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2009 IT Geek Halloween costume ideas

Another year, another list of truly geeky Halloween costume ideas that say IT 2009 all the way. (Eye rolls, please!)

  • Moving to Gmail: Want to stand out in a crowd of your midmarket peers? Pack your bags (top one off with a “Gmail or bust” bumper sticker) and wear an “I heart Lotus Notes Microsoft Exchange GoogleMail” t-shirt — ’cause you’re moving to Gmail!

    A survey of 53 firms by Forrester Research Inc. showed that 36 are considering or have considered a change in their email delivery. And one Gartner analyst said that the interest in Gmail has been growing since mid-2007, with more and more people pondering the pros and cons. Our own Linda Tucci interviewed one CIO earlier in the year who moved from Lotus Notes to Gmail and estimated saving about $500,000 in capital and operating costs over five years, and another $400,000 in labor. So bring some scissors — because you’ll also be cutting costs.

  • Twitter Fail Whale: Going as the Twitter blue bird is so cliché. When Twitter experiences an outage, users see the “fail whale” error message — an illustration of red birds lifting a whale from the ocean along with the text “Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.” Tie a few red, helium-filled balloons to your body and display the error message across your chest.

    Stand as the constant reminder of the potential trouble brewing behind that wide-eyed blue bird. Pose the question, “Is using Twitter always right for the enterprise, or is it a risk to a business?” And keep a list of the threats posed by Twitter, including data leakage, inappropriate content and lack of IT control. Make a splash in the office!

  • Disaster recovery zombie: Zombies are in, disaster recovery is dead. Take advantage of this opportunity to put a unique spin on an oldie but goodie. Auto failover, redundant data and more emphasis on business continuity are moving CIOs away from the need to recover data (restoring thousands of servers leaves room for mistakes, mishaps and corrupted data) and on to the importance of continuous operations — made more accessible via virtualization.

    Go for the zombie makeup, the telltale strut and then cover yourself in disaster recovery plans (Post-Its may make a revival here).

  • Lean thinking in IT: Doing more with less, reducing waste and focusing on customer satisfaction is what Lean IT is all about — so keep this one simple. Wear a plain outfit you made yourself from recycled materials (props for going green), lean wherever you can and offer tidbits of advice such as:
    – Don’t take maintenance agreements as set in stone. You can’t get discounts without asking.
    – Avoid using a single source. You’ll see more innovation by using multiple vendors.
    – Collaborate. Communication is key to compress cycle times.

    Buddy up with colleagues wearing Six Sigma black belt and ITIL v3 framework costumes for a real party – the A+(service) Team!

  • As for what my costume will be this year, I’m still deciding (and looking for suggestions!) Have any great ideas? Let me know via email, @kcaretta on Twitter or post a comment below.

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Or, for moving to Gmail, tape a bunch of filled-out change of address forms to yourself with a new Gmail address? Two people go dressed in exactly the same ensemble — one is the identity thief, the other the identity thief’s victim? Get dressed up in a dark suit and tie, and run up to people all night, telling people you need their help in your Mafia War?