News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

Obama finds it’s not easy being tech savvy

We’re eight years into the 21st Century, but the United States is about to get its first 21st Century president. And as Barack Obama prepares to take the White House into the digital age, it’s becoming clear that the transition won’t be an easy one.

Imagine a global corporation whose CEO doesn’t have an email address or a laptop, let alone a BlackBerry. Well, that’s been the federal government for all these years. That’s partially because former presidents were from a different generation that never saw the need for these technological advances. But it’s also because being president of the United States is unlike any other CEO’s job.

The New York Times this weekend had a good recap of all the risks that could face a president in cyberspace — from hackers, who could threaten national security, to the Presidential Records Act, which would place the president’s emails in the public record. Because of these issues, Obama aides said it’s unlikely he’ll use email, although he hopes to have a laptop in the Oval Office.

That’s a real shame, because it’s pretty clear that things like email and BlackBerrys significantly help productivity (assuming Obama doesn’t spend all his time sending forwards to his cabinet members or texting his buddies back in Chicago). The way Obama’s campaign embraced technology was a major reason the campaign reached so many people so efficiently. I understand the risks once he becomes president, but I hope he and his staff can find ways around them and put technology to good use in the White House.

One thing Obama started just this week was posting video of his weekly radio address online. It was a seemingly innocuous move, but even that ruffled some feathers. CNET’s Dan Farber called out Obama for using YouTube to embed the video on his presidential transition site,

“Why should the incoming president, or public official, favor one Internet video service over another?” Farber wrote. “Yahoo, MSN, Blip, Veoh, and other video-sharing sites shouldn’t have to lobby the White House for equal time or at least some time.”

Farber instead suggested that Obama’s team create its own branded, vendor-neutral video player. With the economy in the tank, the war in Iraq still lingering on, and still no college football playoff system in sight, Obama’s got his hands full, and creating a video player is probably very low on the priority list. But Farber’s blog just goes to show that anything Obama does with technology will face a lot of scrutiny.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Will tech hiring be an issue for you in 2013?
Need to increase our revenues to add head count for operations.
Industry specific talent is growing in high demand. The financial sector is becoming increasingly scarce with talent as folks move to less regulated industries. I am sure other niche markets will also see the struggle if not already experiencing it.
The impending Windows XP end of life date of April 8, 2014, and the fact that most skipped Windows Vista, Desktop Engineers with OSD, SCCM skills and packaging skills are in hot demand as companies finally wake up and begin to retool their Desktop Engineering and Operations departments to complete the migration.
I have heard that VarStaffing ( is a great company to partner with. They find technical talent not just for VAR's, but also for End user companies.
Not lacking the skill set.. Plenty of skilled workers around the UK..Lacking the commitment and personality
As an arms-length government body, our budget is now expected to decrease annually for at least the next five years.

Many of our incumbent "technology professionals" are neither au fait with current technology, or particularly professional. However, generous terms, permanent contracts, and weak senior management conspire to ensure we can't spend taxpayers' money more wisely.

Additionally, it seems our government pay-masters are in thrall to the big technology and business consulting firms, so we can't look to hire individuals and small companies to partner with us for nimble technolgy transformations with quick results and fast ROI.

Overall, tech hiring will continue to be an issue for us through 2013 and beyond until we collectively learn to operate in a much smarter way...
Though the IT budgets are expected to increase in 2013, but IT staff salary cuts are still a concern. According to the latest survey data from the Society for Information Management (SIM), IT budgets up, but salary cuts still a concern for 2013.

IT departments are still looking for ways to reduce costs, still trying to increase employee productivity, and still cautious about raising salaries.

A larger percentage (13%) of IT experts expects to see salary cuts in 2013. But in my opinion this may increase the IT staff turnover, instead of increasing their productivity. These salaries cuts may also effect the employees' motivation level -- Bad indicator ofcourse.

So how to deal with this situation? Yes, there are many ways. But for today, I will be focusing on the one suggested by Microsoft's recent case-study.

This case-study talks about an asset management firm, and how that firm successfully managed to reduce their IT spend by 50 percent, while increasing their workforce productivity, enhancing IT control, and flexibility.


If organizations could make most out of their IT spending, then I don't think there would be a reason to cut staff salaries.
There are plenty of duds out there buthigh quality people are scarce.