For effective IT delivery, understand the business first, says Utah CIO

Utah is transforming how it delivers information technology projects, the state’s chief information officer tells StateScoop in a recent video interview.

“One of the things that we’re looking at, starting now, is how to understand more of the business at the front end of the project rather than at the end of the project,” Utah CIO Mike Hussey says.

During project development, the state’s technology agency becomes an “expert on the business process,” Hussey says, but if the agency were to consider business needs ahead of project development, projects could be delivered more efficiently.

“It usually happens when we’re building the code,” Hussey says. “Sometimes when we’re code-complete, we think ‘OK, now we understand the process.'”

But if the IT agency considers the business first, Hussey says, the outcomes can be better.

“If we can move that learning to the front-end of the project, I think our IT projects can go much more smoothly, a lot less expensive and probably better for both of us at the agency and our organization.” Hussey says. “I think the customer will have a better product when we’re done.”

The reasoning to plan more strategically in the development of IT comes directly from the top, Hussey says.

“It’s coming from the governor, the highest levels in our state,” Hussey says. “You look at our IT spend, a lot of it is on some of these large, large projects. Hopefully we can reduce that and become a lot more efficient, and then we can do a lot more on the emerging technology kinds of things as well.”

Hussey on his 2018 accomplishments:

Hussey on cybersecurity:

Hussey on identity and access management:

Hussey on emerging technology:

These videos were produced by StateScoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ annual conference in San Diego, California, in October 2018.