Transforming IT from Servant to Strategic Partner

When companies start to think about streamlining operations, the IT department is often among the first to be flagged. To survive, IT leaders must demonstrate that their department serves a strategic role in the organization’s future. For many IT groups, that’s a big change. Redesigning IT’s role starts with reorganizing

Managing Mobile Devices

They are the best of tools and the worst of tools. Mobile computing devices can support the workforce out in the field or make your most sensitive company secrets public knowledge. The only way to simultaneously unleash your workforce and rein in company threats is to control the risks. Many

Secrets to Successful Software Integration

As a hosted electronic data exchange company, SPS Commerce in Minneapolis, Minn., is in the business of connecting the software it creates to applications its customers use every day. When the company recently outgrew some of its own systems, it was in a unique position of living its own customers’

Service-Oriented Architecture Promises Increased Flexibility

Wouldn’t it be a great idea if an enterprise’s IT resources could be linked and reused, enabling businesses to respond more quickly and cost-effectively to changing market conditions? That’s the theory behind service-oriented architecture (SOA) and, in theory, systems developed according to SOA principles promise new levels of flexibility. In

The Ins and Outs of SCM

Advocates of software configuration management tools and techniques tend to resort to metaphor when describing why, once adopted, IT organizations can’t live without them. By far the most frequent comparison is to the assembly line popularized by Henry Ford (but not invented by him, as it is widely believed). Before

Revise Your Technology Refresh Strategy

High on the list of certainties, right after death and taxes, is the knowledge that the computers your company bought just three months ago are already obsolete. But when is the best time to upgrade? When developing technology refresh strategies, enterprises are caught between the pull of new technology and

Seven Best Practices for Managing Data Storage

Despite the strategic value of data, many enterprises have yet to establish robust storage management strategies that keep important data readily available, the cost of managing it low and its access safe and secure. Given the huge proportion of corporate data that resides in unstructured or semi-structured form — such

SOA Is Looking A-OK

The clamor for convergence is reaching a deafening roar as IT departments seek new ways to make scarce budget dollars support broad and sweeping business changes. The more flexible and adaptable the technology, the better the play, the thinking goes. Better still: the technology becomes invisible, connecting multiple uses and

Service-Oriented Architecture Steps into the Future

When USinternetworking, an application service provider (ASP) to more than 150 companies, was still very small, software architects and programmers were able to keep track of the available application codes and figure out how to make them work together. But as the Annapolis, Md. based company grew, the task rapidly

IT Budget Priorities in Perspective

At one time, the IT staff’s mission was to stay out on the bleeding edge — first adopter, first adapter, first developer, first to market. But now the frontlines have changed, withdrawing to more cautious ground where bottom-line hemorrhaging can be stemmed and new strategies drawn. “Without IT and business