The Role of the Agency Information Technology Director
By David Maxwell, Agency Information Technology Director
The position of Agency Information Technology Director (AITD), new to the Office of Information Technology (OIT), was created with the express purpose of proactive management of the relationship between the client state agency and OIT. To that end, the individual AITD performs three separate and distinct primary functions, with no one more important than the others, sometimes creating a challenging dynamic. The functions are to:
- explain and promote to agencies the use of OIT-endorsed technology support solutions and strategies where appropriate
- advocate for technology services that will effectively meet client agency business needs
- as part of the OIT leadership team, assist the Chief Information Officer (CIO) with identifying, creating and managing efficiencies within the IT environment of state government
Within the client state agency, the position is a part of the leadership team to facilitate development of technology plans and strategies which best support agency business goals and objectives. It helps promote the concept of a central OIT in order to optimize the use of IT staff and resources. Generally, though not without exception, other IT-classified positions, particularly applications developers, which are assigned to the agency are managed directly by the AITD. Additionally, the position provides the CIO with necessary input and feedback to address IT matters from an “enterprise” approach wherever possible.
Within OIT, as within the agency, the position is part of the leadership team. The AITD requests services of the various service sectors (i.e. Client Technologies, Network, etc.) and monitor for performance in accordance with agency needs. Negotiating and compromising are sometimes necessary when the service sectors have competing demands and resources do not allow delivery when requested. Also, when an enterprise approach falls short of meeting an agency need, the AITD must evaluate the importance of the issue and, if necessary, advocate for an agency-specific solution.
Ultimately, when all is said and done, we come together as a team to focus on the best decisions, where practicable, for policies and IT solutions in support of the business of Maine state government.
There are nine (9) AITD positions in state government at this time. The current members of the group bring a broad range of skills to the classification. The above description of the role is intentionally broad since the unique characteristics of state agencies require different focus, different skills, and different professional tactics to accomplish the particular task at hand.