Pointers: Recommended readings 09-15-08

Security spending on the rise
Source: Network World
Data breaches and related security concerns are encouraging an increase in security spending, according to a survey by Forrester Research.

Information security now accounts for 10 percent of information technology budgets in the private sector, up from 8 percent in 2007, the survey reports.

With the increased spending comes increased scrutiny, according to Forrester. Many technology managers now need to go through more red tape to get new security purchases approved.

The sociology of social networking
Source: New York Times
The Sept. 7 New York Times Magazine looks at how Facebook, Twitter and other social-networking tools are re-engineering our social dynamics.

The key change is what social scientists call ambient awareness, the idea of being in constant contact with other online users.

Many people who initially question the value of that contact eventually find such connectivity intriguing and addictive, according to the article.

The business of Twitter
Source: BusinessWeek
Twitter might not seem to be a promising tool for organizations to use for communicating with customers, given its 140-character limit on messages.

But a growing number of businesses have learned to use the technology to reach customers in new ways, according to BusinessWeek.

The key capability Twitter brings is a real sense of engagement, business executives say.
Twitter provides a direct interaction with customers that e-mail and other Internet technologies can’t match.

Should a tech manager be IT savvy?
Source: CIO magazine
Ask a techie what he or she wants in a manager, and you will likely hear the usual answer: someone who understands technology. However, that’s not the whole story, according to CIO magazine.

True, techies want someone who knows enough about technology to make smart decisions about resources and schedules.

But when pressed, techies also say that their managers’ people skills are more important than their tech savvy. In particular, managers need listening skills, the CIO article states.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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