Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot along with the Department of Assets, Information, and Services (AIS) have announced a new IT modernization approach that will enhance city services and provide transparency through broader access to data and continued privacy protections.

The mayor also appointed two city officials to help lead the effort. Nick Lucius will step into the newly created role of chief technology officer (CTO) in the Office of the Mayor. Lucius has served as the city’s chief data officer for the past two years.

Additionally, Kurt Peterson has been named as the city’s chief information officer (CIO), in charge of managing the Bureau of Innovation and Technology at AIS (AIS IT). Peterson has more than 25 years of experience in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors, serving Chicago since 2011 as deputy commissioner and more recently as first deputy budget director.

“As we saw with initiatives like Chicago Connected, technology when properly wielded, has the tremendous power to uplift residents in all of our communities,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “By providing equitable access to better technological resources, we can empower our residents — giving them the tools they need to access opportunities, resources, and so much more. This new technology approach will help ensure that moving forward, city government uses technological resources in a way that benefits all and not just some.”

The new IT modernization approach will enhance city services in the following ways:

  • “Lowering the cost and burden of receiving city services and benefits.
  • Reengineering outdated business processes and adopting new technologies for our future to ensure collaboration and leverage across city government.
  • Making public services accessible digitally and easier to use by Chicagoans.
  • Improving data integrity to enable more robust, transparent, and accessible use of data.
  • Reducing the IT burden on city departments, allowing them to spend more of their resources delivering services to residents instead of maintaining outdated systems.”

This new approach is part of a larger effort to close the digital divide, supporting the mayor’s launch of Chicago Connected and complementing the Chicago Digital Equity Council.

The new technology strategy also aims to modernize legacy systems, processes, and services for users. It also establishes the Chicago Digital Service (Chicago Digital), “a collective of technology-focused city employees who work on product management, civic design, data, software engineering, and security.”

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