Mississippi CIO: Modernizing helps ‘make government go’

Mississippi’s IT modernization efforts are driving efficiency throughout government, according to the state’s chief information officer.

Craig Orgeron, a past president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, and a winner of a 2014 and 2015 StateScoop 50 GoldenGov award, told StateScoop in a video interview at NASCIO’s Midyear Conference in Baltimore that as his department works with other agencies to modernize systems, it’s finding ways to streamline processes and save money.

“We’re doing a lot of modernization projects in partnership with many agencies,” Orgeron said. “Those things aren’t overly sexy, people want to talk about [things like] cyber, but you’ve got to make government go — and a lot of these systems do.”

In his own Department of Information Technology Services, Orgeron is implementing an enterprise resource planning system to assist the state’s accounting and finance departments. Orgeron also noted a few other ITS-supported modernization projects:

  • In public safety, the department is updating and relaunching the state driver’s license system.
  • The Revenue Department recently implemented a new tax system — after several unsuccessful attempts over the last several decades.
  • The public health department, according to Orgeron, continues to make strides in modernizing the state’s health records.

Meanwhile, the state has also partnered with academia to make better use of its data. Orgeron touted the state’s education data portal, which uses the expertise of several agencies and a Mississippi State University research group to tackle big data.

That effort “drove a lot of points home in terms of bringing smart people together around the table,” Orgeron said. “Partnerships with research universities are a potent thing.”

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