agencies, and we work together to align these priorities to the benefits of Vermonters. We are reforming unemployment insurance; we have a new DMV system going live. We are digitizing our services while at the same time providing the level of service that residents have always expected when they need to come into an office.
And within our priorities when it comes to hybrid, we continue to harden our cyber footprint. As we expand into the cloud, that becomes a deeper conversation, along with what touch that footprint. When we look holistically at security controls, we look at data privacy and artificial intelligence. AI is a partner in that conversation, along with cybersecurity. As we look at the cloud journey that we are on, it is critically important to Vermont’s success to look at the maturity we have achieved right now and where we need to go for the next phase in the journey.
Vermont is a small state, and we have a strong, supportive team working to make that happen. On the internal side, we are hitting the next phase of maturity as an organization itself. We are only six years young now, and we have spent those first six years in what I would call startup mode. And we are doing a lot and covering a lot and meeting the statutory obligations of the agency. How do you define the next phase? We define that as our operation maturity phase, which aligns very closely to where we are in our cloud journey as well. We are resetting and maturing our baseline standards around core enterprise services. As we add layers of technology, it becomes easier to pull AI into that conversation.