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CIOs Under Pressure

IT officers are getting more efficient, but guess what keeps them up at night?

Fortnightly Magazine - March 2007

make available to a lot of our constituents: environmentalists, tribes, and a lot of others. It’s a pretty critical piece of communication between Bonneville and our constituents. It’s a homegrown application that we make available to the constituents.

Fortnightly: What portion of BPA’s budget goes to IT?

Buttress: Our expense budget for 2007 is $58 million for IT. For 2006, our total operation revenues were $3.4 billion. After expenses, our net operating revenues would be $872 million.

Fortnightly: If you had a blank check to change anything at your organization, what would you do?

Buttress: I think this enterprise GIS movement is the way I would answer that. GIS holds so much potential for us, and I think it is very appealing to IT folks because it’s exciting. It’s new and impressive technology. It gets that information into the hands of people in the field, and I think it will allow them to make better decisions and make better use of their time. In the long run, that should be good for the agency.

The other thing that’s important to state is how important security is to us. If you look into the future and ask what concerns us the most, I’d have to say security is becoming more and more of an issue for us to keep our eyes on.

Because we’re part of the government, protection of personally identifiable information is just critical to us. We have to make sure our systems comply with all of the requirements from the Department of Energy as well as the White House. It’s not a small issue. Cyber-security, protection of our grip ops, SCADA security—that’s the one thing I want to make sure we do a good job of in the future.

The leadership here supports this. We have a cyber-security group now within IT that reports up to me, and that group is being challenged to do more and more. Staffing in that group will increase in 2007.