“The collaboration between tech industry leaders and our dedicated public employees helped New York meet the technical and operational demands of the response to the pandemic while also saving millions in taxpayer dollars,” Governor Cuomo said. “Their assistance during these challenging times had a positive impact on millions of New Yorkers, and the continued support and services will be critical as we battle a public health emergency and build back our economy even stronger than before.”
The New York State COVID-19 Tech ‘SWAT’ Team, in coordination with state-led internal technical teams, developed 40 projects during the COVID-19 public health crisis that resulted in nearly 50 million interactions between the public and state government and an estimated cost savings of approximately $14 million, according to the progress report issued by the state’s Office of Information Technology Services.
In March, at Governor Cuomo’s direction, ITS solicited volunteers to help develop technological solutions to support and accelerate New York State’s coordinated, decisive, and rapidly evolving response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The response from the private sector was unprecedented, with nearly 7,300 volunteers representing 3,500 organizations answering the call to service.
ITS worked with the Governor’s Office and the state Department of Financial Services to formally establish volunteer teams of highly trained civic-minded technical professionals to work alongside state staff and assist in New York’s response during 30- to 90-day sprints. The team also coordinated the deployment of critical contributions of technical equipment and software to support COVID-19 activities.
The COVID-19 Tech ‘SWAT’ Team has since assisted State agencies with operations, analytics and other technological applications that allowed them to continue to deliver critical services during the pandemic. During that timeframe, 19 projects were developed pro-bono, delivering a combined 25,000 hours of volunteer support and saving taxpayers approximately $14 million.
In addition, the state developed 21 priority projects managed and led entirely by internal government teams at ITS, the office of Digital and Media Services, and other internal agency teams. New Yorkers frequently relied on these initiatives online, with digital projects yielding 49 million service interactions and 342 million page views across 60 million users.
Pro bono tech projects developed during the COVID-19 response include:
ITS Interim Chief Information Officer and Director Jeremy Goldberg said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has moved with urgency, professionalism and resilience to tackle COVID-19 head-on. As part of that effort, we’ve received unprecedented assistance from civic-minded technologists across the state and nation to support our response. We thank them for their skills and their generosity and applaud our dedicated government technology staff in supporting New Yorkers during this time of need.”
Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New Yorkers have bravely flattened the curve. This progress report is a testament to what can be achieved when government and industry both step up and work together to deliver creative and innovative solutions to build New York back better.”
Head of Government Affairs for Google NY Angela Pinsky said, “When New York put out the call for help, Google was eager to answer. As we continue to navigate the crisis of the pandemic together, the Governor’s Office, ITS, and all of the agencies have remained organized, directed, and clear visioned in structuring these innovative and novel public-private collaborations. We were honored to be able to provide the technological expertise and resources of our Google.org Fellows to help our fellow New Yorkers during this critical time.”
President of US Regulated Industries at Microsoft Toni Townes-Whitley said, “The leadership shown by New York State with the Coronavirus State Technology SWAT Team has helped New Yorkers through the first phases of this pandemic. Microsoft is pleased to have played a supporting role, not only helping New York deliver a mobile Covid self-assessment tool to its citizens, but also accelerating technology innovation to support them through each phase of the crisis.”
NYS Tech SWAT initiative was made possible by deep internal partnership across various state teams, including the critical work of the Chamber Digital Strategy & Social Media team, Department of Health, Department of Labor, Department of Motor Vehicle Services, and Department of Agriculture and Markets. Tech SWAT partners included Apple, Accenture, Acquia, Armanino LLP, Castlight, Cisco, Codecademy, Dell, Google, H2R Product Science, HPE, LinkedIn, Ludia Consulting, Mastercard, Microsoft, Square, Tata Consultancy Services, and Unisys.
To download the full report highlighting the Tech SWAT program and its associated projects, visit the program website here.