Changes Under Way for Governors, Congress, CIOs (Opinion)

November elections also mean transformation in IT leadership.

by / October 6, 2010

Next month the political landscape could undergo a significant upheaval. More than three dozen gubernatorial seats and a large number of key congressional seats are up for grabs. If current polls (as of early September) are to be believed, the overwhelming success that Democrats ushered in just two years ago may crumble into ruin as economic and foreign policy issues weigh heavily on the American public. Indeed, the outlook for the left is so bleak that the longtime U.S. senator from California, Barbara Boxer, may lose her seat to former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina — a political novice whose rocky tenure at HP would seemingly spell an easy victory for Boxer in the left-leaning Golden State.

Given the economic turmoil, the oil spill disaster in the Gulf and the lack of progress in Afghanistan, it’s easy to become caught up in the moment and lose perspective, to delude ourselves that the crises we face are greater than any that have come before. But the pendulum always swings from bad times to good and back again — and from left to right. And for many, the closing months of the year are a time for renewed hopefulness. Whether this hope springs from a political change in November or a personal change come the new year, if you look hard enough you can usually find a reason to be hopeful — or at least avoid succumbing to despair.

For many CIOs the future is uncertain. Then again, internal numbers might suggest the future — good or bad — is quite certain. Regardless, change is coming and it will prove disappointing to some, while providing new opportunities for others.

As of this writing, we at Government Technology are undergoing yet another change. If you’re reading this online, you’ve hopefully noticed the much-needed face-lift our website has received. Over the last year, several of my colleagues and I worked closely with our IT staff to give input on how we thought our site could be improved. We put on brave faces and diligently acted as if we understood most of what we were being told. In the end, the odds were probably 50-50 that we did as much harm as good when it came to the website redesign. But despite our involvement in the process, the newish site nevertheless exists and is seemingly functional.

If you haven’t been to in a while, I hope you’ll give it a look. And if you’re a regular visitor, I hope you enjoy the changes we’ve made. Someone once asked, “How’s that hopey, changey stuff working out for ya?” To everyone on both sides of Government Technology, may the answer be “very well.”


Chad Vander Veen

Chad Vander Veen previously served as the editor of FutureStructure, and the associate editor of Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.

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