Johanna Ambrosio

Technology and business journalist

United States of America

Decades of technology and business journalism experience in news, features and website management; reporting, writing, assigning, editing and packaging high-impact stories for both online and print. Familiar or expert with content management systems, blogging, traffic monitoring, photo editing, HTML, social media (Twitter, LinkedIn) and other types of tools. Equally at home with content strategy and hands-on contributions. 10-plus years of management and mentoring experience.

IT leaders adjust budget priorities as economic outlook shifts

Budget planning during uncertain economic times is never CIOs' favorite activity. But the next eighteen months aren't shaping up to be as challenging as some may fear. For the most part, budgets are holding steady or growing in the single digits, with continued investments in security, analytics, and the cloud, among other areas.

CIOs rethink how they hire for hard-to-fill IT roles

CIOs need to try a lot harder these days to find IT talent, particularly when it comes to the most difficult-to-fill positions. Strategies most IT leaders are deploying include offering signing bonuses and more paid time off, being open to hiring people with different types of life experiences, and looking for cultural fit in addition to - or instead of - specific technical know-how.

It's not your grandmother's COBOL | TechBeacon

The most interesting shapeshifter around today isn't in the movies. It's something that you keep tucked away in the server room: your company's mainframe and the COBOL apps it runs. Mainframes, and the overall COBOL environment, are changing to accommodate cloud workloads.

How to find a new job while you're still employed

Your grandmother's advice still stands: Don't quit your current job until you have a written offer in hand. Yes, it is a job-seeker's market, with more perks and flexibility on the table than in past years. But it can take months, requiring multiple rounds of interviews with several levels of signoffs, to actually land a new position at a different company.

10 self-evaluation tips for a better performance review

If you approach the self-evaluation portion of your annual review like many people do, you give it only perfunctory attention - and start thinking about it a half-hour before the review meeting with your boss. That's exactly the wrong way to go about it, experts say.

Scale Exchange
How Waymo Is Using ML to Build a Scalable, Autonomous 'Driver' - Blog | Scale Exchange

Waymo, the autonomous driving technology company, is essentially building a human on wheels, says Dmitri Dolgov, the company's co-CEO. The goal: for the company's automated vehicles to see, reason, and drive like a person, only completely safely. Doing so successfully, however, involves multiple types of machine learning (ML) and much other technology.

How to make the most of an executive coach

Seeking out executive coaching can be a great move for ensuring your success as an IT leader. But you need to be prepared to do some difficult work, which can include dealing with negative feedback, engaging in serious introspection, and making changes to how you work and lead.

Top IT spending priorities for 2021

The pandemic will continue to influence IT budgets in the next 12 months in ways both large and small. Organizations will rely on technology to improve remote work infrastructure, expand digital transformation initiatives, and create or enhance a variety of customer services.

13 most difficult-to-fill IT jobs

The lineup of toughest IT jobs to fill hasn't changed much since last year, but one new factor might ease the situation in the months to come. Thanks to the work-from-home phenomenon, more people are now available for jobs that were once restricted to a candidates from a specific geographic area.

IT Reskilling More Important Than Ever - InformationWeek

Luckily, more options exist to help both companies and their individual employees get up to speed on new IT skills quickly. Given the mega-shortages in today's job market, savvy IT leaders are turning to a source of talent they already have: existing employees.

IT Recruiting: Time for New Approaches - InformationWeek

In today's market you'll need to find experienced IT people differently than you have in the past. IT leaders and other experts talk about how they do it. Time-tested ways of finding IT newbies still apply, but when it comes to luring experienced software engineers or DevOps leaders, today's hot job market means you need to get creative in who you look for and how you look for them.

DevOps Hiring: Look for the Right Mindset - InformationWeek

Managers hiring DevOps talent are shifting their focus from demanding specific technical skills to specific tools to how a candidate thinks and works. Tools come and go, but it's a candidate's mindset that is most important when hiring for DevOps positions. This is according to Conor Delanbanque, head of DevOps for MThree Consulting.

Hiring IT Specialists: Experience Still Matters - InformationWeek

When the competition for IT job candidates with specialized skills gets tough, look for experience but also be ready to pay a premium and toss some perks into the offer basket. Finding IT staffers with specific skills isn't necessarily difficult -- given the bevvy of tools and techniques available today -- but locating the right specialist can be painful.

Don't Neglect Your Data in a Rush to the Cloud - InformationWeek

Greg Hoffer, vice president of engineering at GlobalScape, says that sometimes customers get so caught up in the cloud's fast-and-easy mantra they don't fully think out the security implications for their data. Don't forget about your data in the rush to take advantage of the cloud's benefits.

How to Break Your App-Dev Logjam - InformationWeek

Greg Newton, vice president of technology at Asurion, says his company is now producing five, or even more, software releases each week - all thanks to a new development approach. It's not something you see every day in IT: A team member was walking down the hall and got a "giant hug" from an end-user who was thrilled with the new software being used in the call center.

Survey: Show Enterprise Architecture More Love - InformationWeek

If you want more respect from your business community, spend more time and energy on enterprise architecture (EA) planning. That's the bottom line of a recent survey from industry association CompTIA. Seth Robinson, the organization's senior director of technology planning, says that improved EA planning is required these days because of the increasing number of computing models, from cloud to the Internet of Things and continuous app delivery.

Manage What You Can't See: No Magic Required - InformationWeek

Andi Mann, chief technology officer at Splunk, is a big proponent of 'observability' - knowing what's happening with all systems, services and apps to be able to fix and, eventually, prevent problems. Don't rely on third-party services to keep your customers happy.

2016 Premier 100 Tech Leader: Paul S. Raines

Working in the ever-changing security field, in a multi­national setting, and dealing with cutbacks in resources driven by world events and geopolitics - now that's a disruptive situation. But it doesn't seem to faze Paul S. Raines, chief information security officer of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which runs economic development, quality of life and energy programs in 177 nations and territories.

When it comes to security, trust but verify

ORLANDO -- It's time to rethink a bunch of security truisms, Gartner analysts said at the company's annual Symposium/IT Expo here this week. The security rules companies have relied on for decades are ready for retirement. These include: Prevention is better than cure, humans are the weakest link, and access should be limited to just an employee needs to do his or her job.

So much data, so little security -- what happens if your city gets hacked?

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Businesses and individuals had better brace themselves for new security realities as society moves away from traditional data sharing equations that have worked well for a couple of decades. To date, users have agreed to give away certain discrete pieces of information -- such as a name or email addresses -- in exchange for something -- a product or a service, for instance.

Video chats with 7 premier IT leaders

This week marked the annual Computerworld Premier 100 conference, where IT leaders from around the world gathered in Tucson, Ariz., to hear from peers about innovative projects and be honored for their own work. Several of these leaders took some time to speak with Computerworld editors about their projects and trends affecting the IT industry.

From build to buy: American Airlines changes modernization course midflight

American Airlines was well into a simultaneous revamp of its Passenger Services System (PSS) and Flight Operating System (FOS), its two most mission-critical families of applications, when the airline changed course last January. The plan still calls for a gradual migration off of an inflexible and outdated mainframe architecture in favor of a modern, distributed computing platform.

IT execs say working with startups is worth the risk

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - IT leaders say they enjoy working with startups, but doing so successfully requires understanding the level of risk, managing that risk and setting reasonable expectations. That was the consensus during a panel discussion among four IT executives held Wednesday at the DEMO show here.

DEMO: Energy, excitement -- and lots of cool tech

Okay, I'll admit it -- I've been working in the computer industry for, um, well over 20 years, and have covered or attended at least 100 tech-related conferences and confabs. But I had yet to get to a DEMO show in any of its 22 years of existence.

Kurzweil: Brains will extend to the cloud

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Human brains will someday extend into the cloud, futurist and computer pioneer Ray Kurzweil predicted at the DEMO conference here on Tuesday. Moreover, he said, it will become possible to selectively erase pieces of our memories, while retaining some portions of them, to be able to learn new things no matter how old the person is.

MIT Chip Models Human Brain Synapse

Forget artificial intelligence; researchers at MIT say they've figured out how to mimic the real deal. The goal is to replicate how the brain learns new tasks. To do that, an MIT group has created a 400-transistor processor that's designed to model a single brain synapse.

The Grill: Ben Huh

As CEO and founder of the Cheezburger Network, a family of 47 comedy sites that's growing by an average of one site per week, Ben Huh is a funster with a serious mission: to make people laugh and make money, too.

IT is bridging the generation gap, one app at a time

ORLANDO -- Some IT leaders are bridging the generation gap in their companies by revamping older applications with snazzier user interfaces and by creating new communication platforms that include the best of all the ages. Baby boomers and later generations of employees prefer different means of communication, the thinking goes.

Data Center Management (DCM)
Business dashboards: Systems management with a twist

Business dashboards will be the next big thing in data centers, making the perception of IT more relevant and understandable to the end-user community. This will take both technology and a cultural shift to pull off; here's what you need to know.

Storage Magazine
IP storage delivers

Early adopters say IP storage is fairly easy to set up and manage, and performance is fine for many types of applications -- assuming the networks and other components are implemented properly.

Application Development Trends
BAM: Business Activity Management

BAM helps execs sift seas of changing data. But it also means taking on tough integration issues.

Application Development Trends
MDA: Tools for the code generation

The emerging Model Driven Architecture steers clear of the pitfalls that killed Its predecessor, CASE. Its backers note that emerging MDA tools do work as promised, clearing a key hurdle in the effort to gain developer support.

Application Development Trends
Tool makers embrace XML

Most developers already know about XML- based Web services, but the XML tools category is actually much broader than that. It ranges from full-fledged IDEs to point tools that do one thing, like edit and transform many different types of schema, for example.

Storage Magazine
Pushing storage to a higher level

The most leading-edge users -- those working at genomic research and energy exploration organizations -- are starting to build storage architectures that can be truly shared among multiple users in a distributed network.

Computerworld ROI
What to count?

There's no shortage of business and technical details to measure when determining technology's value to the business. The trick is picking the right things to quantify.

Web-ifying your staff

To help build a great website, IT pros need more than technical smarts. Here's how you and your people can ramp up quickly on the softer skills you'll need for a strong web presence.

New Accountant
The 'other' minorities

For students from foreign countries, an accounting education has added difficulties.