Since becoming CIO of Colorado in May 2014, Suma Nallapati has focused on cloud computing and improving the user experience. Prior to state government, she led service delivery operations for Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest health-care networks, and co-founded an IT consulting firm, which helps frame her thinking when working with tech startups and entrepreneurs. We caught up with her in November at the Reverb conference in Denver, where the idea was posed that “government” should become the next noun to morph into a verb. “We Google, we tweet, we Uber, we Airbnb,” Nallapati said. “We should come up with a great word for that, and it should be so modern and effective that people look forward to interacting with government.”
1. Can you discuss your goal of government becoming more like Amazon.com?
We are looking at transforming government to make it so effective, efficient and elegant that users who interact with government can feel like they’re shopping on Amazon. If they need a hunting license, a driver’s license, a fishing license, they can go to this one-stop shop mobile platform and have that same experience when they go on the portal, Colorado.gov. We would like to have a consistent, modern technology that’s interfacing with them.
2. The state recently hired a digital transformation officer. How will that role help shape technology in Colorado?
We are looking at modernizing applications that have been legacy — they were state- of-the-art once, but they are not state-of-the-art now. We adopted a very robust Google platform, and we want to make it consistent across applications, whether it’s drivers’ licenses or Department of Natural Resources.