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Insights for Enriching Community Service

By Vicky Irey, CIO, City Overland Park

Vicky Irey, CIO, City Overland Park

Evolving Role of a CIO

A CIO’s role has transformed from a technology administrator to a business enabler. Today, the biggest challenge for a CIO is to bring to bear the large data sets to improve an organization’s bottom line.

Dealing with Third Party Vendors

A CIO needs to be an active player in overseeing all the technology transformation, especially in the government sector. Currently, every industry is assuaged of the monolithic IT infrastructure and legacy systems and is heading toward adopting ERP system. Once the ERP-based managed security service is implemented, it becomes crucial for a CIO to keep a track of the security assessment. It is mandatory for CIOs to assess the vendor management strategy from an operational risk perspective, since any new risk factor that exceeds the risk tolerance threshold can render a government organization vulnerable to threats. We need to constantly keep the projects running within the allotted budget. Along with the evaluation of the internal risk tolerance levels, we need clear strategies that can help reduce the severity of issues.

"We have found that with meaningful relationships, false perceptions or challenges can be overcome and the entire organization ‘wins'"

New Technology and Public Sector: The Perfect Allies

Considering the momentum at which all the technological trends such as big data, IoT, and cloud are evolving, a CIO’s role gets more challenging in selecting the right technology. Today, we witness a lot of public sector organizations adopting IoT, CRM, and leveraging business intelligence to improve the quality of information. Furthermore, the population demands greater and better services. Therefore it becomes imperative to work closely with business partners, and at the same time ensure that you have selected the best technology solution for the citizens. Take time to build and maintain relationships, and get to know your customer. We have found that with meaningful relationships, false perceptions or challenges can be overcome and the entire organization ‘wins’.

Work Culture that Influences Productivity

Innovation is key to success that can be molded to enhance the organization’s productivity. It is difficult to find dedicated and talented individuals, and with the private sector at par in recruitment, it has become competitive in terms of salary. At Overland Park, we constantly work toward developing effective communication skills while focusing on the organizational goals. The employees look for a decent career within the public sector, and we offer them a workplace that works in tandem with the latest technology trends alongside providing room for innovation.

Advice to Upcoming CIOs

My advice to a new CIO is to learn about the business and understand the shortcomings that exist within their functionality. Meet your counterparts from other departments and develop the understanding of what they are working on. Along the same lines, get to know your staff, their strengths and weaknesses and leverage them for the greater good of the organization. Empower your team to do what they do best which is to execute on your vision. Don’t just manage but lead your team. This entails describing your vision and expectations, focusing on strategy and outcomes, setting priorities and removing obstacles, and defining a clear direction. Finally, explore the potential within your team and watch them progress, for it is a rewarding experience for everyone involved.