Technology Trends Transforming Government

Technology Trends Transforming Government

Jonathan Rike, Chief Information Officer, City of Dayton

Jonathan Rike, Chief Information Officer, City of Dayton

Jonathan Rike presently works as the Chief Information Officer at the City of Dayton. He is a dynamic IT executive with demonstrated ability to build and lead high-performing teams. He is resourceful and creative, with a proven aptitude to quickly evaluate and solve complex business problems. Jonathan is also an articulate communicator with a proven track record of aligning innovative IT solutions with strategic business objectives that improve and advance the customer experience.

How has government space evolved through the years?

As technology becomes more prominent in every aspect of life, citizens’ expectations of their government have certainly evolved.  To compete in the Amazon era of service management it’s no longer sufficientfor the public sector to simply provide great customer service between the hours of 8 and 5.  Today’s customers want 24x7 services that are digital, seamlessly integrated, and flexible enough to meet them where they are… This relatively new demand for elevated and enhanced service has been a tremendous driver for public sector digital transformation and has only accelerated as a result of the pandemic.  The continual pressure to enhance service provisioning will assuredly continue to drive evolution in the government space for the foreseeable future. 

What are some of the technological trends that you see in the government space today?

There are a variety of technological trends that are impacting the government space but two that come to mind are IoT and machine learning.  We’re increasingly using IoT devices to automate operations and facilitate efficiencies and the vast amount of data being collected is truly mind-boggling.  To make sense of the data and drive good decision-making new technologies and techniques associated with machine learning are critically important.  As we continue to adopt additional “smart city” technologies the need for enhanced and augmented data analytics will surely grow and evolve. 

"One of the factors that really accelerated the pace of evolution for all levels of government, including local, county, state, and federal, is the pandemic. Covid 19 fundamentally shifted the public sector paradigm and required agencies at all levels to re-evaluate their business model and begin developing ways to digitize services and ensure continuity of delivery in the absence of physical contact"

What are some of the challenges you witness in government space?

The lack of understandingand commitment regarding the importance of maintaining a holistic cyber security program is one of the most significant challenges in the government space. As you may know, every investment decision in the public sector has an opportunity cost that can directly impact the citizens’ quality of life.  When making determinations on potential investments it’s easy to neglect items that reside in the background and only become important during or after a cybersecurity breach.  To that end, cybersecurity investments are like insurance policies and in most cases, you don’t see the value unless you’ve had an issue.  That dynamic is very challenging and creates an environment where organizations are likely to underspend on their defenses and encumber unnecessary cyber risk. 

What are some of the projects that you've been practicing to overcome the impact of Covid at your organization?

As we looked at how covid impacted our citizens it became very clear that the pandemic created a significant challenge for those without access to devices and internet service.  In response, the City of Dayton began exploring ways in which we could leverage our assets and infrastructure to bridge the digital divide and ensure equal access to essential services such as education and health care.  We’re currently evaluating options for expanding and leveraging our fiber network to increase carrier competition and reduce service subscription costs. Additionally, we’re alsoworking with State of Ohio officials to fund and create technology-enabled community hubs at our Recreation centers. 

How do you envision the future of government space?

When I think about the future of government space, I see a borderless landscape that is free of jurisdictional boundaries and silos.  One where agencies at all levels share data and technological resources to provide the services and support our constituents need to live their best life. 

What are some of the good practices that a leader should follow in order to run their organization seamlessly?

When it comes to good practices that lead to great performance the keys are people, processes, and technology/tools.  A leader’s ability to continually adjust and recalibrate the alignment between these three variables truly reflects the gap between good and great.  

What would be your piece of advice for the budding entrepreneur in this field?

Enjoy the process of becoming! I think in life we often try to speed the process of reaching a given objective without fully embracing or appreciating the journey.  As Kobe Bryant said, "Those times when you get up early... those times when you stay up late... when you're too tired... you don't want to push yourself, but you do it anyway.   That is actually the dream."  Enjoy the ride, learn from your mistakes, and always put relationships first!

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