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Corey Mercy, deputy CTO of North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services

What lesson will you take with you from the pandemic?

The most significant takeaway, and the most transformative, is around cloud computing and the agility that cloud computing has provided for us. We especially during the pandemic stood up numerous technologies to help support our response and help inform our leadership teams and provide services to citizens of North Carolina. And if it weren’t for the flexibility and the scalability of cloud computing, I think we would have been very challenged to provide some of those services as rapidly as we did.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during the pandemic?

Having the depth of resources and talent to deliver on needs. Probably the other one is speed to delivery. There were lots of needs and sometimes things were a bit ambiguous as the pandemic was evolving and more information was becoming known. There were evolving and changing requirements where we had to have flexibility in being able to meet and understand those needs.

What’s an underappreciated IT practice or technology that helped you during the pandemic?

I would probably still stick with cloud computing as a game changer from a tech perspective and something that should not go underappreciated. The other piece, from a leadership perspective, is the spirit of innovation and that in tough times it requires us to be very innovative, especially when things may be a little bit ambiguous or where things might be new. Approaching these opportunities or challenges or needs and looking at it as an opportunity to innovate and leverage technology to help meet those needs.

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