Greatest Hits of Baseline 2007

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It's time to reconnect with the most engaging Baseline content from 2007.

As another year of information technology management quickly fades from what is to what was, it's time to take a step back from your projects, stress, spilled coffee and half-uneaten salads. It's time to reconnect with the most engaging Baselinecontent from the year.

Culled from our nifty Web analytics software and the uncanny ability of the online editor to find the "Most Popular Pages" button, here are the top 10 pieces of content on Baselinefrom 2007. You will find one story on this list from 2006, but there's a good reason. That package is a very deep dive on the cattle herd of search engines that dominates all-that-is-online. Rhymes with "moo-gle."

Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year.

1. Inside MySpace.com

Booming traffic demands put a constant stress on the social network's computing infrastructure. Yet, MySpace developers have repeatedly redesigned the Web site software, database and storage systems in an attempt to keep pace with exploding growth. Most corporate Web sites will never have to bear more than a small fraction of the traffic MySpace handles, but anyone seeking to reach the mass market online can learn from its experience.

2. The Top 100 Most Influential People in IT

This list includes a whole range of influencers. There are those who worked in large corporate environments and those conducting a solitary pursuit. There are those who had a business goal from the outset and those who had nary a thought about business but simply wanted to create something great. There are those who are part of the vendor community, those who are part of academia and those who are working within corporations.

3. The 40 Fastest-Growing Software Companies

The biggest public software companies are increasingly relying on acquisitions for growth, as they pick off weaker competitors or startup companies that have decided not to go it alone. In addition to their desire to get bigger, those doing the acquiring say they are responding to a move on the part of enterprise customers to reduce the number of vendors with which they do business.

4. The 100 Smartest Companies of 2007

For the second straight year, Baselinehas undertaken the effort with a goal of identifying the smartest American companies. The 100 companies that appear in the list that starts on this page came out of an analysis we did of more than 4,200 organizations. The methodology is the brainchild of Paul A. Strassmann, who spent years as a technology executive (Xerox, General Foods, Kraft) and was the Pentagon's first chief information officer.

5. How Google Works

For all the razzle-dazzle surrounding Google, the company must still work through common business problems such as reporting revenue and tracking projects. But it sometimes addresses those needs in unconventional—yet highly efficient—ways. Others are starting to follow its lead. Here's why.

6. Best-Paid CIOS

In the U.S., publicly held companies are required to reveal compensation information for their five best-paid officers in U.S. dollars. In the slide show, 52 High-Earning CIOs: Who They Are, How They Got There, Baselinereviewed the 2006 fiscal year proxy statements for the 1,000 biggest companies, and found compensation data for the 52 technology executives included in this report. Perhaps next year we will be looking at the best paid CIOs in euros.

7. Solving I.T.'s Biggest Challenge

You can't manage what you can't see, and even if you can see it, that doesn't necessarily mean you understand it. One of the overarching problems with I.T. today is that no company can make a business decision of any merit without kicking off some sort of related I.T. process. But truth be told, very few organizations have a real handle on the relationship between a business process, such an order to cash, and the underlying I.T. systems that power this type of transaction. And worse yet, if they did have visibility into the process, they would probably discover that they have four sets of different systems handling overlapping business processes.

8. Bots Found Inside Many Big Companies

Support Intelligence, a network security company in San Francisco, is running "30 Days of Bots," a project that posts the names of big companies whose networks have been infected with spam-spewing bots. The list identified more than a dozen corporations, including 3M, Aflac, AIG, Bank of America, Conseco and Thomson Financial. Not all companies returned calls to Baseline, but the ones named above said they have found and stopped the spam. AIG, Aflac and Bank of America added that customer information wasn't compromised; Bank of America said financial information wasn't either.

9. Why Do CIOs Get Fired?

A new book from Robert J. Herbold explains how CIOs can be seduced by success—with disastrous results.

10. Wal-Mart's Faltering RFID Initiative

In 2003, Wal-Mart became the great hope of a new technology. But things haven't worked out exactly as planned. Despite some big strategic changes, the retail giant insists it's not retreating on its investment.

This article was originally published on 2007-12-20
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