Does The Internet Help Markets Malfunction?
Consider: "So the Internet does not only facilitate the functioning of markets; it may also facilitate their malfunction." If that is in fact the case, does your company's application of the Internet's information free-flow have downsides as well as benefits? And if so, are you fully aware of what those unintended and unhelpful consequences are?
California State IT Is A Monumental Disaster
I love California -- I swear I do -- but to call the state's current IT situation a monumental disaster would be to insult the words "monumental disaster." Despite a $40B state deficit, California is nevertheless planning nine "strategic" projects scheduled to consume 58 years and $3.6B. Come take a look into the abyss.
Do Layoffs Make SAP More American?
I received a few analyst research notes yesterday following SAP's announcement of quarterly earnings, and its plan to reduce its 51,536-strong global workforce by 3,000 heads. I thought I'd share with you the most interesting tidbits, including one analyst's observation about the cultural barriers SAP faces with upcoming layoffs.
Readers Talk Back On 'What CEOs Want From CIOs'
My recent post on "What CEOs Want From CIOs" triggered some insightful responses from readers, including how one CIO forged a career-changing relationship with the CEO; the business value CEOs perceive when CIOs leverage existing systems with new, expansive technologies; four tips from a headhunter on how CIO candidates can best-position themselves to CEOs; and why a new CIO peer-level grou
Satyam's Crisis Will Spawn New Outsourcing Models
In the past, IT services vendors often resisted terms clients tried to include in their offshoring contracts. But in the aftermath of Satyam's financial fraud mess, outsourcers will be more willing to bend on client demands, especially if they're anxious to pick up work from Satyam's ex-customers.
Paul Krugman On The Problems Of Turning Broadswords Into BlackBerrys
Economist Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize laureate and columnist for the New York Times, takes a look at the Merchant Princes series of science-fiction novels by Charles Stross, finding in them powerful parallels to real-world economics -- the problems of moving medieval societies into modernity.
What CIOs Want From IT Vendors
In hard times like these, businesses are looking to slash costs -- so should CIOs beat on their vendors relentlessly for price cuts? It's a tempting short-term alternative, but it's probably not the right strategy. The next wave of leaders among IT vendors will be those that offer innovative programs to share some of the current risk in return for a bigger slice of future rewards.
Oracle's Charles Phillips: You Get What You Pay For
A team of InformationWeek editors sat down earlier this month with Oracle president Charles Phillips, a very busy man who has done very few press interviews. I really appreciated his time because I thought Phillips was the best person at Oracle to speak directly to some discontent I've been hearing about the software industry's maintenance fee structure.
Will IE8 Reset The Browser Performance Bar?
The honest PC user must admit that Firefox is neither as good as widely proclaimed, nor is Microsoft's Internet Explorer as bad. That viewpoint, which is what my personal experience has taught me, has only been reinforced by my recent test of Internet Explorer 8. (I got the IE8 beta by downloading Windows 7, with which it was bundled.
Nicholas Carr Redirects Google-Tea Heat To Real Source
The always-interesting Nicholas Carr turns the recent kerfuffle about Google searches and tea kettles on its head by focusing on the real issue: "But this isn't really about Google, which is only supplying us with services that we want. It's about us." Whether or not you believe we humans are boiling the Earth (I don't), you'll enjoy Nick's analysis of Google's "moral quandary."
Schwarzenegger's 'Restructuring' Plan Provides Comic -- Not Financial -- Relief
Since most of you are slogging through your third or fourth plan to reduce expenses in the past five months, sit back, take a deep breath, and have a laugh or two at some of the approaches the truly great state of California is taking to reduce its $40B deficit. And no, I am not making these up -- they're right from "The Governor's Road Map For More Efficient Government."
Senator Quizzes Microsoft On Layoffs
Microsoft's plans to lay off 5,000 workers have ruffled the feathers of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a long-time critic of the U.S. H-1B visa program. Microsoft, a top 10 employer of H-1B visa holders, has been among the most vocal tech companies over the last several years urging Congress to raise the cap on H-1B visas. Now Grassley is urging Microsoft to furlough those temporary foreign workers first before handing out pink slips to Americans and permanent U.S. residents.
California Dreamin': Cut IT By $1.5B But No Job Losses
Hey -- you think you've got a tough job? How would you like to oversee 8,000 to 10,000 IT workers, 130 CIOs, and a budget of about $3 billion? That's the state of California's IT sprawl, where CIO Teri Takai is charged with cutting $1.5B in costs over five years without reducing headcount. I respect the challenge, but the no-layoffs plan is sheer lunacy.
Pittsburgh Steelers Will Win, But 5 Ways To Beat Them
Although this is "Global" CIO, I'm going strictly local for the Super Bowl and picking my hometown Pittsburgh Steelers to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 24-16. Arizona fans, feel free to write back and explain how the Cards will win -- and to get you started, here are five areas where the Steelers could be vulnerable.
How To Rip DVDs To Your iPod
I periodically find myself "cleaning" my iPhone -- removing old podcasts and apps, rearranging the screen icons -- in an electronic analog of how I de-gunk my wallet. (No dollar-off coupons in the iPod, though.) The only really unpleasant part of the process is dealing with stuff that everybody does but iTunes still refuses to support. Namely, ripping protected DVDs
DTV Delay Still A Bad Idea
With more households going digital, the U.S. Senate's plan to push back the mandated DTV transition date from Feb. 17 to June 12 makes less sense than ever. Hey, if we're supposed to be entering a new age of personal and national responsibility, let's bite the bullet and exercise some technological leadership here.
GE Pushes Smart Grid Via 'If I Only Had A Brain'
The current economic crisis has blurred memories of the fuel-price crisis, but now there's supposedly a low-energy-prices crisis that's heating up the alleged boiling-the-Earth crisis. To escape the vises of these crises we need an infusion of IT into the distribution and usage of energy, so GE's jumping into the smart-grid business with a Super Bowl ad featuring a dancing scarecrow singing, "If I Only Had A Brain."
Stop The Presses! The 'Boss Every CIO Would Love' Is Out!
Talk about timing: Touted yesterday by Global CIO as the type of boss every CIO would love to have because of his strong advocacy for customer-driven business technology, First National Bank of Omaha president Rajive Johri has just left the company. He says his departure was voluntary. And I say no one should believe there's any such thing as a Global CIO jinx.
Fidelity Selling India IT Operation To Infosys Or IBM?
In a further sign that the Indian IT services industry remains a powerful force in global business, Infosys is competing against IBM to acquire the India-based IT unit of the largest mutual fund company in the world, Fidelity Investments. It's also interesting to note that Fidelity will reportedly retain control over high-value services such as business analytics and BPO while unloading primarily back-office functions.
Does Best Practices = Monkey See, Monkey Do?
According to Info-Tech Research, the term "best practice" is a widely misused and misunderstood management consulting idea. Business owners and IT managers would be wise to abandon it in favor of seeking the best solutions for their unique business challenges.
Intel Plant Closures Mask Grave Chip Challenges
It's been a quadruple whammy week for the semiconductor industry, amid Intel's moves to close five factories and cut quad-core processor prices. AMD has likewise pared prices and also is facing another round of layoffs. Some may take these developments as signs of the economic apocalypse. Putting them into perspective, though, what they really show is that the chip industry always has been brutal; these days, it's simply more so.
Global CIO: A Boss Every CIO Would Love To Have
The 150-year-old First National Bank of Omaha is leaning heavily on IT and its CIO to expand into futuristic high-tech branches, attract 1,000,000 new online customers, and open profitable branches in new territories. Ripping out legacy systems to free up needed funds, FNBO offers a classic example of how customer-focused IT can create huge new business value. UPDATE: This boss must have been just too ideal for this imperfect world --
Outsourcing Clients More Carefully Weighing Risk And Rewards
Satyam's financial fraud mess is undoubtedly supplying an extra dash of drama to the Indian IT outsourcing marketplace lately. However, the economy is still the dominant factor fueling change in what clients expect these days from their IT services providers, says an Infosys executive.
Using Tech Tools To Cope With The Recession
While many companies these days are focused on squeezing out extra value from existing IT investments, some are deploying new technology tools to help their businesses adapt to and survive the economic downturn.
Tale Of Two Microsofts: How Does Redmond Develop Software?
My recent post (a rant, really) "More Than Coding Mistakes At Fault In Bad Software," lamented the lack of well-tempered development practices, particularly as regards PC software, among most programmers. Which leads directly to another can of worms -- namely, how do they do things at Microsoft?
Indian IT Industry To Speak Out During InformationWeek Webcast
In explaining the more than $1 billion in phony revenue and profits he reported for years, former Satyam chairman B. Ramalinga Raju compared the fraud to "riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten." U.S. customers of Satyam and other IT outsourcers are wondering if they could get bitten, too.
Getting Past Satyam Shock: A CIO's 10 Tips On Outsourcing
Jolted by Satyam's financial scandal, CIOs are scrutinizing their outsourcing policies and fortifying their due-diligence efforts. As a reality check, here's a 10-step plan for creating successful outsourcing engagements, brought to you by Jeff Meier, senior VP and CIO of Fujitsu Network Communications.
$16B Bank Goes Off The Grid With Hydrogen Fuel Cells
A search on "hydrogen fuel cells" turns up a blend of results, including some puzzlers (e.g., from September 2007, a hydrogen fuel cell bicycle). But add the words "data center" to the search and you'll find that $16 billion First National Bank of Omaha and its data center are in their 10th year of being completely powered by hydrogen fuel cells and are -- literally -- off the grid.
So How Many Employees Should Fly Together?
Writing about an IBM senior sales rep who survived the US Airways crash last week, my colleague Paul McDougall noted that some companies limit the number of employees who can travel together to minimize corporate risk in case of an accident. That reminded me of a funny exchange on that topic many years ago when I was young and foolish.
A CIO Tries To Get His Arms Around The Cloud
Anwar Abbas, CIO of the Motion Picture Industry Health & Pension Plans, has been tasked with assembling a cloud computing roundtable at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. As it turns out, cloud experts are hard to find.