Mid-market misses on IT best… Maternity, paternity leave up… Customised choc-hits… Virginia Tech online frenzy

IT trends in the mid-market

Australian mid-market businesses are mostly in the dark on best practice in IT service management according to a new bi-annual report by IDC Australia for IT supplier Brennan.

The study found that 60% of IT managers in mid-market companies – which spend on average $196,000 in IT and $102,000 in fixed data communications a year – are not aware of, or have no plans to implement, IT Information Library (ITIL), which is considered as the world’s best practice in IT service management.

Dave Stevens, managing director of Brennan, says the result was surprising. ITIL is about the ways clients’ log, and service providers respond to, service desk calls, and the way they handle change management. He says introducing ITIL should lower IT costs and provide more predictable and replicable outcomes.

The study also found IT outsourcing is growing and mid-market companies are increasingly choosing a one-stop provider for telecommunications, data and IT infrastructure.

“They want one throat to choke,” he says. “It means that suppliers need to be able to offer all the services they offer. They have to originate, not just resell. As it all goes bad, clients want the partner to fix it, not blame another provider.”


Mum and dad leave increases

Nearly half of all working women are now entitled to paid maternity leave. About 44% of women now have access to paid maternity leave, up from 30.3% in 2002, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

Access to paternity leave also increased to 34.5% from 18.8% in 2002.


Customised chocolate treats

Here’s a good excuse to munch on some chocolate. You can now customse your own M&Ms reports trendhunter.com.

My M&Ms allows you to reach clients, employees, customers, or loved ones in a whole new way — via their chocolate cravings. You can replace the “m” logo with a personalised image, and choose from 21 colours to match your brand.

If you would prefer a different style of personalised chocolate – even a chocolate business card – check out this Australian website offering the service.


Virginia Tech events sent thousands online to share their grief

Almost immediately after Monday’s deadly shootings, Virginia Tech students created an “I’m OK” page on Facebook to let one another and their loved ones know that they survived, reports the Examiner.com. Other students posted photos and mobile phone videos on their own sites, or shared it just hours after the shootings with news organisations.

It’s social networking in action to help people cope with the feelings of helplessness from the tragedy. People gathering to grieve and vent their feelings.

Since Monday, there has been a non-stop flood of postings on the popular Facebook student site, on MySpace and LiveJournal, and on personal blogs – expressing everything from grief to anger to confusion, the paper reports. Even before names of the victims were officially released, a few students created Facebook memorial pages for some of the dead – though others worried that it was too soon, since family and friends were still being notified.

The dark side of the freedom of expression the web allows was evident too. There were several racist anti-Asian postings. And 23-year-old Wayne Chiang, who has a high profile on the web, was mistaken by some as the shooter – partly because his Facebook profile includes references to graduating from Virginia Tech and several photos of him with his gun collection. He had to mount a campaign to defend himself after he received death threats.


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