IT officers are getting more efficient, but guess what keeps them up at night?
Utility innovation is pushing Internet-technology (IT) investment forward, but security still causes utility chief information officers (CIOs) to lose sleep.
Xcel Energy CIO Mike Carlson, who takes pride in the company’s well established leadership in IT innovation, isn’t resting on those laurels. “I’d like information security to become a lot easier,” he says. “It’s probably the thing that keeps us up awake right now. There’s got to be a way to make it easier. It’s going to require some investment, but unfortunately, it’s not the type of investment that shows a natural return.”
Investment isn’t as large an issue for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for which President Bush has proposed a budget of $34.4 billion in the coming year—up $2.3 billion from last year’s funding level. The department manages the nation’s overall critical infrastructure and key resources protection framework, and oversees National Infrastructure Protection Plan development and implementation. “A corporate environment isn’t all that different from the systems management we have here [at DHS],” says Scott Charbo, CIO for DHS. “If you’re a co-op, you probably have a lot of the same challenges I do.”