CIO Symmetry

A SearchCIO Small Business blog


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 »

March 25, 2010  8:26 PM

Gaga for Google Fiber? We’re all a bit crazy when it comes to tech



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
Google, Midmarket CIO, Strategy for CIOs

The Google Fiber for communities deadline is right around the corner. In an effort to test out its plans for high-speed broadband and fiber-to-the-home connections, Google has asked interested communities to step forward and express why they might be a good fit for the super-fast test installation. Continued »


March 19, 2010  3:04 PM

IT execs weigh in on cloud computing and IT business transformation



Posted by: Christina Torode
cloud computing, Midmarket CIO, Strategy for CIOs

I was at a Boston Society for Information Management (SIM) event the other day on transformation: how CIOs are transforming the business and the role of IT, but what struck me is how little a role cloud computing was playing, as of yet, in business or IT transformation. Continued »


March 18, 2010  8:19 PM

Top IT certifications: Do they matter to you?



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
IT training and certifications, jobs, Midmarket CIO

How important are IT certifications today? As organizations start to hire again (there were 58,229 available tech jobs on Dice.com this month), IT certifications could help potential candidates stand out from the competition — and possibly make more money. Continued »


March 11, 2010  3:15 PM

Why one IT guy found Windows 7 to be too user-friendly



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
IT, Microsoft Windows, Midmarket CIO

There has been a lot of Windows 7 coverage on SearchCIO-Midmarket.com — everything from planning your migration strategy to making it your last operating system. Part of the appeal of the new OS is that it makes your computer faster and easier to use. Or, as Microsoft says, “Meet Windows 7: Your PC, simplified.” Continued »


March 4, 2010  8:40 PM

Reasons to adopt desktop virtualization



Posted by: Christina Torode
desktop virtualization

Desktop virtualization is not the slam dunk that server virtualization is in terms of cost savings.

In a recent article, I talked to experts about how the cost of desktop PCs was replaced by even larger costs: new servers, networking components, storage, new talent and so on needed to support a desktop virtualization infrastructure. Continued »


March 3, 2010  5:17 PM

First open source, ITIL-aligned IT change management tool coming soon



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
change management, ITIL, Midmarket CIO, Open source

The open source community has a new addition: an enterprise-level, ITIL-aligned change management tool.

Recently unveiled at the Pink Elephant IT Service Management Conference & Expo, OTRS::ITSM2.0 is the first open source, ITIL v3-compliant tool to track and support change management processes.

Continued »


February 26, 2010  3:37 PM

Do you need a project manager and a business analyst?



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
IT/business alignment, Midmarket CIO, Project Management

A few weeks ago, I spoke with Chris Larsen, principal analyst for consultancy firm IT Evolution, about the next step after project management. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are considering not just a strong project manager to lead their efforts, but also a business analyst to guide the content of those efforts.

Larsen said that, as of late, organizations have been focusing more on project managers than on business analysts because the business analyst role is less well known and only vaguely understood. But as projects continue to fail in IT, there is a shift happening. “The CIO is looking for something to more adequately satisfy customers,” he said. “Business analyst roles are popping up.”

What does the business analyst do that the project manager can’t do? Why are even smaller IT shops considering both skill sets? Larsen said that while the end result for both is technically the same — project success — they each take a different route to get there.

Project managers focus on all of the management efforts involved in completing a project — communications management, resource management, financial management, schedule management — “all of the different aspects involved in project execution,” Larsen said. Business analysts, on the other hand, focus on the content of the project — gathering requirements, understanding the business needs and expectations and translating them into a language both IT and the business will understand.

Larsen suggests looking at why past projects failed to see if better business analysis is necessary. If the project was completed on time and on budget, but the business customers are not completely satisfied with the results, “there was too much separation between the business and IT,” Larsen said. “The business analyst is somewhat of a liaison between IT and the business. If the business requirements were not gathered and documented, the project will be a failure.”

What’s going on in your organization? Is there room in your IT department for a project manager and a business analyst?


February 19, 2010  4:08 PM

Social Connector ushers Microsoft into social networking tool fray



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
Microsoft, midmarket businesses, Midmarket CIO, Web 2.0

Twitter, schwitter: We’ve all been overexposed to social networking tools and news. But good, bad or ugly, Microsoft’s inclusion of LinkedIn as an officially supported plug-in for Outlook is a turning point. Social networking is no longer limited to early adopters — far from it — and it’s not something IT departments can ignore. If conservative Microsoft is putting it into ultra-conservative Outlook, you know you should be paying attention. Continued »


February 12, 2010  4:15 PM

How do you score on your IT change management report card?



Posted by: Kristen Caretta
change management, IT, Midmarket CIO, Strategy for CIOs

Over the past week, IT change management popped up a lot in my interviews with consultants, CIOs and IT managers. No matter what the topic of the discussion was (from new software deployments to consolidated business processes), every conversation led to the importance of IT change management and the CIO’s overall role in successfully executing it. Continued »


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