Cloud

The yellow brick road to cloud comfort

Yellow Brick Road

The path to cloud confidence?

NASA CIO Linda Cureton has a message for IT managers still concerned about the security risks that come with cloud and mobile: Those things are coming fast, so get used to it -- and get ahead of the demand.

"Regardless of what you let people do, they're going to do it anyway," Cureton said in her Oct. 22 keynote address at 1105 Media's triple conference on cloud, mobile and cybersecurity.  (1105 Media is the parent company of FCW.)  

Security concerns are critical, but cannot be used to hold back mobile and cloud efforts, Cureton said.  "Address those legitimate fears, but don't be paralyzed by them.  Otherwise, your customers will walk away and find another way to get what they want."

Industry research finds that 38 percent of executives have been issued a tablet, Cureton said, and enterprise tablets will grown by 48 percent in the next five years.  "Address those legitimate fears, but don't be paralyzed by them," she said. "Otherwise, your customers will walk away and find another way to get what they want."

Acknowledging that some CIOs see these trends as "menaces to society," Cureton used the Wizard of Oz to explain how tech leaders can weather the "intense bouts of customer dissatisfaction," and tackle the challenges of cloud and mobile security in a new way:

  • Have a heart. "We need to be passionate about the possibilities that innovation has."
  • Be flexible. "We have to be diligent about not getting rusty."
  • Find courage. "Dig deep and find ways to manage the risks," because the "patch and pray" approach does not work anymore.
  • And perhaps most importantly, "it takes a brain."  CIOs can no longer be just providers (or deniers) of service, she said.  "We need to be influence brokers."

CIOs also need to be knowledgeable about the technologies, Cureton said, and should pilot technologies internally: "See the advice of others, but realize that ultimately you have to act for yourself." 

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, WashingtonPost.com, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.


The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group