Stories by Patricia Keefe

Shields up, Linux

Does a desperate SCO have a leg to stand on? Is a conniving Microsoft really behind The SCO Group? Is Linux headed for a deep freeze? Those were among the questions being hurled about last week as angry users and industry observers reacted to the latest salvos fired against operating system upstart Linux.

IT does matter, just needs to morph

Kicking up the debate on the future of IT another notch is Nicholas Carr’s sure-to-be-controversial contention in this month’s Harvard Business Review that the pervasiveness of IT will soon make it strategically irrelevant. Summing up his position is the article’s headline: “IT Doesn’t Matter”.

Surviving the sea change

The IT profession, from code jockeys to the executive suite, is undergoing a sea change. The existence of everything IT, from job categories to entire departments, is up for reassessment — and maybe even headed for redundancy.

IT does matter

Kicking up the debate on the future of IT another notch is Nicholas G. Carr's sure-to-be-controversial contention in this month's Harvard Business Review that the pervasiveness of IT will soon make it strategically irrelevant. Summing up his position is the article's headline: "IT Doesn't Matter."

Opinion: Demand executive ROI

At last, we are starting to see shareholders with backbone and more than a modicum of common sense. Recently, Hewlett-Packard Co. shareholders passed a nonbinding recommendation asking the company's directors to obtain stockholder approval of large executive severance packages. HP's management, which had lobbied hard against the proposal, issued a terse statement saying that it would "duly consider" the recommendation.

Counting Is King

My high school journalism teacher surprised us one day with a visit from the head of Boston's Associated Press bureau. The lesson we learned that day should be taught to every CIO on the planet.
We leaned forward excitedly in our chairs, fully expecting an inside look at murders, drug busts and political scandals. But instead of regaling us with war stories, he lectured a startled audience on Finance 101.

Virus alerts run amok

Considering the rate at which virus attacks are increasing and the speed with which they can wreak havoc throughout an organization, causing billions of dollars in damage, it's surprising (and distressing) to consider that there's no standardized alert system. Stranger still is that it's taken until now for someone to speak up about it.

What have you done for me lately?

"What have you done for me lately?" may well be the question for 2002. Be it companies asking workers or workers asking companies, that cry hangs endlessly in the air as revenue-stressed businesses forget to care and workers struggle to remain motivated.

Santa's little hinderers

Well, I tried. I really did. I was willing to invest the time, twiddle my thumbs while pages loaded, fill my cart and pony up the dough. Problem is, too many online retailers still aren't willing to spend the time, and lack the common sense, necessary to get the customer experience right.

Stumbling at the altar

The last thing that Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Carly Fiorina and Compaq Computer Corp.'s Michael Capellas need right now is a bunch of angry users. The executive duo already have their hands full trying to mollify skeptical analysts, cautious shareholders, concerned government agencies on both sides of the Atlantic and resistant, outspoken founding families.

Take a bold step

Now wouldn't seem to be the best time to get big ideas about projects based on bleeding-edge technology. After all, the economy is in a tailspin, and everywhere you turn, you can hear the sound of corporate wallets snapping shut.

Time of reckoning

If you're a customer of Computer Associates International Inc., whether by choice or through acquisition, and you've never paid much attention to the internal goings-on and financial statements released by the company there's no better time to start than now.

Reinvent your job

"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?" Take job security. The news is saturated with stories about shocked and angry laid-off or outsourced workers. And reader reaction to our behind-the-scenes look at what it's really like to be outsourced [Cover Story, March 5] has been equally emotional.

Privacy: Fight for it

A Boston Globe columnist recently asked: "Is anybody really shocked anymore at how much marketers know about all of us?" Shocked? No. Appalled, yes. The columnist treats privacy like a joke, an antiquated concept in the face of technological advances. He says privacy is a nonissue, and he sees a benefit via personalization that targets his needs and saves him time.

Tax Net Commerce

It's an election year, and that usually means lots of huffing and puffing over content-free issues. It's also the roaring '00s, so it isn't surprising that politicians nationwide are latching onto the cyber-savvy sounding, but relatively risk-free, concept of a tax-free e-economy. Not a day goes by without some opportunistic yahoo stepping up to the mike to take the pledge.