Weekend Reading for IT Pros

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 01-18-2008

IT Executive

CIOs, Meet Your New Boss, CIO Insight

More and more IT chiefs are reporting to CFOs. Does that spell the demise of the strategic CIO? Not necessarily, but it certainly points to a dramatic change in his or her role within the company. Senior writer Ed Cone writes: "The increasing prominence of the CFO in IT management signals a change in the way companies view technology strategy and deployment. 'There's a lot of blurring and sharing of responsibilities across the traditional, stovepipe functional categories,' says Erik Brynjolfsson, the Schussel Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Center for Digital Business."

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Outsourcing

Gartner Predicts 8.1% Rise in Outsourcing Worldwide, CIO Insight

Outsourcing is on the rise, but isn't necessarily good news. According to Gartner, corporate IT sourcing and governance strategies are immature, which could cause some pain. From the report: "Because these organizations lack the basic building blocks for successful vendor management and outsourcing success, expected cost savings and other benefits are difficult to obtain."

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Security

Hot Spots Are Weak Spots, The Wall Street Journal

Web surfers beware: corporate Wi-Fi networks are opening up new opportunities for hackers and criminals. "Many Wi-Fi users don't know that hackers posted at hot spots can steal personal information out of the air relatively easily," writes Joseph De Avila. "And savvy criminal hackers aren't settling for just access to credit cards, bank accounts and other personal financial information; they love to sneak into your company's network, too."

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Leadership

A Blueprint for Strategic Leadership, Strategy & Business

Booz Allen executives Steven Wheeler and Walter McFarland, along with writer Art Kleiner, provide a detailed look at building organizations that emphasize leadership development. They write: "Indeed, the quality of individual leadership matters. In case after case, in organizations and in society at large, when the single individual at the top is replaced, everything else changes — either for the better or for the worse. But the effectiveness of leaders depends, more than is generally realized, on the context around them."

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Open Source

Is Open Source Recession-Proof?, ZDNet

Probably not, though some interesting points can be made otherwise, writes Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in his Hardware 2.0 blog. One particular downfall: "Another area where a recession could harm open source is in hardware support. Plenty of hardware vendors have expressed a desire to become more open source friendly (specifically, Linux-friendly). In an industry where profit margins can be tight during good economic times this demonstrates considerable goodwill, but if times get harder then support for Linux could be something that's abandoned."

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