Ex-White House CIO: Obama's first 40 days were a tech mess
E-mail was down nearly a quarter of the time--but that was just one of myriad problems for a White House burdened by antiquated technology.
Unfortunately, we usually have to wait until after someone's ready to ring the register for a final time before they're willing to dish on what things are really like. So it was recently with a tell-all about Goldman Sachs in today's New York Times.upon leaving Google, as well as with Greg Smith, who published
In an interview with Computerworld he offers up a couple of revealing tidbits about the sad state of technical unpreparedness at the highest office of the most technologically advanced nation on the planet.
- During Barack Obama's first 40 days in office, the White House e-mail system was down 23 percent of the time. (Maybe that explains why my e-mail requests to the president went unanswered.)
- More than 80 percent of the president's staff's technology was out of date.
- Many desktops still had floppy disk drives.
- In February 2011, the White House network suffered a nine-hour outage. (Colangelo was forced to fax--yes, fax--updates on the situation to President Obama.)
All in all, Colangelo told his interviewer, "it was just a mind-blowing experience."
Of course, this was nearly four years ago. Since then, Colangelo hastens to note, a modernization program has changed things for the better.Update at 3:25 p.m. to correct that Colangelo is not planning to leave the job anytime soon. "[I am] not on my last lap," he told CNET this afternoon. "As I told the audience on Monday, I am not going anywhere. I have the best job and work for the best person in the world."