February 10, 2009

Reflections On The Role of a Federal Chief Technology Officer

Had interview today with Federal News Radio on the role of the Chief Technology Officer.

Here are some key points:

1. The CTO is a subject matter expert on technology modernization, transformation and deployment of new technology in the agency.

2. The CTO is responsible to work with the lines of business and IT to ensure that technology is meeting the needs of customers, that enterprise architecture and governance are in place, and that agency is incorporating best practices from all sources into technology operations.

3. The CIO's focus is on the business while that of the CTO is technology. Everything the CTO does is to support the CIO to operationalize his or her decisions and those of the senior leadership team. The CTO also serves as principal advisor to the CIO on IT management best practices, so that these get incorporated into the decision process.

4. A federal CTO would be a positive development because it will give a more prominent voice to the nation’s technology needs.

If there had been more time I would have added that in my view, the most important issue for a federal CTO is to address the need to raise the technology competitiveness of the United States. Technology is our future and we need to be number one.

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