Stay Focused on End-Of-Year Priorities

If you are looking for the three it trends that will be the hallmarks for the rest of the year, you might want to keep the letter "s" in mind.

If you are looking for the three it trends that will be the hallmarks for the rest of the year, you might want to keep the letter "s" in mind.

The first "s" stands for security. Once the province of the hacker trying to find a legit way to pay the rent, security, spurred on by tragic circumstance, is now the top IT priority. OK, so it is a priority; now what? Weve tried to answer that question initially in our five-part series on security, which we believe provides an outline on how to develop an IT security program.

In the third part of the series, Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant takes on the issue of detection. When detection works best, you have a system that lets you know a network break-in was attempted and thwarted. When detection works worst, your system finally gets around to telling you crackers were using your network for a playground. The steps Cameron outlines help prevent the frustration of throwing security products at the problem without a process in place. IBM last week became one of the many vendors creating a wide array of products and services they will soon be pitching to you as solutions to security issues. Heres my advice. Listen to the consultants, take a look at the vendors offerings, but make sure you keep security within your IT sphere.

The second "s" is storage. Sure you know about iSCSI and SANs, but what about DAFS and SCSI-ACL? Were lucky to have eWeek Labs Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar to not only explain those new acronyms but, more importantly, also provide some expert technical guidance on where storage technology will head over the next year. Storage has moved from boring and plodding to center stage and fast-moving in the IT universe. The reason is as obvious as recognizing that, in the new digital world, it is your storage, not your computing horsepower, that must be managed, distributed and secured if you want to play. Henrys Cover Story, "Storage: The next big thing," is just the ticket for helping you navigate the storage marketplace.

The last "s" is the seamless integration of a companys physical capabilities, digital assets and Web services that will connect it to its suppliers and customers. This is certainly the most promoted, least understood business advance. And rather than a big bang ("Lets build our entire company around .Net or WebSphere or whatever"), this seamless integration will come about via an IT infrastructure that is well-planned and can accommodate a range of services. In the news section this week, Renee Boucher Ferguson outlines pay-as-you-go, hosted supply chain management from Viacore and eConnections. And in the Strategies section, Lisa Vaas reports on a portal that connects multiple sclerosis patients with companies offering new treatments. Now that is a Web service that can make you believe that all the promotion does indeed have some basis.