It’s February — the dark, frigid heart of winter — and there are seemingly few bright spots on the horizon. Bleak budgets, unfilled CIO positions and brutal weather can work in concert to make this a most depressing time. But fear not. For in your hands you hold an issue of Public CIO brimming with so much compelling content that it’s sure to warm your outlook on the months ahead.

Our cover story, featuring Arkansas CTO Claire Bailey, delves into the security issues surrounding social media. Like it or not, social media is not only here to stay, but is also increasingly integrating into everyday business processes. This story aims to help you get a handle on securing something that’s largely the antithesis to security.

Also in this issue, you’ll find a story by Contributing Writer David Raths that examines the challenges IT managers face when they try to add business analysts to their staff. Though the need for such employees is great, the opportunities are few and the obstacles are many.

Next up is a story that details the growing role metrics play in establishing the value of IT investments. You’ll also find an excellent piece by Dean Iacovelli filled with advice on how to sell IT to government executives. With a host of new governors and (hopefully) CIOs, making the case for IT has never been more important.

Contributing Writer Brooke Aker offers up a feature on the growing power of Web intelligence and how it may be used to spot trends to stop incidents, like terrorist attacks, before they start. And Associate Editor Matt Williams presents a look as to why a number of state CIOs have not yet been appointed. Almost everyone, ourselves included, thought we’d be awash in new names and faces by now.

And rounding out this issue is a story about open source initiatives in three German cities: Munich, Schwäbisch Hall and Treuchtlingen. Author Mark Cassell takes pains to explain why free open source software is worth consideration by American governments.

And I’d be remiss not to mention new columns by Andy Blumenthal, Dan Lohrmann and Paul Taylor, as well as a book review about strategic portfolio project management from Managing Editor Karen Stewartson.

So while it may be a dreary, cold winter, the cover-to-cover content in this issue is like a summer blockbuster, Public CIO-style.

Chad Vander Veen  |  Associate Editor