Just to assure you: there are no misprints in those figures above -- that is indeed 11.8 YEARS, and 10 YEARS, and a total of $3,600,000,000. So I think it's only right that as we awake from our California dreamin', we should hear from plucky California CIO Teri Takai, who was recruited by California from Michigan, where as state CIO she achieved some great things. A week ago, Takai posted a note on the state's Web site under the heading "Information technology has a bright future in California" in which she said in part:
"By creating a more consolidated IT organization, we can better manage our equipment, personnel, and purchasing while optimizing the use of technology and ultimately providing more services for the people of California."
Ms. Takai, best of luck with your efforts -- I applaud your courage. But I also think you should be more honest with the great people of your wonderful state and level with them about the chances of success some of these projects have, and about the inevitable revisions in budgets and priorities you'll have to make, and about the toll the state's and the country's fiscal crisis will have on your ability to deliver, no matter how sincere and focused your efforts might be.
You need to make your way with not just courage and intensity but also with respect for your fellow citizens and the burdens you are asking them to shoulder -- and if you choose to manage those expectations with honesty and transparency, you and California's many millions will be better off for it.