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Doug Murdock

CIO, Hawaii

Doug Murdock, Hawaii CIO
It takes a lot to crush tourism in Hawaii, but the pandemic did it, at least for a while.

Enter Doug Murdock.

The Air Force veteran turned state comptroller turned CIO — a job he’s held through multiple administrations — oversaw the creation of an online system that kept track of the quarantine and COVID-19 test-accountability system Hawaii put in place to protect residents and help get tourism back on track.

“I worked with my team, which included Google and SpringML, to design a digital system to meet the needs of the travelers, airports, health officials, law enforcement, the counties and the tourism sector,” he said. “In the end, we had over 12 million travelers use the system to come to Hawaii, our economy started to recover, and our COVID case and death rates were among the lowest in the U.S.”

Murdock, fascinated by personal computing from the beginning, got his start using an Obsorne computer back in the day, one of the pioneering machines in the field. He grew his expertise by working on business analysis and programming even during a quarter-century stint as a judge advocate in the military.

His work, of course, has involved more than tourism.

He stands especially proud of such efforts as moving the state’s mainframe to mainframe as a service — reducing what he called “many unacceptable vulnerabilities” — and winning recognition from NASCIO for cybersecurity. Portfolio management and enterprise architecture also have commanded his attention as CIO, areas that help state agencies with their IT strategies and road maps.

Murdock’s view, however, seems far more targeted at the future than the past.

“Today, I am really intrigued by the rapid advance of artificial intelligence and the opportunity it provides for business and IT to work very closely together to solve problems and create value,” he said. “This is a time when we can accelerate innovation and productivity by using this exciting new technology to create new or improved business capabilities.”

This story originally appeared in the May/June 2024 issue of Government Technology magazine. Click here to view the full digital edition online.
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.