The browser war between Microsoft and Mozilla came to an end in 2001 when Microsoft released Internet Explorer 6. IE6 quickly captured over 90% of the market leading to browser stagnation. Now it appears that the browser war is back, but this time it is different. The browser market is heating up and we could all get burned. (January 2009)
The economy is in hibernation. The stock market is in denial. Your IT department is in flux. What next, an IT audit? Unfortunately, the answer is likely to be 'yes'. Tight money, increased government regulation and heightened turmoil in many industries mean IT audits will be on the increase. (December 2008)
We are all overloaded with email that never gets to the point and documentation that rivals War and Peace. We need a simpler, faster way to communicate. Micro-blogging is to email what the postcard is to the letter – an easier, cheaper way to reach out to someone. If your company is not micro-blogging yet, it could be soon. (November 2008)
The economy is slow and financial risks are high. When money is tight and companies go looking for savings, information technology is an easy target. IT spending, as a percent of total corporate spending, is generally in the single digits so the savings are never big but they are easy – and shortsighted. (October 2008)
Apple is making serious inroads into corporate networks. The Macintosh is no longer viewed as an arts and crafts project. Microsoft's Vista is a near disaster. Switching computer platforms is never simple but this may be the right time to consider it. (September 2008)
Google and Microsoft are exploring the concept of storing personal health records online. Today, physicians exchange health records on paper wasting time and money in an effort to keep up with the ever-growing volume of patient information. This mountain of paperwork will only get worse as the population ages. (August 2008)
Recently, there was a Federal Appeals Court ruling about electronic messaging that received lots of attention. This is a minefield of legal issues so any ruling is newsworthy. To protect your company and yourself, pay attention to what is happening. (July 2008)
Despite what most people believe, there are three software options for the corporate desktop -- Windows, OS/X and Linux. They have much in common but significant training challenges await any organization that attempts to switch. (June 2008)
If your business handles, transmits or stores credit card data, you have undoubtedly heard of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council. It is not easy or inexpensive to comply with PCI standards but given the high cost of responding to a security breach, compliance is well worth the effort. (May 2008)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is catching on. One of the leading companies in the field reports annual revenue growth of 71% over the past five years. Many companies are saving time and money by using SaaS applications instead of traditional software. They are reinventing the way we purchase, deploy and support enterprise systems. (April 2008)
Tight IT budgets and an economic environment that demands cautious spending have forced many companies to extend equipment lifetimes. This is a good way to save money and re-allocate limited funds as long as you take appropriate precautions. How long can you expect that equipment to last? (March 2008)
Have you found it increasingly difficult to find information using Google’s search engine lately? You are not alone. Search engine optimization, commonly called SEO, is making it more difficult to find relevant content on the Web. Where has all the useful content gone? (February 2008)
Software consultants provide essential services to corporations. They bring specialized skills and knowledge that can speed up projects or free up staff members for other tasks. Most of these temporary engagements are successful but there are horror stories about consultants not delivering as promised or making a mess of things. (January 2008)
Have you examined your current software situation? Software has brought us major gains in productivity and teamwork but at a high cost. We have come to expect software problems as a normal part of business. Ask IT the following questions to get a better understanding of your company's situation. (December 2007)
The U.K. Office of Government Commerce created the Information Technology Infrastructure Library during the late 1980's. ITIL defines a set of processes and techniques for managing and delivering IT services. With the release of version 3 earlier this year, ITIL is attracting more attention. (November 2007)
The U.S. Government has mandated that all Federal agency network backbones support Internet Protocol version 6 by June 30, 2008. In turn, Federal agencies are requiring suppliers to support IPv6. If you sell hardware, software or services to the U.S. government, it's time to start paying attention. (October 2007)
If you haven’t heard of Second Life, you might be living under a rock. It may be just another first-person, 3-D game but then again, it might represent the future of the World Wide Web and how we use it. You had better start paying attention. (September 2007)
Business intelligence is all about data. You collect, organize, analyze, interpret and report the data. It's easy to form an opinion but it's hard to back it up with data. If you want your management team to listen to your concerns and support your recommendations, show them the data using data mashups. (August 2007)
The iPhone is here. How should your company respond? There is a growing proliferation of personal technology including smartphones, MP3 players, digital cameras, GPS navigators, and ultra-mobile PCs. It's better to develop a coexistence strategy than fight the inevitable. (July 2007)
Microsoft attracted a lot of negative attention by claiming that open-source software violates 235 of its patents. There's no way to know how many patents Microsoft is violating because their source code is a well-kept secret. The headline-grabbing statement seems to be a reaction to the increasing success of open source. (June 2007)
You see references to Web 2.0 everywhere. Technical publications, business magazines and newspapers are frantically covering the topic. But what is Web 2.0? Is it valuable to business executives or is it just hype? Web 2.0 represents a trend that manifests itself in new ways of thinking about and using the Internet. (May 2007)
Google is no longer just a search company. They have been branching out into many arenas largely driven by advertising revenue. They recently announced an office software suite putting them head to head with Microsoft on the desktop. Is Google trying to unseat Microsoft? (April 2007)
We write plans, requirements, specifications, reports, tests, etc. For a major IT project, the volume of paper can be enormous, but is it valuable? No one has the time to read volumes of information no matter how nicely formatted and presented. Yet, the practice continues. Why? (March 2007)
Choosing a handheld device for business use can bewilder even the best executive. The choices are varied. The technologies are immature. The costs are high. The product lifetimes are short. Fortunately, the rewards can be significant if you make the right decisions. (February 2007)
Most of us use wireless networking at home, the office or when traveling. Generally, we don't think too much about it. It just works - most of the time. There are occasional signal problems but wired connections aren't perfect either. Well the situation is getting worse. (January 2007)
Network Computing magazine published the results of a reader survey showing that IT managers are not happy with their vendors and why. We all know that technology vendors tend to exaggerate. So how can you keep your technology vendors honest? There are steps you can take to minimize your risk and improve the odds that what you buy will perform as guaranteed. (December 2006)
Microsoft receives most of the media attention for patching our computer systems. They earned it by repeatedly shipping software with large numbers of vulnerabilities. To their credit, Microsoft has improved the quality of their software. This is will make the overall vulnerability of our computer systems worse - much worse. (November 2006)
What do you think of when you hear someone mention blogging? A journalist writing about today's events? An activist offering opinions? Teenagers just mouthing off? While all of the above can be interesting blogs, more and more business executives are turning to blogs for communicating with their customers and partners. (October 2006)
Terrorist threats and laptop battery recalls attract FAA attention. A total ban of carry-on electronic devices is a possibility. It pays to be ready for such an eventuality. We may have to choose between checking electronic devices and leaving them behind. Here's how to transport them safely in your checked bags. (September 2006)
Biometrics involves the use of physical characteristics such as fingerprints or iris patterns to identify authorized personnel. Such techniques are gaining popularity with those responsible for security. Like it or not, the days of simply using your pet's name to gain access to a secure system are coming to an end. (August 2006)
Grid computing has been around for a while and has attracted the attention of all the major computer vendors. There is a plethora of websites and publications delivering all the latest grid news. You've probably been ignoring this frenzy. Maybe it's time to start paying attention. (July 2006)
Have you ever disposed of electronic equipment containing confidential information? Do you know that there are federal penalties for improper disposal? Protecting yourself is not as simple as deleting all the files on that old equipment. Proper steps must be taken to ensure complete data destruction. (June 2006)
Have you ever sent someone outside your company an email message expecting a reply only to find out that the message was never received? Messages are being blocked, bounced and buried at increasing rates but there are steps you can take to make sure your message gets through. (May 2006)
We have become dependent on portable computing devices. Damage, loss and theft of mobile devices are far more common than you might think. The cost of replacing a lost or destroyed mobile phone, PDA or laptop PC is often far less than the value of the information it contains. Here's what you need to donow. (April 2006)
If you have a data center with more than a handful of servers, a simple way to save some money is to consolidate two or more servers using virtualization. This has the added advantages of simplifying security, server management and disaster recovery. All is not rosy, however. (March 2006)
There's an epic battle brewing between ordinary software and software as a service, commonly called SaaS. The ways in which we use computers and portable devices are changing rapidly. Before you make another major investment in any software application, you must obtain a basic understanding of where the software industry is headed. (February 2006)
There is a famous quotation from the classic movie Cool Hand Luke that applies to many business situations; "What we've got here, is failure to communicate." In today's fast-paced world, the real problem is no longer failure to communicate. It's failure to collaborate. (January 2006)
You can't pick up a technology publication today without seeing articles that mention web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA). Are these the "next big thing" in technology? Do we have something new and exciting happening? Or...are these re-packaged ideas we've heard before? (December 2005)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced that beginning in January, 2007, all state documents must be in either OpenDocument Format (ODF) or Portable Document Format (PDF). Neither of these formats is currently supported by Microsoft Office. Is this a declaration of war on Microsoft? (November 2005)
The response of the IT community to the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita seems to fall into one of the following buckets. Either it's 'We backup nightly so there's nothing to worry about', or 'We have a disaster response plan so we know what to do'. Unfortunately, they are both wrong. (October 2005)
Have you ever been involved in the software project from hell? It begins with plenty of enthusiasm and optimism. But somewhere along the road to completion unexpected turns are encountered that impact the goals, dates and budgets. How could this happen? What went wrong? What did you miss? (September 2005)
Electronic attacks on our networks and computer systems occur around the clock. Physical location and time zone don't matter on the Internet. A growing number of attacks are initiated by smart professionals who know how to penetrate defense systems. Let's take a look at how these professionals operate. (August 2005)
Computers and the Internet are powerful tools. Like any technological innovation, there is a dark side. Employees may use them for unwanted activities. However, having a clearly written computer usage policy makes it much easier to deal with abusive behavior. Just follow the guidelines outlined below. (July 2005)
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is under attack. A growing number of consumers and businesses are switching from traditional analog PSTN service to digital services that use the Internet to place calls. The technology is called Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. (June 2005)
Computers capable of running Windows or Linux have become commodity items both on the desktop and in the server room. There are many well-known and some not so well-known distributors of such systems. Is it safe to buy locally branded PCs or should you stay with a name brand? (May 2005)
All of us deal with sensitive information-credit card and bank account numbers, unique identifiers and passwords, personal and corporate financial data, personnel records, and any information that you wouldn't want a competitor to see. Is it secure? (April 2005)
As offices grow increasingly automated, equipment failures and system problems become commonplace. In larger work environments, daily struggles with technology are routine. Rapid technological advancement has its price. Learn to defend yourself! (March 2005)
The typical IT department spends most of its time and energy maintaining smooth operations. As long as there are no major disruptions, these activities can be planned and coordinated. Avoid unexpected emergencies and you'll sleep better at night. (Febuary 2005)
More and more information is saved electronically rather than being jammed into file cabinets. This presents some interesting problems when trying to find a document, photo, fax, or the virtual equivalent of a Post-It® Note. We all know how hard it can be to find a missing electronic document. (January 2005)
Many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), including franchise operations, don't pay much attention to backing up their computer systems. After all, how much have they got to lose? Backups are a hassle. Are they really worth it? (December 2004)
There has been much discussion about controlling the increasing amount of spam within our e-mail systems. Battles have erupted over patent and licensing rights to proposed solutions. To date, no completely effective solution has surfaced. Is there any hope of ridding the planet of this scourge? (November 2004)
You probably have a firewall protecting your network and you may even have an intrusion detection system. Then, of course, there is anti-virus software, anti-spam software and spyware removal tools. Aren't these sufficient to protect desktop users? What does a desktop firewall get you? (October 2004)
Malicious intruders routinely scan the internet seeking to crack the security of our information technology systems. Network firewalls do a good job of providing perimeter defenses when configured properly. So, the intruders have gotten smarter and more sophisticated. (September 2004)
It has been estimated that U.S. corporations waste tens of billions of dollars on information technology assets they do not need or ever use. When software turns into shelfware it becomes a big part of that waste. Don't let it happen to your business. (August 2004)
Disasters are unavoidable. Sometimes it's as simple as a leaky roof and other times large geographic areas are impacted. Your business will be impacted by a disaster of some kind before long. The ten steps outlined here could save your business. (July 2004)
Over half of major information technology projects fail costing tens of billions of dollars. Is this a technology problem? No, technology is just a tool set like any other. Before spending any more scarce budget dollars on software, examine the "worst practices" defined in this article. (June 2004)
High-powered, desktop PCs are expensive and bulky. They require substantial care and feeding including backups, virus checks, software updates and repairs. Do today's business workers need all the horsepower provided by these so called "thick clients"? (May 2004)
Most businesses pay high software licensing fees without getting an adequate return on investment. But there are options available that can dramatically lower software costs without sacrificing functions. It can be accomplished by using open source software. (April 2004)
We've entered the 21st century. Businesses need to rethink how they leverage information technology. From routine operations to enterprise application development, there are major changes taking place. Adopt a new mindset and embrace the future. (March 2004)
Check out these links!
We have assembled two collections of links. The first is called DAMICON's List of Effective Websites. Over 120 sites are referenced. They were selected based on popularity and value. You're invited to check out the list and let us know what you think.
The second is called DAMICON's List of Open Software. Over 50 commercial software categories are shown with their open-source software equivalents. Check it out. You'll be amazed!
The world wide web is a big place. If you believe you know of a site comparable to one on our lists, we'd like to hear from you. Just drop us an email.
We make a good faith effort to verify these lists periodically. We add or delete sites as the situation warrants. Hopefully, you'll find something of interest to you on the lists.
Please take some time to review the material we've written or referred you to. The world of software technology and its application to business situations is very complex.
These articles and links can help you gain improved insight into that complexity. If you have questions or comments about any of these resources, please let us know.
Also, if you have any suggestions for topics you'd like to see us explore here, please contact us.
If the topic has broad-based appeal to our clients, we'll write about it or at least provide you with a link to relevant information.
This web page is intended to be a useful resource for clients and visitors alike. Take advantage of it!