Civic Innovation is an Important Aspect That Must be Focused On

Adel Ebeid, CIO, City of Philadelphia
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Adel Ebeid, CIO, City of Philadelphia

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

Introducing mobility into our existing infrastructure in a structure fashion so we can, long term, manage the diverse pool of city-owned and personal devices in a sustainable fashion.

• Striking the right balance between affordability and sustainability especially as government continues to exert fiscal control and cross-cutting measures.
• Coaching the IT and business organizations to become more agile/smart in how we approach legacy modernization (they’re business projects first, IT projects second).
• Using capital funds to support consumption-based economics offered by leveraging the cloud.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

I’m always concerned about security. While we have a great team in place and have improved our security posture significantly, we have to resist the temptation of falling into complacency because we spent a significant amount of dollars deploying security solutions. In 2013, we plan to focus internally on user education and raising awareness which is the weakest link in any good security strategy.

Social networking and its place inside the enterprise – The line between professional and personal tools is blurring and with the use of social media, the distinction between staff’s public and private persona is diminishing. The great challenge for the CIO is to transition from a posture of access prevention to a focus on improving organizational hygiene and appropriate use.

Technology Trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment

We plan to pursue several opportunities in the next 1 to 2 years to mine structured and unstructured data. We’ll be on the lookout for how the big data platform space matures and what products are likely to float to the top. Visualization tools to help users and the general public visualizes and consumes large and complex data.

Civic Innovation and Community Engagement

As the City’s Chief Innovation Officer, my primary focus is on innovation not just in the IT space but business process redesign, improving government service delivery, and advancing civic innovation and community engagement. Regardless of what the “I” in CIO stands for, tomorrow’s CIO has to be more strategic about what gets added to his/her portfolio. 2013 will be a defining moment for CIOs across the country. Those who figure out how to buy services as opposed to owning hardware and software will find the time and internal resources to become “Innovative.” Those who continue to place their worth on how much hardware and software they can pack in their data center will become “Irrelevant.”

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