CIO Game of Thrones?

Federal CIOs are going down like Lannister banner men. Is this just the typical transition turmoil or is there something broader afoot? Speculation abounds that the Trump administration may be cutting Federal CIOs as part of a strategic initiative to centralize Federal IT under one CIO. This palace intrigue given more credence by yesterday’s White House ATC IT Modernization Report‘s focus on centralization. This also maps to the simplification priorities in the Cyber Executive Order. Do we expect to see one new Federal CIO at the operational level?

Former Federal CIO Tony Scott is skeptical of the notion that the new administration would go to a single CIO. “But I’m hoping that the Federal CIO job gets filled soon,” said Scott. “While career staff are doing a great job, there’s just no substitute for having  that slot filled without the ‘acting’ title.”

But, what would one central Federal CIO mean for FITARA? Congressman Gerry Connolly famously observed that when he and Congressman Darrell Issa wrote FITARA, there were 250 people with a CIO title within the 24 CFO-Act agencies. Instead of a Federal CIO to govern all agency CIOs, what if we have one CIO controlling IT at all Federal agencies? And lastly for the dismount, who’d be crazy enough to take the job?

Game of Thrones, eat your heart out.

Steve O'Keeffe
About Steve O'Keeffe
The most connected executive in the government technology community – O'Keeffe is an accomplished entrepreneur and tech-policy expert, with 30 years’ experience as an innovator at the crossroads of government and industry. He founded MeriTalk, O'Keeffe & Company, 300Brand, among other entities. O'Keeffe is a fixture on the Hill, in both the House and Senate, testifying on IT, budget, government workforce, and the requirement to modernize government IT to enhance outcomes for the American people and government employees. He is a champion for change, simplification, transparency, and clear communication of IT value without jargon. A committed philanthropist, O'Keeffe has served for 15 years on the USO-Metro Board of Directors – Vice Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Annual Awards Dinner. He started his career as a journalist – O'Keeffe has contributed to The Economist, Government Executive, Signal Magazine, The Washington Post, and, of course, MeriTalk.