Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama's Federal CIO Pick -- Vivek Kundra -- Signals New Era (Analysis)

Kundra's appointment resonates in two distinct ways.

First, he fits the Obama administration's Gov 2.0 philosophy of transparency and innovation. Not only has he spoken out for making more government information accessible to the public, but Kundra uses the tools, such as YouTube, wikis, Facebook and Twitter, that make government transparency an actuality rather than a hollow phrase.

Kundra has also received praise for his deft use of cloud computing applications and sophisticated portfolio and project management tools to keep IT projects on track and measure their performance. By using hosted applications, such as Google's suite of online software tools, Kundra has demonstrated his willingness to take risks.At the same time, he has made it clear that the old way of procuring technology for the public sector is over. His use of consumer-oriented technology, including the iPhone and Web 2.0 tools, reflects the world of IT today: off-the-shelf, sometimes open source and applied in ways that delivers benefits quickly and cost-effectively. It doesn't fit the stodgy image of government IT.

Second, Kundra's appointment opens the door to a new federal-state-local government IT relationship. Former administrator of the Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology at the Office of Management and Budget, Karen Evans, worked hard to get federal IT on the same page when it came to standards and performance, but she and the rest of the federal CIO community only paid lip service to intergovernmental IT. This has hurt how the public sector has been able to leverage technology for the public good.
Obama's Federal CIO Pick -- Vivek Kundra -- Signals New Era (Analysis)

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