IT Performance Improvement
Networking and Telecommunications
Why Tomorrow Is Too Late to Think about Business Continuity
Business owners and executives juggle a number of projects each day that draw on their time and resources. As a result, they tend to defer business continuity into the "solve tomorrow" column until right before (or right after) an incident. This is a critical, sometimes disastrous mistake. Like all business-essential IT programs, designing and implementing a functional continuity plan is a multi-month process. The link between business continuity and disaster survivability is significant. If you are inclined to agree, you can get started today by following steps in this article.
Optimizing Exchange and Active Directory Backup and Recovery
To optimize backup and recovery of Exchange and Active Directory environments, organizations can leverage a growing number of advanced tools that overcome the challenges of traditional approaches. As this article explains, these new tools give businesses a more simplified and streamlined process that reduces their backup windows, provides continuous protection and delivers efficient granular recovery of the critical business information.
Using Scrum for Project Management
Scrum is an agile software approach to getting project tasks done. This approach hyper focuses upon software development and testing task execution. This same approach can be easily adapted to general project management. The scrum approach is an evolutionary approach to project management with few down-sides and a substantial payoff.
Project Management Tools
Here's an overview of some of the quantitative tools you can use to manage your projects better.
ERP for IT
In trying to align IT with business goals, organizations often find that IT landscapes consisting of processes, information, technology and people have taken on a life of their own and are not easily managed. Because of this, CIOs find it nearly impossible to answer important questions. This article introduces IT planning, which supports effective and consistent decision-making about how IT should be deployed and managed. The reason for IT planning is to facilitate decision-making. In particular, it provides support for effective decisions and ensures that decision-making is performed in a consistent way suggesting a framework, methodology or process.
Complex Adaptive Systems Engineering
This paper brings together distinct but related systems engineering activities to form a methodology suitable for complex environments. The CASE methodology acknowledges the human factor and encourages exerting influence rather than control. CASE is offered for consideration and application, in limited ways at first, to gain confidence in its viability before being applied more broadly.
Pandemic Influenza: Emergency Planning and Community Preparedness
This book outlines the containment and response capabilities needed to effectively plan and prepare for a wide-spread outbreak. Addressing clinical factors and public health challenges, the authors examine critical issues such as the types of influenza and related health implications, outbreak prevention and mass prophylactic measures, medical supply and fatality management, response actions for various emergency service disciplines, and the potential economic effects of a pandemic outbreak. Mirroring the goals of the U.S. National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, the text underscores the importance of expanding the health care systemís capacity to provide adequate triage and medical care.
Malware Writers Jump on Swine Flu Bandwagon
Symantec Security Response has observed malware writers joining spammers in leveraging the Swine Flu to reach unsuspecting computer users. While samples are extremely limited, this appears to be yet another attempt by hackers to leverage current events as lures to distribute their malware.
Scale-out iSCSI SANs as a Force Multiplier for Virtualization
With the remarkable growth of storage in data centers and remote offices, efficient block storage management and economic access to enterprise information has become both more important and more difficult to achieve. Enterprise storage is often doubling each year as the volume of business critical information continues to increase. Server virtualization further complicates storage requirements, leading to headaches for IT departments trying to manage and stay on top of their storage needs. This article details how scale-out iSCSI SANs offer one of the most cost-effective ways of coping with these rapidly growing storage requirements.
Insider Threats Remain Low Priority
Despite recent headlines announcing major corporate data breaches, concerns about insider security threats remain a low priority for enterprise organizations. According to a survey of IT industry professionals conducted by Lieberman Software Corporation, insider security threats and corporate data breaches are lesser security concerns than more traditional security risks, such as viruses, Trojans and worms.
The Key Success Factors in Aligning IT with Business
Because business needs help set IT's priorities, how IT departments align their solutions with business objectives hinge on a number of success factors. At the end of the day, most of the work rest on the shoulders of CIOs, being the key figures that understand the business side of things and have the ability to translate business needs into technology solutions.
For North American Businesses, the Benefits of Onshore Outsouring Are Off the Charts
The discussion about outsourcing continues to be an on-again, off-again affair--onshore and offshore, that is. Certainly, the basic value of outsourcing has been well-documented. What is still up for debate, however, is whether to adopt an onshore or offshore approach. For purposes of this discussion, "onshore" outsourcing refers to the use of an outsourcer located on the same continent as the customer company; "offshore," logically, would be anywhere else. Each approach has distinct merits. This article examines specific outsourcing scenarios to determine which line of attack is optimal.
Which Kind of System? The Make, Buy, or Rent Decision
This article illustrates the three main system options for organizations seeking to upgrade their systems and the pros and cons of each. Having made the decision to upgrade its systems, the next step that an organization needs to take involves the classic "make or buy" question: Is the organization going to build its own system from scratch or purchase a "mature" system that tens, hundreds, or even thousands of organizations currently use? Note that the traditional make or buy decision has been complicated somewhat in recent years by the advent of SaaS (Software as a Service). Vendors like Workday and salesforce.com provide a third option for organizations that want to "rent" software.
The Open Source Data Warehouse Revolution
Data warehousing is changing quickly to meet the demands of companies with large volumes of data that require fast answers to complex, unpredictable questions. Whatís providing the answers today--in a more affordable, simpler way--is the two-word IT revolution called open source, which is providing the building blocks required to create a whole new data warehouse. Discover the many benefits to an open source data warehouse.
Coalescing a New Team: Creating Ties That Bind
Maybe you've inherited new team members from another group within your company as a result of recent reorganization. Or perhaps your company has merged with another, giving you a whole new group to manage. Whatever the reason, you need to pull a new team together, including people who have been working together all along and those who are just coming on board. What actions can you, as a team leader, take to create an environment of collaboration and trust in the short-term and in the long-run? What can team members do to get connected as quickly as possible to other team members? This article provides some practical tips for finding the right "glue" to bring a new team together, even when working from afar.
CMMI and Agile: Opposites Attract
The myths surrounding the compatibility of CMMI and Agile have recently been debunked by SEI. Despite the perception that CMMI best practices and Agile development methods are at odds with each other, new research suggests just the opposite train of thought. In fact, CMMI and Agile champions can benefit from using both methods within organizations - with the potential to dramatically improve business performance. This article explains how these seemingly opposing strategies can be paired to foster dramatic improvements in business performance.
Ranking Risks: Rare to Certain, Negligible to Catastrophic
Risks your project or business are exposed to may be worth reviewing now more than ever to see which ones need more attention than others. This article presents a risk matrix, which is a risk assessment tool that exposes aspects of risks that could be subjected to some form of ranking. A risk matrix shows you and other decision makers a clearer view of what the risk is, what is involved, and what amount of time can be afforded given the severity and probability of the risk event. It can help you visualize, in an organized manner, the risks you face in quantitative and qualitative terms and plan and make a more informed decision when the situation arises.
Traditional or Milestone Consulting: Which Is Best?
Many organizations may recognize the need for consultants but remain unsure about how to use them. This article compares two of the different consulting alternatives--traditional and milestone--and the pros and cons of each.
How BPM Can Benefit Quality Programs
In Business Process Management Systems: Strategy and Implementation, James Chang discusses business management practices and the technology that enables them, with a focus on strategy and implementation. He analyzes the history of process management practices and demonstrates that BPM practices are a synthesis of radical change and continuous change practices. It provides an integrated view on how various management practices merge into BPM and describes the many technologies that converge to form a Business Process Management System (BPMS), illustrating its standards and service-oriented architecture. The excerpt looks at how BPM can benefit quality programs.
The State of Todayís Data Center: Challenges and Opportunities
Data center managers are caught between a rock and a hard place. They are expected to do more than ever, and they are expected to do it with less than ever. Yet, a growing number of creative data center managers are using a variety of cost-containment strategies that capitalize on heterogeneity to increase IT efficiency and maximize existing resources while keeping costs under control. By leveraging various technologies and processes across this infrastructure, you can better protect information and applications, enhance data center service levels, improve storage and server utilization, manage physical and virtual environments, and drive down capital and operational costs.
Stimulating Your Organization with Green Technology
This article discusses President Obama's plan to stimulate the economy using green virtualization
technology. It's a great story about how America can again become an economic leader and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time.
Granular Application and System Recovery for Virtual and Physical Environments
There are many small but impactful ways to increase a businessís bottom line, including reducing recovery time and decreasing the amount of storage resources needed. Granular recovery is an advanced technology that allows IT organizations to recover specific files in seconds from a single backup allowing recovery time to be reduced and decreasing the amount of storage space used. This article discusses how granular recovery provides an innovative approach to a recovery solution that allows IT administrators to save time and money, while reducing complexity.
Pairing CMMI and Six Sigma for Optimal Results
This article discusses how Six Sigma and CMMI can work together to bring about effective change within your organization by following these fool-proof strategies for accelerating process improvement.
2009 Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors
The 2009 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors is a list of the most significant programming errors that can lead to serious software vulnerabilities. They occur frequently, are often easy to find, and easy to exploit. They are dangerous because they will frequently allow attackers to completely take over the software, steal data, or prevent the software from working at all. The list is the result of collaboration between the SANS Institute, MITRE, and many top software security experts in the US and Europe. The main goal for the top 25 list is to stop vulnerabilities at the source by educating programmers on how to eliminate all-too-common mistakes before software
is even shipped.
The Beginning of the End: Defining Project Closure
When undertaking a software development project, an effectively designed closure plan serves as an outline of required tasks that must be carried out appropriately in order to result in successful project delivery. Adequate preparation is one significant element to ensuring a smooth transition to implementation. The closure plan must be considered at the outset of the project, as the client outlines its specific software requirements. With a detailed description of the desired end result communicated and understood, you can establish the expected capabilities and deliverables of the software. But as you enter the final stages of the project project, what can you do to ensure that the program is completely suitable and fully primed for implementation? This article explains how to establish a clear finish line for your project.
Separating Backup and Archiving: Securing Your Digital Information
Due to shrinking backup windows, the implementation of digital archiving programs, and the recognition that all data needs to be Ďdiscoverableí at any time, IT departments now need to reevaluate existing data protection and archiving processes, specifically separating them to meet these new information management challenges while mitigating the risk of data loss and application downtime. Backup solutions alone donít prevent regulatory trouble. While backup and digital archiving solutions are both part of electronic storage, they address different needs. Yet, a smooth "hand-off" between backup and archive data helps organizations to keep the total cost of ownership down while meeting business requirements. This article addresses the need for enterprises to implement both solutions as part of their compliant records and data protection programs.
Which Life Cycle Is Best for Your Project?
Which life cycle will work best for your project? This is an important strategic question because making the wrong choice could lead to disastrous results of catastrophic proportions: delayed deliveries, unhappy clients, project overruns, and canceled projects. During the 80s and early 90s, the waterfall method was the de facto standard in project delivery. With the rapid pace in software development and popular use of the Internet, many companies started shifting to more flexible life cycles such as the iterative, incremental, spiral, and agile. These new life cycle methods provide more flexibility and support fast-paced development, giving companies the edge in delivering the first in the industry. To date, there are dozens of life cycle methods available to choose from, each having its own advantages and disadvantages. This article discusses some of the more popular life cycles.
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Happy Birthday, UPC: Thirty-Fifth Anniversary of the Bar Code
Studies of Airport and Financial District WiFi Risks Reveal Continuing Pattern of Poor Wireless Security Practices
Symantec 2009 Worldwide Green IT Report
McAfee Report Identifies the Most Dangerous--and Safest--Web Searches
Cyber Secure Institute Issues Analysis of Virginia Health Database Hack and UC-Berkeley Hack; Demonstrate Inherent Risks in e-Health That Must Be Addressed
Hacker Halted USA 2009
September 20 to 24, 2009 in Miami, Florida
Mastering Computer Forensics
July 22 to 23, 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia
Macht Vantage brings to you Mastering Computer Forensics where you will gain hands-on practical knowledge and learn in-depth on identifying, collecting, preserving and analyzing data using latest methodologies that preserves integrity of the evidence collected so it can be used effectively in a legal case. Book before 31 May 2009 to enjoy early bird discount, saving up to US$500! Contact: Esther at Tel +65 6305 1385; Fax +65 6336 1716; email email@example.com.
The SharePoint Technology Conference
June 22 to 24 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
The SharePoint Technology Conference is the world's premier event for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server technology and services. The format includes full and half-day workshops and more than 60 breakout classes with content geared to IT professionals, business managers and developers. IT Today readers can receive a $100 discount off the Full Event Passport or gain free admission to the exhibits (first time registrants only - cannot be combined with other offers) by inserting the code MEDIA100 when prompted on the eRegistration page linked from www.sptechcon.com.