Is the national "chief technology officer" job promised by Obama going to be more of CTO or CIO job? The consensus seems to be leading towards the latter. The Washington Post quotes Gary Arlen of Arlen Communications:
It seems to be much more of an operations and administrative slot. But it could make significant policies about IT and how it could rebuild America's infrastructure.
A few days ago I said the job wouldn't be filled by any rock star technologist like Bill Joy. I predicted a "state CTO who is committed to innovative technology, cutting through bureaucratic layers and understands government."
At TechPresident, Nancy Scola picked "Virginia's able Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra."
And NetworkWorld's Curt Monash wrote a piece saying it's a CIO job. The right person for the job will be able to recommend major changes in government IT contracting; establish best practices in a broad range of IT areas; interact with the private sector; improve training, recruiting, and retention. His pick: Charles Rossotti, whom Monash calls " the most admirable CEO I have ever met in my 27 years of covering the computer software industry."
Basically the CTO/CIO will have to make a fundamental choice: emphasize Web 2.0-type technology or fix contracting and project oversight? That's a no-brainer. Federal contracting is seriously screwed up, with the government wasting hundreds of millions of dollars a year while contractors say, 'Oops, we screwed up,' or even, 'It's the government's fault we screwed up.'
Not sexy but that has to be the first order of business.