Star Trek Made Me Do It
As Goddard celebrated the successful launch of the Gamma-ray Large Area Telescope (GLAST), which will explore the most extreme environments of the universe, I recently noticed an article titled, “Setting His Sights Beyond the Stars” by Roger Witherspoon published in US Black Engineer and IT Conference Edition – 2008. The article begins as follows:
Star Trek made him do it. In a sense, the rise of Reginald Van Lee, the man that public and private organizations around the globe turn to for IT solutions, owes the genesis of his career to Captain Kirk and the interstellar travels of the Starship Enterprise.
Wow, another IT and Star Trek connection. If you’re a Star Trek fan, nothing is better than being the CIO of NASA’s
In Star Trek, this is the training simulation, impossible to successfully complete, that young Starfleet cadets go through in order to test how they face defeat. The only cadet to beat the game was the young cadet James T. Kirk. He does so by reprogramming the game so that he could win.
Goddard IT challenges are tremendous. Addressing them requires game-changing strategies that will support and enable mission; implement risk-based IT security measures; improve transparency into IT costs; and improve efficiency and effectiveness. Goddard’s current IT Transformation is a game-changing strategy that will launch IT Management into the future.
The Borg are a collection of cyborgs who are organized as an inter-connected collective with a hive mind. They function with a single-minded purpose, transforming individuals and technology through assimilation and adding the biological and technological distinctiveness their own.
Goddard has a very disparate and heterogeneous infrastructure. It is a challenge to manage and secure. Through unification and consolidation, we will have a stronger infrastructure that will be easier to secure and easier to manage. However, as a scientific research organization, diversity often has a competitive advantage. Too much standardization could inhibit game-changing innovation – too little standardization could have the same effect. Followers of the Borg would know that their unification was both a tremendous strength and a vulnerability. Through the miracle of IT Governance, we will actively manage the right amount of diversity.
Star Trek’s government of the future is an interstellar federal state consisting of member planets and colonies. They operate under a democracy and have a military. Similar to the United States Constitution, there are guarantees of rights to individual members.
Goddard’s Federated IT governance supports the individuality of the mission areas while supporting a common defense of a strong infrastructure. It defines processes for making decisions, with input and representation from all mission areas. It supports the mission strategy of NASA and ensures that the IT strategy is supportive and enabling.
So, nothing is better than being a Star Trek fan and the CIO of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. As the Verizon FIOS flea would say … Wow.
Linda Y. Cureton