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HP and SAP a train wreck?

4 | EMC’s database appliance 8 | VMware virtual data


centers 11 | Tracking social network sentiment 12 | Three approaches to IT staffing 34

THE BUSINESS VALUE OF TECHNOLOGY OCT. 18, 2010


A SPECIAL ALLDIGITAL, GREEN ISSUE

Jonathan Feldman
charts the how
and why p.14

[PLUS]
How HTML 5 Changes Web Apps p.28
Table Of Contents p.2
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CONTENTS THE BUSINESS VALUE OF TECHNOLOGY Oct. 18, 2010 Issue 1,283

This all-digital issue of InformationWeek is part of our 10-year strategy to reduce the publication’s carbon footprint

14 COVER STORY
The New Project
3 Research And Connect
Reports, events, video,
and more
Management
Make sure your
4 Global CIO
HP’s hiring of Léo Apotheker
approach to project doesn’t make much sense
management fits your
company’s culture 6 CIO Profiles
The feds should make tech
infrastructure a priority,
says First Horizon’s CIO

28 The Web Is The OS


Browser-based apps rival
8 QuickTakes 12 Social Network Monitoring desktop performance
EMC’s Database Appliance
It goes up against Oracle,
Brands look for ways to make
social networks work better
34 Practical Analysis
When it comes to staffing, IT
Teradata, and Netezza for customer service
has three options
10 Windows Phone 7 36 Editorial Contacts
Microsoft’s OS has some
38 Business Contacts
good integration, but lacks a
few key features

11 VMware’s Cloud Ambitions


New release centers on
“virtual data centers”
10
2 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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global CIO B O B E VA N S

HP And SAP: Perfect Match Or Train Wreck?


You folks are among the most intelligent audiences in the
world, so help me out with this one, because I can’t quite see
the logic:
1. Hewlett-Packard could have hired just about any CEO in the
world, but it chose Léo Apotheker, an executive who had, at
Unless HP intends best, mixed results in his one brief stint as CEO of SAP.
2. HP realizes that its two main competitors—IBM and Ora-
to become a software
cle—have extensive strengths in enterprise software, and that
powerhouse, its it needs to close the yawning gaps between it and those bet-
hiring of ex-SAP ter-balanced competitors.
CEO Léo Apotheker 3. The only possible explanation for HP’s decision to hire
Apotheker is that it wants to leverage his extensive knowl-
makes zero sense edge of the enterprise software market, particularly enterprise
applications.
4. Apotheker’s arrival at HP has ripped open the almost-
healed wounds in the company’s long relationship with Oracle.
5. In that context, HP must view SAP—with its vast and
highly regarded fleet of enterprise software products, its
107,000 global customers, and its market momentum—as a
godsend.
6. SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott said Apotheker’s arrival at HP
will let the two companies extend and deepen their relationship.
7. Did the HP board really bring on Apotheker just to expand
HP’s relationship with SAP? Shoot, HP could have hired Barney
Fife as CEO and still achieved that no-brainer outcome.
8. Or do HP’s board and Apotheker think SAP will just sit by
as HP begins muscling its way into SAP’s primary markets
through acquisitions?

4 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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BAL C
LO I

O
G
9. Is it possible that HP’s board doesn’t realize that SAP is a
profoundly different company from the one it was eight
months ago, when it fired Apotheker? And that SAP’s new devel-
opment methods, product strategies, value propositions, and cus-
tomer-centric outlooks are all in large part repudiations of Apotheker
and his legacy?
10. Or is it simply that HP wants to acquire SAP? With SAP’s current
market cap of about $61 billion and a premium of another $20 billion,
HP could conceivably afford such a purchase. But consider a few points:
>> If that’s HP’s play, why bring in as CEO a guy with a track record of
failure?
>> SAP is growing again and has fresh momentum. Is this really the
time to cash in?
>> That deal would immediately transform Oracle from longtime
partner into relentless competitor.
>> It would at least complicate some of the areas of longtime part-
nership between SAP and IBM by virtue of HP’s widespread head-to-
head competition with IBM.
>> It would totally undercut SAP’s anti-Oracle positioning, whereby
SAP reassures customers that it won’t ever pursue the lock-in approach
that SAP says is behind all of Oracle’s moves.
>> And it would put Apotheker in charge of a sprawling global colos-
sus when his history as a CEO shows no reason whatsoever to believe
he’s up to the challenge.
I just don’t get it. I keep thinking of the chicken and the pig who open
a diner but, not long into the partnership, the rapidly shrinking pig re-
alizes that the benefits and costs aren’t equitably distributed.
That’s a tale that both HP and SAP should be thinking about IN THIS ISSUE
very carefully. Because there’s much more going on here than
meets the eye. EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8
Project Management p. 14
Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek’s Global CIO unit. For The Web Is The OS p. 28
more Global CIO perspectives, check out informationweek.com/blog/globalcio, Three Ways To Staff p. 34
or write to Bob at bevans@techweb.com. Table Of Contents p. 2

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 5

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CIOprofiles
Career Track
How long at the financial services
company: Two years

Career accomplishment I’m most


proud of: Leading a small group of peo-
ple to start a new software product, a
loan origination system called Loan-
Xchange, and seeing the product and
people grow into a successful software
company. It was ultimately acquired by
Alltel Information Services.

BRUCE LIVESAY Most important career influencer:


Executive VP and CIO, First
Horizon National My father taught me two important les-
sons: Work hard and enjoy what you do,
Colleges/degrees: Tennessee
Technological University, BS in math,
and make a positive contribution for
minor in computer science people in whatever you do.
Leisure activities: Spending time
with my family, playing guitar, and
On The Job
reading IT budget: $77 million
Tech vendor I respect most:
Hewlett-Packard founder David
Size of IT team: 350 employees
Packard
Top initiatives:
Best book read recently: The Big
Short, by Michael Lewis
>> Core systems transformation: Re-
placements, upgrades, and renewals of
If I weren’t a CIO, I’d be ... running
nearly every core application system,
a personal business
branch delivery system, and channel
direct system at First Horizon.

Ranked No. 20 in the 2010 >> IT infrastructure renewal: In anticipa-


tion of the new application systems, the

6 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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Read other CIO Profiles at


informationweek.com/topexecs

IT infrastructure at First Horizon is being totally refreshed with new,


state-of-the-art equipment.

>> Data center insourcing: Positioning the data center for growth by
consolidating from multiple vendor hosting sites to two internally
managed centers.

How I measure IT effectiveness: I use a monthly scorecard contain-


ing quantitative and qualitative metrics for three items: IT operational
service delivery quality, business value delivery (via project execution
and resource management), and IT risk management.

Vision
Advice for future CIOs: Stay close to business leaders and their priori-
ties to bring value to the company beyond quality IT operations. To do
that, understand how to apply technology to help grow core product
lines, and remember that the customer is the boss and strategies must
result in winning customers.

The federal government’s top technology priority should be ...


to improve the technology infrastructure within the U.S. to keep pace
with innovation around the globe. We’re currently lagging other coun-
tries in broadband coverage and adoption.

Kids and technology careers: My kids are still a little young—Lauren


is 13 and Matt is 10—for a chosen career direction. I
haven’t really steered them one way or the other yet, but IN THIS ISSUE
I definitely wouldn’t discourage them from a technology
career. There’s so much potential within IT. Whether it’s EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8
the convergence of social networking and mobile Project Management p. 14
devices or the use of technology in microbiology, there The Web Is The OS p. 28
will be a lot of exciting career options that blend exciting Three Ways To Staff p. 34
new technology innovations with future trends. Table Of Contents p. 2

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 7

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[QUICKTAKES]
A STORAGE ADVANTAGE?

EMC Joins Database Appliance Fray


Just 75 days after acquiring Greenplum, EMC announced an appli-
ance based on Greenplum’s massively parallel processing database. The
product is touted as offering lower prices and faster data loading than
competing appliances, as well as unique backup and recovery options.
The EMC Greenplum Data Computing Appliance combines the Green-
plum 4.0 database, Dell servers, Brocade switches, and EMC’s direct-
attached disk storage. Half-rack and full-rack versions of the appliance
will be assembled, preinstalled with software, and shipped from EMC’s
factories in the United States and Cork, Ireland.
Prices start at $1 million for a half-rack appliance with 18 TB of user-
available storage. By applying compression, EMC says, customers can
actually store up to 72 TB, which brings the price to just under $14,000
per terabyte. In comparison, competitor Netezza last year said that its
product cost less than $20,000 per terabyte. IBM is in the process of ac-
quiring Netezza.
This isn’t the first time that Greenplum’s database has been offered as
part of a data warehousing appliance. It was previously packaged with
Sun Microsystems’ server and storage technologies, but Oracle’s acqui-
sition of Sun earlier this year put the kibosh on that partnership. Oracle
competes with Greenplum, and now EMC, with its Exadata appliances.

Built-In Integration
EMC’s new appliance excels at data loading, which it does at a rate of
10 TB per hour. That’s twice as fast as Oracle Exadata systems and five
times faster than Teradata and Netezza offerings, according to EMC. For
most purposes, other vendors’ load speeds are fast enough, though
some network monitoring and logging use cases demand the highest
load speeds possible, according to analyst Curt Monash.
The appliance offers two EMC-contributed storage options, the likes of
which rivals don’t match. The first is integration with EMC DataDomain,

8 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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BIG DATA
APPLIANCE
>> EMC Greenplum
a secondary storage and backup and re- Appliance bundles
database, computing,
covery appliance that can deduplicate
storage, networking
data, back up at designated times, pro-
>> Stores up to 72 TB
vide point-in-time copies, and reduce re-
of compressed data
covery times. The second feature is built-
>> Loads data at 10 TB
in integration with EMC RecoveryPoint,
per hour
which gives users of that software the op-
>> Starts at $1 million, or
tion of replicating appliance data onto
$13,900 per terabyte
EMC or third-party SANs for disaster re-
covery purposes.
The EMC Greenplum Data Computing Appliance is the first offering
from EMC’s recently formed Data Computing Products Division. EMC
will continue to offer the Greenplum database separately, with certified
configurations on Dell and Hewlett-Packard hardware.
In a recent report on EMC, Wells Fargo senior analyst Jason Maynard
looked beyond simple appliances to the promise of optimized systems
that incorporate more software. “As software and hardware technolo-
gies are increasingly delivered as integrated appliance-like solutions,
many of the software-centric firms have an advantage given their intel-
lectual property is much more difficult to replace than the commodi-
tizing compute functions,” Maynard wrote.
Oracle already has appliances in the transactional
arena, and IBM, HP, SAP, and Microsoft have signaled their IN THIS ISSUE
interest in offering broader optimized systems in the
near term. (For more on that trend, see “Global CIO: Larry HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
Ellison And IBM Lead Surge In Optimized Systems.”) First Horizon’s CIO p. 6
EMC said it might look beyond the data warehousing Project Management p. 14
market, but for now it’s concentrating on analytic data Three Ways To Staff p. 34
warehousing, as are Teradata, SAP-Sybase, SAS Institute, Table Of Contents p. 2
Vertica, and others. —Doug Henschen (dhenschen@techweb.com)

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 9

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[QUICKTAKES]

WINDOWS PHONE 7

Integrated With Microsoft Apps,


But Still A Work In Progress
Microsoft’s promising Windows Phone 7 operating system will at last go
on sale next month for businesses, but the initial release of the software
will lack a few key features in its initial release. To boot, two major carriers—
Sprint and Verizon—won’t offer phones based on the OS until next year.
Most notably, Windows Phone 7, which is built for a touch-screen inter-
face, lacks a copy-and-paste function to let people carry text across doc-
uments and applications. That could be a significant shortcoming in the
eyes of power users, given that Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android offer
copy-and-paste. Microsoft promises a software update early next year
to add that functionality.
Microsoft’s biggest challenge will be to energize the development
community to build on Windows Phone 7, to get suffi-
cient third-party applications to compete with the iPhone
and Android platforms.
Working in its favor, the OS appears to be tightly inte-
grated with Microsoft’s enterprise software, a likely draw
for businesses.
The OS uses so-called Hubs for organization, with cate-
gories such as People, Office, Pictures, and Music & Video. On
each Hub screen are associated applications, settings, and
other related content. The Office Hub, for example, provides
access to mobile versions of Microsoft Office, SharePoint,
OneNote, and Outlook.
Windows Phone 7 devices are due to hit stores next month.
AT&T will offer models from HTC, Samsung, and LG, while T-Mobile
will stock units from HTC and Dell. Dell’s presence is a bit of a sur-
prise, since Dell is new to the mobile phone market, but its Venue
Pro phone stands out for having both a touch screen and slide-
[
Dell’s in the phone game out keyboard. —Paul McDougall (pmcdougall@techweb.com) and Eric Zeman

10 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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VIRTUAL DATA CENTERS

VMware’s Expanding Cloud Ambitions


VMware keeps expanding its claim to be the manager of the private
cloud—which could include just about any part of the data center that’s
been virtualized, if it can be run as a self-contained unit.
Its latest release of virtualization management software focuses on
what VMware calls “virtual data centers.” Those are groupings of virtu-
alized servers and the associated network bandwidth and storage. For
example, one group might be oriented toward supporting Web servers,
another Microsoft Exchange, another Oracle databases. Managing
those resources will take some particular data center capabilities that
VMware is working to beef up in its software.
One such capability is letting employees self-provision virtual servers.
The latest release of VMware’s vCloud management software adds work-
flows and approvals through Request Manager that automatically give
approvals, check for licenses, and check the employee’s access privileges.
Another feature checks storage resources, previously a blind spot of
VMware’s management console. Its CapacityIQ tool can now look at the
disk space available, develop a trend line on how fast it’s being used up,
and suggest ways to optimize the storage.
VMware thinks companies will use these tools to bill business units for
the IT services they use—much more than they do today. The idea is
that if IT organizations can group the types of virtual machines and the
resources they access, they can more easily tailor portions of the data
center to a business unit’s performance and cost needs.
VMware is also working with IT services company CSC IN THIS ISSUE
to integrate two VMware tools: its application-building
platform, vFabric, and its application-monitoring tool, Hy- HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
peric. The goal is to make it easier to build virtualized First Horizon’s CIO p. 6
apps and see how well they’re working. Project Management p. 14
Not everybody may be ready for the virtual data center, Three Ways To Staff p. 34
but VMware keeps filling holes in its product line as if Table Of Contents p. 2
one day they will be. —Charles Babcock (cbabcock@techweb.com)

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 11

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[QUICKTAKES]

TEXT ANALYSIS

Social Networks Meet Customer Service


For better or worse, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks have
become legitimate channels for customer feedback and support. That
has forced businesses to look for ways to incorporate social network
comments about their brands, products, and service experiences into
the existing customer service workflows.
Text-analysis technology, particularly sentiment analysis, monitors
tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, and other forms of social network feed-
back. It lets marketers and brand managers quickly detect broad trends
and respond to specific comments and complaints.
To date, most sentiment-analysis tools are standalone apps, but the
trend is toward integrating them with enterprise applications and work-
flows. Attensity, for example, has its new Respond for Social Media ap-
plication. Attensity already had a powerful app called Respond that an-
alyzes incoming e-mail, faxes, text messages, phone call notes and
transcripts, and transcribed mail using Attensity’s text-mining algo-
rithms. It can sort comments by topic category and routes them to ap-
propriate queues for contact center agents and specialists.
Attensity Respond for Social Media does much the same for com-
ments via Twitter, Facebook posts, LinkedIn forums, blogs, online discus-
sions, and online video metadata. The application looks like and is used
like a social media app. Using API-access or scraping routines, tweets
and other social network comments can be automatically and continu-
ally copied to the application and then viewed through a TweetDeck/
CoTweet-like interface. From there, administrators set up customer-care
queues and train the system to sort messages. They drag and drop
tweets and posts into categories such as “Wishes and Wants” for prod-
uct development or service teams, “Intent to Purchase” for the sales
team, and “Needs Help” for the support crew.
Attensity’s sorting feature spots intersections of topics, categories, key-
words, and content types. The more messages you drag and drop into
a queue, the more accurate the automatic sorting gets.

12 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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How Does Your Company Monitor


Social Networks?
Respond for Social Media can be
Search alerts (Google, Bing, etc.)
integrated with Rapleaf, a service 56%
that tracks the names people use Outside vendor
on Twitter, Facebook, and the like, 16%
and associates them with known Specialty applications (Radian6, ScoutLabs, etc.)
15%
e-mail addresses. Customer service Other
agents can then call up customers’ 4%
accounts based on their e-mail, see Don’t know
service records associated with 40%
tweets or posts, and respond to Data: InformationWeek Analytics Social Networking in the Enterprise
Survey of 237 business technology professionals, August 2010
them using a tweet, post, or e-mail.
Attensity also plans to integrate
the new app with leading CRM systems, such as Salesforce.com and SAP.
It’s not too hard to imagine other powerful capabilities. For example,
Attensity says it’s working on ways to prioritize comments based on so-
cial media influencer status. Comments from people with thousands of
followers could get immediate attention while those with few online
friends might go to the back of the queue.
Call-center software maker Verint recently added text-mining capabili-
ties from Clarabridge to its analytic app portfolio. Clarabridge mines cus-
tomer interactions across e-mail, Web chat sessions, blogs, review sites,
social media, and other text-based channels. Classification and reporting
features let employees alert managers to let them know if
customers are grumbling about their products online. IN THIS ISSUE
Text Analytics rounds out Impact 360’s app lineup. It
already includes Impact 360 Speech Analytics, for ana- HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
lyzing recorded voice calls to spot complaints, emotional First Horizon’s CIO p. 6
calls, and customer-retention issues; and Impact 360 Project Management p. 14
Data Analytics, which reports on call attributes, as well as Three Ways To Staff p. 34
call-center productivity, quality, and customer experi- Table Of Contents p. 2
ence metrics. —Doug Henschen (dhenschen@techweb.com)

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 13

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Project management is
getting more respect.
Make sure your approach
fits your company’s culture.
By Jonathan Feldman

T he practice of enterprise project


management is finally getting broad
respect, not just lip service. Seven
out of 10 companies use formal proj-
ect management methodologies, our new InformationWeek Ana-
lytics survey finds. Pay for project managers was on the rise last
year, even as pay for most IT pros was flat. Sixty-one percent of the
managers we surveyed see the Project Management Institute’s
project management professional—PMP—certification as impor-
tant to their companies.
These numbers matter, but more important is the recognition of the

14 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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[COVER STORY]

project management office’s broad role—well beyond being the keeper


of the almighty Gantt chart and a budget bludgeon. The PMO is most val-
ued, our research finds, for helping companies prioritize good projects over
bad, getting the right people on the job, airing out progress and problems,
and executing consistently using the company’s standard practices.
“Project management is finally evolving to become more focused on
being collaborative, leading and inspiring teams, and ensuring the people
angle is taken into account to ensure quicker adoption of changes,” says
Lynn Batara, director of the enterprise project and portfolio office at
Franklin Templeton Investments. However, Batara does see a need for
more emphasis on the strategic side of project management, like portfolio
management to prioritize projects, and doing a better job of aligning proj-
ects with company strategy, minimizing risk, and measuring the benefits.
Asked for the top reasons to create a PMO, 64% of survey respondents
say to prioritize projects and 55% say to standardize on an approach—by
far the most cited reasons. The next biggest PMO priority is to provide proj-
ect visibility to leadership teams (34%). Less than a fourth of respondents
see tracking project status and project costs as a top reason.
Most companies have some project management methodology in
place, and that’s part of the problem—if you’re not actively questioning
your approach, looking for weak spots, and comparing it with other op-
tions, it’ll creep along in whatever direction it’s already headed.
Whether or not you have a formally defined PMO—a single point of re-
sponsibility within the scope of business governance—you owe it to your-
self to consider how to structure or restructure PMO activities. Each com-
pany should consider a number of factors when doing this, including:
How do you track small projects? Companies tend to
have a decent handle on large, expensive projects, but IN THIS ISSUE
they fall short on the smaller ones. Yet those add up to a
significant chunk of resources and can put a big dent in HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
IT’s reputation and credibility. Complexity and cost, not EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8
risk or regulatory compliance, tend to drive whether a Windows Phone 7 p. 10
PMO is involved in a project, our survey finds. The Web Is The OS p. 28
What tools do you need for project management? Table Of Contents p. 2
Excel dominates, with 82% of companies using it to man-

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 15

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[COVER STORY ] PROJECT MANAGEMENT

age projects. But almost two-thirds use


project-specific software as well.
Do you need one PMO office for the
whole company? It might seem like the
easy answer, but 53% of companies have
multiple PMOs. Culture and organizational
structure play a big part in what’s right for
your company.
Get This And
Does your PMO set priorities or just All Our Reports
drive projects home? This is the crossover Become an InformationWeek
between portfolio management and proj- Analytics subscriber: $99 per
ect management. You need to apply good person per month, multiseat
discounts available.
project management principles to individ-
Subscribe and get our full report
ual projects whether or not you’re doing on project management at
overall portfolio management. It doesn’t informationweek.com/analytics/pmo2010
have to be the same team, but the groups This report includes 32 pages of
action-oriented analysis, plus 16
must talk early and often. charts from our survey of 684
Does your PMO process fit your indus- tech pros. What you’ll find:
try? A lot of project management best > Data on which employees get
practices were born in defense, engineer- trained in project management

ing, pharmaceuticals, and construction. > Data on which certifications are


most important to companies
Companies in other industries may need > Analysis on whether to inte-
to modify some of those mature disci- grate project management
plines to get buy-in. with financial applications

Are you communicating the project


management office’s value? Colleagues shouldn’t be left to wonder
“What’s in it for me?” when it comes to working with the
IN THIS ISSUE PMO, so keep executives in the loop with project status
dashboards and share best practices across project
HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4 teams.
EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8 Rich Carney, who implemented a PMO for a large re-
Windows Phone 7 p. 10 tailer, warns against adding too much bureaucracy. He’s
The Web Is The OS p. 28 convinced that better processes improve the bottom line,
Table Of Contents p. 2 but IT leaders must convince individuals and depart-
ments of the upside.

16 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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FORTUNE 500
COMPANIES DON’T
CHOOSE SECURITY
ON A WHIM.
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marks are the trademarks or registered trademarks of VeriSign, Inc. or its affiliates or subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries and licensed
to Symantec Corporation. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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[COVER STORY ] PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Why Implement A Project Management Office?


Prioritize projects on an organization-wide basis
64%
Standardize approach to projects
55%
Provide project visibility to the leadership team
34%
Manage project staffing
26%
Track and report on task completion
23%
Track and report on project finances
22%
Manage risk
22%
Assign and/or clarify roles and responsibilities
18%
Standardize templates and reporting
18%
Earned Value Management
3%
Track and report on customer satisfaction
2%
Data: InformationWeek Analytics Enterprise Project Management Survey of 475 business technology professionals
at companies with a PMO, June 2010

“You always start off with, ‘Here’s how I can make your life easier, here’s
how I can reduce your effort or risk,’” Carney says. Because PMO cus-
tomers aren’t forced to “buy services” from the PMO, getting participa-
tion is based on that kind of person-to-person marketing campaign.
Something to note: Most companies rate people issues well down on
the list of benefits they expect from a PMO. Of the 10 PMO benefits we
listed in our survey, managing staffing and tracking customer satisfac-
tion came in eighth and ninth. But centralized project management
can’t succeed unless project managers have good relationships with
end users and project teams have the right leaders and skills.

18 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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Ask Eric Choi, who heads e-commerce at credit report company Ex-
perian. Choi recently led a $1.2 million project to convert the company’s
more than 100 independently run, country-specific Web sites into one
global Web content platform. That effort took the cooperation of 40 of-
fices worldwide, since Experian wanted the countries to keep their
unique, local-language content but to transfer it to the centralized con-
tent management system.
The decision to centralize the Web branding and content manage-
ment was backed by the board of directors. “We had the stick behind
us, but we all know the stick goes only so far,” Choi says. Success hinged
on getting country managers to move their content and buy into a cen-
tralized process. (Read more on Experian’s project on p. 24.)

One PMO—Or Many?


Project management purists might like the neat-and-orderly nature
of a single, unified project management office, but let’s face reality: More
than half of companies have multiple offices, and there’s no reason to
think that’ll change. There’s no reason it has to. PMOs can reasonably
be run just for IT operations, by divisions, or across all capital projects.
This is all about governance—who’s paying for what, and who controls
the activities and resources at a business unit. So for those who think
setting up a PMO just for IT is useless, I say prove its worth on the IT level
and others will want to learn from you.
Carney, who set up the retailer’s PMO, started out by creating one for
the IT organization specifically to improve its processes. Another busi-
ness unit then created a PMO, but it had different objectives—it needed
to kill weak projects to free up money and staff for
stronger ones. The focus of each PMO aligned with the IN THIS ISSUE
overall needs of the retailer.
In our survey, which is skewed toward managers in IT or- HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
ganizations, most respondents (57%) say their PMOs report EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8
to the CIO, followed by the COO (16%) and CEO (11%). Windows Phone 7 p. 10
There can be value in a company-wide PMO, of course. The Web Is The OS p. 28
When Randy Mott became CIO at Hewlett-Packard in Table Of Contents p. 2
2005, he used a centralized project management office

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 19

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<< Previous

[COVER STORY ] PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Think Small
How do you manage small projects that aren’t part of formal PMI methodologies?

Other Staff chooses how to


manage these projects
4% 30%
Task management
software 14%

We manage all projects 25%


the same way
27%
Manual or
spreadsheet-based system

Data: InformationWeek Analytics Enterprise Project Management Survey of 684 business technology professionals, June 2010

and process to help transform the company’s IT operations. Every IT


project required a cost-benefit analysis from a business unit, including
a priority ranking against the unit’s other projects. That structure let
Mott change the conversation from being mostly about IT’s cost to also
being about the benefits IT delivers—what Mott calls the “revenue of
IT.” But Mott’s the first to note that such an approach will lead to show-
downs with business-unit leaders who refuse to do a cost-benefit analy-
sis. His advice: “Don’t blink.” (Oh, and make sure the CEO has your back
when you take that stand.)
As Mott’s experience suggests, such centralized project and portfolio
management requires executive time and commitment. So no matter
where your PMO sits, providing executive information, during annual
reviews as well as regular project updates, is critical. More than a third
of the business technology pros we surveyed cite executive insight into
projects as a key reason even to have a PMO.
“Project and program management is most valuable when executives
can get reporting in a manageable and understandable way,” says
Steve Haughsworth, who heads up the program office for Plastics Tech-

20 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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nology. “Without that, they become uninvolved in the project, because


they perceive no value, and the project goes sideways.” Give them in-
formation they find useful, which might mean breaking from strict proj-
ect management methodologies.

The Right Methodology For The Right Task


While 70% of our survey respondents use formal project methodolo-
gies, even advocates can get impatient with the rigidity.
Jim Beinlich, associate CIO at University of Pennsylvania Health System,
says most project management principles come from engineering and
construction, disciplines where there are a lot of known variables. Given
temperature, humidity, and a few other factors, you can predict with a
fair amount of certainty how long it’ll take concrete to dry.
“When you try to apply that to IT, you are now dealing with a very small
set of known variables, and all of a sudden the construction model
doesn’t work,” Beinlich says. Yet IT project managers are trained in the
construction model.
Beinlich’s project managers make it a priority to spend time with proj-
ect sponsors to understand what they think the outcome should be.
That focus on outcomes borrows from agile software development,
where the exact path to the end result stays flexible, and the emphasis
is on getting pieces of the project done and back to end users, then re-
acting to feedback in many iterative bursts.
Web projects, in particular, call for this kind of iterative approach, says
Experian’s Choi. It’s not like an accounting IT system, where perfection
may be needed at each step. “On the Web, if we make a mistake, we fix
it and republish it,” he says.
Because tracking progress is critical to a PMO, project IN THIS ISSUE
leaders do need to regularly answer the question “How’s
it going?” The problem is when all that effort is built HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
around a “fantasy deadline.” Much of the PMP paradigm EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8
focuses on predicting what resources will be needed Windows Phone 7 p. 10
and the possible risks, and setting a forecast—“the pre- The Web Is The OS p. 28
dictive model,” says Richard Cheung, a principal with Table Of Contents p. 2
Excella Consulting who’s certified in both PMP and the

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 21

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[COVER STORY ] PROJECT MANAGEMENT

agile-inspired scrum project approach. His experience is that projects


benefit from the “adaptive” model—quick and simple estimates, which
he says tend to be equally accurate. Plus, with less invested in project
milestones, people are more likely to rework plans as requirements
change, as new information becomes available, and new roadblocks
become apparent.

Small Projects, Big Management Problem


Small projects are the piranhas of IT. Individually, not so bad, but in
packs they will eat you alive. HP CIO Mott says most IT teams closely
manage only their top 10 or 20 projects—and probably capture only
about half the IT spending in the process.
The deployment of 25 new networked printer/scanner/copiers may
well be seen as beneath the notice of a PMO, since the risk and cost
aren’t high. But drop the ball on enough copier installations and you’re
losing real money—and credibility. If IT can't even get the printers
working, how can it reengineer my e-commerce process and Web site?

What Determines If A Project Is Managed By A Project Management Office?


Project complexity
49%
Project cost
38%
Number of business units or divisions involved
26%
Project risk
20%
Compliance factors (HIPAA, GLB, PCI, etc.)
8%
Other
6%
All projects are managed by PMO
25%
Data: InformationWeek Analytics Enterprise Project Management Survey of 475 business technology professionals
at companies with a PMO, June 2010

22 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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Nevertheless, it’s still surprising that 25% of our survey respondents


say they manage all projects the same. Are they really that disciplined—
or are they overstaffed or just fooling themselves? Our survey also finds
that 25% manage all projects from the PMO, regardless of size or scope.
Maybe it’s the same 25%.
That approach might work for you, but beware the kill-the-fly-with-
the-sledgehammer syndrome. Here are two main strategies for handling
small projects.
First, lump them together. Here, portfolio management systems prom-
ise to help us classify resources, while making portfolio management
practical on a small scale. Classify sets of activities and abstract them
into a larger project. So, for instance, don’t classify “patch the servers”
as a project, but rather track patching as part of staff time spent on
“server maintenance.”
Second, train business-unit people in enough project management
skills to drive small, localized projects. Think of it as similar to having a
few “super users” of SharePoint scattered around to help the less tech-
savvy colleagues and drive adoption.
What’s a small project? There’s no real consensus. Less than 40 hours
of work is one common breakpoint. Complexity (49%) and cost (38%)
are the two most-cited reasons in our survey for when a project gets
managed by the PMO.

The Right Tools And People


It’s not surprising that spreadsheets are the most common project
management tool, used by more than 80% of companies we surveyed.
“If you’re only managing 15 critical tasks, you can do it
easier in Excel,” says Beinlich of the University of IN THIS ISSUE
Pennsylvania Health System.
PMP heresy? Blame project management software HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
vendors for the alternative: using massively complex sys- EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8
tems. Besides using Excel, 48% of survey respondents Windows Phone 7 p. 10
use help desk, work order, or task-tracking systems, and The Web Is The OS p. 28
an equal percentage use word processing. Sixty-four Table Of Contents p. 2
percent do use commercial project management soft-

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 23

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[COVER STORY ] PROJECT MANAGEMENT

ware. Of those, 86% use Microsoft Project; just over 10% use Oracle, HP,
and CA software. Clearly, project tracking is happening in many differ-
ent systems.
When it comes to training, only 29% of our survey respondents say
their companies don’t consider certification important. The PMP cert is
twice as likely to be important to a company as any other. IT pros can’t
go wrong acquiring the PMP, but degree programs, certificates, and ven-
dor certs also carry credibility. The more important issue isn’t what spe-
cific sheepskin’s on the walls, but rather, is everybody using the same
approaches, terms, and strategy? Carney says one big problem in get-
ting his retailer PMO up and running was that not everybody followed

LEAP OF FAITH

Global Project, But No Big Plan


As I talked with Eric Choi about a project he led Experian to show up higher on Google searches.
for Experian, one of the big three companies in Rather than looking like a global online enter-
credit reports, the words “leap of faith” kept prise, it looked like dozens of smaller operations,
coming up. since each country had its own site. Each country
Mind you, that’s a lot different than a “wing and also put its own brand variations on their sites
a prayer.” Choi, the company’s e-commerce direc- and duplicated the costs of maintaining a site.
tor, thinks an agile, relationship-focused style is When Choi communicated with top executives
the least risky way to do a global Web devel- about the project status, he didn’t show a lot of
opment project. But it took faith that this ap - data on interim milestones. He showed them a
proach—with minimalist executive dashboards, simple heat map, with a black box representing
ever-shifting priorities, and iterative learn-as-you- each country that was done, a gray box for those
go development—would deliver. in progress, and a white one for those not started.
The project: Get more than 100 Web sites, run by There was no step-by-step waterfall plan, of this
40 different Experian offices worldwide, onto one country by X date and the next by Y date. Those
Interwoven content management system. The things change once teams start work and learn the
deadline: April 2010, one year from the initial real problems, Choi says.
planning. “Project plans and a waterfall approach scare
The top reason for doing the project was to get everybody, but everyone expects it,” Choi says.

24 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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the same rulebook. Understand the framework and inter- IN THIS ISSUE
nal organizational challenges and needs, and then create
HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
your own processes using the framework.
EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8
Also, be ready to pay project managers their worth. Project
Windows Phone 7 p. 10
managers this year cracked the six-figure mark—$105,000
The Web Is The OS p. 28
in median pay, including cash bonuses—for the first time
in InformationWeek’s annual U.S. Salary Survey. That’s 24% Table Of Contents p. 2
more than the typical IT staffer in our survey earns.
One last thing about people:Yes, you do need to track the time spent on
projects. “If people aren’t reporting their time, you’re just guessing,”
Beinlich says. Just as it would be unthinkable to run a project without

“One of the risks is the project plan manages you.” tries, we were learning what to do and not do,”
Experian wanted a central Web platform but still Choi says. Plus, success can help bulldoze some
wanted local managers to create the content, tak- problems that seem intractable in the early project
ing advantage of their understanding of the lan- stages. Everyone sees that heat map, and no one
guage and market. In the changeover, the local wants to be the last country still in white. It created
teams—aided by Choi’s project team—had to load some useful internal competition.
content into that central system. Choi’s team needed to built relationships in every
The project team lived with a lot of ambiguity. country—with the country managers, and also with
As the team started migrating content in Japan, the IT teams, since every one was run differently.The
for example, it became clear that country would teams had to convince country managers “we’re
be one of the more difficult ones. So the team going to take away their Web sites, only to give it
switched to focus on other countries, while keep- back to you to control. That’s a tough message,” he
ing just a small team to crack Japan’s problems. says. Each country had clear milestones, such as
Choi calls it “leading with our successes.” It let the loading the content and training people on creat-
team knock off easy countries—and color some ing new content. Choi and his team relied heavily
boxes black on that heat map the executives saw. It on face-to-face meetings—over teleconferences—
finished 25 countries in the first four months. to build those ties and work through problems.
But how did Choi know he wasn’t papering over Choi says the team made the April deadline, and
a deadline-busting problem, just to look good on a even came in $200,000 under the $1.4 million proj-
heat map? “As we iterated with the smaller coun- ect budget. —Chris Murphy (cjmurphy@techweb.com)

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 25

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[COVER STORY ] PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Highest-Paying Titles knowing specific expenditures and rev-


Total cash compensation enues, it’s crazy to try to wrap your arms
(median in thousands) around the resource management part of
$ 120 Architect
project management without timekeeping.
Everybody doesn’t need to record their time
$ 110 Systems architect
in six-minute increments, like a lawyer does,
but having a rational basis for allocating
$ 105 Project leader staff time to projects is critical. This informa-
tion is probably more readily available than
$99 Software engineer you think: Help desk systems record time
spent on operations; calendars capture
Data: InformationWeek Analytics 2010 U.S. IT Salary Survey
of 10,524 IT staff, February 2010 meetings. The point is, you have to make
some effort at tracking how time is spent.
Another piece of advice from HP’s Mott is to record what people
actually work on, and not what they’re scheduled for. Often, people get
pulled onto maintenance work and stopgaps when something breaks.
That’s precious data for determining the real cost of keeping an appli-
cation—data Mott used in deciding which systems to kill as he slashed
HP’s app portfolio.
Think long term. We spoke to plenty of people who developed rigor-
ous project management processes while a strong CIO or PMO propo-
nent was in place, only for them to run out of steam once those folks
left. Clearly, the company hadn’t bought into the approach, and such
buy-in is much more critical than individual certifications or any project
management philosophy.
So if the predominant feedback about a project management process
is that it’s way too bureaucratic, listen. And revisit. Is now
IN THIS ISSUE the time for that key showdown, or a compromise? Circle
back to long-standing processes every once in a while
HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4 and see if they still apply. Show that your PMO can give
EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8 and take, and you may get broader acceptance that lasts
Windows Phone 7 p. 10 longer than any one project leader’s tenure.
The Web Is The OS p. 28

Table Of Contents p. 2 Jonathan Feldman serves as IT director for a city in North Carolina. Write to
us at iweekletters@techweb.com.

26 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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<< Previous

[WEB APP DEVELOPMENT ]

The Web Is
The Operating System
We can now build browser-based applications that rival desktop
software in capabilities. Ready, set, innovate. By Jim Rapoza

W
e’re on the verge of another explosion in Web appli-
cation technology. The emerging HTML 5 specifica-
tion, along with several other new standards, means
companies can build even more powerful and inter-
active Web apps with nearly all the characteristics of
desktop applications—including the ability to run offline.
Many of us have been headed in this direction for a while. In our July
2010 InformationWeek Analytics Web Application Development Survey,
74% of 341 business technology pros responsible for the use or pur-
chase of Web application development platforms say they already use
the Internet to deliver core internal applications to employees, and 65%
say Web apps are core to their businesses. It’s no coincidence that we’ve
seen a boom in software-as-a-service offerings and exponential growth
of social networks in tandem with improved standards support in Web
browsers.
Things are pretty good, and they’re about to get better. HTML 5 will
let us deliver more powerful applications to browsers, not only on PCs

28 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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Next >>

How Does Your Company Use Web Applications?


Currently use Planned within 24 months Not in use/no plans

As useful tools and modules for visitors or customers


75% 20% 5%
To deliver core internal business applications for our employees
74% 20% 6%
To provide core business applications
65% 21% 14%
Data: InformationWeek Analytics Web Application Development Survey of 341 business technology professionals
involved with the use or purchase of Web application development platforms and systems, July 2010

but on many of the modern mobile platforms so beloved by end users,


including the iPhone and Android devices. And since these applications
are delivered over the Web, developers can cut out the middlemen—
controlled application stores and markets—and go directly to cus-
tomers and clients.
As standards-based technologies advance, vendor application plat-
forms are also evolving. It’s a matter of survival. Adobe (with Flash and
Air) and Microsoft (with Silverlight) are laser focused on staying at least
a step ahead of the standards-based options in features and capabilities.
Businesses need to manage this transition just right—don’t slip off
the bleeding edge, but also don’t fall too far behind in terms of your ap-
plications’ capabilities. Standing still isn’t an option. For an increasing
number of customers and business partners, if an appli-
cation doesn’t run on the Web, it might as well not exist. IN THIS ISSUE
And the design and interface expectations for these Web
HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
applications are a lot higher than they used to be.
First Horizon’s CIO p. 6
Project Management p. 14
The State (And Future State) Of Web Applications
Three Ways To Staff p. 34
Some businesses are already taking advantage of tech-
nologies such as HTML 5, Adobe Air, and Microsoft Sil- Table Of Contents p. 2
verlight. From interactive dashboards in enterprise SaaS

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 29

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<< Previous

[[WEB APP DEVELOPMENT ]

applications like Salesforce.com to innovative HTML


5 applications like Google Voice that can run on mo-
bile devices, including the iPhone, examples of cut-
ting-edge Web development are easy to find. But if
you’re not at that point, that doesn’t necessarily mean
you’re behind: In our survey, we asked respondents
how focused their businesses are on HTML 5. Only
22% say they’re very interested and following devel-
opments closely; 35% are interested, and 38% are
Get This And somewhat interested. Just 3% say they’re not at all in-
All Our Reports
terested in HTML 5. That’s a hearty endorsement
Become an InformationWeek
Analytics subscriber for $99 per
given that the standard isn’t even formalized yet, and
person per month, multiseat likely won’t be for at least a year.
discounts available, and get our Similarly, when it comes to tool usage, respondents’
full report on the Web as OS at
informationweek.com/analytics/webasos businesses are sticking to what they know, but also
This report includes 30 pages of looking ahead and hedging their bets by choosing
action-oriented analysis, packed tools that have the ability to work with the next gen-
with 17 charts.
eration of technologies. In our survey, the overwhelm-
What you’ll find: ing top choice for development environment was Mi-
> Respondent rankings and our
in-depth analysis of Web appli-
crosoft’s Visual Studio (69% adoption), followed by
cation development platforms Eclipse and standard text editors such as Notepad
> The budget reality for Web and Vi (40% each). Rounding out the top four was
apps vs. desktop development Adobe Creative Studio (33%).
> Why RIA technology shouldn’t
be lagging behind HTML 5
One respondent says his retail company still writes
all its own code, including its shopping cart, in text
editors to run on Linux Web servers. “We know pre-
cisely what happens with every single line of code, and with security
becoming an ever-greater problem, we like being completely in charge
of our code,” he says. “But the future is changing, and I have absolutely
no idea where we are going. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is running out
of time.”
Of course, if you’re a developer or you work with Web developers, you
know that in most cases the real-world development environment is
some combination of tools, perhaps Eclipse for code editing and Cre-
ative Studio for design and media work. Or maybe Visual Studio is used

30 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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Next >>

What’s Your Level Of Interest In HTML 5?


Haven’t heard of it
Not interested 2%
3%
Very interested and following closely
22%

Somewhat interested 35%

38%
Interested

Data: InformationWeek Analytics Web Application Development Survey of 341 business technology professionals
involved with the use or purchase of Web application development platforms and systems, July 2010

in conjunction with Microsoft’s Expression suite. What this tells us is that,


as is the case in many other areas of technology adoption, most busi-
nesses are taking a go-slow approach, sticking with the Web application
technologies that they know and understand while preparing for the
next generation. But we also think that businesses are prepared to move
much more quickly to the cutting edge in Web application develop-
ment than they might in other technology areas.

What To Keep In Mind IN THIS ISSUE


First, now that the browser wars are back and fiercer
than ever, fidelity to Web standards has become a very HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
big deal. From e-mail to word processing to sales First Horizon’s CIO p. 6
management to HR to business intelligence to analytics Project Management p. 14
and reporting, you name it, you can generally find a Three Ways To Staff p. 34
highly capable Web-based option. But any business that Table Of Contents p. 2
takes this full-on Web application approach must ensure

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 31

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<< Previous

[[WEB APP DEVELOPMENT ]

Standards Matter
When looking at Web application development systems, how important is standards support?

Not important
3%

Somewhat important 32%

65% Very important

Data: InformationWeek Analytics Web Application Development Survey of 341 business technology professionals
involved with the use or purchase of Web application development platforms and systems, July 2010

their applications adhere to standards. Among our survey respon-


dents, the most desired feature, by far, in a Web application develop-
ment system is that applications work on multiple browsers. For a long
time, this preference worked in the favor of vendors of rich Internet
applications. If you needed a rich, desktop-like Web application to
work across systems and browsers, your best bet was to build it in
something like Flash, which has high penetration among Web users.
But the growth of standards-based options like HTML 5 and Ajax has
made it possible to, if not write once and run everywhere, at least
come close.
Second, many tasks still either require a desktop OS or work better there.
Even most of the open Web proponents agree on this—a major feature
of HTML 5 and RIAs is the ability to run a Web application as a full desktop
app separate from the browser. Another argument against the Web as
über OS is the mobile environment. At least for now, the trend on mobile
devices is away from a browser-, and even a Web-centric, model.

32 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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Near term, all sides will co-exist. We’ll see some examples of fully Web-
based operating systems like Google’s Chrome OS, but for the most
part, businesses will rely on a mix of Web and desktop applications. In
many cases, the lines will blur, with desktop applications that often ac-
cess the Web and browser-based applications that can tie more directly
to system-based data and resources.
Finally, security is a major concern. And, as is typical with new tech-
nologies, it’s not usually the first thing people are talking about. The
reach of many of these new technologies goes well beyond that of con-
ventional Web applications—as if that amount of reach wasn’t danger-
ous enough. With older Web apps, developers and users had to be con-
cerned about where an application touched sensitive data on the Web
and if the underlying platform (browser, runtime, operating system) was
susceptible to bugs or attacks through bad code. But new technologies
like HTML 5 and the latest RIAs go beyond this. They can actually reach
right into a user’s system and store and access data. So far, most of the
players seem to be going in the right direction in terms of making sure
these technologies stay sandboxed so they can’t affect other areas, but
everyone will need to stay vigilant.
Still, there’s a lot to be excited about for the future of Web applica-
tions—whole new areas of opportunity and growth could open up. In
conjunction with the emergence of underlying technologies such as
the semantic Web, next-generation Web applications will be able to sift
through data and information as if the entire Web were a structured
database. And innovative developers will be able to create new types
of applications that combine the best features of desktop and Web.
Given the ability for many of these technologies to work
equally well on mobile devices, applications could break IN THIS ISSUE
the boundaries that have traditionally left products and
services stuck in device prisons and enable them to serve HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
clients and customers no matter where they are. Maybe First Horizon’s CIO p. 6
it won’t be a Web operating system. But it may end up Project Management p. 14
being something even better. Three Ways To Staff p. 34

Table Of Contents p. 2
Write to us at iweekletters@techweb.com.

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 33

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<< Previous

practicalAnalysis ART WITTMANN

Three Approaches To IT Staffing


This issue’s dive into project management got me thinking
about the unique needs of certain departments and how to
staff for those needs.
I’m not talking about desktop support, where it’s fairly com-
mon to allocate IT end-user support staff on a department-
Bottom line: by-department basis. I’m thinking instead about groups and
departments with needs that are significantly different from
There is no one
those of others in the organization. Some common examples
right answer, so IT are R&D and engineering teams and even specialized prod-
leaders should uct teams.
enter into some On a larger scale, companies often debate just how much of
IT to centralize when the company consists of major divisions
healthy dialogue developed through acquisitions. When economies of scale are
with business discussed as acquisition benefits, IT consolidation is often one
partners of the targets.
It’s also much easier to claim that you’ll consolidate the IT
teams than it is to do it. On large scales, and particularly when
it’s a true merger of similarly sized companies, fully combining
IT operations is a multiyear process—the sort of thing that has
consultants drooling on their pinstriped suits and paisley ties
with the wide knots.
But what about those unique needs of smaller groups, some-
times startup efforts within a company? Basically, IT has three
options:
1. Let the group do whatever it wants—run its own IT re-
sources as it sees fit, including hiring the people who support
its unique needs. This approach has the benefit of not disturb-
ing IT’s status quo, and if the mission of the group is truly cross-

34 Oct. 18, 2010 informationweek.com

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ways with the usual IT operations, it might make sense. In particular, if


the group is savvy about its needs, letting it manage its own IT staff may
cause the least friction.
2. Learn the needs of the group, and staff from within the central IT or-
ganization to meet them. The advantage of this approach is that IT em-
ploys the team, and so even if what those people do is different from
everything else IT does, you can at least make them aware of policies
and procedures, and when appropriate use existing IT resources rather
than create new ones. One good example is backup and archiving,
which rarely needs to be done in unique ways.
3. Use a hybrid approach, where central IT works with the department,
jointly hiring and managing the staff. As much of a Kumbaya moment
as this would seem to be, it’s never easy to serve two masters, and mak-
ing this arrangement work can have just as many pitfalls as any other
approach. On the upside, IT has a chance to help the group not dupli-
cate functions that aren’t truly unique to its mission, while the group
can get the expertise it needs to serve its mission.
The bottom line here is that there is no “right” answer. Any of these
approaches may be right, and without some healthy dialog with busi-
ness partners, IT leaders shouldn’t put themselves in a position of dic-
tating what easily could be the wrong answer.
This discussion needs to be an honest one with respect to the group’s
ability to manage its own computing systems, and IT needs to realize
that business needs will probably trump its own procedures in these
unique instances.
Conversely, if someone walks into the room and thinks he knows the
right solution before hearing the problem, well, at least you
know who you’re dealing with. IN THIS ISSUE

Art Wittmann is director of InformationWeek Analytics, a portfolio of HP And SAP: Train Wreck? p. 4
decision-support tools and analyst reports. You can write to EMC Enters Database Fray p. 8
him at awittmann@techweb.com. More than 100 major reports Windows Phone 7 p. 10
will be released this year. Sign up or upgrade your membership at The Web Is The OS p. 28
analytics.informationweek.com/join. Table Of Contents p. 2

informationweek.com Oct. 18, 2010 35

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Copyright 2010 United Business Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Table Of Contents p. 2

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