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EPA CIO looks to collaboration software for technology innovation

Like private companies, government agencies need to know about technology innovation. Find out why Malcolm Jackson, CIO of the EPA, is looking at collaboration software as a game-changer.

As CIO of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Malcolm Jackson wears many hats. In addition, he's the assistant administrator at the EPA's Office of Environmental Information, managing systems that hold all environmental data for the country. He is in charge of systems that have literally millions of users. "We support American citizens as a whole, so enriching [the] user experience includes internal [EPA] and external [public] users."

In that regard, the responsibilities Jackson has over EPA IT systems are different from those CIOs in the private sector have. But the challenges and principles of technology innovation are the same, Jackson says in this CIO Innovators video, recorded earlier this year at the Gartner CIO Leadership Forum in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"The CIO's role is to help drive and nurture innovation, and help the organization to understand realities ... and find possibilities," said Jackson, who was appointed the EPA's CIO in June 2010 after having held senior IT positions at CIGNA Insurance.

Not surprisingly, the main technology now on Jackson's radar is collaboration software. He is always looking for "fundamental game-changers or transformational types of technology," he said, that can lead his agency into the future. And, like many of the CIOs has interviewed this year, the technology agenda is not always about technology but about the business. "It all starts with a business process or business engagement model, and you are wrapping technology around that."

The SearchCIO CIO Innovators profile series highlights how CIOs use technology to meet both IT and business leadership objectives. To suggest a leader for a future CIO Innovator profile, email

Let us know what you think about the story; email Christina Torode, Editorial Director.

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