June 12, 2018, Albany, NY
The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) is pleased to highlight recent technological advances that are creating a better New York.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's agenda, of which information technology (IT) is a critical component, is focused on digital transformation to move New York State forward and expand innovative services for New York's citizens, visitors, and businesses.
In 2012, Governor Cuomo made a bold and progressive move to transform New York's IT services by creating one State IT delivery organization - ITS. Through the consolidation, ITS has leveraged the tremendous talent in the State's IT workforce to standardize IT investments, systems and applications across State government to advance the State's competitiveness and capabilities.
"ITS is a world-class IT organization and a true leader in the public-sector technology arena. ITS is working diligently with our State agency clients to transform how New York State delivers critical services to citizens, agencies, and local governments," said Robert H. Samson, New York State Chief Information Officer. "The work we do will continue to make a difference as we deliver innovation that matters for all New Yorkers."
Through the power of innovation, ITS is deploying for its client agencies new systems and applications to change the way New Yorkers access critical statewide services including required business inspections, healthcare, public safety, and transportation. These new services rival the best of the commercial world in functionality, availability, reliability, usability, and security.
eWIC - ITS and the New York State Department of Health recently delivered eWIC, an electronic benefits transfer card which eliminates paper checks and provides a more convenient way for families in the Women, Infants and Children program to shop for WIC foods. On April 30, 2018, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of the Capital Region pilot program, and ITS will introduce the eWIC technology statewide for all WIC clinics and vendors by spring 2019.
Excelsior Scholarship Program - Governor Cuomo's Excelsior Scholarship Program, the first-in-the-nation free tuition program, eases the burden of paying for the cost of college for qualified New Yorkers. ITS worked closely with the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to build, test and launch the scholarship application. This critical work required building an eligibility module that includes an interface between the Department of Taxation and Finance, SUNY and CUNY campuses, and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid data. ITS continues to work closely with HESC to support and enhance the application.
Plant Inspection Mobile App - When the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets sought to improve the efficiency of its plant inspections, ITS developed a mobile application to streamline the inspection process for New York's nearly 9,000 nurseries, greenhouses, and retail markets where plants and flowers are grown or sold. The Plant Inspection Mobile App puts technology at the fingertips of the State's plant inspectors and allows for enhanced reporting, increased efficiency, and improved communications throughout the agricultural industry.
Treatment Availability Dashboard - ITS partnered with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS) to develop the OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard. Citizens struggling with addiction, care coordinators, and health insurance providers can now find treatment anywhere in the state in real time using the Treatment Availability Dashboard, which works on mobile devices and uses location services for accuracy.
New Services for the Aging - ITS worked with the New York State Office for the Aging to create a first-in-the-nation mobile app connecting New York's more than 3.7 million older adults to services and benefits in their communities. Governor Cuomo first announced the app in 2017, which supports the Governor's goal to make New York the healthiest state, and aligns with New York State being designated the first age-friendly state by AARP and the World Health Organization.
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Modern technology allows these new discreet electronic WIC cards to offer a more convenient way for eligible families to shop for foods and reduce the stigma sometimes associated with program participation. With the support of ITS, we've successfully launched eWIC in the Capital Region and look forward to their continued support as this innovative technology is introduced statewide in the coming months."
New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Acting President Dr. Guillermo Linares said, "ITS worked tirelessly with HESC staff to allow for the successful launch and implementation of the Excelsior Scholarship program, allowing tens of thousands of students to attend college tuition free this year. Without the commitment of the many talented ITS staff, we could not have accomplished all that was accomplished in the period of time needed."
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York's horticultural sector is a strong part of the state's economy, so it's important that we are responding to our nursery and greenhouse owners in a timely manner and providing them the most comprehensive, up-to-date information. The mobile app that was created by ITS for the Department's Plant Industry Division has allowed our plant inspectors to more quickly identify and track trends and address any potential concerns, such as harmful pests, plant diseases and invasive species, to protect the industry."
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez said, "OASAS is always looking for ways to expand how we can share information and resources with individuals and families who are struggling with addiction. The technology used in the OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard has been invaluable in enabling us to increase access to public information regarding readily available openings for addiction treatment services including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care."
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, "We have been proud to partner with ITS in creating the first statewide aging services mobile app, which provides New York's older adults and caregivers with access to local resources and services that help them remain healthy and connected to their communities. Under Governor's Cuomo's leadership, New York State was designated the first age-friendly state in the nation in 2017, and NYSOFA's ongoing collaboration with ITS on this innovative app serves as another example of how New York is using technology to help build stronger, healthier, age-friendly communities."
In addition to the IT projects making a significant impact across New York State, a number of ITS employees have recently garnered special recognition on the national stage. The following employees have been recognized for their talent and leadership in public stewardship and for driving IT forward in New York to improve and advance the business of government.
Robert H. Samson, New York State Chief Information Officer, honored as a 2018 StateScoop 50 award winner for GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year - This award honors a visionary state executive leading state government into a new technology landscape with innovative ideas and by inspiring others to join the cause. Nominees are selected by members of the state and local IT community and awardees are selected through a national vote of more than 500,000 StateScoop readers. Mr. Samson was honored for his exemplary leadership with a focus on client-centricity, the pursuit of innovative paths to make technology work smarter for citizens and businesses, and implementation of process driven approaches like LEAN to meet the State's objectives.
Karen Geduldig, New York State Executive Deputy CIO, honored as 2018 CIO of the Year by Government Technology - This award recognizes exceptional leadership and contributions to IT in New York State. Ms. Geduldig was selected for her unparalleled vision and performance in driving New York State's innovation agenda forward through the deployment of technology solutions that improve the lives and livelihoods of New Yorkers. Ms. Geduldig was also honored as one of StateScoop's Top Women in Technology for 2018 - This award honors Ms. Geduldig's spirit of innovation, leadership, professional achievements and influence in the government technology industry.
Shoshanah Bewlay, Chief General Counsel, honored as 2018 NYS IT Leader of the Year by Government Technology - This award recognizes exceptional IT leadership in New York State. Ms. Bewlay was selected for her dedication to finding innovative solutions to complex challenges, commitment to applying the agency's strategic vision to enhance and guide its business decisions, and focus on the cultivation of future leaders.
Deborah Snyder, New York State Chief Information Security Officer, honored as a 2018 Change Maker by the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society - This award recognizes individuals who lead by example and make our world a more positive and affirming place. Ms. Snyder was honored for her spirit of innovation, dedication to making New York State more secure, and leadership in creating future cyber security leaders.
In addition to executive level recognition, Government Technology recognized 38 ITS employees as Outstanding IT Managers in 2018 for demonstrating exemplary leadership, customer service, and public stewardship through team-leading, implementing innovative solutions, and serving ITS and its clients. The ITS 2018 New York State Outstanding IT Managers are:
The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) was created in 2012 to transform IT services in an effort to make New York State government work smarter for its citizens and enable the state to be accessible for businesses through the use of technology. ITS provides statewide IT strategic direction, directs IT policy and delivers centralized IT products and services that support the mission of the State. ITS operates data centers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support statewide mission-critical applications for over 50 Agencies, over 17 million citizen accounts, 120,000 employee accounts, 60,000 phones, 99,000 desktops and laptops, and 3,433 Virtual Desktop remote connections. ITS operates a secure network of over 1,600 miles of fiber to deliver telecommunications, Internet and Intranet services, enterprise email systems and support, IT training, networking, data storage and processing to State government entities in addition to developing new services in support of citizens, businesses and State Agencies.