December 3, 2012 By Sarah Rich
On Nov. 19, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker appointed David Cagigal as his new CIO, and barely two weeks into his new position, Cagigal has an IT plan for the state.
Cagigal took office as the state's CIO after years of work in the private sector, including IT leadership roles for projects focusing on oil and gas in numerous cities with the Amoco Corp. In 1998, he left Amoco to work for Maytag.
David Cagigal, CIO, Wisconsin
After his tenure at Maytag, Cagigal worked for both nonprofit and for-profit universities.
While he said his previous roles as an IT leader will help in his newly appointed position, Cagigal notes that Walker’s role in pulling the state from a $3.6 billion deficit into a nearly $200 million surplus in less than two years was a contributing factor to paving Wisconsin’s road to success.
But the road ahead still has plenty of room for improvement, he said. To continue the governor’s efforts to enhance the state, Cagigal wants to carry out eight main action items to ensure the state follows best IT practices.
Prior to Cagigal's appointment as Wisconsin's CIO, previous administrations attempted to consolidate email services across agencies into a single service -- something he aims to do more of in other areas. Cagigal noted that other common administrative duties and functions required in government are best carried out by utilizing a single solution, a single contract and a single partner.
One major asset Cagigal says the state has is its data center, which has the capacity to continue providing computing services to the other departments with their own CIOs who oversee their own infrastructure. “I’m hoping to maximize not only fixed assets, but people providing services," he said. "Smaller facilities really don’t have the economies of scale in their favor, so I’m trying to provide a private cloud solution to some of the departments that are really looking at maximizing their budgets and offloading some of the things that really don’t add value.”
Cagigal said that as part of his new role, it will be important to sustain a secure computing network architecture that can meet the state’s government and future needs. “Using email, using consolidation, virtualization of hardware, local area networks, wide area networks, storage devices -- those are all utilities, like the lights coming on from the ceiling and the water coming out of the tap,” Cagigal said. “Those are commodities that are necessary to do the business, but why should they be different?”
To do this, Cagigal said it will be important to hold individuals accountable so government projects can be completed. In addition, this means mitigating risk and ensuring communication is being given to stakeholders involved so a project meets its proper requirements and stays within budget.
Cagigal said this will include government staff being financially accountable so all proper payments are made, debts are collected and that the Department of Revenue has accurate records of all state taxpayers.
As the state moves into the future, Cagigal said there will always be room for improvement and that new best practices can be introduced into the government. “Everyone has their history and their favorite work processes, and they feel comfortable," he said. "How do we sell the value of change into the future? How do we have our employees believe that tomorrow’s a better day and that yesterday was yesterday?”
In conjunction with change management practices, communication will be key to successfully making changes in the future.
As the baby boomer generation eventually retires from the workforce, a younger generation will enter, and in turn, will need to understand what the state has learned over the years. Cagigal said that as this happens, it will be crucial to encourage younger workers to enter into government.
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