Connecticut CIO wants to make sure consolidation doesn’t ‘break the business’

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced last year that the state would finally consolidate its IT operations under one roof, led by the state’s longtime chief information officer, Mark Raymond. Although Lamont’s proclamation said that unifying the state’s tech would take about a year, Raymond said last month that the process has been a bit more methodical.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for the last several years, because we’re taking an incremental approach,” he told StateScoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference. “We’re changing incrementally so we don’t break the business.”

Bridging IT governance across nearly 40 agencies, some of which employ fewer than 200 people, also involves a lot of professional development, Raymond said.

“We’re investing in our people,” he said.

Among the steps he’s taken in that area is letting Connecticut state employees enroll in a LinkedIn Learning course on digital government, with workers completing about 3,000 training units over a nine-month period. While that “doesn’t cover everything,” Raymond said it’s part of training the workforce to be more efficient in delivering services from an increasingly digital government.

“Digital government enables people to more efficiently interact,” he said. “At the same time, it frees up resources for people who may not be able to interact with us digitally. That’s a more responsive government.”

The consolidation got final approval last month when Lamont signed Connecticut’s budget. While Raymond said that step was a formality, it cemented a process that could seem daunting to some.

“Large changes scare people,” he said. “They break things. Our approach has been 1% improvement, just get better every day.”