Robert A. Mayer

Robert A. Mayer is the chief information officer for the state of Maine. He is responsible for statewide data-processing functions and telecommunications services. Previously, he managed information services for county government and the public-transit agency in Seattle.

by / August 31, 1998
1. Is yours an appointed position, civil service, etc.?


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

Liberal arts education. It helped develop a habit of critical thinking.

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

Recruitment and retention. Controlling total cost of ownership. Improving return on investment.

4. What IT program are you most proud of?

Reorganizing around services instead of products or disciplines. Charging rates that reflect usage and are backed by service-level agreements. Broadbanding within the IS discipline.

5. What has been your most difficult challenge?

Getting departments to behave as if they belonged to the same enterprise (also known as herding cats).

6. How will IT change in five years?

Smaller, faster, cheaper, but Microsoft will own more.

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

Recognize that they are not the only vendor trying to sell us something.

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

Shortly after college, because I felt public service was a worthwhile goal.

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

I don't.

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

To keep up with news items through online publications and newspapers with Web sites.

11. What are you currently reading?

Watts Wacker's The 500 Year Delta: What Happens After What Comes Next.

Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air.

Robert Crais' Indigo Slam.

12. What's your favorite recreational activity?

Hiking without a pager or a cell phone.

13. What's your favorite quote?

"It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting."

-- Tom Stoppard

14. Who's the person you most admire?

Jimmy Carter.
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