Stories by Bart Perkins

Winning the battle against rogue suppliers

If IT suppliers are pestering you less these days, don't feel relieved -- feel nervous. They are probably going around you and selling directly to other departments.

Fending off the business case blues

If you want to hear your employees whine, just ask them to create a business case for their next project proposal. All together now: "That's too much work." "This project is so simple it doesn't need one." "It's a no-brainer, really. You should just go ahead and approve it."

When preferred supplier programmes go too far

How often have you seen this happen?: A good idea takes hold, and rules are created to formalise it. But before you know it, the rules are being followed to the letter, with little thought given to the underlying goals that originally made the idea so effective.

Boutique consulting firms aren't for everyone

As a result of the shaky economy, some IT professionals have recently lost their jobs, and more layoffs lurk ahead. Some tech workers will consider joining or forming small boutique consulting firms with staffs ranging from one employee upwards.

Considering consulting? Look before you leap

Many IT professionals will leave large corporations over the next few years. Some will seek escape from the frustrations of corporate organizational structures, bureaucracy and politics. Others will work part time or move to more desirable locations. Many will be laid off, and some will retire. As a result, it's likely that these IT professionals, both management and technical staffers, will consider consulting as a career alternative.

The perils of Facebook and YouTube at work

The use of social networking is rising dramatically, and its scope has expanded far beyond the personal realm. Politically-oriented videos and blogs are being posted to YouTube in an effort to influence the US primary elections and the Queen's 2007 Christmas message was posted on YouTube.

Fusion’s long fuse should ensure against burns

Over the past few years, Oracle has purchased several application software manufacturers, including Siebel, Retek, ProfitLogic and PeopleSoft. Following its acquisition binge, Oracle has announced that all its current application software will be migrated to a new platform, Fusion, in late 2007.

IT energy costs: The quiet budget killer

Most IT organisations calculate their standard infrastructure expenses based on servers, telecommunications gear and desktops. Few consider the cost of the electricity required to power and cool the equipment. With today's rising energy prices, companies can no longer ignore the cost of power. In some markets, the electricity bill for a server facility can run four to six times the cost of renting the building space.

Selecting the right offshore vehicle

Many CIOs are being told to move some of IT offshore. According to Gartner, that number will reach 80 % by next year. Good preparation includes selecting which functions to send offshore and determining which countries have the expertise needed. In addition, be aware that there are several categories of offshore companies from which to choose. There are variations in how they're structured, where they're managed and where the work actually gets done. These factors result in significant differences in scope, cost, risk and operational aggravation. Selecting the right vehicle will have a significant effect on the success of your offshore efforts.