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2023 at a Glance

In our commitment to achieving operational excellence in all undertakings for our partner agencies and the people of Minnesota, we:

  • Announced the 2023-2027 MNIT Strategic Plan and started implementing key initiatives around enhancing the customer experience of Minnesotans, cybersecurity and operational excellence, and developing a connected work culture.
  • Completed the first full year of operations for the Product and Agile Center of Enablement.
  • Began funding projects through the Technology Modernization Fund to modernize, secure, and improve the customer experience of executive branch technology systems.
  • Conducted an all-state employee idea campaign focused on improving the customer experience of Minnesotans accessing state services.
  • Launched the Transparent Artificial Intelligence Governance Alliance (TAIGA) to explore the potential benefits and risks of artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Moved hundreds of servers from on-premise to cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Established the Public Artificial Intelligence Services Security Standard to guide state employees on the responsible use of personal AI services and published MNIT’s Strategic AI vision.
  • Released the Whole-of-State Cybersecurity Plan, which focuses on providing a holistic defense against cyber threats.
  • Delivered Managed Detection and Response to more than 100 local entities including counties, cities, school districts, and Tribal Nations to improve cybersecurity threat response.

Strategic Plan Work in Action

Designing for tomorrow’s government today

Customer Experience

  • Embrace people-centric model with product
    and services innovation
  • Create modern digital experiences
  • Maximize value of data
Icons of person and manifying glass, computer and phones, and a data dashboard

Office of Transformation and Strategy Delivery

In 2023, MNIT’s Office of Transformation and Strategy Delivery tracked 200 completed projects across Minnesota’s executive branch agencies, boards, commissions, and councils. These projects range from public-facing applications to internal-facing IT infrastructure endeavors.

The Office of Transformation and Strategy Delivery also maintained executive-level portfolio reporting dashboards. All IT projects in Minnesota are tracked in a single reporting tool, and the data from that tool have been standardized to create dashboards, including a Key Initiatives Dashboard that aligns IT drivers, scope, schedule, budget, risks, and mitigation strategies.

Want to know more about MNIT's Strategic Plan?
Read the full report (PDF)

Customer Experience Initiatives

In 2023, MNIT’s Office of Transformation and Strategy Delivery tracked 200 completed projects across Minnesota’s executive branch agencies, boards, commissions, and councils. These projects range from public-facing applications to internal-facing IT infrastructure endeavors.

The Office of Transformation and Strategy Delivery also maintained executive-level portfolio reporting dashboards. All IT projects in Minnesota are tracked in a single reporting tool, and the data from that tool have been standardized to create dashboards, including a Key Initiatives Dashboard that aligns IT drivers, scope, schedule, budget, risks, and mitigation strategies.

MINT Partner Impact

People using the DVS language chatbot on a smartphone
DVS Chatbot

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) partnered with MNIT to deliver a language access project for Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) to better serve Minnesotans, remove structural inequity, and promote accessibility and transparency.

Several children sitting on the floor playing with toys
Child Care Provider Hub

Minnesota introduced a user-friendly web platform called the Provider Hub, developed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and supported by MNIT, to simplify the licensing process for child care providers.

A worker handing a tray of food to a child
Minnesota Department of Education Free Lunch Program

The Legislature passed the MN Free School Meals bill in March, providing one free breakfast and one lunch, regardless of income, to every student at schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. MNIT worked with the Minnesota Department of Education to update the School Nutrition Program application.

A lightbulb sitting on a stack of bills
Energy Assistance Program On-the-Go

MNIT partnered with the Department of Commerce to update the application behind the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program so Minnesotans can apply for benefits anytime using their laptop or smartphone.

A house figurine with a calculater and pencil laying on papers
Tax Rebate

Minnesota completed a one-time tax rebate to households throughout the state during the summer of 2023. The project required a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Revenue and MNIT to process safe and secure rebate payments to millions of Minnesotans.

A Light Rail train stopped at a station
MnDOT Mobility as a Service

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) launched the first multi-modal trip planner app in March to make travel easier in Greater Minnesota, Rochester, and Mankato. Residents and visitors in southern and western Minnesota can now plan for and, in some cases, pay for public transit and intercity bus trips using the free, cloud-based Transit app, available for download in app stores.

Laptop showing the MPCA website
MPCA Website Redesign

MNIT website developers and project management staff helped redesign and reorganize the public-facing Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) website to improve user experience. MNIT teams built the website and migrated content to an upgraded environment.

A DNR park ranger and MNIT staff member showing the new point of sale system at a Minnesota state park
DNR Point of Sale System

MNIT helped modernize the Point of Sale (POS) systems at Department of Natural Resources (DNR) state parks as more Minnesotans pay for services with credit cards, mobile pay, or tap-to-pay. This modernization also ensured that customer data was protected in compliance with Payment Card Industry standards.

Want to know more about the impact of MNIT and its partners?

Read the full report (PDF)

Cybersecurity & Operational Excellence

  • Evolve process, application, and service lifecycles
  • Mature operations to measure and deliver consistently and efficiently
  • Bolster whole-of-state cybersecurity and service continuity

Icon of a computer user, state of Minnesota outline with padlock, and data and graph components

Enterprise Service Catalog

MNIT understands the important role technology plays in providing state-run services and support that enable our state partners to provide services to the Minnesotans they serve.

MNIT launched a comprehensive Enterprise Service Catalog this year to provide our partners with a clear understanding of the services MNIT provides. Available on MNIT’s public website, the human-centered design is based on feedback from MNIT staff and our business partners, and features a responsive and accessible design. It covers services available to Minnesota’s executive branch and non-executive branch entities. Service information is clear and easy to understand. Customers can easily find a description of the service and what it offers, costs, details, how to order it, and how to get support.

Technology Governance App

In October, MNIT completed an eight-month project to launch a new MNIT Technology Governance app. MNIT manages the governance of all IT products and services for Minnesota’s executive branch agencies. This ensures all IT services meet applicable statewide IT standards including security, procurement, accessibility, and integration. The process also supports alignment with our business partners’ objectives and strategic direction. All new product and service requests must go through MNIT’s governance process, whether they are for one specific agency, a MNIT division, or for all agencies. Because of the volume of new requests, using a basic SharePoint form was unsustainable.

Whole-Of-State Cybersecurity Plan

MNIT, in partnership with the Minnesota Cybersecurity Task Force, launched the 2023 Whole-of-State Cybersecurity Plan to strengthen local government cyber defenses. A key initiative to bolster cybersecurity in Minnesota, the whole-of-state approach presents a strong, united front against cyber threats. Additionally, the plan provides the framework to distribute $23.5 million from the federal State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) and the Minnesota Legislature.

Cybersecurity Funding Priorities

In 2023, MNIT received funding resources from the Minnesota Legislature in several key areas to bolster the state’s cybersecurity protections and ensure service continuity. This included funding dedicated to improving the capabilities of local governments, such as cities, counties, school districts, as well as tribal communities. The funding also boosts MNIT programs and infrastructure.

Funding included:

  • State, Local, Cybersecurity Grant Program — $5.7 million
  • Cybersecurity enhancements — $18 million
  • Minnesota Enterprise Identity and Access Management system — $6.2 million
  • Minnesota’s Network for Enterprise Telecommunications — $2.4 million


Minnesota’s technology investment to become faster, more secure, and more reliable continues to move forward. CloudRAMP (Cloud Readiness and Modernization Project) is MNIT’s enterprise project that enables State of Minnesota’s Executive Branch journey to our primary cloud provider Microsoft Azure.

The project has been funded over four years thanks to a $33.595 million investment made by the Minnesota Legislature in 2023 to support the strategy for accelerating our cloud transformation.

This project will impact all executive state agencies through four goals:

Goal 1

Migrate at least 70% of executive branch on-premises workloads to the cloud in the next four years.
  • MNIT contracted with Microsoft to accelerate Goal 1 – the workload migration to Azure agency by agency.
  • Established a government cloud to accommodate data that is subject to various U.S. government regulations and requirements like Criminal Justice Information (CJI) or IRS Pub 1075.
  • Invested in infrastructure, migration tools, and transitional software licenses to aid in the cloud transformation.
  • As of December 2023, 650 servers were either built in or migrated to the Azure cloud.

Goal 2

Establish a standardized modern DevOps ecosystem for the executive branch.
  • MNIT teams participated in one of five cloud readiness workshops to collaboratively plan, prepare, and define their cloud migration strategy.
  • Provided Azure training and upskilling opportunities for technical staff in roles required for cloud computing.
  • Made quarterly learning challenges available to staff to expand their technical and security knowledge of the cloud.
  • Expanded MNIT’s internal cloud platform documentation website (CloudDocs) which includes information on cloud standards, designs, training, and procedures.

Goal 3

Provide training and staff development resources.
  • Established a standardized modern DevOps ecosystem (GitHub Enterprise and Azure DevOps Services) to deploy, monitor, and secure the various software development lifecycles of state agency applications and Infrastructure as Code (IaC).
  • Contracted with vendors to assist with migrating legacy on-premises DevOps solutions to Azure DevOps Services and GitHub Enterprise.

Goal 4

Become elite at cloud financial management practices (FinOps).
  • Established a spending plan for the Executive Branch Cloud Transformation funding.
  • MNIT has begun to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current FinOps state. Over time, this will enable us to understand our cloud spend in near real time to manage budgets.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation technologies have the power to change how we live and work in Minnesota. They can help us save money, work more efficiently, and reduce risks – helping to achieve the goals of the One Minnesota Plan.

MNIT recognizes the vast potential AI offers and has undertaken a deliberate and considerate stance on AI by convening the Transparent Artificial Intelligence Governance Alliance (TAIGA). We will partner with state agencies to harness AI’s ability to enhance government efficiency, reduce bias and inequity, and fortify our commitment to be the best state for families to grow and thrive.

In 2023, the group accomplished its first milestone with the development of a standard regarding individual state employee use of AI services. With ongoing efforts, MNIT, through the input of TAIGA, will advocate for responsible AI capabilities that can improve the lives of all Minnesotans by:

  • Endorsing responsible AI development and deployment.
  • Researching AI advancements and their implications for state processes where practicable.
  • Ensuring policies and standards evolve and mature to keep up with the rapid pace of process and technology changes.
  • Protecting the One Minnesota Plan priorities as we seek to eliminate disparities in Minnesota’s communities.
State of Minnesota shape made from circuit board elements

Public AI Services Security Standard

AI has increasingly become a part of our everyday lives, and our work lives are no exception. Publicly available AI services, like Bing and ChatGPT, offer ways to improve productivity and efficiency; however, they also come with risks including the sharing of private, sensitive, or protected data.

To reduce those risks, TAIGA, in partnership with MNIT security teams, developed the Public Artificial Intelligence Services Security Standard to guide the responsible use of AI to complete personal tasks by State of Minnesota employees.

New Cyber Risk Framework

MNIT made available a cyber risk quantification (CRQ) framework that will help agencies use data to evaluate cybersecurity risks and their potential financial impacts. This framework helps the state prioritize security investments based on the severity and likelihood of each threat, supports compliance, and creates a common language about security risks across agencies.

Department of Corrections (DOC) Updates

MNIT is actively upgrading DOC infrastructure across all Minnesota corrections facilities campuses. This involves bringing network closets up to industry standards, implementing wireless connectivity throughout the facilities, transitioning cameras from analog to IP, and upgrading the cabling infrastructure (installing new fiber and copper across each campus). The project is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2024.

MNIT Enterprise Updates


DEED Broadband Challenge

Access to high-speed, reliable internet service is crucial as work, education, and daily life depend more and more on internet connectivity. To ensure equitable access, it is important to identify unserved and underserved communities so that funding can be appropriately allocated to areas with the highest need for new or improved internet services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maintains a dataset of all the locations in the United States that are eligible for broadband service, including over 2 million locations in Minnesota. Because of the size, scale, and evolving nature of the dataset, refinements and corrections are necessary.

MnGeo has partnered with the Office of Broadband Development within the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to help prepare these updates. Using foundational datasets, including statewide parcel data and aerial imagery, MnGeo identifies and submits corrections to the FCC. The updated data is used for funding allocation and project selection, maximizing the impact of over $650 million in federal funding and $100 million in state funding. Informing these investments with accurate data will help ensure that all Minnesota residents have access to high-speed internet.


Public Land Survey System

A new law in 2023 created the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) Monument Grant Program to help restore, maintain, and update PLSS survey markers. Through this work, many foundational GIS datasets can improve in accuracy, such as tax parcels, city, school district, and election boundaries. More accurate tax parcel boundaries will also help ensure correctly calculated taxes. To help manage the program, MnGeo staffed its first Professional Land Surveyor, a milestone achievement that brings together the GIS and Land Survey communities to more closely collaborate and contribute to common geospatial goals.

The program is just getting started and will award funds to Minnesota counties to engage licensed land surveyors to complete the work – and there is a lot of work. Minnesota has more than 315,000 PLSS corners across the state. The Public Land Surveys began in Minnesota in 1847 and were completed in 1905. Initially, most markers were wooden posts. Unfortunately, a lot of these original markers have been damaged, buried, or lost and require replacement. Furthermore, fewer than half of these markers have been certified by a licensed land surveyor.

The PLSS is the original geographic information system of the United States and is the foundation for land ownership, original natural resource inventories, and generating and tracking revenue. As such, preserving the PLSS will link historical knowledge to present-day needs, helping make data-driven decisions for all people who inhabit and use land in Minnesota.


DHS Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center Web App

Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC) is the centralized statewide entry point for mandated reporters and the public to report suspected abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. MAARC provides a 24/7 toll-free number for the public, as well as a web reporting option for mandated reporters. Every maltreatment incident reported to MAARC is referred to the agencies responsible for that location of the vulnerable adult and incident. This includes referral to local law enforcement when the suspected maltreatment may also be criminal.

To assist in identifying the location of the vulnerable adult and incident, the call center uses a MnGeo-provided web-based mapping application. A MAARC user can enter a specific address, city, county, or landmark into the application which maps the location and returns appropriate referral agencies for the area. This puts local adult protection programs and law enforcement contact information directly into the hands of the users without having to navigate various external resources. MAARC is required under Minnesota statute to immediately refer adults to a county adult protection program when emergency protective services are needed and to provide immediate notification to law enforcement when the incident may also be criminal. These map services enable swift protection of vulnerable adults while also meeting mandated incident response.


MnDOT Suitability for the Pedestrian and Cycling Environment (SPACE) Tool

The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Office of Traffic Engineering (DOT-OTE) is working to bring equitable, safe environments to pedestrians and cyclists across the state. MnGeo has partnered with DOT-OTE to provide the Suitability for the Pedestrian and Cycling Environment (SPACE) analysis tool to help local, regional, and state transportation planners address equity and safety concerns for non-motorists.

The SPACE analysis tool is a free, web-based mapping application that provides pedestrian and cyclist suitability scores statewide, enabling planners to prioritize projects that address the most latent demand, highest safety risk, and largest inequity. Users can visualize and interact with SPACE scores and get information on the 19 demographic and safety-related factors that go into the score. After drawing a path or area of interest on the map, users receive the location’s average SPACE score as well as the individual score for each of the 19 factors. Users can then download these results in several formats for seamless use in their own applications and planning workflows.


State of Minnesota Plans to Adopt WCAG 2.1

The State of Minnesota will update its digital accessibility standards to support new guidelines – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. WCAG 2.1 published June 2018 with 2.2 publishing in September 2023. After researching both the impact on state employees and potential value for end users, MNIT’s Office of Accessibility formed a cross-agency steering committee to lead the adoption efforts. With an anticipated effective date of July 1, 2024, the steering committee and role-based teams will prepare state agencies and their employees with the resources and direction they need to ensure that new information technology and digital products conform to WCAG 2.1.

Laptop computer with state of Minnesota outline and the text WCAG 2.1

Enterprise Financial Summary: FY23

How is MNIT funded?

Minnesota IT Services is primarily funded by revenue received from executive branch and non-executive branch entities for IT services. This funding includes enterprise rate-based services and pass-through services for IT projects and applications. Only two percent of funding is from general fund appropriations and special revenue funds.

How are MNIT’s funds spent?

In FY23 MNIT expenses across all customers were $714 million. State agencies that are subject to IT consolidation spent $691 million on technology.

MNIT funding, FY23 actual
Graph showing MNIT funding in 2023. The total funding is $714 million. Enterprise services: consolidated agencies $199 (28%); Enterprise services: non-consolidated agencies $12M (2%); Enterprise services: counties, cities, schools $11M (2%); General fund / special revenue $17M (2%); Agency IT applications and projects $475M (66%)
MNIT expenses, FY23 actual
Graph showing MNIT expenses in FY2023. Total expenses are $714 million. Salaries/benefits $355M (49%); Other operating expenses $28M (4%); Network & telecommunications $15M (2%); Equipment $50M (7%); Software $133M (19%); Professional technical services $133M (19%)
Transforming Financial Processes

MNIT has advanced financial management practices using sophisticated analytics and automation tools that offer clarity to meet critical agency needs. In the last year, we increased the use of business intelligence tools to enable data visualizations and process automations. We created digital solutions that have been shared with other state agencies including financial reporting for Odyssey, Technology Modernization Fund, and Cloud Transformation to increase visibility into how program funds are spent.

We have streamlined payroll processing for all MNIT employees across that state. These enhancements in processes, financial analysis and user experience benefit multiple areas for MNIT and our agency partners.

Connected Culture

  • Embrace change, innovation, and agility
  • Nurture a culture of equity, inclusion, and engagement
  • Develop and support high performing teams

Icons of people, light bulb, graph, flags and upward facing arrows

Four puzzle pieces with icons of a tennis shoe, a scale with a heart on one side and a briefcase on the other, and hand holding a financial graph trending upwards, and a person doing yoga

Stronger Together

Stronger Together Committee Launch

In 2023, MNIT established the Stronger Together Committee to foster a more supportive and connected workplace environment.

The committee has taken a multifaceted approach to promoting health and wellness at MNIT, including:

  • Education, awareness, and resources
  • Mental health support
  • Team building
  • Feedback mechanism

We believe a healthy and connected workforce is essential for both individual and organizational success. By taking care of our physical and mental health and supporting one another, we can create an environment where everyone can thrive.

MNIT Stronger Together Site

The Stronger Together intranet site is focused on providing resources and information to promote employee health and well-being and growing a connected culture. Information and resources available on the site address important topics including:

  • Mental and emotional health
  • Physical health
  • Financial health
  • Social wellness
  • Work life balance and harmony
  • Leadership
  • Emergency situations

Supporting Government Services

Department of Children, Youth, and Families

In alignment with the One Minnesota Plan’s commitment to position Minnesota as the leading state for children, Governor Walz signed legislation for the establishment of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). MNIT has and will continue to support the new agency by providing resources and technology.

The inception of DCYF represents a reimagining of state government structures, aiming to prioritize and address the needs and funding requirements of children, youth, and families. This involves providing dedicated leadership within the executive branch and engaging with the legislature to elevate these crucial priorities.

Office of Cannabis Management

On May 30, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed a bill legalizing cannabis use by adults 21 and older. By nightfall of that day, MNIT, in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), launched the Office of Cannabis Management website.

The Office of Cannabis Management regulates cannabis (including for the adult-use market, the Medical Cannabis Program, and lower-potency hemp edibles) and will issue licenses and develop regulations outlining how and when businesses can participate in the industry. Recognizing there will be considerable public interest, the three agencies took a proactive approach and leveraged technology to provide Minnesotans with quick access to information. The website provides a one-stop resource that’s easy to navigate for visitors.

Department of Direct Care and Treatment

Legislation passed this year will create the Minnesota Department of Direct Care and Treatment. The agency, which has been housed under the Minnesota Department of Human Services, will become effective January 2025. MNIT continues to support the establishment of the new agency during the transition.

Employee Recognition

Headshot of Jen VanDemmeltraadt

Cyber Security Visionary Leader

The 2023 Visionary Leadership Awards honor the efforts of industry colleagues who are truly leading the way through their visionary approaches across the discipline of cybersecurity. During the Cyber Security Summit on Oct. 25, a Visionary Security Operations Leader Award was given to Jen VanDemmeltraadt, Deputy Chief Information Security Officer at MNIT.

Headshot of Josephine Birch
Rising Star Award

Route Fifty, in collaboration with Nextgov/FCW, announced Josephine Birch as a 2023 Rising Star Award recipient. Individuals are selected for their accomplishments over the past year and for their leadership potential. Josephine is the program manager for the new MNIT DOT application Disaster Recovery (DR) program. This program involves the development, testing, and maintenance of DR plans for MnDOT’s 57 high and medium priority applications.

Headshot of Jay Wyant

International Association of Accessibility Professional (IAAP) Volunteer Award

IAAP recognizes volunteers who contribute time, knowledge, and expertise to supporting IAAP’s mission to define, promote, improve, and diversify the accessibility profession globally. At the M-Enabling Summit held in October, Jay Wyant, MNIT’s Chief Information Accessibility Officer, received recognition for his impact on the accessibility profession and within the MNIT organization.

Headshot of Megan Sisko

National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Rising Star Award

Megan Sisko, a GIS specialist, received the first annual NENA Development Steering Council Rising Star Award. The Rising Star award recognizes a person who is new to the co-chair duties of a working group, has embraced this important leadership role, and has exemplified what it means to be a NENA Development Group Working Group Co-Chair.

MNIT Annual Awards

As part of MNIT Week, MNIT employees joined together to celebrate their work delivering outstanding IT service to Minnesota and its executive government with the Annual Awards ceremony. The agency’s Employee Recognition Committee (ERC) recognized honorees and finalists for the Annual Awards. Honorees from 2023 are:

Employee of the Year

Nancy Skuta

Manager of the Year

Elizabeth Guidarelli (Partnering with MnDOT)

Team of the Year

MMIS Health Care BA Team 19 (Partnering with DHS/MNsure)

Project of the Year

Frontline Worker Pay Program (Partnering with MDA, DEED, and DOR)

Partner of the Year

Department of Public Safety

Nancy Skuta posing with Commissioner Tarek Tomes and her Employee of the Year certificateElizabeth Guidarelli posing with Commissioner Tarek Tomes and her Manager of the Year certificate

Agency Awards

Golden GovIT Awards

The 2023 Golden GOVIT Awards, part of the Government IT Symposium, recognized government agencies and individuals who have advanced government technology through collaboration, innovation, service, and individual leadership.

Service Award

The Minnesota Department of Economic Development and MNIT received recognition during the annual GOVIT Symposium on Dec. 14, 2023, for their work on revamping the state’s Unemployment Insurance responsive website. This website caters to the requirements of Minnesota’s employers and individuals seeking unemployment insurance in times of economic crises. It also adjusts to changes in federal and state laws affecting benefit eligibility and administration. Created in the early 2000s, the overhaul project upgraded and enriched the program’s features and functionality.

Individual Leader Award Finalist

Rachel Horne, a business analyst with MNIT, was recognized at the GOVIT Symposium with an Individual Leader Award. The award honors an individual who champions and implements innovation, inspires collaboration, is focused on improving service, and demonstrates a personal commitment to advancing the professional and career development of him/herself as well as others in their agency.

Amazon Web Services State and Local Government Champion

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and MNIT were recognized as Amazon Web Services (AWS) State and Local Government Champions for their innovative use of technology to protect and enhance the health of Minnesotans. As part of the 16 SLG Champions celebrated at AWS Imagine, they transformed into a DevOps organization, embracing cloud infrastructure holistically. In response to COVID-19, they efficiently utilized data lakes to consolidate critical pandemic response data sets, such as Minnesota’s Disease Surveillance system, the Electronic Lab Reporting master archive, and the COVID Immunization Registry. This approach enhanced data management, reporting capabilities, and system efficiency during a demanding time.

Tekne Awards

To celebrate the outstanding achievements and innovation in Minnesota’s technology community, MnTech revealed 59 finalists at the Tekne Awards Finalist Announcement Reception on Sept. 28, attended by nominees, sponsors, and judges.

MNIT was a finalist in several Tekne award categories in 2023 including:

  • Data Security for MNIT’s development of the Statewide Security Monitoring Initiative (SSMI) to better protect the data of Minnesotans by partnering with participating county governments, port cities, and Tribal Nations.
  • Excellence in Partnership for MNIT’s work with the Technology Advisory Council to lead a unique and broad partnership between state and local leaders, private sector technology experts, and the Minnesota Legislature that helps guide the delivery of public services and programs.
  • Technology Leader of the Year nominee Ty Spratt, who serves as the chief business technology officer for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Board of Animal Health, and Department of Labor and Industry.
MNIT Leadership posing with MNIT's NASCIO awards
NASCIO State IT Recognition Awards

Minnesota brought home three awards from the 2023 Annual National Association of State Chief Information Officers Conference (NASCIO). Celebrated efforts included:

  • The Frontline Worker Pay Program received the Digital Services: Government to Citizen State IT Recognition Award. The collaborative work deployed a platform focused on user experience to ensure Minnesota could process 1.2 million applications and distribute $500 million to eligible workers who served the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • MnDOT’s drone inspection multi-year project received the Emerging and Innovative Technologies State IT Recognition Award. The drone bridge inspections take advantage of 3D modeling to provide better quality data and asset management, improve safety for bridge inspectors and the public, and reduce traffic delays.
  • The Department of Public Safety’s Driver and Vehicle Service’s virtual assistant received the State CIO Office Special Recognition State IT Award. The virtual assistant used AI technology to provide access to services to 67% of Minnesota’s non-English-speaking population and received overwhelmingly positive responses from individuals about how the work has made them feel and their ability to interact with the government in their native language.

Councils and Collaboration

In 2023, MNIT worked closely with advisory, legislative, state, and local organizations, as well as Tribal Nations, to enhance the way technology benefits Minnesotans.

Governor Tim Walz signing a bill in front of the Minnesota State Capitol building

Minnesota Legislature Highlights

In May, Governor Tim Walz signed into law state appropriations bills that allocated funds for state agencies over the next two years. These bills encompassed historic investments exceeding $500 million in delivering digital government, improving cybersecurity, and advancing systems that will strategically position Minnesota for success. These enhancements to our digital services will ensure secure access to services for families, businesses, and communities. The allocated funds reinforce MNIT’s capacity to effectively meet the evolving needs and expectations of Minnesotans.

The omnibus state government and elections finance bill (House File 1830) included $130 million in new spending for Minnesota IT Services to:

  • Improve cybersecurity protections and match federal funding for distributing cybersecurity grants to local governments.
  • Reduce barriers to getting help from the state by investing in modern, person-centered experiences that improve mobile access.
  • Support the state’s ability to quickly deliver innovative services by investing in cloud services.
  • Expand the capacity of Minnesota’s Geospatial Information Office and the Office of Accessibility, and support IT initiatives for the Children’s Cabinet.

Across the executive branch, the Minnesota Legislature also funded technology proposals to enhance the services that are delivered to the people of Minnesota. Some of the key proposals include:

  • The omnibus agriculture appropriations bill (Senate File 1955) facilitates improved self-service options for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
  • The omnibus judiciary and public safety appropriations bill (Senate File 2909) modernizes the way the state collects public safety data and links critical partners to make Minnesota a leader in evidence based solutions and information sharing.
  • The omnibus health and human services appropriations bill (Senate File 2995) transforms the human services delivery system with modern technology to better serve clients. It will create a simple, integrated, person-centered program for services. The legislation also improves our public health eligibility system, MNsure, and upgrades a platform to prevent delays in care for more than 1.4 million people who use Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare.
  • The omnibus jobs, economic development, labor, and industry appropriations bill (Senate File 3035A) modernizes the digital tools that support workforce development initiatives, making it easier to access virtual appointments, and improving accountability and administrative management. The omnibus education finance bill (House File 2497) improves the cybersecurity of our school districts and expands access to digital devices.

Task Forces and Councils

Technology Advisory Council

MNIT collaborated with the Technology Advisory Council (TAC), a governor-appointed body that guides strategic IT initiatives. TAC’s subcommittees, focusing on cybersecurity, project to product/agile, sustainable IT funding, and user experience/self-service, generated recommendations. A new subcommittee was formed for artificial intelligence. Vince Cabansag was recently appointed vice-chair of TAC, showcasing MNIT’s commitment to effective collaboration and leadership in key technology areas.

Cybersecurity Task Force

In 2023, the Minnesota Cybersecurity Task Force led the development of the Whole-of-State Cybersecurity Plan, which advances cybersecurity protections for Minnesotans. The Cybersecurity Task Force is made up of 15 members. Membership includes county, city, town, or tribal governments, and private sector IT experts. The Task Force meetings also invite participation from interested members of the Legislature.

Geospatial Advisory Council

The Minnesota Geospatial Advisory Council (GAC) coordinates the state’s geospatial community and advises MnGeo. In 2023, the council identified 26 priority initiatives, including statewide foundational geospatial datasets, remonumentation of the Public Land Survey System, and improved accessibility of critical infrastructure information. The GAC, representing various organizations, ensures collaboration across counties, cities, universities, businesses, nonprofits, federal and state agencies, tribal governments, surveyors, and other partner groups benefiting from geospatial technology.

Collaborations with Tribal Nations and Local Governments

Starting in 2022, a Tribal community partnered with MNIT to enhance its technology and security infrastructure. Recommendations in security, sustainability, and cost were accepted, leading to a collaboration involving MNIT, the community’s IT staff, and contractors. Together, they upgraded workstation operating systems, modified internet service providers, modernized the network, implemented M365 tools, and improved the data center. This initiative also facilitated additional partnerships among Tribal Nations.

MNIT continues its collaboration with Tribal Nations by participating in quarterly Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC) meetings and providing resources through the Statewide Security Monitoring Initiative and Whole-of-State Cybersecurity Plan.

MNIT also continued efforts to develop deeper relationships with local government teams statewide through its Security Operations Center Cyber Navigator program, which aims to help coordinate resources, threat intelligence, awareness, and responses to emerging cyber threats and active incidents wherever they occur.

In 2023, MNIT hosted monthly connections with county IT leaders. This connection point began in 2020 and continues to be an important venue for sharing successes as IT service delivery partners, building new opportunities in cybersecurity, procurement, and improving partnerships between the state and counties for improved service delivery for Minnesotans.

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