Judi Zito stepped up to the CIO post of Miami-Dade County, Fla., after spending 21 years in a variety of technology-related positions. She credits her diverse background with the county for giving her a unique perspective that allows her to easily embrace an enterprise vision of IT management and work across the boundaries of business units.

Zito expressed great optimism and enthusiasm as she took the reins of what she hopes will become a federated model of governance for Miami-Dade.

What are your most immediate priorities?

To create an IT organizational model that effectively merges the functions of e-government and the IT infrastructure areas, and provides a framework for consolidation of enterprise services. Once complete, we'll organize the leadership team for the central IT organization, which will include the selection of a new IT director who will oversee this organization, reporting to the CIO. I intend to work with county departments to move toward a more central provisioning of enterprise functions.

We will also establish a governance model that ties to our funding strategy and relies on compelling business cases as a basis for determining what technology initiatives should move forward and how the county should invest its resources in IT.

We'll continue to move forward with putting services online both for the public and employees. Some key initiatives now under way are the implementation of a new Web portal that will provide a much greater degree of functionality, including a pilot for language translation, personalization, new user interface, full implementation of content management, an improved search capability and other features.

What is your long-term vision for IT?

I would love to see IT integrated fully into the business, to the point that all county decision-makers consider IT in their decision making process. It is a strategic solution to improving government service and enables us to carry out our mission, which is, "Delivering excellent public services that address our community's needs and enhance our quality of life." At some point, I think e-government can lose the "e" and just be part of good government.

Like others, I envision the implementation of an enterprise IT infrastructure that functions much like a utility. When we achieve that, agencies will be able to focus their resources and expertise on the implementation of business solutions that will improve their own operations as well as customer service.

Do you have a message for private-sector partners?

We're looking for innovative solutions that will help us provide better service to the public in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible, particularly solutions that will allow us to build upon investments we have already made in infrastructure. Like most governments across the nation, this is a very difficult budget year.

What is the best thing about being CIO of Miami-Dade?

Miami-Dade is a great place to be. Being such a large organization, there are opportunities to be involved in so many new and innovative things. We have an awesome work force -- department and business people who are eager to apply IT to their business needs and an extremely talented and creative IT work force. We have very supportive leadership, and that is really critical.

Darby Patterson  |  Executive Editor at Large