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What CIOs Can Learn From the U.S. Government Shutdown

With the government shutdown, federal CIOs might just be the last thing CNN is concerned about. However, when IT is affected, the whole organization suffers. Whether your company is tied to the government or not, Eric Thomas gives seven tips for the federal CIO that can used by IT leaders during any unexpected crisis.

  1. Know your most critical investments and services: Have you been practicing portfolio management in order to prioritize your must-have resources?
  2. Understand the nitty-gritty of your contracts: If the government shuts you down, will contractors be allowed to work off site? How will your SLAs be affected? These are just some of the questions you should be asking.
  3. Identify key resources: Which personnel are essentials and which aren’t? And can the essential workers now handle taking on additional responsibilities that the “non-essential” employees used to handle?
  4. Shutdown preparation is costly: Getting prepared for a shutdown takes time away from your usual tasks, and costs the organization money, even if you are yet to be influenced by the shutdown.
  5. Know how your projects will be managed: Certain systems may be run by government employees while others are not. If someone down the line is considered non-essential, how’s that going to change things for those that are still there?
  6. Communicate early and often: Don’t leave important decisions up to speculation in the heat of the moment, have a plan early on.
  7. Learn from trials and tribulations: Treat every obstacle you face as a learning experience. A shutdown is never convenient, but it can help you find ways to better your organization in the future.


About Rachel Ginder

Rachel Ginder was a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success and joined the team in 2013. She also helped with social media and research.

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