Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

As I walked into the lobby of the San Francisco Hilton last Wednesday, it certainly didn’t feel like the dog days of IT’s summer. The hotel was hosting the Shared Insights conference on Customer
Self Service
technology and practice, where I gave an afternoon
session on security
issues for customer- and partner-facing sites
—which I summarized
in my InfraSpectrumpodcast later that week.

Among my key points: The growing requirements imposed on those who handle personal data, and the rising expectations of customers and partners for reliable protection, make it ever more attractive for all but the largest sites to purchase
security from expert service providers
rather than trying to do it

Also on site at the Hilton were the LinuxWorld throngs, who heard
IBM promise
that Linux was just the beginning of the open-source transformation
of enterprise IT— and who also heard creative-rights legal eagle
Lawrence Lessig congratulate them for not needing IBM to legitimize
their craziness

Meanwhile, at the other end of the country in Baltimore, eWEEK’s
indefatigable Darryl Taft appeared to be mind-melding with our Web site
to produce a steady stream of news from the IBM Share
enterprise user group event
—and somewhere near the great-circle
route between us, researchers at Chicago-based Luhrq were busily
deconstructing the command-and-control
infrastructure of the Mocbot Trojan
that triggered this month’s
unusually urgent warning from
the Department of Homeland Security

So much for taking any kind of summer vacation.

Under the circumstances, it would be all too tempting to head for
the IT war room and occupy yourself full time with fighting
the fires of network threats
and staying
abreast of technical disruptions
. As difficult as it may be,
though, I hope that this column’s readers will also find time to make
themselves an integral part of the enterprise strategy sessions that
are ultimately the reason for doing the IT gruntwork—and not fall into
the trap
of thinking that IT is an end, not a means.

Tell me what’s on your war room’s radar at

Check out’s for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.