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

Top Features

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.

Why green IT is good for business
IT is uniquely positioned to drive green IT projects by identifying opportunities for operational efficiency -- and helping to build the business case.

How to get a job in healthcare IT
With demand increasing for IT practitioners in healthcare, can tech pros in other industries switch niches? Healthcare IT practitioners offer advice on what you need to make a move. (Registration required.)

The Grill: Gino Pokluda gains control of an unwieldy database system
Gino Pokluda, manager of service improvement and innovation at Presbyterian Health Plan, sliced storage in the company's database environments from 80TB to 35TB using database management software.

IT leaders who (literally) keep the lights on
CIOs in emerging economies have to be creative to keep IT up and running -- addressing redundancy, navigating a thicket of sometimes onerous regulations, and in general doing more with less.

IT grapples with personal cloud storage use
The BYOD trend is driving increased use of personal cloud-based storage services such as Box, Copy, Dropbox, Evernote, Mozy and SugarSync. But are enterprises ready for the results? Insider (registration required)

Big data storage doesn't have to break the bank
The era of big data requires new storage strategies. But thanks to faster and smarter technologies, these approaches don't have to break the bank.

IT purchasing: Who decides what tech to buy?
IT purchasing can be complicated and costly, and contract negotiations aren't every CIO's core strength. Enter the procurement partner.

Forget fingerprints: Your iris is your new identity
Dropping prices, fast processing speeds and more user-friendly designs have given a boost to this highly accurate biometric technology.

Thornton A. May: Fed up with blowhards, IT will fight back in 2014
Columnist Thornton A. May says in 2014, IT leaders will need to have regularly scheduled meetings that actively and aggressively seek to make sense of the changing world around them.

Forecast 2014: How to master disruptive technologies
These three organizations are taking steps into the unknown, changing business processes, even strategies, with social networking, cloud and more. Insider (registration required)

8 hot IT skills for 2014
The list of IT skills that will be most in demand next year leads off with programming and application development, according to Computerworld's Forecast 2014 survey.

Forecast 2014: Boost your mobile bandwidth
As IT executives watch the demands of mobile devices and cloud computing mercilessly hammer their wireless and wired networks, many anticipate needing to add bandwidth to their organization's infrastructures in 2014.

Forecast 2014: How to wring value from your IT budget
In Computerworld's Forecast 2014 survey, 36% of the respondents said that they expect their IT budgets to increase, and that spending on hosted services will outpace spending on hardware and software.

The Grill: Verizon's Ajay Waghray tackles a massive project to streamline infrastructure
Ajay Waghray, CIO at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, jumped into his new role by launching a massive project to consolidate and update the company's infrastructure and eliminate redundant systems to create the streamlined backbone that he wanted.

Case study: 3 heavyweights give gamification a go
Think gamification is just a gimmick? NTT Data, SAP and Accenture beg to differ, and they've got the ROI to back up their stance.

Image is everything: A buyer's guide to business projectors
It's crucial to get the right projector for your company's sales presentations, training sessions and more. We help you sort through the bewildering array of projector styles and provide tips on what to look for.

Mobility in the enterprise: Who should hold the hot potato?
Bringing mobility to the enterprise is like wrestling with an octopus. Here's how Electronic Arts, Case Western University and Needham Bank are taming the beast.

4 survival strategies for IT chaos
CIOs across all industries are facing unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, from forces such as cyber attacks, consumer technologies, and changing global privacy rules and industry regulations. Here are four strategies for coping.

The Grill: Cynthia Nustad creates a culture of transparency
Cynthia Nustad, senior vice president and CIO at Health Management Systems, says having an engaged and educated executive team, with a clear understanding of IT investments, creates a higher chance for project success.

Using private clouds for all the right reasons
Here's why some customers are adopting the technology and which vendors they turned to for help.

IT hiring: Your text resume is soooo last century
IT job seekers embrace social, video, graphic elements to enhance their resumes and launch themselves to the head of the line for first-round interviews.

Data+ Awards: Vanguard Health delivers millions in new revenue with analytics
Vanguard Health Systems' IDology platform identifies target populations for marketing efforts, bringing in new revenue.

Data+ Awards: Harvard's Clean Energy Project gets a massive speed boost
Harvard's Clean Energy Project is using a distributed volunteer computing platform to perform quantum chemical calculations on millions of organic material candidates. Researchers could perform in three years, what a single computer would need 17,000 years to handle.

Data+ Awards: Ingram Micro nets 135% increase in service renewals
Ingram Micro implemented a new contract renewal system that uses data from its ERP and CRM systems, product catalogs, pricing documents, and point of sale, ordering and transaction systems to identify expiring contracts.

Data+ Editor's Choice Awards 2013
These 12 honorees were selected for their ability to make better business decisions using big data.

Data+ Awards: Constant Contact culls trends from billions of emails
Using IBM's InfoSphere BigInsights tools, Constant Contact culls insights from its massive data repositories to help small businesses improve their email marketing campaigns.

Data+ Awards: Novation helps hospitals get better deals on supplies
Armed with data from more than 2,400 healthcare providers, Novation helps hospitals ensure that they're getting the best prices on everything from latex gloves to surgical equipment, offering a mobile app that pushes alerts on changing prices to decision-makers.

Data+ Awards: Procter & Gamble puts worldwide BI data in executives' hands
P&G's Business Spheres give executives an easy-to-use BI tool and access to near-real-time data, and enable them to do predictive analytics for answering 'what if' questions.

Data+ Awards: LiveRail delivers detailed metrics on ad spending
LiveRail tracks metrics about advertising campaigns to help the publishers who make up its customer base make better decisions about ad placements, which in turn helps them attract and retain advertisers.

Data+ Awards: Intel uses BI to quickly contain and remediate security threats
Intel's Security Business Intelligence platform collects and parses event and contextual data at a rate of more than 1 million events per second, and is capable of drilling down into selected anomalies to help users identify the cause of potentially abnormal behavior.

Data+ Awards: Florida youth welfare agency pinpoints aid with BI
A new BI tool analyzes data from community programs, the juvenile justice system and census records to help the Pinellas County Juvenile Welfare Board offer more assistance for less money.

Data+ Awards: BI helps Quintiles speed new drugs to market
Pharmaceutical services provider Quintiles created a software platform that integrates data and processes associated with a drug's life cycle and collects, cleans and prepares that data for analysis, helping to speed new drugs to market.

Data+ Awards: Express Scripts helps drive down the cost of prescriptions
Physicians connect to Express Scripts' ExpressPath platform via mobile device or desktop to determine how much a prescription will cost before the purchase, resulting in an average savings for patients of 10% to 15% on specialty drugs and speeding up the approval process.

4G: The new enterprise network
Adding 4G infrastructure has its own pain points, including getting coverage everywhere you need it. Three early adopters share their experiences and lessons learned.

IT careers: Does it pay to become a brand specialist?
Hitching your wagon to the latest 'it' technology can lead to lucrative pay and compelling job opportunities, but it's not without risk. dBase developer, anyone?

Surprise: Mobile devices don't help office ergonomics
For generations, office ergonomics involved various measures intended to keep employees productive while they remained in their chairs. New thinking and new devices are changing all that.

Meet Windows Server's BYOD features
Workplace join, work folders and other new Windows Server 2012 R2 features help beleaguered IT staffers manage the jungle of end user devices.

The 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders
Computerworld's 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders

Each year, Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders awards program honors the best and brightest IT executives. This year's class of 100 men and women are on the move, transforming their careers regularly on the way to the top.


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
Best places to work in IT 2013

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.