Day 29: Illinois Chief Operating Officer – Former Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle Accelerating Illinois’ Modernization – a 30-day blog

Our guest author today is former governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle. She is the COO for State of Illinois now. In her blog, she tells us about why she chose to come to Illinois, transformational opportunities she sees for our state and the role technology has been playing in it.

I am a native of St. Louis, Missouri, but have spent the past 40 years living in Hawaii where I had the privilege of serving as Governor from 2002-2010.

People ask me all the time why I was willing to leave Hawaii to come to Illinois to be part of the Rauner Administration. Leaving weather aside, the answer is a simple one—Governor Bruce Rauner has a clear vision of how to achieve a more compassionate and competitive Illinois, and I wanted to be a part of that effort.

Realizing his vision of making Illinois the most compassionate and competitive state in America is highly dependent on modernizing and integrating the collection, use, and sharing of data. The Governor gets it. He knows we have to transform our information technology systems and use our data in more effective ways. He has taken concrete steps to achieve that goal by signing an executive order creating the new Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) and including funding in the budget to carry out DoIT’s work.

To show real compassion toward people, we must be able to understand each person as an individual with unique needs rather than as part of a faceless group of “those in need.” To achieve that understanding, data from the state’s health and human service departments must be integrated and shared with each other, with the many private providers around the state that deliver essential services, and with all levels of government.

Illinois is a big and diverse state. Local, county, and state government officials are making thousands of policy and spending decisions each day. They need facts and evidence to understand how those they serve have been and will be impacted by their decisions. Without good data that is accessible to all, it’s impossible to achieve such an understanding.

Our CIO, Hardik Bhatt, is working hard to make sure that the state’s IT Transformation benefits all levels of government. From the smallest town to the largest county, every unit of government must be part of and benefit from the state’s efforts.

But the Governor’s commitment to IT Transformation is about much more than government decision making. In order for Illinois to be competitive with other states, both current and prospective residents and businesses need access to high-quality information in real time.

Such information can serve as the basis for an existing business to stay and expand in Illinois or for a new business to locate here. Sure, there are other factors that go into making such decisions, but having access to accurate and timely information can influence those decisions.

Finally, the State of Illinois’ IT Transformation will make it easier for residents and businesses to interact with government agencies. Areas from online business registration to hunting and fishing licenses will be much more user friendly, and accessible via mobile devices.

Our IT Transformation will enable our state to be more compassionate and competitive, involve all levels of government, and make it easier for everyone to interact with the State of Illinois.

The Governor is committed to this vision, our CIO works 24/7 to carry it out, and our entire team supports their transformational efforts.

Linda Lingle

Chief Operating Officer

P.S. I didn’t think this Winter was so bad.

Stay tuned for a press event with the Governor on Technology tomorrow….