Stories by Bart Perkins

Bart Perkins: The value of skeptics (of the right kind)

Their endless questioning can be painful at times, but a loyal skeptic can help keep your project on track.

Who owns your tweets?

Both corporations and their employees who tweet on the company's behalf must clarify the question.

Court Has Compromised Software Rights

On April 11, our judiciary system failed the IT industry by limiting the ability of corporations to protect their internal software. Specifically, the U.S. Second Court of Appeals reversed the 2010 conviction of Sergey Aleynikow under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA). During his last day as a Goldman Sachs programmer, Aleynikov uploaded proprietary software that enhances Goldman's high-speed trading capabilities. Shortly thereafter, he joined a company that develops software tools for financial services firms. What a coincidence.

IT reorgs: Be sure of your reasons

When companies think about an IT reorganization, the first two questions raised are usually "Who?" and "Where?" Wrong on both counts! The first two questions should always be "Why?" and "How?"

Good Service Offers ROI

For many organizations, service centers are necessary evils that eat budget dollars while adding little value. Because they are viewed as overhead, many service centers (a.k.a. call centers, help desks, etc.) are outsourced to reduce costs. But that may not guarantee that you'll save money, and worse, it can alienate customers by presenting as your public face service-center staffers who may have insufficient product knowledge, language capabilities or civility.

Is social connectivity friend or foe to corporations?

In 1929, Frigyes Karinthy conjectured that anyone on Earth was connected to anyone else, on average, through just six people. Social networking may be increasing connectedness. Facebook recently studied connectedness among its 721 million active users, concluding that the average distance between any two Facebook users is now only 4.74 "hops" (down from 5.28 in 2008).

Ensuring project success

Project plans sometimes go off the rails. That's always been the case, and with the perfection of the human race nowhere on the horizon, it will remain true. But we can reduce the number of projects that fail.

Bart Perkins: Wise managers don't block workplace Web access

A few years ago, companies regularly blocked access to Amazon, Facebook, eBay, World of Warcraft and other sites , which they claimed distracted employees and wasted time. Some people indeed overdid Internet usage or abused social media privileges (remember Goldman Sachs' Charlie ?), and many organizations severely restricted Web access.

The Fortune 500's disappearing CIOs

Save the CIO, save the enterprise! It might not be the catchiest slogan, but there's more than a little truth in it.

Project Management: No horsing around

IT organizations are expected to complete projects on time, on budget and with high quality -- but often don't.

Cloudy, with a chance of trouble

Many organizations are considering shutting down their data centers and migrating most IT functions to the cloud. Beware, though: Not all clouds are soft and fluffy .

Infrastructure: IT's stepchild

Every enterprise needs a robust IT infrastructure in order to function effectively. Infrastructure is the foundation of corporate productivity and success. Many IT groups, however, don't have enough skilled infrastructure staffers to provide the solid foundation required.

Make a statement with your mission statement

Mission statements help define an organization's direction and inspire employees to achieve corporate goals. Unfortunately, countless mission statements are meaningless, forgettable and totally ineffective. Many are merely an uninspiring collection of buzzwords that could have been written by Dilbert's boss. If that describes yours, you have work to do!

IT full of 'ducks'? Declare open season

Every organization has some "ducks." Ducks are employees who have a detrimental effect on productivity. Their work is consistently substandard, they rarely meet deadlines, and their skills are out of date. They hate change, resist taking responsibility, and blame their failures on co-workers. They constantly complain about their projects, their teammates, their workloads and their managers. They stifle innovation by shooting down new proposals, claiming that changes "just can't be done."

Pulling the plug on a project

Few organisations want to admit that a large project is failing. But some projects will never meet their deadlines or deliver the expected benefits. When the possibility of success is gone, these projects often must be terminated for the health of the corporation.

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