I Like That Technology

I Like That Technology

Christopher Mims in the Wall Street Journal makes the case for letting employees go rogue with IT purchases.

It’s cheaper, it’s faster, “every employee is a technologist,” and those organizations “concerned about the security issues of shadow IT are missing the point; the bigger risk is not embracing it in the first place.”

How very bold or stupid?

Let everyone buy whatever they want when they want–behavior akin to little children running wild in a candy store.

So I guess that means…

Enterprise architecture planning…not important.
Sound IT governance…hogwash.
A good business case…na, money’s no object.
Enterprise solutions…what for?
Technical standards…a joke.
Interoperability…who cares?
Security…ah, it just happens!

Well, Mims just got rids of decades of IT best practices, because he puts all his faith in the cloud.

It’s not that there isn’t a special place for cloud computing, BYOD, and end-user innovation, it’s just that creating enterprise IT chaos and security cockiness will most-assuredly backfire.

From my experience, a hybrid governance model works best–where the CIO provides for the IT infrastructure, enterprise solutions, and architecture and governance, while the business units identify their specific requirements on the front line and ensure these are met timely and flexibly.

The CIO can ensure a balance between disciplined IT decision-making with agility on day-to-day needs.

Yes, the heavens will not fall down when the business units and IT work together collaboratively.

While it may be chic to do what you want when you want with IT, there will come a time, when people like Mims will be crying for the CIO to come save them from their freewheeling, silly little indiscretions.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

You Can Be Nice and Powerful

You Can Be Nice and Powerful

According to the Wall Street Journal, workers “value kindness in their boss” and compassion–this is natural, as we are all human with tests, frailties, and yes, everyone even makes some mistakes (and hopefully they learn from it).

So while there may seem to be a contradiction between being nice and being an effective leader, there really is not.

For example, we can have empathy for people, while still holding them accountable to do a good job through programs like flexible schedules, telework, and other workplace accommodations.

Power in the organization can be wielded by a boss in so many ways, and they don’t even have to eat their spinach to do it.

From what assignments you get, whether you have to work odd hours, to whether you get a good evaluation or even that promotion, for that matter.

Many may be too quick to put on the punching gloves, however.

Sometimes, the boss will laud publicly over some employees, while degrading or shunning others…that sends a message doesn’t it.

Worse is boss that yells, tells someone their ideas are stupid, or glares at someone like they are a moron…that takes someone straight to employment hell.

The email chain is the classic message!

So while power can be wielded, it can also be shielded by appreciating each person for what they can do and their contribution, if sincere and merited.

While employees value a nice boss, this doesn’t mean that we don’t want to be challenged, we do–challenge adds some meaning to our jobs and our day–that’s why 75% would rather work for a high-achieving, but demanding boss than a nice, but ineffective one.

But combine nice and high-achieving into a boss, and I think we will all want to work for such a leader and follow them wherever they go! ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Security Is A Joke!

Fascinating video with Dan Tentler on the Shodan Search Engine…which CNN calls the “scariest search engine on the Internet.”

The search engine crawls the Internet for servers, webcams, printers, routers, and every type of vulnerable device you can imagine.

It collects information on more than 500 million devices per month and that was as of last year, so it’s already probably a lot more.

Tentler shows the unbelievable amounts and type of things you can access with this, including our critical infrastructure for the country –from utilities to traffic lights, and power plants:

– Private webcams
– Bridges
– Freeways
– Data Centers
– Polycoms
– Fuel cells
– Wind farms
– Building controls for lighting, HVAC, door locks, and alarms
– Floor plans
– Power meters
– Heat pump controllers
– Garage doors
– Traffic control systems
– Hydroelectric plants
– Nuclear power plant controls
– Particle accelerators
– MORE!!!!

Aside from getting information on the IP address, description of the devices, locations (just plug the longitude and latitude into Google for a street location), you can often actually control these devices right from YOUR computer!

The information is online, open to the public, and requires no credentials.

– “It’s a massive security failure!”

– “Why is this stuff even online?”

Where is our cyber leadership????

>>>Where is the regulation over critical infrastructure?

If there is a heaven for hackers, this is it–shame on us. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

A Different Definition For IV&V

A Different Definition For IV&V

In IT circles, IV&V generally refers to Independent Verification and Validation, but for CIOs another important definition for leading is Independent Views and Voices.

Please read my new article on this: here at Government Technology — hope you enjoy it.

Andy

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Joi)

Google Fiber 4 The Nation’s Capital

Google Fiber 4 The Nation's Capital

How About Google Fiber for Washington, D.C.?

– Lead, by example, the rest of the nation forward.

– Speed up the functioning of the government.

– Helpful for Emergency Management

– The Patriotic thing to do! ๐Ÿ˜‰

All Opinions my own.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Cameron Yee, & no idea why it’s in Spanish, but I like it!)