Out of Africa: Government Technology is a Global Theme

 I just returned from a nine day trip to South Africa where I was one of the keynote speakers during&...

by / September 22, 2009

 I just returned from a nine day trip to South Africa where I was one of the keynote speakers during GovTech 2009 in Durban. To say that I was impressed with what is going on in Southern Africa would be an understatement, I was truly amazed by their global perspective and technology progress. The conference theme was "Doing ICT for the citizens," and most presenters provided clear, practical technology benefits to ordinary citizens. Speakers from the United Kingdom, Austria, Canada, Brazil, and numerous other countries offered their insights on best practices in Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT).  

 Initially, I was apprehensive about the long trip, but I was looking forward to a fun vacation with my daughter. (We went on a beautiful three day safaris after the conference.) But my expectations were exceeded by outstanding presentations which were a mixture of direct talk about hard issues like the supplier - CIO relationship, the realities of open source, and convergence in a customer-centric era.      

   The conference offered a wide variety of important topics and case studies that are well worth considering (and downloading the powerpoints). For example, the e-Government situation in South Korea was described in detail. Other helpful sessions included global best practices which was offered by friend and colleague Paul Taylor and perhaps even my session on what's hot and what's not around the world in cyber security or Seven security threats that governments face

  Besides the conference material, I found the GovTech 2009 hosts to be kind and helpful. They truly made the international guests feel welcome, and they "get it" when it comes to the people side of technology conferences.

  My recommendation: visit the GovTech 2009 conference website and download the powerpoint presentations that interest you. Videos of keynote sessions will become available soon, and I will point to those when I receive the link (in a future blog). In the meantime, I agree with the perspective: think globally, act locally. After my recent visit to Africa, it means a bit more than it did before.  

Dan Lohrmann Chief Security Officer & Chief Strategist at Security Mentor Inc.

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.

During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.

He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.

Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.

He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso