Well we are on our way. We launched a pilot of a large meeting of NASA senior executives. This is a precursor to Administrator Bolden’s a virtual Executive Summit – all remote using collaborative technologies. While the pilot contained up to 80 participants, the real virtual summit will have well over 600 executives agency-wide, nation-wide – perhaps even in low Earth orbit.
We had 9 speakers from across the country
who shared 10 different files consisting of documents, spreadsheets, videos and presentations. Nine speakers across the county shared documents, spreadsheets and presentations. We even looked at a movie clip of Apollo 13. We were able to see each other on video and web cameras in our new desktop ACES desktop, laptop, and mobile device environment.
Using chat and webcams, we were able to get a reasonable sense of the mood of the attendees. After we worked through some of the idiosyncrasies of the technology, we navigated pretty well by asking questions and making comments for the records. We even got a few good jokes in to loosen up the room and saw a great close up shot of the administrator’s tie.
As the CIO, I nearly had a nervous breakdown (occupational hazard). The technology was new to the participants and the headquarters wireless network was in a bouncy mood that day. But at the end of the day, we were one giant leap closer to implementing Administrator Bolden’s vision of an anywhere, anyplace, anytime organization.
We also demonstrated several of the fundamental tenets of the Administration’s Digital Government Strategy. In reminding us about the need for a mobile environment, the strategy states:
“Mobility” is not just about embracing the newest technology, but rather reflects a fundamental change in how, when, and where our citizens and employees work and interact. Mobile technology – the devices, infrastructure, and applications required to support a mobile citizenry and workforce – is a critical enabler of mobility, but is only part of the profound environmental shift that mobility represents.
Technology will not (yet?) replace the human contact required to build trust nor the complex interactions typically used in multilateral problem solving. But we got one step closer to augmenting the ability to collaborate in a virtual if not more cost-effective way.
Linda Cureton CIO, NASA