Let?s be blunt. Things aren?t looking too healthy for IT managers. Users tug on their shirt tails for more support, managers slap their wrists for over-expenditure and, as if they didn?t have enough to worry about, their entire IT infrastructure is likely to implode come the Year 2000.
Manufacturers tell IT managers that it?s time to ditch the desktop models in favour of slimmer, sleeker, network computers and, just when managers thought they had a handle on security issues, users start to download all sorts of unpleasant JPEGs and viruses from the Internet. An IT manager?s lot is not a happy one. Even the most bullish of lion tamers would read an IT professional?s job description, cough politely and then seek solace once more in the jaws of the beast.
If you think that this is a depressing picture, there is worse to come. Our cover survey reveals that the IT department is losing power in some of this country?s largest companies. The power to specify, buy and implement is being diluted across many different departments. The real power seems to be moving towards the individual departments who will get most use out of the technology.
This shift is a serious issue for IT professionals. Up until now they have been the first and last word in control. They have wielded the power to recommend budgets, direct IT policy and identify the right product for the right job. Where once the IT professionals were a driving force, they are now becoming overseers and coordinators. The balance of power will not change dramatically overnight. Problems such as Year 2000 and the eventual move to monetary union are sure to keep IT managers busy for at least the next five years. The truth is that millennium concerns and EMU preoccupations, however nightmarish, are likely to offer professionals job security for a while yet. But, as these events come and go and the furore dies down, there are likely to be fewer opportunities. The findings of our survey, beginning on page 34, make essential reading for every IT professional.
Also, on page 28, we carry an exclusive report from Business Week outlining the major trends in Internet advertising. Are you looking to sell your products or promote your company across the Web? If so, the latest survey, conducted by Harris Research, offers you a revealing snapshot of what the customers are up to and whether or not they feel the Web is a suitable means of purchasing products and services. Regrettably, the lucrative picture painted by the ISPs is a little rosier than the reality. Indeed, the gold rush may be a little delayed as customers struggle to get their heads around the concept of online commerce.
Our exclusive interview this month focuses on Intel?s Number 2, Pat Gelsinger. Business Editor, Richard Young, confronts the man who has firm designs on the way your desktop is likely to be powered in the future. Many comments have been made about Gelsinger?s physical likeness to Bill Gates. But the similarities go much deeper, as you?ll discover on page 78.
Our new Reviews Editor, Lance Concannon, cuts his teeth this month on a range of storage solutions for the office (see page 137). Only you know how valuable your data is to your company, but are you doing everything possible to ensure its safety? Business Computer World continues to provide you with all you need.
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Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007