Going from a beachside town to a desert valley might seem like a drastic shift to most people, but for Matthew Arvay, the former CIO of Virginia Beach, Va., and new CIO of Phoenix, it’s a change that comes with an immense amount of opportunity — along with the change in scenery.
When the announcement detailing Arvay’s move was made last month, he said, “I am delighted to be joining Phoenix to work collaboratively to modernize and grow the infrastructure. It is exciting to see a city so ripe with growth in both the technology and biomedical fields. I look forward to being at the helm to drive this innovative growth and digital transformation.”
Given his track record in Virginia Beach, that promise to helm and drive innovative growth and transformation is one he’s likely to keep. Under his watch, Virginia Beach took the top spot in the 2016 Digital Cities Survey for cities with 250,000 to 500,000 residents.
Beyond his stint in Virginia Beach, Arvay served as the CIO for Vanderburgh County, Indiana (and its largest city, Evansville) for 12 years. Additionally, he was recently honored as a 2017 Computerworld Premier 100 Technology Leader.
When it comes to leading IT modernization, Arvay has been at the forefront in his role as CIO of Virginia Beach. He invested in converged infrastructure solutions such as Vblock to drive down costs and reduce maintenance time. He detailed his rationale behind the Vblock implementation in a StateTech article earlier this year:
When Matthew Arvay became CIO for Virginia Beach, Va., several years ago, he saw that the data center there needed to be modernized and simplified. The city was using four different storage systems, experiencing occasional outages and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless man-hours maintaining its hardware.
“We needed to reduce the complexity of the environment,” Arvay says. “Vblock is expected to provide benefits to Virginia Beach in terms of modernizing our data center, enhancing lifecycle management, enabling self-service provisioning and improving reliability, scalability and uptime.”
The upgrade, which is still in progress, will reduce the city’s physical data center footprint from 29 racks down to four, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in energy savings. Not only is the new hardware more reliable than the city’s legacy systems, Arvay says, but simplifying the environment will reduce third-party maintenance costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars and will also dramatically reduce the amount of time staff spends on maintenance.
Once Vblock is fully implemented, it’s anticipated the city will save $675,184 annually in maintenance, labor, and power and cooling costs, while avoiding the expense of a $1.2 million upgrade of legacy storage systems. Arvay expects a payback in just under four years and a five-year return on investment of 25.2 percent.”
While Arvay isn’t slated to begin work in Phoenix until January, he can rest assured knowing that he’s stepping into a city that is a digital leader itself. Phoenix ranked third in the 2016 Digital Cities Survey among cities with 500,000 or more residents.
Hopefully, along with his IT gifts, Arvay brings along plenty of sunscreen to deal with the signature “dry heat” of the Phoenix valley.