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Connecticut consolidates

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced yesterday that the state government will begin consolidating its federated IT operations into a single organization in an effort to improve agencies’ performance, upgrade technology assets more efficiently and strengthen cybersecurity. The consolidation, which will take about a year to complete, will result in a single IT shop under the leadership of state CIO Mark Raymond. “The world has been changing much more rapidly,” Raymond told StateScoop this morning. “The static IT approach doesn’t allow us to address that.” Benjamin Freed reports.

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Illinois seeks hunger solution through tech

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will use new digital tools, including mobile apps, online scheduling systems and digital discount-lunch applications to expand the state’s food assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state announced last week. The plan calls for innovation across the state’s food distribution channels, specifically for the technology to enable community-based organizations to assist with applications for SNAP benefits and matching SNAP data with data from free and discount meal programs in public schools. Ryan Johnston has details.

Buffalo gets back to school

Public schools in Buffalo, New York, returned to virtual learning yesterday for the first time since an apparent ransomware incident late last week disrupted classes. Superintendent Kriner Cash told the local school board Wednesday “wired and wireless activity” has been restored in the district’s schools, which serve about 34,000 students. Buffalo Public Schools CIO Maya Burden also said the district will develop a "road map" to harden schools’ IT infrastructure, improve access controls and implement greater cybersecurity training. Ben has more on EdScoop.

Tech firm Unite Us raises $150M to expand states' 'whole-person care'

The health-care software company Unite Us announced on Tuesday it’s raised $150 million in financing that will allow it to further expand its presence in states that are embracing so-called whole-person care for individuals exiting the criminal justice system. The funding, led by the investment firm ICONIQ Growth, will allow the company to further support government agencies and community organizations in the 42 states that use its technology to integrate disparate social welfare systems, executives said. Colin Wood has more.


Strategies to drive better outcomes from existing security programs

While last year’s modernization initiatives could be largely categorized as fast, reactive decisions to keep operations running at state and local agencies during the pandemic, today, CIOs and CISOs need to take a step back to consider larger questions around the security implications of those decisions. Security adviser Wendy Nather discusses a recent study correlating key security strategies to statistically greater program outcomes. Hear more insights from Nather.

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