The role of today’s IT executive within government has never been more fluid or more demanding. Making technology operations run smoothly doesn’t cut it as a job description when you’re responsible for leading an IT organization. With Pennsylvania local, county, and state governments spending billions of dollars on information technology annually, these executives are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of communications, finance, human resources, policymaking, management practices, and how to effectively connect the technology to business needs.
Throw in the variable of an ever-changing technological landscape, and the public service IT leader’s job has never been tougher–nor more important to the success of government. Harrisburg University’s Government Technology Institute is the only one of its kind in Pennsylvania and a leader in harnessing technology to make good government great. GTI connects government technology leaders with the expertise of Harrisburg University faculty and advisors for education, training, resources, and networking. Government technology professionals use GTI to explore and collaborate on successful, cost-effective technology solutions for Pennsylvania.
GTI’s signature initiative, Pennsylvania’s sole Certified Government Chief Information Officer program, targets the unique challenges of public-sector IT executives. Today’s government CIOs require sophisticated skills sets in leadership, strategy, and management. CGCIO immerses them in comprehensive study of executive-level issues, including IT strategy and planning, governance, security, financing, and workforce development. Through CGCIO, current and aspiring senior-level IT executives earn a recognized credential and learn to manage the demands of their increasingly complex roles.
Under the leadership of GTI Director, Charlie Gerhards, the GTI and its Centers of Excellence will support learning, IT innovation, entrepreneurship, and intergovernmental collaboration that enhances the technical, management, and leadership skills of the government workforce involved in information.
Harrisburg University is significantly supported in these initiatives by Computer Aid, Inc., Cisco, Unisys, Accenture, Comcast Business, Deloitte, KPMG, IBM, Microsoft, Symantec, SAS, Level (3), Sigma Resources, I&I Software, Inc. and Acclaim Systems — members and partners collaborating on a vision of technology for the public good.
It’s this spirit of collaboration, vision, and promotion of technology for the public good that will make the Government Technology Institute a national standard.
The Certified Government Chief Information Officer Program (CGCIO)
The GTI offers a Certified Government Chief Information Officer Program (CGCIO), which provides a comprehensive study of the executive-level issues such as IT strategy and planning, governance, security, financing, and workforce development.
Launched in Fall 2011, the CGCIO is a natural extension of the GTI. More than 75 Pennsylvania government CIOs have entered Harrisburg University’s program to collaborate, look at best practices, share ideas, and look at shared services as a way of dealing with increasingly difficult challenges such as budget cuts, higher service demands, and emerging technologies, including mobility and cloud computing. Instruction, provided by subject matter experts, many of whom are successful IT executives from public and private sector organizations, emphasizes leadership, strategy, and management, not necessarily technology.
CGCIO has propelled Harrisburg University and its GTI into an exclusive group, one of only a handful of colleges and universities–and the only one in Pennsylvania–that specifically addresses the unique challenges of public sector IT executive leadership. Having completed its third year, this certification program enables current and aspiring information technology executives working at senior level in public service to earn a recognized credential and develop the skills and knowledge to manage the demands of their increasingly complex roles.
Teachable moments in Harrisburg University’s program vary. For some, it’s the realization that through more precise project management and risk mitigation, they can better manage and use taxpayer dollars. Some were able to exchange information on handling security issues and the latest security trends. For others, it’s learning that the CIO’s role is less about managing technology and more about being a thought leader who uses technology to work toward an organization’s vision.
And despite their disparate backgrounds–participants included executives from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the Department of Environmental Protection, Education, as well as county government and the commonwealth court system–one thing was clear. They face similar issues, and can work together to become strategic, fiscal, and communications leaders.
Other areas where future programs and customized training are being developed include, project management, procurement, enterprise architectures, computer programming, leadership and more.
CGCIO is offered in partnership with the national Consortium for State and Local Government Technology Leadership Development, through the Government Technology Institute at Harrisburg University. Established in 2008, the consortium includes the University of North Carolina’s Center for Public Technology, the Florida Institute of Government at Florida State University, and the Public Technology Institute in partnership with Rutgers University.
Until now there were few opportunities in Pennsylvania for public sector CIO’s and other IT executives to learn how to get a seat at the executive table and how to provide meaningful advice to government officials and others. The program at Harrisburg University hopes to change this.
The IT Manager (ITM) Certificate Program
The IT Manager Certificate Program is specifically designed for employees who currently serve or aspire to serve in positions focused on the management aspects of information technology and is designed to empower IT Managers with the business and interpersonal skills that are essential in managing the complexities of information technology. Additionally, the program provides information and tools to lead their organization strategically; manage their team effectively; and support the leadership in executing key objectives.
Led by program facilitators, individual seminars are presented by subject matter experts, and include guest speakers, panel discussions and interactive group exercises.
The curriculum consists of a combination of presentations, industry guest speakers, case studies and hands-on exercises. The key areas of focus are on the leadership and management techniques necessary to operationalize the CIO’s IT strategy, including contract management, personnel management, performance metrics, communications, problem solving, project management, leadership and more.
The Security Center of Excellence
The Harrisburg University Security Center of Excellence aims to be a strategic partner with organizations in their information security and cyber defense efforts by providing innovative and effective educational programs and community building services. Click to learn more about the Security Center of Excellence.
The Innovation Center
Envision future solutions and learn about new technologies and IT services as they become available! Within Harrisburg University’s state-of-the-art Academic Center, government professionals will have the opportunity to learn about technology innovations, trends and best practices emerging in industry, through programs put on in partnership with the IT industry. Through hands-on demos, educational sessions, user group meetings and technology pilots, government technology professionals will learn from industry technology experts, and will be better able to pilot and evaluate new technologies that can support government Information Technology.
Watch for more details on the special events and upcoming programs from the Government Technology Institute. For more information about GTI and its programs, or to become a sponsor, call 717.901.5190 or email GTI@HarrisburgU.edu for more information.