Risk
12/9/2009
08:19 AM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Global CIO: General Motors CIO On 4 Essential IT Skills

He'd like to hire people with all 4 into the new GM. But how can IT pros get this broad experience?

When InformationWeek met with General Motors' IT leadership recently, CIO Terry Kline laid out four broad skills he thinks a well-rounded IT pro should have. His thinking shows that deep tech chops still are highly valued. Yet the road looks tougher than ever to become this particular kind of IT superstar.

"I've always broke IT into four areas," explains Kline. Those areas are:

1. Software development: You've written code.

2. Operations: You've backed up servers, installed operating systems, reloaded a router. Bottom line: "You know how to keep the lights on," Kline says.

3. Architect: You know how to do jobs such as put in multiple servers with high availability and failover, you know how to deal with volume shadowing, you understand when it's best to stripe and disc and not. Etc.

4. Databases: This factors into all the others, but Kline makes it its own category to settle the argument over which one it goes in.

Kline figures it takes about 15 years to gain sufficient experience in all four disciplines. He'd like to bring more of those people into the new GM. Says Kline, who took over as CIO in October:

"Individuals that have spent time in all four areas are highly valuable. They work really well in our outsourced model--mostly because most people in IT have not worked in all four areas. If you have someone who's written code, who's worked in servers, done architecture, who knows something about databases -- they're a very valuable asset. They're good mediators, too."

Understand, GM is one of the most outsourced IT organizations in the world--90% of its IT is done by IT service providers. A company with more than 200,000 employees, it has about 1,500 full-time IT employees. Kline's not changing that outsourced model, but he's looking to bring in a small number of these more all-purpose IT pros.

These people thrive, particularly in an outsourced IT operation, because they can broker between, say, the app dev and data center operations teams if they can't agree on what's causing a problem. They can't be buffaloed on the technology. Perhaps just as important, if there's an emergency, they can be the paramedic--fix a problem well enough that the patient survives until there's time for a specialist to do a more elegant repair.

Two things strike me about this kind of IT superstar.

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

One is what a premium it puts on pure tech chops. At a time when we hear about technology being a commodity, about business units self-provisioning from the cloud and working around IT, about IT pros chasing hot skills to stay ahead of offshore outsourcing, this view puts a premium on hands-on, broad-based, operational IT skills.

Two is how hard it will be for IT pros to develop this portfolio of knowledge.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-4594
Published: 2014-10-25
The Payment for Webform module 7.x-1.x before 7.x-1.5 for Drupal does not restrict access by anonymous users, which allows remote anonymous users to use the payment of other anonymous users when submitting a form that requires payment.

CVE-2014-0476
Published: 2014-10-25
The slapper function in chkrootkit before 0.50 does not properly quote file paths, which allows local users to execute arbitrary code via a Trojan horse executable. NOTE: this is only a vulnerability when /tmp is not mounted with the noexec option.

CVE-2014-1927
Published: 2014-10-25
The shell_quote function in python-gnupg 0.3.5 does not properly quote strings, which allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary code via shell metacharacters in unspecified vectors, as demonstrated using "$(" command-substitution sequences, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-1928....

CVE-2014-1928
Published: 2014-10-25
The shell_quote function in python-gnupg 0.3.5 does not properly escape characters, which allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary code via shell metacharacters in unspecified vectors, as demonstrated using "\" (backslash) characters to form multi-command sequences, a different vulner...

CVE-2014-1929
Published: 2014-10-25
python-gnupg 0.3.5 and 0.3.6 allows context-dependent attackers to have an unspecified impact via vectors related to "option injection through positional arguments." NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incomplete fix for CVE-2013-7323.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.