Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology

Sara Peters, Editor in Chief | 3/20/2012 | 9 comments

Sara Peters
The Fashion Institute of Technology is a challenging place. I certainly find it challenging to walk by the campus -- nearby my office in New York City -- knowing that, at any moment, a troupe of tall, gorgeous models with perfect hair and makeup will strut by on their way to an end-of-semester student fashion show.

What woman wants to be faced with that kind of competition while trudging to the subway after a long day's work? But that's nothing compared to the challenges faced by FIT's CIO, Gregg Chottiner, who will be joining us for a live E2 chat this Wednesday morning, March 21, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.

What's the toughest challenge for FIT's computing environment? It could be the task of creating a secure wireless infrastructure in the center of midtown Manhattan -- and managing temporary access credentials to the 1,200 adjunct faculty, to the Macy's executives renting out the auditorium, and to the Boy Scouts bunking down in the school's vacant dorm rooms over the summer.

It could be the challenge of scaling up storage fast enough to accommodate the demands of art and design students who generate and store giant imaging files.

Or it might be software that poses the most intriguing challenge. FIT students need more than the average Microsoft Office suite. They even need more than pricey design software like the Adobe Creative Suite.

For some classes, students need to use expensive, highly specialized, homegrown applications developed and used by outside companies. (For example, a FIT adjunct professor who works full-time at a large design studio may require students to use their company's application.) An individual student may need that application at her fingertips every moment of every day, but only until the semester ends.

Chottiner is using and experimenting with a variety of ways to manage the costs of providing students persistent-yet-temporary access to these expensive applications -- including application virtualization and distributing pre-loaded laptops to students for the duration of the semester.

Join the chat this Wednesday, March 21, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time to ask Gregg Chottiner more about how he handles the complexities and eccentricities of this urban, academic, artistic computing environment.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
David Wagner   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/23/2012 2:46:28 PM
Re: Software-so why not use the cloud?
@Zaius- I'm sure it could be provided by thin-client, but it is tough to deploy that way to a group of students. During the chat we discussed other virtualization strategies as well as creative licensing agreements.
Zaius   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/23/2012 2:05:39 PM
Re: Software-so why not use the cloud?
Yes, their softwareis actually quite pricey. I suspect it could be made available in thin client version via the cloud.
sohaibmasood   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/21/2012 9:29:37 AM
@David: True, the cost of the software will be much less compared to the infrastructure and the salaries to the teaching staff. Moreover, I think application virtualization and providing latops/notebooks on rent to students may prove to be important factors in bringing down costs for the students. 
Taimoor Zubair   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/21/2012 6:38:05 AM
I agree with David. Software costs would certainly be lesser than investments in other areas like buildings etc. Besides this, the return from investment in software might be far greater than returns on other areas.
David Wagner   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/20/2012 9:52:46 PM
Undoubtedly all the costs a university has will be dealt with by raising tuition or getting more donations. That said, compared to buildings, professors salaries and such, I doubt software is a major line in the budget.
angelfuego   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/20/2012 9:32:05 PM
It seems very costly. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the long run. If this expensive software will best meet the needs of its students, it will be advantageous to them. However, I sure hope this doesn't call for a hike in the tuition.
eethtworkz   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/20/2012 5:46:55 PM
Re: Software

I disagree.

I dont think it costs money to stay FIT or be Fit.

What it needs is Discipline and Commitment to the cause.

Hospice_Houngbo   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/20/2012 3:23:58 PM
Re: Software
It costs money to stay fit. So it is no wonder that FIT wants to live up to its name. Apparently that school is not for me. Looking forward to hearing how Gregg Chottiner will justify all that costly spending.
David Wagner   Live Chat: CIO of Fashion Institute of Technology   3/20/2012 12:11:08 PM
It is very nice and very interesting that FIT is trying to put expensive software in the hands of its students. When I was in grad school, i had to buy a $200 piece of screen writing software for a class that I'd never end up using again. In retrospect, i should have dropped the class before buying it, but I was young and foolish then. I'm old and foolish now.

Anyway, nice to see a school working on the problems of its students. Can't wait for the chat.

The blogs and comments posted on do not reflect the views of TechWeb,, or its sponsors., TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from Sara Peters
Sara Peters   5/30/2014   18 comments
Before I throw my knapsack over my shoulder, head out the door, slouch my way down lonely roads, and try to get a kind stranger to give me a lift to DarkReading, I want to bid a fond adieu ...
Sara Peters   5/7/2014   55 comments
There's a new player in the wearable technology market. While it has a new attitude and a new business plan, it also seems to have new problems that may cause it to miss the mark and the ...
Sara Peters   5/1/2014   32 comments
It's time for an intervention. This addiction to Windows XP has gone too far.
Sara Peters   4/10/2014   21 comments
The race is on to restore trust in the very security tools that are used to ensure online trust. Websites, applications, and services are hastening to patch Heartbleed, a flaw in the ...
Sara Peters   4/4/2014   17 comments
Tablets are becoming more affordable all the time, but they're not so inexpensive that you wouldn't worry if kindergartners treated them with the same care they treat construction paper ...
Latest Blogs
Larry Bonfante   4/9/2014   10 comments
When every capital expenditure is put under a microscope, it's harder than ever to continue to make the necessary investments in refreshing the technology our companies need to compete in ...
Brien Posey   3/4/2014   5 comments
Right now there seems to be a mild sense of anxiety among healthcare providers regarding the impending deadline to make the transition to ICD-10 coding. Not only are there operational ...
Michael Hugos   2/19/2014   21 comments
If you are a CIO who wants to ensure your place in the organization, a good place to start is with the CMO. That is because the CMO is most likely the C-suite executive under the most ...
Brian Moore   2/10/2014   56 comments
Ease of use matters when you are slaying dragons.
Brien Posey   1/7/2014   22 comments
If 2013 was the year of BYOD (bring-your-own-device), then 2014 could easily be the year of CYOD.