Prediction No. 2: Manpower Reductions
With more and more manual processes associated with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance activities being automated through technology, we expect the people costs for SOX to fall off dramatically in 2006.
This is actually a pretty safe bet since it will be the third year that large public companies have had to manage SOX compliance. One could assume that everyone is getting more adept, including the independent auditors, so manpower costs should go down as a percentage of overall costs associated with SOX
Google's "Space" Is (Mostly) Online
It's part market research for Google, and it's a great way to jump out of the virtual world and into the real one, to become more than just the search bar on the Internet. Helping real people do research on their destination locations is a wonderful marketing technique.
Is Patent Insanity Ruining Software Innovation?
Many of the requirements that should define a patent, says Network Computing Editor Rob Preston. are all but forgotten when it comes to awarding protection to software and business processes. It's time to quit giving IT-industry patent traffickers a 'free' ride that costs everyone else dearly.
Out Of Alignment?
Getting IT and business managers on the same page is a frequent topic of conversation these days. Most IT managers I speak to bring up that desire to work closely with their business counterparts, unprompted. But efforts to achieve that alignment don't always result in the business benefits both executives and IT professionals seek to achieve. Optimize magazine's most recent survey of CIOs of Fortune 3000 companies found
Open For Business (Intelligence)
"We are the most open-source-friendly traditional business intelligence vendor." That seems to be the mantra of every BI software maker these days, and they'll fall all over each other to yell it the loudest.
Necessity Is The Mother
If you've spent any length of time supporting users, you know that there is no end to the imaginative workarounds they can come up with when a system goes down and they have work that still needs to happen. Yes, necessity is the mother of invention, or some other kind of mother, but when it comes to e-mail workarounds, the inventiveness of users can cause problems.
And it's hard to quibble with their intent. Businesses can no longer build slack into their schedules as a just-in-case measure wh
How To Rescue Federal IT
The issue of allowing federal CIOs to more actively manage their agency's IT investments certainly looms large. The other big problem is that of culture.
Too Much Time
Cell service has improved enough that enterprises are now comfortable relying on the technology to conduct business. But improved service quality has not come with corresponding advances in the cost-effectiveness of contracts. Consider your own personal cell phone contract: Are you satisfied with it or are you paying for minutes you will never use? If you have too much of a good thing, then you aren't alone.
How To Rescue Federal IT
To make federal IT as effective and efficient as that in the private sector, something needs to change. The question is: what now?
Let Us Predict
The holiday season is now officially out of its cage and you know what that means . . . Yup, it's time for that annual right of analysts, pundits, journalists and wags everywhere to vent their predictions for the coming year.
But rather than wait and wrap all predictions up in a nice holiday bundle, I think I'll meter out our guesswork in the time-honored tradition of seasonal marketing campaigns that dictate the emergence of flocked trees and jingle bells shortly after the back-to-school sale
BI: A Worthwhile Use For Cell Phones?
Like many of the technological devices I own, I've got a love-hate relationship with my cell phone. That said, I'm sometimes staggered by the new capabilities being built into mobile phones. Do I really want to watch TV on my cell phone? Does anyone? Is that really necessary?
EBay Hears And Sees No Evil, It Just Sells It
Is eBay Adam Smith's perfect market, where prices are set by the honest interaction of buyers and sellers and everyone goes home happy--or is it simply the perfect vehicle for price gouging--and much, much worse? The short supply of Microsoft's Xbox 360 means the game system is now fetching up to $1,000 on eBay. Fair enough, if a gamester really can't wait a few more weeks to play the 360 version of Call of Duty 2 or NBA Live 06 then it's their money, right? Sure, but eBay's willingness to turn
Waiting For Proof
CA is making a big play to revamp its image -- and rescue its future -- with a new name, 26 new products, a new strategy but the jury is still out on what the vendor's prospects are. In last week's Systems Management Pipeline poll, most of the respondents say they are still at least somewhat skeptical about CA's software and the company's future. Seventy-two percent said that CA's past mistakes are causing them t
Outsourcing: IT Threat Or Opportunity?
Just in time for the holidays come dire predictions likely to send a chill through the hearts of most U.S. IT professionals. An upcoming Congressional report is forecasting difficult times ahead for domestic IT workers, thanks in large part to the way that technology itself has helped erase geographic boundaries and make it possible for less expensive offshore workers to compete and win jobs from U.S. employees.
Security's Sisyphean Situation
Did you hear that? It's the sound of your network and applications being attacked. Hear that? It just happened again. What's worse, the nature of these attacks is changing. Gone are the good old days of simply having your Web site defaced, your e-mail corrupted by indiscriminant worms, and your networks flooded by brute-force denial-of-service attacks. Sure, you'll see plenty of those in 2006, but what you should really be worried about are the attacks you can't see. Where did it all go wrong? L
Rugged MP3 Player A Solid Idea
Sharp plans to ship November 26 two ruggedized mobile music players that can survive being dropped from 1.4 meters.
The Sharp MP-S200 (512MB) and MP-S300 (1GB) players' electronics are protected against damage with what the Japanese news site Nikkei.net Interactive describes as a "
In HPC, A Question Of Where Microsoft Lays Its Bets
When Microsoft officially threw its hat into the high-performance computing ring this month with a speech by chairman Bill Gates at a supercomputing conference in Seattle, some computer scientists hoped the company could help sort out an arcane but potentially important problem in the market: coaxing more performance out of commonly used programming languages. It's a challenging technical conundrum, but it also illustrates how Microsoft's entry into the market is sowing both skepticism about its
Something Else To Worry About, Or Not
It's right before Thanksgiving and I'm trying hard not to think curmudgeonly thoughts but just in case you haven't noticed your users downloading AOL's spiffy new IM client (which is much more than an IM client) be aware that instant messages aren't the only thing that could be breaking your compliance policies.
The new AIM Triton service, which became available for free download today, is an integrated communications client that off
Ready, Set, Shop!
Don't look now, but Thanksgiving is bearing down upon us, which you probably know means that the biggest shopping weekend of the year is right around the corner. What you might not know, however, is that the Monday following that weekend, is fast becoming the biggest online shopping day of the year. This year, online retailers plan to help drive Cyber Monday shopping with special promotions and discounts, wi
Piling On Sony
I've been as mad as anybody at Sony over its use of a rootkit as a "digital rights management" tool. It's a little like calling a sawed-off shotgun a privacy-management tool -- it's effective, but the consequences are both unpredictable and horrific.
Now both the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Texas Attorney General have filed suit against Sony BMG Music Entertainmen
It's Just An Operating System
"The operating system doesn't matter." -- Research In Motion Co-CEO Jim Balsillie, keynoting the recent Harvard Cyberposium 11.
It's not the first time such a sentiment has been uttered by executives who find themselves competing against Microsoft. And many, many more of us wish it could be the case but Balsillie and the rest of us know that Microsoft continually makes the operating system matter.
At the core of his argument Balsillie is right. While Research In Motion is running in
Chicago, Cairo, Vista -- all names of Windows works in progress and all part of the amazing software spin strategy that Microsoft pioneered with so much success. By revealing tantilizing details of coming Windows versions, the software giant has kept corporate IT departments focused on Windows and hopeful about the the future even as system administrators and their end users often grumbled over their current operating system. So, now after
This Am A Bizarro Note About Microsoft
Today's news is dominated by stories about a world where Microsoft is an also-ran, trying to steal market share away from market leader Linux, and where Microsoft is trying to enhance its users' experience by supporting the Firefox browser.
What strange world is this, you ask? Is it, perhaps, the Bizarro world, the square planet where everything is the opposit
The Road Ahead?
Microsoft Windows turned 20 this week. Like any 20 year-old, Windows is heading into its third decade with a swagger in its walk and a hint of arrogance in its eyes. And with good reason: The road Windows has traveled for so many years looks just as familiar as ever and still promises to take it exactly where it wants to go.
Google's Book Search: Best of Times, Worst of Times For Libraries
College professors complain about the current generation of copy-and-paste students. Raised online, impatient with card catalogs and paper indices, these students use Google to do research papers, finding even obscure references and far-flung sources in seconds.
Unfortunately, their results -- and their final papers -- tend to be heavily slanted toward the knowledge and opinion in magazines, on Web sites and other resources that were first to put their offerings online. Knowledge not digitized
By The Book
There may be plenty of grumbling around water coolers about recent changes in the government regulatory environments but, like it or not, those compliance dictates are here to stay. Last week's poll shows that regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and FISMA have affected the majority of companies. Seventy-seven percent of the survey respondents have made an investment, whether it is personnel resources o