April 2008

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Trends and Applications

The complexities of today's IT environments make protecting data an ongoing challenge. Effectively securing data necessitates knowing where that data resides at any given point in time. However, as companies outsource tasks such as order processing, customer service, and fulfillment, this information becomes increasingly difficult to ascertain. Many of the external systems that house such data are not visible and are often not understood by those responsible for certifying compliance with regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

The concept of a configuration management system (CMS) is an idea whose time has come - particularly since the release of IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Version 3, known as V3. ITIL V3 devotes considerable attention to the importance of a CMS. If you're not already familiar with a CMS and its functions, you may be wondering what's included in it, and how it differs from a configuration management database, known as a CMDB. So let's take a look at this vital component of a long-term IT management strategy

Lately, I have been rereading one of my favorite books on change: Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber. The book shares a fable in which a colony of penguins discovers that their Antarctic iceberg is melting. If the penguins do nothing, the iceberg will shortly melt away and dump the penguins into cold, dark waters of the Antarctic Ocean, which will eventually lead to their deaths from cold and exhaustion. The manner in which the penguins deal with this change holds some great lessons for all of us.

In the 1958 IBM Journal article that is generally acknowledged as the first usage of the term "business intelligence," author Hans Peter Luhn described the challenges and goals of the BI community in terms that are profoundly resonant nearly a half-century later.