In a way we should be happy that President Obama did not name an information technology (IT) guy to be United States’ chief technology officer (CTO). But does it bother anyone but me that Aneesh Chopra doesn’t seem to be a technology guy either? I wrote over on IT Business Edge about my concern that the Obama administration was so naive about IT and so politically motivated that it could easily screw up the IT industry. This looks like the beginning of screwing things up.
When appointed CTO in Virginia, according to the Washington Post Chopra's biggest challenge was to be in charge of outsourcing the state’s IT activity, not in doing anything technical. In other words, here's to shipping IT work out of the U.S. The Post said at the time:
“Chopra concedes that he's not an expert on the inner workings of technical systems.”What I brought to the table was an understanding of the capabilities of new technologies and how they might advance a particular agenda."
Boy that was prophetic.
Before his four years at the public trough in Virginia, Chopra was apparently a guy that’s advised the healthcare delivery business in how to deliver services efficiently. That went well!! Actually it appears he was really a meeting planner.
And how about the strange interconnections among Chopra, new chief performance officer (CPO) Jeffrey Zients and already cloud-covered Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra via a company called the Advisory Board Company (ABCO), its spinout called the Corporate Governance Board, its wholly owned subsidiary called Optilink, and apparently never really having worked outside the beltway .
Boy that’s change we can believe in.
-- Dennis Byron