February 8, 2002
In an effort to better coordinate New York's IT efforts, Gov. George Pataki last month appointed James Dillon as the state's first CIO. Dillon previously served as deputy executive director of the state's Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research.
Dillon will supervise New York's Office for Technology and coordinate the technology policies of all state agencies and authorities. He'll report to John Cahill, the governor's chief policy adviser. Dillon will also coordinate state IT matters with federal and local governments. "There's a greater emphasis on collaboration," he says.Security is a top priority, and one key project will be the consolidation of data centers. New York state already made great strides toward consolidation last year. Data centers "used to reside out in every large state agency with no security at all," Dillon says. But the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 changed that. "We're working closely with the Office of Public Security to make sure our data is secure," he says.Dillon sums up his greatest challenge in one word: history. Over the years, many IT systems have been developed independently at various agencies. Now the state is working with the human-services agencies to provide a unified human-services network, he says, "so citizens of the state who are getting services from multiple agencies don't have multiple files."Dillon served as executive deputy commissioner and acting commissioner of the New York Department of Labor from January 1995 until last April. He spearheaded the unemployment insurance system's transformation from in-person reporting to Internet reporting of claims. Dillon also chaired the business-application subcommittee for the task force that led to the creation of New York's Office for Technology in 1995.In October, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appointed Randall Bradford as that state's first CIO. And in late September, Wisconsin appointed a 19-year veteran of Xerox Corp., Rebecca Heidepriem, as its first cabinet-level CIO and head of the state's recently formed Department of E-Government.
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