The Community for Technology Leaders

The IT Professional Outlook: Where Do We Go from Here?


Pages: pp. 4-5

As this magazine's new editor in chief, I want to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and prosperous new year. I assume my new duties with a sense of responsibility, opportunity, potential, and drive for the future. In just 10 years, IT Pro has grown in stature and is now poised to make further leaps forward. I thank Arnold Bragg, Frank Ferrante, and Bill Chou for their exemplary service as this magazine's previous EICs. It's only by assuming this position that I truly realize how great their efforts have been.

For IT professionals, 2010 will bring new challenges. The dynamics of the IT workforce and workplace, the increase of globalization and diversification, the rise of health information technology, the proliferation of mobile computing, the complexity of IT asset management, the growth of outsourcing, the rise of open software, and the commoditization of IT services will continue to have significant impacts on our profession. Accordingly, you can expect to see more articles on these topics in IT Pro in the year ahead (see the sidebar for more details).

In fact, I have many plans for the next two years:

  • Diversify the editorial board to broaden its reach and coverage along gender lines, geographic distribution, and disciplines.
  • Establish a strong editorial leadership team that includes two experienced associate EICs (Jeff Voas and Phil Laplante).
  • Expand our departments to respond to current issues, summarize recent advances, augment hot topic coverage, highlight new trends, facilitate practical debates, elevate the magazine's visibility, and improve readership and circulation.
  • Establish a branded IT Pro white paper series through the IEEE Computer Society's ReadyNotes and TechSets programs to offer in-depth coverage of hot topics.
  • Establish a strong presence on Computing Now with blogs or themes that have broad interest to IT professionals.
  • Cosponsor or sponsor conferences and symposia to engage IT practitioners, facilitate interaction, highlight recent advances, and increase the magazine's visibility within the IT professional community.

We can always improve what we already do, though, and IT Pro is committed to perfecting our peer review process. This should translate into getting useful and practical information into your hands sooner, which in turn will contribute to your professional success and career advancement.

I'm looking forward to your continued support, as well as that from our authors, editorial board members, advisory board members, and staff editors at the IEEE Computer Society publications office. I welcome your feedback on how we're doing and how we can make the magazine even more useful to you, our readers. Send your comments to

New Editorial Board Members

Please join me in welcoming four new editorial board members to the magazine's masthead.

  • Jinan Fiaidhi is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Lakehead University, where she focuses on collaborative e-learning systems, multimedia visualization, and Web services. Contact her at
  • Sunil Mithas is an assistant professor in the Department of Decision, Operations, and Information Technologies at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he focuses on strategic management and the impact of IT resource allocation. Contact him at
  • San Murugesan is director of the Graduate Centre for Management at Multimedia University in Malaysia, where his research focuses on cloud, green, and mobile computing. Contact him at
  • Bruce Potter is chief technologist and co-founder of Ponte Technologies, where he focuses on assisting organizations currently experiencing high levels of active attacker activity within their networks. Contact him at

What to Expect in 2010

In the year ahead, you can expect to see a diverse range of topics in both our featured articles and shorter department pieces. In particular, we've slated the following special issues devoted to specific themes:

  • IT workforce and workplace. Organizations today experience a growing diversity among employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. In the past, we recognized national origin, age, gender, and cultural orientation as the basic attributes of diversity, but in the decade ahead, they'll expand to include factors such as digital orientation, employment modes, thinking styles, economic status, and even geographic preference.
  • Health IT. US President Barack Obama's stimulus plan calls for investing more than $20 billion to leverage IT to improve healthcare systems and establish electronic health records. In the March/April issue, we present articles about personal health records, health record exchanges, health IT networks, and other applications.
  • Mobile computing. With the ubiquitous prevalence of cell phones, iPhones, Blackberries, and other handheld devices, mobile technologies continue to set the pace as the highest-volume segment of the digital world. The May/June issue will showcase some successfully deployed applications, demonstrate challenging research issues, and highlight other aspects of mobile computing.
  • IT asset management. Cost-effective IT asset and procurement management has never been more essential than during this period of economic uncertainty. The July/August issue will present case studies, articles on best practices, experience reports, and research summaries addressing questions related to asset management.
  • Cloud computing. The latest computing paradigm shift redefines the relationship between buyers and sellers of IT-related products and services. The September/October issue will examine the landscape of cloud computing, its impact, and how to accommodate it as part of overall service management strategy.
  • Open source software. "Free" or open source software is a very hot topic in the IT and other industries. The November/December issue will cover specific strategies for addressing its potential role for maximizing value and minimizing potential risks.

In addition to feature articles on this wide range of topics, you can expect to see our regular department installments cover similarly important issues from different angles:

  • CIO Corner. Tom Costello, CTO of UpStreme, offers thoughts and tips to deal with issues, challenges, and opportunities facing CIOs.
  • Developing Soft Skills. Bill Chou, the chair of our advisory board and this magazine's founding EIC, brings together best practices, tips, and lessons learned in leading and managing diverse technical staff and projects.
  • Insecure IT. Rick Kuhn, computer scientist at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Bruce Potter, chief technologist at Ponte Technologies, offer perspectives on architectures, designs, processes, practices, measures, and lessons learned to improve enterprise IT security and protect privacy.
  • IT Ethics. Keith Miller, a professor at the University Illinois, Springfield, provides thought-provoking discussions on ethical problems in relation to the use and development of IT.
  • Perspectives. Helmed by Jeff Voas, one of our AEICs, this department offers viewpoints on current and upcoming IT issues and challenges.
  • Smart IT. Gil Miller, vice president of Noblis, and Karen Evans, at KE&T, team up to provide tips and lessons learned in leveraging "smart" IT to reduce cost, increase efficiency, and support growth.
  • Trends. Helmed by Phil Laplante, one of our AEICs and a professor at Penn State University, this department looks at predictions, emerging trends, technology advances, and best practices.

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