Gov. Pat McCrory announced Friday that he has a new cabinet secretary overseeing information technology: Keith Werner is the new state chief information officer.
Werner replaces Chris Estes, who announced last month that he would leave the McCrory administration to return to the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he’d worked before.
In recent months, McCrory has elevated the CIO to a cabinet-level position, overseeing a newly created Department of Information Technology.
“Keith is the perfect choice to continue the momentum we have made in the area of information technology in the state,” McCrory said in a news release. “He has been instrumental in helping to build the new Department of Information Technology, which will provide clear accountability and efficiency for the governance and management of IT across the state.”
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Werner has already been serving as acting CIO since Estes left last month. He’d previously been the deputy state CIO and the state’s CIO for economic and natural resources – overseeing a variety of state technology programs since shortly after McCrory took office in 2013.
McCrory has said a cabinet-level department was needed because the state's information technology has been scattered in more than 1,000 different systems without oversight, leading to 70 percent of IT projects coming in over budget and behind schedule.
“I look forward to continuing to fulfill the governor’s vision of transforming IT from a collection of uncoordinated backroom operations to a critical driver of the state’s total infrastructure,” Werner said.