To some, the job of a higher-education CIO might seem downright cushy. After all, unlike their corporate counterparts, these IT leaders don't have to answer to shareholders, cater to business-line leaders or survive acrimonious mergers.
Stories by Cindy Waxer
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night can compare with the challenges currently facing the United States Postal Service. Email continues to have a crippling effect on the centuries-old agency: The volume of first-class mail, or stamped mail, plummeted by 2.8 billion pieces in 2013.
Technology professionals are among today's most infamous whistleblowers. The list of those who have made headlines for exposing corporate or government skulduggery includes Shawn Carpenter, a network security analyst who blew the lid off a Chinese cyberespionage ring; Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, who shared more than 250,000 classified State Department cables with WikiLeaks; and Edward Snowden, who leaked top-secret information about NSA surveillance activities.
Ever since President Obama signed the Open Data Executive Order, government agencies have been making their vast data stores available to the public. These once-secret data sets are proving a valuable business resource, too.
Companies are taking matters into their own hands with internal controls, open privacy policies, ethical codes and greater candor over how they're collecting and parsing personal data. But many wonder whether it's enough to allay consumers' fears as techniques for manipulating data multiply.
From movie-like videos with comedy sketch warmups to hands-on freestyle hacker contests with big cash prizes, fresh approaches to training are helping a new generation of IT professionals get engaged in their training.
Delivering packages to customers in a timely fashion takes more than a good shipping label.
As if significant savings on electricity bills weren't enough, IT managers have another reason to embrace environmentally friendly IT practices: a bevy of federal, state and local tax incentives that could tip the scales to make <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/299268/FAQ_Green_Data_Centers">green IT projects</a> financially attractive.
At first glance, UPS's warehouse workers might be mistaken for gun-toting cyborgs out of a dystopian movie. But a closer look at the stainless steel devices wrapped around employees' forearms reveal a hi-tech contraption that scans barcodes and shoots bright magenta ink--not laser beams.
In April of last year, Satoshi Nakajima, founder of Washington-based Big Canvas Inc., was eagerly inviting new customers to subscribe to his company's flagship product, PhotoShare, which lets users swap Apple iPhone photos for free.
When Bill Horne sauntered into an evening meet-and-greet being held by a local packaging company in search of fresh IT talent, the retired computer engineer knew his chances of leaving the event with a job offer were slim.
"Many CIOs are a little cavalier about making raising customer satisfaction an explicit goal," says Harley Manning, vice president and director of Forrester Research's customer experience group. Rather, he says, objectives such as cost avoidance and innovation are far more likely to receive top billing on a CIO's project roster. That's because not only is bolstering customer loyalty a hard sell among corporate bean counters, its (arguably) intangible benefits and its (allegedly) nebulous returns often make it a thankless job. After all, when it comes to customer feedback, CIOs typically hear one of two things: harsh criticism or the sound of one hand clapping."
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