Laura Larimer

Laura Larimer

by / January 31, 1999
1. Is yours an appointed position, civil service, etc.? In Indiana, the CIO is appointed by the governor, reports to the commissioner of administration, and serves as a member of the governor's staff.

2. What training was most useful to you in your current position? While several flippant responses come to mind (survival training, kick boxing, stress management), the truth is I have found the training I received for my MBA from one of the nation's finest business schools, Indiana University, to be invaluable.

3. What are the biggest IT issues currently facing your jurisdiction? Attraction and retention of qualified IT staff, year-2000 remediation, getting the most out of electronic commerce, and technology for K-12 classrooms.

4. What IT program are you most proud of? Indiana's new catalog concept for PC purchasing, Indiana's private/public model for providing information and services through the Internet (e-commerce), and the way we provision end-user technology training.

5. What has been your most difficult challenge? I could answer this, but it would change by the time it went to press.

6. How will information technology change in five years? We have only started to see the impact of the Internet on our day-to-day lives. The citizen demand for Internet-based information and services from government will significantly increase. Access to the Web will be almost as pervasive as access to a telephone. Application development will focus increasingly on this platform. And the telecom companies will clean up through the increased demand on bandwidth.

7. What do you wish vendors would do or not do? [They should] pitch solutions, not products or prices.

8. When did you decide to enter government and what was the reason? When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be the first woman president of the United States. That youthful attraction to public service was reinforced by personal experiences during the civil rights movement, the women's rights movement, and the Vietnam War, as well as a strong family history of social activism.

9. How do you stay ahead of your e-mail? Who says I stay ahead of my e-mail?

10. How do you use the Internet? What sites are most useful to you? News, travel information and services, research (product, economic, financial). For the first two, I receive e-mail notes and only go to the Web sites to get more info or buy. For research, I use search engines to help me to target the specific subject du jour.

11. Who's the person you most admire? My mother, who taught me to be fiscally responsible and socially compassionate before the press gave us those buzzwords. Back then, we just called it being frugal and nice.