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Welcome to the first issue of The GEM by GMIS
GMIS is pleased to re-launch the first issue of its weekly e-news publication.
The GEM will include timely news and information for IT leaders in government.
Keep up-to-date on the current trends and hot topics impacting your industry every Thursday, and explore the latest headlines and happenings with this exclusive resource provided by GMIS, in partnership with MultiBriefs.
For more information about this publication, please contact Rebecca Eberhardt.
GMIS members are agents of change, but that doesn't mean we are all not affected by the changing landscape around us. These past few months brought a lot of change to GMIS and the world around us. A new board took office in August, by-laws changes are being worked on to be proposed to membership, GMIS has a new associate organization in TAGITM and a new website. World and U.S. events certainly have changed drastically around us as well, the people of the U.K. have voted to pull out the E.U. and we have a new President with new priorities. While it's clear that citizens worldwide demand change, one thing has been clear to me in the more than 13 years I have worked in government: no matter the changing conditions around us the women and men who work day in and day out to serve the public want to make their communities a better place. This is why I am proud to be president of this organization- not only are we those people but we are often the change agents moving us forward.
One big change (hopefully you have already figured this one out), which I haven't mentioned yet is our new GEM! With a new provider and a new look, the GEM will be brought to you weekly now; providing more timely industry news and additional updates from GMIS itself. Thanks to GMIS International Director, Clark Rainer and the Marketing Committee for their work on this to make sure that our members still have the great GEM content they know and love under this new format. In this format each week will bring you a different message from one GMIS committee or program area.
Change is a positive thing for most of us, but not all individuals view change the same way. Hopefully, you will find all the changes to GMIS as great as we do. If you have ever read any of my previous letters to the conference attendees, you know that I like to open or close with a quote (if you dislike these quotes, don't worry, another changes is you will only have a presidents letter once every six weeks!) So on today's topic of change, I will leave you with this which I think is very fitting for those in our line of work ... .
"Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future."
President, GMIS International
City of New Orleans for
Information Technology and Innovation
GMIS member since 2015
Number of IT Staff: 84
IT Budget: $12 million
Q1. What has been a significant technology achievement for you or your organization?
We've improved our organization's security footprint by employing a layered security model, including multifactor authentication, service provider DDoS protection, application-aware web filtering, mobile device management, vulnerability scanning and security awareness training for over 3000 users. This model provides enterprisewide protection from the outermost mobile layer, through the firewalls to the desktops and down to the users. Changing user behavior has presented the greatest challenge, so we did lots of work to make security a priority. The most effective measures were to circulate acceptable use policies on a regular basis, improve IT customer service for security-related issues like password resets and VPN access, and finally, to empower our users by making self-service tools more available and easier to use.
Q2. What Future Initiatives are you hoping to accomplish in the next year?
Our most important initiative is to have a fully operational data center outside of New Orleans before the start of hurricane season, June 1, 2017. Several years ago, we partnered with the City's 911 facility to house a secondary data center (within City limits) for continuous availability of critical services. Our team determined the most cost-effective model to move data outside of the City was to extend our backup environment to a co-lo space. The initial capital investment in backup and network hardware helps to avoid the ongoing costs of disaster recovery services (DRaaS).
Q3. Best advice you could offer your fellow members is ...
Find sustainable ways to protect and manage your IT environment.
Q4. We all know GMIS membership is worth its weight in gold but what do you feel is the best benefit you get out of GMIS?
The information provided by peer organizations and feedback from the GMIS membership is invaluable to our team. In addition to learning about new technologies, we are able to understand potential pain points and the challenges these technologies introduce and how best to overcome them. The breadth of knowledge we gain from GMIS often saves us time and money.
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President Donald Trump's clash with Silicon Valley over immigration is about to become even more contentious.
After the new president banned refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Microsoft and others railed against the move, saying it violated the country's principles and risked disrupting its engine of innovation. Trump's next steps could strike even closer to home: His administration has drafted an executive order aimed at overhauling the work-visa programs technology companies depend on to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.
Health IT Security
Healthcare cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, and with cases of ransomware infiltrating provider networks, patient data security and patient safety could both be put at risk.
Healthcare organizations must ensure that they are making strong data security investments, and are continuously working to keep their networks, connected devices and all potential endpoints secure. A data breach or malware attack could be detrimental to both the healthcare entity and its patients or consumers. A recent survey though indicates that companies are prioritizing network and endpoint solutions over encryption. While a necessary thing to secure, data encryption options should not be overlooked.
You've probably been inundated by new technology — electronic health records, patient portals and computerized provider order entry systems, to name a few. You may have had your fill for the time being, but more new technologies are on the way. These new technologies will, ideally, automate tasks and help you recapture time with patients.
As we increasingly are living "in the cloud," the lines between hardware and software are blurring. But the term technologies encompasses more than hardware and software. It is broadly used to indicate computer code, devices, monitors, servers, databases, algorithms and the structure of their interactions on different platforms.
The National Law Review
Earlier in January, in the waning moments of the Obama Administration, the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board took the long-anticipated step of requiring websites of federal government agencies to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Levels A and AA.
On Jan. 5, the Access Board announced the release of the long anticipated "Information and Communication Technology Standards and Guidelines," which update and combine the previously separate requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (requiring federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities) and Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934 (requiring telecommunication equipment manufacturers and service providers to make their products and services accessible to people with disabilities), into one rule. The ITC Standards and Guidelines were officially released by the Access Board on Jan. 9 and published in the Federal Register on Jan. 18.
Former Firefox developer Robert O'Callahan, now a free agent and safe from the PR tentacles of his corporate overlord, says that antivirus software is terrible, AV vendors are terrible and that you should uninstall your antivirus software immediately — unless you use Microsoft's Windows Defender, which apparently is okay.
President Donald Trump's executive order calling for a 90-day ban on nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries entering the United States spurred responses across the technology industry from major tech companies including Google, Apple and Uber.
"It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a memo to his staff, according to Bloomberg.
"We've always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so," he added.
"Our first order of business is to help Googlers who are affected," he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "If you're abroad and need help please reach out to our global security team."
A Google spokesperson echoed Pichai’s sentiment in statement emailed to The Hill.
U.S. Navy commanders often struggle to deliver uninterrupted communications at sea without the added complications of providing command and control in denied or degraded environments. They face a double whammy of operational and technical hurdles.
Processes for developing concepts of operations are complex, painstaking and exacting. Although technology sets the boundaries for what is possible, most of the hard work is decidedly nontechnical. It lies in determining which signals and messages have priority, which data sources and destinations are critical, and which ones can be relegated — and for how long.
The Enterprisers Project
Today, more than ever before, information technology is about consumers. Technology governs how customers interact with the company, therefore it has become the primary factor in their impression of an organization and what it can do for them. That's why consumer experience is top-of-mind for today's CIOs, and why hiring people with a consumer-oriented skillset is crucial to success.
Technology development and use is one of the distinguishing human characteristics. Throughout history, technological developments have led to new opportunities and problems as civilizations progressed through periods where work focused on agriculture, organizational structures, trade, industry, services and knowledge work. However, increasing rates of technological change, as experienced in information technology, have led to major qualitative and quantitative changes within project and educational life cycles. Although productivity has improved, information technology advances have also created many problems, such as unanticipated risks (spam, identity theft), increased stress and social changes through job movement and investment uncertainty seems to be continuing with advances and convergence of information technology, biotechnology, and emerging nanotechnology. Francis Heylighen articulated this issue as the reduction in barriers to information led to increases in complexity and instability.
There was a time when typical office communications consisted of a desk phone and maybe an intercom. Although office workers of the time before our present information technology age had their desk phone, the intercom was often used to call workers to the manager's office, relay a quick message or relay a few instructions. Businesses could still communicate with their offices overseas and conference calling was something where you needed operators help to make the connection.
To say much has changed since the days before our present Information Technology age, would be an understatement.
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