As the city CIO, he’s in a very good position to make that happen.
As are all CIOs in their respective cities; the future urban community uses information and communication technologies to improve, quality, performance and interactivity of its services and resources, and that vision from a CIO needs nurturing now if it is to come to fruition.
It’s not unlike an organization, in that way, according to Reichental.
“When you think about an organization pursuing a project to support its operations, or to help create a new product or service for the marketplace, less and less do I see projects without a tech component, and that same trend is happening in government.”
In the US, Boston, Chicago, L.A. and New York, as well as others, have their respective CIO positions – for obvious reasons: they’re all large, well-established and with the financial opportunities to modernize livelihoods.
That can come in the form of “…providing public safety folks better tools to solve crimes and pursue criminals, or create a more efficient financial organization.”
Similarly, cities face many challenges that technology, and a city CIO, needs to respond to, namely: transportation; energy; health; and public safety.
This isn’t an unusual progression for urban management.
IT managers have long been part of a city context, but for Reichental, what is unusual is how a senior executive role has been introduced to “take a strategic view to see how technology can be used to tackle the big problems on a city landscape.”
Palo Alto, being relatively small for a city is unique to have its own CIO.
This will be the norm for the future though, Reichental suggests, citing that although “…it isn’t a surprise for the federal government to have its own CIO…for smaller cities, the trend of a city CIO is just beginning.”