White House CIO's first 40 days included 'worst day' ever
Colangelo started his job the same day as President Obama, found IT assets 'in pretty bad shape'
Computerworld - PHOENIX - Here are two facts about Brook Colangelo's job as the CIO of the Executive Office of President.
On taking his new position on inauguration day, he and his staff put in 80 hour weeks, "if not more." And in his first 40 days on the job, the White House email system was down 23% of the time.
Colangelo began his job on Jan. 20, 2009, the same day that President Barack Obama started his.
On that first day, Colangelo walked to the White House, found his office with some difficulty, and then "delivered the first presidential Blackberry," as well as handhelds to all the top administration officials. "It was just a mind blowing experience," he said.
But Colangelo quickly realized that the White House's IT assets "were in pretty bad shape."
Over 82% of the White House's technology had reached end of life. Desktops, for instance, still had floppy disk drives, including the one Colangelo delivered to Rahm Emanuel, Obama's then chief of staff and now Mayor of Chicago.
The White House CIO office had one data center, said Colangelo. "We had no redundancy," he said, before attendees of Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference here.
The problems became apparent on Jan 26, six days after the administration was sworn in.
"Our email servers went down for 21 hours," said Colangelo. "In my professional career, there has not been a worst day since or ever."
At 5:30 a.m. on the morning of that already long outage, Colangelo was called over the West Wing to brief chief of staff Emanuel about it.
"I was walking (to the meeting) with some other leadership. It was pitch black and I haven't gone home, and then the most amazing thing happened," said Colangelo. "As my two feet hit the door of the West Wing, my Blackberry started to buzz. I normally hate that feeling, but I got to tell you it was the best feeling I ever felt."
The email was back up.
By the time Colangelo reached Emanuel's office, the meeting with the chief of staff was no longer needed.
Colangelo said the White House technology situation called for a massive review of technology, people and processes.
The White House faced three or four more outages in the next 30 days or so.
"When it was all said and done, in the first 40 days of the administration we were down 23% of the time," said Colangelo.
The White House CIO provides all unclassified services to nearly a dozen business units, including, the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Some of Colangelo's previous jobs included working as the CIO of the Democratic Convention Committee, and IT project manager for the American Red Cross Hurricane Recovery Program.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
NSA: Riding on Facebook's horse tail.
The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is once again close to denying reports that it is indiscriminately monitoring every computer on planet Earth. This time, the freshest, newest, most recent report of NSA mass-surreptitiousness (courtesy Edward Snowden -- ta) alleges the sneaky agency infects computers with malware via a fake Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) login page.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers play keep-away with the man-in-the-middle.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Review: Box beats Dropbox - and all the rest - for business
- Box trumps Dropbox, Engyte, Citrix ShareFile, EMC Syncplicity, and OwnCloud with rich mix of file sync, file sharing, user management, deep reporting and...
- Analyst Report-Mixed All Flash Arrays Delivers Safer Higher Performance
- What is the impact of an all-flash array with enterprise features and reliability on the mainstream data center? In the mainstream environment, storage...
- Embracing Flash Storage Exec Brief
- Flash storage can deliver impressive performance, especially for random I/O, by eliminating rotational and seek latencies that are common in all hard disk...
- Embracing Tiered Storage Exec Brief
- All data is not created equal and thus all data need not be treated the same by the storage system. IT executives must... All Government IT White Papers
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
- Top 8 Communications Tools for Small Businesses Powerful technology is available to help your small business improve its communications with customers, employees and suppliers. View this free On-Demand Webcast produced...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- All Government IT Webcasts