Former N.Y. CTO: Make 'IT transformation' a priority

Kishor Bagul, the former top technologist for New York state, says state tech executives should focus on protecting systems, building good teams and transforming technology.

State C-level technology execs must make cybersecurity their No. 1 focus but must also prioritize “IT transformation,”former New York state CTO Kishor Bagul said.

In an interview with StateScoop TV at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers Midyear conference in Baltimore, Bagul said transformation can help empower state employees to take ownership over projects and lead to better, more efficient outcomes for the state . And he said he’s heeded his own advice:While presidingthe states more than $1 billion IT budget, hebuilt teamsinternally to help spearhead the transformation by cultivating a new workplace culture that encouraged responsibility over large projects focused on transforming the way the state delivered technology services.

Its okay to focus on keeping the lights on, but at the same time, there is a need for focus on the innovation side,said Bagul, who currently serves as the chief executive of Cloud and Things Inc. I am proud of building some good teams, good people and good leaders under me so that they could take on more responsibility and deliver on large projects.

While CTO,Bagul said one of his biggest accomplishments was initiating and overseeing the first part of the states migration to Office 365, which included the move of more than 130,000 state employees to cloud email.

Projects like thatare why Bagul said he still does miss state service.

State has a lot of opportunities, Bagul said. We are in the world of digital revolution, a world where a lot of things are changing. State government is still behind and theres a lot more room for improvement. Thats what I miss from it.”

Contact the reporter who wrote this story at jake.williams@statescoop.com and follow him on Twitter @JakeWilliamsDC .

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