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Transforming service delivery: state IT must first change itself, Pennsylvania CIO says

In the rush to get state government services online for citizen consumption, technology leaders must change the way they operate, John MacMillan said.

Jake Williams
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Jake Williams Manager of Strategic Initiatives

Jake Williams is currently the Manager of Strategic Initiatives for StateScoop, based in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on IT initiatives and p...

In Pennsylvania, the state’s information technology shop has to change the way it does business if it wants to better serve the citizen, the state’s chief information officer said — and a recent initiative shows Pennsylvania is doing just that.

“That starts with some fundamental changes in the way our existing services are provided,” MacMillan told StateScoop in an interview at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference.

To face that challenge in his state, MacMillan said he and his team have turned to a common identity and access management framework that will enable a common portal for citizens and business looking to do business with state government.

“We’re launching that initiative later this year,” MacMillan said. “We’ve built an environment, we have a solution, and there are about 97 applications that we’ll change and have ready by the end of June.”

In the new environment, the state will open a business portal in which entrepreneurs using the framework will be able to move seamlessly from agency to agency and interact with several different state services in a single online experience.

The common identity and access management efforts will also include standard templates for state services, a common look and feel and other design tweaks to improve the citizen experience.

The work on these portal initiatives builds on the state’s decades-long IT consolidation, which recently entered into its final phase — one that’s centered around shared services. Now, with Gov. Tom Wolf’s backing, the state is also moving into a multi-year IT transformation effort designed to center focus on the workforce.

“We are embracing the idea that in order to recruit and retain talent, we also have to change the way we operate,” MacMillan said. “Ultimately, people make IT happen, and we have to create an environment where we’re gonna attract and continue to employ the very best talent.”

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