An ITBusiness.ca anniversary: The best we’ve ever published

These aren’t necessarily the biggest stories we’ve ever broken, or the ones that got the most hits. They’re the stories I think have set us apart, the ones I’m most proud of, and the tradition on which we hope to build our next five years of coverage and beyond. –Shane Schick

No one knew what would happen once HP pulled off what it still the largest acquisition in high-tech history. But 12 months after the integration, we decided to create a report card like no other, consulting with analysts, customers and the head of the local operation. It was a great example of ITBusiness.ca working as a team, and keeping our focus relentlessly Canadian.

HP Canada: One year after the merger
5/7/2003 We check in with customers like CIBC and McMaster University to see what the addition of Compaq has brought to the table, while comparing market stats with Evans and IDC. Plus: Paul Tsaparis offers his own evaluation


This to me is a quintessential ITBusiness.ca story, in that it unearths a Canadian angle within the industry’s largest, most global player. Our assistant editor Neil Sutton came up with the idea and guided contributing writer John Lee to produce something I’ve never read anywhere else.

Microsoft, eh
11/28/2003 The Canadian invasion of Redmond is underway. Canuck employees tell us why they’re so populous at the software giant’s HQ and the real reason the next version of Windows is code-named Longhorn


We’ve been covering PIPEDA, Canada’s privacy law, since it was still in draft form, but no one would have guessed what would happen the first time it was put to the test. ITBusiness.ca was among the first publications anywhere with this story, and it raised some questions around the regulation of personal information that have yet to be resolved.

Meet Canada’s first privacy plaintiff
8/6/2002 Matthew Englander is using the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act to take Telus to court — for publishing his personal information in its White Pages. Experts who helped draft the legislation offer their take on a history-making case


I turned 30, and suddenly the lights went out. I spent the day after my birthday doing interviews from a payphone at the Hyatt and posting stories at a Chapters Internet café. It was the work we did a few days later, however, that really looked at the impact the blackout had, and continues to have, on enterprise business continuity strategies.

Data in the Dark
8/18/2003 Businesses are trying to conserve power, but providers are channeling all their energies to keep online commerce running smoothly. CIBC tells us how they keep track of their transactions

We’ve done our fair share of stories about the so-called brain drain and IT skill shortages that have cropped up, but the rise of corporate governance and increased security concerns mean there is sometimes a flip side to recruiting. That’s why I thought this how-to guide by Geoffrey Downey gave some practical advice that’s worth repeating.

Termination Relationship Management
Security breaches are often internal affairs. Let forensic technology specialists teach you what to watch for when firing IT staff, and how to handle surprise discoveries like pornography on the desktop


We were getting sick of hearing about how hard it was for IT departments and users to make peace and develop a constructive working relationship, so we decided to find out why. A “Saturday Night Live” sketch that ran at the time provided an unusual, but useful illustration

Soft Skills Series

Why can’t we all just get along?
7/15/2002 A special three-part series examines the complex interpersonal skills corporate enterprises are demanding of their IT staff. Do you need training?
Soft cell
7/15/2002 Why we created the soft skills series

The diplomacy of IT management
7/16/2002 Our three-part series continues with a look at how two seasoned executives act as referees between technology specialists and enterprise users

Soft in the headquarters
7/17/2002 Our three-part series concludes as CIBC explains how soft skills are incorporated into performance reviews, while London Health Sciences Centre shares its formula for individual development

IT goes crazy for a sharp-dressed man
7/18/2002 Jettison the T-shirt. Soft skills training starts with the wardrobe


Offshore outsourcing still has a lot of people scared, but in 2002 I suspected many firms would choose instead to form more limited, though strategic partnerships. Such alliances could have as big an impact on IT staffing as anything that happens in India.

The outsourcer’s offspring
8/2/2002 While IBM integrates PwC Consulting and HP digests Compaq, IT firms and their customers are doing the next best thing: forming new companies together. Are joint ventures the new mergers?

Despite having once run a retail gaming section in Computer Dealer News, I almost never bother with video games. You don’t have to be an avid player, though, to recognize the contribution game developers are making to the field of programming in general. I asked Neil Sutton to explore this area further, and as usual he came up with a winner

Games People Play
11/25/2005 Enterprise applications and new titles for the Xbox 360 are looking more and more alike — at least under the covers. Find out how “play-testing” and “serious games” are reshaping software of all kinds


Last summer’s Massive Change exhibit at the AGO reminded me of how much innovation comes out of the military, and why it’s a helpful segment from which to get a sense of where technology is headed. Fawzia Sheikh surprised me with the level of detail she was able to get out of DND officials and others about the kind of projects that could one day move from an army base and into the war zone we call the corporate enterprise

Armed with IT

Canada’s Military faces steep costs with IT makeover
11/1/2004 5:00:00 PM Defence R&D Canada explores a handful of technologies to prepare our armed forces for rapidly evolving security needs. Can we afford them?

The digitization of the battlefield
11/2/2004 Network-centric warfare could speed decision-making and avoid “friendly fire” incidents. Experts debate whether it’s enough to lift the fog of war

The autonomic army
11/3/2004 Intelligent software systems could put machines on the front lines instead of human beings, but analysts wonder whether killer robots are the military’s best solution

Weapons of microelectronic destruction
11/4/2004 In an age of global terrorism, directed energy may represent the kind of adaptive technology Defence R&D Canada needs. Find out where it might appear outside the military


Few markets have seen as much upheaval as telecommunications since deregulation a few years ago. After all the CLEC implosions, we noticed the ones left behind were adopting some interesting business models. Longtime contributor Grant Buckler showed us just how much the incumbents and their rivals were changing.

The telco transformed
10/22/2004 The combination of massive network coverage and a growing concern in data markets could mean Bell, Allstream and Telus are ready to challenge the leading integrators. Should IBM and EDS be worried?


It’s always interesting to wonder what might have been, and every now and then we would imagine some Bizarro world where major industry turning points had turned in another direction. We took those daydreams to the next level with “Alternate Universe.” I think it’s a good way to end off this list, because it proves you never what the future holds.

Alternate Universe

Alternate Universe: HP doesn’t buy Compaq
7/16/2004 Our new semi-regular series begins by exploring where the IT industry would be today if its largest merger had never happened. An author, an academic, two resellers and a user share their thoughts
History in the faking
7/16/2004 Why we created “Alternate Universe”

Alternate Universe: Apple licenses the Mac
9/17/2004 The release of HP’s iPod stirs up the industry’s oldest debate — if Steve Jobs had treated his OS like Windows in 1984, would Apple look more like Microsoft in 2004?

Alternate Universe: Microsoft splits into two4/15/2005 Five years ago, a U.S. judge told the software firm to separate its operating system and apps divisions. If his decision hadn’t been overturned, what would have happened? Experts mull the possibilities

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