by Esther Schindler

CIO’s Most Popular Information Technology Stories of 2007

Dec 28, 20074 mins
AppleEnterprise ApplicationsERP Systems

From dead technology we mourned to extreme IT to operating systems we love, peruse our most-read stories from 2007.


1. Dearly Departed: Companies and Products That Didn’t Deserve to Die

In July we published our most popular story of the year: a collection of our favorite products that met their demise thanks in large part to unfortunate business decisions. Finding their way onto our list were several innovations-from minicomputers to software utilities-and more than a few of you added suggestions of your own. The topic was so popular, in fact, that we did a follow-up itemizing readers’ most mourned products.

Extreme IT

2. Seven Wonders of the IT World

The fastest supercomputer. The most intriguing data center. The constantly changing core at the heart of Linux. We gave you a tour of the most impressive and most unusual marvels of the IT world… and boy, did you love the ride.

Just Say No

3. Eight Sound Reasons Not to Use MySQL

It’s always useful to set two authoritative speakers down on opposite sides of an issue; readers can listen to both opinions and make an informed decision. We asked one author to explain the reasons that IT departments might want to give a thumbs-down to the popular open-source MySQL database, and also asked a subject matter expert to explain the flip side, why MySQL is a great idea. Twice as many were interested in the reasons to say No as were interested in supporting the database. Go figure.

Crash Course

4. ABCs: An Introduction to ERP

Our ABCs — short introductions to key technology topics — are our “backlist” of articles that often are found by Web searchers who need a leg-up today. The most popular is our ABC on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and if you’re at all familiar with the topic, you’ll surely realize why. The ABCs of Supply Chain Management has been mighty popular, too. We also have an inclusive list of all (well, most) of the ABCs on one handy page.

To Catch A Predator

5. How Online Criminals Make Themselves Tough to Find, Near Impossible to Nab

You might not have guessed that a security article would be so popular. But this one, about the rise of new, easy-to-use antiforensic tools threatening to render computer forensics investigations cost-prohibitive and digital evidence-gathering unreliable in court, is fascinating (in a “wow, how ’bout that!” manner) as well as important for IT departments to know.

The Great Debate

6. Eight Financial Reasons Why You Should Use Mac OS

We learned from that MySQL example: people like to listen to debates, and there’s no subject that garners more passion than which OS is best. In late 2006, Meridith Levinson chronicled CIO John Halamka’s evaluation of the desktop operating system contenders in his quest for the next-generation office computer.

This year, Halamka updated his research by evalutating both Ubuntu and SUSE, and the Linux advocates came out to share their opinions. But it’s the Apple loyalists (and its detractors too) that brought two pro-Mac OS stories into the top 10. The first touted its cost-effectiveness, the second described how businesses breaking up with Windows can more easily integrate Mac OS X into the enterprise.

Phoning It In

7. Getting Clueful: Seven Things the CIO Should Know About Telecommuting

Esther Schindler asked IT workers who telecommute to share their advice for their bosses about the process, technology, and attitudes necessary for staff to be productive when they work from home. After compiling 34 pages (count ’em thirty-four) of input, these seven points were the ones that staff most desperately wished the boss would understand.

Lurking in the Shadows

8. User Management—Users Who Know Too Much and the CIOs Who Fear Them

We’ve been covering the “shadow IT” department all year. This article was its kickoff: the new IT department that isn’t under the CIO’s control. “You may not even be aware of it,” author Ben Worthen wrote. “But your users are, and figuring out how to work with it will be the key to your future and your company’s success.”

Fun and Games

9. Let’s Play Consultant

We sometimes get links from unlikely places. We’re almost embarrassed to admit it, but one of our top articles is the result of recommendations from a consumer game-related site. This fun quiz (which obviously is fun, or it wouldn’t remain this popular) came from a vaguely exhaustive and thoroughly unscientific survey of consultants about habits and preferences, complete with accessories and vocabulary. Also popular, and high on the entertainment scale, was Al Sacco’s list of 20 USB Gizmos That Have No Place in the Enterprise (But You’ll Love Just the Same).

Taking Care of Business

10. How to Spot a Failing Project

Often, the difference between success and failure is spotting critical early warning signs that a project is in trouble. Obviously, plenty of you were interested in learning how to identify the symptoms.