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Embracing Technology:
Taking Ohio to Where We Need to Be in The 21st Century

Strategic Investments in Emerging Technologies, Such as Self-Driving/Connected Vehicles, Drones and Data Analytics, Will Improve Government Services, Spur Economic Growth

Our nation’s most successful business operations and entrepreneurships have one strategy in common: they are all embracing technology. Unfortunately, government at every level has failed to match that pace, being too slow or too unwilling to keep up with a rapidly changing world. As a result, the public sector has lost momentum in the way it operates, spends money and serves its citizens. But in recent years, under Governor John Kasich’s leadership, Ohio has been working to build a much different model, one that keeps government ahead of the curve with advances in technology that lead with innovative, forward-looking improvements in its programs and makes strategic investments in technologies that encourage economic growth. In fact, Ohio was one of only five states to recently earn an “A” from industry experts for its work to advance technology.* With his Executive Budget proposal, Gov. Kasich continues to build on that model with a number of new or expanded initiatives.

*Center for Digital Government and Government Technology magazine, September 2016.

Unlocking the Full Power of State Government’s Data Resources: The new budget takes the benefits of advanced data analytics to the next level, requiring all state agencies, boards and commissions to share the data they now store in more than 1,600 separate databases. By better connecting and correlating these individual data resources and applying advanced analytical technologies, the state can tackle complex problems with solutions that improve Ohioans’ health, security and well-being. While in each instance a database holds valuable uses for its specific program, it is presently rare – and often technically difficult – for that information to be systematically examined in any depth, cross-analyzed with other databases or shared with other agencies in ways that can help address more holistically such statewide problems as infant mortality, child welfare issues, opiate addiction, persistent poverty, and school dropout rates.

Ensuring that Ohio Remains on the Leading Edge of Technology: The governor’s Executive Budget calls for the creation of an important new leadership position: chief innovation officer. Coordinating the full spectrum of technological and data resources across state government, the chief innovation officer will ensure that Ohio remains ahead of the curve with technological advancements.

Creating the Ohio Institute of Technology Will Harness Ohio’s Assets to Advance Industries: Ohio’s new chief innovation officer will lead the Ohio Institute of Technology – also created in this budget – which will focus on emerging technologies that are critical to future job creation by ensuring that Ohio’s research activities are aligned to best advance our state. This includes the biomedical industry, engineering, aerospace, robotics and smart mobility.

Moving All State Government Computer Systems Into the Cloud: Cloud computing is transforming business and industry across the world, and Ohio has been moving aggressively over the past six years to capitalize on the benefits of storing its data in the cloud. By doing so, state government can improve the way it interfaces with the public, improve security and reduce its costs. Ohio state government will move 100 percent of its computer systems to the cloud by the end of the Kasich Administration.

Building on Ohio’s Leadership Role in the Development of Advanced Transportation Technologies: The Kasich Administration is committed to embracing the future of transportation with new investments and forward-looking policies to ensure that Ohio maintains its leadership position with research and implementation of “smart mobility” applications, including autonomous and connected vehicles, drones and other emerging transportation technologies [see separate fact sheet]. By taking full advantage of Ohio’s transportation heritage and ability to lead in developing next-generation technologies, Ohio is well positioned to attract major new investments in the research, infrastructure and the jobs that will follow.

Embracing the Future of “Smart” Technologies in Public Utilities: Ohio will bring innovation to its electric utilities infrastructure by encouraging technological and regulatory innovation. This will include implementing new, modern-day technologies such as smart meters, automated circuits and sensors to provide consumers more control over their electric usage.

Protecting State and Local IT Infrastructure from Cyber Security Threats: To ensure that Ohio’s government, education and research infrastructure is protected against outside threats, the governor’s budget seeks to create a “cyber range” – a virtual environment used for cybersecurity training and IT infrastructure testing. This new, cloud-based testing and training environment will provide tools to help strengthen the stability, security and performance of cyber infrastructure used by state agencies, local governments, school systems and state universities. In addition, Ohio will work with the education and business community to develop a program to increase the number of students who pursue certificates or degrees in cyber security.

Using Innovation and New Technologies to Improve Transportation for Those Seeking Health Services: Over the past six years, as the state has improved care coordination for the most vulnerable Ohioans, the transportation system many rely upon to access medical appointments has not adopted innovations to improve its services. This new budget streamlines Ohio’s existing non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) system by moving from separate, county-administered programs to a single, more efficient model. Modernization of this system incentivizes the use of new technologies in order to make the system run more efficiently, while improving access to high quality transportation services for Ohioans on Medicaid – no matter where they live – and saving taxpayers an estimated $13 million or more over the biennium.

Applying Technology to Better Serve Ohioans with Developmental Disabilities: While human contact is critical to caregiving, technology can make a significant difference in helping those with developmental disabilities better manage daily activities. For example, when a simple morning shower is missed a person’s routine can be thrown off, and that can make the difference between a good day and a bad one. Currently available remote monitoring technologies can issue alerts to family members to prevent this from happening. Ohio will seek to expand access to remote monitoring technologies such as live video or audio, motion sensors and live two-way communication systems designed to help improve outcomes and better support those with developmental disabilities, as well as invest in the development of future technology to foster independence.

Bringing Government into the Digital Age: State government in Ohio has been aggressively finding ways to modernize its processes, using digital and electronic technologies to move away from paper forms and applications. Removing paper from millions of state government transactions will improve customer service, enhance security and reduce costs. For example, thanks to better use of technology, two million fewer Ohioans have had to visit a county office to initiate their Medicaid benefits. Additional improvements include statewide document management and e-Fax systems. Under development is a statewide grants management system to support the electronic processing of all grants and a system to allow signatures required on state documents to be submitted electronically.

Encouraging New Business Development Through University Discoveries: To encourage more technology commercialization and the formation of start-up businesses using discoveries made at Ohio’s public colleges and universities, the governor’s budget will direct schools to adopt policies to break down barriers to taking intellectual property to the marketplace. In addition, the chancellor may consider whether an institution has a tenure track for faculty members who pursue commercialization activities in order for that institution to receive research funds from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

BOTTOM LINE: Gov. Kasich’s new budget reinforces his commitment to keeping Ohio ahead of the curve with new technologies and innovations, making strategic investments to ensure our state’s continuing leadership in areas such as self-driving vehicles and smart highways, drones, cyber-security and advanced data analytics. Not only can these and other new technologies help state government become more efficient with its operations and services, they