Delaware technology bureau names new COO

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The Delaware Department of Technology and Information on Tuesday named Gerald “Jerry” Whisman as its new chief operating officer.

Whisman, who joined the technology office in 2012 as a service support administrator and most recently served as DTI’s director of infrastructure and engineering, will be responsible for administering an IT portfolio that includes the state’s network operations center, output management, systems administration and engineering, mainframes, telecommunications, collaboration services, automation and data center functions.

The department is also responsible for providing IT services and connectivity statewide, including to K-12 districts.

Jerry Whisman
Gerald “Jerry” Whisman (State of Delaware)

“It’s all about people, process and tools,” Whisman said in an interview. “But we don’t have enough people, so one of the focuses I’ve had is around automation, infrastructure as code, anything we can do to eliminate the snowflakes that we build from time to time.”

“Snowflakes,” in this case, refer to the state’s unique technology implementations that can’t be easily shared or scaled across the enterprise. Whisman said the state is currently standardizing its use of Ansible, an open-source automation platform, which will ensure the state’s networking and engineering teams can easily collaborate.

“We had multiple toolsets and we had separate git repositories as well, so moving to a single platform like that, we can all work together,” Whisman said. 

Before joining the Delaware state government, Whisman told StateScoop he spent 11 years with Discover Financial Services, where he got his start in IT working on document imaging. He said he also spent more than four years with a small technology company based in New Castle called Data Management Internationale, managing its data center and its Kofax system, an automation platform.

Whisman’s promotion continues a shakeup in the technology bureau precipitated last year by the retirement of James Collins, former statewide chief information officer. Collins was subsequently replaced by DTI’s former chief operating officer, Jason Clarke, who served as interim CIO until being confirmed in the role last January.

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Automation, coo, Delaware, Gerald Whisman
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