The Weekly Round-Up: Pop star techies, Apple overload and saucy social networks

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways - in 140 characters or less...

Somewhere in your IT department there is a middle-aged man dreaming of Britney Spears.

But wait! Before you scramble a crack team from HR to investigate his internet browsing history, it may be that his pondering is entirely work-related and all about making your IT operations smarter. Yes, really.

Because it seems a Britney Spears character is exactly what the CIO needs to create a tip top IT operation.

So less "Oops! I did it again", and more "Oops! I did IT again".


Well, speaking at Forrester's EMEA IT Forum in Barcelona earlier this week, Mark Cecere, a VP at the analyst house, said IT workers such as systems architects will need to become more strategic and act as consultants on business-led technology projects in order to successfully bring different elements of technology together - much like a certain pop star does with her albums.

Cecere compared how a pop CD gets put together and how business IT projects are run.

"On this CD you have 22 song writers, you have a dozen producers. Somebody had to have the vision for what this product looked liked and somebody had to put together all the pieces and I claim that's Britney.

"We have to have a picture of what the [technology] is, we have to have companies that pull together to do things and make all those people work together. I like to think of architects as the Britney Spears of IT," he added.

So there you have it. Whether this means systems architects will feel obliged to dance around the server room singing 'Born to make you happy' remains unclear.

Apple-flavoured news

Last week, the Round-Up discussed the amazing levels of excitement Apple's products, such as the iPhone 5, create before they even exist, so imagine how excited everyone got this week when Apple actually had some new stuff to show off.

Yes, for this week, has not one but three photo galleries filled with Apple goodies.

First up, at its WWDC conference Apple announced details of iOS 5, its forthcoming operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, showing off 10 of the 200 features and enhancements it said iOS 5 will contain.

Then, there's a safari - see what the Round-Up did there? - through Apple's latest OS for Macs: Lion.

And just when you thought the word 'cloud' couldn't bear the burden of any more hype, Apple also unveiled its iCloud: a cloud storage offering that handles everything from documents to media syncing. Plenty to keep even the biggest fanboys happy, for a while at least...

Are you a Facebook flirt or a Twitter tease?

Social media - a good way of keeping up with friends in far-flung places, building your business network or simply telling the world about the pasty you've just eaten in 140 characters.

And it would appear social networks are also a rather handy place for a spot of flirting and picking up a new love interest, if a new survey is anything to go by.

A quarter of 1,089 respondents to the survey admitted to having formed a "flirtatious" relationship with someone other than their partner on a social-networking site. Three-quarters said this saucy chatter started through private messaging.

One in five said they had sent messages "of a sexual nature" to someone on a social-networking site. And one in 10 of the people surveyed said they had ended up having an affair with the person they had engaged in flirtatious conversation with on a social network, according to the survey. Oh the scandal!

Of those naughty people who had been chatting up talent online, Twitter was their flirtation platform of choice. That's surprising, given the acres of shameless self-promotion usually associated with the microblogging platform. Most Twitter users seem to love themselves so much the Round-Up is amazed they've got room in their hearts for anyone else.

Facebook was unsurprisingly a close second, but amazingly four per cent of respondents claimed to have used LinkedIn in order to send flirtatious messages, which to the Round-Up seems about as seductive as sending a memo through the office internal post system.

Elsewhere on this week: find out what the six make or break features are for Microsoft's Windows 8, CIOs share seven tips on making your social media strategy a success, and learn why it's a terrible idea to give your staff the mushroom treatment.