CIO Symmetry

June 9, 2010  9:03 PM

IT talent is in high demand, so focus on employee retention strategies

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

If employee retention strategies haven’t been a priority for you as of late, now may be a good time to refresh your staff priorities, because IT talent is in high demand.

According to the June Dice report, 71% of technology recruiters and hiring managers expect to add more staff in the second half of the year than they did in the first half. And salaries for new hires are on the rise in the battle for talented IT, with 30% of respondents paying more for new hires, as opposed to 9% six months ago.

With a promising job market on the horizon, there are more employees quitting their jobs than there are getting laid off. The recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey showed that in April, almost 2 million unsatisfied employees quit their jobs, up 12% from January — while layoffs went down to about 1.75 million.

After a 15-month stretch of holding on to what you have, the slight post-recession upturn has given workers the confidence they need to walk away from unsatisfactory jobs. And it’s not only about making more money. Employees who feel underappreciated, overworked or disengaged will also start packing up their desks — especially the most talented ones, who know they deserve more.

A recent survey published in the May edition of the Harvard Business Review showed that 12% of the top talent (employees dubbed as having “high potential”) in the 100 organizations studied were actively looking for new jobs.

So what kind of employee retention strategies do you already have in place, or what can you establish to hold onto the talent you have? Try to create a working environment that employees like being part of. Providing a great workplace that offers flexible work hours, better work/life balance and the opportunity to be creative and innovative could trump the more-money card a competing employer might offer.

June 3, 2010  3:15 PM

Why using social media is like sex

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

“Social [media] is like sex — fun to read about, fun to look at, but to really understand it, you have to do it.”

How’s that for an attention getter? That’s how Nigel Fenwick, principal analyst at Forrester Research, ended his session on social media for the CIO at last week’s Forrester IT Forum, with a quote from Forrester CEO George Colony.

But too many CIOs and decision makers are social media virgins: When Fenwick polled the audience of CIOs, few session attendees raised their hands to indicate they actively tweet or blog. Even fewer had a social media policy in place at their organizations.
Continued »

May 27, 2010  8:51 PM

Is the new CIO role of today cultivating CEOs of the future?

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

The CIO role is changing — there’s no doubt about that — but the question remains: What does the new CIO role comprise? During her keynote presentation at the Forrester IT Forum in Las Vegas this week, Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox, said the new CIO role is changing dramatically.

In its last CIO search, Xerox wasn’t looking for the highest-ranking IT person: Burns was looking for someone who was ready for real business.
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May 20, 2010  9:42 PM

USB memory sticks spark concern — but still prove hard to pass up

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

“Is this safe?” seemed to be the first question out of everyone’s mouth when a colleague of mine was handing out USB memory sticks at the recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium.

The tiny memory sticks did not contain malicious material — only tips and information on health IT — but practically everyone had a story to tell of how they had been burned in the past by the innocuous-looking swag.
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May 18, 2010  8:04 PM

Why using Microsoft Excel in SMB IT makes sense

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

It’s no surprise that many organizations are using Microsoft Excel. Evolving from more than just a simple spreadsheet application, Excel is used for everything from simple project management to business intelligence (BI). “I literally use [Excel] for everything,” said Ray Bhatia, vice president of operations at San Francisco-based search engine marketing firm Demand Local Inc.
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May 13, 2010  8:01 PM

A hidden benefit of cloud computing disaster recovery

Christina Torode Christina Torode Profile: Christina Torode

Maybe this is obvious to others, but it wasn’t to me when I was talking to a systems integrator about its new cloud computing disaster recovery service.

Although cloud computing is not exactly being embraced by all for disaster recovery, due to incomplete SLAs — and the possibility of the cloud provider actually causing a disruption — there is a flip side.
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May 11, 2010  7:46 PM

Is Square the midmarket mobile payment solution?

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

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?

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May 4, 2010  7:28 PM

Cross-browser compatibility empowers users, business

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

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?
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April 29, 2010  7:14 PM

Disaster recovery plans gain traction in the cloud

Christina Torode Christina Torode Profile: Christina Torode

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.
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April 28, 2010  8:47 PM

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

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

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 »

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