According to the announcement his responsibilities will be to ensure system interoperability, and information sharing, security and privacy. Just looking at these four terms, one perceives how big his challenges are going to be.
I’ve have had the pleasure to work with Vivek for a panel we did at our Orlando Symposium last year. He is a very smart person, who combines counter-intuitive visions with the ability to execute and maintain support from his political and business leaders. In such challenging times, with budget issues, a daunting task to monitor and measure the outcome of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a recent call by the President to review relationships with federal contractors, the desire to socialize information and engage all stakeholders on line, Vivek will be immediately confronted with a tough prioritization task. Where can he make the greatest difference in the shortest period of time? Whole of government IT positions are traditionally quite difficult, unless supported by adequate decision power and support. All the stars seem aligned for him to have both, but – as usual – the proof is in the pudding.
I wish him good luck. I do not think the President could have made a better choice.