Feds find silver lining in Y2K struggle

Despite the havoc it has given federal managers, the Year 2000 problem may have better equipped federal chief information officers to handle future information technology problems, according to the CIO Council.

There are many "redeeming values of Y2K," Kathy Adams, co-chairwoman of the CIO Council's Year 2000 committee, today told an audience attending FOSE in Washington, D.C.

The biggest benefit for CIOs and the council has been building confidence that they can solve large problems, Adams said. According to the other CIO Council members, more confidence will pay off in addressing the many other challenges that are emerging as the Year 2000 passes, including capital planning and the recruiting and retention of federal IT professionals.

Information security is the most immediate of those problems. "Cybersecurity is the next battleground for CIOs," said John Gilligan, co-chairman of the CIO Council's Security Committee.

The Year 2000 problem also has forced CIOs to clean house and learn how their IT architecture was put together—something few, if any, federal IT professionals knew. CIOs also learned the benefits of having good management practices within their department and with having contingency plans to ensure the delivery of services to citizens, she said.

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