IT on the fly: The art of quickly building, then dismantling

The CIOs for the London Olympics, President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign and other short-lived but intense operations know how to run successful IT shops in extraordinary situations -- and their insights can be applied in even the most ordinary of conditions. Insider (registration required)


Keith Robertory was staring down a project of epic proportions.

Last fall, as the East Coast prepared for Hurricane Sandy to strike, Robertory was planning to create and run an entire IT shop. He'd have only hours to organize staff and get systems running.

He just needed to know where to go.

Robertory heads the disaster services technology group at the American Red Cross. It's his job to make sure Red Cross aid workers have the on-site technology they need to do their jobs, even when a hurricane takes out everything else.

"When most people go to an IT person and talk about disaster, they're picking up servers and running away. We're doing just the opposite. We're taking equipment into the disasters where infrastructure is the worst," he says.

Robertory has an unusual talent in a profession whose practitioners often talk about multiyear deployments: He can build and dismantle an entire IT department on the fly.

To continue reading, register here to become an Insider. You'll get free access to premium content from CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, and Network World. See more Insider content or sign in.

Find your next job with computerworld UK jobs

"Recommended For You"

The Grill: NFL CIO uses analytics to improve player safety Stena Bulk deploys disaster recovery for smooth sailing