Archive for October, 2009

Data Governance

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Data governance is not a hardware, software, or manpower solution. It is an organizational strategy and methodology for documenting and implementing business rules and controls around your organizations valuable data. It is bringing cross-functional teams together to identify data issues that impact the company or organization as a whole. It is working with the business and IT to develop solutions for critical data issues. You do all of this through a data governance council made up of leaders across the business working with their teams for research, analysis, and implementation.

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Information Technology Governance & The Federal CIO

Shortly after taking office, the new White House staff and President Obama were shocked at the state of information technology for the executive branch of the government. President Obama himself struggled with the idea of giving up his Blackberry and pushed the Secret Service and other IT staff to find a way to allow him to be safe, secure, and informed with the latest technologies. But the President didn’t stop at his Blackberry.

One of the President’s very first actions was to appoint a new position to the White House staff, the first Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO). He appointed the District of Columbia’s chief technology officer, Vivek Kundra, to fill the position, in hopes that having an overseeing position will allow the government to have more control over the $80 billion spent each year on Information Technology. Before becoming the CTO at the District of Columbia, Kundra was the assistant secretary of commerce and technology for the commonwealth of Virginia. These previous positions, his experience around Washington, and his knowledge of the need for increased IT solutions and governance made him a perfect fit for President Obama‚Äôs new position.

The CIO didn’t take long before instituting a number of Information Technology Governance procedures and strategies to help shape the direction of the IT spending across the government. This is clearly visible by the announcement of initiatives around information sharing, such as,, and the IT Dashboard sites that have been modernized and made available to the public for their use. One of the main focuses of all of the initial actions by the Federal CIO is to govern the IT spending, shape the direction of the IT improvement, and insure that costs are reduced by implementing modern solutions. It will be interesting to see how well each of the branches of the government and their departments follow the lead and play nicely with the White House and the Federal CIO.
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