The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) has published its 2022 Biennial Performance Report that tracks state agencies’ technology progress in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, and set forth tech goals for the next five years.

The City of Round Rock, Texas – a city north of Austin – has appointed Ramsey Saad to serve as its chief information officer (CIO), leading the city’s Information Technology Department.

Governments are dealing with a big spike in cybercrime, and as international ransomware attacks escalate, state and local governments are being increasingly targeted. Texas is not immune to the trend, and state Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Nancy Rainosek provides a unique look at how the Lone Star State is reacting to the crime wave with a blow-by-blow description of a serious ransomware attack.

Senior IT officials from Texas and Pennsylvania agreed this week at the Route Fifty Tech Summit that the key to success in meeting cybersecurity challenges is collaboration among all the governmental entities – Federal, state and local – along with their vendor partners.

Scalability, flexibility, efficiency, and innovation – more than mere buzzwords, they are requirements for state agencies grappling with unprecedented technology demand. In one of the largest U.S. states, the IT department provides a full spectrum of technology services to nearly 30 state agencies, but as time and technology advanced, department leaders realized its single-vendor contract limited agencies’ ability to access best-of-breed technology and expertise.

The State of Texas announced a new digital alliance with Microsoft to address the need for digital and technical skills in the workforce. In an Oct. 22 press release, Texas and Microsoft said the alliance is “intended to create new economic opportunity, close equity, and digital skills gaps, and prepare a workforce for the 21st century.”

COVID-19 has radically changed how state and local government (SLG) services are delivered and how their workforces operate. As employees moved from physical offices to their homes, government services had to be virtualized. This has presented SLG IT teams with a host of new concerns – chief among them is cybersecurity.

In April, the State of Texas launched a coordinated effort to handle a surge of new payment activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To accommodate the increased workload, Accenture, which administers the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) program on behalf of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, immediately called on its robotics process automation (RPA) group to plan an expansion of its digital worker program.

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