State CIOs moving up the ranks

State chief information officers have progressed rapidly to positions where

they can have a real impact on how the state serves its citizens, according

to the president of the National Association of State Information Resource

Executives.

More than half of state CIOs report directly to governors or hold cabinet-level

positions, said Otto Doll, commissioner of the bureau of information and

technology in South Dakota. Such power positions enable those CIOs to work

with policy and operations people to find ways that information technology

can make the government better, he said. "In the increasingly technology-reliant

world we live in, the CIO serves as the government's information management

leader and key strategist to the decision points facing our political leaders,"

Doll said. "The role of aligning technology to achieve government program

goals has never been so crucial to effective government. The CIO plays an

essential role for making information technology work for government."

South Dakota is an example, Doll said.

For several years South Dakota has allowed citizens to download forms

from its World Wide Web site, print them out, and send, e-mail or fax them

in. The state has slowly added the ability to fill out and submit forms

online, but Doll recently initiated a program to provide electronic submission

for 80 percent to 90 percent of the state's forms in the next 18 months,

he said.

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