Florida Chief Information Officer Jason Allison is leaving the state for a position in the private sector, the governor’s office confirmed to StateScoop on Friday.
On March 7, state Chief Technology Officer Eric Larson, who has been with AST since 2014, will become interim state CIO.
“Jason was the first executive director and state chief information officer for the Agency for State Technology and he has done an outstanding job in that role,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. “Under his leadership, Florida has made impressive strides to enhancing state IT operations. I want to thank Jason for his dedication to the state of Florida and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Allison served AST since being appointed CIO in 2014, when he was charged with giving the state a fresh start following a string of failed attempts to create a technology office. AST is the third incarnation of the state’s tech agency since 2005. There was a two-year run in which the state had no such agency, following the decommission of the office before AST — the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology (AEIT).
Under Allison’s watch, AST completed half of a statewide cybersecurity risk assessment, and the state was also forced to rush a data center move in 2016 as part of a consolidation effort that saved $2.2 million in the most recent budget, according to the state.
Most recently, Florida Senate Bill 362 telegraphed the agency’s intention to create a chief data officer position and GIS office, signaling an expansion of what appears so far to have been smooth sailing for the new office. With so many false starts for the state technology office in recent memory, Allison’s departure could be signal the beginning of trouble for the agency or maybe a sign that things are stable enough that he feels comfortable moving on to the next project.
“I love my team. I say this all the time. We are very fortunate in building the agency to get the best and brightest inside of state government to come help and buy in to what we’re doing,” Allison told StateScoop in a video interview last year. “But the real passion is adding value and really taking the state forward. I think we’re doing a fantastic job in taking service levels that agencies might not otherwise be able to afford, and raising the bar collectively for everybody.”
Allison began with the state in 2007 where he served as MIS director for the division of disease control at the Department of Health, before joining AEIT as a senior IT business consultant, then serving at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the governor’s Office of Policy and Budget before becoming state CIO.