JEFFERSON CITY – The State of Missouri and its Information Technology Services Division (ITSD), within the Office of Administration, have been recognized with national awards for superior IT services and innovative projects. This week, Gov. Mike Parson is highlighting the importance of computer science education in Missouri as computer science skills become more desired in the workforce.
The National Association of Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), a national organization representing Chief Information Officers across the country, recently recognized the ITSD’s Office of Cyber Security (OCS) as a finalist and overall winner for the 2018 Cybersecurity Award at its 30th annual conference.
Judging criteria considered whether projects incorporated a visionary and transformational use of information technology, identified solutions to addressing an important dilemma, and lead to substantial change that made state government better. OCS was awarded the top prize for its Vendor Security Risk Management Program, which was implemented to mitigate potential security challenges from outside vendors.
“IT professionals play a critical role in any organization and that’s especially true for the State of Missouri,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “I applaud the dedication of IT professionals in the State of Missouri, and I’m glad to see their hard work being recognized at the national level. They continuously work to ensure our data is protected, our IT systems are functioning properly, and our citizens can access the information they need online.”
The State of Missouri also recently earned the prestigious “A” grade in the Center for Digital Government’s 2018 Digital States Survey. Every two years, the Center for Digital Government evaluates state governments’ use of digital technologies to better serve their citizens and streamline operations. Missouri was one of five elite states nationwide to receive the “A” grade. The state also earned the top grade in 2014 and 2016.
“Technology changes constantly, which can present a challenge for state governments, but the State of Missouri continues to live up to that challenge. Missouri’s ‘A’ grade for three consecutive years of the Digital States Survey demonstrates that,” Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and I look forward to introducing more innovative projects to benefit the citizens of Missouri.”
“We are so thankful for our team of talented IT professionals who commit themselves to finding solutions every day, while looking ahead to find ways to work better,” Mike Cheles, State of Missouri CIO, said. “Our dedicated IT professionals work behind-the-scenes to make a difference and improve how state government operates.”
According to the Center for Digital Government, states that receive an “A” grade are “trending sharply up. They show results across all survey categories. Modernization is used to realize operational efficiencies and strategic priorities. There is evidence of meaningful collaboration, and performance measures and metrics are widely adopted.”
In its report, the Center for Digital Government noted Missouri’s continued superior performance was a result of its “strong stance on cybersecurity, ability to streamline using technology, and interest in soliciting citizen feedback and putting it to use.”
Missouri also scored highly based on its emergency preparedness with its IT business continuity and disaster recovery plan, its network operation center that can operate mobile, participation in an annual disaster recovery exercise, and its statewide interoperable communications network for federal, state, and local public safety officials.
In addition to earning the top grade, the State of Missouri also earned first place in the Finance and Administration category and second place in the Adaptive Leadership category.