Stories by Ben Worthen

Debate brews over jobs

FRAMINGHAM (03/18/2004) - Legislation targeting offshore outsourcing and a plan by President Bush to welcome more foreign labor are fanning the election-year debate over jobs--and sending a mixed message to CIOs who are trying to develop outsourcing plans.

Mr. IT worker runs for Washington

FRAMINGHAM (03/18/2004) - When we visited with him last summer, Mike Emmons, a former programmer at Siemens ICN in Florida, was so angry to see his job filled by a nonimmigrant worker on an L-1 visa, that he talked of getting even by running for Congress this year. Now he's collecting signatures to appear on the Democratic primary ballot.

No mandate for CIOs in electronic checking law

FRAMINGHAM (01/15/2004) - Check 21, the banking modernization act signed into law in October, is going to make your CFO happier. By allowing banks to process checks electronically, valid checks will clear faster, and fraudulent or bounced checks will be discovered sooner. And it's going to make you happy too. Congress, by choosing not to include incentives to adopt electronic payments, essentially guaranteed that paper checks will remain dominant for the foreseeable future. That means there's no pressure for most CIOs to invest in new financial systems to pay bills online.

Extreme ERP Makeover

The grand ERP vision of one application and one database for everything your company does may finally be achievable. But does that mean you should rip out all your systems and replace them with a single instance?
Here's how to decide

Identity crisis

FRAMINGHAM (10/20/2003) - Tom King, CISO of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., had what seemed like a relatively simple idea. If his company could automatically grant access to financial trading applications from a central provisioning system instead of on an app-by-app basis, it could both increase the efficiency of its workforce and keep better tabs on who was using what applications. It soon became clear, however, that setting up such a system was merely one step in a very long process.

New warning system taps security contractors

FRAMINGHAM (10/20/2003) - With its new Cyber Warning and Information Network, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally may have hit on the right model to ensure that the private sector shares cyberattack information with the feds¬óby getting information from security providers instead of the victims.

New export rules ease IT work in India

FRAMINGHAM (09/18/2003) - Outsourcing to India should become easier for U.S.-based companies thanks to recent actions by the U.S. Department of Commerce to loosen export rules and to inaugurate a U.S. and Indian government working group dedicated to improving high-tech commerce between the two countries.

The radicalization of Mike Emmons

Mike Emmons' home office doesn't look like much: just a desk, some shelves littered with books, a couple of computers, a server, a printer and some other gadgets. But for the past 11 months, it's been headquarters for a ferocious one-man campaign against the practice of offshore outsourcing and supplanting American workers with foreigners on temporary work visas. Emmons lost his programming job last winter when his entire IT department at Siemens Information Communication Networks (ICN) was outsourced to an Indian company. Until last year, the University of Florida graduate rarely voted; now he plans to run for Congress ("I'll probably lose," he concedes). During the past year, Emmons has made himself an expert on labour policy. He has harassed corporate executives, gotten himself on television and is one of the main reasons that legislation reforming the L-1 visa was introduced in the US House of Representatives in May.

VoIP speaks softly

If an automobile manufacturer sent you a notice touting a new diesel engine that performed just as well as the conventional one in your current car -- no better, no worse -- would you ask your mechanic to rip out the one under your hood in order to replace it?

Location, Location, Location

Locating end users may be just another app for wireless technology - or it maybe the way CIO's exploring the technology are finding business value.