Linux Vs. Mac: Which Is The Better Windows Alternative?
In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: The CIO Role: Beware The Enabler
2. Today's Top Story
- Linux Vs. Mac: Which Is The Better Alternative To Microsoft Windows?
- Image Gallery: A Visual Guide To Choosing Between The Mac And Linux
3. Breaking News
- Microsoft Windows Vista Fixes Leaked. Are They SP1?
- Blog: A Service Pack For Vista? Yes And No.
- Poll: Internet Explorer, iPod, Windows 95 Among Most Influential Tech Products
- Court Ruling Supports Claims That Microsoft's First OS Was Stolen
- FCC Sets Airwaves Auction Rules, Requires Access
- Google, Others Mull Next Steps In Race For 700 MHz
- Apple iPhone Out, BlackBerry 8800 In At NASA
- Apple Says iTunes Sales Top 3 Billion Songs
- Blog: 7 Apple Briefs
- Aruba Certifies Apple iPhone For Enterprise
- Company Sues Sony, Wants PlayStation 3s 'Impounded And Destroyed'
- Mozilla Issues Fixes For Two Firefox Bugs
- Mario Bros. Game Really A Worm Attack
- Blog: Terrorism In Second Life? Give Me A Break.
- Blog: Are Printers Hazardous To Your Health?
4. The Latest Mobile Blog Posts
- Amp'd Mobile Subscribers Get Reprieve. Sort Of.
- Foonz Offers Free Conference Calls To The Little Guy
- Daddy, I Want A Gold iPod!
- Just How Successful Are Google's Mobile Initiatives?
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
- How To Offer The Strongest SSL Encryption
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major categories -- those that don't work, those that break down, and those that get lost." -- Russell Baker
1. Editor's Note: The CIO Role: Beware The Enabler
I'm in a un-PC mood, so I'm thinking of IT and its relationship to business in terms of a dysfunctional family.
Have you been watching the new TV series on AMC called Mad Men? It's about advertising executives on Madison Avenue back in 1960, and it's a hoot -- all unfiltered cigarettes, thin ties, slicked-back hair, cutthroat office politics, and dysfunctional families. And maybe it's that show that has me in a passive/aggressive, role-playing, stereotype-setting mood.
I recently interviewed Dave Aron, who is VP and research director of Gartner Executive Programs. Aron has a new research study called "The Seven Levers Of Growth," for which he interviewed 13 organizations, organizations such as LeisureCo and Juniper Networks that have grown substantially over the last few years, about their methods for engendering top-line growth, and how the CIO and the IT function can contribute in those areas.
The seven levers of growth, in order of increasing importance, are: improve operations, innovate products, exploit channels, target customers and markets, acquire companies, connect the ecosystem, and create "blue oceans," the process, based on the best seller Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim, of carving out new market spaces that make the competition irrelevant. Aron says CIOs and IT can be involved in those levers of growth in one of two ways: they can enable them, or they can contribute to them.
Aron says that CIOs, and by extension their IT organizations, generally assume one of three roles in their corporate cultures: the "in the way" role, the "enabler" role, or the role of directly contributing to the growth of the business. "Enablement is the traditional position of IT," Aron says. But if CIOs want to be successful and have more of an impact in their organizations, they have to move past the role of enabler to something more proactive.
"It's necessary to refocus the culture of IT," he says, so that the CIO is "less of an order-taker and more of a technology venture capitalist." By that Aron means taking on the characteristics of a venture capitalist: challenging the value of projects, suggesting alternatives, and making sure the necessary controls are in place, both inside and outside IT, for the success of projects. "So that IT doesn't deliver a platform nobody can use," he says.
Enabler sounds like a good thing. But in the modern parlance of psychopathology, the enabler is a passive participant in self-destructive behavior. In the stereotype of the dysfunctional American family, it's the enabler who allows the dysfunction to continue.
I'm not saying that making the computers work is dysfunctional behavior. But if the company values growth, it needs ways to innovate and expand, and since IT is one of the primary ways to accomplish that, then simply striving to enable IT functionality is, at the very least, short-sighted. What I'm saying is, beware the enabler role.
Blog: A Service Pack For Vista? Yes And No.
Microsoft has been saying there is no trial version of a Service Pack 1 for Vista, but Ars Technica reports that The World's Largest Software Company has released a "sneak peek" of several patches on its Windows Connect download service for beta testers of Windows Server 2008 -- but the patches are intended for Vista as well.
FCC Sets Airwaves Auction Rules, Requires Access
The winner of valuable wireless airwaves the U.S. government plans to sell by early next year would have to permit consumers to connect using any device or software, U.S. regulators decided Tuesday.
Blog: 7 Apple Briefs
Learn to control iTunes using keyboard shortcuts that work in any app, take decent photos with your iPhone, and make a Wi-Fi hotspot on the fly using just your MacBook and a hard Internet connection. Also: Eminem sues Apple (again), the Adium IM client reviewed, and more.
Blog: Terrorism In Second Life? Give Me A Break.
Here in America, we have our share of stupid journalism, but we have trouble competing in the global market. For evidence, I point you to an article in The Australian about terrorists in Second Life.
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The concept has been the "next big thing" for a long time. But as with a lot of innovative technologies, time brings improvements in the products and the business benefits, as well as some interesting new players. Learn how more than 300 companies are deploying unified communications and VoIP in this new report by InformationWeek Research.
Software As A Service
Is your organization considering software as a service? Learn about software delivery strategies from 250 business technology professionals in this new InformationWeek Research report. Use this report to understand how your peers are making SaaS part of their existing technology initiatives and what challenges they face.
Amp'd Mobile Subscribers Get Reprieve. Sort Of.
Amp'd Mobile is still leaving the building, but Prexar Mobile has offered to step in and take over Amp'd's subscribers. Subscribers will be able to transition their service from Amp'd to Prexar by visiting Prexar's Web site and filling out some forms. Is this good news?
Daddy, I Want A Gold iPod!
For the geek who has everything: an 18K gold iPod Nano, with accompanying golden docking station, remote control, and earbuds. The vendor, Xexoo, removes the case of the device and replaces it with one made from 100 g of gold.
Just How Successful Are Google's Mobile Initiatives?
Japan's No. 2 carrier, KDDI, said it plans to offer a new mobile e-mail service powered by Google's Gmail. This is the latest in a long line of Google-related mobile announcements. While Google's mobile onslaught continues, this question remains: Just how successful are the search giant's efforts?
How To Offer The Strongest SSL Encryption
This technical paper details the effect SGC has on the encryption levels your site can offer to its visitors. You'll learn which client systems connect at which encryption levels and how to offer the strongest encryption available to each site visitor. Also, you'll learn where to obtain SGC-enabled SSL Certificates for your Web site.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.