IT Confidential: Analyze This: The Microsoft Connection
Gartner expects the executive transition 'will be a smooth one.'
Remember the controversy kicked up last year by an analyst report, paid for by Microsoft, comparing the cost of ownership of Microsoft products favorably with that of Linux? A recent report by systems integrator BearingPoint concludes that the licensing and support costs of Windows Server 2003 were lower than Red Hat Linux or Novell/SuSE Linux in some usage scenarios. Guess who paid for the report? Co-author Christopher Jackson, a senior manager of technology with BearingPoint, downplays any conflict of interest, insisting the findings are entirely objective--and suggesting the fee paid by Microsoft was small, anyway. BearingPoint joins Giga Research (now part of Forrester Research), IDC, and Meta Group as IT consulting firms commissioned by Microsoft to generate such reports, which generally cast Windows in a favorable light. Following last year's controversy, Forrester CEO George Colony established a policy against "paid for, publicized product comparisons."
Speaking of analyst firms, did you know that Michael Fleisher, Gartner's chairman and chief executive officer, is leaving at the end of the year? Gartner mentioned Fleisher's departure in a first-quarter earnings release several weeks ago. Last fall, Silver Lake Partners, a private equity-investment firm, acquired a significant interest in Gartner. Silver Lake is run by some no-nonsense Silicon Valley veterans, such as Ed Zander, formerly of Sun Microsystems. And its investors, called limited partners, include a who's who of industry execs, such as Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, and Bill Gates.
Procter & Gamble CIO Steve David is retiring at the end of this year. Taking over his business-technology duties this summer will be Filippo Passerini, currently VP and global business services officer. David will stay on until year's end in his capacity as business-to-business officer. David started at P&G as a sales rep 30 years ago and held a series of marketing and sales positions before becoming CIO almost exactly four years ago.
In the first quarter of 2004, 4.2 million people posted their resumés on Monster.com's job board, up 44% from a year earlier, according to Internet Security Systems, a security-services provider. Along with that, there was a 26% increase in the number of Internet service providers hosting job-search sites. Unless it's hiring, why should ISS care about such stats? Because it has a product, Proventia Web Filter, that promises to cut down on employees' Web surfing for jobs while at work, along with other online time-wasters. "Employees routinely engage in a number of inappropriate activities while in the office," said Clarence Morey, ISS's product line manager for content security, in a statement. "Surfing for jobs is only one of them."
Man, I'm working in the wrong office! I had no idea the corporate environment had turned into such a hotbed of illicit activity. All juicy office gossip, and industry tips, go to email@example.com or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about analyst reports, executive departures, or the IT job market, meet me at InformationWeek.com's Listening Post: informationweek.com/forum/johnsoat.
To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum on the Listening Post.
IT's Reputation: What the Data SaysInformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.