News Scan: Is IT too chicken to challenge bad tech?; Healthcare IT market on record-setting rise; more

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>> Are CIOs reluctant to fight bad tech decisions?

Are CIOs getting reluctant to stand up against bad technology decisions at their organizations? A recent roundtable of IT leaders in London seems to indicate so. According to an article at ZDNet, discussion at a Hitachi Data Systems event revealed that "That reticence, added to a lack of access for IT to top executives, is hampering businesses' ability to make the most of data." Recent research from Hitachi says that only 11 percent of CIOs feel strongly that they have enough access to business leaders. That is not creating open channels of communication. "The biggest problem with IT is sometimes we are scared to challenge the ideas that come out of the CEO or CFO," Ray Ford, CTO at accident management service provider Accident Exchange, was quoted as saying. "You go in and say, 'Hang on a minute. That is just not a good idea as we say in polite circles. They'll think, 'Well, what the hell are you? If we're not here, you won't be in business."

(Read more on CIO and top executive relationships: The importance of the CEO/CIO relationship / Is the CEO obstructing the CMO/CIO relationship?)

>> Healthcare IT market enjoys record-setting growth

The prognosis is in, and healthcare just may be the best area to work in IT of all right now. In their latest research study, "US Healthcare IT Market Outlook 2018," RNCOS analysts say the healthcare IT market is poised to grow at an astonishing 20 percent compound annual growth rate through 2018. "This remarkable growth of the market will likely be driven by rapid introduction of new products, growing government support and declining implementation cost of healthcare IT. Moreover, with cloud computing widely prevailing, the U.S. healthcare IT market is poised to reach new heights," the firm said in a recent release.

(Read more on the healthcare IT market: Big growth forecast for health IT market / Healthcare IT market destined to boom in the coming five years)

>> Employers weakening in support of telework options

The commitment by employers to telework may be weakening, according to a new study by Flex+Strategy Group and Work+Life Fit, Inc. In a survey of 556 full time employees, the firm found that while 97 percent of workers said they had some sort of work-life flexibility in 2013, nearly half (45 percent) said they perceive a waning commitment to flexibility from their employers, an article at NextGov says. "Most of us are flying by the seat of our pants when it comes to making flexibility work," Cali Williams Yost, a flexible workplace strategist, was quoted as saying. "When you see that more than half weren't able to use the flexibilities they have because of workload, time and fears about their job, it's evident that people are not being given the skills and tools to be a good partner in flexible work success."

(Read more on telework practices: Telecommuting is the future of work / It's unclearly defined, but telecommuting is fast on the rise)

>> Kaiser Permanente honored for data center efficiency

Kaiser Permanente has received the Uptime Institute Brill Award for Efficient IT. The award recognizes the healthcare organization's efficiency in capital deployment, technology, design, operations and overall management of its data center and IT operations. "It says a lot that our data center continues to shine for our leadership in energy efficiency," Phil Fasano, executive vice president and CIO at the firm was quoted as saying in a release. "We understand how the health of our environment directly affects individual and community health, and we're so pleased that the Uptime Institute recognizes our commitment to improving the health of the communities we serve."

(Read more on the Kaiser Permanente data center: Kaiser Permanente data center Facebook page / Keep it green: Kaiser Permanente's culture of data center efficiency)