CIOs: Use the Cloud, or Else?

liravega/Shutterstock.com

If you’re responsible for managing your agency’s IT and you haven’t moved applications to the cloud, at least one CIO thinks you should get the ax.

If you’re responsible for managing your agency’s IT and you haven’t moved applications to the cloud, one agency chief information officer believes you should get the ax.

“As a business person, not a career government person, I believe that if you’re the CIO of an organization . . . and you’re still writing code and custom developing applications in Java or investing in data centers, you should be fired,” said Joe Paiva, CIO at the International Trade Administration. “Summarily fired.”

Paiva spoke Wednesday during a panel discussion on cloud computing hosted by the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center.

“Our job is to fill gaps in the marketplace, not to compete with it,” Paiva said. “If anyone in this room believes the government can run a data center better than Amazon Web Services or Microsoft or Google, they should have their badges revoked.”

Still, there was far from a consensus among panelists.

Mark Schwartz, CIO of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, pushed back on the issue of custom development, adding that many agencies, including CIS, are forced to customize applications to make them fit mission requirements or needs.

And while Paiva argued customization could lead to security vulnerabilities, Schwartz said it’s not prudent to expect every out-of-the-box solution to fit in perfectly with existing systems and applications.

Schwartz acknowledged flaws in the way federal agencies migrate to the cloud and how they handle IT security in general.

Security packages, for example, shouldn’t only amount to manually testing, he said. Such processes ought to be automated, freeing up employee hours for more productive labor. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program continues to modify its approach to authorization security packages.

“There’s a lot of waste in the system right now,” Schwartz said.

The panel also addressed culture change, perhaps the toughest nontechnical challenge toward implementing emerging technologies.

New approaches – even ones backed by solid business cases – can face criticism from risk-averse execs and decision-makers, and sometimes rank-and-file employees, too. Not to mention backlash from contractors who may view innovative approaches to IT dilemmas as threats to their revenue streams.

“Sometimes, you’ve got to take the heat,” said Chad Sheridan, CIO of the Agriculture Department’s Risk Management Agency.

Forward-thinking CIOs, he said, are going to challenge old ways of doing things and that can upset some people.

When asked for tips on navigating relationships among contractors, contracting officers, vendors and other personnel, Sheridan replied, “I don’t know, I think I find a way to piss ‘em all off.” He added that developing relationships among bureau- and department-level leadership is probably more important than policies.

“It’s all about people,” Sheridan said. “It doesn’t mean we don’t need to have policy or follow regulations. But how do you work with your bureau CIO and department level CISOs and CIOs? The more we reach out, the more we partner,” the better off we’ll be.

Good CIOs, it seems, are bound to ruffle feathers, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

(Image via /Shutterstock.com)

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.