Stories by David Beynon

Hi and goodbye!

This is my last issue as editor-in-chief. After some 14 years in IT journalism, prior IT work with Telstra (then Telecom) and as a tech with then HP/Texas Instruments channel company Metropolitan Business Machines in the decade of big shoulder pads, bigger hair and small shorts, and a side track into IT PR and the NSW public service in the run-up to the millennium meltdown, I need a mid-life career change.

Notes on Notes

With some 100 million Notes/Domino users and a large and vocal development community, IBM is smart to make soothing noises about the future of its ageing collaboration platform.

Quick answers

Where's the spark in IT for you this year? Analyst and Intep IT and CIO forum manager Peter Hind reckons he is hearing about “lots of little projects” involving savvy IT departments delivering quick solutions which meet pressing needs. These projects often flow from business units seeing an opportunity or having a problem seeking IT’s help. IT in turn sets up small .Net or J2EE- based development teams that deliver a solution within two or three months. With all the talk of packaged software and outsourced code cutting it’s easy to forget that up to a quarter of IT department staff still work in application development, according to Hind’s figures. And it sounds like they’re delivering real business value.

Sun sees Windows

Is this the end of Sun’s 100-year war on Microsoft? With Microsoft facing its own set of growth challenges inherent in its still highly successful but maturing lines of OS and desktop software, Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer must be relieved that Sun CEO Scott McNealy has decided to go a little easier on them. Sun now plans to certify its x86 products to run Windows.

2004 outlook: IP telephony - Not ‘if’ but ‘when’

The Computerworld editorial team has collected the views of analysts and the industry about what to expect in the New Year. In this instalment, Computerworld editor David Beynon takes a look at how IP Telephony is shaping up for 2004.

Foggy futures

The silly season is here and its time for analysts and press to indulge in fortune telling.

Forget the big crunch

It's ridiculous to imagine software industry consolidation as an unstoppable rush of water down creeks and rivers, gushing onwards into giant ‘megavendor’ business suite reservoirs. There will always be opportunities for smallish specialists to fill various niches. Standards in development platforms and in testing methodologies will ensure their existence, and go a long way towards easing integration pain.
Many of Computerworld’s readers do not buy into the consolidated megavendor view of the future either. In a recent Quickpoll, some 54 per cent of respondents agreed that consolidation was ‘bad for choice’ while only 7 per cent believed it was ‘long overdue’. Only 8 per cent believed the consolidation trend was ‘good for quality’ — perhaps reflecting some of their megavendor experiences.
Obviously consolidation has been going on for years and will continue, as agreed by 23 per cent of poll respondents

Ouch…career pain hurts

With the exception of bucket loads of tears from those crying poor over salary levels, the results of Computerworld’s recent career-oriented Quickpolls are a mixed bag.

Novell plays in open source space

Novell's move to cough up $US210 million cash to buy Germany-based Linux vendor SuSE has put the words “Novell” and “excitement” back in the same sentence for analysts such as IDC’s Dan Kusnetzky.

Hosted apps revisited

Hosted applications in the guise of payroll bureaus are as old as Holden Kingswoods and hundreds of more modern models, in the guise of application service providers (ASPs), crashed and crunched with the dotcom flop.

Sun would shine from Sylvester’s ...

Hyper-aggressive leadership. Sun CEO Scott McNealy is no shrinking violet, but does he have the muscle to annihilate all known impediments to Sun’s profitability and long-term success? If Arnold Schwarzenegger is good enough to be the governor of Silicon Valley’s home state and have HP’s CEO, Carly Fiorina, on his transition team, then clearly fellow Hollywood BWBP&B (bloke with big pecs and biceps) Sylvester Stallone is right for Sun’s top job.

Project pain

Why do IT projects screw up or seem to screw up? Often it is not IT’s fault. Often it is.

Costing Linux in the enterprise

Misleading and simple cost benefit arguments and uncertainty expressed by many IT managers have not prevented Linux finding its “sweet spots” in 52 per cent of Australian organisations, according to Phil Sargeant, research director, servers and storage at Gartner.