California CIO Carlos Ramos Leaving Position

Under Ramos' leadership, California's Department of Technology launched its own private cloud in 2014, created a new project approval process and Project Management Office in 2015, and is testing vendor performance metrics in 2016.

by / March 16, 2016
Former California Department of Technology Director Carlos Ramos. Jessica Mulholland

Carlos Ramos, state of California CIO and director of the Department of Technology, will step down at the end of March, according to an announcement to state staff on Wednesday.

Ramos was appointed state CIO by Gov. Jerry Brown in June 2011, replacing Teri Takai.

In nearly five years as the state's top technology official, Ramos stewarded California through a series of major initiatives and big changes. At the forefront, Ramos led the state's technology organization through the governor's 2013 Reorganization Plan, in which the California Technology Agency became the California Department of Technology and launched a new Statewide Technology Procurement Division. Ramos was also at the helm as the state worked toward IT consolidation targets initiated during Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's tenure.

More recently under Ramos' leadership, the Department of Technology launched its own private cloud in 2014, created a new project approval process and Project Management Office in 2015, and is testing vendor performance metrics in 2016.

But the state was not immune from criticism along the way. A few big projects under the Department of Technology's oversight, such as the canceled MyCalPays payroll system modernization, the California Medicaid Management Information System, and the Department of Consumer Affairs licensing system, ran into trouble.

Vendors voiced their concerns about how the state was procuring its private cloud, which prompted the Department of Technology to broaden its hosted offerings and expand participation among a wider range of companies. Some firms also are concerned how the state ultimately will implement its vendor performance program.

Over the years, Ramos garnered recognition for his expertise in project and portfolio management in a variety of state-level executive roles.

From 2006 to 2008, Ramos directed the then-new Office of System Integration that manages the state Health and Human Services Agency's multibillion dollar IT portfolio. From 2004 to 2008, he was the agency information officer of the state Health and Human Services Agency. From 2001 to 2004, he was director of the Stephen P. Teale Data Center, one of the state's two general-purpose data centers at the time. Other positions Ramos has held in California include: deputy director and CIO for the Department of Social Services (1999-2001), branch chief for the child welfare services case management system for the Department of Social Services (1997-1999), and principal budget analyst for the Department of Finance (1989-1997).

Ramos' departure comes on the heels of Michele Robinson's announcement last week that she is no longer California's chief information security officer. Robinson testified last month at a legislative oversight panel as lawmakers discussed a 2015 state audit that questioned the California state government's cybersecurity readiness.

In 2013, Ramos was named one of Government Technology's Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers.

This article was originally published on TechWire.

Matt Williams Contributing Writer

Matt Williams was previously the news editor of Govtech.com, and is now a contributor to Government Technology and Public CIO magazines. He also previously served as the managing editor of TechWire, a sister publication to Government Technology.2