CFOs Eye IT Security, Sell-side Systems

Interesting report from iSource Online summarizes the results of a recent survey of CFOs on IT issues. While it’s no surprise that security remains a major concern, the primary emphasis for CFOs in 2003 will be improvements in customer-facing systems. Other news of note, most CFOs remain wary of outsourcing and 25% of CFOs do not communicate with CIOs on budgets.

Open Source in the Corporate Environment – Practical Issues

I found two great articles today on the practical issues involved in using Open Source software (Linux, et al.) in the corporate environment.
The first comes from the ever useful CIO Magazine (free to qualified subscribers) and is called “Your Open Source Plan.” The abstract says, “Once a toy for geeks, open source is slowly but surely filtering into the enterprise and transforming the way software is designed, sold and supported. And any CIO without an open-source strategy in 2003 will be paying too much for IT in 2004.” This article is as good a piece as I’ve seen on practical aspects of Open Source in the corporate enterprise, and includes a good number of actual “from the trenches” reports. Highly recommended.
The second, called “Free and Clear?” by Sanjay Murthi in Intelligent Enterprise, sets out a good summary of business issues involved in selecting Open Sources options, concluding that looking at only licensing costs is unwise indeed. It’s a good companion piece for the optimistic CIO article.
Are there many legal issues with the Open Source licenses? Only enough for me to write a law review article. See “A Primer on Open Source License Legal Issues: Copyright, Copyleft and Copyfuture,” from the St. Louis U. Public Law Review. I also keep a set of links to resources on Legal issues on the Open Source licenses at http://www.denniskennedy.com/opensourcelaw.htm.

Revisiting the Legal Technology Primer

As some of you know, for a few years I have been collecting my articles on legal technology topics in the form of an “online book” as a method of organizing what is now approximately 100 articles. I’ve referred to that online book as “The Legal Technology Primer.”
As a few others of you know, I’ve recently been working on re-editing The Legal Technology Primer, with the idea of turning it into an e-book and/or downloadable PDF book, in large part because it is quite unwieldy to read in its current online version. After finishing up a first pass this evening, I was pleasantly surprised by how well some of the older pieces still stand up and how interested I still am in many of the themes that I addressed much earlier in my writing (simplicity, usability, workability).
There were two articles in particular that I found especially interesting. One was called “Fast Fish and New Technologies: Ten Advantages Small Firms Have Over Large Firms,” which seems even more accurate today, especially since I’ve spent the past 3 years at a firm over 300 lawyers, than it was when I wrote it in 1997. The second is called “Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and Late Night Thoughts on Rethinking the Practice of Law,” ostensibly a book review of the book, Dealers of Lightning, about Xerox and its legendary ability to develop new and compelling technologies but inability to bring them to market. When I wrote that article, it felt very unfinished (hence the title) and I keep thinking that I’m going to return to it and the themes it addressed, but now I’m thinking that it, in its own way, may stand as it is.
I recommend both articles, both to those of you who are familiar with my writing and those of you who are not, as windows into some of the issues about law and technology that fascinate me most.