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Stories by Michael Crawford

Should I stay or should I go?

Another invite to a vendor-sponsored conferences lands in your inbox. It could be a golden opportunity to catch up with your peers and school up on future product releases.
The problem is that the gloss of travel has long since worn off and, even worse, you spend so much time being “educated” that it leaves little time for work. How do you approach this problem with management?

Written by Michael Crawford07 March 09 22:00

Half empty, half full

The arrival of a new year is often a good time for fresh thinking and new strategies but it might not be the case this time around.
With a global credit crisis still shaking business confidence to its foundations, widespread and ongoing consolidation in the vendor community and the prospect of shrinking IT budgets for the year ahead, many chief information officers could be forgiven for lying down in a darkened room and hoping it all goes away.

Written by Michael Crawford14 Feb. 09 22:00

Fight or flight?

THE SCENARIO
A management restructure in your organisation includes the appointment

Written by Michael Crawford06 Dec. 08 22:00

The talent to deliver

The skills crisis is hitting home, and you are looking at creative
ways of shoring up your IT team. How do you attract the staff you

Written by Michael Crawford09 Nov. 08 22:00

The fix-it executive

One year? A decade? How long have you been in your current role? The
answer could be more important than you think when you next decide to

Written by Michael Crawford05 Nov. 08 22:00

Offshore attraction

As the cardboard moving boxes pile higher throughout his home in Sydney's leafy northern suburbs, former Bank of Queensland chief information officer Iain Blacklaw is unexpectedly relaxed amid the chaos and hubbub that precedes a move overseas.
In fact, Blacklaw looks a little too casual, pottering around the house in comfy slippers, expertly dodging those boxes. Perhaps all the years managing huge, full-scale outsourcing deals have taught him not to sweat the little things.

Written by Michael Crawford02 Sept. 08 22:00

Beware swindlers using Olympic bait

Computer security firms have warned businesses and consumers to be wary of Olympic email and internet scams over the next three weeks as the world's attention turns to the 2008 Beijing Games.
Hundreds of would-be Games attendees were caught by a sophisticated online Olympics ticketing scam and anti-virus software makers Symantec and McAfee cautioned that many more schemes were afoot.

Written by Michael Crawford04 Aug. 08 22:00

Data breach debacle

It's the worst-case scenario for your business - an unencrypted laptop has been lost, and details on the thousands of customers it contains have leaked online. How do you tackle this situation? Do you go ahead and alert the affected customers knowing that it will open a big can of worms? What do you do?
Paul Colley

Written by Michael Crawford04 Aug. 08 22:00

Cracking the code

For many chief information officers, defining exactly which IT systems should be included in a complete security audit is as simple as working out the length of a piece of string. And for the chief executive, the most serious part of a security assessment is the problem of scope.
Should they charge the CIO with auditing systems against absolutely any potential vulnerability or compliance standard to find any holes, or should they take a more realistic approach? The best way, CIOs and security experts say, is to audit systems to find your actual appetite for risk and eat accordingly.

Written by Michael Crawford04 Aug. 08 22:00

Utility links open up new security threat

Utilities have been warned they should minimise the use of information technologies that could open up critical infrastructure to new threats by connecting previously isolated and secure energy networks to the internet.
Internet telephony and wireless broadband links used to connect remote sites for monitoring are just some of the increasingly popular web-based services that could potentially make utilities more vulnerable to attack.

Written by Michael Crawford29 July 08 22:00

Computer crime gets seriously organised

Your computer is worth money, and not just at the pawnbroker's.
Organised crime is now as interested in the profits it can make filching online banking log-ins from your PC as it is in running drugs. And for computer coders developing the technology is easier and far less risky than life as a drug mule.

Written by Michael Crawford15 July 08 22:00

When IT gets personal

THE SCENARIO
Your organisation is awash with consumer devices paid for out of executive hip pockets. Nearly everyone has jumped on the smartphone bandwagon, inundating the IT department with requests to link to corporate email accounts. How do you handle this? Do you say "no" and risk being looked on as an enemy of change or reluctantly agree to connect all and sundry to make the IT department the best friend of consumer devices? Business case or not, would you oblige?

Written by Michael Crawford02 July 08 22:00

Replace yourself

For many great characters in fiction, the unheralded assistant was often the key figure behind the scenes keeping their heroism on the right track. The Lone Ranger had Tonto, Sherlock Holmes had Dr Watson and Batman had Robin. Increasingly, chief information officers are likewise recognising the benefits of having a well-established second in command.
Far from being a corporate "mini-me", there are benefits both for having and being a deputy CIO. While there is plenty of industry conjecture about an IT skills shortage of programmers and graduates, also quietly festering is the issue of a lack of a strong second tier of senior executives ready to take over the CIO reins.

Written by Michael Crawford04 June 08 22:00

Plan your moves

The Scenario
You are running a tight ship in your IT department, with a well mapped out information technology strategy and a clear vision of where you want to go. A number of the business' high achievers, however, insist on doing things their own way, installing unauthorised applications and operating environments that are different to those of their colleagues, claiming that they know the best way to enable their work. How would you react?

Written by Michael Crawford29 May 08 22:00

Faith deposited in carbon bank push

Businesses under pressure to reduce their impact on the environment have been advised to establish carbon banks that can channel cash collected from customers into greenhouse abatement programs such as computer system reforms.
Jetstar was already harnessing such an initiative, the airline's chief information officer, Stephen Tame, said. About 16 per cent of its passengers were now participating in its carbon offset scheme.

Written by Michael Crawford12 May 08 22:00