Posts Tagged ‘chief information officer’

Companies Getting Rid of Reply-all

November 24th, 2012 11:57 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “An article at BusinessWeek highlights an issue most corporate workers are familiar with: the flood of useless reply-all emails endemic to any big organization. Companies are beginning to realize how much time these emails can waste in aggregate across an entire company, and some are looking for ways to outright block reply-all. ‘A company that’s come close to abolishing Reply All is the global information and measurement firm Nielsen. On its screens, the button is visible but inactive, covered with a fuzzy gray. It can be reactivated with an override function on the keyboard. Chief Information Officer Andrew Cawood explained in a memo to 35,000 employees the reason behind Nielsen’s decision: eliminating “bureaucracy and inefficiency.”‘ Software developers are starting to react to this need as well, creating plugins or monitors that restrict the reply-all button or at least alert the user, so they can take a moment to consider their action more carefully. In addition to getting rid of the annoying ‘Thanks!’ and ‘Welcome!’ emails, this has implications for law firms and military organizations, where an errant reply-all could have serious repercussions.”

Source: Companies Getting Rid of Reply-all

How Does the CIA Keep Its IT Staff Honest?

December 17th, 2011 12:34 admin View Comments


Tootech points out this story for anyone who’s been curious about getting that top-secret clearance and the promise of a cushy pension from the CIA, as a reward for decades of blood-curdling, heart-pounding, knuckle-whitening IT service: Be prepared to go through a lot of scrutiny if you want to work in the Central Intelligence Agency’s IT department, says chief information officer Al Tarasiuk. And it doesn’t stop after you get your top secret clearance. ‘Once you’re in, there are frequent reinvestigations, but it’s just part of process here,’ says Tarasiuk, who also gets polygraphed regularly, though he won’t be more specific. For those senior IT managers who are the ‘privileged users,’ meaning system administrators, ‘there is certainly more scrutiny on you,’ Tarasiuk says. ‘It’s interesting: there’s so much scrutiny that a normal person might not want to put up with that. But it’s part of the mission.’”

Source: How Does the CIA Keep Its IT Staff Honest?

New Federal CIO Is Former Microsoft, FCC Exec

August 4th, 2011 08:28 admin View Comments


msmoriarty writes “The second-ever federal CIO (the first, Vivek Kundra, resigned in June) will be Steven VanRoekel, who worked with Microsoft for 15 years, running the company’s Web Services and Platform Strategy and Windows Server Solutions groups. He went to the FCC in 2009, where he then advocated for open government and open platforms. VanRoekel’s title on his twitter feed has already been changed to ‘United States Chief Information Officer.’” According to reader dcblogs, VanRoekel is also a hefty political donor, having given $50,000 toward Obama’s inauguration festivities.

Source: New Federal CIO Is Former Microsoft, FCC Exec

Google Versus Microsoft: The Battle for the K-12 Cloud Contract

February 23rd, 2011 02:30 admin View Comments

battle150.jpgNorth versus South. Rural versus urban. Add to those delineations now, as schools and government agencies across the U.S. move to the cloud, Google versus Microsoft.

On the surface, at least, it’s a public relations battle. Google announces one state or school district has adopted its cloud offerings; and then it’s Microsoft’s turn to respond with a new list of cloud clients. Google touts 10 million Apps for Education users. Microsoft touts 15 million for its Live@edu.

Oregon Goes Google, Portland Public Schools Goes Microsoft

In this light, today’s announcement by Microsoft seems like a veritable coup. On the list of the 16 new cloud computing agreements it has signed is the Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of Oregon with more than 46,000 students. Oregon, if you recall, was the first state to “go Google” in April 2010.

Of course, “going Google” doesn’t mean that – presto, change-o – every student, teacher, and administrator in a school, district, or state are suddenly up and running on Google Apps for Education or even that they will be someday. Rather, the Oregon Department of Education now gives schools and districts the option to pursue their own IT solutions and doesn’t force them to go with one particular contractor.

A Difficult Choice, A Difficult Move

mslive.jpgNick Jwayad, chief information officer at Portland Public Schools said that the decision to move to Microsoft’s Live@edu “wasn’t easy by any stretch.” He said the district weighed its options carefully, listing the things he said said made Microsoft’s service more appealing: security, support, and synergy.

To be clear, this isn’t an abandonment of Google Apps for Edu. The school district is moving away from an on-premise Novell environment towards what Jwayad describes as a “Microsoft-centric” infrastructure. Microsoft, he told me, was the “product-of-choice,” as, among other things, the Portland Public Schools plans to provision email accounts to students for the first time.

When Jwayad described to me of the school district’s decision to “go Microsoft,” he made it sound like a technological one. That’s not too surprising. He’s the CIO, after all. And as I learned when I attended a K-12 summit for Oregon school district tech coordinators, sponsored by Google, the challenges around moving schools, students, teachers, administrators to the cloud – whether it’s Google’s or Microsoft’s – can be pretty daunting. Today’s announcement from Portland Public Schools will mean that the district will have migrated to Live@edu by the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year.

googleapps_150150.jpgThe challenges for school districts migrating to the cloud include the infrastructure. There are the policies (COPPA and FERPA). There are the parents. There are the permissions. And of course, there are the teachers and students, who now not only want email (let’s pretend, for the sake of argument here that the kids want email) but demand a whole suite of online products and services where they can easily communicate and collaborate – in the classroom and at home.

It’s not an easy move nor necessarily a cheap move (despite the promises of eventual cost savings). It may be a technological move (“to the cloud!”). And as Paul Nelson, an ed-tech specialist for Oregon’s Northwest Regional ESD (a Google district), once told me, it’s a cultural move, one requiring district, administrator, and teacher buy-in. In the face of all these challenges – despite the PR from Microsoft and from Google – migration to the cloud is a slow move for most schools.

Photo credits: Flickr user Hans Splinter

Source: Google Versus Microsoft: The Battle for the K-12 Cloud Contract

UK Goverment IT Chief Backs Open Source Suppliers

September 22nd, 2010 09:02 admin View Comments

Blacklaw writes “The UK government’s deputy Chief Information Officer has outlined plans to hand public sector IT contracts over to small businesses and suppliers of open-source and cloud-based solutions in an attempt to balance the books. Speaking at the 360IT conference in London on Wednesday, Bill McCluggage also promised greater transparency over IT procurement, with tenders and contracts published online. Outlining a commitment to ‘simplify, standardize and automate’, McCluggage said the government would make it easier for open-source suppliers to compete for contracts, making the public sector less reliant on individual suppliers, or locked into proprietary systems.”

Source: UK Goverment IT Chief Backs Open Source Suppliers

Customers Question Tech Industry’s Takeover Spree

July 5th, 2010 07:32 admin View Comments

crimeandpunishment writes:
“When it comes to the world’s largest technology companies, is bigger better? Maybe for the companies, but maybe not for their customers. Tech companies, which have spent $350 billion buying other companies over the past few years, have marketed their acquisitions as beneficial for their customers, offering them a broader range of products, and making it easier for one-stop shopping. But changes in customer service may be offsetting any benefit. In the words of the chief information officer for a large association, ‘When the smaller guys are gobbled up by bigger guys, in theory it’s supposed to be better, but in our experience it’s been worse.’”

Source: Customers Question Tech Industry’s Takeover Spree