goal, utilizing open systems as a way of increasing competitiveness among the state's vendors, of evolutionary rather than revolutionary change, process improvement as a critical step before building systems, and making information more accessible to the state's constituents.

There are other principles embodied in its architecture that are equally compelling, as well as specific standards that will embody those principles. But the architecture also recognizes the needs of individual project and departmental managers to achieve "organizational efficiencies, effectiveness and responsiveness."

The statement of these principles and their adoption by the statewide IT community will provide the definition of public value for the citizens of Indiana, and will provide that all-important yardstick to determine when to apply the defined and developing standards. So long as the standards are principle-based rather than technology-based, and so long as they are flexibly implemented and constantly reviewed, I believe that both Guevara and Miller will be able to achieve their individual objectives.

For those states who have not yet appointed a CIO, or created a leadership entity like DPOC, I believe the tensions between strategic and tactical objectives will be paralyzing. For states like Indiana, which have the structure and principled and effective leadership, the natural tensions between project objectives and strategic objectives will be resolved in a way that provides for better information systems implementations overall.

Larry Singer - an industry expert on strategic computing and a GT columnist - completed a senior executive's fellow program in public policy development and management from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Larry Singer  |  Contributing Writer