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The State of Colorado Puts Innovation First


Editor’s notice: Colorado has enticed all types of pioneers on account that its Wild West beginnings. We’re excited to spotlight a handful of those trailblazers – the intrepid entrepreneurs, aspiring micro-brewers and bold idea leaders – who’ve helped create the adventurous and progressive tradition the Centennial State is famous for. As of late, we hear from Kristin D. Russell, Secretary of Know-how and State Chief Knowledge Officer for the State of Colorado’s Place of business of Knowledge Expertise.

The Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is leading an effort to transform government through the use of shared information technology services. As we shift from “business as usual” processes and tools towards innovative solutions that enable the efficient, effective, and elegant delivery of services, we look more and more to cloud-based services and solutions. In fact, we have published a “Cloud First” strategy for Colorado.

The move to Google Apps for Government in Colorado allowed us to replace our 15 siloed and disparate email systems, and the 50 servers supporting them, into a single, cloud-based solution. Now, not only do our more than 26,000 employees have a common email, calendar and collaboration system, they have the ability to work together on Google Docs, allowing teams to work together and share information across departments. This accessibility has also helped to enable a BYOD (bring your own device) program that lets employees work the way they want to work – even when they’re not sitting at their desks.

We are also taking advantage of Google Sites. Since Google Sites doesn’t require extensive web development skills, state agencies are now empowered to create helpful resources, both internally and externally, for a number of programs. TobaccoFreeCO.org, for example, was built on Google Sites and provides information on the effects of second-hand smoke and resources on quitting smoking. When unprecedented flooding devasted many areas of Colorado in recent months, we built a Google Map to help organize recovery efforts and then set up the ColoradoUnited.com website to provide the latest updates and provide an interactive way to assist flood victims as they rebuild.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper often talks about the “three E’s” – making government more efficient, effective, and elegant. In Colorado we in the Governor’s Office of Information Technology are in the business of using innovative technology to accomplish just that.

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