New Information Technology Director Keeps MORPC Connected

July 25, 2018

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) recently welcomed Hwa-yuan (Brian) Shang as its new information technology (IT) director. As someone who has experience with communities throughout Central Ohio, Shang is an excellent fit to provide support and leadership for MORPC’s many programs and services.

Brian Shang
“We are excited to add Brian to our team. His experience and thoughtful approach to IT will help improve our effectiveness to better meet the needs of MORPC and our region.”
MORPC Chief of Staff & Director of Operations Shawn Hufstedler

Brian will oversee the development, implementation, and use of technology throughout the agency, proactively addressing organizational, departmental and user-based needs.

We decided to put him to the test right away by having him answer a few questions:

 

Q: Why did you want to serve as IT director at MORPC?

A: During my interview, a number of questions asked to me surrounded my approach and attitude in leading IT endeavors. All of these made me realize that MORPC cared about finding a person who knows IT and would engage business and end users as his approach to lead IT operation. I believe our candid conversation lays the foundation well and leads me to firmly believe it is a good match beyond scrutinize in skills and knowledge-selection process. 

My past month with MORPC proves that I am correct, and I am loving the challenges every day.

 

Q: What’s the biggest challenge in the realm of information technology today?

A: It’s like you are shopping in a mega-sized superstore that has everything in many sizes, shapes, colors and styles. MORPC needs to continue in learning and searching unique solutions for ourselves by identifying and reviewing our role to government services, IT core capability, and expected values from using IT services.  IT movement is very fast, so we have to be agile, lean, and effective in choosing the right product/service.

 

Q: What big IT innovations do you see on the horizon?

A: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its automation power will be highly introduced and applied.  We, however, urgently need to have a better legal and moral guidance in developing it.

The future will not be like movie “I Robot” or “Extinction (2018)”.  Have you seen them?  They’re fun to watch.

 

Q: What IT-related advice do you have for not only MORPC employees, but other local government staffers and the general public?

A: The fact is that there are multi-generations in the workforce, and they perceive, utilize and appreciate IT very differently. It can become very personal. I have seen and experienced failed projects and some successful and long-lasting ones. The lesson I learned is to motivate and welcome effective communication between end user and IT resource/service managing body to reduce the gaps and inequality.  Since the technology waves come in strong and more frequent than before, we all need to develop our own methods to be able to surf on it without falling. This has to be accomplished by a unified team in engaging every level, and that is what I believe and will continue to work on.

 

Brian is a Ph.D. candidate in city and regional planning at The Ohio State University. He received his masters in both landscape architecture and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as his undergraduate degree in landscape architecture at Tunghai University in Taiwan.

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