New Orleans CIO: VoIP, portals and Katrina

New Orleans CIO Greg Meffert and his IT team are due to receive an award this week for having improved their city's portal in a pre-Katrina world. Now the custom-designed features on that portal, and its flexibility, are allowing New Orleans residents to see aerial views of property lots and get the latest information on rescue and rebuilding efforts. Meffert has a private-sector background and a reputation for rewriting his public-sector job description so that he directs several public departments that IT services. He has an IT staff of about 100 and a $30 million budget. And now his resume includes Hurricane Katrina, which forever changed the way he looks at disaster recovery, and distributed models. Here Meffert talks with about his most harrowing moments in recent weeks and tells us what it's like for a tech guy to be designated to the front lines.