Stories by Bart Perkins

Who owns your tweets?

Both corporations and their employees who tweet on the company's behalf must clarify the question.

Court Has Compromised Software Rights

On April 11, our judiciary system failed the IT industry by limiting the ability of corporations to protect their internal software. Specifically, the U.S. Second Court of Appeals reversed the 2010 conviction of Sergey Aleynikow under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA). During his last day as a Goldman Sachs programmer, Aleynikov uploaded proprietary software that enhances Goldman's high-speed trading capabilities. Shortly thereafter, he joined a company that develops software tools for financial services firms. What a coincidence.

IT reorgs: Be sure of your reasons

When companies think about an IT reorganization, the first two questions raised are usually "Who?" and "Where?" Wrong on both counts! The first two questions should always be "Why?" and "How?"

Good Service Offers ROI

For many organizations, service centers are necessary evils that eat budget dollars while adding little value. Because they are viewed as overhead, many service centers (a.k.a. call centers, help desks, etc.) are outsourced to reduce costs. But that may not guarantee that you'll save money, and worse, it can alienate customers by presenting as your public face service-center staffers who may have insufficient product knowledge, language capabilities or civility.

An argument for keeping IT training budgets intact

Every corporation wants an effective workforce, but few want to pay for the training that can give them one. Some executives seem to believe that their IT staff should be able to keep up with new ideas and technology on their own time, with minimal corporate financial support. Those organizations that do support training and education tend to do so only in good times, so those items are often among the first to be slashed when IT budgets get tight.

Is social connectivity friend or foe to corporations?

In 1929, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frigyes_Karinthy">Frigyes Karinthy</a> conjectured that anyone on Earth was connected to anyone else, on average, through just six people. Social networking may be increasing connectedness. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-data-team/anatomy-of-facebook/10150388519243859">Facebook recently studied connectedness</a> among its 721 million active users, concluding that the average distance between any two Facebook users is now only 4.74 "hops" (down from 5.28 in 2008).

Bart Perkins: Wise managers don't block workplace Web access

A few years ago, companies regularly <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139020/Study_54_of_companies_ban_Facebook_Twitter_at_work">blocked access to Amazon, Facebook, eBay, World of Warcraft and other sites</a> , which they claimed distracted employees and wasted time. Some people indeed overdid Internet usage or abused social media privileges (remember <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2007/03/09/career-advice-dont-choose-facebook-over-your-job/">Goldman Sachs' Charlie</a> ?), and many organizations severely restricted Web access.

Cloudy, with a chance of trouble

Many organizations are considering shutting down their data centers and migrating most IT functions to the cloud. Beware, though: <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9150038/Dark_clouds_gather_over_online_security">Not all clouds are soft and fluffy</a> .

Infrastructure: IT's stepchild

Every enterprise needs a robust IT infrastructure in order to function effectively. Infrastructure is the foundation of corporate productivity and success. Many IT groups, however, don't have enough skilled infrastructure staffers to provide the solid foundation required.

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