Bringing New Level Of Mobility To Field Resources

Jim Smith, CIO, State of Maine
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Jim Smith, CIO, State of Maine

Jim Smith, CIO, State of Maine

Things done while tuning and elevating IT's relationship with the government functions process transformation efforts

One of the great benefits for technology is to bring efficiency to a process. At the State of Maine, we are bringing Business Process Management (BPM) to business processes. According to a Gartner survey, BPM was the number one efficiency gain (ahead of technology) for American businesses the last five years. BPM lets business users change, modify, and have views into business processes. BPM replaces the manual, paper intensive government process that exist today with automated workflows that business resources can modify – it automates the government process of gathering data from citizens, processing, and sending back information.

The other area of opportunity is shared services. State government, by its nature, can lead to silos – agencies that provide services to citizens can be unique in the end deliverable, but be similar in the way services such as licensing, grant tracking, data intelligence are done. In this manner, we will find more ways to share processing (and development costs).

Using data to identify and reduce duplications in service; lower costs; decrease readmission and avoid adverse events

We are looking at a ‘citizen centric’ data philosophy, but it is more conversation than planning at this point.

Addressing pain points for which solutions do not exist

It is true that there are still no ‘magic bullets’ and that solutions often are not fully integrated. Still, we see reasons to be optimistic, from a state perspective, because many things are becoming more mature – For determining cloud providers, Fed Ramp from the federal government will be invaluable – it will provide a standard for security and best practices. Also, we are see significant progress from the Federal, state, and private industry vantage point for organizations to work together and share best practices on cyber security. In Maine, we are part of a public / private coalition that is building a cyber-security testing lab that will both be a cyber-facility and a place to teach college students about careers in cyber.

And one area of concern, one area where all organizations have to work together, is not technical, as such; we all have to work together to find and develop that next generation of IT resource’s. Over 20 percent of our IT workforce will retire in the next two years. We are doing several things, both at the state and in cooperation with the universities and private business, to address this. In Maine, we have ‘Project Login’, which is a group of government, universities, and private industry who have come together with the goal of doubling the number of Computer Science graduates in Maine over the next four years. We are developing awareness programs for students in elementary, middle, and high school to teach them about IT careers.

Impact of social media, mobile, cloud and tablets on business environment

Like most states, Maine is wrestling with things like BYOD for devices and the appropriate use of social media – we understand the upside and the future value, but we have to have the right governance process in place to make the best use of new technologies. Mobile has, and will continue to have, a significant benefit for our workforce – whether DHHS it is case workers visiting homes (who will now have information and policies readily available) or game wardens or state police, who will have immediate links to criminal history, or Department of Transportation workers who can immediately report a road closure back to the public. We are working and piloting devices (tablets, smart phones) and COTS mobile packages to bring a new level of mobility to our field resources.

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