Tech Execs Push Bush For President Poll Reveals Widespread Disappointment with Technology Education

Coronado, CA — August 18, 1999 — A new CIO KnowPulsesm poll, conducted by IDG’s CIO magazine, shows strong support among business and technology executives for Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R). When asked who they would vote for if the Year 2000 presidential election were held today, sixty one percent (61%) of executives picked Bush as their favorite candidate from a pool of twelve contenders, including Republicans and Democrats alike. Arizona Senator John McCain (R), trailed Bush with 10% of respondents, with U.S. Vice President Al Gore (D), Bill Bradley (D) and Elizabeth Dole (R) bringing up the rear. "It’s hard to explain Bush’s wide margin of support among technologists, especially in light of the vice president’s perceived expertise and association with technology issues," says Lew McCreary, editorial director of CIO Communications.

The poll of 202 chief information officers (CIOs) and business executives was deployed August 16, 1999, at The CIO 100 Symposium & Awards in Coronado, a resort island five miles southwest of San Diego. Poll results also show the majority of executives do not believe technology education is adequate at the elementary and middle/high school levels. In addition, while their view of tech education improves somewhat at the college level, with 38 percent saying it is adequate, a notable number of executives still see room for improvement (44%). "One of the dirty secrets of U.S. education generally is its lamentable failure to make technology learning broadly available, relevant and exciting. This ought to be a call to arms for teachers, administrators and politicians," says McCreary.

CIOs on Y2K:

When asked about a recently published report that 27 U.S. commercial nuclear power plants have not completed Y2K remediation, a stunning 78 percent expressed some level of concern. In addition, 79 percent of respondents expressed concern about Y2K-related mishaps from chemical plants, as the U.S. Senate recently called for a chemical industry summit to ascertain the readiness of chemical companies. On the other hand, respondents are almost unanimous (99%) in believing that their organizations’ security infrastructures are not at risk of sabotage by hired Y2K remediation programmers. This comes on the heels of a warning by the government’s top security experts that programmers may be quietly installing malicious software code to sabotage companies or garner illegal access to sensitive information.

Confidence about Y2K remediation is on the rise, with 57 percent of executives saying the Y2K bug will be fixed before the turn of the century (up from 51% in March 1999). However, the majority of respondents (56%) still say they will not fly on an airplane the day the calendar rolls over to the new millennium. In addition, stockpiling of canned goods and water continues to rise, with 21 percent and 27 percent of respondents respectively indicating they are planning to stock up. When it comes to managing their own finances, 20 percent of respondents plan to put all of their money in one bank or investment vehicle that claims to have solved the Y2K problem, a slight increase of five percent over a February 1999 poll.

According to McCreary, "It’s interesting that at the same time people express increasing confidence that they’re getting a handle on Y2K liabilities, there’s still a small but persistently growing percentage of people who remain worried enough to stockpile food and water."

CIOs on Wired Homes:

In response to a growing national trend to hardwire new homes with advanced technology capabilities such as high-speed Internet connections, digital telephone service with voice mail, digital cable TV, or a community intranet, nearly 60 percent of respondents predict wired homes will be commonplace within the next three years.

"When you think about it, it makes perfect sense," says McCreary. "It would almost be more surprising to learn that anyone would build a house these days that didn’t incorporate Internet-ready wiring. Homebuilders don’t build what their customers don’t want, or won’t pay for, so what we’re seeing is their astute understanding of a growing social change."

Poll Results

1) If the Year 2000 Presidential election were held today, for whom would you vote?*

61% George W. Bush (R-TX)

10% John S. McCain (R-AZ)

9% Albert "Al" Gore (D-TN)

8% William W. "Bill" Bradley (D-NJ)

7% Elizabeth H. "Libby" Dole (R-NC)

6% Malcolm S. "Steve" Forbes, Jr. (R-NJ)

0% A. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

0% Gary L. Bauer (R-VA)

0% Patrick J. "Pat" Buchanon (R-VA)

0% Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)

0% Alan L. Keyes (R-MD)

0% J. Danforth "Dan" Quayle (R-AZ)

2) Is your company currently engaged in electronic commerce initiatives (i.e., can customers purchase goods and/or services directly from your company’s Web site)?

73% Yes

7 % No, have no plans to do so

20% No, but plan to do so

3) What is more important to your business?

67% Ability to track/store information about online consumers

33% Privacy of online consumers

4) In your personal use of the Internet, are you willing to give up privacy in exchange for added customer value or convenience?*

45% Yes

55% No

1% I don’t use the Internet for personal purposes

5) Does your company have a policy that explains how employees’ online usage is or is not monitored (i.e., monitoring email and/or Web use)?

70% Yes

18% No

9% Don’t know, but we should

3% Don’t know, don’t care

6) President Bill Clinton requested the Executive Branch to create a national plan for protecting the nation’s critical information systems. Part of this proposed plan calls for an intrusion detection monitoring system for non-Department of Defense government computers. Suspicious records would be passed along to the FBI for further investigation. Do you think this is a good idea?

45% Yes

34% No

21% Unsure

7) How confident are you that your company’s security infrastructure can withstand a multi-million-dollar hack?

6% Extremely confident