Local and State Government

The More You Know, The More You’ll Want To Go

Why The 12th Annual Esri Public Sector CIO Summit Is a Must

What started out twelve years ago as an idea to help CIOs and IT leaders in government carve out time to get caught up on geographic information technology (GIS) has turned into a staple event. This event is the Esri Public Sector CIO Summit.

The event was actually the brainchild of the IT community. Esri kept hearing there was a need to bridge the gap between the GIS and IT communities. We heard repeatedly from CIOs that they had so many projects to coordinate and it was difficult to keep up-to-date on emerging trends. They knew if they could just get away and immerse themselves in GIS/IT content for a couple of days, it would help them with their strategic plans. This is how the Esri Public Sector CIO Summit was born.

I thought I would share a little more on the event’s history. In doing so, you can better understand how the event continues to be tailored to meet the busy CIO schedules. Esri remains committed to providing content attendees can use immediately. The goal is to help participants change the dialog with the teams they support back home.  

The summit has evolved through constant feedback from government information systems professionals. Hopefully, the following will help you decide whether this event is right for you in making informed decisions on the integration of GIS and IT. 

GIS and IT Better Together

In the first few years of the event, one of the earliest discoveries was that IT leaders needed to shift their thinking from GIS as an isolated system, to GIS as part of their enterprise. When we presented GIS could be a system of record, system of engagement and system of insight, the value of a geographic approach became clearer to attendees. The event showcased that GIS data could fuel systems like CRM, ERP, permitting, work order management, billing and more. Data from peer IT systems could be visualized and analyzed via GIS tools such as dashboards.

Additional insights for some of the attendees was Esri’s approach to open data. Open data platforms and technology was something they were paying additional monies for, never realizing open data capabilities came with their Esri software. Over the years, the list of “I did not realize this was part of the Esri platform” has included field work solutions, real-time data capture, fleet management, digital twin and 3D solutions, drone management and artificial intelligence. Each year, attendees leave the summit with takeaways for how an existing GIS capability can enhance their workflows and systems.

Providing Context

One of the biggest benefits of the CIO Summit is that the content, presentations, and discussions are provided in the context of how tribal, state, regional, county, and city government, and public utilities are deploying GIS technology. The summit sessions do provide technology strategies and roadmaps, but are heavily weighted towards real world examples. This is probably why the summit has featured so many disciplines from information systems, to public safety, natural resources, health, public works and environment to mention a few.

The summit has always strived to put GIS into a context of emerging trends, whether they be technology, legislation, or industry patterns. Organizations such as Gartner, Forrester, National Association of Counties, National Association of State CIOs, and others have come to share their priorities and communicate how GIS can help.

Make Lifelong Connections

We plan this event to provide considerable opportunities for attendees to network and meet with peers. There have been so many memorable presenters and attendees, including South Carolina Broadband Office, Tacoma, WA, Cobb County, GA, Johns Creek, GA, Charlotte Water, and Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). The networking opportunities create connections that can span your career. Major technology giants such as Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon Web Services have also joined us. And how about making a connection with an expert on stimulus funding from one of the major professional associations?

Get Away and Immerse Yourself

The Twelfth Annual Esri Public Sector CIO Summit agenda continues to evolve as we hear what CIOs and IT leaders what to learn. The event will cover IT priorities, federal legislation, and IT trends. Esri Founder and President, Jack Dangermond, will present his vision of an enterprise GIS. Microsoft will present on the integration between the Esri and Microsoft platforms.

Each year, themes arise based on the priorities we are hearing from across government disciplines. One theme that is clear is the role of IT leaders in supporting and influencing areas that affect the public directly. Topics such as equity, improving voter confidence, fighting homelessness, and improving civic engagement can all be achieved with the application of technology. So far, our agenda is sure to cover:

Does the summit sound like something you can benefit from? Are you looking to improve the effectiveness of your GIS usage? Does developing an integrated GIS and IT strategy make sense? I encourage you to consider attending the event on March 20-21, 2024. It will take place in Redlands, CA at Esri headquarters. The event is a request to attend event and space is limited, so please reserve your seat, today. You won’t regret it.

About the author

Christopher Thomas, Director of Government Markets on the Industry Solutions team at Esri team focused on state and local disciplines. He has over 30 years of experience working in and with national, state and local governments implementing technology. As a strategist and subject matter expert, Christopher works to identify emerging trends GIS can support.


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