IT on the edge: CIOs who (literally) keep the lights on

First-world tech leaders can learn a thing or two from the way CIOs in developing countries keep connectivity up and services flowing.

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CIOs in emerging economies have to be creative to keep IT up and running -- addressing redundancy, navigating a thicket of sometimes onerous regulations, and in general doing more with less. Insider (registration required)

Any IT leader in the mood to complain about excessive regulation should first have a cocktail with Murat Mendi of Nobel la, an Istanbul-based manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals.

Mendi, formerly CIO and now general manager of the firm, which operates in 25 countries around the world, can talk about the time an overzealous bulldozer operator started excavating the foundation for a new structure next to his company's building without bothering to confirm what might have been underground first. It tore through Nobel's Internet cables, leaving hundreds of employees offline all day.

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