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Open Government discussion success: NASTD experience

By Andrea Katsivels posted 09-24-2015 09:04


Validation: Government Agencies and Technology Providers (affiliates, vendors, consultants) must work together in a cooperative manner to address the needs of constituents and governments alike.

I recently attended the National Association of State Technology Directors(NASTD) 2015 Annual Conference in Cincinnati, OH. The event focus,“Collaboration Through Partnerships: Leveraging Core Competencies in State Government,” couldn’t have been more appropriate for the mood and interactions the event generated – emphasizing a reality I and others in the government vendor category face – how critical and rare it is that these open dialog moments occur and to grasp and nurture them in the manner they are offered.

This blog is a kudos and shout-out to the exceptional State and Corporate Affiliate leaders and members of NASTD and a bit of thought-provoking stream of consciousness. While I have been participating in government procurement business throughout my career, the experience with this group in August stood out to me as one that exemplified:

3 critical elements for Government technology efforts


Open and clear dialog: 

Attendees at this conference had one goal in mind – to generate effective discussions and ideas that evolve how we work together to improve the delivery of services and programs to our citizens. And the results were bountiful.  When restrictive barriers are removed and thought leadership reins, both Agency and partner technology experts can share information, solutions, and ideas of how to help the States achieve their technology goals. Discussions covered aspects of cloud platforms, cyber security, integrated systems, consulting and SI support, transparency, and more. The success of this intrigued me, and I did a little digging online for other open government discussions. These might interest you as well:

2. Collaboration: Government Agencies and their highly talented teams:

  • Cannot do it (whatever “it” may be…maintaining, upgrading, innovating, securing, etc.) on their own

  • Need congruent collaboration with technology providers to ensure a technology infrastructure that addresses the growing needs of today’s mobile constituents

In fact, take note of this live survey from the conference that addresses State cloud services focus:

This Government Technology article I dug up online validates this point. “I think the best thing they can do is talk to each other…” one source in the article cited.

3. Interest in next-gen technology: State Agencies are not resting on their laurels.

Many have next-generation technology mandates or have realized the time is now to elevate State systems and leverage partner expertise to do so. It’s not easy, and States aren’t expected to go it alone. 

During the NASTD Conference, these State technology leaders agreed:

  • Craig Orgeron, Mississippi CIO, stated, “States have a set of things to take care of, have to introduce apps and tech - while managing disco era systems at the same time." In fact, check out a video where Orgeron discusses the State’s modernization efforts on
  • Dean Johnson, COO of Georgia Technology Authority and NASTD President, emphasized “It’s important to have a partner take tactical day-to-day issues and manage them for us." We agree and love working with you and your team in Georgia!
  • Doug Robinson, NASCIO Executive Director, recommended, "CIOs can provide more steering and guidance, let others do the rowing." Lookhere for a slide he presented about CIO outsourcing priorities.  

Government technology advancements take considerable time, resources, and dedication. This article acknowledges the experts and efforts behind these massive undertakings.  States, the right partners are out there to walk by your side, guide you, and support you to improve the lives and best serve the wonderful citizens you serve.


If you’d like to learn more about next-gen technologies at work, check out this Contact Solutions State case study on mobile constituent engagement.


Andrea Katsivelis is an enterprise marketing professional with a passion for helping companies and their partners shine. Please like and share this post, and follow Andrea on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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