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Stories by Allan Holmes

Your Guide to Good-Enough Compliance

In November 2005, Jason Spaltro, executive director of information security at US-based Sony Pictures Entertainment, sat down in a conference room with an auditor who had just completed a review of his security practices. The auditor told Spaltro that Sony had several security weaknesses, including insufficiently strong access controls, which is a key Sarbanes-Oxley requirement.

Written by Allan Holmes17 May 07 11:55

Smart Choices

Chris Boebel, the director of information technology at Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems, had a big sales job on his hands

Written by Allan Holmes07 May 07 14:27

A Big Pill to Swallow

According to a recent study by Massachusetts General Hospital and George Washington University, less than 25 percent of all US doctors use some form of electronic health records (EHRs) in their practices. Far fewer - only around 10 percent - have fully operational health information systems that collect patient health data, manage information such as orders for lab tests and prescriptions, and provide decision support.

Written by Allan Holmes19 Feb. 07 14:10

Cure for the Blues

The US health insurance industry is one of the more difficult economic sectors in which to compete. Even as health insurance premiums continue to increase at double digit rates, the stock prices of the largest health insurers have dropped by a third or more this year as rising medical costs take a bigger bite out of their revenue. Meanwhile many insurers are criticized for cutting back on coverage and customer service, while they continue to spend heavily to comply with federal health information privacy laws.

Written by Allan Holmes21 Jan. 07 13:24

The Art of Influence

Last northern spring, Scott Heintzeman, CIO of Carlson Marketing, and his staff were developing new business intelligence systems. The project would support Carlson's marketing business unit 1to1, which helps clients mine their customer data to create individualized direct-marketing materials. Carlson executives expected the business unit - a new line of business within the company - to be one of its top performers. Heintzeman knew he had to deliver, but he couldn't do it on his own.

Written by Allan Holmes11 Dec. 06 11:32

Massive Project, Massive Mistakes

How a $US25 million payment system created a $US300 million backlog in six short months. A lesson in how not to run a Web services project.

Written by Allan Holmes03 May 06 14:40

The profits in privacy

Last year, CartManager International, a provider of online shopping cart and checkout software, sold personal information on 1 million customers to a third party for US$9,000. The data included names, credit card numbers, phone numbers and dollar amounts of purchases. Not only were those customers not CartManager's to begin with but selling their information violated the privacy policies of many of the merchants from which CartManager had obtained the information.

Written by Allan Holmes20 March 06 14:36

The Four (Not Three, Not Five) Principles of Managing Expectations

CIO Joe Eng set new performance standards for his IT department, negotiated technical requirements with demanding business partners, calmed nervous end users and built a $US500 million global network by following four simple principles.

Written by Allan Holmes03 Feb. 06 14:24

Why the G-Men Aren't IT Men

The FBI's new CIO must change the agency's cultural bias against information-sharing and technology before it can become a global intelligence operation truly capable of preventing crime and terrorism.

Written by Allan Holmes15 Aug. 05 09:52

Running the Risk

CIOs are the executives best positioned to champion enterprise risk management. Use this five-step leadership strategy to get the ball rolling.

Written by Allan Holmes28 April 05 09:24

An Invitation to Steal

The more you automate your critical business processes, the more vigilant you need to be about protecting against fraud.

Written by Allan Holmes05 April 05 09:18