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Breaking news: CIO of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board resigns

After a failed Documentum implementation that cost US taxpayers $3 million, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's CIO has just resigned over the weekend.

Ray Schmidt, CIO of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), has just announced his resignation. I reported late last week that the PCAOB blew $3 million on Documentum, only to have the project fail (utterly). While there was no direct connection between Schmidt's resignation and the $3 million Documentum debacle was made, as a primary proponent of Documentum to help manage Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, it had to play a significant role.

This should be a warning to CIOs everywhere: the risk of adopting proprietary software, without strongly considering open source (as a way to lower costs, increase flexibility and control, and lower risk), is not worth it. Open source should be in the decision calculus for every IT purchase. It may well not turn out to be the right product solution, but it will at least offer an alternative business model solution.

In the case of PCAOB, there was interest in doing just this back in 2003 when the Documentum decision was made, my sources tell me, but these were squelched for the "safe bet." I'm guessing that Schmidt wishes he would have been a little less "safe" now.

Schmidt joined the PCAOB in January 2003 as Chief Information Officer, taking responsibility for the design, development and deployment of the Board's internal Information Technology and the direction of the PCAOB?s Information Technology strategy. Prior to joining the PCAOB, Mr. Schmidt was Corporate Enterprise Manager for RS Information Systems of McLean, Va., a federal contractor providing information technology and engineering services.