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Best-of-Breed Software: Not Just an Afterthought

16 April 2020
By Ashwin Rangan

Every day, the ICANN org, Board, and community use a number of different software platforms and applications to create and collaborate on ICANN’s work. This is especially the case right now, with so many of us working from home. Each one of these programs serves a specific purpose, but few of us put a lot of thought into just how, or why, they got onto our laptops.

For ICANN org’s Engineering & Information Technology (E&IT) team, the software we choose is one of the most important decisions we make. We know that having the best tools means org staff can work more efficiently, the community can collaborate more effectively, and the Board can spend more time focusing on substantive matters, rather than technology enablers.

Recently, OKTA, the provider of ICANN’s two-factor authentication system, released their independent survey results. That report details which software platforms are being used by IT professionals around the globe.

I’m pleased to inform you that for nearly every one of the categories surveyed and reported, ICANN is currently leveraging the best-of-breed applications in our day-to-day operations. A few key examples include:

  • Video Conferencing: Zoom
  • Online Learning: LinkedIn Learning
  • Collaboration: Slack
  • Travel & Expense: SAP Concur

While the software we use may seem like an afterthought, each application serves a unique purpose and function. It’s critical that we’re using the best available platforms and applications, because it ensures that we’re able to work in the most efficient and effective manner. Beyond that, having best-of-breed software means our internal systems are all the stronger and more resilient against potential abuse, threats, and cyberattacks. As we work to fulfill ICANN’s mission, it is key that we lead the way in deploying these top-of-the-line solutions.

Regarding Zoom, which has been in the news following reports of issues with security and privacy, I want to note that we are following developments closely. Meanwhile, Zoom continues to be our video conferencing tool of choice. ICANN’s interactions with Zoom have been productive. Our questions and concerns have been speedily addressed, and new features have been added at our request. Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, recently announced that his engineering team will focus exclusively on security and privacy during the April-June quarter. We will continue to pay close attention to developments.

This has not been an overnight journey, and I am very proud of the work we’ve done to get to this point. I trust that everyone is reaping the benefits of the good choices made available to them. If you have questions or feedback regarding any of these software applications and platforms, please do not hesitate to reach out to mts@icann.org or leave a comment below.


Ashwin Rangan

Ashwin Rangan