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CIO Digest: June 28, 2001

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“Hit ’em Where It Hurts,” CIO.com, By Jon Surmacz, June 27.

CIN Spin: The economic downturn is whacking CIOs where it hurts most – in the wallet.

For chief information officers, the cutback in IT spending has meant more than smaller staffs and shrinking budgets, according to a CIO.com story based on a recent Janco Associates survey. Base pay and overall compensation has dropped markedly for CIOs in the past year.

  • A Janco study this month pegs CIO salaries at $143,785, down from a median of $185,000 last fall.
  • Total compensation for CIOs at large companies is down to $317,699 from $434,416 in January.
  • Some CIOs have reported to Janco that their bonuses have nosedived in the past year to $5,000 from $125,000.
  • The author of the story quotes the CEO of Janco, Victor Janulaitis, as saying that “people who used to get jobs right away are now taking two or three months to find work.”

Click here to read the story.

“In denial no longer after experts fall,” InfoWorld, By Mandy Andress, June 22.

CIN Spin: DoS (denial of service) attacks pose an increasingly serious risk to networks.

Recent DoS attacks on Microsoft and the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) may have garnered the most headlines, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. A University of California at San Diego study found that at least 4,000 DoS attacks occur weekly, according to this InfoWorld story.

Worse, the number of DoS attacks is expected to increase, with network routers becoming the target of choice. While the initial wave of DoS attacks more than a year ago targeted the Web servers of major companies such as Yahoo and Amazon.com, assaults on routers, especially Internet backbone routers, could cause widespread disruptions of voice and data traffic.

This InfoWorld article delves into the nature of DoS attacks — which overload servers or networks with “useless traffic,” hampering and even blocking legitimate requests — and discusses emerging methods of thwarting them.

And while DoS attacks do not allow outsiders access to passwords and other sensitive data, they can cost companies thousands of dollars in lost revenue and network downtime.

Currently, filters are the only way to combat DoS attacks. But as of today, there is no way to prevent DoS attacks.

Click here to read the story.

“Make training mandatory,” Computerworld, By Leslie Goff, June 25.

CIN Spin: Train or trail the technical elite.

Anyone who has worked in an IT organization is familiar with the “mandatory training” myth: The company says it requires tech employees to keep current by taking classes, and promises to give them the time to do so. But when push comes to shove, ongoing job responsibilities take precedent. Before you know it, training is more faint hope than fulfilled goal.

This Computerworld article focuses on one company that has managed to make successful IT training a reality. USAA, an insurance company based in San Antonio, Texas, ties “training goals to employee reviews and performance measurement, recruiting, hiring and retention and day-to-day work.” In other words, training isn’t treated as a nice extra if you can find the time. Rather, it’s seen as a critical part of your job responsibilities.

The key to making it work, the author writes, is to establish formal processes to guarantee that IT workers meet specific goals regarding training and professional skills development.

But the burden can’t be solely on employees: Managers also must be held accountable for these goals to be reached. At USAA, managers who want to qualify for promotions and bonuses must prove that their workers have achieved annual training goals.

Developing a successful training program also allows companies to hire based on talent, rather than specific skills.

Finally, a good training program creates another benefit: Employee loyalty. Workers tend to stick around at a company that demonstrates its willingness to invest in their professional development.

Click here to read the story.

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