Stories by Thomas Hoffman

Union Pacific Railroad ditches its mainframe for SOA

At the heart of Union Pacific Corp.'s railroad operations is an IBM mainframe-based transportation control system that's been chugging along like a hardworking locomotive for nearly 40 years. According to industry experts, it was a pioneering system when first introduced, and it made the Omaha-based transportation giant one of the first companies in the world to make extensive use of online transaction processing technologies.

Riding the curve

Technologies that might seem passé at some organizations are considered quite cutting-edge at others. Here's a look at a pest control company and a local government agency that are pushing the envelope in their respective industries.

BT's Web 2.0 security strategy

In 2006, just as the first tweet was being Twittered, BT Global Services launched an effort to keep its customers and 112,000 employees safe in a new world of Web-based communities and other interactive sites.

CIOs take new look at sharing IT infrastructure, apps

The world's top hotel companies have collectively invested tens of millions of dollars to implement their own customized reservation systems--considered the heart of their operations. Each hotelier views the capabilities of these systems as providing them with some competitive advantage over how they calculate rates and room availability.

Q&A: Nicholas Carr on 'the big switch' to cloud computing

During his keynote speech at the Society for Information Management's SIMposium 08 conference in the US, author Nicholas Carr drew an analogy between cloud computing and the transition that manufacturers made from generating their own power to relying on utilities in the early 20th century.

Survey: Ethics, morals top workplace-skills wish lists

IT leaders are still hungry to recruit .Net programmers, desktop support technicians and voice over IP project leaders, according to an online survey conducted in June by the Society for Information Management. But when asked by SIM to cite the top workplace skills that they are seeking among both entry-level and midlevel IT workers, the 231 respondents overwhelmingly cited ethics and morals as the traits they most desire.

Storage virtualization: The skills you need

As companies are diving deeper into virtualized storage projects, IT managers are getting a better understanding of the staff skills they need to make those projects succeed. The exact talents required depend on the type of storage implementation, but most employers say they're in the market for two kinds of IT worker: technicians with vendor-specific SAN or NAS knowledge, and systems administrators and IT architects who understand the complexities and interdependencies among applications, operating systems and I/O, all of which affect storage requirements.

Better BI: Boyne Resorts

BI projects are frequently driven by the demands of executives who want to scour dashboards to analyze sales and other business trends. But at Boyne Resorts, the company's BI directive was marshaled by its CIO.

Tips for aspiring tech entrepreneurs

IT professionals with strong technical backgrounds can drum up some great ideas for start-up companies, but they often lack the business acumen to keep those companies afloat. To help these would-be captains of industry, Computerworld recently spoke with Ken Blanchard, the best-selling co-author of The One Minute Entrepreneur and The One Minute Manager to gain insight on the steps that technology entrepreneurs should take -- and avoid. Step one: Remember the basics.