Stories by Michael Crawford

Crystal clear

Today's business is awash with raw, unstructured data. Every day a tidal wave that could have been turned into actionable and profitable information crashes onto the business' shoreline - email servers - and goes to waste.
Unstructured data - typically anything that is not information relating to a specific business transaction - is often treated as the lowest level of data, unappreciated as the business enabler it really is.

Written by Michael Crawford05 May 08 22:00

The money trees

A big bang green project is hard to sell unless there are cost benefits.
But from little things, big things grow. So small incremental gains are a good way to start people thinking. Green computing had to happen. But how a chief information officer makes a business case for green IT, or how they pitch the importance of green computing to the business, is another matter.

Written by Michael Crawford02 May 08 22:00

Tweaking: An accepted practice

Chief information officers regularly tweak off-the-shelf business intelligence software or develop their own tools in-house in a bid to work around some of the limitations of commercially available technology.
They also agree that adopting further business intelligence capabilities is a priority in 2008 and note that the practice of modifying systems is unlikely to fade away.

Written by Michael Crawford26 March 08 23:00

Can CIOs survive?

Nicholas Carr, writer of the controversial Does IT Matter? in 2004, is back with claims that utility computing will kill the IT department. Michael Crawford talks to Carr and hears from CIOs who are not ready to turn up their toes just yet.
When Harvard Business Review writer Nicholas Carr penned a critique of information technology in 2004 titled "Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage", he was met with a level of criticism that recalled the response to Salman Rushdie's publication of The Satanic Verses.

Written by Michael Crawford10 March 08 22:00

SAAS appeal, with a catch

Small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) information technology managers are torn between the perceived cost benefits of an on-demand application business model and the potential lack of data security in such offerings.

Written by Michael Crawford24 Feb. 08 22:00

Malware makers stay ahead of the game

A 10-month study on distribution methods for malicious software has found miscreant authors have changed their tactics to guarantee more widespread infection.
In a report entitled All Your iFrames Report To Us, Google engineers said malicious code was now designed to target vulnerabilities in specific web browsers, with infected sites automatically downloading necessary code to the computer in a tactic called "drive-by downloads". Google said it found more than three million unique internet addresses contained on nearly 200,000 websites that were specifically designed to automatically infect computers with worms, viruses and other malicious code.

Written by Michael Crawford20 Feb. 08 22:00

SAP ANZ back in the hunt for a chief executive

SAP Australia is looking for its second country head in as many years after Australia and New Zealand managing director and joint chief executive Alan Hyde unexpectedly left the company.
The $US59 billion ($67 billion) German software giant said yesterday that Mr Hyde would take a few months off after five years with SAP to pursue an "alternative course in his career". It described the parting as mutually amicable.

Written by Michael Crawford21 Jan. 08 22:00

Microsoft helps users to blot their IDs

It turns out that Rorschach-style ink blots, the well-known images used in psychological testing, may provide an aide to enhance computer security.
Technology giant Microsoft has launched a new tool using the ink blots to create personalised passwords for any website supporting the Open ID identity authentication platform.

Written by Michael Crawford07 Jan. 08 22:00

Innovation central

Richard Constantine's journey to Innovative CIO of the Year began nearly six years ago, when Swinburne University of Technology kicked off a standardisation drive. The intervening years have been busy, and they haven't been spent in introspection, for Constantine believes in getting things done.
As CIO of Swinburne University in Melbourne, he innovates through practice and design. He is disparaging of those who implement impractical technology practices or applications to give the veneer of innovation - but is an executive who has taken an innovative approach to leading an entire organisation, or in his case, university, through a rigorous standardisation program.

Written by Michael Crawford12 Dec. 07 22:00

Untangling the infrastructure blues

Upgrading core information technology systems is the bane of many a chief information officer's existence. It is a necessary and, for the majority, completely inescapable headache that is an integral part of a CIO's strategic focus.
But while many organisations have to live with embedded systems and outdated software, an upgrade is a chance for a CIO to learn from past mistakes and put in place a new system that is at least a little better or more stable than the last one.

Written by Michael Crawford25 Oct. 07 21:00

Image spam now in the billions

Global spam has increased nearly 100 percent year on year according to current statistics from the IronPort Threat Operation Centre - a key driver of which is the proliferation of image-based spam.

Written by Michael Crawford17 Nov. 06 12:02

E-commerce different in 2006: Gartner

Micro-commerce is the next phase of online business models and IT systems will need capabilities to handle smaller, high-volume sales of consumer items.

Written by Michael Crawford03 Nov. 05 08:48

Carriers count the cost of fighting terrorism

Internet service providers (ISPs) in Australia have rejected calls for government-funded support to compensate carriers who collect and store data used to help law enforcement track terrorism and serious crime.

Written by Michael Crawford07 Oct. 05 11:48

Chaos to rule Internet in 2010

Chaos will rule the Internet in 2010 as spam, viruses and fraudulent e-mails continue to cause havoc, according to Professor Trevor Barr, user environments program manager at Swinburne University of Technology.

Written by Michael Crawford02 Sept. 05 08:10

NZ healthcare unit pushes for e-records

IBA Health has announced a $NZ2.25 million three-year support, services and licence contract to integrate a secure online portal for patient and clinical information for New Zealand's second largest health provider, the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

Written by Michael Crawford21 June 05 09:25