State Gets First Chief Innovation Officer
The man appointedÂ by Gov. David Ige toÂ upgrade the stateâ€™s technology infrastructure is apparently taking on a broader role, with a title changeÂ from Chief Information Officer to Chief Innovation Officer.
Nacapuy heads the Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT), which was created in 2011Â thanks to a $3 million grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation. Along with the new office came the state’s first Chief Information Officer, Sonny Bhagowalia, who led an ambitious effort to transform the state’s technology and business processes.
The challenge was monumental, as the state’s IT systems were described as archaic and medieval.
InÂ 2014, Bhagowalia was promoted out of his CIO role to become a chief advisor to the governor before beingÂ lured back to Washington D.C.Â His successor, Keone Kali, made someÂ controversial firingsÂ right out of the gate, also reorganizing the OIMT to tackle itsÂ “monstrous” mission.
Following Gov. Ige’s arrival at the State Capitol, Nacapuy was appointed to Ige’s cabinetÂ as the state’s third full-time CIO. TheÂ Waialua High School graduate came to the state after ten years in sales with Microsoft, which followed infrastructureÂ workÂ for EDS. InÂ announcing Nacapuy’s appointment, Ige said,Â â€œTodd has the right mix of technical and business skills to upgrade the stateâ€™s technology infrastructure.”
He was confirmedÂ by the state senate in late April and officially started as Hawaii’s CIO on May 4.Â But over the weekend, Nacapuy spoke at the Hawaii State Association of Counties conference on Maui. And during his remarks, he announced that his title was now Chief Innovation Officer. Sure enough, his LinkedIn profile confirms this.
Chief Innovation Officer is definitely a relatively new job title, new enough to cause some confusionÂ in how it’s different from a Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer…Â not to mention inÂ which acronym to use besides CIO. (Of course, the Chief InnovationÂ Officer I know best is Brian Dote, who took the role at Mid Pacific Institute.) Broadly speaking, though, Nacapuy’s new mandate probablyÂ expands beyond IT toÂ driving innovation throughout theÂ state.
Indeed, aÂ press release last Tuesday announced that Nacapuy was building his leadership team, namingÂ Jim Miwa as the state’s Chief Technology Officer, and Michael Otsuji as IT development officer, andÂ Mark Choi as business architect at OIMT. This distribution of responsibilities certainly seems to leave more room to focus on new ideas.
But theÂ Chief Information Officer is a well-understood and demonstrably important leadership role in any organization. I have to wonder if the state will need a fourth full-time CIO.
Update: I received the below from Keith DeMello, Senior Communications Manager for the OIMT, in response to my inquiry about Nacapuy’s title change:
Officially, Toddâ€™s title remains state Chief Information Officer, a position established by statute, but he sees his role as also taking on elements of Chief Innovation Officer. That being said, I can confirm that Toddâ€™s business card does say Chief Innovation Officer. It is an aspirational statement on his part. He has also stated that putting â€œInnovationâ€ on his card was a minor act of civil disobedience to emphasize how strongly he feels that innovation, along with focusing on people first, will be key to successfully transforming state government, especially given the realities of the state budget.