Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech) is "the consolidated technology services agency" (RCW 43.105.006) created to establish a streamlined, agile central IT organization that enables public agencies to better serve the people of Washington via technology. Our customers include state agencies, county, city and tribal governments as well as nonprofits. WaTech operates the state's core technology infrastructure--the central network and data center and supports enterprise applications. The agency's Office of the Chief Information Officer is charged with preparing and leading the implementation of a strategic direction and enterprise architecture for information technology for state government. Additionally, WaTech houses the State Office of Cyber Security and Washington OneNet. Approximately 550 people are employed at WaTech.
The WaTech Backstory
Governor Inslee requested the creation of a new technology organization as part of the 2015-17 budget to best position Washington for the most optimal future--think security, privacy, modernization. From the Governor's request emerged Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech), the government agency legally known as "the consolidated technology services agency" - RCW 43.105.006.
WaTech unifies the former Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), the original Consolidated Technology Services (CTS) and the enterprise applications division of the Department of Enterprise Services (DES). This new agency builds on the progress made by the state’s central IT organizations over the past four years, when five central IT organizations were combined into three--the OCIO, CTS and DES. Now we are one.
Vikki Smith | Acting WaTech Director & Washington State Chief Information Officer
Governor Jay Inslee asked Department of Revenue Director Vikki Smith to step in and serve as acting director and state Chief Information Officer for Washington Technology Solutions until the position can be filled permanently.
Vikki has worked her entire career at Revenue, starting in June 1970 as temporary clerical staff. She worked her way up through the ranks in positions of increasing responsibility and authority, eventually taking on leadership roles in several divisions.
As head of the Taxpayer Services division, Vikki transformed Revenue’s use of technology to serve its customers, the taxpayer. She established Revenue as one of the first agencies to adopt straightforward, jargon-free writing in its customer communications. Vikki became Chief Information Officer in 2007, positioning her to increase the Information Services division’s efficiency while influencing information technology issues on a statewide level. In 2012 she was selected to be Revenue’s Deputy Director and became Director in 2015.
During her career, Vikki has received numerous awards and professional recognition. Of all the accolades, Vikki is proudest of her volunteerism in the public schools, which earned her Parent of the Year from the North Thurston school system.
Vikki’s experience as an agency CIO, her membership on the Washington State Technology Services Board, and the knowledge she has gained as a customer of WaTech uniquely positions her to lead the agency during this interim period.
While Vikki’s focus will be on WaTech during the interim, she will remain in touch with her team at Revenue and remain active in major decisions at that agency.
WaTech's Three Challenges
Make durable change and successfully address three challenges:
- Change the Way we Work Together –
- Build a diverse workforce of the future
- Enhance our working experience and create a cultural sense of urgency
- Build a new identity for Washington's central IT and foster greater stakeholder engagement
- Transform our Customers' Experiences –
- Supply the superior, trusted technical foundation that enables agencies to focus on where they provide highest value to their stakeholders
- Become the supplier of choice for technology services and counsel to customers throughout project lifecycles
- Be more intentional and programmatic in how we manage customer relationships and offer solutions
- Execute with Excellence –
- Drive execution and evolution, plus increase accountability and trust with the authorizing environment
- Simplify; become easier to do business with; increase reliability and resilience
- Continous improvement is paramount: the ever-accelerating advances of technology demands rapid IT organizational responses
WaTech Executive Team
Vikki Smith | Acting Director and State Chief Information Officer
Laurel McMillan | Executive Assistant
Dan Mercer | Acting WaTech Deputy Director, Infrastructure & Applications and Chief Technology Officer
Michael DeAngelo | Deputy Director, Business and Digital Media Services
Sue Langen | Acting Deputy Director, Office of the Chief Information Officer
Scott Bream | Interim State Chief Information Security Officer
Alex Alben | State Chief Privacy Officer
Angela Knight | Executive Assistant
Wendi Gunther | Chief Finance Officer
Cathleen Overmiller | Director of Human Resources
Connie Michener | Director of Legislative Affairs
Office of Legal Affairs
Rebekah O'Hara | Chief Legal Services Officer