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The Best of California Awards during the California Virtual Digital Government Summit acknowledged high-achieving state IT officials and significant recent IT projects.
As part of Techwire’s ongoing efforts to educate readers on state agencies, their IT plans and initiatives, here’s the latest in our periodic series of interviews with departmental IT and cybersecurity leaders.
“I guess I would say I’m kind of equal parts technology evangelist, strategist/futurist and project manager. I think in the big picture, (I) really focus on pushing forward the importance of technology as a whole and often in an environment which is resistant to change or adapting some old processes to technology,” says Nate Greenberg, IT director for Mono County and the town of Mammoth Lakes.
Techwire is pleased to welcome Spectrum Enterprise to the Techwire family. Part of Charter Communications Inc., Spectrum Enterprise offers scalable, fiber technology solutions that serve some of the nation’s largest businesses and communications providers. Its wide portfolio includes networking and managed services solutions such as Internet access, Ethernet access and networks, as well as voice and TV solutions. Its cyber, cloud, and enterprise security solutions enable state and local government to meet rising data and privacy threats, establish security and risk management policies and accommodate remote work. For more information, visit or contact Michael Hogan.
Rick Klau, California’s chief technology innovation officer, hit the ground running when he joined state government earlier this year. He’s been focused primarily on how the state can best use technology in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I try to share with my staff that evidence of we are doing a great job is when we are invisible, and our coworkers get their job done seamlessly,” says Jorge Henneke, chief information officer for the California Conservation Corps.
Techwire will observe the Labor Day holiday on Monday and will not be publishing a newsletter. The daily update will resume Tuesday.
Data Con LA 2021, this year’s virtual version of an annual event focused on data and the technologies that gather, use and share it, has announced its roster of speakers and other details for next month’s conference.
“So, digital transformation for us — is digital services, basically, making sure your constituents have everything they need. They don’t have to drive down to City Hall for anything. They can do everything online. And we’ve come a long way as far as our department is concerned,” says Bryon Horn, chief information officer for the city of Fresno and director of its Information Services Department.
The one-day event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. Tuesday and will feature a host of gov tech leaders from the public and private sectors.
“So, beyond the typical responsibilities of a CIO, which include being responsible for the vision, strategic direction, and policy development and management of our IT systems and supporting infrastructure, our program partners require IT to be innovative, flexible, and adaptable to meet their changing needs,” says Jennifer Chan, chief information officer at the California State Lottery.
“We ... see digital transformation as a continuous process of improvement. Importantly, we take a human-centered-design perspective. It focuses on accessibility and takes many forms of customer feedback to direct our improvements. In this way, all new city digital services are built for and by city residents,” says Linda Gerull, chief information officer and executive director of San Francisco’s Department of Technology.
“We have the technology road map, where we want to go, how we want to invest in the technology, how it will reduce our technical debt, how it will help improve and make some consistent business processes and programs. A lot of these things are part of the digital transformation aspect – but I need that culture change,” says Rob Peterson, agency information officer at the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Techwire is pleased to welcome Ministry of Velocity to the Techwire family. Ministry of Velocity collaborates with government entities to help them reach digital transformation via human-centered design, equitable software development and good stewardship. An engineering consultancy, its diverse team embraces democratic principles and believes great software experiences derive from focusing on the users. Its areas of particular expertise include custom software development, telepresence and live video streaming development; user experience and service design, training services, DevOps on-prem or Amazon Web Services (AWS); and code audits. For more information, visit or contact Doc Ritezel.
“With different events every week and our big event, the California State Fair, every July, my role as IT manager is closely tied to the operation of our events. I don’t think my role differs all that much from a CIO’s role in that I am given the opportunity to play a big part in strategic planning,” says Pat Conner, IT manager for the California Exposition and State Fair.
This Northern California county doubled down on moving to the cloud, kept cybersecurity policies updated and maintained lines of communication during the COVID-19 pandemic – all of which helped it land in the winners’ circle in the 19th annual Digital Counties Survey from the Center for Digital Government.
Led by e.Republic market experts Dustin Haisler and Joe Morris, this virtual midyear overview provides intelligence to help align your marketing and sales strategies to strongly close out the year.
The county IT department is managing the transition to a new $20.5 million civic center and will also replace its 30-year-old public safety radio system in 2021-2022.
“We tried the cloud five years ago and it just wasn’t there yet. It was too expensive and too slow; there were too many limitations. But I think it’s ready now and my big commitment here for the county is, I want to take our business continuity plan to a whole other level,” says Jim Smith, chief information officer for Riverside County.
The Emerging IT Leaders Boot Camp is open to members of the public-sector workforce who are currently serving in entry-level IT supervisory or managerial positions that wish to strengthen their leadership skills.
Techwire is pleased to welcome Cask to the Techwire family. Cask Public Sector helps the state of California modernize legacy processes and systems for governments, education and nonprofits to improve the quality of life, increase engagement efficiencies and reduce costs for their citizens and their employees. Cask designs, enables and sustains digital transformation platform for enterprise clients across both the private and public sectors. Cask’s portfolio includes strategy, implementation, modernization, digital transformation and managed services that enable clients to execute an end-to-end digital vision. “We’ll provide support and education for ServiceNow implementation and management,” the company says. For more information, visit or contact Tammie Lopez.
The virtual briefing will be presented by Alan Cox, executive vice president of e.Republic and publisher of Techwire; and Joe Morris, e.Republic’s deputy chief innovation officer.
“My role acts as oversight of the department’s internal IT governance process and I also coordinate with the AIO, other CIOs within CalEPA and CDT as needed,” says Michael Wanser, CIO and assistant director at the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
Techwire is pleased to welcome Workato to the Techwire family. Workato offers a broad portfolio of workplace management tools, including automations for hiring and onboarding, lead management and routing, and a network operations center. The company’s offerings handle functions including human resources, sales, marketing, finance, higher education, IT and support; and it works well with Jira, Marketo, NetSuite, Oracle EBS and Oracle Database, SAP ERP, Salesforce and ServiceNow. Its products include robotic process automation and bots designed for a variety of platforms and tools. For more information, visit or contact Bharath Yadla or Alessio Lisi.
Techwire is pleased to welcome Hyperscience to the Techwire family. New York-based Hyperscience helps governments and organizations worldwide modernize vital processes and operations, in part by redefining enterprise-level automation. For government, its cloud-based platform enables process automation and data extraction across a variety of formats and disparate systems, streamlining everything from health-care claims to background checks, unemployment verifications to voter registrations. The results shrink workflow steps and citizen response times by managing volume and backlog. Hyperscience minimizes risk by letting clients set accuracy targets and maintain complete control of their data. For more information, visit or contact Bradley Fischer.
“A CIO’s role is to ensure that the appropriate technology is being delivered to meet the needs of not just the department but the customer who’s relying on those services. I think it’s important that you’re in tune with what’s going on with the business,” says Steve Nash, chief information officer for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Techwire is taking a brief break over the long July Fourth holiday weekend. After today’s edition, publication of the daily newsletter will resume Wednesday. The Techwire team wishes our friends and readers a safe and meaningful holiday celebration.
“In the context of cybersecurity, we apply the 3-2-1 rule. 3 backups, in 2 different places, 1 in the cloud,” writes San Mateo IT Director Peter Owen. “But what about the video conferenced presentation you are doing for your board, council, client or team? Same idea.”
“Now, a year into the pandemic, our department has relied on more cloud solutions and remote work (AKA telecommute or telework) as the recent adoption during the emergency pandemic. For me, the risk focus has changed from a traditional office to that of a virtual one,” says Ernest Shih, agency information security officer at the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
“The CIO must be a broker of collaboration, bringing people together so that technology can provide intended value. I make critical technology decisions, but those decisions cannot be made with blinders on,” says Marc Shorr, chief information officer at Contra Costa County.