Don Heiman is Kansas' chief information technology officer and director of the state's information technology voice, data and video infrastructure. Heiman is a certified government financial manager and a certified information systems controller. He has published many articles in U.S. and international academic journals on topics related to personnel management and information technology.
1. Is yours an appointed position?
Yes, appointed by the governor.
2. What training was most useful to you in your current position?
Business, economics and organizational behavior.
3. What are the biggest IT issues currently facing your jurisdiction?
Year-2000 century date change and adopting an organic enterprise information technology architecture for all agencies and branches of state government.
4. What has been your most difficult challenge?
Retention of IT workers in a highly competitive market. We are meeting this challenge through IT bonuses, training programs and employee opportunities to work with world-class technologies.
5. How will IT change in five years?
The network will be fully intelligent with just-in-time bandwidth anytime and anywhere at highly attractive prices. We want state government to be virtual to citizens.
6. What do you wish vendors would or would not do?
I wish more vendors would use our metrics for measuring how well they support us in serving my customers' customers. I wish vendors would give us the best deals when we need them rather than at the close of quarters or fiscal years. Also, vendors should know that we receive little or no value from tier pricing.
7. When did you decide to enter government and what was the reason?
I decided to enter government in 1976 because I wanted to work in an environment that deals with important issues about economic welfare, quality of life and public values.
8. How do you stay ahead of your e-mail?
9. How do you use the Internet? What sites are most useful to you?
The Internet is my just-in-time research laboratory. I find NASIRE and state IT sites highly useful.
10. What are you currently reading?
Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens.
11. What's your favorite recreational activity?
Baseball and anything associated with University of Kansas basketball.
12. What is your favorite quote?
"Life is mostly froth and bubble, yet two things stand in stone: compassion for another's trouble, courage to face your own."