challenge of keeping it current in technology, software and hardware. That challenge is compounded by the slowness with which government moves because of the constraints in purchasing, and is further compounded by the constraints of the availability of revenue for funding. I believe that a successful balance among these challenges is achievable, depending upon the dedication and commitment of the governmental entity and its leadership in bringing government to the people."
Senior Director, Educational Tech Division, Texas Education Agency
Givens has been instrumental in successful efforts to bring technology to Texas' 1,044 districts and 6,465 schools and in developing the Texas Education Network, which serves as an Internet provider for schools and trains teachers in helping them integrate technology into the classroom and evaluating instructional resources.
Technology challenge: "The biggest challenge to digital government is twofold: awareness and access. There are such rich digital resources and services available - but unless the various customers are fully aware of these resources and services and have access to them, the benefits will not be fully realized. The most frequent response I get when sharing news about nearly any digital resource or service is 'I didn't know that!' Once people realize what is available, their enthusiasm begins to emerge until they then think about access. The how, when, where, and how much does it cost questions may become the biggest challenges depending on the number and type of customers being addressed. Communication is the key to overcoming these challenges, and there are so many messages being delivered, it is difficult for many to sort out what they really need to know to move forward in this digital age. Challenges are just opportunities in disguise so as we identify each one, we must continue to take the steps necessary to move forward."
City Manager, La Grange, Ga.
La Grange's initiative to link all of its citizens to the Internet via the local cable television system won nationwide acclaim. The city received Government Technology's Leadership Award in 2000 and was named Intelligent City of the Year by the World Teleport Association.
Technology challenge: "I see the biggest challenge as getting government services used online by all members of a community. Proficiency in the use of technology is becoming increasingly important as a life skill. Those who don't develop that skill are in danger of being left behind economically and socially. Our challenge is to ensure appropriate infrastructure deployment and access, develop compelling content that is relevant to the daily lives of our citizens, and promote the use of technology in all of our community institutions."
Chief Information Technology Officer, Kansas
Heiman retired last month, leaving a legacy of statewide IT architectures and standards. His efforts resulted in a first-place finish for Kansas in the 2001 Digital State survey.
Technology challenge: "Today we have taken a defensive strategy for safeguarding our critical infrastructure. This year, IT will be increasingly challenged to augment defensive strategies with offensive tactics. These tactics will require changes to state IT governance structures as we adopt enterprise security councils, security analysis centers to parse intrusions, reverse engineering of security hacks and aggressive tracking of hacks back to their sources. Year 2002 will also bring a new understanding on how states can best balance open records, privacy and security."
Secretary, Department of Economic Development, Louisiana
Hutchinson helps lead an effort to reinvent and diversify Louisiana's economy based on bold technology and education initiatives.
Technology challenge: "There are three significant components necessary in order to create a successful digital government. The first component is policy. The second is infrastructure. The third is education. By developing policy that