The five most popular articles in CIO Republic during August cover all the important entries on a CIO’s agenda. Two describe new technology solutions, two cover strategy and planning, and one is about staff management. Here’s your chance to check out any of these articles that you may have missed.

1. Integrated VPNs can help secure remote workstations
Several personal firewall vendors are teaming up with antivirus companies to create integrated VPNs. A big advantage to the integrated approach is that IT staff can set and manage complete remote-user security policies from a central console—everything from updating antivirus software to tweaking personal firewalls. If you prefer to stick with an integrated solution from a major VPN vendor, most offer personal firewall/VPN client solutions. Salvatore Salamone described some new options in VPN solutions in this article.

2. A road map for SMBs: Create an IT strategy in 10 weeks
Gartner analysts say that a CIO in small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) can create an IT strategy—based on the company’s business strategy—by following this six-part plan. The analysts explain how, in only 10 weeks, you can develop and document the plan and make it the standard point of reference for technology investments, project selection and prioritization, and consistent decision-making.

3. Standards propel cable modems into the big time
CIOs in small and medium-size businesses may be especially interested in improvements in cable modem standards. The new standards should increase upstream bandwidth, improve security, and introduce the concept of quality service to the last mile of a cable network. The cable industry even claims that modems now have better quality and faster speeds than T1 lines. Find out why one industry CEO says, “For the CIO, it’s a dream come true.”

4. Tech ‘geniuses’ require unique management
Columnist Bob Weinstein reviews Managing Einsteins: Leading High-Tech Workers in the Digital Age in this article. The authors of the book describe “Tech Einsteins” as smart, mobile, and dedicated workers. But they have little patience when they sense that colleagues—or bosses—don’t really know what they’re talking about. The article includes five key tips for managing the wise guys on your staff.

5. It’s time to start Web services planning
Columnist Tim Landgrave believes 2003 may be the long predicted “Year of Web Services.” Web services have moved inside the firewall, where companies can control security and reliability issues. To help you plan for a Web services implementation, Landgrave also looks at some new tools and security standards in the offing.