Profile: Monty Combs, Director of Systems & Services for Facilities Management

Monty CombsMonty Combs has worked at Facilities Management for seven and a half years. In early 2007 he took on his current role in the newly-created position as Director of Systems & Services. In that capacity he is responsible for ensuring the availability and security of computer systems, telecommunications, and applications for FM staff; CAD (Computer Aided Design) and Plan Room operations; application and database management; and, project management of numerous IT and business process improvement projects.

Q.  What are your specific security concerns and actions you take to protect Facilities Management information?
A. Our System Administrator, Tom Flood, works closely with both the networking and security groups within CIS to ensure that our Building Automation Systems and devices within each of the buildings on campus are secure both physically and electronically. We are currently working with these groups to assign new IP addresses, update firewall rules, and migrate to a more robust central firewall.

Q. What are some of the accomplishments that you’re most proud of?
A. I’m extremely grateful for the team that has developed and the positive results of the many projects that we have completed.

Q. What skills and experience do you bring to your position?  Were you always interested in computing?
A. My original engineering degree, as well as most of my career, was focused in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. I developed a strong interest in computers while working with CAD applications which required programming and networking development. I earned an additional degree in Computer Science and shortly thereafter moved into IT management. I’ve always viewed computing as a means to an end, not an end unto itself, meaning that the business should drive the technology solutions, not the other way around.

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. There are several factors that contribute to my job satisfaction: strong leadership that helps to set clear priorities and objectives; feeling appreciated and supported for the work that I do; great staff; and, a variety of work duties.

Q. In 2009 you were a recipient of Brown’s “Managing for Excellence” Award.  Describe the work you’d done that prompted this honor.
A. I served as project manager over a great team that we had in place for our FAMIS (Facilities Asset Management Information System) project. The project entailed eliminating old systems, integrating FAMIS with CIS central systems, and redesigning several business processes such as work order management, purchasing, inventory, and events.

Q. What would be your most important information security advice to share with readers?
A. Don’t trust the default settings!

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A. It has been an exciting time to be at Brown. Even with all of the changes and work that has been accomplished I feel we are only in our infancy in how much we can utilize technology to help to improve and streamline our business processes.

Posted in Safe Computing, Winter 2011 Edition | Comments Off on Profile: Monty Combs, Director of Systems & Services for Facilities Management