Want a good deal on 1,000 desktop PCs? Or how about a big Internet router? Or, for that matter, an entire new IT infrastructure? As any IT manager with a few bucks still in the budget knows, now is a very good time to strike some very good deals. After a couple of years of thinking stock prices were more important than sales, vendors are now hungry to move some product and post some sales to the spreadsheet. As Matt Hicks explains in this issues article, "Ready Set Bargain", now, as the economy starts to rebound but vendors need sales, is one of the strongest periods for IT customers to strike great deals. Of course, those customers have to strike their own balance between tough negotiating and unreasonable demands. In the last several weeks, Ive been hearing a lot from IT execs about budgets slowly reviving and the evaluation process cranking up again. It is probably also a good time to think about the negotiations that will surround the procurement process for those products that make it through the evaluation stage.
One area that you dont want to compromise in your negotiations is security. While much of the marketing surrounding Web services focuses on the applications that will run on those services, the real winner will be the company that can offer the most secure environment. This week, Technology Editor Peter Coffee explains everything you need to know about the current state of Java security in "Java: Potent Security." Java had a head start on security in that it was designed from the start to confine suspicious code. The sandbox technique is important for the single customer and vital for the corporate customer if it scales as claimed.
While future directions are important, you cant count on futures to secure your company. This weeks Infrastructure section includes reviews of several security products. West Coast Technical Director Tim Dyck takes a look at Zone Labs Integrity 1.0 client firewall and administration console. He likes what he finds and offers suggestions on how it could be used in a corporate environment. Also in this issues Infrastructure section is a Tech Analysis on identity management. In reality, you dont want to assure the integrity of a password but the integrity of the person using the password to sign on to your system. Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant not only offers the analysis but also includes a review of Passlogixs single-sign-on utility.
If storage is on your list of bargaining items, be sure to read Evan Koblentzs article on storage standards. In many negotiations, the team that comes to the table with the heaviest load of acronyms often wins. To sort out your iFCPs from your FCIPs, read Evans article.