Digital Transformation — A StateScoop Special Report

Digital transformation and IT modernization was in government once the purview of a select few. Now the pandemic is showing how it affects everyone.

Digital transformation, the never-ending process of upgrading old computer systems and business processes with more modern and efficient ones, is usually an esoteric subject, only brought to the public’s attention when things go wrong, like when there’s a disruptive cyberattack, or when a project ends up costing more than anyone had planned or when an emergency appears. The novel coronavirus pandemic that put millions of people out of work and subsequently crashed many state unemployment-insurance systems is the most recent example of why the work of state technology offices is essential to keeping government — and society — operational. Chief information officers and the teams they lead are aware of the crucial role they plan behind the scenes, though that role is becoming increasingly visible. The health crisis has gifted them a platform to share their expertise and reiterate the cost of waiting until the eleventh hour before eliminating decades upon decades of technical debt.