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In Depth: Features, how-tos, practical advice and special reports, selected by Computerworld editors
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Top Features

Mobile security: A mother lode of new tools
A gold rush of next-gen authentication technologies yields biometric systems, ID bracelets, new standards and more. Insider (registration required)

BYOD morphs from lockdown to true mobility
Four companies that have been at BYOD for a while talk about how their programs have changed with the times. One key takeaway: Don't expect to save bundles of money. Insider (registration required)

Boost your security training with gamification -- really!
Getting employees to take security seriously can be a game that everyone wins.

Revamping your insider threat program
Companies including MITRE are looking at privileged access and how to better lock it down -- without stopping employees from doing their jobs.

Review: Halt and Catch Fire adds sizzle to PC history
AMC's new TV series harks back to the early days of PCs -- but drama, not desktops, takes center stage.

What vacation? Expect to work while you're away
In these lean times, backups aren't what they used to be; it's inevitable that IT staffers will be called to help, especially when an important issue is brewing.

Getting started with Microsoft Azure RemoteApp
There are several deployment choices, but none is overly complex to set up.

How to recover after a cloud computing misstep
Early adopters share their lessons learned on ramping up, scaling back and avoiding disasters in the cloud. Insider (registration required)

The Internet of Things at home: Why we should pay attention
The Internet of Things is producing a lot of interesting consumer products that have the potential to lead to important enterprise tools. Here is a basic overview of the concept, together with examples of available products and what they offer.

The Internet of Things at home: 14 smart products compared
What can Internet of Things products bring to your home? Here are the features offered by 14 of the major vendors.

The Internet of Things figures into this IT leader's five-year plan
Chris LeBeau, IT director at Advanced Technology Services, is shutting down several outdated systems, migrating users and switching to a more modern business architecture.

The No. 1 large place to work in IT: Quicken Loans
At Quicken Loans, a new in-house training program and strong corporate values help IT employees thrive in an atmosphere of accelerated growth.

The No. 1 midsize place to work in IT: LinkedIn
At LinkedIn, career growth is on a fast track for IT pros with superior customer-service skills -- with free lunches and theme parties to keep things hopping.

The No. 1 small place to work in IT:
Noah Consulting

Every employee matters at this virtual consultancy, which taps the best of technology and leadership to create a vibrant, nurturing environment.

Pirates, cheats and IT certs
Some ne'er-do-wells steal test questions and answers, and cheaters buy that information, share answers in chat rooms, pay other people to take tests for them and bring a range of technologies and techniques into test centers to gain an edge.

Adaptive learning creates more effective training
Long espoused in educational circles, intelligent software that tailors training to the individual learner is catching on in corporations.

Predictive data, the real workhorse behind the Internet of Things
Companies are having to be pickier about which data sets they collect, process and use. It's all about having the right architecture in place.

App development in the cloud gets speedy, gains traction
A growing number of IT departments are moving development work to the cloud, allowing a faster responses to business requests with fewer people, disruptions and costs. Insider (registration required)

How to make the most of an IT buyer's market
New technology trends are driving big changes in the vendor landscape and creating a once-in-a-career opportunity for savvy CIOs. Huge price cuts, packaged deals, favorable contracts and unique partnerships with big-time vendors are now within reach.

University CIO helps boost graduation rates with analytics
Brian A. Haugabrook, interim CIO at Valdosta State University in Georgia, deployed analytics tools that enable faculty and staff to identify students who need extra help. The effort paid off with higher graduation rates.

Boost that battery: Tips and tricks for laptops
All laptops run on batteries and all batteries eventually run out -- especially when you use your device throughout the day. Here are some tips to help keep it going.

10 hot cloud computing skills
As more companies embrace shared services, staffers with cloud computing chops are watching their fortunes rise. Insider (registration required)

Malvertising rise pushes ad industry to action
With hidden malware on the rise, the online advertising industry may finally have to get its governance act together.

IT power grab: Should you be a Machiavellian manager?
Years of striving for IT/business alignment have resulted in a service provider mentality within IT, one that casts the business as the customer who's always right. Some analysts are exhorting CIOs to grasp the reins of leadership instead.

Why IT needs to drive the risk conversation
The current system of risk management at most organizations is designed to frustrate everyone. Here are seven ways to change the dialogue.

Healthcare CIO Edward Marx: IT ROI is measured in lives saved
Edward Marx, senior vice president and CIO at Texas Health Resources in Arlington, is using social media to connect with the organization's local community and implementing BI tools to deliver advanced clinical care.

Field Notes: Clueless CIOs aside, open source is 'frightening and fantastic'
There's a reason the theme song at this year's Open Business Conference was 'Happy.'

Virtualizing Oracle software: Don't pay for what you don't need
Squeezing software cost savings from virtualization projects is tricky for lots of reasons, but can be particularly challenging when it comes to Oracle databases. Here's why, and some tips to help.

CIOs band together to lift Michigan's fortunes
Michigan's Kitchen Cabinet is a monthly meeting of savvy CIOs from different industries who share ideas and promote tech innovation within their state.

Whirlpool CIO moves 69,000 global employees to Google Apps
Whirlpool CIO Mike Heim says low-cost sensors will soon be found in the company's appliances, predicting the need for maintenance, noting fluctuations in temperature, and even allowing consumers to download recipes to their stoves.

Fast, cheap and easy: Five IT certifications that won't break you
Achieving any certification worth its salt is never easy, but some are faster to complete than others -- and easier on your wallet as well. Here are five worth considering.

Field Notes: 'Rogue' employees want IT to lighten up already
National correspondent Julia King reports the mood is feisty at this year's CITE Conference & Expo.

R data manipulation tricks: PDF
Download this companion to our story, to more easily follow along tricks, tips and code.

Data manipulation tricks: Even better in R
Some Excel tips and tricks for manipulating dates, and for getting data into the format you need, are also ready for your R pleasure.

How to keep your smartphone (and its data) secure
We keep a large amount of personal and business data on our smartphones and tablets; here are some tips and tricks to help you protect both your hardware and your information.

4 things to do now to get ready for the Internet of Things
Loads of IP-addressable sensors and other smart devices are descending on the enterprise. Here's how you'll need to pull them all together.

Cleveland Clinic CIO: Tools are the biggest barrier to IT-driven medical care
Dr. C. Martin Harris, CIO at Cleveland Clinic and a former health technology adviser to President Obama, is using technology to redefine healthcare for patients and caregivers alike. Insider (registration required)

How to get a job in manufacturing IT
To excel in manufacturing, tech workers need to be one part tinkerer and one part visionary, with a bit of analytical acumen thrown in as well.

AI gets its groove back
Thanks to the advent of Big Data, new algorithms and massive, affordable computing power, artificial intelligence is now, finally, on a roll again.

Collaboration 2.0: Old meets new
Today's tools are a lot like yesterday's in some respects, except they add features for cloud, social, Web and mobile. They're also a whole lot easier to use.

What do IT workers want?
While traditional incentives like salary and benefits still rule, IT staffers are placing more importance on intangibles such as corporate culture, challenging work and recognition -- a trend that employers ignore at their peril.

The 'always-on' IT culture: Get used to it
Thanks to factors ranging from BYOD and flexible work arrangements to the global economy, a broad range of IT roles demand around-the-clock accessibility. IT professionals say it's part of the territory and are devising strategies to cope.

IT Salary Survey 2014: Who's hot, who's not
Salaries continue their modest rise, while demand for workers with key tech skills coupled with business acumen keeps employers scrambling to find and keep talent.

Ad tracking: Is anything being done?
Online tracking is on the rise, but efforts to create a practical Do Not Track policy have slowed to a crawl. Meanwhile, users and browser companies are taking matters into their own hands.

The Grill: Rep. William Keating wants cross-sector data sharing
Rep. William Keating (D-Mass.), who sits on the House Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies Subcommittee, is calling on the Department of Homeland Security to be more involved in tackling the cybersecurity problem. Insider (registration required)

Government open data proves a treasure trove for savvy businesses
Ever since President Obama signed the Open Data Executive Order, government agencies have been making their vast data stores available to the public. These once-secret data sets are proving a valuable business resource, too.

The Grill: Rotary CIO Peter Markos
Peter Markos, CIO and general manager for Rotary International, contends with challenges ranging from authenticating a constantly changing list of users who need to access Rotary's systems to enabling applications that work for a vastly diverse membership.

The paranoid's survival guide, part 3: Opting out, and how to protect your personal data offline
We've rounded up a bunch of experts' tips about how to retain your privacy.

Ambitious IT pros seek COO role
With technology the cornerstone of most businesses, the lines are blurring between IT and operations -- leading some IT pros to think of COO as their title of choice.

The paranoid's survival guide, part 2: Protect your privacy on social, mobile and more
We've rounded up a bunch of experts' tips about how to retain your privacy when messaging and using apps, and while on social media.

Do you understand your company's personality?
Corporate culture may matter even more to your project's success than ROI does. Here's how to work with it rather than against it.

Whittle down application sprawl
Getting rid of old, unsecured or unused software and services is not easy. Do it correctly, though, and you can save IT time and money.

The paranoid's survival guide, part 1: How to protect your personal data
We've rounded up a bunch of experts' tips about how to retain your privacy -- as much as possible, anyway -- and how to surf the Web silently, among other things.

The Grill: Aon's CIO embraces social media tools to connect 65,000 employees
Aon's global CIO, Steve Betts, who led the integration of IT operations following Aon's $4.9 billion acquisition of Hewitt Associates, is using social media tools to help employees connect around key issues. Insider (registration required)

Premier 100 IT Leader: Chad Long
This collaborative IT leader gets creative when seeding the next crop of talented tech staffers.

The 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders: Reinventing themselves many times over
Reaching IT leader status (and staying there) requires something akin to a personal mini-revolution every two to three years, according to these 100 men and women. All have transformed their careers, and re-laid their career paths, multiple times. And they'll do it again, too.

How to set up Microsoft's Web Application Proxy
Implementing WAP involves a lot of moving pieces; here's what admins need to know for a successful rollout.

How to get a job in energy IT
The energy industry is complex and growing, but also needs to be more modern and efficient. From analytics to networking to mobility, the IT opportunities abound.

Smart cities are here today -- and getting smarter
Smart cities aren't the stuff of science fiction. Governments -- in the heartland and on both coasts -- are using sensors, social media, big data and other technologies to provide better services to citizens.

Tips for speaking like a business strategist
You know technology cold, you understand the business, and you're ready to step up to a senior IT leadership position, but can you communicate all that to the C-suite? Here's how other CIOs got their voices heard.

The Grill: Darren Ghanayem juggles WellPoint's mandates for the federal healthcare law
As vice president and CIO at WellPoint's commercial business unit, Darren Ghanayem is juggling the mandates of the new federal healthcare law while continuing to support corporate initiatives.

7 things marketing wants to say to IT
Attention, IT: As marketing goes all-digital, your CMO needs more from you than back-office support. Are you ready to be a marketing partner?

The votes are in: Which mobile data provider is best?
Computerworld asked readers to rate their mobile data providers on connection speed, reliability, customer service and more. We name the best and the worst services -- and throw in some fun facts about how people use their mobile data networks.

Tech hotshots: The rise of the QA expert
Often considered a second-class career choice, quality assurance is gaining prominence as automated testing demands more sophisticated talent and high-profile project failures highlight its importance.

How to choose the right enterprise mobility management tool
As mobile device management continues to morph, consider what's 'good enough' for what you need right now -- and don't neglect the user experience, whatever else you do.

Location-based services: Controversy at every level
Your smartphone can be a beacon telling the world where you are, with increasing precision. Is that good commerce or bad privacy, or maybe a bit of both?

60+ R resources to improve your data skills
From books to videos to online tutorials -- most free! -- here are plenty of ideas to burnish your R knowledge.

MDM tools: Features and functions compared
Application management, security and a bunch of other features are now baked into MDM. Check out our mondo chart showing the features and functions you get with 11 different enterprise mobile device management products.

Ad blockers: A solution or a problem?
Ad blockers can make websites cleaner and faster for users, but they can also take a nasty bite out of advertising revenue. How popular are they, and what can site publishers do about them?

The Grill: Newly minted CIO Tammy Bilitzky focuses on scalability and automation
In her first stint as a CIO, Tammy Bilitzky plans to make infrastructure scalability and more-dynamic automation her two main focuses at Data Conversion Laboratory.

How to safely mingle personal and business data in a Windows world
Work Folders, new to Windows Server 2012 R2, helps administrators manage user-created data in a BYOD environment.

4 reasons companies say yes to open source
Open source is free and widely available, but its benefits don't stop there. Enterprises are embracing it for its agility, a quality they value above all in these times of marketplace upheaval.

Android invades the enterprise
How three companies are coping -- even thriving -- amid the Android explosion. Insider (registration required)

IT pro's revitalization guide 2014
Take a moment to retool your personal and professional priorities with some of our most insightful tech management and careers articles. Insider (registration required)

Gotcha! FBI launches new biometric systems to nail criminals
The agency is in the final stages of rolling out a new database that will let law enforcement search for and identify criminals by palm print, iris image and mug shot as well as fingerprints. Early results are very positive.

The Grill: Guess CIO Michael Relich takes on his dream job: COO
After nine years with Guess Inc., Michael Relich moved from the CIO post to his dream job as the company's new chief operating officer. He talks about how his tech background helped him make the transition.

IT pros get training on their own dime
IT spending is kicking up again, but training budgets have been slow to recover. Many IT professionals are taking matters into their own hands.

Why few want to be the CIO anymore
More than half of the respondents to our survey say they don't aspire to be a CIO. Here's why politics, relatively low pay and a lack of prestige can sink CIO aspirations.

The help desk is hot again
If you thought the traditional help desk would be outsourced, automated or altogether shut down, think again. Hiring for the help desk is hot. Insider (registration required)

4 ideas to steal from IT upstarts
Fast-growing companies like Square and MongoDB are driving IT innovation with leaner staffs, cloud-first computing, self-service everything and CTOs rather than CIOs.

Manage app log-ons and authorizations via the cloud
Single sign-on for all apps -- both cloud-based and on-premises -- is a big reason to go this route. But cost and customization, especially for very large organizations, can be sticking points.

How analytics helped Ford turn its fortunes
Big data and analytics permeate virtually every move Ford makes, from forecasting the worldwide price of commodities to figuring out what exactly consumers want, what it will build, where it should source parts and how to power its lineup of vehicles.

The Grill: Intel CIO Kimberly Stevenson is working to deliver products faster and drive revenue
Kimberly Stevenson, corporate vice president and CIO at Intel, shares her ideas on running an IT department, the power of technology and the importance of technologists.

Malware: War without end
After decades of fighting off viruses, worms, Trojans and other malware and cyberattacks, total victory remains beyond reach.

How to get a job in financial IT
IT pros may have shied away from financial services during the industry's recent upheavals, but it now represents a vibrant employment segment for those who understand its adherence to security, compliance and reliability. Insider (registration required)

8 sure-fire ways to screw up a cloud contract
Cloud licensing's become so complex that it's easy to pay too much or get burned later on. Here are some tips to make sure you're getting your money's worth.

IT: Don't let the CEO wonder what you do all day
If there's no catastrophic system failure or major software deployment to work on, CEOs might wonder what IT does all day. Here's how to make sure your contributions aren't undervalued when things go smoothly.

The Grill: Rosetta Stone CIO Pradeep Mannakkara makes a rapid move to the cloud
Pradeep Mannakkara, CIO at Rosetta Stone, established a plan to transform the company's technology stack, shifting much of the aging infrastructure to a cloud-based platform, which enabled a more efficient workflow and fostered innovation.

How to boost Windows 8 performance
Want your Windows 8 machine to run faster? Of course you do. These tools and techniques can help.

IT careers: Should you be an SVP?
Attaining the title of CIO was once as high as a techie could rise. Now we're in the 'age of the ampersand' as IT pros add VP, SVP, EVP or CVP onto their business cards. But do the new titles mean anything?

Customer-facing kiosks: Successes and pitfalls
Though not every experiment has yielded pay dirt, many organizations giving kiosks a go report minimal IT investment and improvement in customer satisfaction or employee self-service.

IT hiring goes multimedia
IT job seekers embrace social media, video and graphics to enhance their resumes and set themselves apart from other job applicants.

Big data blues: The dangers of data mining
Companies are taking matters into their own hands with internal controls, open privacy policies, ethical codes and greater candor over how they're collecting and parsing personal data. But many wonder whether it's enough to allay consumers' fears as techniques for manipulating data multiply.

Iris ID systems go mainstream
Dropping prices, fast processing speeds and more user-friendly designs have given a boost to this highly accurate biometric technology.

The Grill: Becky Blalock counsels women to get in front of decision-makers
Becky Blalock, former CIO at Southern Co. and author of the new book, Dare: Straight Talk on Confidence, Courage and Career for Women in Charge, encourages women to get in front of decision-makers to advance their careers.

How 4 companies use mobile apps to court customers
Mobile presents a huge opportunity for companies to tighten customer relationships, but it also poses significant development challenges for IT. Here's how four companies are leveraging mobile to great success.

It's criminal: Why data sharing lags among law enforcement agencies
Five years after the FBI launched its National Data Exchange data warehouse initiative, more than three quarters of law enforcement agencies still aren't sharing. Here's why.

The Grill: VA data guru Dat Tran on turning data into information
Dat Tran, deputy assistant secretary for data governance and analysis at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says it's not enough to just collect data. He says the VA needs to transform its data into information that gives decision-makers insights into veterans' needs.

How to balance maintenance and IT innovation
Many IT leaders admit their spending is too heavily weighted toward keep-the-lights-on projects. Here's how to tip the balance.

How to keep your new IT hires from jumping ship
With IT talent hard to find and expensive to replace, smart companies are developing IT-specific onboarding programs to attract and retain top tech employees.

Computerworld IT Salary Survey 2014
Computerworld IT Salary Survey 2014

Demand keeps growing and salaries keep rising for tech workers with the right skills. Our survey of more than 3,500 IT professionals reveals which jobs are hot -- and which are not. Featured in our special report:


Reader Favorites

10 portable battery chargers to keep your device powered
No matter how powerful the battery, it's nearly impossible to keep your mobile device running though a busy day. Here are some mobile chargers that can help.

6 data recovery tools for SD cards, USB drives and more
Have a damaged USB thumb drive or memory card? These applications can help you save your data.

5 outstanding Android keyboard apps
Make your Android device better than ever with a custom onscreen keyboard that suits your style. These five options represent the best the platform has to offer.


Hands On

10 Windows 8 tips, tricks and hacks
From invoking 'God Mode' to hacking the lock screen, here are 10 ways to make Windows 8 act the way you want.

22 free tools for data visualization and analysis
Make your data sing. We look at 22 free tools that help you use visualization and analysis to turn your data into informative, engaging graphics.

How to make the hottest Android home screens yourself
Android users have some awe-inspiring home screen setups -- and thanks to their help, you can now recreate those configurations on your own Android phone.


Special Reports
The 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders

Premier 100 IT Leaders 2014
Reaching IT leader status (and staying there) requires something akin to a personal mini-revolution every two to three years, according to these 100 men and women. All have transformed their careers, and re-laid their career paths, multiple times. And they'll do it again, too. Browse the complete list of this year's honorees and search for alumni from years past.

The 100 Best Places to Work in IT 2013
Read the full report and discover why Quicken Loans is in the top slot. Read up on what top employers are offering and what employees value most, or search the archives from 1994 on.

IT careers turned upside down
This forward-looking feature package explores why few want to be the CIO anymore, how the help desk is hot again and why IT pros are paying for their own training.

IT pro's revitalization guide 2014
Ready for a refresh? Take a moment to retool your personal and professional priorities with some of Computerworld's most insightful tech management and careers articles.

Forecast 2014: Your perfect plan
Our in-depth report tells you how to wring value from your IT budget, boost your mobile bandwidth and master disruptive technologies, and details what 8 IT skills are in highest demand.

IT Salary Survey 2013
Our survey of 4,000+ IT workers shows that rising salaries and a bump up in bonuses are boosting IT optimism, though not everyone is feeling upbeat. Learn who's riding the wave and why, then compare salaries using our Interactive Smart Salary Tool.

Premier 100 IT Leaders 2013
The new business imperative is to capture a competitive lead with all due speed. Here's how this year's honorees are generating revenue from IT and delivering business value -- fast. Browse the complete list of this year's honorees and search for alumni from years past.

Take control of your own IT career
The new economy puts you in the driver's seat of your career. Can you handle it? We'll show you how. Also discover how to spotlight key skills on your resume, tips for landing an IT job from recent hires and more.

IT Forecast 2013
Find out what's top of mind for respondents to Computerworld's annual Forecast 2013 survey, and how smart IT executives are preparing for the year ahead in budgeting and beyond.

The 100 Best Places to Work in IT 2012
Stellar benefits, challenging projects and top-notch training keep IT workers focused and engaged at these top employers. Find out more in our 19th annual report.

Job Seeker's Toolkit
In the intense new battle for IT jobs, those with multiple skills and broad knowledge of technologies will prevail. Find out what today's CIOs are looking for in job candidates, Web 2.0 job-hunting tricks and more in our special report.

H-1B turns 20
Find out how the controversial H-1B visa program is remaking IT in America, read first-person accounts from IT workers whose lives have been directly affected by H-1B, and use visual and interactive tools to analyze recent H-1B data.

IT Careers 2020
Welcome to the IT organization of the year 2020 -- and brace yourself, because it's a far cry from the department you find yourself in today. Our in-depth report reveals what to expect and how to prepare for the day when Gen Y runs the show.

Forecast 2012: IT gets energized
As tech budgets edge up in 2012, IT leaders look to shift spending to new development while keeping an eagle eye on the bottom line. Also discover 9 hot skills for 2012 and more in our special report.

IT Salary Survey 2012
Salaries are rising, but pressure is too, as IT employees hustle to keep up with ever-growing workloads and ever-changing technologies. Our survey of 4,000+ IT workers tells all -- including how your salary stacks up.

The Premier 100 IT Leaders 2012
IT leadership can be a high-wire act of managing game-changing projects at high speed. Here's how the Premier 100 make it work. Also see the complete list of this year's honorees and alumni from years past.