The two most influential initiatives in Massachusetts IT don’t necessarily involve deliverables. Instead, they involve attitude and agility under CIO John Letchford.
“One of the most ambitious things we’ve tried to do here is change the mindset,” he said.
While state governments are notoriously risk-averse, Letchford leads an open dialog about topics such as cloud computing. As mobile, social and bring-your-own-device movements grow, government needs to think in 3-D and keep pace, Letchford said. It also has to think strategically across state and local levels — an approach that Gov. Deval Patrick emphasizes.
As a deputy and later as CIO, Letchford led an infrastructure consolidation, started helping local communities deliver IT services, and chairs a CIO cabinet. The cabinet recommends executive branch priorities and manages projects including the new Springfield Data Center. Letchford also has joined with Manu Tandon, the state’s CIO of health and human services, to establish relationships with federal, state and private leaders. They’ve worked on health-care cost containment and worked on one answer: the Health Connector.
“It’s really just trying to move very aggressively,” Letchford said, “but very openly and collaboratively with people.”
Photo by David Kidd