ABOUT THE CIO
William Vajda - All Hands Speech
Hello – my name is Bill. It is my honor to serve as the Chief Information Officer for the State of Alaska. I’m glad you could join me for this chat today.
I also want to thank Jim Steele for stepping up to serve as the first Deputy CIO for Alaska. I know he shares my belief that public service is a virtue – and I am grateful for his leadership.
So, what is IT Integration? Simply put, an opportunity to improve how we organize our IT resources, prioritize our investments, and deliver the most efficient and effective services possible for the State of Alaska. It is a process for becoming the best IT organization we can be.
Why is this important for Alaska? Information Technology is an enabling function. Effective and efficient IT enables the true business of the State – I.E., managing natural resources, ensuring public safety, operating state roads and highways, and scores of other critical mission areas.
All leaders – in both the public and private sector – pay attention to the relationship between enabling and mission functions. All leaders seek to maximize organizational efficiency to deliver better business outcomes.
For our ORGANIZATION, IT Integration will allow us to better utilize our assets, and reconsider the technologies we use for state-wide operations. As an example, this could mean downsizing or rationalizing servers with extra capacity, consolidating dozens of data centers that are expensive to operate and maintain, and eliminating un-necessary redundancy.
Integration won’t happen overnight -- In most cases, agencies accumulated IT assets over decades. As government expanded, it built more infrastructure, but as technology evolved, agencies did not consistently “clean house” and streamline their asset base. Sorting through all of this will require a considerable analysis, and must be done in partnership and driven by the mission priorities of Departments and Agencies.
For our PEOPLE, IT Integration will start, Day One, as all journey’s do – with a few simple steps. We’ll take a deep breath, and start down the path by putting one foot in front of the other. For all employees except the IT Managers, there will be no changes on Day One. You will work for the same leaders you do now, in the same Departments and locations, with the same salaries and same benefits, using the same tools, sitting at the same desk, and on the same projects as you are today. And I anticipate this will continue for the foreseeable future.
For the IT Managers, on Day One they will transition from reporting to the ASDs to the CIO. Their new titles will be “Department Technology Officers” – DTOs – to reflect the fact that although they are direct reports of the Integrated IT organization, that their core duties will remain the delivery of mission-critical support to their current organizations – and critical to the State of Alaska.
The next steps of the Journey – Day Two and beyond – will mean many things. As an organization, we will start the processes to identify opportunities for better efficiency and effectiveness – and that create a clear roadmap for how to sustainably accomplish these goals.
To each of you, I anticipate the future to be bright. YOU are our most valuable resource.
IT Integration doesn’t mean leaving your excellent performances behind. It means reconfiguring our team to ensure we maximize our contributions, harness our great experience, and make our best practices even better.
It means preserving our current successes even as we seek innovative ways to address new mission requirements.
It means learning from our past, gathering more tools, sharpening our minds, developing our talents, adding more skills, and expanding our influence -- and much more.
Thank you for your time today – and for all the great contributions you have made – and will continue to make – for the Great State of Alaska.