West Virginia navigates ‘complex net’ of enterprise IT systems

West Virginia is keeping cybersecurity top of mind as it modernizes its legacy IT infrastructure, state Chief Technology Officer Joshua Spence told StateScoop in a video interview.

“We have a short term goal of modernizing our aging infrastructure and positioning ourselves in a better structure from a cybersecurity perspective and also cyber resiliency. Can the system stay up just because of other issues?” Spence says.

In this case, “other issues” refers to influence from interconnected systems, which Spence says can complicate matters as he attempts to consolidate and standardize technology assets.

“You look at integration between information systems, it creates a complex net of interdependency, so making the back-end infrastructure is made to accept that and withstand changes is an important piece of the puzzle,” Spence says.

The state is also looking many more years into the future to ensure it doesn’t run into operational issues as a downstream effect of today’s upgrades, he said.

“In the long term is how do we move our focus from being really focused on the internal operations of government and instead shift that to being efficient in internal operations and in pushing more resources to government services,” Spence says.

Spence on emerging technology:

Spence on cybersecurity:

Spence on his top priorities:

These videos were produced by StateScoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ midyear conference in National Harbor, Maryland, in May 2019.