News & Commentary
Content tagged with Strategic CIO posted in August 2007
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Where Are All The IT Jobs And People? Expand Your Horizons.
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
It's one of the great IT dichotomies of our time: Employers fret over a tech talent or labor shortage, while employees say jobs are as scarce as ever. Where's the disconnect?
Women In High Places -- Or Not
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Is the number of female CIO's diminishing? It certainly seems that way.
Dear New IRS CIO: Admit Disastrous Failures And Outsource All IT
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
I haven't had a nice high-colonic IRS audit in a while, so what the heck: Of all the deep-seated horrors within the IT organization you now head, this is the killer: "60% of the IRS employees contacted by testers posing as help desk workers were talked into changing their computer passwords over the phone." A new CIO can't fix that -- but wholesale outsourcing
The IRS Gets A New CIO
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
If there's a CIO hot seat, it's got to be at the Internal Revenue Service. Who would want that job, anyway?
Five Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Vista Service Pack 1
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Having long taken the position that there are many things which need to be fixed in Vista, I'm happy to see Microsoft is at work on a beta of Service Pack 1 for Vista. On the other hand, an examination of Redmond's documentation reveals that there may some significant shortfalls when SP1 ships in early 2008.
Another CIO Priority: Managing Uncertainty
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Management philosophers have held forth for years on the chief role of the chief information officer. We've been told that they must be adept at managing complexity and managing the ever-accelerating pace of change and even managing their bosses' expectations. Let's hurl another esoteric priority into the mix: managing uncertainty.
Coming Soon To Theaters: The Return Of The Spectacular CIO
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Not long ago I interviewed Thomas Tull, the chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures -- the folks who helped bring the blockbuster 300 to movie screens this summer. His challenge for the movie business is nearly identical to a CIO's challenge.
Convergys to Deploy PCI Compliance Solution
News  |  8/30/2007  | 
Convergys to help assure PCI compliance with Opsware and Solidcore
SenSage, JIEC Partner in Compliance
News  |  8/30/2007  | 
SenSage and JIEC announced a strategic partnership
Terrorism Hits Hyderabad: How Will CIOs Weigh The Risks?
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Two terrorist bombings in the rapidly growing Indian IT city of Hyderabad have reportedly given some investors the jitters. For CIOs who've contracted with Hyderabad outsourcers, how serious is the risk?
Survey: Consumers Want Companies To Guard Their Data
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Or is it simply lip service? Because the letters that come to my lips are TJX.
AMD Promises Rapid Ramp Of Barcelona Clock Speed To 2.3 GHz
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
There's been lots of chatter lately about problems AMD has had on the road to Barcelona, the quad-core processor it'll launch with great fanfare on Sept. 10. (That date ensures the story will have only a single day of prominence.) After talking to AMD, I've got some important news about Barcelona's clock speed.
Why Does Microsoft Get Smacked For Doing The Right Thing?
Commentary  |  8/28/2007  | 
Microsoft endorses a third-party software product that helps customers "create a secure, auditable, and compliant enterprise environment" -- that's a good thing, right? Not so fast! A colleague of mine says that, conversely, it's simply another wacky chapter in what he calls the ongoing "Through The Looking Glass" saga of Windows Vista.
Hired Guns: CIO Consultants
Commentary  |  8/28/2007  | 
Temporary CIO talent can be a quick fix, but is it worth it in the long run?
SaaS, Mashups, And The End Run On IT Departments
Commentary  |  8/28/2007  | 
In its early days, one of the hottest selling points for software as a service was "you know, you don't really need your IT department to do this." SaaS vendors have to be more subtle these days. But end-user mashup tools could raise some of the same questions of how much end users should do without IT's help.
What's The Rule For Embedding Open Source Software?
Commentary  |  8/27/2007  | 
I just talked with two CIOs who have different takes on embedding open source software in their companies' products. One sees it as standard practice, the other approaches it like a snake in a bag.
Ubuntu Adds Ho-Hum Features In Latest 'Gutsy Gibbon' Alpha
Commentary  |  8/27/2007  | 
Ubuntu, the Linux distro which I've personally found to be somewhat less than it's cracked up to be -- your mileage may vary -- is getting an update.
Don't Fear The Acer-Gateway (And Other Globalization) Grim Reapers
Commentary  |  8/27/2007  | 
Taiwan's Acer plans to acquire U.S. PC maker Gateway, a deal some may view as further evidence that the U.S. tech industry is bolting offshore. Despite the upheaval in the domestic tech industry and profession, however, the United States is holding its own as a high-tech center.
LTU Releases Forensic Tool
News  |  8/27/2007  | 
LTU Technologies releases Image-Seeker for EnCase 2.0
A CIO's Top Priority: Make The Boss Look Good!!
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
Call this approach strategic pragmatism or multidisciplinary synchronicity or old-fashioned brown-nosing, but there's lots of common sense in the suggestions offered by reader Danny C.
The CIO's Biggest Headache: Resource Constraint
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
I recently spoke with the CTO of a financial services firm and he told me a chilling tale of how his rapidly expanding firm had been "locked out" of needed data center resources.
Jonathan 'Marketing Weenie' Schwartz Offers Lessons For Would-Be Exec Bloggers
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz is being filleted and fried on his own blog right now for changing Sun's ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA. The 277 comments include such subtle insight as "you're a marketing weenie." Name-calling aside, Schwartz provides a good test for an internal blog: Would employees rise to challenge a boss' idea like this? If not, is it worth anyone's time?
CIO As Outsourcing Expert
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
In the ongoing discussion of the expertise necessary to succeed as a CIO, let's not overlook knowledge and experience in handling multiple -- perhaps overlapping -- outsourcing relationships. For some companies, that's the prerequisite.
What Would Linus Do? Torvalds Offers Lesson For Microsoft
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
An interesting interview with Linus Torvalds showcases his thinking about how operating systems should be released, and he's floating a powerful idea Microsoft would do well to heed.
The Last CIO Standing: Joke #1
Commentary  |  8/23/2007  | 
There's nothing funny about being a CIO -- right?
It's IT's Job  Not Mine
Commentary  |  8/23/2007  | 
The employees in your company are all over the place, on the road, working in coffee shops, from home, in the airport, at a client's site  you name it. But you, Mr. IT manager, don't have to worry. They know what they're doing, right? They listen to you when you tell them how to be careful and how to keep their machines and devices secure and virus-free, correct? Wrong! And guess what? It's all your fault.
Software Bargaining Tips
Commentary  |  8/23/2007  | 
A Business Week guest columnist offers tips on negotiating for business software. One tip surprised me.
Should CIOs Take Google Seriously?
Commentary  |  8/23/2007  | 
I haven't seen any evidence that tech execs have Google on their lists of top-tier enterprise application providers. Am I missing something?
Fresh Data On Whom The CIO Reports To--CEO Or CFO?
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
If the CIO reports to the CFO, is that a red flag for IT's role at the company? Does it suggest IT's considered a cost center, not an innovation engine? I've listened to surprisingly passionate discussions about this topic, and we've got some fresh data about how common it is.
CIOs: Use It, Or Lose It
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
Do you rush to spend up your IT budget before the fiscal year runs out? That's certainly an interesting way to look at the budgeting process.
What Makes A CIO Shudder?
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
It's mobile workers saying, "Security is not my job."
Are Dual Mode Smartphones Really Overhyped?
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
Some analysts and industry insiders have claimed that dual mode devices are overhyped. I share their skepticism about new technologies and I agree that we need to caution against hype. But, I have to ask a question: Doesn't the iPhone prove that dual mode access is ready for primetime?
AMD Paves Path To Sept. 10 Quad-Core Barcelona Launch
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
By now, the worst-kept secret in the industry is that AMD is hosting the formal launch of its quad-core Opteron processor, code-named "Barcelona," on Sept. 10. The scrappy semiconductor maker has sent out invites to "The Most Anticipated Premiere Of 2007." Though they won't say just what that might be, their previously announced shipping plans lead one to the only obvious conclusion.
MTV Deal With Rhapsody Crushes URGE Users
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
Pity the poor users who've stuck with the iTunes alternative from Microsoft and MTV--the URGE online music store--only to have the rug pulled out from under their collective singin' feet, when RealNetworks and Verizon came calling at MTV's door.
Phisher Pleads Guilty in CT
News  |  8/22/2007  | 
Michael Dolan pleaded guilty to federal charges related to participation in an elaborate phishing scheme that targeted AOL subscribers
Are Offshore Outsourcers Invading the USA?
Commentary  |  8/21/2007  | 
One company's strategic initiative does not equate to an invasion.
Facebook: The New Business Bugaboo
Commentary  |  8/21/2007  | 
A new hot online Web site/social movement is costing companies billions in lost productivity. Haven't we heard this tune before?
The Future Of Virtualization And What That Means For CIOs
Commentary  |  8/21/2007  | 
Citrix buys XenSource, VMware raises $1 billion, Microsoft plays footsie, and VMware says it'll make operating systems obsolete. That's all very exciting, but why should CIOs care?
Back At Louderback: Why I'm Sticking With Windows Vista
Commentary  |  8/21/2007  | 
Outgoing PC Magazine editor Jim Louderback has caused quite a stir with his column slamming Vista. Me, I'm sticking with Microsoft's glitzy, though resource-hogging, operating system.
Where Do You Stand On Intellectual Property Rights?
Commentary  |  8/20/2007  | 
On the issue of protecting intellectual property rights, especially in a digital world, we often divide into two extreme camps: one that views the World Wide Web as a wacky wonderland where just about anything goes; and one that approaches the issue with all the flexibility of a stalag commandant.
Intel Explains 45-nm Chip Fabrication Technology
Commentary  |  8/19/2007  | 
Understanding chip-fabrication technology is like getting the facts on that other thing you became curious about when you were 12. Most people don't have anyone who really sits them down and explains it; they just kind of pick it up. Well, I can help you with the chip-making stuff. Listen to my podcast with Intel Senior Fellow Mark Bohr, who has been leading the development of the industry's first 45-nm processors, which will appear later this year when the quad-core Penryn ships.
Should IT Interact With Customers? Some Readers Don't Think So
Commentary  |  8/17/2007  | 
Readers have offered some thoughtful responses to my recent posting of "The First 10 Things A CIO Should Do," but I was puzzled by what I interpreted as a general resistance to change and a reluctance to put customer needs at the top of the priority list. Am I naive or just misguided?
The High Cost Of Identity Theft, Part II
Commentary  |  8/17/2007  | 
In the 21st century, the retail industry doesn't stand alone. Here's one approach to avoiding impending consumer-privacy disaster.
Quality Is Job One For CIOs
Commentary  |  8/17/2007  | 
Wasn't there a car commercial that used the tagline, "Quality is Job #1"? Well, according to a survey of chief financial officers, that is Job #1 for CIOs. Data quality, that is.
Skype Dials Up Crisis Management Skills To Soothe Subscribers Over Outage
Commentary  |  8/16/2007  | 
It's very Web 2.0, the way VoIP powerhouse Skype is attempting to sooth its subscribers over a software glitch, which has left users unable to make calls. Like an old-style corporate behemoth, Skype is in full damage control. The modern twist, though, is that it's being proactive and only slightly defensive as it aggressively reaches out via e-mail and online forums to quell customer concerns.
Economics 101, By Way of Hollywood U.
Commentary  |  8/16/2007  | 
What do global outsourcing, protectionist policy, and the movie Dave have in common?
The First Thing A CIO Should Do (Actually, The First 10 Things)
Commentary  |  8/16/2007  | 
Hint: They have to do with assigning, creating, grabbing, launching, firing, hiring, crafting, mandating -- and singing a song from "The Wizard of Oz."
What Does Your E-Mail Signature Say About You?
Commentary  |  8/16/2007  | 
Do you ever really look at people's e-mail signatures? I don't usually, but I was looking for contact information for a colleague recently, which led me to scrutinize her sig. It was a museum of 20th century communications: The street-mail address and fax number was in there, but no instant-message ID or Skype account.

SecureWorks Finds Stolen Data From Prg Trojan
News  |  8/16/2007  | 
SecureWorks' Researcher Don Jackson has uncovered the largest, single cache of stolen data from the Prg Trojan
Arctic Cooler Chills Down My Intel Quad-Core Processor
Commentary  |  8/15/2007  | 
Processor cooling fans are normally as exciting as your average oil filter. So imagine my surprise when the most noteworthy item (after the processor itself) in the latest PC build project I've undertaken turned out to be. . . the cooling fan.
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