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Organizational Politics Stymie Grid Computing; Mastering Web-Services Security; Tips to Optimize You

Organizational Politics Stymie Grid Computing; Mastering Web-Services Security; Tips to Optimize You

Organizational Politics Stymie Grid Computing

In a recent study of 40 companies, 89 percent surveyed said there are non-technical barriers to successful implementation of grid-computing technology. These barriers include "server hugging" (or not wanting to share servers) loss of control and problems related to sharing IT budget. The report said many respondents commented that the technical challenges are more easily dealt with, whereas the cultural, process, and people-related issues are far more difficult to overcome. The report called "Technology Issues for Financial Executives," was conducted by Financial Executives Institute and Computer Sciences Corp. For more on grid computing, see WST's April feature story.


Mastering Web-Services Security

One of the top concerns surrounding the use of Web services within the financial-services industry is security. A newly published book, called Mastering Web Services Security (written by Bret Harman, Donald Flinn, Konstantin Beznosov and Shirley Kawamoto) delves into the issues and solutions in detail. Some of the topics covered include: XML security and Web-services security, security-assertion-markup language, security of infrastructures for Web-services security, .Net Web-services security, java Web services, interoperability, etc.

The basic premise of the book is that, "Applications requiring Web-services security can use a unified security architecture. Authentication, authorization, accountability, administration and cryptography security services can be provided by a lightweight but robust architecture common to all defined applications," writes John Kirkwood, director, global security strategy and architecture, Credit Suisse First Boston.

He explains that his firm used the book's strategy to implement security for Web services at CSFB, noting that flexibility, ease of implementation and robustness were critical when looking at any type of framework. He also emphasizes that international regulatory and audit requirements strongly encourage the firms to find ways to standardize and reduce complexity. A paradigm shift is required, but according to Kirkwood, it is worth it. The book is published by Wiley Publishing, Inc.


Tips to Optimize Your IT Organization

Concerned about creating a nimble IT organization that can shrink and grow with your needs? Deloitte Consulting has published a pamphlet it calls Aficionados, "Chief Information Officers: Shaping the Future of Financial Services," where it offers tips on outsourcing, platform consolidation, getting more value from CRM and more. Below is an excerpt from the pamphlet on Optimizing Your IT Organization.

How can you create an IT-organizational model that can shrink and grow like a concertina, in response to business demands - without having to restructure your organization every other month? Focus on these three things:

Resources: Get the mix right. Identify potential resources - both internal and external for all the required roles in your organization. Rely on external resources, especially in roles that do not create competitive advantage, so you can respond more effectively to changing investment appetites.

Structure: Use your resources strategically to identify where you should operate with shared services and where decentralization would be more effective. The organizational "model" you choose can influence how easy it is to shrink and grow your IT organization. A structure, which creates numerous organizational divisions, has the potential for process breaks and service disruption.

Governance: Work proactively to build business confidence through increased transparency. Design your governance to involve senior executives. Look hard at the decision making style you utilize in the governance model. There are a number of decisions making styles that can be used ranging from business dominated to "IT Monarchy". Tailor the steps to suit the type of decision to be made. Remember - governance is key to successful alignment of your business and your IT organization.

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