Simone Marstiller

CIO, Florida

by / October 5, 2004
Florida CIO Simone Marstiller came to the State Technology Office (STO) from the Governor's Office, where she was the deputy chief of staff for Gov. Jeb Bush. Before her stint in the Governor's Office, Marstiller was general counsel for the Department of Management Services from October 2002 to June 2003, and was interim secretary of the department from January 2003 to April 2003. She also worked for several years in advertising sales in the publishing industry before becoming an attorney. She was born in Liberia, where she lived for nine years before settling with her family in Florida.

What does your experience as deputy chief of staff of the Governor's Office bring to your new line of work as Florida's CIO?
Being deputy chief of staff gives me a clear understanding of what the governor's vision is for the STO and how IT ought to be used in the state enterprise. I've come to understand his management style. I know what he expects from his agency heads. I know what his priorities are overall. It's a new job, a new role, but I'm really just in a different position on the same team.

How would you rank your IT expertise on a scale of one to 10?
I'm not a techie, to be sure. What I do have are some very talented and knowledgeable people on my staff to whom I'm able to turn to ask for their input, advice and expertise on IT matters as they relate to STO operations and to solutions that can and should be applied outside the STO.

Does it matter to you that you're not a techie? That seems to be the case with many new CIOs.
It doesn't matter to me in how I approach my job and how well I think I will do. Along the way, I certainly hope to take advantage of whatever learning opportunities are out there for me to become more conversant with IT-type issues. I don't, by any stretch, want to become a techie.

To the extent that we're seeing a trend away from uber-techie CIOs, it's probably owing to the need to bring in more business focus. It also demonstrates the importance of the IT function in strategic planning in organizations. If you have folks on your team with strong IT backgrounds, that to me is as good as -- if not better than -- having a CIO that's an
Shane Peterson Associate Editor