Welcoming Louis Gutierrez

Louis Gutierrez took over Peter Quinn's old job as Massachusetts State CIO yesterday. He also got a major vote of confidence from Computerworld Editor-in-Chief Don Tennant.

Louis Gutierrez’s took his place in Peter Quinn’s old office for the first time yesterday, assuming the reins of Massachusetts IT policy as the Bay State’s new CIO. If I were Louis, I would probably have donned my body armor that morning, and had more than a little trepidation about what the day might hold in store for me.

I don’t know what his day was actually like, but I do know that there are a lot of people wishing him well and hoping he’ll succeed. One such person, as it turns out, is Don Tennant, the Editor-in-Chief of Computerworld who wrote a gracious and extremely complementary “welcome” article to Louis. Tennant briefly recounts the history of Peter Quinn’s unhappy time as the champion of ODF, noting that “what was supposed to be a healthy debate on technology standards collapsed into a tawdry political battle.” He goes on to give as big a vote of confidence as its possible to give to Gutierrez, writing as follows:

Now it’s Gutierrez in the spotlight. A 2002 Computerworld Premier 100 honoree and a widely respected IT leader, this guy is a class act. A lot of my colleagues and I have had the pleasure of working with him on a number of occasions over the past several years, and I can tell you there’s just no finer gentleman or more capable IT professional who could have been called upon to serve at such a turbulent time.

If anyone can calm things down and get Massachusetts’ IT priorities back on track, it’s Gutierrez. His calm, reasoned bearing, his intellect and his demonstrated capacity to build consensus (Gutierrez oversaw the development of the state’s highly praised Virtual Gateway online portal, which integrated information from the disparate systems of 16 state agencies) will serve him and the state’s residents well.

Computerworld is a well-respected voice in the IT industry, and it’s gratifying to see its Editor-in-Chief taking the time to voice support for both Gutierrez as was as progressive IT policy adoption in Massachusetts.

His voice may also have a calming influence in other quarters, as Tennant adds his voice to the growing number of experts, politicians and others that are urging CIOs in other jurisdictions not to be put off by the “tawdry politics” of Massachusetts. Tennant makes this point in his closing paragraph: “With Gutierrez in his new position, other state governments will have any number of reasons to emulate Massachusetts.” So here’s to Louis Gutierrez â�“ may he flourish in his new position, and may he indeed be successful in getting “Massachusetts’ IT priorities back on track.”


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