The CIO Decisions Ezine offers senior IT executives a must-read package of articles on the most pressing technology and management issues facing midsized companies. Each issue, published bimonthly in an artfully designed PDF document, includes articles, research and commentary on two strategic technology topics. This month's issue focuses on disaster recovery and unified communications in the midmarket.
Business process management (BPM) may mean transformation at the enterprise level, but for midsized companies it means automating and streamlining workflows and business processes. In this issue of the CIO Decisions Ezine, learn how midmarket companies are taking control with BPM.
- Build Your BPM Strategy in Seven Steps: Crafting a business process management strategy needn't be overly complex. Here's how to get started in seven steps that can scale with your business.
- CIO: Don't Try BPM Without Mapping Processes: Successful BPM system implementations and process automation efforts begin with mapping process flows and fixing bad processes, our CIO columnist says.
- How to Lead a BPM Initiative: Here's how organizations are setting up their business process management efforts, from centers of excellence to training that focuses on certain aspects of BPM.
- What to Ask a Prospective BPM Vendor: More and more vendors are offering business process management solutions, resulting in hundreds of options. Get five questions to ask your potential vendor.
- Experts: Efficient BPM Needs SOA: Enterprises should marry their BPM and SOA efforts if they really want reuse -- and true business process improvement.
Download our BPM ezine.
A tsunami of change is riding into the data center on the back of virtualization. Here's where it is today, and how to keep up with virtualization management, licensing and more. In this issue:
- What's Next: Preparing for a Virtual World: Once you have virtualized most of your servers, what's next? Here are some steps to creating a virtual infrastructure, sometimes with little capital investment.
- Beyond Consolidation: Four Virtualization Stories: These CIOs are using virtual machines for project testing, rolling out virtualization to the desktop and more. Here's how.
- Latest Best Practices for Managing Virtual Servers: Server management involves the same tasks but a different approach when the servers are virtual instead of physical. Here's how managing the two environments compares.
- Five Ways to Negotiate Software Licensing With VMs in Mind: Experts offer tips on negotiating, managing and complying with software license terms in a virtual environment.
- A Status Report from the Trenches: Virtualization in the midmarket is now used for mission-critical servers and services, among other uses, says our CIO columnist.
Download our virtualization management ezine.
Managing IT investments as a portfolio may be a goal at many midsized firms. But for most, implementing IT governance and project and portfolio management (PPM) software is a bullish start. In this issue:
- It's All About IT Project Governance: Our survey says 40% of midmarket firms lack an IT governance process, yet it's often the key to project success.
- PMOs Grow More Essential in Recession: Project management offices can help prevent layoffs and set new priorities as budgets change.
- Software: Beyond Microsoft Project: Higher-end packages suit more complex IT environments.
- Portfolio Management: The Other P in PPM: Midsized firms go for low-hanging fruit, deploying project and resource management functions first. Here's what they're missing.
- The Project Challenges That Remain for CIOs: PPM software users share what the software can't fix -- and how they deal with it.
- Lessons Learned in Project and Portfolio Management: Our CIO columnist covers governance and ROI models that don't work -- and those that do.
Download our project and portfolio management ezine.
Learn how the latest technologies are changing disaster recovery for remote and branch offices across the midmarket. In this issue:
- Creating a Branch Office Disaster Recovery Plan: How the latest technologies and basic processes work together to give you cost-effective protection from outages, wherever your remote offices are.
- Four Sites, Five Layers of Redundancy: Centralized data centers with plenty of backup assure electronic health records will be available for cancer center patients, no matter which facility they visit.
- In Hurricane Zone, a Move to Managed Backup and Recovery: The move from tape to disk-based replication continues, as does the demand for online backup and DR services. Just ask the CIO of a $200M nonprofit in hurricane-prone Houston.
- A CIO's Advice for Remote-Site DR: How to increase the chances that a remote site will recover from an outage.
Download our disaster recovery strategies for branch offices ezine.
Midmarket CIOs are always under the gun to enhance IT and business alignment, and to show how their organization is continually growing more efficient and responsive to business needs. IT Service Management (ITSM) aims to make both happen. In this issue:
- Find out how ITSM can help during a recession.
- Learn more about the new tools standard endorsed by the IT Infrastructure Library's (ITIL) creator.
- Discover how targeted communications can lead to ITIL success.
- Find out how an ITSM application helped a credit union get ROI in the first year of its service desk project.
With the proliferation of corporate data from financial and operational systems, the midmarket CIO's challenge is to help business users distill critical insights to drive the business forward. Corporate performance management (CPM) software can help show the way. In this issue:
- Find out why CPM is rising to the forefront in 2009.
- Learn how corporate performance management tools are helping CIOs do more than analyze the past.
- Get five steps to an effective CPM strategy.
Download our ITSM and CPM ezine.
Server virtualization can save time, space and -- perhaps most important -- money. Experts and IT executives offer their insights and experience on the technology that's changing the data center. In this issue:
- Learn how capacity planning eases the path to virtualization.
- Find out how consolidation via virtualization can offer quick ROI.
- Get a list of frequently asked questions about data center virtualization.
- Learn why virtualization offers no escape from security concerns.
Midmarket CIOs, once reluctant to embrace Web 2.0 technologies because of bandwidth and security concerns, are joining the social networking revolution. Find out how they've put wikis, blogs and social networking sites to work for the business. In this issue:
- Discover some of the business benefits of Web 2.0 projects.
- Find tips for creating a social networking platform.
- Learn what alternatives vendors have for companies shunning SharePoint.
- Get Web 2.0 stories from the trenches.
Download our server virtualization and Web 2.0 ezine.
Find out how midmarket companies are using server virtualization and other techniques to update their disaster recovery (DR) strategies and ensure they minimize risk -- affordably. In this issue:
- Discover how virtualization anchors the disaster avoidance plan for one Florida county.
- Get tips from midmarket firms that are advancing their DR plans.
- Learn why identifying crucial applications is a key step for disaster recovery plans.
- Uncover how to find the best for less when addressing your disaster recovery mission.
- Find five strategies to avoid legal issues in disaster's wake.
Do you have a unified communications (UC) strategy, or just various communications tools? Find out how to look at the space and decide whether to tie these capabilities together -- plus how to address compliance and see what lies ahead. In this issue:
- Learn why unified communications is a wait-and-see proposition for many midmarket firms.
- Read through our FAQ, which asks: What is UC, and why would I want it?
- Discover how for one midsized firm, fixed-mobile communications answered the call.
- Get tips for keeping users and their unified communications devices compliant.
Download our DR and UC ezine.
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is about aligning business processes with discrete Web services. Those services can often be delivered via Software as a Service (SaaS). What else do you need to know? Find out in our ezine. In this issue:
- SaaS shines in supporting role on SOA stage
- SaaS growth, satisfaction on the rise
- CIO's SaaS goal: Kill the data center
- SaaS: Navigating the compliance minefield
- The Real Niel: Mass customization and SOA
Cautious optimism rules as midmarket IT executives weigh in on salaries, bonuses, raises and more. Learn more about who's making what -- and how much they think they'll earn next year:
- What's in your wallet?
- The data: Salaries, bonuses, raises and more
It's hardly ubiquitous, but master data management (MDM) and its one version of the truth does have midmarket adherents. Find out what they, and the rest of you, are doing to drive data integrity.
- Data integrity trumps MDM
- MDM syncs parts catalog
- MDM'S strongest business case
Download our SOA, SaaS, Salaries and MDM ezine.
IT outsourcing is on the rise, as are options for choosing a provider. Experts and midmarket CIOs alike offer their advice for partnering, onshore or off, in this issue:
- Where high-touch projects fare best
- Domestic bliss
- Ten steps to outsourcing your data center
- Changes afoot in India: Beware!
- Do the Americas have it?
Get business intelligence right, and revenue rises fast. But first you need to do your groundwork. Learn more in this month's ezine:
- Latest approaches and success stories
- One CIO's BI blueprint
- Best practices for operational BI
- The Real Niel: BI's business advantage
Access our outsourcing and BI ezine.
The Green Monster Today, green is everywhere -- in the mouths of marketers, and the minds of CEOs. Learn how to tame the environmental beast. Also in this issue:
- Beware the green IT pitch
- Quick steps to reducing your power footprint
- Greenfield projects abound
- Getting started with virtualization
- A CIO's view of green IT
- The dangers of computer recycling
- Disposal checklist
Gadget Gotchas Handheld mobile devices are the delight of every consumer and the bane of IT. The conflict won't be over anytime soon -- but we have tips to make it easier. Also in this issue:
- When the personal meets the professional
- Smartphone envy creates chaos for CIOs
- Hardball tactics required to manage non-email messaging
Download the green IT and mobile technology ezine.
CIO Decisions Archives
Check out our CIO Decisions magazine archives. You'll find three years' worth of award-winning columns and resources for midmarket CIOs on topics such as leadership and management, the IT Infrastructure Library, virtualization, data center management and much more!
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This was first published in February 2010