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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2002-10-30 Print this article Print

: CIOs: Tech Will Drive Economic Recovery"> Marilyn McMillan, CIO at New York University, said her job continues to evolve because of advances in technology. She said four years ago only 38 percent of incoming freshmen brought PCs with them; today more than 96 percent do. "And the first thing they want to do is plug in and suck bandwidth," she said. McMillan said the IT function has helped provide a return on investment in various ways. For instance, instructional technologies that enable students to chat and to do coursework online has freed up physical class space in the buildings on campus, she said.
"We were able to cut down on class space," McMillan said. "We run 7,000 classes a semester and were always tight for space."
McMillan and other CIOs said something that has worked for their organizations, helping to save money and drive productivity, is the ability to fund smaller portions of projects and deliver them. "We dont have to wait until something is complete and perfect before we can deploy on it," she said. For instance, she said NYUs portal has been implemented in phases and has been successful. "We were able to bootstrap the success of the deployment to get through to the next release," she said. Meanwhile, Dale Kutnick, chairman and co-research director at the META Group, gave a list of dos and donts for IT organizations. For example, he recommended that companies stay away from are public key infrastructure projects because "all the vendors selling PKI are all that close to going out of business. We think its going to die and its going to be replaced by MKI, the Microsoft key infrastructure. They own the desktop," he said. Other areas to be avoided include strategic enterprise application initiatives, massive convergence initiatives, mobile infrastructure and ubiquitous customer relationship management projects with channels synchronization. Some trends Kutnick said IT organizations should be on the lookout for include the rise in communications costs, "so make long-term contracts now," he said. Others include data center consolidation, third-party sourcing, improved storage technology, licensing price structure with software prices going down but maintenance going up, and benchmarking to reduce costs. Kutnick also said application development will make a comeback. "For the newer classes of applications, there just arent any packages," he said. "Packages increasingly will sit on top of infrastructure and well build our applications around infrastructural elements." Leibowitz said that at Morgan Stanley, it is sometimes difficult to go with an enterprise suite versus best-of-breed applications. Meanwhile, Kutnick said he was big on Web services. "The standards are there and are bubbling up," he said. "Web services are all about provisioning business services. Forget about all the technical mumbo jumbo, at the end of the day the business value of Web services will be easier provisioning. Web services are about business functionality and business function outsourcing. It will level the playing field for small and medium sized business. There are tremendous efficiencies thats why Web services is going to happen."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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