Integrating Diverse Domains with Ease

Michael Cockrill, CIO, State of Washington
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Seamless integration and ease of access

Ease in user identification and management is important for us and that’s exactly what we are looking for. With the diversity of cloud services and other online applications, providing secure, easy ID management that works across multiple applications will be critical.

To serve our workforce of 40,000 plus state employees, I expect technology providers to be able to manage identification across a wide diversity of systems–from 30 year old mainframes to the latest cloud services–in order to realize some of the productivity gains that come from a mobile workforce. For the citizens of  Washington State, I expect technology solutions that make doing business with the state as easy as doing business with Amazon and other modern companies.

Keeping a constant vigil

Staying one step ahead of security threats remains the number one issue that keeps me up at night. As the bad guys become smarter, we must become smarter as well. In Washington State we are learning that we stand stronger if we stand together. That’s why we have created one of the nation’s first shared threat detection and analysis system that is shared among governments and utilities, so we can notify each other when suspicious activity is identified.

Also keeping me up at night is the sheer diversity of systems we must support, from 30 year old mainframes to desktop applications to the latest in Big Data analysis. The State of Washington is so diverse that our IT department must be equally diverse.

"We should be saving money through IT; not saving money on IT"

Blending with technology

The consumerization of IT is the most game-changing trend today. Gone are the days of the corporate-issued BlackBerry. Today’s workforce demands information technology in the workplace to be on par with technology in their personal lives.

This means as a CIO, I need to pivot our organization towards caring about the data, not the device, making ID management, cloud storage, mobility, and network security all the more important.

Leveraging IT

We need to answer the question “How can IT save our broader organization’s money?” before someone asks the question “How can I save money in the IT department?” IT leaders provide solutions for enhancing business efficiency and are experts in service delivery and more and more we are at the forefront of business improvements.

People first

I have never been a CIO before–I have been a product developer and a startup guy. Approaching this job with “non-legacy eyes,” the most profound thing I’ve observed is people matter more than technology. Culture-changing activities such as promotion of Agile development and a “Mobile First” mindset matter more than policies and standards when it comes to modernizing IT.

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