Friday, April 19, 2013

State CIO Discusses Collaboration, Training

State Chief Information Officer Chris Estes talks about how he’s helping realize the governor's vision for business transformation across state government.
Apr 19, 2013

In an interview with Government Technology magazine, State Chief Information Officer Chris Estes talks about how he’s helping realize Governor Pat McCrory’s vision for business transformation across state government. Garnering support of the General Assembly, collaborating with state agency CIOs, and enhancing skills of the state’s IT professionals are part of the process.

Coming from the private sector, Estes’ experience in business transformation is helping him implement the governor’s vision of a more efficient enterprise operation across agencies. “The governor has envisioned a business transformation for the state that takes us from a distributed siloed business model to a matrixed enterprise model," he said. "For the most part, in previous years the state was run through a distributed [system], and each of the agencies were independent lines of business."

Several bills have been introduced this session that will give Estes greater flexibility to realize that vision. Appointed by McCrory in January, Estes says he’s developed a good relationship with the General Assembly and is meeting regularly with Assembly committees. He meets with the governor and his executive team weekly. He also meets regularly with agency CIOs to keep them informed on initiatives and to help break down silos between agencies.

Budget constraints in recent years have taken a toll on training for IT employees, and Estes says he wants to start reinvesting in the state’s IT workforce by making training a priority again. To do that, the state will draw on contracts and partnerships that include training credits.

Social media in state government is a vehicle for collaboration and communication. As author of a book on social media, Estes says it’s a great way to share with the public. "Many of our agencies, on their own accord, have started to use social media tools to communicate with citizens, whether it be Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. We're starting to use LinkedIn more as a state, for recruitment, and identifying resources," he said. "And we have legislators using Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their constituents."

For more information, see the Government Technology article.