Suzanne Peck signed on as CTO for Washington, D.C., in summer 1998. At the time, the city had a crazy quilt of 370 obsolete systems and no Y2K program in place. “We had 8,000 rotary telephones, no wide area network, and several e-mail systems, the most sophisticated of which would pass maybe 200 messages per day,” she recalls.
But Peck, who held IT leadership positions in various Fortune 500 companies during a 25-year period, was undaunted. Not only did she nail the Y2K deadline, she rebuilt D.C.’s IT -- hiring sharp people with corporate experience, outsourcing at a strategic level, lighting up a dark fiber optic network with VoIP, and replacing eight “awful” IT facilities with two mirrored IBM z-class mainframe datacenters.
Ultimately, Peck also opted for an SOA that would integrate and leverage legacy systems. From that grew a business intelligence layer called the DCStat program, which provides unprecedented visibility: Simply gathering timely and accurate information about criminal activity in the worst 14 hotspots in the city has helped reduce crime in those areas by 23 percent. Peck, who joined the D.C. government to make a difference, is living up to that expectation.