“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.