Lights Out

Welcome back. No holiday break is complete without a little housecleaning, so let me get mine out of the way at the start.

The first order of business is that starting with this issue Computerworld's print edition will go fortnightly in 2007. It was a tough decision. Reader demand for a print edition remains strong as ever, but the reality is that with fewer advertisers supporting IT publications in general, decreasing the frequency makes good sense.

Our comprehensive IT news coverage continues to thrive online, but since Computerworld print is now primarily a vehicle for examining strategies and providing in-depth analysis, weekly frequency just isn't as significant.

Next up, it's congratulations to technology editor Rodney Gedda for landing a face-to-face interview with open source guru Linus Torvalds during his visit to Sydney last week. Be sure to check out the video webcast of Rodney's interview with Torvalds on

Congratulations are also due to senior journalist Michael Crawford, who's moving over to CIO magazine to assume the role of deputy editor - my old job. If Michael enjoys the role half as much as I did, he's in for a very rewarding time. Michael will still be contributing to Computerworld, however, so don't expect his by-line to disappear from these pages anytime soon.

The first issue of the year is also traditionally the place to make predictions for the next 12 months. Predictions are not my forte, so I'm going to limit myself to just one: acts of God, like the bushfires that blacked out a third of Victoria last week, will occur again next summer. And probably the summer after that.

It's a risky world out there, something IT managers know only too well. In Computerworld's Vital Signs quarterly trend survey, 31 percent of IT executives put disaster recovery/continuity planning at the top of their priority lists, while 27 percent identified data security/privacy as their number one issue. Combined, these results show how IT managers and CIOs have a stronger focus than ever before on data integrity as they head into the new year.

Last week's energy crisis in Victoria highlights why approaches to business continuity planning and security must evolve. Disaster recovery is moving from a plan to a process that's ingrained in the enterprise. For that reason, IT must learn to think about disaster recovery as more than just backup centres, and instead address business continuity as an ongoing process, one that requires IT, human resources and other departments to work together to deal with technical as well as business issues.

How is your company doing? Victorian IT managers, we want to hear from you. How did your company cope when the lights went out in Melbourne last week?

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