(Photo by Flickr user Austin Kirk, used under a Creative Commons license)
A new report released this week offers a look at the big picture for state government IT in Maryland.
The Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT)’s IT master plan contains a look at lofty goals like affordable broadband access for all by 2022 and info on more manageable changes already in place, like creating a one-stop digital shop for submitting all forms to the government.
DoIT has outlined their four year plan for the states technology infrastructure and security systems. Going forward, DoIT is looking to build on enhanced citizen access it has established through initiatives like the OneStop Portal and open data portals. The state is also drawing on technology to assist in the pandemic, such as the data management platform COVID Link, which was created by DoIT to assist with contact tracing.
“In these times of economic uncertainty, it is imperative that we are using technology and technological processes to create efficiencies and to save resources long term,” Governor Larry Hogan said in a news release.
The master plan shows an intent to modernize IT and steadily invest in the department. Built into the four-year plan is a goal to “Promote IT as a Strategic Investment.” A key goal in this area is to move toward agile development, and away from the ideology of “once-in-a-generation investments.” Another aim is to improve the state’s cybersecurity posture in measurable ways.
When it comes to future goals, DoIT sets a vision for introducing artificial intelligence and machine learning, “Cloud Smart” strategies that rely on open platforms and open source technologies, and moving toward being a “data-centric enterprise.”
On the topic of broadband, the report states that DoIT is looking to support state government efforts to connect homes and businesses that lack access to affordable high speed internet. The department is “exploring emerging technologies in global satellite mesh networks and next generation cellular and wireless technologies, and is also exploring innovative approaches to supporting wireline implementations to bridge this digital divide.”
If the report is to be believed, Maryland is headed to this more technologically advanced future with a $115.2 million budget for the 2021 fiscal year, according to the Maryland Transparency portal. DoIT’s budget for accounts .27% of Maryland’s $43 billion operating budget.-30-
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