Stories by Elana Varon

Green IT: Train staff to think about sustainability

Frederic Chanfrau, senior vice president of IT for governance, quality and vendor management with Schneider Electric, wants everyone in the company's IT organization to understand three points about going green. First, that energy demands are increasing at the same time as the company must decrease its greenhouse gas emissions; next, that each employee is responsible for helping address this challenge; and finally, that running a sustainable technology shop doesn't necessarily cost more. "They can put their own stone in the building of a greener IT organization," Chanfrau says. But they have to know how.

Reality check

In a world that is constantly changing, data keeps us grounded. The right statistics communicate succinctly, tell you where you are. In the four years since we began conducting our exclusive "State of the CIO" survey, we have compiled an annual benchmark of the CIO profession -- your reporting relationships, your budget, your priorities, your challenges, the impact IT has on your companies and the best practices for your success.Our 2004 survey showed a new mandate emerging for CIOs -- one that requires them to reduce costs while simultaneously using IT to drive competitive advantage. This seems like a paradox, but successful CIOs have learned that IT-enabled innovation is the way out of the bind. Though disruptive innovations -- those that change the dynamics of an industry -- get most of the publicity, innovation (broadly defined) is any improvement that delivers a business benefit. Even investments to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley can be considered innovations if the result is that executives are able to use financial data more effectively.

Political pressure

FRAMINGHAM (01/16/2004) - That information technology is not a hot-button political issue in this year's election shouldn't surprise anyone. Politicians, like the rest of us, are driven by what they can measure, and basic data barely exists upon which they can take a stand on IT issues. The Census Bureau, which gathers most of the data on U.S. business activity, requested funds for the first detailed annual survey of corporate IT expenditures only last year., software vendor

FRAMINGHAM (10/20/2003) - In the latest tweak to its ever-evolving business model, online retailer Inc. is hawking its own e-commerce technology—software, website developing and hosting—through a new subsidiary, Amazon Services.