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Stories by Cindy Waxer

The ‘cobots’ are coming. Is your IT team ready?

These collaborative robots work alongside human employees, sending productivity sky-high. But IT teams must be ready to take on complex programming, deal with connectivity issues and get used to sharing workspace with 6-foot-tall machines.

Written by Cindy Waxer16 May 17 20:00

How college CIOs brace for back-to-school (with video!)

To some, the job of a higher-education CIO might seem downright cushy. After all, unlike their corporate counterparts, these IT leaders don't have to answer to shareholders, cater to business-line leaders or survive acrimonious mergers.

Written by Cindy Waxer17 Aug. 15 20:34

Digital SOS: How technology can save the USPS

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night can compare with the challenges currently facing the United States Postal Service. Email continues to have a crippling effect on the centuries-old agency: The volume of first-class mail, or stamped mail, plummeted by 2.8 billion pieces in 2013.

Written by Cindy Waxer09 Dec. 14 02:45

Blowing the whistle without blowing your career

Technology professionals are among today's most infamous whistleblowers. The list of those who have made headlines for exposing corporate or government skulduggery includes Shawn Carpenter, a network security analyst who blew the lid off a Chinese cyberespionage ring; Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, who shared more than 250,000 classified State Department cables with WikiLeaks; and Edward Snowden, who leaked top-secret information about NSA surveillance activities.

Written by Cindy Waxer08 Oct. 14 00:16

How to make the most of an IT buyer's market

After years of fighting tooth and nail with vendors for meager price discounts or modest service-level agreements, IT has seen the tables start to turn: Sweeping changes are reshaping the vendor landscape, shifting negotiating power from stingy service providers to savvy CIOs.

Written by Cindy Waxer10 June 14 00:21

Tech vendor startups gain ground

When it came time to select a new human resources management system, William Graff, senior vice president at Cerner Technology Services, had his pick of offerings from deep-pocketed, well-established vendors. Yet Cerner opted for a tool from a little-known startup. "The functionality was richer, the pricing model was more in line with the value we were expecting, and they were more willing to negotiate a better price," says Graff.

Written by Cindy Waxer10 June 14 00:05

Government open data proves a treasure trove for savvy businesses

Ever since President Obama signed the Open Data Executive Order, government agencies have been making their vast data stores available to the public. These once-secret data sets are proving a valuable business resource, too.

Written by Cindy Waxer24 March 14 10:37

Big data blues: The dangers of data mining

Companies are taking matters into their own hands with internal controls, open privacy policies, ethical codes and greater candor over how they're collecting and parsing personal data. But many wonder whether it's enough to allay consumers' fears as techniques for manipulating data multiply.

Written by Cindy Waxer04 Nov. 13 10:05

IT training gets an extreme makeover

From movie-like videos with comedy sketch warmups to hands-on freestyle hacker contests with big cash prizes, fresh approaches to training are helping a new generation of IT professionals get engaged in their training.

Written by Cindy Waxer11 Feb. 13 12:59

Pepsi reveals secret to selling more corn chips

There's nothing coincidental about the way grocery stores display and price their merchandise. Focus groups used to be the go-to resource for such market research, but today manufacturers like beverage behemoth PepsiCo find virtual simulation technology to be the cheaper, faster option.

Written by Cindy Waxer22 Feb. 12 02:54

Tap the Social Media Stream for Competitors' Secrets

Ten years ago, Logicalis, a systems integrator, would have needed a wiretap to overhear the grumblings of a competitor's dissatisfied customer or prospect. But when a Logicalis sales representative stumbled across a LinkedIn status update revealing an individual's frustration with a rival company's cloud service, he knew just what to do.

Written by Cindy Waxer02 Nov. 11 09:36

What does running IT have to do with politics?

The odds weren't in Republican John Albers' favor when he decided to run for Georgia State Senate from District 56 in May 2009. "I was the underdog in the race," recalls Albers, CIO at Ronald Blue, a financial-management firm. "In fact, when the race first started out, most people said I wouldn't get one percent of the vote."

Written by Cindy Waxer28 Oct. 10 06:29

Smart Wins: Seeds of Efficiency

How Swedish agribusiness Lantmännen cultivated a more cost-effective infrastructure.

Written by Cindy Waxer19 Nov. 09 08:37

WAN optimisation: maximising a global investment

For a US$5.5 billion agricultural cooperative whose 42,000 farmers work cohesively across 19 countries to supply food and farming services, Lantmännen's IT infrastructure was surprisingly unwieldy.

Written by Cindy Waxer28 Aug. 09 08:54

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