Dear New IRS CIO: Admit Disastrous Failures And Outsource All IT
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
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
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
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
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.
AMD Promises Rapid Ramp Of Barcelona Clock Speed To 2.3 GHz
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?
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.
SaaS, Mashups, And The End Run On IT Departments
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.
Don't Fear The Acer-Gateway (And Other Globalization) Grim Reapers
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.
Jonathan 'Marketing Weenie' Schwartz Offers Lessons For Would-Be Exec Bloggers
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
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.
Software Bargaining Tips
A Business Week guest columnist offers tips on negotiating for business software. One tip surprised me.
Should CIOs Take Google Seriously?
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?
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
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.
Are Dual Mode Smartphones Really Overhyped?
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
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
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.
Where Do You Stand On Intellectual Property Rights?
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
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
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?
Quality Is Job One For CIOs
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
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.
Arctic Cooler Chills Down My Intel Quad-Core Processor
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.
The High Cost Of Identity Theft
Besides a series of annoying TV commercials, the real-world impact of identity theft is much debated these days. Finally, there are some cold, hard numbers.
Hi-Ho, Silver! Google And Microsoft Ride To Health Care's Rescue
Microsoft and Google are working on major digital health-care information initiatives, the New York Times reports. There's a suggestion that these two can make a dent in the sorry state of digital health information because they can throw money, brainpower, and storage at it. Unfortunately, that's not what's been missing.
What Makes For A Good CIO?
Anyone wanting to be a CIO should have his or her head examined. To judge from a recent CIO appointment, it might help!
In Wake Of SCO Ruling, Torvalds Sticks To Kernel
We've had responses from Novell, SCO, and even Groklaw's Pamela Jones to this weekend's legal ruling that Novell owns the Unix copyrights, but no one has heard from Mr. Linux himself. So what is Linus Torvalds up to? Apparently, he's doing what he does best, working hard on the latest upgrade to the Linux kernel.
Will Google Kill Its Enterprise Apps If The Business Doesn't Pan Out?
Techdirt today commented on Google's decision to kill its paid video service. The move effectively eliminates access to content Google users paid for. Mike Masnick is spinning the move as another strike against DRM -- and I don't fault his argument there. But, I see another issue this decision reveals.