by Compiled by Lauren Capotosto

Lessons Learned from Ex-Tennessee CIO Bradley Dugger

Sep 01, 20013 mins

Bradley Dugger is in what he calls brain-dumping mode. CIO of the State of Tennessee since 1987, Dugger, 60, retired from the IT ranks on June 29. He spent his last days consolidating 14 years of information for successor Vic Mangrum, formerly among Dugger’s senior staff. Dugger, who now plans to spend his free time growing his 24-year-old security alarm business, was one of the first state CIOs in the country. He served as president of The National Association of State Information Resource Executives (NASIRE)?now National Association of State Chief Information Officers, or NASCIO?and most recently chaired its governmental relations committee. He’s credited with signing a five-year contract to privatize a statewide network and with leading Tennessee’s e-government initiatives. On one of his last days at work, CIO spoke with Dugger about his thoughts on IT in state government.

CIO: What advice would you give your successor?

Bradley Dugger: Be involved in what other states are doing. I spend a lot of time in Washington, D.C. I am a member of four intergovernmental committees, and I have worked pretty aggressively in [NASCIO] for a number of years. I learned from those experiences. I really saw where things are going globally in government. You need to know what others are doing, and you need to steal unmercifully from them. I would also encourage my successor to be actively involved with the legislature, helping it do its job. And the third thing I would say is: Don’t try to be a whiz on technology. I try to understand the concepts and where things are going, but I have people on staff who have technical expertise. When I try to get in a certain area, I have them pour what I need to know into my brain. I think you really need to depend on other folks.

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