Nikhil Deshpande and Krishna Edathil win State Leadership awards in Georgia and Texas respectively
Two Indian American technocrats, Nikhil Deshpande and Krishna Edathil are among the winners of the 2022 StateScoop 50 Award announced by Scoop News Group, a leading US public sector tech media company.
The awards, now in their ninth year, honor the most influential people in the state government community and the most innovative projects that advance services and solutions for residents, according to a press release.
Georgia’s longtime chief digital officer, Nikhil Deshpande won the State Leadership of the Year award for playing key roles in establishing the state’s social media presence and leading the move to an enterprisewide open-source publishing system.
Read: Three Indian Americans among top 25 InsurTech Executives of 2021 (January 18, 2022)
Recently, Deshpande’s team has been working with agencies to improve their digital services, setting up measures to measure the success of various services.
“We cannot just be offering online services with technology in mind, we have to cater the services with users at the center and then build the services around user needs,” he says.
A key component of improving services: Google rankings. Deshpande said that part of ensuring citizens can use state services is being able to search and find them.
Krishna Edathil won the State IT Leadership of the Year in Texas. The Texas Department of Information Resources has in recent years created multiple centers of excellence — educational offices to support officials in learning new technologies — for cloud, AI and soon, robotic process automation.
“We help Texas agencies who in turn help Texas people,” says Krishna Edathil, who as DIR’s director of enterprise solution services runs the Centers of Excellence program. “We have to be fast and innovative and help people who don’t understand technology and how we improve the lives of people.”
The 2022 edition of the awards were presented at a reception in conjunction with the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ midyear conference in National Harbor, Maryland, sponsored by Appian, Salesforce, Spectrum Enterprise and Zoom.
“The winners of the 2022 StateScoop 50 Awards are truly exceptional leaders and include innovative projects that are setting the stage for even more transformation in government,” said Jake Williams, the vice president of content and community of StateScoop and EdScoop.
This year’s winners represent 23 states and 13 private-sector companies. Winners include one governor, numerous C-level information technology leaders and noteworthy projects from across the country.