Stories by Robert L. Mitchell

The Grill: Catherine P. Bessant

Two years ago, Catherine P. Bessant was tapped to lead Bank of America's Global Technology and Operations (GT&O) group, which has more than 100,000 staffers and contractors in 40 countries. Here Bessant talks about leading a tech group that includes five CIOs as direct reports, the importance of employee diversity, and how relying too much on third parties for IT services can backfire.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell14 Feb. 12 03:21

Mohawk Fine Papers builds integration-in-the-cloud

Just two weeks after Mohawk Fine Papers made the decision to sell its products on, integration work was complete, connections to its ERP system lit up and sales started rolling in. "Amazon generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue immediately," says <a href="">Paul Stamas</a>, vice president of IT at the $83 million, 725-employee manufacturer of premium papers.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell30 Nov. 11 03:34

The grill: Greg Schwartz

As CIO at USAA, Greg Schwartz oversees technologies that help the company deliver financial services to its core customers: members of the military and their families. Here Schwartz talks about how mobile is redefining the business, how increased regulation has refocused IT resources, and how USAA is engaging customers through social media.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell08 Nov. 11 03:40

NBC Universal: Retired or recycled 47 tons of hardware

NBC Universal had no room to expand its West Coast data center, located on the Universal City lot in Los Angeles. So Dan Johnson, senior vice president of platform technology, and his team recycled it. The data center refurbishing project, which CIO Christopher Furst refers to as "converting a brownfield," virtualized 60% of the physical servers and shut down 2,000 physical machines.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell25 Oct. 11 03:16

Kaiser Permanente: Slashes data center power by 7.2 million kilowatt-hours

A tag-team effort by Kaiser Permanente's data center IT and facilities groups delivered a one-two punch to energy consumption in the company's three data centers this year, cutting an eye-popping 7.2 million kilowatt-hours of power from overall data center operations -- and over $770,000 from power budgets. "We are one of the few companies that have the data center facilities team as part of IT," says Steve Press, executive director of data center facilities services, who credits collaboration for the results.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell25 Oct. 11 03:13

Windows 7 is on a (slow) roll

Jim Thomas, director of IT operations at Pella Corp., expected to be wrapping up his Windows 7 deployment by now. The window and door maker, an early adopter of Microsoft's latest Windows PC operating system, began deployment in February 2009, just four months after the product shipped. Plans called for half of Pella's 5,000 desktop and laptop users to transition by the end of 2010, with the rest following by this December.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell21 Oct. 11 01:48

The grill: W. Craig Fugate

Before becoming administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in May 2009, Craig Fugate was a customer. As director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, he oversaw the state's response to many hurricanes. Since coming to FEMA, he has responded to disasters such as the tsunami in American Samoa and the massive floods in Tennessee last year. Fugate spoke recently about the need for emergency data feeds, how social media can play a role in disaster response, and his vision of a future that includes a proactive, location-based warning system that contacts cell phone users in harm's way and provides detailed instructions on what to do.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell22 March 11 06:24

Display tech to watch this year: Haptics create a buzz

If multitouch display technology is proliferating, haptic feedback is helping to fuel the trend. Haptics provide tactile feedback to your fingers as you touch a display by vibrating all or part of the display surface.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell16 March 11 05:33

Four red-hot display technologies to watch in 2011

The apps on your smartphone might be brilliant, but what about the display? Emerging technologies could soon deliver the richer, Wizard of Oz Technicolor experience you crave while performing like a Maserati.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell15 March 11 21:13

Display tech to watch this year: Multitouch catches fire

Touch-screen panels have been around for more than a decade, but it was the 2007 introduction of a multitouch screen in Apple's iPhone that galvanized the market. Now the business is going gangbusters -- as are the innovations that touch-screen manufacturers hope will build on Apple's success.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell09 March 11 05:59

Will touch screens kill the keyboard?

Thanks to a handful of emerging technologies, virtual touch-screen keyboards are getting closer to the feel of real electromechanical keyboards. Enhancements such as tactile feedback and surfaces that change to mimic physical keys could eventually redefine the virtual keyboard experience for millions of users of devices ranging from smartphones to tablets and touch-screen PCs.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell07 Jan. 11 02:49

IT networking gear goes green

Servers get most of the glory when it comes to energy management, but networking gear is about to catch up.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell07 Dec. 10 05:07

The scary side of virtualization

At the Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders conference in March, one CIO stood up to express his unease about the security of a virtual infrastructure that has subsumed more than half of his company's production servers. Two other IT executives chimed in with their own nagging worries.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell09 Nov. 10 02:47

Ice balls help data center go green

Green isn't usually the first color that comes to mind when one visits the hot, dry desert climate of Phoenix, where temperatures recently topped 109 degrees. But that's exactly where I/O Data Center has opened a 180,000-square-foot commercial data center collocation facility that couples an energy-efficient design with the use of innovative green technologies. Those range from an unusual setup for its air handlers to its server-rack design.

Written by Robert L. Mitchell14 Oct. 10 01:10