Niblock sneaked her first peek under Detroit’s hood last year as part of an IT task force organized by the White House. She joined the CIOs from Boston, New Orleans, Chicago and Raleigh, N.C., for two days of investigation and evaluation.

They found seven key areas Detroit needs to focus on, prioritizing practical needs first, nifty tech tools second.

They are:

  • Establish a CIO.
  • Evaluate citywide IT infrastructure.
  • Promote civic innovation.
  • Make freely available open government data more accessible and usable.
  • Develop a 311 system, which is similar to 911 but for nonemergency calls about city services.
  • Improve enterprise geographic information systems.
  • Enable online permitting.

As the CIO of Louisville, Niblock had no idea she would be the check mark for item No. 1.