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Musings on a National CTO

by Hu Yoshida on Dec 17, 2008

Last week I was in Washington D.C. to meet with some of our customers in the federal government agencies as well as with systems integrators. It is always interesting and enjoyable for me to visit D.C., especially during the Christmas season, and especially now as the Obama transition team is working towards the January 20th transfer of power.
In the IT community there is a lot of interest in the new administration’s technology agenda which has been very well thought out and communicated.

The incoming administration’s plan calls for an Open Internet and diverse media outlets; creation of a transparent and connected Democracy; deployment of a modern communications Infrastructure; improvement of America’s competitiveness in technology, science, and innovation; preparation of our citizens, young and old, for the changing 21st century economy; and employment of technology, science, and innovation to solve the pressing problems of health care costs, climate friendly energy development and deployment, and public safety.

The emphasis on communication, open internet, diverse media outlets, and deployment of modern communications infrastructure will mean that a lot more data will be generated and the need for storage will increase dramatically. It also means that the rest of the IT infrastructure will have to be modernized to process this information influx. That said, virtualization will undoubtedly play a key role in facilitating the transition to this new, modernized, IT infrastructure.

As Christophe Bertrand points out in his blog, the new administration is expected to appoint a Federal CTO. While the different agencies have CTO’s, this will be the first time that we will have a Federal CTO. There was a great deal of speculation about who this CTO will be. Many believe that Eric Schmidt of Google is the top candidate. He is the top candidate on ZDnet’s list, but is recently rumored to have taken himself out of the running. All the candidates on this list come from the technology industry or academia.

The Obama team has said America’s first CTO “will ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies, and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with the chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use the best-in class technologies and share best practices.”

If that’s the case, then it may be better to choose someone who is more familiar with the government agencies than the technology industry. In which case, it may be a former agency CTO like Dawn Meyerriecks who was the DISA CTO until July of this year.

Some may wonder, what “improvement of America’s competitiveness in science, technology, and innovation” may mean to a Japanese-owned technology company like HDS.

First of all Hitachi Data Systems is a U.S. Company that exports storage systems technology to the rest of the world outside of Japan, and contributes to the U.S. economy. We also provide technology for US based global companies like HP and SUN, and partner with other companies like CISCO, Brocade, IBM, Symantec, who all support innovation in the storage industry. In a similar way Hitachi Automotive provides the Lithium-Ion battery for General Motors’ second generation hybrid engines to help them gain a competitive edge in the automotive market, improving America’s competitiveness will require the collaboration and integration of the best of global technology providers.

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Comments (2 )

Customer Storage Expert on 17 Dec 2008 at 9:19 pm

Hu, I have attached a link that references S.495 which was a Bill that references several different types of technologies and new directions that the new President may take things.


I am glad to see that the HDS blogs have become more active.

Hu Yoshida on 06 Jan 2009 at 5:17 pm

Thank you for the link to S.495. This bill has to do with identity theft which will certainly be covered under the new administration’s technology plan. One of the technologies mentioned in this bill is encryption as a way of protecting identity information. The use of encryption may enable a business to “safe harbor” or eliminate liability through its use. To that end Hitachi has implemented encryption of data at rest with in the USP V.

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