Whitehouse IT in the dark ages

Now the news comes out – Obama’s staff move into the White House offices and discover old, tired and broken technology. This along with restrictive policies which appear to be based on 1970’s IT thinking are hampering his teams ability to do their job. They sound like web savvy workers slamming into the wall of antique technology. My god – most of them use MACs and Blackberrys. Sorry – not allowed at the White house. “Here’s a PC running Windows 2K . . . the last person using it didn’t complain, so what’s the problem?” I’m sure they’ll work through it. Their boss has managed to hang on to his Blackberry or something like it (rumour has it a $3,500.00 General Dynamics highly secure PDA) so I’m sure he’ll sort things out for them.

I can’t help but wonder that this scenario is being played out in other enterprises without the high profile the White House has. Gen Y tech savvy workers leave school and go to work and discover their employer’s idea of high-tech is four year old PCs running MS-Office and Outlook email. They’ll find a way around it but may put their jobs in jeopardy by ‘breaking the rules’. My advice? Break the rules – be careful – be productive – but break through to the 21st Century. It’ll pay off in the long run.



Who’s minding the store when IT staff gets cut?

With the continuing downturn in the economy everyday brings news about job cuts in the IT industry. Today Microsoft announced cuts to its workforce over the next eighteen months. It’s bad when large companies cut thousands of staff – after all these newly unemployed people have lives and families to worry about. What’s scary for me is when smaller companies cut their staffing levels. These are the ones that you don’t read about in the paper or out on the web but they have an impact just the same.

Why am I nervous? If they cut IT staff, who’s keeping up with the security, backup and continuity of services? Am I trusting my personal information to companies who are neglecting to protect me because IT tasks are given over to overworked staff or even under qualified staff after the caretakers are let go? This is not a willful neglect but borne out of necessity to reduce costs. But still makes me nervous.