The election of Barack Obama to the American presidency has been described by pundits as "historic," "momentous" or with other glowingly optimistic adjectives. But the significance of Obama's election pales in comparison to the gravity of the challenges he'll face once the last syllables of the oath of office pass his lips.
One such challenge demanding his attention is the nation's flagging technology infrastructure. The nation that created the Internet now finds itself steadily falling behind on almost all technology fronts. But Obama was elected in part by a generation who grew up with technology. Though George W. Bush and the outgoing GOP strategists were avid technophiles, they tended to use technology on a macro scale. Obama is America's first BlackBerry president. His campaign was driven by technology. It's a safe bet his administration will be too.
On the following pages is a two-part look at what those in public-sector IT can look forward to from the Obama administration. First, Editor Steve Towns reports on Obama's plan to establish the nation's first chief technology officer (CTO). Who might it be? And what will a national CTO mean for IT? Second, Associate Editor Chad Vander Veen and Assistant Editor Matt Williams turn to industry experts and insiders for a high-level discussion about the fate of our national IT infrastructure. Can Obama catapult the U.S. back into technology's pole position?
Obama has made history once. The question now is whether that trend will continue.