Pete Anderson

Pete Anderson served 25 years in the U.S. Navy until retiring to become CIO of Columbus, Ohio, in mid-1998.

by / February 28, 1999
1. Is yours an appointed position?
Yes, I serve at the convenience of the mayor as a member of his executive cabinet.

2. What training was most useful to you in your current position?
Management and project management training while in the military. In my last position, I had to conduct numerous project reviews as well as briefings to higher authority, often to the CIO of a large federal agency, who was my boss.

3. What are the biggest IT issues currently facing your jurisdiction?
A shortage of IT personnel; year 2000; migration of numerous programs off main-frames to client server; trying to coordinate disparate software development efforts.

4. What IT program are you most proud of?
We have been working on several projects, although most are still in process, such as efforts to migrate our police and payroll systems from mainframe operations to client, server operations, conducting an extensive assessment of our Y2K readiness in software development projects, and working on a citywide license for enterprise management software. We are also working on a large communitywide education effort for our citizens about Y2K.

5. What has been your most difficult challenge?
Improving customer service with fewer personnel resources, while trying to promote cooperation and coordination.

6. How will IT change in five years?
Processing speeds will increase 100-fold; wireless transmissions will comprise a much larger (10X) percentage of the market as their capability is expanded; e-commerce use will also grow dramatically (100X); similarly, the Internet use will also continue its phenomenal growth; interoperability has to improve.

7. What do you wish vendors would do or not do?
Cooperate more on standards and interchangeability.

8. When did you decide to enter government and what was the reason?
I joined the Navy through ROTC in college (helped pay for my education), and decided to stay with it after I fulfilled my initial commitment to serve my country. Toward the end of my tour here in Columbus, I decided to look at options to remain here. This position became an opportunity to continue public service by working for the city, a natural extension of my government service.

9. How do you stay ahead of your e-mail?
This one is always a challenge. I usually work on it early in the morning and late at night. I send a large number and must be prepared to receive the same. This is difficult; I don't stay ahead of it, but try to keep up.

10. How do you use the Internet? What sites are most useful to you?
We use it as a tool for informing and educating the public. We want to expand its use in many areas over the next couple years. I also use it for information-gathering and as a source of samples for good ideas