It’s been a little more than a year since Rachel Haot joined the New York state government as its first Chief Digital Officer, a position she previously held for Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City.
With a full year under her belt, Haot discussed a number of the major technology initiatives the state has undertaken over the past 365 days in a guest post for Medium.com.
In highlighting the state’s technology efforts, Haot wrote, “It is the critical foundation of broadband — accessible to all and enabling public WiFi, new companies and connected families. It is a modern education system with the tools and programs to realize the potential of our students. It is the digitization of powerful public data, enabling unprecedented collaboration and transparency. It is setting a new standard for digital government through best-in-class websites and social media engagement. And it’s supporting innovative models while protecting public safety — and helping to create more tech jobs.”
Here are some of the projects Haot highlighted:
- The state redesigned its Web page for the first time since 1998, basically a lifetime in the world of Web design. The new site features responsive design that is aimed at making it much easier to use on smartphones and tablets. In her post, Haot said that Web traffic on the new portal has more than doubled since the new site’s launch late last year.
- New York’s open data portal, Open.NY, now offers more than 80 million public records for search, a 325 percent increase over the previous year, Haot said.
- In the past year, the state passed one of the most aggressive education technology measures in the nation. Voters approved a $2 billion spending effort to improve broadband in the state’s public schools as well as providing students with cutting-edge technology aimed at giving them the best chance to succeed in the classroom.
- New York has been at the forefront of states investing public funds into emerging technology companies in hopes of creating jobs in high-growth industry. The state invested $82 million in companies last year that created an estimated 5,888 jobs, Haot said. The state also welcomed 20 technology companies to tax-free zones, located around the school’s university system to aid tech transfer.
- The state connected a number of state parks with wireless Internet and helped 50 new subway stations in New York City get Wi-Fi along with voice and data connectivity. To date, five state parks and 76 underground subway stations are online with that number expected to double in 2015.
- Finally, the state government continued to grow its social media community. The state now has 3.5 million followers across 285 separate channels and launched accounts on Tumblr, Vine and Medium. The state also held its first Social Media Summit to introduce tools for state employees that may be unfamiliar with how to best use them.