CIO Symmetry

February 19, 2010  4:08 PM

Social Connector ushers Microsoft into social networking tool fray

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

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?

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

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 »

February 4, 2010  10:00 PM

SaaS applications meet the needs of SMB IT in more ways than one

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

Going forward, IT is being asked to work more closely with the business, driving value and realizing investment benefits — while also maintaining technological support for the business. In order for midmarket IT shops to meet some of these goals and deliver strategically, something’s gotta give.

And it would appear something has. Midmarket IT professionals I speak with are dabbling increasingly in cloud technologies in one way or another. Private cloud? Not so much. But Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and managed or hosted services are seeing some real pickup. Continued »

January 29, 2010  5:30 PM

SharePoint 2010 good, Enterprise 2.0 tools may be better

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

If you’ve missed the SharePoint boat, now might not be the best time to buy your ticket.

While Microsoft unveiled some new features in SharePoint 2010, new users might not find them compelling enough to jump on board now. Many of its collaboration features and Enterprise 2.0 tools have been in the market for years and, according to a recent Forrester Research report, the feature set may be overkill for midmarket IT organizations with basic needs.

Continued »

January 22, 2010  3:03 PM

Rise of the middle manager: Jobs in IT project management still hot

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

2010 might be the year of the middle manager. More specifically, we’ll see the rise of the IT project manager, with organizations planning to hire more people for this position in the coming year. Changing technologies have blurred some of the lines between business and IT and carved out a larger spot for this role. The days of Dilbert-ish project management stereotypes may be numbered.

Continued »

January 15, 2010  4:29 PM

Migrating from XP to Windows 7: When, why and how?

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

I’ve recently spoken with a lot of IT managers about Windows 7 in preparation for upcoming coverage. Overall, everyone wants to know when they should migrate from XP to Windows 7 and why they would want to. In fact, I’m quite curious, too.

For the most part, midmarket IT shops currently running XP are in no rush to upgrade to Windows 7. The clean-install process and the associated upgrade costs are among the reasons. Plus, in most IT shops, XP SP3 is a solid operating system.

Continued »

January 8, 2010  3:23 PM

IT job opportunities in 2010 include BPM

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

I recently spoke with a number of midmarket IT managers and executives about moving on from 2009 and moving into 2010. One topic that came up quite a bit during these conversations was where IT job opportunities and careers were headed. Almost everyone agreed that broad-skilled generalists would thrive in the midmarket because they could tackle more than one job — cutting labor expenses and onboarding costs. Specialists, they said, would struggle. Continued »

December 18, 2009  3:34 PM

In BPM vendor merger, is anybody afraid of the Big Blue wolf?

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

IBM announced this week that it was buying Lombardi, a successful and well-known BPM technology vendor. Lombardi has a range of tools that are both innovative and affordable for midmarket organizations (a few of which I’ve spoken to this year). But with some overlap between the two BPM portfolios, I wonder what this means for Lombardi’s midmarket customers – will IBM keep the products separate, or will it try to blend and rebrand Lombardi’s offerings into a more expensive piece of technology? Continued »

December 11, 2009  3:02 PM

Paying the price for server uptime

Karen Guglielmo Karen Guglielmo Profile: Karen Guglielmo

What’s the price for server uptime? How much would you be willing to invest to maintain five 9s of availability on your mission-critical line of business applications? With limited budgets and resources, many midmarket companies are investing an average of $20,000 in fault-tolerant servers and high-availability clusters to maximize uptime, according to a recent survey by the Information Technology Intelligence Corp (ITIC). Continued »

December 4, 2009  3:24 PM

What’s going on in IT as the CIO role changes?

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

As the role of the CIO evolves to include more of the business and strategic decision making and less of some of the techy details, the CIO may be missing what’s going on across IT in some situations. But is that a bad thing? Continued »

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