Government Technology Magazine hosted an invitation only CTO Summit for government CIOs and CTOs on April 14-15. This year's focus was "Data Center Management in Challenging Fiscal Times." You can learn quite a bit about what we discussed by just looking at the day and a half agenda.
A few quick tidbits: attendance was down to approximately 35 attendees due to travel restrictions in many states. Several state and city leaders dropped-out at the last minute. Nevertheless, the discussions and networking opportunities were outstanding, with state CIOs like Ken Theis from Michigan and Steve Fletcher from Utah as well as large city CIOs like Chris Vein from San Francisco.
The opening keynote from Paul W. Taylor was excellent. It was entitled: "Stimulating, Smart Sustainable and Sticky: The four Corners of Your Next IT Strategy." Paul's Slides are available online and his Renovation Nation blog is worth visiting. Paul has a unique way of bringing trends together in logical ways to help IT leaders think through what they are doing and where they are going. He made it clear that the Homeland Security funding spigot is closing while the stimulus spending channel is opening (see page 7). The government leaders that can demonstrate how different programs can work together (like Health IT and broadband networks) will have an advantage.
The next session on building data centers, entitled: "Building the Next Glass House" revealed fascinating trends and perspectives from three different state/local governments. From available federal tax breaks to the density of server power, all three presenters offered political and technical barriers and solutions. It was clear that building a new green data center (locally) is a hot issue around all over country. (More on this in a future blog.)
Later sessions focused on consolidation, security, and even an open, honest "off-the-record" dialogue on tough issues. But my point to writing this blog is rather simple. First, talk to others around the country about your infrastructure plans and strategies. Many of us are dealing with the exact same issues in these tough budget times. Second, check out Paul's keynote, he has plenty to offer.
Last, the Government Technology Magazine CTO Summit offers an excellent relationship-building opportunites that pay off for your government. This was my first year, but I hope to be back next year. Plan to attend as well, or at least visit the Digital Government Summits planned for your city in 2009.
Any other thoughts from those who attended? What was your biggest take-away?