A study released by Stanford University professor Jonathan Koomey pegs growth in energy use among U.S. datacentres at 36 percent from 2005 to 2010 - which is slower than some had predicted but nonetheless significant.
Stories by Megan Santosus
With summer coming, it is natural for IT shops to be concerned about keeping their datacentres cool. But with limited budgets, keeping the datacentre operating efficiently without blowing the utility bill out of the water can be a challenge.
It turns out there are some simple tools and best practices that IT departments can employ to keep datacentre temperatures -- and budgets -- under control.
The New York Times ran an April 13 story noting that, for three years, an anti-Semitic website called JewWatch.com was the first search result listed when anyone typed the word jew into leading Web search engine Google.
I'd be the first to tell you that maternity leave-even a generous one spanning a few months-is no day at the beach.
FRAMINGHAM (10/02/2003) - If you want to be a better leader of your IT staff, then it's best not to rely on that staple of leadership books, the profiles of military leaders such as Attila the Hun, George Patton or Colin Powell. IT employees don't respond well to a leadership style based on power and control. That's because IT work--programming, systems analysis, troubleshooting and the like--is centered on individual problem-solving that can't be directed from above.
While knowledge management (KM) programs may seemingly sprout up out of cracks in the sidewalk, they are in fact tender plants that require cultivation, care and feeding. Siemens AG, the huge German conglomerate with 426,000 employees in 190 countries, knows this and nurtures its KM with hands-on management and constant tweaking.
Guenther Klementz, Siemens' Chief Knowledge Officer, says that KM first got started on a grass-roots level at the company in 1997 when a group of employees banded together to share their experiences. "KM here is really a bottom-up approach," Klementz says. When employees from the human resources and IT departments realized they were both separately dabbling in KM and both facing the same challenges, they went to management to ask for support for a corporatewide KM initiative. Even with disparate offices around the world and a wide variety of business units in industries such as health and transportation, Siemens represents a fertile landscape for knowledge sharing. Besides, the corporation has such an intense focus on innovation (from 1980 to 2001, the percentage of sales from products five years old or younger climbed from 48 percent to 75 percent) that a coordinated KM program makes terrific sense. A top manager at Siemens helped the KM proponents prepare a paper that eventually led to the creation of a small corporate team to coordinate KM initiatives around the company.
In the war against baldness, weapons run the gamut--from spray paint and toupees to transplants and hormone-based drugs. Now the follically challenged can add laser technology to their arsenal.
For the PC industry, the introduction of ever-speedier computer chips used to translate into increased sales as consumers eagerly upgraded their desktops to get the latest, fastest technology. According to a recent survey, however, the correlation between computer speeds and consumer buying has vanished.
Despite the barrage of bank ads touting online bill paying and the ease of using debit cards, writing checks the old-fashioned way is still a popular method of parting with one's money. In the United States alone, about 50 billion paper cheques are processed each year at a cost of US$1 to $5 per check, according to the Federal Reserve Bank. Amar Gupta, for one, hopes to wring some of those processing costs out of the system.
As codirector of the Productivity from Information Technology initiative at MIT's Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Mass., Gupta has been researching ways to streamline the cheque payment process using IT. A few years ago, he and his team of researchers devised a technology to accurately scan and read handwritten characters. The WinBank Optical Character Recognition System relies on character recognition algorithms and neural networks to read handwritten numerals on checks.
For Gordon Larson, telling stories is all in a day's work at his job as chief knowledge officer at CNA Financial Corp., and that's just fine with executives at the Chicago-based insurance giant.
Larson owes his job to a shift in corporate direction. Three years ago, under the direction of a new chairman, CNA set off on a new mission. The ultimate goal, says Karen Foley, CNA's executive vice president of corporate development, was "to get out of the distribution business and become a great underwriting company." And in order to do that, the company had to become more informed about the industries and customers it served.