Our November Issue, in Brief

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 11-05-2005
Due Diligence: Skype Hype
By Eric Nee
If you're still scratching your head at the billions eBay has committed to buying Skype Technologies, a $7 million Voice-over-IP provider, you're not alone. But columnist Eric Nee sees more to the deal than meets the eye. As e-commerce grows up, more efficient means of communication are critical to improve the speed of transactions. Skype's peer-to-peer technology provides a cheap and easy route to a much more efficient auction process, where honesty and transparency are the only paths to future growth. And getting buyers and sellers together faster is only the beginning.

Synchronicity: Why Governance Matters
By Marianne Broadbent
Many CIOs think IT governance is about how IT departments are organized and led, says columnist Marianne Broadbent. But in her view, that's wrong. It's not about bureaucratic rules and regulations, or a synonym for management. It's about how you bring together top-level business and IT executives for better and faster decision-making around information and technology choices, deployment and use. And as the business cycle speeds up, the ability to make such decisions quickly, on issues ranging from the role of IT, technology investment priorities, and infrastructure and architecture choices, has become a critical part of every successful CIO's job.

Case Study: Royalty Services LP
By Dan Briody
What self-respecting CIO hasn't dreamed of becoming a CEO? For Joe DeTullio, the former CIO of Universal Music Group, the dream has become a reality. Last summer he started up Royalty Services LP, a rare joint venture between UMG and its bitter rival, Warner Music Group, that's funded in part by a software vendor and a venture capital firm. The goal: to solve the massive technical problem of sorting out royalties in an increasingly splintered industry. Executive Editor Dan Briody spent some time with DeTullio to learn more about this unique approach to problem solving.

MegaChurch, MegaTech
By Edward Cone
With average weekly attendance of at least 2,000 people, and sometimes ten times that many, the rise of the megachurch is one of the big stories in American religious and cultural life over the last generation. Megachurches represent the full range of Christian belief and practice, but they share a reliance on technology for everything from managing membership lists to proselytizing for new converts. From satellite broadcasts of weekly sermons to Web communications and programming, these churches are built around technology—to the point that many pastors say churches of such scale would be impossible to run without it.

Expert Voices: Pete Solvik
With Edward Cone
Given his experience as CIO and then vice president for productivity strategy for Cisco Systems Inc., one of the most successful start-ups ever, when Pete Solvik talks about early-stage investing in the tech sector, it's worth listening. These days, as a venture capitalist with Menlo Park, Calif.-based Sigma Partners, Solvik looks for companies developing "something that's solving a growing problem for potential customers," he says. Areas of interest include IT security, new data center technologies and Web services. But the quality of the management team, and its ability to roll with the punches every start-up must take, is just as important.

Research: Open Source
By the editors of CIO Insight
Has the use of open source operating systems and applications finally reached a critical mass? According to this month's readership survey, more than 80 percent of respondents have deployed or are considering deploying open source applications, and 72 percent say they plan to expand their use of such applications in the coming months. But while adopters say cost reduction was their initial reason for moving to open source systems, only 64 percent are actually realizing those savings. The biggest benefit of open source may actually be in the competitive advantage users are seeing over their rivals—not to mention the added pressure on proprietary software vendors to create better products.

Strategic Technology: Wireless Broadband
By Debra D'Agostino
Despite recent announcements from wireless telecom providers hailing new mobile broadband services such as 3G cellular and IP-based WiMax, the reality is that a ubiquitous, reliable, high-speed mobile network is still many years away, says Senior Reporter Debra D'Agostino. That doesn't mean you shouldn't start preparing for how such a network might transform your business processes and create new revenue opportunities. Wireless broadband means that work never has to stop, employees are never idle, and companies can maximize productivity.