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Newsletter Archive: 2004
Just Think About It
Managers, as a group, tend to be action-oriented. We measure ourselves, our importance and our effectiveness in part by the level of activity around us. The louder the hum of machinery, the faster the shuffle of feet in the corridor and the larger the proportion of time we spend in meetings, the better things must be. Stuff is happening, and that's what we're supposed to do: make things happen
What's The Problem?
Those of us in IT tend to see the world through the lens of problems and solutions. Our entire work lives are devoted to solving problems. One after the other, we knock them down.
Stop Playing Phone Tag With Your Hosting Provider
Call Rackspace anytime around the clock and you'll talk to a live person. Rackspace doesn't just believe in support-- they belive in Fanatical Support™.
ITI Toronto .NET, J2EE, CISSP, Business Systems Analysis Workshops
Are you ready for the next evolution in object-oriented development? Discover the trends by investing 2 hours in our no-charge workshops and be prepared.
Designing And Deploying Human Centric Processes
A lot of effort has been carried out in the last years to reengineer processes in order to automate all or parts of them. A great number of companies have changed their processes as a result of the introduction of new software systems, aimed to streamline the management of the back and front office. Companies have even taken care of processes crossing the company boundaries in order to optimize communications with clients, providers and partners.
Certified techs answer your server questions
At Rackspace, your server questions are answered by certified, expert technicians. These are the techs that can give you real answers, not just write up a ticket and pass you along the chain of command.
Complimentary reports for you… Improve your IT department’s efficiency
Pressure to deliver more with less is a common theme in today’s IT department. Are there areas where you could improve your department’s efficiency?
IT Leadership Is Not Just For CIOs Anymore
We live in interesting times. Not so long ago, we IT practitioners may as well have dressed in capes and pointy hats with stars and moons on them. What we did was a mystery to the rest of the company and had a whiff of magic. Then like a magic trick gone bad, there was a huge puff of smoke on Wall Street and voila! We were standing in our underwear for all the world to see.
BrainStorm’s ECM Conference, NYC, 11/3-4 invites you to join us at BrainStorm’s Enterprise Content Management Conference coming to New York, November 3-4 at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan.
Project+ - Combining The Technical World And The Business World
An Interview with Ayana Nickerson, Project+ Certification Program Manager for CompTIA (the Computing Technology Industry Association).
Need For Better Email Management Remains A Top Challenge
However, the need for better management of email-based collaboration and content remains a top challenge, according to IDC. With 12 billion spam messages to be sent daily next year in North America alone, in addition to 13 billion person-to-person emails and 6 billion email alerts and notifications, email solution providers and their customers must act to ensure that email remains an effective tool for business and consumer users.
US IT Spending To Grow
Using comparative estimates from leading industry analysts and research firms, this report provides a comprehensive look at exactly how technology spending will unfold in 2004. Find out what you need to know about this vast and reenergized market in this new IT Spending report.
SAS Launches Suite Of Solutions For IT
Known collectively as SAS IT Management Solutions, these software offerings - SAS IT Resource Management, SAS IT Charge Management, SAS IT Service Level Management and SAS IT Value Management - help ensure that information technology systems perform as designed, accommodate consumption and growth, operate efficiently and deliver the greatest business value possible.
Accountability Vs. Blame
I've discovered that most of the time, when executives tell me that "what we need around here is more accountability," what they really mean is, "I need to know who I should blame when things go wrong."
Microsoft Great Plains Implementation – Overview For IT Administrator
If you have Microsoft Great Plains and support it for your company then you need to know typical set of problems you have in Great Plains and their fixes to have Great Plains run smoothly in your company.
Distribute and Manage your own Virtual Computing Grid
Not Ready for High Performance Computing? Think again TurboWorx distributed computing solutions provide the leading end-to-end software solution for companies to manage, distribute and solve their most complex, time-critical computing problems in a diverse environment. Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Bayer, DuPont and Dow Chemical are just some of the firms that depend on the TurboWorx solution.
The Votes are in on the Best Web Hosting Service
Too often, service providers don't want to help the customer after the contract is signed. It's company policy not to exceed customer expectations. Giving the customer great service costs more than it's worth. They know that they don't have to dazzle you to keep your business.
Web-based Project Management
QuickBase is Web-based, so you can view the latest information, then share it instantly with anyone on your team. No more details falling through the cracks or not knowing who was responsible for a particular task.
How .NET Improves Site Management
Ektron CMS400.NET is a powerful new XML content management solution built on the Microsoft .NET framework - so it leverages every advantage of .NET in your favor.
Linux IT Services Market Poised for Rapid Growth
The market for IT services around Linux and other open source software projects is expected to more than double between now and 2008, according to International Data Corp, but will remain a small percentage of the overall services market.
Getting To Done
I'm frequently called upon to help figure out what to do with a project that might be in trouble. Of course, determining whether a project is in trouble is often not a trivial problem. We like to talk about troubled projects as if there were a single bit that visibly flipped from one to zero, but unfortunately it's not that easy. While the symptoms presented vary widely, there are a few questions that I always ask to help determine whether the project is indeed in trouble. Some questions are deceptively simple with surprisingly subtle answers. Perhaps the most important is, "How will you know when you're done?"
Reduce Software Management Costs by up to 20%
Fortune 1000 companies are using Blazent IT Intelligence Software to resolve these software optimization issues. This break-through technology delivers real-time information for enterprise wide IT infrastructure, enabling executives to make actionable business decisions about their IT investments. Blazent Software Optimization provides the following benefits to senior IT executives.
Navigating The Outsourcing Map
FASTER TIME TO market, a more linear and predictable cost model than insourcing, and access to a better-trained resource when discreet skill sets are required.
Information Architecture: A Rose By Any Other Name ...
As more web practitioners have assumed the title of Information Architect to describe the work they do, and as more information architects (and user experience designers and user interface designers and information designers) are multitasking on reduced staffs, information architects have uncovered a wide range of ways to view both the practice and ourselves practicing. Unfortunately, a common response to this multiplicity has been to reiterate certain narrow definitions of information architecture, to impatiently seek consensus, and to view with suspicion those who don't fit.
What We Have To Fear
Lately I've had a troubling sense that there is a cancer growing in IT departments these days. No, I'm not talking about constrained budgets, poor alignment, hiring freezes or project failures. I'm not even talking about the growth of outsourcing and offshoring. While these issues are all real, there seems to be something even more toxic eating away at our industry. What could possibly be more threatening to IT staffs than offshoring? Fear of offshoring.
Exchange Upgrades Can Deliver Significant ROI
One of the core utilities IT provides to an organization is messaging services, including e-mail, calendaring, task management and collaboration. This utility is surprisingly expensive, especially if the organization runs prior-generation e-mail platforms. A typical Microsoft Exchange 5.5 solution has direct costs of more than $350 per user, per year, including hardware, software, IT operations, support and administration, and overhead. Older versions of same generation e-mail solutions like IBM Lotus Notes are similarly expensive.
Fundamentals Of Web Site Acceleration Part 2
What Is Caching? How Does It Apply to the Web?

Caching is a well-known concept in computer science: when programs continually access the same set of instructions, a massive performance benefit can be realized by storing those instructions in RAM. This prevents the program from having to access the disk thousands or even millions of times during execution by quickly retrieving them from RAM.
Fundamentals Of Web Site Acceleration Part 1
This paper outlines a common sense, cost-effective approach to lowering total cost of ownership and improving Web site and Web application performance according to two simple principles:
Software Development Project: Phases Overview
Most materials discussing the phases of a software development project are intended for the developer community. I decided to take a different look at the issue and help those novices who are going to outsource a software development project to an outsource service provider (OSP).
IT Approaching Its Golden Age, Not the Ice Age
AMR Research’s latest quarterly survey of corporate decision-makers reinforces the optimism that we’ve been expressing since early this year: Although we will not see anything close to the wild ride we experienced in 1999 and 2000, stability is finally coming to IT spending patterns and technology markets, which will benefit established companies. I write this positive outlook amid a growing backdrop of negativism on the future and the importance of IT markets.
Measuring The Value Of HR Solutions
The best way to build broad endorsement -- and gain financial approval -- for new investments in HR solutions is to build a comprehensive business case that pinpoints all costs, potential benefits, and even project risks. This goes deeper than the simple calculation of ROI = net benefits/total costs, and ultimately, acts as a management tool to ensure that the project stays on course.
Selecting New IT Leaders
One of the great privileges and responsibilities of leadership is identifying and training the next generation of managers and leaders. Somewhere in between crisis management, contract negotiations, internal politics, status monitoring and your myriad other tasks, you should spend a few moments considering the future leadership of your organization.
Should You Put Your PCs Out To Pasture?
PC shipments to businesses are expected to be substantial in 2004, with a projected 12.7% increase compared with 2003, according to International Data Corp. This is good news for corporate users who have been waiting patiently to invest in much-needed PC upgrades.
Better IT management lets agencies conserve
Federal spending on information technology is leveling off, and the number of new projects planned for 2005 is a fraction of what it has been in recent years.

But that doesn’t mean workers can expect a return to the bad old days of sharing desktop computers or limping along with outdated software.
Join The Continuous Backup Revolution
Most businesses secure their information infrastructure by regularly backing it up onto tape. Some have gone further, enhancing their backup strategy with expensive disk arrays and mirroring. Whether an earthquake, a flood, a blackout or a hard disk failure should catch them by surprise, these backups would ensure the survival of their information. Should human or software error (which account for approximately 40% of all application-related disasters) corrupt their data, they would simply reach for a recent backup, which would help them back on their feet.
Value-Driven Intranet Design
Within most corporations, taking ownership of an intranet is an unglamorous, exhausting, and thankless job for a new intranet manager. Many corporate intranets lack thoughtful, focused, and disciplined design and are often extremely large and unwieldy. Fixing these intranets can seem an impossible and futile task.
Enterprise ROI Selling
IT vendors have accepted the fact that closing deals today requires proving that their products deliver substantial value. But, with some budget relief in sight for 2004, vendors may be optimistic about the return of the happy days of pre-bubble selling -- and they could abandon their commitment to ROI-based selling programs.
When Measuring ROI
CIOs and their organizations are under increasing pressure to perform more with less: more operational support and delivery capabilities with less funding, headcount and executive understanding. Not only must a CIO keep the organizational "lights" on, but projects must be completed on time and under budget, reaction to customer requests must be timely and of the highest priority, plans must be strategic, and headcount must continually be adjusted downward.
How To Quantify Downtime
Quantifying the cost of downtime can help you gain funding for technologies that enhance performance and mitigate downtime risks. Yet most organizations have a difficult time calculating the losses associated with downtime because of its complexity.
ROI On IT Trainings
In the present day scenario, every organization dreams to create a niche that is beneficial for both the organization and the employee. With the changing times, the need for keeping oneself abreast with the latest in the industry impacts the actions and strategies an organization may employ to survive. Day to day variations in the industry in turn sets the pace of change that an organization sees in every sphere or area of its functionality.
Monitor a Variety of Servers and Devices
Multicom.Net - Remote Debugging, ActiveXperts Network Monitor, NetInfo 5.0 - Admin Toolkit, pgAdmin III - SQL Admin
BS7799 Compliancy And Certification
What is Compliancy?

Compliancy with BS7799 requires an organisation to have implemented and documented their Information Security Management System (ISMS) in accordance with the control objectives set out in the BS7799-1:2000 documentation.
Is BS7799 For You?
BS7799 is the UK national standard for best practice in information security derived from the International Standard ISO/IEC 17799:2000. This standard comes in two parts and replaces BS 7799-1:1999 which has now been withdrawn.
Emerging Trends in Developer Market - New Report Released
We would like to offer you a just released COMPLIMENTARY WHITE PAPER that will give you a critical insight into the trends that are transforming the current IT market, and two of the key technologies -- web services management and identity management -- that are driving that change.
Join us for an expert webinar series on Quality Centers
Learn how the latest quality management methods can transform your enterprise! You'll hear a top analyst, a leading systems integrator and a VP of product marketing share their expertise in this highly informative Quality Centers Webinar series.
Outsourcing A Project Overseas
You decided to outsource your project, you sent out Requests for Proposal, you evaluated the proposals that you received, and you finally found out that the outsource service provider (OSP) whose proposal best fits your requirements is an overseas company... Is it a disappointment to you?
Change Management – Buzz Words Or Real Value?
A lot of people look at change management as something they should have, but typically do not put the effort into creating processes that are easy to follow and repeatable. At most organizations, processes and procedures are usually ‘nice to haves’ and only become important when there is a problem. Once a major issue is identified, due to a mistake or implementing changes before they were ready to be deployed to end users, do the discussions begin.
Break The Golden Rule: How To Retain Your Best People
It seems so simple, doesn't it? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule seems so universal that it should be a panacea for all human relations. Simply treat everyone the way you would like to be treated and everything will flow smooth as silk, right?
First Time Project Managers Need Failures
Managing an IT project is very difficult; especially the first time you try it. The project manager’s days and nights are filled with stress, worry, dreams, aspirations and fear. Some first timers are overwhelmed by their newfound power while some are weighed down by the responsibility. But for most, the overriding concern is to avoid both personal and project failure.
Web Content Management Predictions For 2004
This is the year when web content comes of age. Organizations will slowly stop viewing content as some cost that needs to be managed. Instead, they will begin to see content as an asset that can drive profits and productivity. A new role will emerge within many organizations: the publisher/editor.
Why A Business Continuance Program Should Be In Your Future
Last summer's blackouts in the U.S. and Canada have reminded many people of the fear and confusion that marked the events of September 11. For others, however, they posed the perfect opportunity to verify just how well they had prepared for rough times.
Crafting A Request For Proposal
Crafting a Request for Proposal (RFP) takes a lot of time and effort. Gwen Hannah, President of Trillium Employee Services, says, "Writing an RFP can be a daunting task. Because of this, many people don't devote enough time and energy in preparing an RFP.
Outsourcing Offshore: A Forced Trend?
It is generally held as a good idea to turn IT operations and especially IT development over to external providers, as it significantly saves on staff, equipment, training and maintenance, as well as it allows customers to concentrate more on business. However, the lack of IT professionals in developed countries reached critical proportions, with 340, 000 vacant IT positions in the USA alone. This fact makes outsourcing increasingly challenging and expensive. The solution is, therefore, to go offshore.
Transform The Year-End Planning Ritual
Once again, 'tis the season for annual planning, an exercise that fills managers with hope, dread, despair and anticipation. It's a time when we contemplate the future of our organizations, technology and personal fortunes.

For most companies, the planning process takes place in a management meeting that can last as little as a few hours or as long as a week. But most of the agendas for these meetings are basically the same. They include:
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