Illinois Interim CIO Discusses Continuing State’s Ambitious IT Agenda

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Kirk Lonbom takes the helm at critical time for Illinois’ revitalized Department of Innovation and Technology.

Kirk Lonbom has served for two years as chief information security officer for the state of Illinois, but has a unique blend of information technology and security expertise that goes back years. Now, as interim chief information officer, Lonbom seems in the right place at the right time to help steer the state’s Department of Innovation and Technology and advise Gov. Bruce Rauner on looming public safety communications decisions.

Following roles as a uniformed police officer and an undercover detective, Lonbom worked in the world of intelligence analysis before ultimately becoming an IT leader. After information technology roles with the Illinois state police and emergency management agency, he was asked to serve as the Land of Lincoln’s chief information security officer.

“From a security perspective, it’s been an interesting mix of my career from the fact that I was in the enforcement arm, intelligence, and then into IT. So it was a nice time to come into the wonderful world of cybersecurity,” Lonbom explained. He was not pleased with the security footing in state agencies when he arrived, but believes Illinois now has a “comprehensive, business-focused IT security strategy.”

When former state CIO Hardik Bhatt left the position last month to join Amazon, Lonbom shifted into his boss’ role. Route Fifty spoke to Lonbom at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ meeting in Austin earlier this month, just two weeks after he was tagged with the interim CIO title.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Lonbom said of his new role.  While he described the shift as “drinking from the fire hose,” Lonbom believes due to the “inclusive” nature of Bhatt, and the fact that in his security role “we had our fingers and our eyes in just about everything,” the ambitious agenda that Bhatt was pushing would continue forward unabated.

Bhatt led a significant revision of how IT business was done in the state of Illinois. While the legislature and governor were at loggerheads, Bhatt was still able to consolidate 38 IT elements into the new Department of Innovation and Technology, now just over one-year-old.

“We’re going to continue our strategy, we have some very good, forward-leaning initiatives,” Lonbom said about the direction he expected DoIT to take moving forward. He cited the agency’s “smart state” initiatives, as well as exploration of utilizing blockchain technology for state government purposes as two examples of major undertakings where they are leading the nation.

The state also will have some major decision points on the horizon, including the governor deciding whether to “opt-in” to the nationwide public safety broadband network, FirstNet, or to build their own compatible telecommunications network that the state will be required to maintain.

The governor will be required to make a decision as to the project within the next two months; the results will impact the state for decades to come. Lonbom’s advice, based on his public safety and technology background, gives him some unique insight into that matter.

“Whether we opt-in or opt-out, we’re evaluating all alternatives, but the important thing is the nation has recognized the need for this type of connectivity and the opportunities are going to be endless,” Lonbom said.

Lonbom believes the state’s efforts cannot stop with that decision, explaining, “it’s partly our job to sell the business value” of the network to law enforcement so they adopt the network.

He is very excited about the applications, though—both in the near-term, like “visualization of data” and the more spectacular opportunities that people want to try, like “internet-connected firearms.” With this interconnected network providing windows to significant innovation in law enforcement, Lonbom remarked, “I think it won’t be too long before people will be jumping in.”

Mitch Herckis is Senior Director of Programs at Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY: An App for Citizens (or Health Inspectors) Frustrated With Finding Food Trucks

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.