Jim Bryant is the CIO of the Division of the State Chief Information Officer for South Carolina, a major operating unit of the State Budget and Control Board. Bryant oversees the state's data center, telecommunications services and IT procurement. He took over the nearly 300-employee division in January 2006, as the office approached the final phases of deployment of the South Carolina Enterprise Information System (SCEIS).
The SCEIS will improve the performance of state agencies by integrating databases, applications and interfaces. The goal is for agencies to input data once in the SCEIS, and the data is then made available to multiple agencies.
Bryant graduated from the Citadel in 1980 and earned an M.B.A. from Golden State University, among other degrees.
You have an extensive educational background. What, if any, advantage does that give you in your current role as CIO?
The advantage it gives me in my current role as CIO is credibility to discuss technical, business, financial and human resource matters. Degrees do not make a CIO. A CIO reflects the education, experiences and relationships built through a lifetime of continuous learning and application on a daily basis. The best lesson I ever learned was at the Citadel in leadership through the people who support you.
What drives you as a CIO?
Connecting all South Carolinians with information, thus enabling them to use the connectivity for any purpose they may have for business, education or learning.
What's your most pressing upcoming project?
The implementation of the South Carolina Enterprise Information System (SCEIS). SCEIS is an enterprise resource planning initiative that will modernize our financial and human resource management capabilities in South Carolina.
What roadblocks do you foresee in getting that done?
I do not foresee any roadblocks in achieving this milestone. There has been tremendous preparation, change management and coordination by several people in the state's Budget and Control Board, Comptroller General and CIO to successfully implement this project for the benefit of all South Carolinians.
You worked on IT contracts involving Iraq, Jordan and Afghanistan -- what did you take from the experiences?
I managed contracts in these areas, but never physically was in any of these countries. I took away from these experiences, the appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States, as well as the knowledge of bleeding-edge technologies in wireless, high-speed communications.