StateScoopTV: Colorado CIO Kristin Russell

One of the benefits of Colorado’s transition to Google Apps for Government last year was the ability to quickly build Google sites for the state government, along with the suite of communication and collaboration tools that came along as well.

In an interview with StateScoopTV, Kristin Russell, Colorado’s secretary of technology and chief information officer, explains how the state recently used Google to launch that provides citizens in flood-ravaged areas of the state with information on the recovery effort.

“It let us create a Google site where citizens can login to and post questions and post updates,” Russell said. “It’s really trying to look at these innovative technologies and let us get closer to citizens, especially those impacted by the flood.”

In her interview, Russell also discussed ways the state is using technology to benefit students. For instance, her office has put a lot of effort into modernizing the Colorado Benefits Management System that will improve citizen interaction with programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

Russell said 90 percent of the transactions on the site now take less than 4 seconds to complete and service desk tickets have been cut 41 percent. That’s led to a system that runs 30 percent more efficiently than before.

Another thing that will have Russell’s attention going forward: cybersecurity. She said the state is looking to implement its first cyber strategic plan in the first quarter of 2014 that will take the first five of the SANS 20 critical controls. She believes, if successful, Colorado will be the first state to reach that milestone.

Russell also discussed the Colorado Information Marketplace, which launched last year and includes full data sets that allows citizens and developers to use the data to create mobile and web applications. Since the site’s launch, Russell said, the state has seen a 212 percent increase in the number of data sets on the site.

“It’s increasing the connection between government and citizens,” she said.