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CIO as chief integration officer
A public sector perspective
Technology is the glue that connects programs and people, and helps information flow in the public sector, making it an essential component of everyday public sector operations. That puts the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in a unique position to take on the important job of integrating decision-makers and stakeholders.
CIOs have a unique vantage point, able to lead integration from an enterprise-wide perspective. After all, technology touches every department and government function–as well as, arguably, every business and citizen. Despite the hurdles, integration is happening now, with various states and federal agencies making incremental progress. While strong use cases can be a driver, new legislation is also helping to spur integration along. The organizational and modernization considerations loom large. How will these new structures impact government functions? Integration will be disruptive to business as usual in the short term, but its long-term positive benefits to citizens, stakeholders, and government itself are just too large to ignore.
- Find a champion. Some agencies and even states are more interested than others in collaborating and integrating. Consider starting with agencies or departments that share a common constituent or line of business. Find them–and work together to create real momentum.
- Determine infrastructure and organizational readiness. Integration requires technology assets and management skills that are up to the job. Create measurable criteria for assessing readiness to make the case for keeping, merging, or discarding existing applications. Create new incentives and metrics to help the teams work together.
- Align your IT efforts with the business. Cabinet secretaries and others already have clear priorities in place. Make sure you understand those priorities and pursue initiatives that align with them—working together to create real momentum.