Friday, May 29, 2020

myColorado Connects Residents with COVID-19 Resources and State Services from Home

As Coloradans continue staying safer at home, myColoradoTM has proven to be a valuable tool. In fact, more than 51,000 residents have downloaded the State of Colorado’s official mobile appTM to use their Colorado Digital IDTM, receive COVID-19 updates, and access to state services such as driver license renewal and medical, food, cash, and early childhood assistance.

Here are some other things you can do with myColorado:

  • Store vehicle registrations in the Wallet
  • Access 17 DMV Services
  • Search for online state services in one place
  • Receive important state news
  • Search State of Colorado job listings
New features are continually being added to myColorado to provide additional value for Coloradans. For example, a menu of COVID-19 state and national resources can be accessed on the home screen without logging in or creating an account. Resources include access to the School Free Lunch Sites Map, United Way 2-1-1, Do You Have Symptoms?, Colorado Mask Project, Help Colorado Now, and more.

Showing my Colorado Digital ID to merchants has been a great contactless alternative to providing my physical driver license for requesting products and services that require official identification. I also use the app to stay informed about COVID-19 and get up-to-date guidance from the state.

Have you tried myColorado yet? You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and explore the state’s many online services from the comfort of your home. That’s what I call #DoingMyPartCO. To learn more, visit myColorado.state.co.us.


Today's blog comes from myColorado Communications Manager, Judy Wolff

Friday, May 22, 2020

CIO Theresa Talks: Go With the FLOW to Use the Polarity Strategy

Polarities are part of everything in life, including ourselves. During life, there can be tensions between work and family, controlling and allowing, expanding and contracting state revenues, and more. Instead of seeing a polarity as a problem to solve, honor opposites in life and encourage dynamic movement between interdependent poles. When two or more poles are working together in harmony, the result is more energy, stability, and flow.

EXAMPLE. Take expansive and contractive breathing cycles, explained by Barry Johnson in his seminal work Polarity Management. What's better -- breathing in or breathing out? Neither is better. Both are needed to exist. Exhalation and inhalation are not static, but part of "...an ongoing flow of shifting emphasis from one to the other and back again. Managing polarities requires choosing BOTH (emphasis added) inhaling AND (emphasis added) exhaling."

During these challenging times we may need to “go with the flow” more often. So, how do you go with the flow?” Just like a pendulum moves between two poles with great energy, and without hindrance, use the FLOW technique to manage polarities into an integrated whole.

F - Find your polarity. What polarity in your life needs attention?

L - Learn. What are the two poles? Are you experiencing the downside of an overemphasis on one pole to the neglect of the other pole? Are you stuck so that you are not naturally flowing between poles?

O - Oscillate. Become aware of what actions would allow a dynamic movement between your poles.

W - Watch it work. As you observe the polarity at work (or not at work), take the necessary actions so that there is a healthy rhythm and flow between poles.

The Polarity Strategy is one of six strategies that will help you successfully pursue a passionate purpose. Given the current pandemic situation, getting through this together requires us to dig in and actively manage polarities. Perhaps this is best said as, ROW with the FLOW.


Today's blog comes from OIT Chief Information Officer and Executive Director, Dr. Theresa M. Szczurek

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

CIO Theresa Talks: IT in the Time of COVID-19

Information technology (IT) has never been more important. Consider how IT is helping us all function in this challenging time of COVID-19. The Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) is not only helping state agencies and employees stay connected and use technology effectively, we are also teaming up with our agency partners to help YOU — Colorado’s residents and businesses. Below are some examples of how technology is helping us get through these trying times together.

FOR OUR RESIDENTS
Assistance. Major IT applications are in great demand. Examples are Unemployment Insurance (UI) and the Colorado Benefits Management System (the system that powers Colorado PEAK), which provides food, cash, and medical assistance to those in need. Residents who have lost their job are applying for benefits at an all-time record rate. IT systems like these are seeing 10x the maximum load they were designed to support. Now with the new Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Assistance program and the CARES Act, the systems were quickly upgraded and millions of dollars worth of claims were processed in less than a week since go-live.


myColorado. The myColoradoTM mobile app provides residents with secure and convenient access to state services anytime, anywhere. The app's Colorado Digital IDTM enables you to create a secure electronic version of your Colorado driver license or state identification (ID) card on your smartphone for proof of identification, age, and address within Colorado. The app also allows all Coloradans to view COVID-19 information in one place. Residents who are facing hardship can use the app to access benefits on Colorado PEAK. Coloradans can also sign up to receive helpful COVID-19 text and email alerts within the myColorado app. Download myColorado from the Apple App Store or Google Play today!


Do You Have Symptoms? Coloradans can help slow the spread of COVID-19 by reporting their symptoms. The Colorado Community COVID Symptom Tracker collects data so that COVID-19 can be tracked among people who may not be able to or need to get tested for the virus. It helps public health experts and policymakers to map and identify potential hotspots not captured by testing. And by filling out the symptom tracker, the system can connect you with resources that can help with any physical or behavioral health symptoms you may experience during this time.

Hotlines. The state's objective is to route all COVID-19 public health questions through one trusted channel, and then connect callers to the appropriate experts for help. To quickly build up this capability, OIT has utilized Virtual Call Centers and Virtual Automated Agents. We're also providing the technology to allow remote call center workers to receive office calls on their personal phones. The impact has been so great that the concept has spread quickly — first to specialized OIT service desks such as myColorado and next to many other departments.


Other Resources. Stay informed at covid.colorado.gov which provides access to other important information and services including how you can join others in #DoingMyPartCO.

Stay Secure. Be vigilant and watch out for the many COVID-19 scammers who are phishing to steal your personal information or trick you. Be suspicious of unsolicited emails, phone calls, texts, or visits. Check out these tips that we have made available on our Cybersecurity Help webpage.

FOR COLORADO BUSINESSES
Help. Get the latest in COVID-19 economic recovery resources at choosecolorado.com. Resources are available to support small businesses, nonprofits, freelancers, and independent contractors.

Safer at the Office. Offices can begin opening with restrictions beginning May 4. Find recommendations for protecting your staff and customers at Safer at Home: Office-Based Business. Note: Local governments may have established other dates.

FOR OUR STATE EMPLOYEES
Telecommuting Is In. More than 80% of Colorado's 33,000 state employees are working remotely (and many other Coloradans are telecommuting as well). IT is allowing them to do so. It requires the right equipment (a computer, internet access, and a phone), sufficient data and voice capacity, secure access, help through self-service and remote technical support, online training, and a "tech kit" offering written instructions.
Virtual Connections. Using audio, web, and video conferencing, we're staying connected virtually. Other means are internal organizational chats, texts, emails, and plain old phone calls. And to have fun with it, we have theme days where we wear hats, cool sunglasses, or school colors.


SUMMARY
Recall Viktor Frankl's quote from Man's Search for Meaning, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”

Have hope. You are not alone. Help is here for individuals, businesses, and telecommuters. Even as we move into the Safer at Home phase, stay at home as much as possible. Always wear a cloth facial covering when leaving home. Remember, you are resilient. You are strong. This too shall pass, and we will get through it together. Let's be grateful for all we have and let's stay connected. Choose to be optimistic.


Today's blog comes from OIT Chief Information Officer and Executive Director, Dr. Theresa M. Szczurek

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

COVID-19 and Cyber Threats

Everyday I receive threat intelligence from multiple sources warning of ongoing COVID-19 related threats. These bad actors are sending emails, placing phone calls, or even creating fake websites claiming to represent legitimate organizations, all designed to get your personal information. With fear and uncertainty, it can be all too easy to fall victim to these scams. In fact, in the last week I've spoken to two different people who have fallen victim to a COVID-19 related scam.

At the Governor’s Office of Information Technology, we continue to remind people to maintain a healthy sense of skepticism and to be on the lookout for these threats. We've created two new resources to help keep you one step ahead of the bad actors - feel free to share them as desired!

COVID-19: Staying Safe Online.
This document, which is accessible from our Cybersecurity Help webpage, contains a great collection of cyber tips, valuable for detecting COVID-19 threats, scams, and hoaxes. It also includes basic tips for staying safe when online.

COVID-19 Scam Video.
This short, educational video is another tool to learn how to spot current COVID-19 related cyber threats that attempt to get your information or infect your computer. Take a look to learn more.


Today's blog comes from State of Colorado Chief Information Security Officer Debbi Blyth.