Jordan Kroll

Not Just Labs of Democracy, States Drive Innovation Too

States have long been considered laboratories of democracies and increasingly are becoming cradles of innovation. Governors across the country are leading the charge in leveraging emerging technologies to solve the most pressing issues facing constituents. For example, states are using mobile application technology to better respond to their constituents needs, applying blockchain technology to save their constituents tax dollars, and are bolstering cybersecurity capabilities by preparing students for cyber jobs of tomorrow.

This weekend, governors are descending on Washington, D.C. for the National Governor Association’s (NGA) Winter Meeting. This gives our industry an opportunity to engage with state lawmakers on how to build on their work to ensure constituents continue to have satisfactory experiences with state agencies and promote innovation, economic growth, and job creation. To drive these outcomes, ITI urges leaders to consider an innovation agenda that would focus on:

  • Investing in workforce development through the promotion of appropriate skills alignment and advance education and research programs in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), computer science, and career and technical education.
  • Modernizing legacy IT infrastructure by leveraging innovative technologies to deliver more effective government operations and a more secure government IT environment through IT modernization.
  • Creating a more secure state by providing adequate funding, staff, and resources toward cybersecurity efforts to build a highly secure environment and resilient critical infrastructure, including applications and mobile devices, to strengthen protections of sensitive constituent information.
  • Partnering with the private sector to leverage industry expertise by partnering with industry as appropriate to help speed identification and adoption of the new capabilities and efficiencies they can deliver.
  • Establishing strong IT leadership through the Office of the State Chief Information Officer with a direct line of communication to the Governor’s office and horizontal authority into all state agencies and departments.

Technology is going to keep advancing at a rapid pace. To ensure we create an environment where people across the country reap the benefits, we must make sure that both the federal and state governments create policies to empower people. We in the tech industry look forward to being a part of the solution.

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