News & Commentary
Content tagged with Strategic CIO posted in February 2008
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Accenture CIO: No Cuts In IT
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Economic uncertainty is something of a mixed blessing when it comes to IT, says Frank Modruson, the CIO of consulting firm Accenture. It can be a challenge, and it can be an opportunity.
Suddenly SaaS Is A CIO's Best Friend
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
As recession looms, fingers are pointing to software as a service as a viable, fiscally responsible option for upgrading application portfolios. Is recession-driven SaaS another notable turning point for technology?
Don't Discount The Threat Of Web 2.0 Terror
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
We've recently seen silly articles hyping the threat of terrorists using virtual worlds and other Web 2.0 sites for recruitment, planning, and training. And we've seen equally silly articles ridiculing the idea. The truth is that Web 2.0 tools are great for terrorism, for the same reasons they're great for legitimate projects. That doesn't mean we should shut down Facebook and Second Life to protect ourselves from instant, horrible death. But we do need to rationally evaluate possible threats.
Starbucks Takes Coffee Break, Makes Customer Satisfaction Gaffe
Commentary  |  2/27/2008  | 
Starbucks can send me an e-mail when they reload my card -- yeah, I know I'm a sap for giving them an interest-free loan, but it's convenient -- and they can pepper me with communications when they've got a sale to promote. So how come they can't bother to clue me in when they're planning to shut their doors for three hours? Not very Web 1.0 of them, huh?
If We're Headed Into A Recession, What Will Happen To IT?
Commentary  |  2/26/2008  | 
IT budgets and tech staffs were clobbered during the recession of the early 2000s. But how would they survive this time around? Hasn't most of the "fat" already been slashed, or has much of it returned?
The Politics Of IT
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
How heavy-handed can a new CIO be? Just because an IT organization is in need of change, that doesn't mean those changes can happen easily -- or at all.
Video: Is Microsoft Open Source's Friend?
Commentary  |  2/24/2008  | 
Microsoft made its most significant move since the 1992 release of Windows 3.1 on Feb. 21, when it pledged to make "strategic changes in technology and business practices to expand interoperability." What does this mean in plain English? It's Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's corporate-speak way of telling the open-source community that he can't beat 'em, so he plans to try to outflank them.
Report From India: Key IBM Unit Grows From 60 People To 800
Commentary  |  2/23/2008  | 
In 2006, my colleague Paul McDougall was the first to spotlight the significance of IBM centering one of its key strategic units in India. That group, which creates reusable, SOA-based systems that IBM's consultants re-sell around the world, began with just 60 people then, and has grown to 800 today, part of IBM's 73,000 employees in India.
Report From India: U.S. Could Learn From Offshorer's Training Obsession
Commentary  |  2/23/2008  | 
Many companies in the United States complain about an IT talent shortage. Indian IT companies face brutal competition for talent, and one big part of their answer is huge hire-and-train efforts. There's something for U.S. companies to learn here.
Last CIO Standing: Joke Contest Results
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
How many CIOs does it take to screw in a light bulb? That age-old philosophical question's not as easy to answer as you might think. Here are several responses to our CIO Joke contest.
Ask Not What Google Can Do For You …
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
"Don't be evil" is the search giant's mantra, but its operative phrase is "Get r' done." CIOs should take a lesson from the tech chief at the Cleveland Clinic and look for ways to work with innovative companies like Google to drive their organizations' agendas.
Obama Would Put A CTO In The Cabinet
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
Barack Obama plans to unveil his IT strategy, which will include making the job of federal chief technology officer a Cabinet-level position. He also wants to mandate open government meetings streamed over broadband and favors net neutrality.

India Outsourcing Industry Chief Faces Criminal Prosecution
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
Nasscom, which just wrapped up an annual conference that drew thousands of people worldwide to Mumbai, has been hit with a nasty blow. Its president faces prosecution for allegedly failing to ensure the safety of a Hewlett-Packard nighttime call-center employee prior to her murder.
Report From India: Wipro's U.S. Hiring Plans
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
Here's an update to Wipro's U.S. hiring plans, which we first reported last August when the Indian IT services company was acquiring U.S.-based data center operator Infocrossing. It has at least two new U.S. operations open and two on the drawing boards that, while far from a hiring flood, suggest a subtle strategic difference from other Indian IT services companies.
Video: How To Build An Intel QX9770 Quad-Core PC
Commentary  |  2/20/2008  | 
Intel's newest top-of-the-line quad-core processor, the QX9770, won't officially ship until 2Q, but we've got a review unit. It's the most interesting device to come out of Intel in a while, since it pushes desktop performance ahead on several serious fronts: It's fabricated at 45-nm (OK, the QX6850 is, too), supports ultra-fast DDR3 memory, and has a 1600-MHz front-side bus -- Intel's speediest yet. I'v
Report From India: Look For More Pay-For-Performance Offshoring
Commentary  |  2/20/2008  | 
Indian outsourcers are inking some deals that tie their pay to performance -- usually to some operations yardstick such as uptime, but in the more innovative cases, to some business measurement. One CIO talks of tying outsourcer pay to the same measurement that his bonus is. Here are a few examples I've picked up the last two weeks here in India.
"The CIO Is Dead"
Commentary  |  2/19/2008  | 
Hey, it's not my pronouncement. It comes from Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research, who is quick to call it what it is: hyperbole, which is defined as exaggeration to make a point. But that doesn't make it not true -- at least to a certain extent.
Symantec Offers SMB Storage And Backup Services
Commentary  |  2/19/2008  | 
As today's bMighty ANTenna points out, security giant Symantec is making a move into small and midsize business services. Its first salvos: hosted backup and online storage.
The Black Swan, Or You Can't Predict The Next Google
Commentary  |  2/19/2008  | 
If you read one book this year, make sure it's Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable." Taleb's thesis is that everything the experts think they know about forecasting is wrong, and if you think you can predict the future performance of the stock market from a study of past trends, you're gonna be losing lots of money. And don't go looking for the next Google, either, because it's going to come out of l
Report From India: Infrastructure's The Latest Offshore Outsourcing Prime Target
Commentary  |  2/18/2008  | 
The offshore outsourcing industry's looking at running data centers remotely as one of its hottest growth segments. One reason, a recent report concludes, is that as hardware prices fall, labor takes an ever-larger share of the costs. So to cut costs, CIOs will cut staff, the consulting firm McKinsey predicts. "Moore's Law's latest victim has become labor," Vivek Pandit, a McKinsey consultant, told attendees at the recent Nasscom conference here in India.
Report From India: Patent Battles Raging Here, Too
Commentary  |  2/17/2008  | 
One serious concern about offshoring product development work to India, or anywhere, is whether there's sufficient intellectual property protection. Today's Sunday Economic Times here in Mumbia shows patents are a hot issue here, too. The lead story involves a motorcycle company whose managing director describes its strategy as B-to-B: bikes to get the babes.
Study Finds Outsourcing Delivers ROI, But Not Innovation
News  |  2/15/2008  | 
Those dissatisfied with outsourcing deals cited high costs, poor communications, and underestimating the project's scope.
My Open Letter To Dan Savage
Commentary  |  2/15/2008  | 
Dear Dan: I never thought I'd be writing to you, a known sex columnist. Because I've never had one of those, you know, problems. But now I hear you've taken issue with my recent blog post, where I asked "Is Podcasting Dead?" I hear you even trashed me on your Savage Love Podcast, saying, "You're clearly dead from the waist down, that's why my podcast doesn't appeal to you."
Report From India: 5 Reasons To Outsource
Commentary  |  2/15/2008  | 
Cost is No. 5 on the list for Robert Willett, CIO of Best Buy and CEO of its international operation. A partnership with an IT services company needs to save money, but "if you move cost to No. 1, you might as well not outsource." Here is his full list.
Report From India: Specialized Wave Of Global IT
Commentary  |  2/15/2008  | 
At a presentation at the Nasscom conference for the Indian IT industry, Arjun Malhotra, CEO and chairman of the consulting firm Headstrong, offered this advice to small or midsized IT services company in India: "Focus on something, and be the best at it." Here are two examples of companies already trying to pursue that model, GlobalLogic and Photon Infotech.
Wanted: CIO
Commentary  |  2/14/2008  | 
OK, CIOs are getting laid off. So, are there CIO jobs available? Here's one at a major university. Two cautionary notes: You'll have to move to Ohio. And it's obviously a very demanding position.
Report From India: Outsourcing For Innovation
Commentary  |  2/14/2008  | 
A lot of companies do outsourcing for IT services. But can outsourcing deliver true tech-enabled innovation? British Petroleum CTO P.P. Darukhanavala thinks it can, but warns "sourcing for innovation" requires a much different approach, far more partners, and a hand-picked staff of people focused on the effort.
Open-Source Security: Trust, But Verify
Commentary  |  2/13/2008  | 
Is open-source software more secure than proprietary software? There may be just one company on the planet that can answer that question, and they aren't talking. What they can tell us, however, may be just as interesting -- and perhaps even more disturbing.
What Hath Roger Clemens Wrought?
Commentary  |  2/13/2008  | 
Nothing hammers home how the Web has become the de facto national fireplace than today's congressional hearing on steroids. Both of New York's morning tabloids -- the News and the Post -- featured big ads from CNN, teasing readers to "Watch Roger Clemens' Testimony LIVE. At your desk." That collective giant mouse click you heard was employers everywhere getting ripped off.
My (Latest) Ugly American Moment
Commentary  |  2/13/2008  | 
In traveling to 20-some countries, I suspect I've inadvertently offended someone in nearly every one. Anyone who does business internationally dreads the moment they'll make some cultural gaffe. It took me one day in India to put my foot into it, all too literally.
CIO Turnover: An Uptick Or A Trend?
Commentary  |  2/13/2008  | 
Know of any openings for experienced, hard-working, forward-thinking CIOs? Because I know of a few who are looking for work.
SecureWorks: Attacks Against Healthcare Up 85%
News  |  2/13/2008  | 
Personal, identifiable information, health insurance credentials, and financial data targeted by hackers
What Exactly Does A CIO Do?
Commentary  |  2/12/2008  | 
The reason I ask is because I'm seeing a lot of different job responsibilities connected to the CIO title lately. Is this because the position is changing, or because certain individuals are embracing -- even demanding -- a more critical role?
Lawyer For Murdered Stripper's Son Subpoenas SkyTel For Text Messages
Commentary  |  2/12/2008  | 
Just when it seemed panic in Detroit had reached a fervent pitch, there is another bizarre twist in the text-message scandal. A lawyer is trying to force SkyTel to hand over any text messages sent from city employee pagers, and their GPS coordinates, the morning that a stripper named Strawberry was murdered in Detroit.
Business Mobility To Grow While The Rest Of IT Stays Flat?
Commentary  |  2/11/2008  | 
Based on the sheer volume of press releases I have received so far from the Mobile World Congress, it seems as if they should have re-named the show Mobile World Advertising Congress. Despite the deluge of new mobile advertising networks and mobile search ad solutions, there is some business mobility news coming out of Barcelona.
Baby Boomer 'Brain Drain' Will Be A Slow Leak
Commentary  |  2/11/2008  | 
Even before the first wave of baby boomers began reaching retirement age, predictions of an impending brain drain looked pretty dire. About 50% of the federal government's workforce was expected to retire over the next few years. Now, it looks like many of those people will be staying put longer.
Speculation About Oracle Acquisition Drives Up Salesforce.com Stock
Commentary  |  2/11/2008  | 
There's a good deal of chatter in the blogosphere today about Salesforce.com supposedly shopping itself to Oracle. Time will tell if anything comes of it, but back in November I posted five reasons I think Oracle will eventually buy Salesforce.com.
TI Taps OMAP Processor To Power Google Phone
Commentary  |  2/11/2008  | 
I hate to crow, but you read it here first. In my speculative article "Inside The GPhone: What To Expect From Google's Android Alliance" published last November, I predicted that Texas Instruments' wonderfully capable OMAP would emerge as a leading processor for Google phones of all stripes. Turns out TI is poised to demonstrate j
IC3: Valentine's Day Card is Storm
News  |  2/11/2008  | 
With Valentine's Day approaching, IC3 warns about spam emails spreading the Storm Worm malicious software
Securites Industry Next Target of Online Fraud
News  |  2/11/2008  | 
Securities and brokerage survey shows firms take page from banks in fight against online fraud and identity theft
What's That Song In The Macbook Air Commercial?
Commentary  |  2/10/2008  | 
You can't teach cool. Fortunately for Apple, Steve Jobs needs no instruction, as he's proved once again with his company's new TV ad for the DVD-less notebook I've taken to calling the MacBook (Hot) Air.
Life After CIO, Part 2
Commentary  |  2/8/2008  | 
Not that the CIO role isn't the be-all-and-end-all, the sine qua non of executive positions. But sometimes CIOs must wonder: What's next? Where do I go from here? Studies show that the average tenure of a CIO. always alarmingly short, has increased ever so slightly. Cold comfort.
EBay's Feedback Changes Are Bad News For Buyers
Commentary  |  2/7/2008  | 
Whatever happened to Web 2.0 openness at eBay? That's what many sellers are wondering, now that the online auction powerhouse is killing its longtime policy of letting sellers leave bad feedback about buyers. Sure, there are abusive sellers who vindictively post bad ratings, but warts-and-all feedback is eBay's one market-policing mechanism, Now, as Ars Technica correctly puts it, eBay wi
Saks CIO Retires
Commentary  |  2/7/2008  | 
The high-end retailer says it will do without the position for the time being. No CIO? Say it ain't so!
IT And Legal: Best Friends Forever
Commentary  |  2/7/2008  | 
If your IT department isn't pals with legal, now's the time to strike up a friendship. Both departments must work together to produce e-mail and files related to litigation, otherwise known as e-discovery.
With HTC Shift, Intel's UMPC Is Finally Real
Commentary  |  2/6/2008  | 
I was going to call this post "Intel Finally Pushes Past The PC Processor," in recognition of the fact that this is the first time I can remember when a blue sky concept for a new-fangled computing device has moved beyond the bloviating stage and into the real world. But that's sure the case with Intel's Ultramobile PC. Hot little items like the HTC Shift are making their way to market, and lots more are on the way. Hey, I want one!
Study: EU Should Serve as 'Clearing House'
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
How to best alert European SMEs and citizens of cyber attacks?
WVU Partners With FBI on Biometrics
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
West Virginia University named national leader for FBI biometrics research
The CIO Skill Set: Is IT A Horizontal Expertise?
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Do the skills of a CIO translate over various industries? Or should technology people look to specialize in certain vertical areas to increase their effectiveness?
IBM To Open Two More Offshore Development Centers In India
News  |  2/5/2008  | 
Yet IBM isn't immune from a talent war that has raised questions about skill levels of employed engineers in India.
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