As the leader at the helm of your company’s IT department, have you ever wished for a “bridge” similar to the one enjoyed by Captain Kirk on Star Trek? It was really the ideal decision-making command centre, equipped with sources of seemingly perfect internal and external information, a staff of experts to help interpret it and, of course, a comfy chair.

Well, it may lack the chair, but a new Web-based decision-making tool from NetBalance Inc. is a sort of on-line equivalent. Specifically, the CIO Portal offers a single, integrated point of access to the myriad internal and external information resources CIOs need to perform their jobs.

Using Java-based universal agents, the CIO Portal integrates operational and financial data from disparate enterprise systems such as inventory, network management and ERP, and presents it to the user via a fully customizable interface. In addition to presenting the information, the product also provides tools to help analyse and understand it. The CIO Decision Center, for example, offers decision-support techniques such as ad hoc reporting and analytics, what-if analysis, benchmarks, charting and graphing; the CIO Operations Center provides workflow-oriented applications to help manage deployments, procurements, resources and processes; the CIO Infrastructure Center offers hyperlink access to IT infrastructure management applications such as Computer Associates’s Unicenter TNG, IBM/Tivoli TME and NetBalance’s own IT Ledger suite; the CIO Business Center provides integrated e-mail and fax communications; and the CIO Knowledge Center contains a repository of internal and external digests and briefings, with publish-and-subscribe capabilities.

The result? According to NetBalance, IT executives can then make better operational and financial decisions.

“Everyone recognizes that IT is becoming increasingly strategic, complex and expensive — which means that it is also becoming increasingly risky,” says Raj Ananthanpillai, president and CEO of NetBalance in Gaithersburg, Md. “CIO Portal offers the scalability of a corporate intranet with capabilities that bring IT into alignment with the rest of the organization.”

The CIO Portal’s pricing begins at US$150,000 for a 10-user licence. For more information, visit

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