CEO Pocket Guide to the Computer Biz, er, Business
Buerger, Dave, Chief Executive (U.S.)
CIOs, doctors, and politicians share a similar curse:
They can't speak plain English. Here's a quick entree to computerspeak that will help chief executives hold their own during the next IT (oops, that's Information Technology) tete-a-tete. Chief Information Officer (CIO). He's supposed to be running your computers and stuff, but he's more worried about appearing to be a business guy. CIOs lust after just one thing: your job.
IT Organization (ITO). A mysterious bureaucracy run by the CIO that normal employees love to hate. Be bold-it's a great candidate for outsourcing.
Client/Server. A new timewaster that's supposed to replace the mainframe and save money. The development software is so simple that none of the mainframe programmers knows how it works.
Cross-Functionality. Desired trait of mainframe programmers who have to learn client/server. Also, ability of hardware to do many things, according to the guy who sold you the darn box.
Client/server programming technique akin to Tinker Toys. Computer instructions are put into modules like those round, knob-like pieces. The system works when you plug 'em all together with the sticks. Objects are reusable if not glued.
Data Warehouse. Like a giant room filled with computer diskettes containing every report in memory, and then some. Ensures that no one goes without some dirt on his or her predecessor.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Automated software that lets suppliers and customers shovel more reports into your data warehouse. But not to worry; that saves money, too.
Internet. Time magazine's next "Man of the Year." A revolutionary network connecting every computer and wacko in the world, filled with smut and already attracting mall rats. Like your IT Organization, no one really runs it; unlike the ITO, it actually works. …