By Lester Lewis, Deputy CIO at Clark County
There was a time not so long ago that IT was simply a cost center or a box on the org chart. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the future should look entirely different as technology now permeates every facet of the business. IT is now the vogue solution for all types of business problems (Analytics, IoT, Security, User Experience….) The interesting thing is I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to do it. The nature of the organization and the current culture shouldn’t be barriers to integration but rather methods to achieve it when deftly applied by the C.I.O. This seems daunting, at least it did to me, working in local government, but then I remembered a couple of things.
- We have done this before, even if it was on a smaller scale. – There has always been a single network for the most part. A vast land where novices dare not tread without proper instruction from the connectivity gurus. “Who dare goes to the Internet”, in my Gandalf from the Hobbit voice. IT set the standards enforced them and everyone mostly complied without complaint.
- Mainframes were once cool. You got a session, did some work and you logged off. it was clean efficient and people were pretty happy. The entire environment was under the control of the IT department and they charged a decent fee for access, which was not a concern for those who needed it. It wasn’t exciting but it did deliver.
- Security is like the golden hammer. Everything is a nail. IT departments can’t be responsible for cyber-security without the authority to enforce standards that protect the kingdom. Security also enables the business to operate with confidence in the midst of regulations and compliance activities. As we have seen with the Verizon’s Yahoo acquisition security breaches can have a major financial impact outside of penalties and fines.