Working at The Museum of Modern Art [in New York City] for the past 32 years has been an amazing educational experience in itself. My main focus as the IT procurement and budget manager has been to negotiate with suppliers and vendors to acquire technology so that the Museum's staff can be properly outfitted with the tools and resources they need for their departments and for the Museum to open its doors to the public each day and keep its website, MoMA.org, up to date.
What keeps you up at night?
The speed at which companies are introducing new items that we need to have right away – something that is so popular that it is out of stock almost before it is released and we find ourselves taking turns standing on a line outside a store! Or that other software will be released, requiring upgrades because it does not integrate with applications we are using.
Why did you get into IT?
In the 1980s it was an exciting road to follow and was definitely the wave of the future for good job-building skills. I have seen an array of different systems and solutions over this time period and have remained intrigued by the developments that have evolved over the years.
What was one of your biggest challenges?
MoMA has undergone two major renovations to its building in the time I've been here. The most recent, in 2004, was definitely heavily laced with technology and there was quite a lot of equipment to order in time for the opening of the new building.
Of what are you most proud?
This past year, when we had to watch expenses more closely than ever, I was able to satisfy most of the technology requests while remaining within the budget. I always feel good when our budget is balanced.
For what would you use a magic IT wand?
I would create computers that would not contain hazardous materials including lead, lithium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium and more. Even though we participate in computer recycling programs our old equipment is ending up in a landfill. Ideally it would be wonderful if we could buy a computer that could last for 20 years – with perhaps just a few online upgrades rather than physical.
Photo of Monica Antonie by Harris Schiff.