Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Are we creating a vibrant future for California?

“California is the birthplace of the information technology revolution and the home of the companies that are creating the future course of our information rich society. Great California companies like Google, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Sun Microsystems and hundreds more like them are transforming the way people live, work and communicate.
They are creating a vibrant future for California.”

(excerpt from a Teri Takai speech, 2008)

California -- if it broke off from the United States and became its own country, would be the "sixth-largest economy" in the world, according to an oft-repeated phrase. Not true so much anymore, but from a standpoint of innovation in the technology sector, California continues to flourish.

Our state fosters a climate for progressive, innovative businesses that create jobs, stimulate our state's economy and lead the way for a better, cleaner and healthier world. While the growth of Web 2.0 technology companies have been emerging at a rapid pace, there are three other sectors worth mentioning:

Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger was quoted saying, “California’s economy stands to greatly benefit from the wave of new businesses and jobs created by the emerging technologies and different approaches to fighting climate change.” The state’s emphasis on promoting cleantech has opened a wide array of opportunities for companies with the technical expertise to tackle the challenges of “going green,” and interest in cleantech by venture capitalists continues to grow as a result.

The AeA Los Angeles Council is proud to announce a FREE EVENT on July 11th, 2008, to provide our local technology community with the opportunity to meet the newly-appointed State of California Cabinet-level Chief Information Officer (CIO), Teresa (Teri) Takai. (Click to register)

Ms. Taki was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on December 6, 2007. This position was created by a bill sponsored by AeA after feedback by technologists that they did not have enough access to work with the State of California.

California's state government is one of the largest potential purchasers of technology in the world. Currently California has nearly 120 projects under development valued at $6.8 billion dollars over 11 years. These projects span a wide variety of technology activities including improving service delivery, providing customer services over the Internet, meeting Federal requirements for services, maintaining and improving our infrastructure, and reengineering California’s administrative functions to increase efficiencies in government operations and avoid the high costs of redundant systems. AeA members have for years sought a California Chief Information Officer (CIO) with real statutory, enterprise-wide authority to facilitate and promote technology solutions, bring about a unified technology program throughout state agencies, and provide accountability for the direction of technology.
"I appreciate AeA welcoming me,” said Ms. Takai. “I am looking forward to working with AeA to advance the business of technology in California. I share Governor Schwarzenegger's commitment to making state government more accessible to Californians through information technology, and I will work closely with the Governor, the legislature and other California state officials to create more efficiency and accessibility in state government."

"AeA pursued this legislation because our members believe an empowered State CIO will provide consistency in technological solutions and procurements," said Roxanne Gould, Senior Vice President, California Public & Legislative Affairs. “Such a CIO will be able to drive the purchase of the enterprise-wide applications essential for improving government performance, reducing fraud, and leveraging existing programs to better serve the citizens of California, all the while promoting technology as an essential means to almost every public policy end."

Other speakers include:
> Will Semmes (Chief Deputy Director, DGS)
> P.K. Agarwal (Director of Technology Services)
> Adrian Farley (Deputy Director of Procurement, DGS)
Ms. Takai has served as director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology (MDIT) since 2003, where she also served as the state's chief information officer. In this position, she has restructured and consolidated Michigan's resources by merging the state's information technology into one centralized department to service 19 agencies and over 1,700 employees.
Additionally, during her tenure at the MDIT, Takai has led the state to being ranked number one four years in a row in digital government by the Center for Digital Government. Prior to going into state service, Ms. Takai worked for the Ford Motor Company for 30 years, where she led the development of the company's information technology strategic plan. Takai also held positions in technology at EDS and Federal-Mogul Corp.
She is past president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and currently serves as practitioner chair of the Harvard Policy Group on Network-Enabled Services and Government. Ms. Takai was named "Public Official of the Year" by Governing magazine in 2005.

1 comment:

JoElla Lapiana said...

While the LA area is not usually credited for churning out elected officials that are sympathetic to the needs of the high-tech industry, Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) has been one of the best advocates for high-tech in the legislature. In his four years in the state Assembly, he has been the leading advocate for maintaining California's robust R&D tax credit while also authoring legislation that would have made it even better. In 2007 Assemblyman Lieu authored AB 751, a bill that would have increased the rate of the R&D tax credit from 15% to 20% as well as the rate for the Alternative Incremental Credit. While the bill ultimately failed passage in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, it was a noble attempt at making one of California's most favorable tax policies for high-tech even better. This year the Assemblyman played an important role in alerting AeA that some members were considering reducing the R&D tax credit as part of balancing the budget. By giving AeA enough notice in advance of these budget talks, we were able to prevent it from becoming a part of these discussions altogether.