Executive Summary

In the government sector, we face continual challenges and opportunities in how we leverage technology to serve citizens. As we ready ourselves for the 2023 legislative session, we are ready to meet these tasks by leveraging strategic improvements across three State (Government) IT Goals and six Higher Education Goals.

State IT Goals

1.    Deploy a world-class government experience
2.    Secure all government-held date in North Dakota
3.    Deliver the most efficient government services in America

To apply technology solutions toward progress in achieving these goals, state IT will focus on the four following strategic themes for 2023-2025. 

Theme 1: Closing Workforce Gaps

Workforce gaps are here, and they will only get worse in the coming years. The harsh reality of ongoing retirements and the highly competitive nature of the job market means that as a state we will need to rely on various forms of automation and modernization to continue to be able to serve our citizens with the available human workforce. This theme focuses on leveraging technology that would allow agency staff to reduce time spent on mundane or non-productive activities, and to make many general office tasks easier.

Theme 2: Enabling Decision Making

Many state jobs require us to make decisions that have a direct impact on ND citizens. How we analyze and respond to various events and information affects state policy, which may have an impact that lasts for decades. Technology projects and solutions in this theme are related to ensuring state staff have access to as many key data points as is possible – so the best decisions may be made, and so staff can focus on the data itself instead of trying to figure out how to get it. 

Theme 3: Managing Risk

This theme is focused on ensuring the risk of having state systems and information breached by a “bad actor” is minimized to the greatest extent possible. Continued enhancements to vulnerability management systems and processes are key to this theme, as are additional work toward a statewide risk management framework for cyber security.

Theme 4: Citizen and Business Engagement

Ensuring ease of access to, and ease of use of, state systems is the core of the citizen and business engagement theme. Projects to support this effort include technologies to allow a citizen to use one login to access state services across multiple state agencies. 

Higher Education

In the education space, technology allows us exciting opportunities to prepare our students with foundational skill sets that are valuable for jobs in any industry. We are continuing to develop and enhance partnerships to support our K-12 educators as well as our higher-education offerings, helping position the state as a leader in computer science and cybersecurity.

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) and State Board of Higher Education have identified six key strategic goals that include; optimized financials, responsive programming, increased student success, a unified system approach, research excellence and innovation, and workforce development.

Supporting NDUS’s infrastructure needs, facilitate digital transformation of systems and services, provide a user experience that is responsive to changing needs and expectations, and improve and enhance the NDUS’ collaborative efforts are some additional NDUS IT goals. 

These goals are supported by the comprehensive themes of academic services, information security, operational efficiency and effectiveness, IT service management, and infrastructure. Within these areas are strategic initiatives to enhance learning and teaching experiences, strengthen information security, manage growing operational requirements with effective solutions, provide a supportive, service-oriented environment, and continuously improve the NDUS’s technology infrastructure. These efforts support a continued focus to serve the NDUS community by providing the best possible experience across the entire NDUS enterprise.

A key part of executing initiatives is leveraging appropriate opportunities for collaboration. The continued development of partnerships with NDUS institutions, NDIT, K-12 and other strategic partners is critical to addressing the needs of the NDUS.

NDUS, NDIT, the Department of Public Instruction, Career and Technology Education (CTE), and more than 40 partners are working together to help inspire the next generation of technology professionals. We are actively engaged with industry leaders to expand computer science programming, certifications, degrees, apprenticeships, and credentialing, while providing educators with valuable training and classroom resources.

Part of that effort has been undertaken by the NDUS’ Dakota Digital Academy (DDA) initiative, which serves to coordinate, expand, and enhance educational opportunities in computing and cyber sciences in ND and the upper Midwest. The DDA leverages resources from all 11 NDUS institutions to prepare our future workforce and create new economic growth sectors in the state. Already, the initiative has seen new courses created and grants awarded that helped educators attend cyber bootcamps.

Additionally, colleges are collaborating with the ND Center for Distance Education to create new opportunities for technical and business professionals to teach crucial skills to our future workforce online. Across the state’s educational enterprise, entities are working together to engage in collaborative data-decision making, which includes utilizing the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) and the dashboard.

The use of technologies to deliver instruction has become increasingly important across the North Dakota University System. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced remote delivery of instruction, the adoption and usage of high-tech, project-based, hands-on tools continue to remain in high demand as more traditional forms of teaching and learning have returned to campuses. Moreover, the NDUS investment and adoption of learning technologies can be directly attributed to a .4 percent increase in enrollment from the fall 2021 semester to the fall 2022 semester, while the national enrollment fell by 1.1 percent during the same period.

Across all technology interactions, cybersecurity and the protection of our state and citizens’ data remains a critical priority. We continue to work closely with the Legislature to enhance our state’s cybersecurity posture. By aligning the people, processes and technologies spanning our IT enterprises we will be able to better respond and adapt to the evolving threat landscape.

Within the context of Governor Burgum’s five strategic initiatives, and with the strong leadership of the state’s educational leaders, North Dakota has a singular focus on how technology can help our citizens succeed.

Shawn Riley Profile Darin King Profile
Shawn Riley Darin King
Chief Information Officer, State of ND Vice Chancellor of IT, ND University System

The Statewide IT Plan Dashboard

IT goals, objectives, and accomplishments for nearly all Executive Branch agencies, the Judicial Branch, the Legislative Branch, the K-12 Educational System, and the ND University System, are viewable from one Statewide IT Planning Dashboard

Additionally, information about state government major IT projects (those that have budgets of $500,000 and over) that are to have funding requests presented during the 68th Legislative Assembly in 2023 have been ranked by the State IT Advisory Committee.