Stories by Elisabeth Horwitt

Busting down the info silos

Savvy business leaders are starting to recognize the paybacks of helping all their business groups work from the same data.

The value of VOC systems

About 20 months ago, Charming Shoppes launched a customer insights project to "deliver actionable customer and market research and analysis to the business," says Jeffrey Liss, who headed up the initiative. Liss is now senior vice president of corporate strategy at the plus-size women's clothing retailer, which includes Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines stores.

Catching up with mobile security threats

Development of enterprise mobile apps has been moving more slowly than development of consumer-facing apps, according to Gartner. One main reason is IT leaders' concerns about the security of mobile devices, which are often employees' personal devices, and are vulnerable to being lost, hacked or stolen. While there are plenty of established tools and practices for keeping Web visitors from straying (or hacking) into sensitive corporate data, managing security across a diverse set of mobile devices remains a challenge, IT experts say.

Self-service BI catches on

The Great Recession caught most of the used-car industry by surprise. Many dealers assumed that the downturn would be short and mild, so they continued to add inventory at a steady rate. As a result, many used-car inventory-financing firms didn't make adjustments until it was too late.

Hands-Off Management

Sam Schorr, vice president of systems engineering at Homestead.com Inc., has good reason to be leery of systems management outsourcing. His Web-hosting company tried such an arrangement with its ISPs, and suffered serious service degradation and customer dissatisfaction.

Shopping Advice

How did the MSP originate? Today's market is a mishmash of businesses founded by application service providers, ISPs, former management software vendor staff and systems integrators. Obviously, not all have the same level of experience with network and systems management products.

Watching the WAN

Reynolds Metals decided it needed a service-level monitoring tool shortly after it migrated from dedicated leased lines to frame relay, and users and applications began contending for bandwidth.