Teri Takai, CIO, California/Photo by Gerry McIntyre California CIO Teri Takai Photo by Gerry McIntyre

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California CIO Teri Takai admitted Tuesday, May 11, that she's eager to resolve her uncertain job status, while urging the state to adopt a "new normal" for its IT initiatives after she leaves.

Nominated two months ago by the White House to become the Defense Department's CIO, Takai conceded during her keynote at Government Technology Conference West: The California Digital Government Summit that she doesn't know when she'll move to the Pentagon. After two and a half years as state CIO, the longtime Ford Motor Corp. executive is awaiting congressional approval. "I could be here three months, I could be here up until the end of [Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's] administration," Takai said.

Takai said after she's gone, California's challenge will be to continue the momentum created during her tenure, which saw growth of the Office of State Chief Information Officer, the beginning of an enterprisewide IT consolidation and implementation of enterprise architecture, among many other major projects.

Those who expect the reforms to sunset -- to revert back to what was done before -- will be left disappointed, Takai said, indicating that the new CIO under a new governor won't be able to quickly undo or dramatically change what has been accomplished during the past few years.

"The question for us here is, 'What is the new normal?' There is no normal for us to go back to," she said.

If Takai had her way, California's IT picture and "new normal" would look markedly different five years from now:

  1. She urged the state's IT decision-makers to maintain what she believes is improved relations between the state's technology agencies and the Legislature and executive branch.
  2. She's enthusiastic about universal broadband coverage and adoption for all Californians, and providing them with the tools and training needed to utilize the technology, in what Takai believes will be a broadband-centric job market.
  3. She predicts California's technology agencies will play a bigger role in public safety, including as a national leader in the building of a next-generation 911 system.
  4. She envisions all state IT systems will include geocoding and geospatial capabilities so that the data can be analyzed and visualized online for the public.
  5. Agencies will continue to solidify their enterprise architecture.
  6. Takai believes California will be the first state to adopt a single secure sign-on for government services.
  7. Big legacy projects like Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal), the state's integrated financial management system, will be finished.
  8. She believes all agency CIOs should be elevated to their department's executive council.
  9. Takai thinks the state should found a cyber-security operations center that disseminates information in a unified manner, which someday could be shared with local government.
  10. Multidepartmental and interdepartmental collaboration should be the norm, instead of being forced upon department by the state CIO's office.
  11. Takai believes 80 percent of IT projects should be on time, on budget, and all project managers should be trained on California's project management methodology.
Matt Williams  |  Associate Editor