Stories by Todd Datz

Interview: Risk: A financial view

Security executives must factor risk into everything they do. Should the fence be 8 feet high or 10? Did we do an extensive enough background check on the new engineer? How many people have access to the CEO's travel itinerary? Should we upgrade our intrusion detection software?
Unfortunately, just like when your child asks you how big the universe is, questions like these rarely have easy, concrete answers ("Really big, son"). Security is a field that's rife with uncertainty. And though security execs work hard to quantify their contributions to the business, the practice of applying metrics to security is relatively immature. CSOs don't have reams of data to help them make decisions or justify investments; in fact, even if they do, there may not be agreement on how those metrics are defined.

Written by Todd Datz14 Nov. 04 22:00

No small change

FRAMINGHAM (02/18/2004) - Kolette Fly, who helped develop Pfizer Inc.'s electronic data capture system, knows firsthand that asking people to change the way they work can be as traumatic for some as asking them to bungee-jump off a bridge. An epidemiologist at Pfizer who heads clinical trials for the treatment of metabolic diseases, Fly remembers the first time she sat down with the nurse coordinator of a university hospital that Pfizer wanted to recruit for a new study. As soon as the coordinator saw the computer being pulled out of the box, she held up her hand and announced that computers were the "foot soldiers of the devil."

Written by Todd Datz18 Feb. 04 19:56

Busting crime by decoding phone bills

Gabby criminals beware: There's a new technology out there to help the good guys catch you.
PatternTracer TCA, telephone call analysis software from Springfield, Va.-based i2 Technologies helps law enforcement agencies decipher complex relationships buried in billing records. The software identifies repetitive groups of calls to help establish patterns linking, for example, Butch the jewel thief, Lefty the safe-cracker and Wanda the getaway driver.

Written by Todd Datz03 Oct. 02 22:00

It's a buyer's market

This much is true: US companies have slammed the brakes on IT spending in the past year and a half -- a fallout from the recession, 9/11 and a stock market suffering from an onslaught of questionable accounting methods, outright fraud and jittery investors.
The technology engorgement that commenced in the late 1990s has so satiated companies that requests by CIOs for even a few crumbs -- a new Java programmer, a desktop upgrade -- now get as much scrutiny as a request to fly first-class to the Cleveland office. "I don't think there will ever be a return to what happened -- the perfect storm of Y2K, ERP and the Internet," says Paul Hoogenboom, vice president of operations and CIO at Medina, Ohio-based RPM, the maker of Rust-Oleum and other specialty coatings.

Written by Todd Datz02 Oct. 02 22:00

CIO-100: Strategic alignment

Today's IT executive is now tasked with having to make all these disparate systems work together because competitive pressures and the e-business environment demand it. And custom hardwiring one app to another -- with all the time, money and lack of flexibility that approach entails -- is not going to get you there.
That's why you need a holistic integration strategy, a big-picture view that doesn't focus on the trees, meandering from project to project, but gives you the 40,000-foot view from the skies. Piloting that strategy are the business drivers in your company --things such as speed, getting closer to your customers and collaborating with partners. Because an integration strategy that doesn't march in lockstep to your business strategy is a bit like imbibing too much at your high school reunion --it's going to come back to haunt you.

Written by Todd Datz02 Oct. 02 22:00