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Local leadership defined the August 2019 Bay Area Regional CIO Conference where CIOs and local government IT leaders convened to share successes, challenges and opportunities.

I’ve never worked before with such an amiable association, so intensely focused on elevating their profession. The topics and the passionate discourse worked its way into my every-day thinking for the next week. It remained top-of-mind and helped me maintain a leadership bias.


Hot topics and unavoidable threats

The hot topics were both expected and unexpected. A glimpse into the next 20 years of tech set the stage for CIO-led sessions on Privacy, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Security, Regional Software Vetting / Buying, and Successful Recruiting in the heart of the Silicon Valley.

A laudable project in Alameda County captured everybody’s attention, a new ITD Headquarters. By making creative use of an existing County property in downtown Oakland, the department built a gorgeous workspace. You can see the walkthrough at Alameda County’s own AlcoTube site. The space features architecture design by the famed Pflueger family, the influence carried into the remodeled elements. “See the staircase railing? That’s the same pattern as the Bay Bridge,” for example.

Ransomware attacks in the news worked their way into nearly every presentation, audience question, and table discussion. Without exception, every municipality must prepare a plan around this threat by adding expertise, educating users (most attacks exploit users), proving-out backup and recovery strategies, and even weighing supplemental insurance.


A glimpse forward

Refreshingly, the conversation quickly moved to the bright future and the opportunity to show leadership by injecting Evaluation and Testing when considering vendor-provided solutions. We also discussed, for example, how drastic differences between neighboring cities and counties create cost and project risk by compelling vendors to accommodate unique requirements. Considering some regional standards, where it makes sense… where it does not impede innovation… is obviously part of this aspirational topic.

Remarkably, the San Francisco Bay Area region encompasses 102 cities and towns, spanning 9 counties! Home to the famed Silicon Valley, the region is critical as a global center for technology. During the conference, I had the opportunity to speak to the region’s IT leaders and provide a passionate pitch to attendees about the work I do, what Accela does, and why it matters to government. It was an honor to be in attendance, and an affirmation of the quality of innovation and leadership required to keep pace and lead in the govtech space.

For insights into how Accela is helping government agencies deliver innovative cloud services, take a look at our latest SaaS solution overview, which was shared with all conference attendees.

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