Robb Stoddard

It was Robb Stoddard’s intense interest in IT that propelled him through the ranks to his current position as Alberta’s CIO. However, Stoddard, doesn’t see his role as being overly technical.

“The CIO office in Alberta has always been a strategic planning, policy and business role as opposed to a technical role,” he said. “Technology is changing so rapidly, and it is becoming so pervasive, that the CIO role in Alberta is turning more into transforming business than it is about building and operating IT systems.”

In 2002, the Service Alberta Web site was launched to allow the government to organize services and information along life-based themes. The province also launched the Government of Alberta Enterprise Architecture (GAEA), which gives departments and agencies specific standards and directions for applications that meet business needs.

GAEA will be the building code and blueprint for setting standards for the direction of information and communications technology (ICT) in the government, Stoddard said.

“We’ve been going through an evolution when it comes to setting standards,” he said. “We’ve had a great deal of success over the past three to five years in getting ministries to use the same products and setting standards to get everyone using the same e-mail system, the same software packages.”

Stoddard said the main reason for the success of GAEA is the government-wide support it has received.

“The big success of GAEA was getting all ministries to buy into that philosophy and support that philosophy,” he said. “It was a huge collaborative effort to get all of the ministries to not only give their input in regard to the deliverables and the architecture, but to also have them agree that it makes sense to do business this way. They see that we need to start thinking like a $20 billion corporation as opposed to one of 23 divisions.”