As Delaware consolidates IT, leadership tries to 'get out of the way'

As Delaware approaches the halfway point in its journey to centralize its IT, leadership pursues improved service delivery, a first-of-its kind system for the state, and a hands-off approach to management.

For Delaware Chief Information Officer James Collins, the states ITcentralization efforts are about more than just saving money and improving efficiency they’re a portalto improved citizen experience. Delaware is finding, like many states, that average peoplesee government differently than public servants do.

Citizens dont see us as branches, or divisions or agencies, Collins says. They see us as the government.

In September, Collins reported his state was more than 40 percent through its IT consolidation. And as more responsibilities fall under a centralized Department of Technology and Information, the department continues to search for new projects through which to improve citizen interaction with state government. Projects that range from health and human services to transportation keep his state busy, Collins says, as he upholdsmain priorities of cybersecurity, continued ITcentralization and broadband expansion.

Weve got a lot of things in motion, Collins sayswhen asked about ongoing projects. Were doing the first cloud-based child welfare system in the nation. That project is going well. Its the first purely agile project that weve got going on in the state.

The centralization will also present an opportunity for the state to pursue a more organized effort aroundanalytics, Collins says.

[We need to use] the states data as an asset so that were making better decisions, were preventing fraud and were proactively communicating to citizens, Collins says. All of those things position us to do those initiatives.

But as Collins continues to move the centralization forward, he sayshes doing his best to step aside and let his employees get to work, without a lot of undue interference from the top.

This is going to sound really weird coming from the CIO, but what Im trying to figure out and work with our team and all of our partners on is, How do we get out of the way? Collins says.

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