2 Indian American technocrats among StateScoop top 50 Leaders of the Year

iNDICA News Bureau-

Two Indian-American technocrats, Krishna Kumar Edathil from Texas and Nikhil Deshpande from Georgia, have made it to the StateScoop Top 50 list for 2022.

The annual StateScoop 50 awards honor those who make state governments more effective and efficient. They also honor innovative projects that advance services and solutions for residents.

While Krishna Kumar Edathil has been chosen for State IT Leadership of the Year, Deshpande has been chosen for State Leadership of the Year.

Edathil, 49, director of enterprise solution services for the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), put the Lone Star state ahead in cloud ranking in the United States and launched its Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence to help with AI and robotics process automation.

Besides providing enterprise vision and strategy for state agencies, institutions of higher education, and other public entities, he leads the award-winning Centers of Excellence for Cloud and Artificial Intelligence.

As a division director, he oversees the Prioritized Cybersecurity and Legacy System (PCLS) study, a biennial report submitted to the Texas Legislative Budget Board that guides funding decisions on state agency cybersecurity projects and efforts to modernize or replace legacy systems.

“Krishna’s leadership has been pivotal in accelerating technology modernization efforts here in Texas,” said Amanda Crawford, state chief information officer and executive director of the Texas DiR. “He is a trusted partner for our customer agencies on their digital transformation journeys.”

Crawford herself is in the StateScoop 50 list as one of the State Executives of the Year.

Nikhil Deshpande, Georgia’s longtime chief digital officer, has played key roles in establishing the state’s social media presence and leading the move to an enterprise-wide open-source publishing system. Recently, his team has been working with agencies to improve their digital services.

“We cannot just be offering online services with technology in mind, we have to… (keep) users at the center and then build the services around user needs,” he said. Part of ensuring that citizens can use state services is to be able to search and find them, he said.

“These awards are community-driven and decided by who receives the most votes from across the state government IT community,” Jake Williams, vice-president, community and content, Scoop News Group, said in the award notifications. “This year, we received thousands of nominations and the StateScoop audience cast more than 3.5 million votes to decide the top 50!”

Edathil has more than two decades in technology start-up and leadership roles, including serving as senior technology executive for Accenture’s Intelligent Software Engineering Services group. He said the award was recognition for the advances made in cloud and AI through the Texas Tiger Team movement. Attributing it to teamwork and collaborative movement to accelerate innovation in Texas, he added, “Texas leads public sector innovation and emerging technology adoption.”

The ninth annual StateScoop awards were presented at a reception in conjunction with the midyear conference of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) in National Harbor, Maryland.