North Carolina works to reorganize IT department

New CIO Keith Werner said talent development and IT consolidation are his top priorities.

North Carolina has been rethinking how its government uses technology in recent years,state CIO Keith Werner said pointing to the state’s efforts torevampits Department of Information Technology and launchan Innovation Center .

Weve made great strides in the last three years of actually moving technology from the back room to the boardroom, elevating the importance throughout the state and for our citizens. Weve seen a lot of reform efforts, Werner saidin a StateScoop TV interview at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference in April in Baltimore.

Werner has only been in his role since late last year, taking the helmafterhispredecessorChris Estes left for the private sector . Estes had set in motion several initiatives, including the Innovation Center, and worked with officials to elevatethe IT department to a cabinet-level office. During that time,Werner worked as his deputy.

Werner began his career in the private sector, as a vendor working with state government. The experience helped him carry on Estes’ customer-centered business model, especially after the Department of Information Technologys reorganization.

Werner said he’s focused onreforming our own business around procurement and rates while hiring new talent in the department. These efforts will help state tech officials consolidate their IT and become more efficient, he said.

I think the human connection and the collaboration are the critical pieces of innovation, Werner said.

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