Ron Hughes, chief deputy director of operations for the California Department of Technology (CalTech)

Ron Hughes, the chief deputy director of operations for the California Department of Technology (CalTech), has informed his colleagues he intends to retire as a public employee on July 30, TechWire has learned.

Hughes said the timing is right to leave now that CalCloud — the state’s new private cloud service — is up and running and the department is set to release by the end of the month an important IT policy letter clarifying how state agencies should contract for software-as-a-service (SaaS) and public cloud offerings.
 
“Those are the two things I was waiting to complete before I left, and those are both done now,” Hughes told TechWire on Tuesday.
 
Before heading off, Hughes will be on hand for the July 24 CalCloud kickoff event in Sacramento. Hosted in the Office of Technology Services’ data center and managed in cooperation with IBM, CalCloud is designed to give state agencies, local governments and education customers the ability to conveniently buy bundles of service – servers, disaster recovery, backup, storage and more.
 
“One of the big requests that our customers had that we hadn’t ever been able to meet was providing cloud services, and with CalCloud we’ve been able to do that. It’s going to be a huge change in the way IT services are delivered in the state,” Hughes said. “We’ll get all the efficiencies of cloud, including the cost savings, while still having the data remain in the state’s control on the state data center floor – all the advantages of cloud services without the disadvantages of public clouds.”
 
Hughes said he sees CalCloud as an interim step in the state’s cloud evolution that will help state staff gain valuable experience and expertise.
 
“We will have the opportunity to learn how cloud services are delivered and be in a position where we can do it in-house at the end of the IBM contract,” he said about the five-year CalCloud agreement that includes an additional two one-year options. “I think that’s a huge accomplishment because prior to this we had no experience whatsoever with cloud services.”
 
After working for the state at the Stephen P. Teale Data Center from 1990 to 1999 and later as the project manager of the Gold Camp data center, Hughes rejoined state government in April 2012 as director of OTech, which provides networking, computing and training services through fees paid by state agencies. Hughes said he’s proud OTech has lowered its costs each year and 2014 will be no different, putting the office on a path to long-term sustainability.
 
In January, Hughes left OTech and was elevated to the chief deputy director position at CalTech. He continued to focus on the state’s move to the cloud, reporting to state CIO Carlos Ramos.
 
In retirement, Hughes said he plans to resume consulting on a part-time basis. Prior to joining OTech, Hughes was president of the California Data Center Design Group from 2002 to 2012, and director of data center design at Telegis Networks Inc. from 2000 to 2002.
 
This story was originally published by TechWire