Why Vermont Digital Services Kept Employees Embedded in Agencies

Norwich University is helping Vermont stand up its security operations center.

Norwich University is helping Vermont stand up its security operations center.


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The agency is eying an April launch of its security operations center.

Rather than turning to outside consultants and vendors, when Vermont established its Agency of Digital Services 19 months ago the state left most of the employees embedded in their original agencies.

Created by executive order, the new agency’s mandate is to consolidate all information technology resources across the executive branch, and the ADS was level funded in both 2017 and 2018.

By keeping seasoned IT personnel inside state agencies, Vermont retains their institutional knowledge to better identify waste, said Chief Information Officer John Quinn.

“We’re able to better coordinate and listen to the employees and utilize resources across the agencies that we weren’t able to do before,” Quinn told Route Fifty.

Cybersecurity is ADS’s primary aim, and the agency hopes to launch a security operations center at local Norwich University by April 2019. The center will provide penetration testing of systems and other cyber resources to state agencies.

ADS is also working on integrated eligibility, a human services project to modernize legacy enrollment programs like the Vermont’s child services and Department of Motor Vehicles applications.

The three job categories Quinn is focused on are security, project management and enterprise architecture.

“We need to make sure our systems integrate, especially as we move to the cloud,” Quinn said.

Watch Route Fifty’s full interview with Quinn at the National Association of State CIOs 2018 annual conference in San Diego below.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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