BIT Technology Briefing

The first ever BIT internal technology briefing was held earlier this month; allowing staff with an opportunity to share and discuss the different technologies that provide cost savings, structure and success for state government and ultimately the citizens of South Dakota. Staff joined the meeting in person, on the phone or through our statewide video system, the Digital Dakota Network (DDN).

BIT's deputy commissioner led and moderated the meeting that will now be conducted on a quarterly basis.

Staff from the Project Management Office (PMO) provided information on the structure and purpose of the office along with the roles of the Points of Contacts (POC). With six full time POCs, two full time project managers and one part time POC/project manager, the purpose is to allow for early identification of technology opportunities, as well as provide an excellent level of support to fully utilize technology to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and ultimately provide better products and services to the citizens of South Dakota. Learn more about the PMO and POCs role within BIT.

Staff from South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) then discussed the educational and outreach activities available through their shop. They spoke about the digital and media components through SDPB; discussing how SDPB helps to enhance and expand the learning experiences available every day on television, radio and internet. SDBP continues to be a national leader when it comes to broadcasting. Connect with them online through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube or their RSS feed.

The Data Center is paving the way with the state's virtualization environment and staff further explained the benefits of this key component. Which include:
  • Reduction of physical server storage costs; saving the state $3.3 million each year through the use of virtualization.
  • Reduction of operating costs by using less power.
  • Reduction of loss due to down time; keeping systems up and operational while routine maintenance takes place.
Server performance is a top priority within the Data Center. Through the use of virtualization, we continue to serve the State of South Dakota with the most elite products and services available. VMware is one of them.

We then moved onto talking about GIS or Geographic Information Systems. GIS is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographically referenced data. A GIS can be thought of as a system that digitally creates and "manipulates" spatial areas that may be jurisdictional, purpose, or application-oriented. Generally, a GIS is custom-designed for an organization. Several state agencies, such as the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, along with the Departments of Revenue, Health, Transportation and more, utilize this feature.

The briefing ended on a topic that continues to be a top priority and challenge for BIT - that of network security. Two security analysts played out a short attack of capturing what a potential user might be working on on their machine. In this example it had to do with capturing an abundance of personally identifiable credit card data. This demonstration proved why the many layers of security that we have in place are important on every level. Firewalls, patches and updates, desktop anti-viruses, strong passwords and intrusion monitoring are all layers of security that must be incorporated in every part of our infrastructure in order to keep the integrity of our state's data secured.

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