Former Westchester County, N.Y., CIO Builds New Career in Construction

John McCaffrey retired from his Westchester County, N.Y., CIO post in January to launch a consulting service. But in April, construction management giant LiRo Group hired him as its first CIO to jump on a growing trend in public-sector projects.

by / July 3, 2018
Caitlin’s Lens Photography

Westchester County, N.Y., CIO John McCaffrey retired from his five-year post in January with an eye toward establishing a consulting business to serve the public sector.

The county lists its interim CIO as Marguerite Beirne, the IT director for the county district attorney’s office. According to Beirne’s LinkedIn profile, she served as Westchester County CIO from 2008-2012.

McCaffrey’s career path forked in April when the nation’s 10th largest construction management company, LiRo Group, hired him to serve as its first CIO and help it jump on a trend in public-sector construction projects.

“Governments are asking construction companies to provide building information modeling [BIM] and data as part of the final product,” McCaffrey told Government Technology

BIM, for example, provides metadata on items — say, every bolt used in a project, its location and what it needs to do. The rich data and analytics are used in project control tools and project control services offered to public agencies, which aim to boost the accuracy in estimating the cost of a project and its completion time as the project is being built.

Increasingly, government agencies are not only asking for BIM and data as part of their requests for proposals, but they are also seeking companies that can offer facilities management assistance.

“Public-sector clients are looking for companies that have this expertise and will not walk away once the building has been built, but will know where every bolt and component is so it is almost like they are managing the life cycle of the building,” McCaffrey says.

Leveraging Public CIO Experience as a Private-Sector CIO

After LiRo acquired Bowne Management Systems, an IT company with geographic information systems expertise, earlier this year, LiRo’s CEO realized the company needed a CIO, given all the technological advancements that were occurring in the construction industry.

Most of LiRo’s work is in the municipalities space and given McCaffrey’s experience in the public sector and in utilizing technologies for facilities management, the former Westchester County CIO made a natural fit, he noted.

McCaffrey will oversee LiRo’s technology and IT vision, as well as work with public-sector clients given his understanding of public-sector procurement and information requirements. 

“I can talk the talk,” he said.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff Writer

Dawn Kawamoto is a former staff writer for Government Technology.