California CIO Liana Bailey-Crimmins Values People and Innovation
Women in Business

California CIO Liana Bailey-Crimmins Values People and Innovation

The Western Connect Magazine - California CIO Liana Bailey-Crimmins Values People and Innovation
By Gurleen Saini
The longtime state government official sees opportunities for reform in employee training, IT modernization, and other priorities.

California CIO Liana Bailey-Crimmins is leading the charge in driving innovation and prioritizing the development of state employees. In an exclusive interview with Western Connect Magazine, Bailey-Crimmins discusses the state’s focus on employee training, IT modernization, procurement reform, technology modernization funding, and broadband initiatives.

When the pandemic hit, California faced the daunting task of transitioning nearly 80 per cent of its 250,000-member workforce to remote work within a month. During this challenging period, Bailey-Crimmins and her team had to find a way to deliver mandated training to a force that was primarily isolated at home. The solution was to move all professional development programs online, ensuring that the state’s tech community continued to receive top-notch training. This shift also highlighted the critical need for cybersecurity specialists, considering the massive influx of employees online and the daily occurrence of over 400 million malicious probes on California state government’s physical IT assets.

In recent years, procurement reform has been a critical priority for the California Department of Technology (CDT). The pandemic further accelerated the need for agile procurement practices, and California successfully executed 75 emergency procurements in 2020, with an average completion time of only 11 days. Inspired by this success and under the leadership of the Governor, the state has embraced a new mindset that focuses on agility and speed in procurement processes.

The CDT established the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) in 2021 to facilitate the rapid delivery and improvement of critical services. This $25 million competitive grant program aims to support smaller yet high-value IT projects, enabling the state to promptly modernize, innovate, and enhance digital services. By investing in agile solutions, California can now implement changes in days and weeks instead of months or years, ultimately increasing the security of the state’s digital government.

Bailey-Crimmins is also actively involved in California’s broadband initiatives, recognizing the crucial role of high-speed internet in today’s society. The state is committed to closing the digital divide through its Broadband for All program. Despite the importance of broadband, millions of Californians still need access to adequate service and the necessary devices and skills to utilize it. The Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative will establish a 10,000-mile broadband network with a $6.5 billion multiyear investment to address this issue. The project, set to begin in October, aims to provide high-speed connectivity to all Californians. Additionally, California is promoting the Affordable Connectivity Program and developing a digital equity plan to bridge the digital divide further.

Under the leadership of CIO Liana Bailey-Crimmins, California is embracing the challenges of the digital age by investing in employee training, modernizing IT infrastructure, streamlining procurement processes, and prioritizing broadband accessibility. Bailey-Crimmins’ vision for a technologically advanced and inclusive California drives meaningful change, ensuring that the state remains at the forefront of innovation.


Gurleen Saini is a passionate and dedicated Senior Content Writer, known for her enthusiasm and commitment to the craft of writing. With a keen eye for detail and a creative flair, Gurleen brings a unique perspective to her work, infusing each piece with depth, clarity, and authenticity.

Gurleen takes pride in her ability to connect with audiences on a profound level, fostering meaningful connections and sparking thought-provoking conversations. Her dedication to her craft and unwavering commitment to quality make her an invaluable asset to any publication.

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