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State IT's 'federalist moment'?

COVID-19 put states’ technology in headlines for all the wrong reasons, such as when unemployment systems buckled under unprecedented volume, leading often to anger and frustration. But as the pandemic's continued, amid a dithering federal response, many states have become laboratories of innovation in maintaining the programs that keep people safe, former New York Interim CIO Jeremy Goldberg writes in a new commentary. And when the country emerges from the health crisis, he writes, state IT should have a <em>federalist moment</em> in which the same principle of shared power that shapes our political system will be the main driver of government technology, with a greater role for state leadership in developing the tools and applications that power public services. Read the full commentary.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Contact tracing app credited with slowing virus

Minnesota’s contact tracing app played a contributing role in the state’s ability to lower COVID-19 case levels after the virus peaked in November, statewide Chief Information Officer Tarek Tomes said in an interview Wednesday. With new daily cases now a fraction of what they were several weeks ago, Tomes said the state hopes to continue that positive trend with the upcoming launch of an online dashboard that tracks data on COVID-19 vaccinations. Tomes said about 380,000 people have downloaded Minnesota's official contact tracing app, out of a statewide population of 5.6 million. Colin Wood reports.


When the pandemic broke the traditional security model

Security adviser Wendy Nather discusses how the pandemic and mass work-from-home initiative is a driving force for the IT community to reconsider their security assumptions. Fundamentally, the community needs to address the health of devices connecting to agency resources, Nather says. Zero-trust adoption will be key to simplifying security adoption in 2021. Read more from Nather.

Baltimore relaunches open data portal on Esri platform

To ensure that Baltimore’s public data is easily navigable and engaging for residents, the city government recently migrated its open data portal to a new platform. The new Open Data Baltimore Hub enables dashboards, data visualizations and the use of “StoryMaps,” a tool from the mapping software firm Esri that enables publishers to merge data with maps, text and other multimedia content to tell stories. Baltimore officials also said the new platform and its APIs will make it clearer which data is taken from city agencies and which data is provided by the public. Ryan Johnston has details.


Sonoma County officials gain notable efficiencies with e-signature tool

IT leaders in Sonoma County, California, targeted key user groups to demonstrate the time-saving effectiveness of an e-signature solution and gain support for broader adoption. Following the strategic rollout of a digital e-signature tool, both citizens and employees are experiencing dramatically quicker processing and approval times. Jim McKenney and Carolyn Staats share how they implemented their winning strategy. Listen to the conversation.

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