Ohio’s new CIO sets aims for write-up-pandemic IT

Published by Benjamin Freed

Katrina Flory invested a 10 years as Ohio’s No. 2 technological know-how formal, under a succession of governors and chief info officers. But when she was named statewide CIO earlier this thirty day period, it was after an effusive endorsement by her predecessor, Ervan Rodgers, who’d held the function because early 2019.

All through her time as deputy CIO, Flory oversaw the growth systems including the Ohio Administrative Know-how Method, or OAKS, the state’s company source setting up system the Ohio Business Gateway tax-filing system the state’s eLicense procedure, which supports qualified certifications and the InnovateOhio digital-expert services system. In having the leading work, she’ll now also guide the condition government’s IT organizing as companies start to return to their workplaces after more than a calendar year absent because of to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Katrina Flory (Point out of Ohio)

In an job interview with StateScoop previous week, Flory explained how the IT environment she prospects now has appear alongside from the just one she encountered when she began functioning in condition governing administration. For one, points are significantly a lot more consolidated, from correspondence and details storage to shared expert services that regulate the state’s workforce and finances.

“Just 10 a long time in the past, we had 19 electronic mail systems,” she claimed. “We had businesses on their have e-mail methods. That’s not a matter any more. We’re all on Business 365. We also had servers scattered all about in facts facilities and closets. All those are all centralized now in our Condition of Ohio laptop or computer centre. That infrastructure consolidation and optimization, that is been incredible.”

Flory also stated her place of work is significantly extra intently in tune with the state businesses it supports, keeping conferences with agency CIOs every 6 months. Those people IT leaders are also broken into smaller sized groups they can additional carefully collaborate on interagency initiatives.

Apart from managing the remote-perform wants for a federal government of extra than 50,000 workers, the Ohio IT section has also begun adapting the state’s Multi-Agency Radio Interaction Process, a network utilized by 1st responders, for future-generation 911, Flory stated. It also recently oversaw the launch of a new portal, info.ohio.gov as aspect of the InnovateOhio method, which is led by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

A single of the key targets of the InnovateOhio software is to give Ohioans a steady, unified practical experience throughout agencies’ digital presences, Flory reported.

“You’re heading to see a lot more on the details portal, additional on a consumer-encounter aspect of matters as organizations migrate their internet site to the system,” she said. “They have a typical glance and come to feel, and there’s the accessibility crafted in all of those people matters.”

She also said she’s seeking forward to attempting out new technologies like no-code and reduced-code application progress, which will allow consumers to build products by configuring knowledge sets and visual widgets, rather than sophisticated programming.

“I imagine the COVID pandemic introduced to mild some new possibilities,” she mentioned. “We uncovered the place there have been some handbook procedures that wanted addressing and methods that weren’t quite up to the job.”

Flory’s also making ready for Ohio state employees’ return to their offices. While the point out is still finalizing its post-pandemic strategies, Flory stated lots of of the implementations over the past calendar year — like greater use of VPNs and movie conferencing — will adhere all around as the state moves toward extra of a hybrid function culture.

“I think we’ll see the continued use of these instruments, leveraging them going forward, and possessing some stage of operate-from-home remaining,” she said.

And just as Rodgers, who’s now CIO for the shoe retailer Designer Makes, endorsed Flory to follow him, she was similarly effusive toward her predecessor.

“Ervan surely brought a particular stage of vitality and enthusiasm to all the things,” she explained. “I imagine we both experienced the similar kind of main values.”

1 difference though, she said: She may possibly not maintain the call-and-response “O-H…I-O” chants that Rodgers led at each and every public appearance.