Montana’s CIO explains his ‘service-first’ mentality

When Tim Bottenfield stepped in as Montana’s chief information officer last summer, he had one goal in mind: to put service ahead of all else.

“The first thing coming in the door was to really promote the idea of service-first from the State Information Technology Services Division,” Bottenfield says in a video interview. “It was something that I had really been passionate about during the interview process for the job.”

Previously, Bottenfield was CIO for the state’s Revenue Department, and so he knew when he stepped into his statewide role that building and maintaining relationships between the state’s central IT office and partner agencies would be key.

“One of the things that I’ve done there is to really focus on business relationship management and communications,” Bottenfield says. “Those are the two cornerstones for me to make sure that I have those concepts embedded into our organization and that we’re reaching out to the agencies in that manner.”

To do that, Bottenfield says he has regular meetings with agency CIOs “on their turf.”

“I’m wearing out some shoes, but it’s totally worth it, because not only am I gaining a great insight on what their business needs are, but I’m able to come back and get that filtered down through my organization,” Bottenfield says.

Bottenfield on 2018 accomplishments:

Bottenfield on cybersecurity:

Bottenfield on identity and access management:

These videos were produced by StateScoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ annual conference in San Diego, California, in October 2018.