Software // Enterprise Applications
News
1/31/2006
12:16 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Mass. Names New CIO, Hardens OpenDocuments Policy

The Bay State has named Louis Gutierrez to fill the position of CIO in the Information Technology Division and, at the same time, reiterated its support for a previously announced plan to implement the OpenDocument format in state agencies in January.

The Massachusetts state government has named Louis Gutierrez to fill the position of chief information officer at the state's Information Technology Division (IDT) and, at the same time, reiterated its support for the state's plan to implement the OpenDocument format (ODF) in state agencies in January 2007.

A battle between supporters of Microsoft's XML format and ODF led by IBM and Sun Microsystems convulsed the state's IT operation for months, as both sides courted Massachusetts politicians.

In naming Gutierrez, currently chief technology strategist at UMass Medical School, the administration of Governor Mitt Romney appointed a CIO with a demonstrated commitment to open standards.

"Gutierrez will be responsible for overseeing the final stages of implementation of the state's new Open Document format proposal, to go into effect in January 2007," the state's announcement said, signaling that Massachusetts remains committed to ODF. Over the past several months, the administration and politicians of both major political parties have batted the ODF-Microsoft debate back-and-forth.

Andy Updegrove, a Massachusetts-based attorney supporting open standards causes, said in an email: "The Romney administration is clearly using this appointment to signal that its support for ODF implementation is unwavering."

However, Microsoft is unlikely to go away quietly in the night. It has submitted its office software to the Ecma standards organization and when its submission is approved, as expected, it will likely appeal to Massachusetts authorities for permission to have its software formats approved also. While the Massachusetts state business is small potatoes for Microsoft, the adoption of ODF could set a precedent and spread elsewhere.

Gutierrez has a history of promoting open standards. Before working at UMass Medical, he was CIO at the state's largest unit, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. With an annual budget of $12 billion, Gutierrez supervised the development and implementation of the state's Virtual Gateway, an online portal that melded IT services from 16 state agencies.

"The Virtual Gateway is an example of how state government computing can be transformed through the application of open standards that interoperate with many kinds of technology and vendors," said Gutierrez in a statement.

Romney has announced he won't seek reelection and is widely expected to become a candidate for the Presidency in 2008. He will not be governor when the ODF policy is scheduled to be implemented.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government Tech Digest Oct. 27, 2014
To meet obligations -- and avoid accusations of cover-up and incompetence -- federal agencies must get serious about digitizing records.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of October 26, 2014 and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.