Stories by Barbara Gomolski

Mainframe: Should it stay or should it go?

An IT manager in a telecommunications company recently told me that he is waging a major battle over the mainframe. It seems that the high-level executives in IT (along with the company's CIO) have been singing a familiar song: "The Mainframe Has Got to Go." The execs are principally concerned with three things:

IT at the crossroads

In the next 15 years, there will be unprecedented opportunities to exploit IT for competitive advantage. In the next 15 years, IT really won't matter, and organizations will spend as little as possible in this area.

Are we multitasking ourselves into chaos?

Information technology professionals generally eat their own dog food. That is, as a group, we practice what we preach. Go to any place where IT people gather, and you'll see the latest and greatest in communications devices -- phones, pagers and various input/output hardware.

Are We Multitasking Ourselves Into Chaos?

Information technology professionals generally eat their own dog food. That is, as a group, we practice what we preach. Go to any place where IT people gather, and you'll see the latest and greatest in communications devices -- phones, pagers and various input/output hardware.

Automated billing: Have we gone too far?

Have you noticed that just about all of your creditors are pushing automatic online bill paying in a big way? I'm talking about encouraging customers to have their billed amounts automatically withdrawn from their bank accounts each month.

Confessions of a Full-Time Telecommuter

Thirteen years ago, I embarked on a personal and professional adventure when I accepted a job in the Boston area while living in California, with the intention of telecommuting full time. The forward-thinking company that hired me (which happens to publish Computerworld) recognized that it could hire the best people if it cast its hiring net nationally. Now, of course, telecommuting is a norm and a perk that many IT professionals have come to expect. Still, it's not a given in all companies.

Bring back IT's R&D privileges

During the past few months, I've talked with several CIOs who are re-establishing formal research and development groups within their IT departments. This anecdotal evidence doesn't prove a trend, or course, but it does hint at what could be a very interesting development for IT organizations

Learning from IT data debacles

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The opening line from Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities seems appropriate to describe the current situation in IT risk management.

Keep IT and business aligned

I just returned from a conference for CIOs, where one of the main topics was the elusive quest for IT-business alignment. It is not, of course, a new challenge. Good CIOs have long been chasing business leaders, trying to forge better working relationships.

CIO Success: Nature or Nurture?

I bet you've heard this before: The CIO must "get a seat" at the executive table. Once there, he must convince others that IT is strategic to the organisation, thereby securing his own destiny. There are a host of other mandates that go along with this advice, such as "develop a good relationship with business stakeholders."

Cleaning house

After years of acquiring software systems and not getting rid of anything, companies have severe application clutter. As a result, given their limited financial resources, they can't meet the current demand for IT unless they "turn off" some applications. Maybe it's time to do some housekeeping.

Would you advise your kid to go into IT today?

A group of colleagues and I were talking during a conference call the other day about the IT job market. Many of us have kids who are starting to think about colleges and professions. Someone asked the group, "Would you advise your kid to go into IT today?" The majority of people on the call said no. This is just anecdotal evidence of what is blatantly obvious to most of us: The job market for IT professionals isn't what it used to be.

Don't be naive about outsourcing

Outsourcing IT functions is extremely popular these days, but many companies are still approaching outsourcing decisions with a good deal of naiveté. If your organization is thinking about outsourcing all or part of IT, here are five rules to help you avoid common pitfalls.