William M. Vetter

CIO Profile:

by / May 31, 1999
William M. Vetter

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

2. What training was most useful to you in your current position? A degree in business management, augmented by on-the-job learning, beginning with programming on a UNIVAC in 1958.

3. What are the biggest IT issues currently facing your jurisdiction? 1. Year 2000. 2. Shortage of skilled IT personnel 3. Modernization of IT infrastructure with limited budgets and limited credibility for IT performance.

4. What IT program are you most proud of? Other than Y2K, standardization of e-mail and word processing on our Enterprise Web, e-commerce and digital signatures, broad-range data warehousing and standardized basic systems such as accounting for all state agencies.

5. What has been your most difficult challenge? Serving in a position that provides data processing and telecom services, while functioning as a regulator to the same customers.

6. How will information technology change in five years? We will move toward a paperless society, with e-commerce taking over. An expanding proportion of the population, and therefore the workforce, will accept nothing less than automation.

7. What do you wish vendors would do or not do? Develop products that work well together, rather than establishing walls between them for the sake of protecting sales.

8. When did you decide to enter government and what was the reason? Over 18 years ago, the deputy governor of Illinois, who I didn't know, asked me to come to the Capitol to discuss a position he wanted to fill. It became an opportunity for me to grow in technology well beyond any expectations I had at that time.

9. How do you stay ahead of your e-mail? I respond and clear three times a day.

10. What's your favorite recreational activity? For exercise, I like walking and cycling. My avocation is the making of completely hand-made quilts. One of them was used for the picture on a UNICEF card.

11. What's your favorite quote? "Everyone brings joy to this office; some when they enter, others when they leave." Source unknown.

11. Who's the person you most admire? President Ronald Reagan. He wasn't afraid to say what he believed and to stick with it.