Digital Transformation — A StateScoop & EdScoop Special Report

In this special report, StateScoop and EdScoop go beyond the buzzwords and into what digital transformation is meaning in real-time for the public sector.

“Digital transformation” may mean different things depending on who’s explaining what it is, but most technologists agree that it involves making services better than they were.

The private sector — companies like Amazon, Netflix and Domino’s Pizza — are frequent objects of admiration for state and local chief information officers who strive to make their own digital services as easy and enjoyable to use.

But in many cities, technology chiefs told StateScoop, they’re concerned with first connecting their populations to the internet, because services don’t mean much to those who can’t access them.

In state governments, meanwhile, efforts are constant to improve services and the digital infrastructure that supports them. But first, officials said, they must form tight relationships with their business partners, and that means explaining what terms like “digital transformation” mean.

During the pandemic, state and local governments got a helping hand from the U.S. Digital Response, a new organization formed specifically for that purpose. And in an interview with StateScoop, its leader shared a vision for the group’s future that expands beyond emergency response efforts.

In colleges and universities, too, digital transformation is on the minds of institutional leaders. Administrators said they’re gathering data and sending more-personalized messages to improve engagement with their student populations.

Enjoy StateScoop and EdScoop’s special report on digital transformation.

StateScoop List

14 tech buzzwords that are confusing everyone

by | SEP 21, 2021

Buzzwords thrive because they’re immensely useful as a shorthand when all parties involved have a common understanding of the concepts they represent — big ideas can be packed into just a few syllables. But as state and local chief information officers pointed out to StateScoop in recent interviews, buzzwords can also be pernicious. “I think buzzwords are really dangerous to use because your business partners don’t understand,” Nebraska CIO Ed Toner said. “You really should be describing what you want in plain language. With buzzwords, no one wants to challenge you because they don’t want to show they don’t understand this hip, cool jargon.” CIOs said they often work with people who misunderstand various terms and that careless application of language sows confusion. Maryland CIO Michael Leahy said buzzwords erode the integrity of language that organizational leaders depend on to do their work. “We’re changing long-standing definitions of words that […]