Virginia taps data analytics, cloud in its innovation strategy, governor says

For Terry McAuliffe, innovation is about more than just technology.

The term-limited Democratic governor ofVirginia says innovation starts with serving citizens and continues as states both use data to streamline operations and open up data for citizens to use.

For a state, innovation means how do we best serve our citizens, McAuliffe says ina video interview at VMWares Public Sector Innovation Summit, produced by FedScoop and StateScoop.How do we provide them with the best data? How do we use data analytics to make the services that we as a state government provide for them more efficient?

Indeed in Virginia, data analytics has been a key focus of McAuliffe and the cabinet-level Department of Technology, helmed by Karen Jackson. The department and the governors office put on an annual summit on data analytics and a datathon where state agencies and developers band together to tackle a particular issue.T

The governor also saysthe states use of cloud computing is bringing more efficiencies to government.

Let me tell you what the cloud means to us in Virginia No. 1, what a cost savings, McAuliffe says. We can store information in the cloud that we dont have to have those costly infrastructure hardware costs at the state level. Its a gigantic cost savings for thecommonwealth.

McAuliffe also saysthe state saves money by having a nearly unlimited capacity in the cloud, making data storage cheap and efficient, and enabling more efficient data sharing across state agencies.

Were moving away from that hardware on the ground to the cloud, McAuliffe says. Were using innovation to drive what I call those new 21st century economy jobs.

Those 21st century jobs and innovation come in more than just data analytics and cloud, though, McAuliffe says. Last month, the state opened a new runway exclusively for drones on the states Wallops Island facility, which houses the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and isoperated by NASA. Itwas one of the key locations where Virginia Tech students tested drones as part of a test site program with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Innovation is everything that we touch, every way we communicate with our citizens, McAuliffe says. Thats what innovation and using the tools through cybersecurity, through data analytics, to really take Virginia for them to actually be a leader.