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Content tagged with Executive Insights & Innovation posted in January 2008
Life After CIO
Commentary  |  1/31/2008
Gail Farnsley, CIO of Cummins, is leaving her post to create and oversee a new technology education effort at Purdue University. So there is life after the CIO position, after all.
Build-A-PC Chronicles: Reviving A Dusty Old Case
Commentary  |  1/31/2008
Embarking on a PC construction project is the opposite of building a new relationship. With the latter, the first flush of discovery is the fun part. In contrast, gathering up all the components for the computer is an expensive drag. Nothing is less enticing than picking out a case. The difference nowadays is that the PC's enclosure used to be an afterthought. Now, with hot-running modern processors, it's cri
AMD's Bug-Free Barcelona Is Ahead Of Schedule
Commentary  |  1/30/2008
System builders and end-users still troubled over the fallout from the bug in AMD's quad-core Barcelona and Phenom processors can take comfort from some good news. Sources close to AMD tell me that the new B3 stepping, which corrects the problems via a silicon fix, is ahead of schedule and things are looking good. Here are the details.
What Matters Most About Your Job In Uncertain Times?
Commentary  |  1/30/2008
Do you expect your paycheck to grow much fatter this year? Maybe you're just glad you get a paycheck, especially with all the gloom and doom about the economy. If that's the case, then maybe other job traits or perks -- besides money -- are moving higher up on your priority list right now when it comes to work.
Panic Mode: Are CIOs Being Pressured To Cut?
Commentary  |  1/29/2008
What's up with IT budgets? Has all the talk about recession put CEOs into panic mode and increased pressure on CIOs to cut costs? If so, what's on the chopping block?
Bill Gates For Senate
Commentary  |  1/28/2008
Nostradamus I'm not. Most of my past tech-industry predictions have fallen flat: Sun Microsystems didn't buy Apple, Apple hasn't acquired Motorola, and OS/2 never beat out Windows. But here's one prognostication you can take to the bank: Sometime after he retires from Microsoft, when being a world-class philanthropist begins to get a wee bit boring, Bill Gates will run for public office.
Best Buy Creates International CIO Position
Commentary  |  1/28/2008
Electronics retailer Best Buy has tapped a former Accenture consultant as the new CIO of its international division. In today's global economy, is an international CIO a necessity or a redundancy?
iPhone 1.1.3 Update Raises Text-Messaging Bug
Commentary  |  1/27/2008
The latest iPhone firmware update, pushed out by Apple in mid-January, is raising a raft of bug reports on Apple's own iPhone forums, with dozens of posters complaining that it messes up SMS (text message) conversations, causing them to appear out of order. The glitch is all the more vexing given that the 1.1.3 update was supposed to help iPhone users send SMS messages to multiple people. For Apple's part, it has posted a support document admitting that "SMS messages may be displayed in the wron
AMD Won't Comment On IBM Takeover Reports
Commentary  |  1/25/2008
The latest chatter surrounding AMD is talk of a possible acquisition by IBM. That thread began making its way around on Wednesday, via a Reuters story quoting a Wall Street Analyst. AMD, for its part, told me it won't comment. My take is that acquisition isn't in the cards right now, but it's highly likely that AMD and IBM will expand their already existing partnership, which began in 2003 when the two joined forces on the development of 65-nm chip-fabrication technology.
The CIO And The Consumer Effect, Part 2
Commentary  |  1/25/2008
The problem with a tech savvy public is that its expectations concerning immediate and direct interaction have been raised, and that puts a burden on companies to be more connected electronically with their customers, partners, and employees. But companies are slow to accommodate that trend, much less exploit it, according to the results of a new survey by Accenture.
Sad Day For Radio Row As Harvey's 45th Street Store Closes
Commentary  |  1/24/2008
If you remember the tech world before the Internet destroyed (I mean, democratized and improved) everything, then you're probably nostalgic for the days when audio electronics was hot.
Intel Blog Warns Of Multicore Crisis
Commentary  |  1/23/2008
No, it's not what you think. There's no hardware problem with dual- and quad-core processors. The alarm an Intel blogger has sounded is a warning to software developers. This doesn't make it any less serious; here's the deal.
Who's Afraid Of A Little Recession?
Commentary  |  1/23/2008
CEOs are, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Should CIOs be?
InformationWeek Adds First Facebook Apps
Commentary  |  1/22/2008
You've asked for it; you've been waiting for it. Well, even if that's not true, we've got some new -- and possibly even useful -- apps for all you dedicated Facebook time-wasters out there. Our first two Facebook apps are the InformationWeek Blog Update and the InformationWeek News Update.
5 MacBook (Hot) Air Alternatives
Commentary  |  1/20/2008
The MacBook (Hot) Air is the usual triumph of wannabe coolness over value. But once we get away from the self-congratulatory Apple polishers, who pat themselves on the back for recognizing how "insanely great" Steve Jobs is -- while conspicuously advertising they've got the dough to purchase another toy, one without a DVD drive, yet -- most of us want a computer we can live with for business and leisure. That means a Windows machine. Fortunately, there are some nice ultra-portables out there.
IT's 'Self-Fulfilling Prophecy'
Commentary  |  1/18/2008
Whether or not we're already mired in a tech talent shortage, the United States needs to commit itself to producing a deeply knowledgeable and highly motivated IT workforce or we will find ourselves without the expertise needed to keep our tech industry competitive, says Stevens Institute's Jerry Luftman.
Boeing 777 Near-Disaster: Can Anyone On Board Fly This Thing?
Commentary  |  1/18/2008
It's every passenger's worst nightmare: You're cruising along at 30,000 feet when the lights suddenly go out and the engines quit. The cockpit crew has been struck down by food poisoning. A terrified stewardess (sorry, "flight attendant") yells out: "Is there a pilot on board?" OK, that's a bad movie plot. But what happened in London on Thursday is actually scarier, and would've been a huge disaster, if not for the hero pilot.
Microsoft Looks To New CIO To 'Share Best Practices'
Commentary  |  1/17/2008
As expected, Microsoft named Tony Scott, former Disney CIO and GM CTO, as its new CIO today. What does Scott, an IT veteran, bring to the table that Microsoft might be looking for? Perhaps an ability to connect with other CIOs.
Wal-Mart Breathes New Life Into RFID
Commentary  |  1/17/2008
If you thought Wal-Mart was backing off from its big RFID plans, think again. Wal-Mart recently notified, in writing, suppliers of its Sam's Club warehouse stores that it will charge a $2 service fee for pallets of goods that aren't tagged with RFID starting Jan. 30. Suppliers of Wal-Mart stores shouldn't be surprised if they get a letter with some sort of financial incentive to comply with RFID, too.
Microsoft To Name New CIO
Commentary  |  1/17/2008
Microsoft is expected to name a new CIO today, according to sources both of the blog and word-of-mouth variety. He's Tony Scott, most recently CIO of Disney.
The $50 Billion Health IT Project
Commentary  |  1/16/2008
If there's one thing most presidential candidates agree on, it's that many more doctors must deploy e-health systems to reduce health care costs and improve care in the United States. But one candidate is proposing a whopping $50 billion, five-year investment to make that happen. That would be an enormous shift from what the feds have spent so far on these programs.
AMD Quad-Core Barcelona Gets Big Boost From Little-Known Benchmarks
Commentary  |  1/16/2008
Amid the battering AMD has taken in recent months, ranging from processor bugs to sagging finances, I've discovered what's sure to be some welcome news: A bunch of under-the-radar benchmark tests run by a respected tech guy, which puts AMD's quad-core Opteron (aka Barcelona) processor in a great light. Moreover, he gives AMD's new native-quad architecture a rave review, identifying what he believes are the technical reasons for its strong performance.
Are You A Snob When You Hire?
Commentary  |  1/15/2008
Who would be a better match for your IT organization -- a job candidate with some tech skills and a bachelor's degree in history, or an individual who has an associate's degree in a technology-related field? Maybe the answer is neither. Perhaps you'd throw out both résumés. But exactly how important is any degree on paper versus hands-on experience?
HP CEO Mark Hurd: 'Aligning IT With The Business Is Hard'
Commentary  |  1/15/2008
Hewlett-Packard is attempting a radical makeover of its IT infrastructure and processes. The tech vendor's hard-charging chief executive is totally supportive of it. Indeed, he helped conceive the project, along with his handpicked CIO, Randy Mott, and he's counting on it to lower the company's cost structure. But even Hurd admits a project of this magnitude is easier said than done.
MySpace Child Protections Have Fatal Flaw
Commentary  |  1/15/2008
Kudos to MySpace for making an honest attempt to police itself and protect its underage users. There's just one problem -- the plan has a hole you could drive a virtual truck through.
Is Podcasting Dead?
Commentary  |  1/13/2008
Podcasting was famously born in 2000, with Tristan Louis, Dave Winer, and former MTV veejay and legend in his own mind Adam Curry variously crystallizing the concept and creating a market for audio files encapsulated in RSS feeds. Now, it's 2008 and time to admit that the actual uptake of podcasts by users hasn't, and never will, come close to the hype.
Hard Facts To Fuel The IT Talent Shortage Debate
Commentary  |  1/12/2008
We've got a great debate posted with two top researchers over whether there's a U.S. IT talent shortage. If you're keen on fear-mongering and histrionics, this package isn't for you. If you want two serious scholars making succinct arguments backed up with facts, read on.
HP CIO Randy Mott: Incremental IT 'Just Doesn't Work'
Commentary  |  1/11/2008
Architected IT is the only way to achieve the most return on your technology investment, and a radical makeover is the only way to get to that rationalized approach to running a company's technology infrastructure, Hewlett-Packard CIO Mott told a group of rapt technology managers yesterday in Austin, Texas.
Are Young Techies Spoiled Brats?
Commentary  |  1/10/2008
Who has pickier job expectations, young people entering the tech field, or the employers who hire them? A new report released today says tech executives think millennials -- people between the ages of 18 and 31 -- are too fussy about pay and perks, and are the most difficult to manage.
Is Tech Talent Getting Harder To Find?
Commentary  |  1/9/2008
There were almost 300,000 new IT jobs last year, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that doesn't surprise Bob Keefe, new president of the Society for Information Management. He says talent issues are the top challenge these days for his fellow CIOs.
The CIO And The Consumer Effect
Commentary  |  1/8/2008
The chief technology officer of Washington, D.C., just got back from the Consumer Electronics Show and he's fired up. "Why is it that consumers have better technology in their hands than the enterprise space?" he asks.
The CIO Agenda, 2008
Commentary  |  1/7/2008
What are the technology factors shaping the CIO agenda for 2008? Cost-cutting, again. More efficient technology and processes, like virtualization and third-party services. But what do these trends translate to in terms of CIOs' personal and professional goals? Two words: shape shifting.
Sex Ads Are Craigslist's Dirty Secret
Commentary  |  1/7/2008
Nowhere do the highest aspirations of the Internet and its sewer-dwellers come together in an unholy alliance like they do at Craigslist. On the one hand, the site is the uber-community of the online world, where anybody can connect for a job, apartment, or to sell their old junk. On the other hand, you see situations like the malicious, fake ad where someone posted a woman's name
The CIO And Privacy: Liable, Culpable, Or Merely Responsible?
Commentary  |  1/4/2008
Or maybe all of the above. What exactly is the CIO's role and responsibility in protecting the digital privacy of customers, partners, and employees and the security of proprietary corporate data? Where does the privacy buck stop?
Clueless Circuit City Scrooges Itself Out Of Christmas Sales
Commentary  |  1/3/2008
Yesterday I was railing against the ill-behaved legal eagles of the RIAA. Today's raspberry goes out to the executives in charge of consumer-electronics mega-retailer Circuit City, who canned their best employees and subsequently -- surprise!-- reaped what they sowed.
The CIO Reading List: The Big Switch
Commentary  |  1/3/2008
Nicholas Carr is the master of good timing. His latest book is sure to stir up controversy among business executives and IT managers, just as his Harvard Business Review article, "IT Doesn't Matter," did several years ago.
What Are Your 2008 Job Predictions?
Commentary  |  1/2/2008
Bad economic news is making techies glum about jobs, even though managers supposedly remain fairly upbeat about IT hiring and spending plans, according to a new report. What does your gut tell you about tech jobs in 2008?
IT Managers Don't Know Their Stuff -- Or Their Staff
Commentary  |  1/2/2008
An anonymous e-mailer takes CIOs, IT managers, and IT staff to task for not knowing how to complete their projects. And if they don't know how to do their own work, how can they expect to expand their responsibilities beyond IT?
RIAA Behaving Badly; Let's Cut Their Copyright Privileges
Commentary  |  1/2/2008
Innocent consumers are being bothered by another round of the record industry behaving badly, via more lawsuits and anti-copying threats. This time, though, I've got a solution. We should do what we do to children who misbehave: Take away their privileges. Here's the deal.


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