Who is your IT outsourcing firm working for?

outsourcing-for-dummiesWhile the U.S. Government has been remarkably opaque about the recently discovered security breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), we know that personal information on at least 21.5 million present, former, and prospective federal employees was lost. The Feds claim Chinese hackers are at the bottom of it, which is disputed by the Chinese government. This, to me, raises a number of questions, especially about the possible role of IT outsourcing firms and implications for organizations beyond OPM. Does IT outsourcing make your data more vulnerable? Yes, I believe it does.

It’s easy to blame the Office of Personnel Management for its own troubles. Oversight was lax. The agency failed a security audit and […]

IBM is so screwed

I’ve been working on a big column or two about the Office of Personnel Management hack while at the same time helping my boys with their Kickstarter campaign to be announced in another 10 days, but then IBM had to go yesterday and announce earnings and I just couldn’t help myself. I had to put that announcement in the context you’ll see in the headline above. IBM is so screwed.

Below you’ll see the news spelled-out in red annotations right on IBM’s own slides. The details are mainly there but before you read them I want to make three points. First, IBM’s sexy new businesses (cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security or CAMSS) aren’t growing — and probably won’t be growing — […]

Remember when technology was exciting?

Al Mandel used to say “the step after ubiquity is invisibility” and man was he right about that. Above you’ll see a chart from the Google Computers and Electronics Index, which shows the ranking of queries using words like “Windows, Apple, HP, xBox, iPad” — you get the picture. The actual terms have changed a bit since the index started in 2004 as products and companies have come and gone, but my point here is the general decline.

Just as Al predicted, as technology has become more vital to our lives we’ve paradoxically become less interested, or at least do less reaching out. Maybe this is because technologies become easier to use over time […]

The U.S. computer industry is dying and I’ll tell you exactly who is killing it and why

18326481-empty-computer-room-abandoned-building-basement-sf-old-mintThis is my promised third column in a series about the effect of H-1B visa abuse on U.S. technology workers and ultimately on the U.S. economy. This time I want to take a very high-level view of the problem that may not even mention words like “H-1B” or even “immigration,” replacing them with stronger Anglo-Saxon terms like “greed” and “indifference.” The truth is that much (but not all) of the American technology industry is being led by what my late mother would have called “assholes.” And those assholes are needlessly destroying the very industry that made them rich. It started in the 1970s when a couple of obscure academics created a creaky logical […]

Fathers Day 2015


Fathers Day 2015