It seems that contracts, as well as companies, can be too big to fail. That's the message of a report that the State of Texas is keeping IBM on as lead contractor on a seven-year, $863 million data center consolidation project that has been dogged by delays, customer complaints and the pulling out of the state's elections database over reliability concerns.
The Texas Department of Information Resources, which oversees the massive contract, has been working with IBM since last year to identify the problems and get the job back on track. One of the solutions that has been offered was to sever the IBM relationship and start over with a new lead contractor.
The 2010 Security Treasure Hunt kicked off last week with the goal of helping identify promising young experts in computer security -- not to be confused with hackers -- who could form the nucleus of the nation's cadre of IT security professionals. The U.S. Cyber Challenge, the California Office of Information Security, Cal Poly Pomona are hosting this round of the hunt, which has previously been held in New York and Delaware.
As in the previous rounds, contestants are tasked with identifying security weaknesses in a target system. Rather than an actual hacking exercise, the treasure hunt takes the form of a quiz. Competitors examine the target site via a web browser and then visit a question engine that assesses their grasp of the security environment.
The 25 or so competitors who do the best win a ticket to attend Cyber Challenge summer camp July 19-23 at Cal Poly Pomona. The prize includes tuition, housing and meals. Campers will enjoy a week of intensive training on intrusion detection, penetration, forensics and other cybersecurity topics taught by instructors from the SANS Institute.
Restrained government IT services budgets are likely to be a drag on overall IT services spending, as commercial demand revs up while public-sector demand slows down. That's the conclusion of analysts for Fitch Ratings, a New York agency that provides opinions and data on the world credit markets. Fitch offered its opinions in a 65-page report covering a range of worldwide providers in the commercial and government sectors of IT services.
The inaugural issue of Fitch's "Global IT Services Insights" covers the second half of last year and looks forward to this year and next. The analysis concludes that the commercial sector will lead the IT services industry to resume growth in 2010. Factors in the forecast include an improving global economic outlook and return of business confidence. Fitch also cited increasing demand in financial services and other core markets. Fewer contracts are being restructured, and fewer clients are being lost due to bankruptcies, mergers and acquisitions. Finally, clients are showing greater interest in consulting and systems integration projects that had been postponed during the economic downturn.
Most IT professionals and an overwhelming proportion of attorneys predict greater use of electronic discovery for legal and internal uses in the next few years, according to a new CompTIA survey. Fifty-three percent of 650 IT workers and 88 percent of attorneys surveyed agreed that e-discovery will be necessary more often as more data is stored electronically.
In the legal world, discovery is the process of rooting out information, usually contained on paper documents, which may bear on the resolution of a civil case. When the data is stored electronically -- in the form of emails, for instance -- it's called e-discovery. Legal e-discovery came into its own in 2006, when new rules began allowing discovery requests in United States federal courts to include electronically stored information. In addition to legal uses, companies employ data collected in similar fashion for investigations tied to personnel matters, policy violations, security breaches and other internal issues.
"Bring Your Own Computer" doesn't quite have the name recognition of, say, "Macaroni and Cheese." But it is a new IT policy at Kraft Foods, which recently announced a program to encourage and allow employees to purchase computers -- PCs or Macs -- and tote them to and from the office for both work and play.
Before assuming that the Kraft IT brass has been consuming some product past the expiration date, consider that the food behemoth is hardly the first with a BYOC policy. IBM and Microsoft are among the companies that have adopted similar policies. And it's not like this has been forced through over IT department objections.
Time Warner's new Business Class Mobile service, a rebranded version of Clear's 4G offering, is appearing first in five Texas cities with additional markets in North Carolina and Hawaii opening about the same time. The service will be operational first in the Texas cities of Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Wichita Falls. Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro in North Carolina and Honolulu and Maui round out the first-phase introduction.
Pricing for the high-speed service is set at $65 monthly for unlimited data under the 4G National Premium plan using 4G and 3G data cards. In the 4G coverage area, download speeds will be up to 6 mbps and upload speeds will be up to 1 mbps. When used outside the Time Warner 4G service area, customers will be able to use the 3G network, running at 1.4 mbps download and 500 Kbps upload.