California Department of Technology (CDT) Director Amy Tong, speaking alongside other panelists at TechCA’s first annual Fall Forum on Sep. 24, said the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a culture change at CDT.
Specifically, Tong emphasized the need for aggressive, data-driven decisions from the state rather than risk aversion.
“We really don’t have time to wait for the perfect solution,” Tong said. “People are expecting the state to innovate, and we are meeting that.”
Tong also supported the use of pilot programs, such as the Exposure Notification App being tested at California universities, and applying the lessons to future experiences regardless of success or failure.
That willingness to take risks and the pace at which the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the decision-making timeline has made the use of real-time data a staple rather than a luxury.
“Data-driven decision making is a necessity,” Tong said. “It’s not nice to have—it’s a necessity.”