• Priorities Podcast

Pennsylvania targets ‘data modernization’ for citizen service

On this week’s episode of the Priorities podcast, Pennsylvania Chief Information Officer John MacMillan says he’s looking to data as the “life blood” of the state’s modernization and citizen service efforts.

As CIO, MacMillan has been prioritizing the data components of the commonwealth’s modernization efforts, which are centered around a “citizen-first” executive order Gov. Tom Wolf signed in 2019. 

“The idea is it takes time, people and money to accomplish customer service transformation,” MacMillan says. “A lot of folks talk about application modernization, we like to talk about data modernization. It’s the key to all [of it].”

Later in the show, Connecticut CIO Mark Raymond says consolidation of the state’s IT is underway. Raymond says the consolidation’s inclusion in the state budget is the latest step on how Connecticut is approaching digital government over the long term. 

In the news this week:

Thirty-four states and territories have already signed up for the federal government’s new $45 billion “Internet for All” fund. The program administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Agency has been open for a little less than two weeks. It’s set to distribute money marked for broadband from last year’s federal infrastructure law. Remaining states and territories have until July 18 to apply.

Georgia CIO Shawnzia Thomas says a constituent-first approach has fueled her first year in the job. Thomas says a big part of that strategy is cloud migration. The state is currently in the middle of a sprint to migrate as many applications as possible from its on-premise data center to the cloud.

Chicago’s public school system is notifying 500,000 current and former students, as well as 60,000 current and former employees of a recent data breach. The breach was caused by a ransomware attack last December against the K-12 tech vendor Battelle for Kids. No Social Security numbers, health records, current class schedules or financial information was included in the breach, the district says.

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Priorities Podcast

Each Wednesday, StateScoop’s Priorities Podcast explores the latest in state and local government technology news and analysis. Listen to in-depth conversations with government and industry’s top executives, and learn about trending stories affecting state and local IT leaders ranging from modernization and digital accessibility to the latest advances in generative artificial intelligence.

Hosted by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is the vice president of content and community for StateScoop and EdScoop. He's spent nearly a decade in the government IT market, covering the ins and outs of state and local government, as well as higher education. He started his journalism career in his native Pennsylvania and has also worked as a reporter for Campaigns & Elections magazine.