White House CIO
Brook Colangelo had been on the job just
six days when the email servers went
down for 21 hours. By Pat Thibodeau
IN BROOK COLANGELO’S FIRST 40 DAYS as CIO of the Executive Office of the President, the White House email system was down 23% of the time while he and his staff put in 80-hour weeks, “if not more.” Colangelo began the job on Jan. 20, 2009 — the day
Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. His opening tasks
were to “deliver the first presidential BlackBerry” and distribute
handhelds to all top administration officials. “It was just a mind-blowing experience,” he said at Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT
Leaders Conference in Phoenix this month.
But reality quickly set in as Colangelo found White House IT
assets “in pretty bad shape.”
Over 82% of the equipment had reached the end of its useful
life. Many desktop computers still had floppy disk drives.
Our email servers went down for 21 hours. In my professional career, there has not
been a worse day since or ever.” — BROOK COLANGELO, CIO, EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT