Iowa Chief Information Officer Annette Dunn, who’s led the state’s technology efforts since Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed her in 2019, will step down later this month, she confirmed to StateScoop on Friday.
During her time as the state’s top technology official, Dunn helped organize the Office of the Chief Information Officer, which had been created only a few years earlier. She also led the first phase of an enterprise resource planning system upgrade, which she said will allow the state to decommission many of its legacy systems, and helped establish a $100 million program to extend the availability of high-speed internet, one of the largest technology projects in the state’s history.
After a career that also included eight years with the Army and nine years as director of the state transportation department’s IT division, Dunn said she wasn’t planning on joining the private sector, but that she was presented with an opportunity she “couldn’t walk away from.” Dunn hasn’t disclosed where she’ll work next, only that it’s a consulting position that “can” involve technology.
“I decided that, you know, I’m at probably the last decade of my career, maybe I should do something completely different,” Dunn said.
The state last month completed the first phase of an upgrade to a new ERP system, using software from the vendor Workday. Dunn said the upgrade, which includes personnel functions, such as human resources and payroll, is “a big change” for the state, which will now use a common system across its three branches. She said it replaces a green-screened, DOS-based system developed by the state transportation department in the 1980s.
“It was like standing on our head, going in trying to do payroll and VPN-ing in, where now we can do it on our mobile phone,” Dunn said.
For the executive branch alone, she said, the first phase of the new platform will allow the state to decommission 10 legacy systems that performed various personnel functions. The second phase of the ERP project, to be led by whoever replaces Dunn, is to upgrade the state’s financial systems.
Beyond efficiency, the new platform also enabled the state to adopt multi-factor authentication and readied the technology enterprise for improved data governance, which Dunn said she expects will be one of her successor’s big projects.
“I’m really excited about the master data management we’ll be doing so it can really drive our data governance, standardizing our data so we can get to the data-driven decisions where states really need to be,” she said, adding that that work is currently in its “infant stages.”
Before she leaves, Dunn said she’s also helping to develop the request for proposals for an additional $100 million in broadband funding.
Dunn’s last day with the state is set for Oct. 22.
“That’s my last day in state government,” she said. “Kind of odd to say that after 20 years.”