December 22, 2009 By Matt Williams
John P. Gillispie has resigned as Iowa's CIO and will join a research and education organization affiliated with the University of Missouri.
Gillispie is leaving his post Jan. 8, 2010, to become executive director of The Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), a unit operating within the university that provides Internet connectivity and technical support to Missouri's schools, higher education, state government and other public-sector organizations.
Gillispie told Government Technology his decision to leave Iowa state government was unrelated to an executive order Gov. Chet Culver recently signed that supports cost-cutting by consolidating the state government's IT services. "I'd been thinking for some time about going back and getting my Ph.D., and being in a college town [now], I may actually go do that," Gillispie said.
Culver and the Iowa Legislature backed his analysis and recommendation for IT consolidation, according to Gillispie. There are opportunities for efficiencies and improved results, he said.
He said he contributed to a government efficiency proposal Culver released Dec. 8 that would save Iowa $1.7 billion over five years. Prepared by consultant Public Works, the 90-point plan suggests consolidation of the state's systems for e-mail and payroll, wider use of thin clients and negotiating a statewide services contract for IT professionals. A week later, Culver signed an executive order that will consolidate those systems.
The report also suggested the state Legislature elevate the state CIO to a Cabinet-level position.
"They're getting ready to move from a very federated model to a consolidated model, and I think this gives [the governor] the chance to evaluate how he wants to implement that," Gillispie said. "Sometimes the guy who sells you something isn't the guy who closes the deal. I'm the one who sold this [IT consolidation], and it looks like someone else will have the opportunity, based on my own personal decision, to close the deal."
Gillispie has been Iowa's technology chief since 2003. He serves as the state CIO and chief operations officer of the Department of Administrative Services' Information Technology Enterprise. He also is the executive director of the Iowa Communications Network, the state's fiber-optic network. Gillispie is a past president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.
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