The NC TECH Association recognized the N.C. Department of Information Technology for its innovative work during the association’s annual awards gala held Nov. 1 in Raleigh. The awards recognize tech companies, the use of tech and leaders in tech for their leadership and achievements in the state’s vibrant tech sector.
Mike Ware, an N.C. Department of Information Technology leader who serves as chief information officer for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, was named Public Sector CIO of the Year. NCDIT’s effort to create and update AddressNC, a statewide GIS dataset of nearly 6 million locations, was also a finalist for the Use of Technology Award in the Government category.
Public Sector CIO of the Year – Mike Ware
The Public Sector CIO of the Year Award was given to Mike Ware for demonstrating leadership, driving innovation and delivering value to the organization. Ware leads the NCDIT-Environmental Quality team of 75 employees responsible for all technological aspects within NCDEQ. He champions innovation and more efficient, effective solutions for the state’s environmental quality efforts.
“DEQ is a better, more efficient agency because of the work of Mike Ware,” said NCDEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “He brings both an innovative mindset and practical problem-solving skills to his work. He is also a collaborative, thoughtful member of our leadership team and truly understands how to integrate technology to best support our mission, our people and the residents of North Carolina.”
Ware has established NCDEQ’s Permitting Transformation Program to update and improve the permit process, provide better access to permit information and improve transparency through the development of a robust web-based system. He has also led major system upgrades to improve services for NCDEQ employees and everyone who interacts with the department.
In addition, Ware is a national trailblazer in the implementation of drone technology and has spearheaded NCDEQ’s drone program, which has led to exponentially faster and cost-effective methods of collecting data in the field. Ware also led the transition of the business side of NCDEQ’s IT Division to NCDIT as part of the N.C. General Assembly’s effort to create a centralized IT department for the state.
“Mike is an outstanding leader for both NCDIT and NCDEQ,” said NCDIT Secretary and State CIO Jim Weaver. “He has built a culture that empowers his team to achieve and deliver on the strategic goals for both agencies.”
Use of Technology Award, Government – AddressNC
NCDIT was named a finalist for the Use of Technology Award for Government for the collaborative work of the N.C. Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, N.C. Geographic Information Coordinating Council and N.C. 911 Board on AddressNC. This award honors a public-sector utilization of technology to execute a project that delivers value, efficiency and ease of use for students or citizens.
AddressNC is a statewide geographic information systems dataset created in 2009 that provides the precise physical sites of nearly 6 million locations and is used by state and local governments, the private sector, academia and the public through the NC OneMap open platform. AddressNC data is also provided as the state’s contribution to the National Address Dataset.
After updating AddressNC in 2014, the N.C. Center for Geographic Information and Analysis identified a more efficient, sustainable model to continually refresh the dataset in partnership with the N.C. 911 Board. The board receives GIS data from authoritative local government providers on a continuous cycle to support the transition to the statewide Next Generation 911 network, an enhanced 911 system that ensures residents can reach 911 services regardless of their location or the communication technology they use.
As data becomes available through Next Generation 911, address points are added to the AddressNC database and quality checked. By July 2023, 97 percent of the state was included in the AddressNC system, and all 100 North Carolina counties are now engaged in the Next Generation 911 GIS initiative and uploading data to the GIS repository.
“This partnership is an excellent example of data-driven collaboration,” Weaver said. “It ensures that AddressNC is up to date and continues to play an integral role in critical efforts ranging from emergency response to broadband expansion.”
Learn more about the NC TECH Awards and view all winners and finalists at nctech.org.