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What innovation looks like in Colorado

New roles, initiatives and events are changing how Colorado's technology does business and the types of workers leaders hope to attract.

Colin Wood
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Colin Wood Managing Editor

Colin Wood is the managing editor of StateScoop. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology magazine. Before that, he taught Engl...

Colorado's Office of Information Technology (OIT) is trying some new things that leaders hope will both improve operations and attract a new generation of workers. They're also showing that working in government can be cool, said state Deputy Chief Information Officer Brenda Berlin.

Colorado is undergoing the usual legacy system modernization and updates to cybersecurity, but the state is also funding some more exciting initiatives, like running its second annual rapid innovation event this year, which is an opportunity for staff to propose improvements to processes that can be completed in less than four weeks. 

The state will also partner with their vendor Salesforce for an "app-a-thon" — another initiative where the state hopes to derive some innovative ideas from its community.

"[We're] trying to show people it's cool to work in government, that it really is meaningful work," Berlin told StateScoop in a video interview recorded in September at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers annual conference. "You can make a difference in the community and we're trying to show we care about the employees. We've implemented a training program in the last year or so, so we're just trying to show there is value [and an] opportunity to be creative in working with government."

Colorado is also making good on its mobile-first policy with new apps. As a citizen herself, Berlin said she understands the frustration some people go experience while trying to do business with their government. The state wants to avoid that by keeping their technology fresh and their roles relevant. 

As part of that, early this month, Colorado appointed Brandon Williams as its first digital transformation officer to oversee that the interactions between citizen and state are going smoothly in the digital space.

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