Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

succeeding right out of a job

Vivek Wadwa over at The Company Post:

Vivek Kundra’s resignation last week from his post as the nation’s Chief Information Officer is an ominous event.

Kundra’s goal was to set government data free via an expansive Internet effort called Data.gov, and encourage innovation with government-collected data through the Open Government Initiative. He had hoped to slash tens of billions of dollars from the government information technology (I.T.) budget by democratizing who and which types of companies can deliver I.T. solutions to the government...

The program was off to a great start, with hundreds of thousands of data sets becoming available, and entrepreneurs building thousands of innovative applications. Then the ill-considered race to slash the Federal deficit started. The Obama Administration agreed to cut e-government initiative funding from $35 million to $8 million. Never mind that Kundra’s programs had already saved taxpayers $3 billion over the past two years.

Not surprisingly, Kundra resigned...

We may live in the richest nation on Earth, but most government agencies and large corporations still process their mission-critical transactions on ’60s-era legacy systems that were designed for machines with less processing power than an iPhone. And they’re more expensive. The I.T. systems for these mainframes typically took years to build and cost millions of dollars — and that doesn’t include the hundreds of millions more we spend to maintain them.

Today, software developers can churn out more sophisticated applications for thousands – not millions – of dollars. So, while grandma flips through photo albums on her iPad and watches streaming videos from Netflix, our government relies on cumbersome web-based systems that function by tricking mainframes into thinking that they are connected to cathode ray tube (CRT) terminals.

The problem is catching very prominent attention. When President Obama could not get a late-model Blackberry, he complained that the U.S. government was 30 years behind when it comes to technology...

What Mr. Kundra was fighting is the Company Standard. I'm sure hundreds of thousands of those hundreds of millions spent on outdated systems run by private contractors (think Raytheon, think IBM) got funneled to the best lobbyists and Congresscritters money could buy, ensuring an Austerity encounter.

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