Stories by Divina Paredes

Lukewarm to flexiworking

There is also a lot of mistrust and rivalry between co-workers regarding flexible working, and those who work away from the office are subject to criticism and corridor gossip from colleagues, says a new report.
According to the report Mobility and Mistrust commissioned by Toshiba and conducted by Sweeney Research, only 35 per cent of New Zealand organisations currently have flexible workplaces. Yet, 39 per cent of personnel in non-flexible workplaces have jobs that can be undertaken flexibly.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Sept. 04 22:00

Security mismatch

The result is a constant game of catch-up, with companies investing in technology to support new business investments and then discovering they have to plug the security holes the new investments created.
A recent AMR Research survey of 220 IT and security professionals shows 56 per cent of companies will increase their security budgets by an average of 7.4 per cent, while only 2 per cent plan to decrease them.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Sept. 04 22:00

Panning for gold

Corporate data is no different from iron ore, says Mike Evertzen of Telecom.The latter is just rock in the ground and becomes of value only if extracted.
"It is the same thing with data," he says. "It is meaningless if it sits in its raw form."

Written by Divina Paredes31 Aug. 04 22:00

Clearing the legacy thicket

After 18 months of trying to streamline corporate reporting through a data warehouse integration, Redeal opted for a fresh approach that is now paying dividends.
Multiple legacy systems were the challenge for group IT manager Peter Jameson. When it came time to produce reports for either the local operation or the company’s Paris head office, data had to be extracted from four servers and, depending on complexity, the process would take half a day or longer. Then, if a combined result was required for the entire organisation, these reports had to be merged using Excel. The process was “time consuming and prone to error”, says Jameson.

Written by Divina Paredes30 June 04 22:00

Graduating with distinction

When Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) deployed a new budget forecast, planning and analysis platform, users were prepared for a steep learning curve.
The migration followed a period of revenue growth and devolution of fiscal responsibility to the 24 heads of school. The university’s focus was not on cost cutting, but driving profitability. Heads of schools and units were made accountable by being provided with a target.

Written by Divina Paredes30 April 04 22:00

Defence mechanisms

Two years ago, Port of Napier (PoN) allowed internal users and clients to access data online and reduced their dependence on fax machines and phone calls to confirm transactions.
This was part of a major systems upgrade that put the enterprise ahead of the competition in e-commerce functionality and the provision of real-time data.

Written by Divina Paredes30 April 04 22:00

Criminal expeditions

The Asia-Pacific region is seeing repeated attacks launched from fraudulent email and “that is just the beginning,” Brightmail’s Garry Sexton warns.
Authorities need to attack the people behind the “criminal side of spam”, as these could adversely affect business communications – particularly those of networked enterprises, says Sexton, vice president Asia-Pacific of the anti-spam software and services firm.

Written by Divina Paredes30 April 04 22:00

Power of three

During a meeting in Wellington for industry training organisations (ITOs), Ian Hogg and Ashley Perera from Forestry Industry Training discussed their common concerns about their Microsoft Access database system.
“We were dissatisfied with the system and wanted to move onto a SQL-based system,” says Hogg, financial controller of the Electro-Technology Industry Training Organisation (ETITO).

Written by Divina Paredes31 March 04 22:00

Slow uptake for licence to work

Locally, however, the uptake for the examinations leading to the licence is higher among those in school than those already in the workplace, according to Charles Wedd, New Zealand Computer Society Northern branch manager.
Wedd says more New Zealand employers should be aware of the benefits of ICDL. “It is a slow process getting employers to seek the benefits of more computer literate and competent staff.”

Written by Divina Paredes28 Feb. 04 22:00

The price of spam

Bill Gates is “half right” in believing spam could be eradicated in two years through technology and electronic stamps. That is the opinion of Forrester senior analyst James Nail, who reckons the spam problem may be solved in maybe three, not two, years.
As for charging the spammer, Nail says there have to be fundamental changes in email infrastructure for ‘postage’ to work as a deterrent. “Right now, no one agrees on the specifications for those changes, and there are active dialogues around a number of different systems. It will take time for the industry to come to consensus, and then the standard must be broadly adopted before it will have any impact.”

Written by Divina Paredes28 Feb. 04 22:00

Beyond the grapevine

Concerns regarding corporate data also emerged. As Dennis Robinson, winery services manager points out, “When Montana took over Corbans, there was a huge number of people who had stuff in their PC. Basically, staff may have left and had important research work sitting on one PC or a local server.”
There was always the possibility employees could be duplicating works unknowingly, or important research was not being distributed. And when employees left the organisation, their research findings might easily have been lost, he says.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Jan. 04 22:00

Sharpen your pencil

The University of Waikato used to run a student management system designed for a February-to-November academic year. But, like most higher-education institutions, it had already diversified its offerings to include summer sessions and short courses throughout the year.
The Ministry of Education was also demanding in its reporting requirements; it wanted data that could not be easily gathered using the old system. Meanwhile, more students were enrolling from overseas.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Sept. 03 22:00

Outpacing the Aussies

For around a year, information technology staff in New Zealand have been benefiting from a ‘double whammy’ in salaries, compared with their Australian counterparts.
According to a survey by Classified Salary Information Services (CSi), New Zealand IT staff remaining in the same position received an average 4.4 per cent increase in total remuneration (base salary plus benefits and variable pay) in the year to August 2003 and base salaries rose 4.6 per cent on average. This is well above the current consumer price index (CPI) of 1.5 per cent.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Sept. 03 22:00

A league of her own

The chairman of a recent IT conference ended his introduction of the first speaker for the day with the words, “I don’t envy your task.” The speaker was Joanne Bos, manager of the healthAlliance IS function. It has been said many a true word is spoken in jest, and the chairman’s introduction effectively places the demands of Bos’ current role in the spotlight.
The organisation, formed in July 2000, is a shared services company owned by the district health boards of Waitemata and Counties Manukau in Auckland. It aims to deliver back office functions to both boards and is responsible for transitioning their IT departments into a shared services structure. This means providing support to what Bos describes as “two separate and diverse infrastructures with different cultures, strategies and demands on information services”.

Written by Divina Paredes31 Aug. 03 22:00