could change quickly," said Bredesen, adding that laws that made perfect sense 40 or 50 years ago no longer apply to the world that exists today. "One of the big challenges is how do you use IT in a more sophisticated way than just automating not very effective processes? I've found that to be the biggest challenge."

The need to update laws and regulations that are out-of-step with the transformative powers of technology isn't confined to statehouses. It's a challenge that stretches to Congress, said Bredesen. "Anytime you have a complex system, such as our social programs, with all sorts of silos of information, and funding mechanisms that go along with those silos - it really stifles your ability to transform."

Given his IT background, the governor's views on technology are distinctly practical and business-minded. When asked what he would like his IT legacy for the state to be, Bredesen spoke simply: "What I'm trying to do is bring government a little more into the modern era. A piece of that is IT. I'd like to leave a system that is more modern."

Tod Newcombe  |  Features Editor