Back-To-School IT Lessons

Now that we're in September, it's "officially" back-to-school time, though it seems like we've been gearing up for it for months.

Now that were in September, its "officially" back-to-school time, though it seems like weve been gearing up for it for months. The July-August advertising blitz weve been subjected to now rivals only the urgency of the year-end holiday rush. Its as if no self-respecting student could live without a new computer, software, stereo, TV and GameBoy. Back in the day, my most coveted school supply was a 48- or 64-box of Crayolas.

What seems like a rather innocent annual rite for parents and students extends into the real world as well. This is about the time when we thought the economy would start turning around or showing signs of recovery. This is the time next years budgets are put together. The question is, are we snapping out of it? Will Windows XP, now that its in the hands of OEMs, ignite PC sales, which will likely be lower year-over-year for the first time in 15 years?

I doubt it. Its not that we dont need more technology, but we need to improve the way technology is integrated into our daily lives, our workplaces and the economy. I offer my own back-to-school list of courses we may want to consider as we prepare for the year ahead.

Knowledge Management 101: Maximize the value of the data and information stored on your servers. The concept is starting to make sense to me, but very few viable vendor-developed solutions yet exist. Corporate developers should focus some efforts here.

Return on Investment 202: The debate over which offers less ROI—PKI or B2B. Learn how to partner your way to the top. Learn how more bandwidth is a better choice than more processor power.

Total Cost of Ownership 103: Do you really need to upgrade your PCs? Your operating systems? If yes, then Linux for server systems and even desktops can no longer be ignored.

Its the Security, Stupid 501: Stumbling security management and quick-like-a-cat crackers do not make for strong-like-a-bull enterprise networks. The longer it takes security pros to get ahead in the game, the longer it will be before corporate execs feel confident funding innovative IT projects.

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...