A responsive enterprise

A few months after the 2001 terrorist attack on New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s mandate was straightforward: Make the Big Apple a better place to live in. For his part, in four years as CIO of New York City, Gino Menchini helped set new standards for local government to be more accessible and more accountable to its citizens.

In his new role as vice-president, North America government services, for CA Inc., Menchini sees new challenges for government in ever higher service levels — shared services that are responsive to citizens’ needs and a federated approach to identity management.

With more systems being accessible to the public and a broader range of technologies making services available, government is forced to start looking at identity management in a very holistic approach, he says.

“You start to get to the point where you really need to begin to operate like an enterprise,” says Menchini.

An enterprise-type approach is needed for functions like identity management, help desk and call centres, and network and technology infrastructure that can be put into place once and managed effectively.

It makes sense to bring government departments and agencies into one centralized IT system offering shared services, he adds. “But if your model is going to be a centralized IT utility, that utility has to be responsive.”

In New York, this proved a significant challenge for Menchini. In many ways, his IT staff were held to a higher standard than the agencies would normally have held their own IT staff, he says. “They accept less from their own people. But when it’s now a central group that’s providing IT services, they need to be well managed and backed up.

“There’s also a double standard that comes into play, and we have to be able to meet that double standard. It’s the reality.”

Menchini was able to significantly