Small business IT strategy

  • December 19, 2008 19 Dec'08

    Vendor gifts: Holiday cheer or ethical dilemma?

    Twas the night before deadline and all through the office, we worked with our heads down, appeasing our bosses. But what to my weary eyes should appear? The USPS delivery, bringing vendor-purchased ...

  • December 16, 2008 16 Dec'08

    IT budgets should include agility and innovation in light of recession

    We’re almost at the end of 2008. Finally. It’s been a year of cutbacks, layoffs, crashes and downturns. We’ve started using the word recession and are planning 2009 budgets accordingly. So, what ...

  • December 09, 2008 09 Dec'08

    Recent FBI vishing scam warning an old issue

    Last Friday, the FBI issued a warning about a security vulnerability that could be used by cybercriminals to make vishing telephone scams. Vishing (combining phishing and voice) uses Voice over IP ...

  • December 05, 2008 05 Dec'08

    Bank of America rolls out new secure online banking tool

    Bank of America has introduced a new security feature for customers – the SafePass Card. Adding more protection to transactions, the SafePass Card is Bank of America’s next layer of secure online ...

  • December 02, 2008 02 Dec'08

    SOA, SaaS and SOAP: CIOs drowning in sea of IT acronyms

    If you're a CIO who likes to have intelligent discussions across disciplines, terms such as SOA, SaaS and SOAP have you drowning in a sea of acronyms.

  • December 01, 2008 01 Dec'08

    Protect that Facebook profile: The risks of social networking sites

    Facebook is keeping people linked together both personally and professionally. Knowing that, it’s important to keep an eye on the security of your accounts on social networking sites -- and the ...

  • November 26, 2008 26 Nov'08

    Black Friday and the prospect of e-commerce site crashes

    Ah, ’tis the season of good cheer – and omens for e-commerce site crashes alike! A retail industry site I’ve grown fond of, Evan Schuman’s StorefrontBacktalk, is predicting chaos in the land of ...

  • November 26, 2008 26 Nov'08

    Cyber Monday shopping slowing down the company network?!

    Will Cyber Monday holiday shoppers hog all the bandwidth? A recent Maritz Poll showed that expected Cyber Monday shopping is up from 20% last year to 26% this year. According to the National Retail ...

  • November 26, 2008 26 Nov'08

    Top five technology trends -- and why you should give thanks

    Thankful for iPhones and hyped-up virtualization technology? Not so much for Windows Vista? Our list of technologies that we're thankful we have and thankful we don't.

  • November 21, 2008 21 Nov'08

    Recession or not, we can still give thanks for technology

    Years ago, writing a “grateful” journal was all the rage. Helps to keep things in perspective (at least, that’s what Oprah told us). So, given that it’s been such a tough year for business, I ...

  • November 19, 2008 19 Nov'08

    Looking for layoff news? Social networking tools may have your answer

    The troubled economy has led some companies to lay off employees, and this year they are approaching it in a whole new way. No more discreet, hush-hush conversations – company news is being spread ...

  • November 14, 2008 14 Nov'08

    IT spending is down: Now what?

    Analyst firm IDC has predicted a significant slowdown in worldwide IT spending in 2009. The newly revised estimate brings IT spending at 2.6% growth in 2009, down from IDC’s earlier projection of ...

  • November 14, 2008 14 Nov'08

    The Web 2.0/social media revolution inches along

    More evidence this week that the Web 2.0/social media revolution may be advancing, but it ain’t here yet: Instant messaging hasn’t become the preferred method of communication among IT staff; nor ...

  • November 13, 2008 13 Nov'08

    Google Flu Trends: What is it?

    Chills, body aches, fever -- it’s flu season. Am I sure of these symptoms? Of course, I Googled them. If you find yourself doing the same as cold and flu signs creep up around you, you may be ...

  • November 12, 2008 12 Nov'08

    Ten imperatives for midmarket IT strategy in the new year

    From IT security and compliance to IT staffing and IT portfolio management, here are 10 maxims for success in the coming year, spanning people, process and technology.

  • November 10, 2008 10 Nov'08

    Business continuity plans for the midmarket: Overcoming the challenge

    Will your business survive after a disaster? Learn what it takes to develop a business continuity plan -- and how to get everyone on board.

  • November 06, 2008 06 Nov'08

    Google Chrome: How secure is your information?

    Google is growing. From Chrome to G1, it’s not just for searching anymore. As the Google giant is creating new breeds of consumers (“cross-consumers,” I call them -- spanning email, news, mobile ...

  • November 06, 2008 06 Nov'08

    IT outsourcing contracts: Get the most from providers during recession

    In slow economic times, organizations in the past have turned to IT outsourcing providers to cut costs. But that model may no longer hold true as IT leaders are asked to cut deep -- way deep -- during the economic recession.

  • November 05, 2008 05 Nov'08

    How user-friendly is your website?

    Are “user-friendly” projects more likely to catch on? It makes sense – the easier it is for the average user, the more likely it is that they will continue using it. You know, the whole “keep it ...

  • October 31, 2008 31 Oct'08

    Gmail apps: Text your contacts

    Google Gmail users now have the option to send text messages to mobile phones. The experimental app, found in Gmail Labs, was made available to all users Thursday night. The feature is very similar ...

  • October 30, 2008 30 Oct'08

    Halloween costumes only an IT geek could love

    What could be scarier than IT security breaches and software audits? For those of you who want to impress your friends and co-workers with a little bit of Halloween creativity (while sending along ...

  • October 23, 2008 23 Oct'08

    Geekin' out with Google's G1

    On Wednesday, the G1 Google phone for T-Mobile with Android – the first “free, open source and fully customizable mobile platform” – was made available in stores to the general public. A geek at ...

  • October 22, 2008 22 Oct'08

    Obama's CTO of the USA

    Barack Obama, if elected president, will be looking for a cabinet-level chief technology officer (CTO) – a first in the White House. Job responsibilities will include ensuring the U.S. is caught up ...

  • October 17, 2008 17 Oct'08

    Microsoft hosts midmarket CIOs – Vote for the biggest CIO challenge

    A midmarket CIO’s challenges are many, and I’m always amazed by the stories I hear when I’m out on the road meeting many of you. This week I touched down in Redmond for Microsoft’s US Midsize ...

  • October 17, 2008 17 Oct'08

    2009 cybersecurity threats revealed – wah waaah

    You know that new iPhone you got? Or the Android order you put in? Well, not to get all Debbie Downer on you, but your sexy smartphone is a security threat. The Georgia Tech Information Security ...

  • October 15, 2008 15 Oct'08

    Emotional working: What the financial crisis is doing to US employees

    We’re all a little on edge lately. From the stock market to the housing crisis, feelings of instability infiltrate our daily lives. There’s no escaping it – we’re in an economic mess. And as the ...

  • October 10, 2008 10 Oct'08

    Google Goggles may prevent work email regret

    Google has introduced its new Mail Goggles – and I love the idea. The application, once enabled, will check your mental clarity by making you solve math problems after clicking send; then, if you ...

  • October 09, 2008 09 Oct'08

    Google and the tech stock drop

    Yes, even Google, one of the Internet companies best-positioned for a financial downturn, has falling stock. I watched the real-time trading with sick fascination as the little red down-turned ...

  • October 09, 2008 09 Oct'08

    Wall Street's pain, IT workers' gain?

    Pollyannas want you to think that this economic crisis can be good for your career. I have my doubts.

  • October 08, 2008 08 Oct'08

    Web 2.0 in the workplace: Say "hello," not "goodbye"

    How much of our personalities is being lost behind Web 2.0? We Facebook, we blog, we get hooked up in LinkedIn, we SMS and email and twitter – but who are we portraying and who exactly is on the ...

  • October 03, 2008 03 Oct'08

    Obama's iPhone App

    The Obama campaign has introduced an iPhone application — Obama ‘08. Self-described as the “official, comprehensive connection to the heart of Barack Obama and Joe Biden's campaign,” the ...

  • October 02, 2008 02 Oct'08

    Is Microsoft trying to buy users?

    In an attempt to get more users, Microsoft has added SearchPerks to its Live Search service. But, unless you have Internet Explorer 6.0, you aren’t even able to access the SearchPerks registration ...

  • September 29, 2008 29 Sep'08

    I’m a PC, and I don’t necessarily like Microsoft

    After the annoyingly strange Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates commercials promoting Microsoft, a new batch of adverts surfaced featuring the slogan “I’m a PC.” It goes something like this: Microsoft ...

  • September 29, 2008 29 Sep'08

    MS software licensing, IT auditing tricky business

    For one CTO, Microsoft client access licenses were inadvertently corrupted overnight (apparently by Microsoft), halting company productions for five hours. Could it happen to you?

  • September 25, 2008 25 Sep'08

    Face-to-face social networking? Nticing

    Finally, we may be seeing the end of the business card. I always forget to bring my business cards to the events and conferences I attend. On the rare occasion I do remember to grab a small handful ...

  • September 25, 2008 25 Sep'08

    Are we all too busy?

    Do your users pay attention to dialog box pop-ups? If you’re thinking, “yes, of course,” read on. A recent study by members of the psychology department at North Carolina State University shows ...

  • September 19, 2008 19 Sep'08

    Microsoft reclaims 'I'm a PC'; ditches Gates/Seinfield

    As quickly as they started, the Microsoft/Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates ads have ended. Phew. The nonsensical ads left viewers scratching their heads and Seinfeld with quite a heavy pocket. The ...

  • September 18, 2008 18 Sep'08

    The Wall Street Journal embraces Web 2.0

    The Wall Street Journal launched a redesigned site Tuesday featuring Web 2.0 – but you have to pay to be a member. Web 2.0, the user-generated content explosion, has changed the Internet. Social ...

  • September 17, 2008 17 Sep'08

    IT, business alignment not a pipe dream

    An annual survey finds -- yet again -- that CIOs don't think IT is in step with business units.

  • September 16, 2008 16 Sep'08

    LinkedIn to cash in, but at what cost to you?

    LinkedIn, a social networking site for business professionals, has been in such high demand amongst advertisers that it will be launching its own advertising network. What made LinkedIn such a ...

  • September 16, 2008 16 Sep'08

    Disaster recovery plan: Finding the best solution for the money

    Getting management to give its blessing to a disaster recovery plan was the easy part. Sorting through competing methodologies and staying on budget is a different story entirely.

  • September 12, 2008 12 Sep'08

    Are CIOs finding Apple's sex-appeal, appealing?

    How important is it, as a CIO, to have a fashion-accessory phone? What about if said phone is sexy – unlike some of the more boring models? Windows Mobile is boring. According to Mikael Nerde, head ...

  • September 11, 2008 11 Sep'08

    In a world without Microsoft...

    Earlier this week on I wrote about IBM’s pitch (with partners) for a “Microsoft-free desktop.” It seems a little far-fetched. Then again, we got an email yesterday from an ...

  • September 09, 2008 09 Sep'08

    Google steps up to preserve the nuances of American history

    I used to write for newspapers. Which is a bit like saying I was a telegraph operator, in that both jobs carry a certain romanticism linked to their glory years and are widely considered irrelevant ...

  • September 09, 2008 09 Sep'08

    Disaster recovery planning off CIOs' plate -- sort of

    A new survey finds fewer CIOs are involved in disaster recovery plans. Bad move. Here's why.

  • September 05, 2008 05 Sep'08

    Don't ignore internal security (and don't write passwords on Post-it's)

    Last year 8% of the IT budget went towards security. This year? 10%. Khalid Kark, principal analyst at Forrester Research, Inc., presented security statistics at Forrester’s Security Forum 2008. ...

  • September 04, 2008 04 Sep'08

    Google's Chrome: Not your average Web browser?

    Microsoft’s IE is facing some serious competition. With Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari and Opera Software ASA’s Opera and recently Google’s Chrome, it seems Microsoft is falling back a bit. ...

  • September 04, 2008 04 Sep'08

    Mark Zuckerberg now part of 'The Establishment'; Ballmer back in club

    A smattering of techies have made Vanity Fair’s annual “New Establishment” 100 list, as if this is something we need to catalog. Never mind that by making the list annual, Vanity Fair never gives ...

  • September 02, 2008 02 Sep'08

    Weekly MSM Round-up

    Summer isn’t over…technically. But since we’re past Labor Day, maybe people will go back to work and news will pick up? Maybe? A few things did happen and slipped their way into the big papers ...

  • September 02, 2008 02 Sep'08

    CIO salary data shows high paychecks still the norm

    Despite an uneasy economy, CIO salary data shows that IT executives and managers continue to make six-figure salaries, and they remain confident about future IT job security.

  • August 29, 2008 29 Aug'08

    Be kind to your blogger

    Bloggers are showing up everywhere now. Every event, every topic, everything is being blogged about. BlogWorld reports over 57 million Americans read blogs and 22 of the 100 most popular websites ...

  • August 29, 2008 29 Aug'08

    IE 8 brings Web-surfing privacy and peace of mind (for users, anyway)

    Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) will have a new privacy setting. The new setting, dubbed “porn mode” by bloggers because it effectively erases all evidence of sites you’ve visited, was officially ...

  • August 29, 2008 29 Aug'08

    Weekly Wrap-up (Labor Day edition)

    Dear people in the IT industry: Please don’t all go on vacation at once, like you did this week. We’ve been trying very hard to reach you for comment on stories. Won’t anybody look out for the ...

  • August 26, 2008 26 Aug'08

    Joe Biden: RIAA stooge

    Joe Biden, huh? Talk about strike three. 2000: Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Lieberman “loses” election. Flash forward to 2008 and this stuffy jerk – who spent part of his career going ...

  • August 25, 2008 25 Aug'08

    Oracle wins the cash war, but SAP is way more punk

    The Oracle vs. SAP war has been a long and vicious one. The ERP giants battle constantly for market share and big-time customers. Meanwhile, their CEOs – Oracle’s Larry Ellison and SAP’s Henning ...

  • August 22, 2008 22 Aug'08

    Are bad bosses enough reason to leave your IT job?

    A recent CIO salary survey shows reasons people leave their jobs -- dissatisfaction with management is at the top. Are your bad bosses really that bad?

  • August 21, 2008 21 Aug'08

    Seinfeld vs. Justin Long? Please, let's get someone with some funny.

      Can we all agree that Jerry Seinfeld was never the funny one? For all his quirks and humorous relationships, Jerry was always the straight man to his consistently hilarious compatriots. Good at ...

  • August 21, 2008 21 Aug'08

    Google Reader has my vote

    You may have noticed the new feature on the Google homepage. It reads: “New! Read what Barack Obama and John McCain are reading with Google Reader.” Yes, now you too can see what Senator John ...

  • August 21, 2008 21 Aug'08

    Subway fail, Freedom fail

    Two weeks ago three MIT students were forbidden by a judge to give a presentation on how susceptible Boston’s subway fare system is to fraud. Now another judge has allowed them to give the ...

  • August 19, 2008 19 Aug'08

    Holding onto your CIO salary in a poor economy

    The poor economy is holding CIOs back from asking for big raises or a salary boost. Some are even facing hiring freezes.

  • August 13, 2008 13 Aug'08

    America fails - miserably - to capture Internet equality medal

    Here’s a shocker: Broadband in the U.S. isn’t up to snuff and because of that our children will fall behind the rest of the world. So we learn from a new report by, er, the ...

  • August 12, 2008 12 Aug'08

    Press releases as prose

    I don’t doubt that writing a press release that catches the eye is a tough job. But this is just dumb: “Dear Zach, “Will Shakespeare sure didn’t have to wrestle with the issues IT managers’ face ...

  • August 12, 2008 12 Aug'08

    Hackers on the MBTA, or: Why Boston’s subway system deserves to be compromised

    Well, this is embarrassing. Three MIT students write a paper on how to hack the greater Boston subway fare cards. Said students are given an ‘A’ for their work and are booked to present at the ...

  • August 08, 2008 08 Aug'08

    Save the data! How safe is our personal information?

    The search for the missing Registered Traveler laptop is finally over. The laptop, belonging to Verified Identity Pass Inc.(VIP), was reported missing from a locked office in the San Francisco ...

  • August 06, 2008 06 Aug'08

    Microsoft’s Midori: Straight up or on the rocks?

    Microsoft is planning for the retirement of Windows by working on a new operating-system—Midori. Maybe. Well, more than likely considering all the Internet-buzz about it (one of many projects in ...

  • August 06, 2008 06 Aug'08

    EMS CIO outsources the mundane to focus on rebranding

    As Eastern Mountain Sports focuses on rebranding, a CIO frees up his staff to focus on new projects.

  • August 04, 2008 04 Aug'08

    Forrester: No room for cowboy culture in IT

    Just like Toby Keith, I should have been a cowboy. Alas, I went into journalism and never did get the hang of a lasso. If you’re in IT, a new Forrester report says, you should let those cattle ...

  • August 04, 2008 04 Aug'08

    Outsourcing prospects in Brazil good, but economy is a barrier

    Midmarket CIOs have plenty of reason to look to Latin America for outsourcing. But can Brazil continue to provide true cost savings?

  • July 29, 2008 29 Jul'08

    Will Mobile mania go the way of the Marlboro Man?

    This just in: Mobile phones may cause cancerous brain tumors. How many times have we heard that? Over the years, as mobile phones became increasingly popular, studies have linked them to cancer and ...

  • July 28, 2008 28 Jul'08

    Weekly Round-up

    Sunday is the last holdout of newspapers. Suffering under tight budgets and diminished staff sizes, papers of all sizes still seem to hold it together on the day of rest. Working on a “Sunday ...

  • July 28, 2008 28 Jul'08

    Microsoft: Kicking SaaS and changing names

    I brushed up on SaaS (Software as a Service) knowledge today. After reading through all the SaaS articles on my site, I continued on to Google. Amongst the many pages of SaaS, there was a Microsoft ...

  • July 24, 2008 24 Jul'08

    Weekly wrapup

    I think the “things that tick us off” theme of this blog is rubbing off on one of our contributors. Just yesterday, The Real Niel gave us a killer column about how bad your business will look if ...

  • July 24, 2008 24 Jul'08

    "Are you serious?" or: Dumb things press flaks say

    "What we’re doing is providing an enterprise-level product at a price point that’s affordable to the midmarket." Or something like that. This is my life. I take these phone calls all the time. If ...

  • July 24, 2008 24 Jul'08

    Work on vacation a necessary evil for managers, IT employees

    I work (a little) when I'm on vacation. But that's not a bad thing, is it?

  • July 23, 2008 23 Jul'08

    Gartner: Governments should consider electronic health records now

    Earlier this year I wrote about the field of landmines confronting health care CIOs as electronic personal health record programs like Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault make inroads into the ...

  • July 22, 2008 22 Jul'08

    When it comes to the Internet, Senator McCain McCain’t

    CNN’s top technology story Monday highlighted a little-known fact about Senator John McCain -- he doesn’t use the Internet (he does have several Facebook pages, though. Funny how that works…) This ...

  • July 22, 2008 22 Jul'08

    San Francisco network lockup justifies CIO fears

    It's almost too terrible to fathom -- a network administrator hijacks your network. But is there anything you can really do about it, other than keep your fingers crossed?

  • July 21, 2008 21 Jul'08

    Fighting for a Vista rebate. Because somebody has to.

    Some people suffer the insufferable for piece of mind and for the good of all of us who want to live safe, comfortable lives. The mysterious uncle_benji is one of those people. Ben, as I’ll call ...

  • July 21, 2008 21 Jul'08

    Big green HP scheme

    With polar bears balancing on ice cubes in the Arctic Circle and gas prices skyrocketing, we are all looking to be a bit more ‘green’ in our everyday lifestyle choices. Right? Well, we’re trying. ...

  • July 21, 2008 21 Jul'08

    Mainstream media round-up

    Man, that was a hot and humid one out here. The best thing about Monday is TechTarget foots the air conditioning bill. Here’s what’s been going on, though: The New York Times reported that ...

  • July 16, 2008 16 Jul'08

    San Francisco IT hack story looks a bit too much like Chinatown

    What the hell is going on in San Francisco? It’s like a freaking detective novel out there all of a sudden. One of the city’s top IT guys has been accused of locking other administrators out of the ...

  • July 16, 2008 16 Jul'08

    How to create online marketplaces for global audiences

    Online marketplaces must appeal to global audiences, so how do you keep your corporate website's message from being lost in translation? By leveraging local and global expertise.

  • July 15, 2008 15 Jul'08

    Breaking news: Computer skills get you hired

    This should come as no surprise, but technology jobs are relatively resistant to a junk U.S. economy, according to a new report from Jobfox, the job search site you’ve never heard of before. The ...

  • July 15, 2008 15 Jul'08

    Software licensing: CIOs fall behind, survey says

    A new survey shows CIOs are clueless when it comes to understanding what software is licensed (or not).

  • July 10, 2008 10 Jul'08

    CIOs can make $250 in 10 minutes

    Every year we endeavor to round up a bunch of salary information and get a grip on how much cash CIOs are taking home. Basically, we figure out how much all of you are making and then tell you ...

  • July 03, 2008 03 Jul'08

    Mozilla Firefox 3 hits. My grandma uses it.

    I am so posting this in Mozilla Firefox 3 right now. And I’m pretty happy about that. Sure, Opera rolled along a few years ago and made the point that a decent product could put a slight dent in ...

  • July 02, 2008 02 Jul'08

    Three things that just occurred to me in the span of a minute:

    1. RSS is great. I hear a lot of people tell me they “can’t get into it.” Whatever. Their loss. My news and information intake grows each day and I love it. 2. These people can’t be serious. 3. ...

  • July 02, 2008 02 Jul'08

    Broadband Wi-Fi access a community dream

    A former Boston science museum CIO sees citywide Wi-Fi as a community problem with community-based solutions. But can he make it happen one neighborhood at a time?

  • July 01, 2008 01 Jul'08

    Google on cloud computing and Enterprise 2.0

    Oh, so we went to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston about three weeks ago and interviewed Rishi Chandra, a product manager with Google’s enterprise division. What follows below is a half-hour ...

  • July 01, 2008 01 Jul'08

    Offshoring interest shifts from India to Americas

    India is still the heavy hitter, but Latin American companies are gaining appeal among midmarket organizations looking to outsource offshore.

  • June 25, 2008 25 Jun'08

    Microsoft Windows XP users need a shoulder to cry on

    Apparently, customers are supposed to be happy that Microsoft is going to support its most successful OS for another six years. If you haven’t already, you really should take a look at Microsoft ...

  • June 25, 2008 25 Jun'08

    Disaster recovery funding often hard sell for CIOs

    There's no ROI on disaster recovery. But CIOs can still convince their bosses to invest.

  • June 24, 2008 24 Jun'08

    Bill Gates' not so big exit

    Legacies are a funny thing. Take Hugh Grant. Director Richard Curtis, in the DVD commentary to his film Love Actually, claims a shot of Grant bowing on stage will be the final image in the actor’s ...

  • June 24, 2008 24 Jun'08

    Leadership coach says IT should delegate more to business units

    Restructuring IT to take on more productive endeavors means giving business units a bigger stake, says a former Taco Bell CIO.

  • June 18, 2008 18 Jun'08

    Notes from CIO Decisions 2008

    I know this sounds like self-promotion, seeing as I work for TechTarget and all, but CIO Decisions is pretty freaking great. For those that don’t know, the whole gist of this conference is that we ...

  • June 17, 2008 17 Jun'08

    Enterprise 2.0: On its way but hardly there

    Enterprise 2.0 Conference presenters have had positive, if modest, success with deployments. The barriers, they say, are huge but not insurmountable.

  • June 16, 2008 16 Jun'08

    Monday Round-up: CIO Decisions edition

    Howdy from Carlsbad, Calif. We just got in for CIO Decisions today and we’re ready for a week of good tips, discussion and leadership recognition. For those of you who don’t know, the CIO Decisions ...

  • June 12, 2008 12 Jun'08

    Calling FedEx out

    Sometimes you hear something and think: “Hey, that can’t be true.” Take this statement from FedEx Corp. CIO Rob Carter at his Enterprise 2.0 Conference keynote this week. “There's also a cool new ...

  • June 12, 2008 12 Jun'08

    Want to manage social media? Don't look at IT

    Despite all the hoopla, paying gigs in Enterprise 2.0 are few and far between. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be on the lookout for staffers with that expertise.

  • June 11, 2008 11 Jun'08

    More (final) thoughts from Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston

    Where are the users!?!?! No, seriously. There have been a few guys on stage presenting their companies' Enterprise 2.0 strategies. Some are very interesting. Some, not so much. But I thought this ...