After consolidation, Ohio moves toward more collaboration

Now that Ohio’s consolidation efforts have neared completion , Stu Davis is switching gears to find ways to better engage other technology leaders across the Buckeye State.

“We’re pretty consolidated, and we interact with the agency CIOs all the time,” Davis says. “Every six weeks, we have a Multi-Agency CIO Advisory Council meeting. The 33-35 CIOs come to those.”

At those meetings, the state IT agency — which Davis oversees — presents on certain topics and projects, but the forums are also an opportunity for bidirectional communication. Agencies can offer feedback and also discuss their own initiatives.

In addition, Davis says he and his team interact “quite a bit” with the Ohio County-City Information Technology Association — an assortment of IT leaders from cities and counties. That increased collaboration across levels of government can provide benefits for both sides, Davis says.

“Those are the IT guys at the local government level,” Davis says. “There are some things that we provide through our cooperative purchasing agreements and some of the contracts that we have in place at the state that they can leverage.”

At the state level, Davis says he simply wants to increase awareness with local government in the state that they can work together. Specifically, Davis says he is looking for increased collaboration around Trust Ohio — the state’s identity access management effort.

“We want to look at where we can define security as a service,” Davis says. “[We’re looking for] what would resonate with local government because they have just as hard a time, if not more of a harder time, finding and keeping cybersecurity talent.”

With Trust Ohio, Davis says the challenge of identity access management and overall streamlined use and access on state digital services comes with “couching how you navigate the complexity of state government from a citizen’s perspective.”

“The framework and foundations for getting to the point where your experience in dealing with government would be much, much more streamlined, Davis says.