Government Technology magazine recently announced its 2018 Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers. Now in its 17th year, this year’s Top 25 honorees are 23 individuals and two teams who are modernizing, consolidating, innovating and otherwise transforming government using technology. Joining the state and local chief information officers on this year’s list are chief innovation officers and other leaders using their talents to advance the cause of digital government.
“The Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2018 show a steadfast commitment to public service,” said Noelle Knell, editor of Government Technology. “Their vision and technology expertise is helping craft personal, equitable services for citizens and efficient 21st-century government.”
After more than a decade with Utah’s Department of Technology Services (DTS) and two at its helm, CIO Mike Hussey takes a personal view of his work, in a state where leading-edge IT has become the norm. While he knows well the value of initiatives like Utah’s tech consolidation, or the $200 million in savings they saw in centralizing state data centers from 35 down to just two, for Hussey, the highlights are in the details.
Hussey is proud of his agency, yet humble about his own accomplishments. “I’ve been riding the coattails of some very successful CIOs,” he said, yet that does little to account for the nuance he brings to his role. After seeing that IT consolidation through to fruition, he said, what’s left is the culture change, getting everyone involved to see themselves as a unified enterprise system. From there, Hussey can get DTS to do more with less. The department has already met Gov. Gary Herbert’s statewide challenge to become 25 percent more efficient, but, said Hussey, “we’re continually looking at ways that we might find those efficiencies in state government, utilizing technology to help us get there.”
And he sees opportunity for those efficiencies not only for state agencies, but also for citizens — for himself and his neighbors. It all comes back to how to make government more accessible for Utahans. As an example, he described going to the Division of Motor Vehicles to transfer a title when his son purchased a new car, and then asking, “Why are we having to set foot in a building when we can do everything else online?” He then began looking into solutions such as electronic titles built on blockchain technology.
His ability to look at tech from the perspective of both CIO and resident is clear in his focus on simplifying government processes, bringing state services to people where they are. Customer service, as Hussey said, is “just in my DNA.”