California gets first statewide CIO

Governor Schwarzenegger has just appointed California's first statewide CIO to Teresa "Teri" M. Takai. Ms. Takai used to be CIO of Michigan and served as director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology since 2003.

The reasons behind the decision were mainly economic, driven by members of the technology trade group American Electronics Association (AeA). Its members created the position out of the frustration of not being able to offer IT products and services to the California government. (Prior to Takai's appointment, IT strategy for California was determined in large part at the local and state agency level.)

This is a nice nod to the importance of technology and the position of CIO in general, but don't get your hopes up. The problem with being associated with a government organization is, well, that you're associated with a government organization. And that means a change in IT spending means a change in law. And we know what an efficient process that is.