This eWEEK: June 2, 2003
Just when IT execs were beginning to get the idea of how to pitch their operations as profit rather than cost centers again, along comes the chore of retrofitting systems.Just when IT execs were beginning to get the idea of how to pitch their operations as profit rather than cost centers again, along comes the chore of retrofitting systems to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Its a task that, as Dennis Callaghan points out in his story, promises to bring about as much funand as little competitive advantageas making a companys systems Y2K-compliant. Its enough to add fuel to the minifirestorm thats been swirling around the thesis of Nicholas Carrs notorious article in the May issue of Harvard Business Review. Carr contends that IT parity is to be taken for granted at most companies, so IT is not the place to look for a strategic edge. In this weeks Face to Face interview, Information Builders Gerry Cohen disagrees. In another article, Lisa Vaas finds the best advice is to look on the work not as a chore but as an opportunity to improve processes; then, trumpet compliance in your annual report to boost investor confidence. That was the method behind Paul Sarbanes and Michael Oxleys madness in the first place.
Speaking of chores, how about managing patches? Youve got to do it, so you might as well pick the best tool for your shop. Cameron Sturdevant tested four top patch management products, Ecoras Ecora Patch Manager 2.0, PatchLinks PatchLink Update 4.0, St. Bernard Softwares UpdateExpert 6.0 and Shavlik Technologies HFNetChkPro 4. PatchLink Update 4.0 earned an eWEEK Labs Analysts Choice award. Currently, its the only one of the four packages to support non-Windows systemsUnix, Linux and NetWarebut the other products will gain Linux and Solaris support by years end, Cameron reports.