• It’s Official: CIO Takai Heading to DOD

    October 25th, 2010 by admin Categories: Blogs Tags: , , , , , ,

    As was previously speculated on TechLeader.TV just two weeks ago, California State CIO Teri Takai has officially announced her resignation today, effective November 5, 2010, amid reports that the Obama Administration will officially announce her appointment as U.S. Department of Defense CIO, also expected today. This announcement ends  nearly nine months of on-again, off-again drama over her federal CIO appointment which was announced by the President last March 2010.

    As was previously speculated on TechLeader.TV just two weeks ago, California State CIO Teri Takai has officially announced her resignation today, effective November 5, 2010, amid reports that the Obama Administration will officially announce her appointment as U.S. Department of Defense CIO, also expected today. This announcement ends nearly nine months of on-again, off-again drama over her federal CIO appointment which was announced by the President last March 2010.

    The DOD has been undergoing a series of reorganization efforts during this period which affected the CIO’s organization and its role in the department. Then, in August, it was announced by the White House that Takai’s scheduled Senate confirmation hearing had been withdrawn, causing significant confusion about her eventual appointment.

    Well, that confusion is now over, and as her new DOD CIO position will reportedly not require Senate OK, she is expected to begin her new Pentagon next month.

    It also brings to a close to what even her worst critics will admit was revolutionary reformation of government IT in the State of California. Beginning with a small office of less than 50 FTE’s when appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in December 2007, her official Office of the Chief Information Officer now directly oversees over a thousand employees and controls virtually ever aspect of state IT spending for all 130 state departments. In just short of three years, she has navigated the rocky shoals of the state bureaucracy, through legislative minefields and often agnostic legislators, passed frequently recalcitrant department and agency CIOs, and amidst a suspicious and weary IT vendor community, Teri Takai leaves her successor perhaps the strongest CIO governance model among all state governments in the U.S., and perhaps federal sector as well.

    There will be much written over the next few months about her legacy in Sacramento. Suffice it to say from this former state CIO’s perspective that her mark has been truly stunning. And her successor whoever that is will have the kind of organization whereby significant and far-reaching IT enabled efficiencies can now thrust upon government operations at all levels.

    However, her mark is not indelible. One need only recall the sordid developments promulgated by my successor appointed by Grey Davis whose sorry performance as CIO was the direct cause of the CIO’s office to be sunset.

    It’s taken a decade to recover. And Teri justly deserves the credit. But I am haunted by those immortal words of Ben Franklin, at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation, as to whether the Convention had created a Republic or a Monarchy. Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    As the next week unfolds and the election is over, and the new Administration begins to take shape, the question will be, “Will the Governor keep it?”

    I plan to have more thoughts on the likely impact of a Whitman or Brown Administration later this week. Stayed tuned.

    1. admin says:

      Thanks for taking the time to provide a thoughtful reaction. I don’t agree with most of what you say. I think for example that the Data center consolidation and email award to CSC/Microsoft alone will save millions. But hey, I am glad you are part of this conversation, keep it coming… best JTF

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