Otto Doll

Otto Doll

by / October 31, 1999
Otto Doll is commissioner of the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications and is responsible for all state government computers, telecommunications and public broadcasting. He has advised Fortune 1000 as well as federal, state and local governmnent CIOs on information technology assessment and alignment to business needs. He served as a director with the U.S. General Services Administration, developing information technology strategic plans and oversight policy.

1. Is yours an appointed position, civil service, etc.?

Appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature.

2. What training was most useful to you in your current position?

Senior Executive Fellowship at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

3. What are the biggest IT issues currently facing your jurisdiction?

Year 2000. Aligning technology to K-20 education. Statewide information engineering.

4. What IT program are you most proud of?

Moving from 49th to 15th in the Digital State survey last year.

5. What has been your most difficult challenge?

Having been handed a newly consolidated organization, getting everyone to seek a common vision.

6. How will information technology change in five years?

Desktop- and Internet-based solutions will crowd out traditional solutions -- helped by online collaboration, voice recognition and higher bandwidths to the desktop.

7. What do you wish vendors would do or not do?

Really understand South Dakota dynamics to push solutions, not products. A willingness to partner with many vendors -- 99 percent of our needs cannot be solved by one vendor.

8. When did you decide to enter government and what was the reason?

Entered federal service in 1989 because the public sector is more challenging than the private sector.

9. How do you stay ahead of your e-mail?

My e-mail post office resides on my laptop and I treat e-mails like incoming phone calls.

10. How do you use the Internet? What sites are most useful to you?

Research solutions and new IT concepts. Most useful sites include,, and

11. What are you currently reading?

Communications Policy and the Public Interest, by Patricia Aufderheide.

12. What's your favorite recreational activity?

Tie between bowling and fishing.

13. Who's the person you most admire?

South Dakota Gov. William J. Janklow -- willingness to "say it like it is";
success in getting the job done; and ability to grasp information technology concepts