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Watching the Feds pick a CTO and CIO

Over the years, the Federal government has had considerable influence in seeking to define the role of Enterprise Architect. As a new administration gets rolling in Washington, there is some chance that its approach to hiring a new chief federal CIO and CTO will affect future trends in EA. The CIO and CTO positions have been filled with Vivek Kundra and Aneesh Chopra, respectively. Seers of the tea leaves of technology have pondered those choices, and hit the blogs running.

If you have ever wondered about the difference between a CIO and a CTO, Tim O’Reilly offers a view. He pulls the definitions from some background material the Feds provided in explaining their choices of chiefs. Here goes:

The responsibilities of the CIO are to use information technology to transform the ways in which the government does business. The CTO will develop national strategies for using advanced technologies to transform our economy and our society, such as fostering private sector innovation, reducing administrative costs and medical errors using health IT, and using technology to change the way teachers teach and students learn.

As far as the new CTO goes, O’Reilly says he is impressed. He mentions that some negative blogoteering about the Chopra choice as chief may spawn from the ‘Didn’t Work Here Syndrome’ common among the powerful in Silicon Valley.

Curt Monash takes a bit of a different approach. Chopra’s stint at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government gains a kudo from Curt .. who also attended the Kennedy School. Monash’s also notes some concerns.

“Two of the top challenges for government IT are technology adoption and data integration,” he writes; the Obama administration [and in turn, its IT crew] seems to be gung ho on technology adoption but possibly naive about data integration, he suggests.

The outcomes are hard to project. For now it is only fair to say that change is in the air – and EA is in evolution.

Related EA information
Aneesh Chopra: Great Federal CTO – Radar O’Reilly
Why the basically good choice of Aneesh Chopra for US CTO scares the bejeesus out of me – Network World blogs

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