Missouri CIO Tim Robyn talks innovation, cybersecurity

Missouri CIO Tim Robyn’s strategy for innovation focuses on cybersecurity, modernization, mobility and data-as-an-asset.

Cybersecurity, modernization, mobility and data-as-an-asset constitute the four pillars of Missouri CIO Tim Robyn’s strategy for innovation within state agencies, he told StateScoop in an exclusive interview at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ 2015 midyear conference.

“It’s been a couple of years now where we’ve had large legacy projects, a lot of activity, a lot of changes in our organization, mobile projects, cyber projects,” Robyn said. “… Those initiatives are the umbrellas for lots and lots of progress across our organization.”

Among the initiatives Robyn has overseen is a restructuring of Missouri’s Department of Social Services systems — specifically, a push to modernize their eligibility enrollment program and create a centralized content management system. Currently, the database is organized by county instead of by specific benefit program, hampering statewide operational efficiency. Tech “is playing a big role in that,” according to Robyn.

Modernization is proving to be the state’s most potent tool thus far in the campaign to enhance efficiency.


“Almost every person in our agency and every agency we support is involved in a modernization project,” Robyn said. “Our top three priorities for next year will be finishing up our tax moderation projects with the Department of Revenue; unemployment insurance for the Department of Labor; and also our e-procurement project — and that will be critical for us over the next year that we push those over the finish line.”

Robyn’s rally for tech integration is not without obstacles. Cybersecurity, he said, plays a role in nearly every new innovation initiative.

“The world has changed so much and cyber is something you need to do and do well … The hackers are getting better and better, they have more advanced techniques,” he said. “We want to be aware of what threats are out there, what the current exploits are, so that our tram knows what to do in real time to defend against those threats.”

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