State department IT infrastructure by the end of 2001 was described not only as obsolete but dangerously inadequate jeopardizing the strategic missions of the United States. The State department with 260 posts overseas, mainly concentrates on relations with foreign government and foreign trade and only secondary in people issues such as protection of American citizen abroad and immigration to the United States. " Fundamentally, security and communication is what the department is all about," explained Gartner electronic government analyst Christopher Baum. .
The problems the IT out-of-date technology caused can be summarize below.
• As vital as the classified telecommunications systems, only 60 percent of the department's posts have it. .
• Another 28 percent (50 posts) have systems that are so old they are outdated Banyan products that Banyan no longer supports.
• They used the cable system that was installed during World War 1 that carries 28 million electronics correspondence worldwide in the form of telegrams annually. System overload.
• Only few computers have Internet access, and they must have to share for secret communications.
• The communications system that connects the various embassies to the department's headquarters in Washington is overloaded and often down.
• All embassies email go through Washington, even if the sender and the recipient are in the same overseas building only a few feet apart.
• Email access at some posts abroad was so difficult to use, it's easier to telephone Washington instead.
• The existing email system has no way to adequately mark messages as delivered and received (Laudon & Laudon). .
What were the changes Powell and Burbano wanted to make? Explain why?.
In 1998 following the bombing of the two embassies in Africa, a congressional committee studied the bombings concluded that the State department's communications were too inefficient to meet the growing terrorist threat.