It's probably not unusual for a newly hired CIO to walk into his or her office in the first days of a job, stroll through the data center, sit down with the department's software developers and IT technicians, look at the to-do list, and come to the realization: "What the heck have I gotten myself into?!"
We can only imagine the thoughts running through Zalmai Azmi's head as he sized up the IT challenges facing the FBI after he was named CIO last year. In the critical period since Sept. 11, 2001, the bureau went through the motions of creating an IT infrastructure that could support a need for sharing information faster in the face of new dangers. But a critical upgrade for managing case files sputtered and strategic planning lacked continuity as four CIOs went through the agency's revolving doors one after the other.
When InformationWeek senior editor Larry Greenemeier arrived at the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington to interview Azmi, he found the FBI's top technologist--who came to the United States from Afghanistan in 1982 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps--prepared with handwritten notes. Azmi was eager to talk about the coordinated IT strategy he has now put in place. It appears he has the influence to make it work, with a mandate that includes broader budget control and a role in reengineering the bureau's business processes.
The FBI is moving forward, though not very fast. Its flagship Sentinel system hasn't yet begun and will take four years to roll out. But getting it right this time is what counts most. As our cover headline ("Deadly Serious") suggests, there's little margin for error.
IT's Reputation: What the Data SaysInformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.