Four years can be an eternity in the C-suite but Seattle’s former Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller led a series of modernizations, initiatives and protections that seem hard to compress into that interval.
Mattmiller came to government from Microsoft, where he was a senior strategist in enterprise cloud privacy. He resigned in February, but at press time had not yet announced his next move.
But in about three years, eight months, Mattmiller guided the city to a new content management solution that drives its redesigned website and spearheaded the redesign of department Web pages, some of which were still hard-coded HTML sites from the early 2000s. He also oversaw the migration of its tech infrastructure to modern data centers.
With his guidance, Seattle has met its famously progressive community on limitations, creating a privacy program that defines how officials will request residents’ information and hiring a chief privacy officer for oversight.
And Mattmiller has been a force in the city’s Digital Equity Action Plan, expanding access to devices and ensuring 70 percent of Seattle now has fiber-to-the-home, and 98 percent has access to at least one gigabit broadband service provider. Simultaneously, he’s been a national advocate for net neutrality.
Underpinning the city’s IT modernization is a consolidation joining 15 IT teams, creating common budget structures, and integrating project management and application efforts.
Tooling investments are ongoing, but for the first time City Hall knows and can track its IT spend. Also on Mattmiller’s watch, the number of IT projects rated as high risk has fallen from 25 percent to 2 percent; 95 percent of help desk calls are answered in 60 seconds; and internal mistrust is being replaced by a culture of collaboration.
“If I had to think about the impact I’ve had, in all these programs, first and foremost, it’s how do we make things better? How do we make things better for our city and for our public in technology?” Mattmiller said.
Theo Douglas is a staff writer for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes covering municipal, county and state governments, business and breaking news. He has a Bachelor's degree in Newspaper Journalism and a Master's in History, both from California State University, Long Beach.