The Roundup: IT Services Spending On the Rise

By CIN Staff

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Gartner: IT Services Spending Is Growing
New research from Gartner Inc., of Stamford, Conn., details the increases related to corporate spending on IT services (as opposed to hardware and software) now and what's expected in the next several years. According to Gartner's Dataquest research division, during 2000, more than 40% of user external IT spending was on IT services, and that will rise to 45% by 2004.

According to Gartner analysts, successful organizations "will embrace the notion of a multisourced environment to support their business needs and will re-skill IT to effectively manage and optimize external service provider (ESP) relationships."

During the past three years, Gartner Dataquest user survey results revealed a growth in the use of ESPs. The tendency to prefer existing suppliers rose across all company size categories. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed showed interest in using independent consultants and are considering outsourcing strategies of various types. More than half of the companies sampled expressed a willingness to form joint-venture relationships with ESPs.

Prepare for Flood of Enterprise Mobile Devices
Gartner predicts that a "flood" of new mobile devices for the enterprise by 2004 will force 50% or more of Fortune 2000 companies' IS departments to support three distinct solutions: low-speed wireless data only, voice plus Web access and high-speed wireless LAN access. Gartner analysts say businesses must be "selectively aggressive" in the early adoption of only those mobile technologies that support key business initiatives and market imperatives.

"Enterprises should buy standardized devices for business users who can prove that they have a need, or provide an incentive program for employees to purchase all PDAs and smart phones throughout the company," said Ken Dulaney, vice president and research director for Gartner. "Unmanaged, untracked PDAs and phones must not synchronize with enterprise systems, unless the user agrees to install and maintain enterprise-supplied security, backup and auditing tools."

According to Gartner, by adopting multiple mobile-computing appliances, users are creating the "age of the personal area network (PAN)." By 2002, 80% of mobile devices in the enterprise will contain at least 20% personally managed programs and data. By 2003, mobile workers will spend at least 20 minutes per day in a personal data synchronization process. Gartner forecasts that by 2004, 60% of mobile workers will be compelled to carry technologies that offer instant response by voice and hourly response by e-mail. Currently, there is not a determined timetable when mobile workers with cell phones and PDAs will respond to an inquiry. With emerging technologies, the response time will improve dramatically.

Telecom: Time to Make a Career Switch?
A new study indicates many workers in the telecommunications industry think the sector downturn has lasted longer than they expected, and more than two-thirds surveyed say the slump has lasted so long that they're thinking about looking outside of telecom for their next job.

The JobSeeker Survey from TelecomCareers.Net showed that 63% of those asked thought "things would be looking up by now." Sixty-eight percent said they would look for employment in areas other than telecom. Six months ago, 47% said they would look for greener pastures in other industries, according to the survey.

When asked about employment security last March, 55% of telecom workers said they felt secure in their jobs. By September, that number was down to 38%.

Earnings expectations by telecom workers have undergone an adjustment as well. Sixty percent of telecom professionals surveyed said they do not expect to make more money in 2001 than they did in 2000.

-- This item by Bob Woods of OpticallyNetworked.com, an internet.com site.

Deleted 'Sensitive' Information Still Available Via Google
Heightened security concerns have led a number of organizations to remove "sensitive" information from their web sites, yet much of this information is still available, even to people with relatively modest searching skills.

Among those organizations removing content, the Federation of American Scientists' (FAS) Web site removed diagrams and photos of U.S. intelligence facilities, according to the Associated Press. The Washington Post reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed a "Report on Chemical Terrorism," which describes industry's shortcomings in preparing for a possible terrorist attack.

The CDC report, as well as thousands of apparently deleted pages from the FAS web site, are still available via Google's cache feature. Also available is a page with detailed information of where and how the FAS obtained some of the images and maps it formerly made available on its site.

A search on Google using the phrase "U.S. intelligence facilities" limited to the FAS web site returned more than 4,500 results. Clicking most result links resulted in "404 - not found" messages. This should be expected since the pages were taken down relatively recently and Google has not yet recrawled the site and removed the now dead links from its database.

However, clicking the link to "cached" copies of more than a dozen of these search results displayed the expected page. Most, if not all of the deleted pages will remain available until Google recrawls the site and removes the dead links from its index.

Google isn't proactively removing content from its database, even for cases like the FAS site which was reported in major media outlets. "We're not doing anything special," said Google spokesperson David Krane. "The Net is changing so fast right now there's just too much to stay on top of."

Google provides a number of methods for removing pages from its cache, or preventing a page from being cached when the crawler first discovers it. For urgent situations, Google also provides an automated means for removing large numbers of pages from its cache.

Some of the content reported by the AP and Washington Post as being deleted is not available via Google, or any other search engine, for that matter. Most of this information appears to have been stored in web-accessible databases, making it part of the Invisible Web. An example is the Environmental Protection Agency's RMP*Info Risk Management Plan Database. This system allowed extensive searching of hazardous materials stored at thousands of locations by facility name, chemical name, or geographic location. The database's search form is still available via Google's cache, but attempting to search the database using the form simply returns a "404 - Not Found" message.

-- This report is from SearchDay on SearchEngineWatch.com, an internet.com site.