At the heart of Union Pacific Corp.'s railroad operations is an IBM mainframe-based transportation control system that's been chugging along like a hardworking locomotive for nearly 40 years. According to industry experts, it was a pioneering system when first introduced, and it made the Omaha-based transportation giant one of the first companies in the world to make extensive use of online transaction processing technologies.
Stories by Thomas Hoffman
Technologies that might seem passé at some organizations are considered quite cutting-edge at others. Here's a look at a pest control company and a local government agency that are pushing the envelope in their respective industries.
In 2006, just as the first tweet was being Twittered, BT Global Services launched an effort to keep its customers and 112,000 employees safe in a new world of Web-based communities and other interactive sites.
Six-year-old BlueStar Energy Services doesn't have the kind of systems-baggage that saddles many older organizations. Still, the company found itself hindered by the rigidity of its core systems, which constrained its efforts to expand its customer base and offer new services.
During his keynote speech at the Society for Information Management's SIMposium 08 conference in the US, author Nicholas Carr drew an analogy between cloud computing and the transition that manufacturers made from generating their own power to relying on utilities in the early 20th century.
IT leaders are still hungry to recruit .Net programmers, desktop support technicians and voice over IP project leaders, according to an online survey conducted in June by the Society for Information Management. But when asked by SIM to cite the top workplace skills that they are seeking among both entry-level and midlevel IT workers, the 231 respondents overwhelmingly cited ethics and morals as the traits they most desire.
What steps do IT executives need to take to get on the "A" list for a high-profile job opening? Is it bad form for IT managers to reach out to an executive search firm?
As companies are diving deeper into virtualized storage projects, IT managers are getting a better understanding of the staff skills they need to make those projects succeed. The exact talents required depend on the type of storage implementation, but most employers say they're in the market for two kinds of IT worker: technicians with vendor-specific SAN or NAS knowledge, and systems administrators and IT architects who understand the complexities and interdependencies among applications, operating systems and I/O, all of which affect storage requirements.
IT professionals with strong technical backgrounds can drum up some great ideas for start-up companies, but they often lack the business acumen to keep those companies afloat. To help these would-be captains of industry, Computerworld recently spoke with Ken Blanchard, the best-selling co-author of The One Minute Entrepreneur and The One Minute Manager to gain insight on the steps that technology entrepreneurs should take -- and avoid. Step one: Remember the basics.
Jonathan Snyder's five-person team at Dreambuilder Investments isn't your typical IT organization. Or is it?
Last November, a fire broke out in one of the buildings on ISTA Pharmaceuticals' main campus, forcing about 50 employees to move to another location on the property. After the building's sprinklers kicked in, the entire network had to be shut down because the water threatened the equipment carrying the company's inbound data traffic.