CIO Symmetry

A SearchCIO Small Business blog


May 11, 2010  7:46 PM

Is Square the midmarket mobile payment solution?



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
Midmarket CIO, Mobile, SMB security

The Square credit card swiper and mobile application could help small to midsized companies seal the deal for sales made while on the go. But it’s up to IT managers and CIOs to balance the ease-of-use business benefits with any security concerns.

Companies that do not have a mobile payment solution will be attracted to this appealing offer. Using an iPhone, iPad or even an Android device, credit cards can be swiped and signed off on anytime, anywhere. But there is always a tradeoff, right?

Continued »

May 4, 2010  7:28 PM

Cross-browser compatibility empowers users, business



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
CIO, Midmarket CIO, SaaS

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) market share has gone down again. The once-king of Web browsers now accounts for less than 60% of the market, and users are opting for multiple browsers and devices (such as the iPad) in their personal and corporate lives. So is standardizing on one corporate browser limiting users — and your business?
Continued »


April 29, 2010  7:14 PM

Disaster recovery plans gain traction in the cloud



Posted by: Christina Torode
CIO, disaster recovery, disaster recovery plan

Midmarket companies’ disaster recovery plans are heading into the cloud. An informal survey by Forrester Research of its SMB customers showed that 12% to 15% are using online backup services.

“Since [the cloud providers] have the data and system images hosted for you, they will recover you at their site on virtual sites now, for some time,” said Forrester analyst Stephanie Balaouras.
Continued »


April 28, 2010  8:47 PM

Don’t let IT problems creep up on you — take control with strong IT leadership



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
Leadership, Midmarket CIO, Networking, Strategy for CIOs

Terry Childs, former network admin for the city of San Francisco, was recently found guilty of one felony count of denying computer services. In 2008, Childs refused to hand over WAN network passwords to his boss, and the city went 12 days without administrative control.

While Childs should have surrendered the passwords when asked, one juror, Jason Chilton, felt that the city was also at fault, saying that “management did everything they possibly could wrong.” Ineffective management and communication, he said, put Childs in a difficult situation.
Continued »


April 22, 2010  7:03 PM

How one CIO guaranteed the use of BI dashboards



Posted by: Christina Torode
Business Intelligence, Midmarket CIO, Strategy for CIOs

The crew at outdoor apparel and accessory retailer Eastern Mountain Sports knows a thing or two about motivation. They are guides, not employees, after all, who traverse mountains themselves. But since introducing Information Builders’ BI dashboards across its 64 stores, competition has kicked up a notch.

Several new contests or “face-offs” between stores have popped up since real-time sales stats made a debut on BI dashboards for all to see. Now, there are also best-place sales competitions among guides, stores and distribution managers.
Continued »


April 21, 2010  2:58 PM

Apple’s lost iPhone a lesson in chain of custody, data loss prevention



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
data breach, Midmarket CIO, SMB security, Strategy for CIOs

Security threats are everywhere. Not just your traditional hackers and cybercriminals — I’m talking about the people who work for you. Those who absent-mindedly leave a laptop in an airport or misplace a flash drive are putting your company’s data at risk.

This type of data loss is pretty common, no matter how serious you are about security. Just ask Apple.

Continued »


April 15, 2010  7:50 PM

More colleges move to cloud email like Gmail, ditch in-house email



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
cloud computing, Google, Midmarket CIO

Colleges across the country have started turning to cloud email services such as Gmail in an effort to cut costs. It’s not entirely surprising, either: IT shops have been toying with the idea of moving to Gmail or other cloud email services for some time, and younger generations of users are already using cloud email services, even circumventing the email programs provided to them by the college in favor of the ones they check most often.
Continued »


April 8, 2010  7:57 PM

Is security part of your vendor risk assessment process?



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
data breach, Midmarket CIO, SMB security

Security continues to be a top priority for IT organizations shelling out budget dollars and planning for the future. But do you know the right questions to ask when evaluating potential security vendors and service providers?

This week, I wrote a story for SearchCIO-Midmarket.com on the importance of performing vendor risk assessments on your data recovery service providers — something not many organizations regularly do today. According to Paul Reymann, CEO of security consulting firm Reymann Group Inc., the importance of vetting third-party data recovery providers is just not on the radar screen of many organizations.

Continued »


April 2, 2010  2:06 PM

Microsoft business intelligence tools here in May



Posted by: Christina Torode
Business Intelligence, CIO, Microsoft

I just got word from Microsoft that they plan to release Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 — with the new Microsoft business intelligence (BI) features — on May 12. Continued »


March 25, 2010  9:03 PM

Cloud computing pricing sky high for some



Posted by: Christina Torode
CIO, cloud computing, cloud computing pricing

CIO Rich Secor decided to look into cloud computing pricing to see what all the buzz was about. Could it save his company, Health Advances LLC, some money? Could it provide better application performance? Continued »


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