Gov. Dave Heineman, Nebraska
Executive support is often cited as the cornerstone of any successful IT venture. At the state level, getting the governor on board can make or break a project. In Nebraska, Gov. Dave Heineman has proven that he understands IT's importance by taking the lead on groundbreaking technology endeavors like statewide electronic health records, interoperable public safety communications and e-mail consolidation.
Heineman, elected in 2005, helped guide a series of ambitious objectives that aim to unify IT in the state. The Nebraska Health Information Initiative, for instance, is a Web-based application that allows patient information to be shared by any medical facility in Nebraska. Heineman also is driving efforts to unify communications technology for all the state's public safety and emergency response organization.
It's all part of the governor's push to prepare Nebraska for the next generation of residents, businesses and employees.
"Look at where customers are headed - I say this all the time. Our kids - my son - is never going to City Hall, or to the county courthouse or a state office building. They want to do it using technology. So we have to get in the 21st century. We'll have a more efficient, more cost-effective government," Heineman said in an interview with Government Technology last year. "I think if you're involved in technology in our state, you know the state is trying to take a quantum leap forward. We want to be prepared for the next generation of consumers who are going to use technology at all hours of the day."