- Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina all recently appointed new CIOs.
- Roughly half of all state chief information officer posts changed hands in 2015, according to the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO).
- The average tenure of a state CIO is just two years, NASCIO said.
In 2015, CIOs changes occurred in multiple states, including Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
In Alabama, Joanne Hale, a professor of management information systems at the University of Alabama, was selected as the state’s acting secretary of information technology (equivalent of the state CIO.)
Meanwhile, Kentucky state CIO James Fowler stepped down on Dec. 23, as Republican Gov. Bevin took over the governor’s office. Jim Barnhart, who served as deputy commission of the office since Feb. 2008, moved up to take over the position.
In December, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced Keith Werner would be that state’s new CIO.
Darryl Ackley, CIO of New Mexico and current president of NASCIO, said in an Information Week report, state CIOs face unique challenges and not everyone is up to the position long-term.
State CIOs must navigate everything from limited budgets to the ever-shifting political landscape and security concerns.
"On one hand, the state CIO really has to be pragmatic. They have to be the person talking about the life cycle of these monolithic IT systems,” Ackley said. "On the other hand, you've got an increasingly short time frame to adopt new things like Web and mobile. And it's not just a tech problem. It's also a staffing and resourcing problem."