Importance of IT Security

it_securityIT_Security2

White Paper: Google’s Approach to IT Security
Author: Google
Date: 2012

IT Security is very vital to any organisation as customers constantly react to security incidents. Hence, why many companies are spending more on its IT security as many organisations have lost business due to security breaches which seems to be estimated to account for 62% of the $7.2 U.S. million average cost of an IT security breach (Ponemon and Symantec, 2011, cited in Kolfal, Patterson and Yeo, 2013)

Google which has high awareness of what IT security breaches can cause to its various technologies that uses cloud computing (such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage and others) has written this white paper to highlights its security strategy in place to overcome any security breach that may arise for their platform which offers its cloud products.

This security strategy provides high level controls at multiple levels of data storage, access, and transfer. According to Google (2012) this strategy includes the following components:

  • Google corporate security policies: These includes a wide range of security related topics either from general policies that all their employee must satisfy such as account, data, and physical security as well as a more focused policies which covers their internal applications and systems which their employees are required to follow.
  • Organizational security: Google’s security organization is further divided into various teams whom responsibility is on information security, global security auditing, and compliance, as well as physical security for protection of Google’s hardware infrastructure. These teams work together to address Google’s overall global computing environment.
  • Data asset management: This includes their customer and end-user assets as well as corporate data assets which are managed under security policies and procedures.
  • Access control: In order for their enormous data assets to be secured, Google employs a number of authentication and authorization controls that are designed to protect against unauthorized access.
  • Personnel security: Google employees are expected to conduct themselves in a way to be in line with their set out guidelines regarding confidentiality, business ethics, appropriate usage, and professional standards.
  • Physical and environmental security: Google has policies, procedures, and infrastructure to handle both physical securities of its data centers as well as the environment from which the data centers operate.
  • Infrastructure security: Google security policies provide a series of threat prevention and infrastructure management procedures.
  • Systems and software development and maintenance: Google’s “Applications, Systems, and Services Security Policy” requires high technical teams and individuals to implement suitable security measures in applications, systems, and services being developed, commensurate with identified security risks and concerns.
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity: To drastically reduce service interruption due to hardware failure, natural disaster, or other catastrophe, Google implements a disaster recovery program at all of its data centers. This program includes various components to reduce the risk of any single point of failure.

As Google employs this multi-layered security strategy consisting of their core components as highlighted above which enables them to avoid any security breach and has proved to be successful. Other companies can take lessons from it and try putting in place this IT security strategy in order to avoid any security breach. And also putting emphasizes on IT Security by regarding it as a high priority that need attention in their business.

References

Google (2012). Google’s Approach to IT Security. Retrieved From https://cloud.google.com/files/Google-CommonSecurity-WhitePaper-v1.4.pdf

Kolfal, B., Patterson, R. and Yeo, M. (2013). Market Impact on IT Security Spending. Decision Sciences, 44(3), pp.517-556.

The Power of The Social Media Ecosystem

socialmedia-ecosystem

Journal Article Title: We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem
Author: Richard Hanna, Andrew Rohm, Victoria L. Crittenden
Year: 2011

This article is presenting an argument on the importance of various industries not just using only the Social media as their means of marketing strategy but also integrating it with the traditional media for more effective production which it refers to as the social media ecosystem. As stated by Hanna, Rohm and Crittenden (2011) in the article, consumers are gradually and progressively undertaking active roles in marketing content co-creation with companies to promote their brands or products. Companies are constantly using this medium of communication as this assists them in reaching their customers, whom are reachable online in large numbers through any of the social media. However, they do face challenges that need to be overcome for the effective use of the social media as pointed out in the article such as; companies not fully understanding how social media marketing works. Also they might be unable to identify the performance indicator that they need to be measuring in order to determine how successfully the social media usage has been to the marketing campaign.

Furthermore, although social media can prove to be a great benefit when used effectively as a marketing strategy by any organization. This article does highlight that companies whom implement this social media tend to use it as a stand-alone element rather than incorporating it with their existing traditional firm marketing strategy as well. This is also elaborated by the article through case study of Grammy Award show on how they promoted the show and gained more viewers on its 50th anniversary show. For the 2010 Grammy Awards show, the advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day whom handled it marketing strategy developed an integrated marketing communications campaign called ‘We’re All Fans.’ This involved the use of the traditional media such as television and prints to drive the advertisement as they normally would do while also using the social media which acts as the centerpiece of the campaign to engage consumers into it more in a personal and intimate way as these consumers also contributed in its advertisement thereby making its awareness more than anticipated.

Due to the case study of the Grammy Awards and other studies undertaken by the author of this article to highlight how social media marketing campaign and can be integrated with traditional marketing. Here are the lessons gained from the study, in terms of what an organisation needs to consider when thinking of using social media ecosystem strategy below:

  • Visualize the ecosystem
  • Identify and track key performance indicators
  • Begin with your story
  • Social media does not require elaborate budgets
  • Be unique

Reference

Hanna, R., Rohm, A. and Crittenden, V. (2011). We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem. Business Horizons, 54(3), pp.265-273.

What can CRM bring to an organisation?

crmCRM2

A White Paper study of the benefits offered by CRM across all areas of the business
April 2011
Author: Computing Sponsored by Sage

Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM) has always played a beneficial part in regards to sales and marketing for any organisation. It can be defined as a way to “unite the potential of relationship marketing strategies and IT to create profitable, long-term relationships with customers and other key stakeholders” (Payne and Frow, 2005 cited in Wang, Dugan, and Sojka, 2013)

However, this white paper has highlighted that CRM systems can be used to also deliver other benefits not just sales & Marketing such as communication and interdepartmental processes being improved, data and work duplication being reduced and a transparent workflow for easy trace-ability throughout. Also over the years, due to demand CRM has evolved as new version are now being deployed via cloud and even pushed through mobile phone which enable easy access to it whenever required thereby making Information to be centralized, leading to easier and more accurate business decision making.

Below are list of CRM systems benefits in percentage in terms of most beneficial based on survey conducted by Sage (2011) with organisation using CRM system:

  • Better customer service and retention due to better information availability (53%)
  • Better targeting of marketing activity (43%)
  • Improved cross-selling opportunities (35%)
  • Improved post-sales support (31%)
  • Faster deal closing due to better information availability (29%)
  • Less duplication and time wasting across the board (59%)
  • Improved communication between teams such as sales and finance (45%)
  • Improved order tracking and management (39%)
  • Better pipeline tracking leading to better prediction of manufacturing and production requirements (31%)
  • More efficient purchasing due to better forecasting (13%)
  • Better quality of information available for strategic management decision making (67%)
  • Better forecasting leading to better cash flow/business decisions (34%)

Although there are quite a lot of benefits in the implementation of CRM System, there are also barriers that can arise from its implementation. This is also highlighted by Sage (2011)  using percentage in terms of the most barrier experienced based on survey conducted with organisations already implementing CRM system as shown below:

  • Customisation concerns (33%)
  • Budget constraints (49%)
  • Lack of time available for implementation (29%)
  • No perceived need at board level (25%)
  • Staff training issues (21%)
  • Database issues (10%)
  • Disaster recovery concerns (6%)

In conclusion CRM systems do provide vast benefits for organisations as elaborated above but in order to achieve this effectively, it all depends on the selection of the best CRM systems suited to an organisation specific business needs. As various CRM systems have their pros and cons in satisfying any company specific requirements. Also when using any external consulting firm in CRM systems implementation, selecting the right firm during the initial inception phase contributes highly to it successfully implementation.

References

Computing, Sage (2011) what can CRM bring to your business? White Paper 2011. [Online] A study of the benefits offered by CRM across all areas of the business. Available from: http://www.sage.co.uk/documents/whitepapers/white-paper-what-can-crm-bring-your-business.pdf [Accessed 05 March 2015].

Wang, X., Dugan, R. and Sojka, J. (2013). CRM Systems with Social Networking Capabilities: The Value of Incorporating a CRM 2.0 System in Sales/Marketing Education. Marketing Education Review, 23(3), pp.241-250.

Bringing the Web to Developing World

world-Internet-access

As discussed on the previous blog on “Web accessibility and Disability”, it just not about user being physically disabled that need to be considered but also users whom are limited in terms of web presence and also financial limitation in being able to be current with the benefits world wide web offers.

In order to reduce this limited accessibility to the Web in developing world as this was the most focused topic from the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and senior vice president of Google, Sundar Pichai at the just concluded Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Each company has spoken highly of their future plans in place to radically boost the number of people using its services by delivering or lowering the cost of Internet access for the billions who aren’t online. Facebook is running a trial with Internet-providing drones and satellites while Google has an idea in place know as project loon which involves the use of various networks of high attitude blown up balloons, through which network internet can be delivered to the world as this balloons communicate with a specialize internet antenna on the each transmits back to it and it also communicates effectively to other balloon as well thereby transferring network connectivity which most under developed world can easily have access to in a cost effective way. (Stone, 2015)

Here is a YouTube link:

 which elaborates more on Google proposed Project Loon technology way of delivering internet to billions of developing world without any form of web accessibility. Also, here is a YouTube video link:

 to facebook proposal as well.

In conclusion, this might not seem like an immediate resolution for the vast developing world that are lacking internet presence but this is a good start from both giant companies and hopefully if more companies collaborate more together. In no time the will be the massive progress in providing web accessibility to the developing world and making world head to a more bright future where anyone can easily access information and build knowledge.

Reference

Stone, B. (2015). Google and Facebook’s Race to Bring the Web to the Developing World. [online] Bloomberg.com. Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-03/google-and-facebook-s-race-to-bring-the-web-to-the-developing-world [Accessed 5 Mar. 2015].

Disability and Discourses of Web Accessibility

Web Accessibility1  Web Accessibility2

Disability and Discourses of Web Accessibility – Paper Critique

Author: Alison Adam and David Kreps
First Published on: 18 September 2009

This article is mainly showing the importance and consideration of disability and how web accessibility can be for those with disability in the ever growing technology as most of the World Wide Web remains inaccessible therefore not increasing the social inclusion (Adam and Kreps, 2009). Furthermore it went on to showcase the understanding on how the major discourses surrounding access to digital technologies by people with disabilities contribute to an understanding of why web accessibility is still a persistent problem.

This observation is heading to the right direction of what the World Wide Web is facing in terms of web accessibility and inclusion of disabled individuals. However, according to Yesilada, Brajnik, Vigo, and Harper (2013) there are some contradiction in the sense that individuals will agree that accessibility is about inclusion, however they still do not believe that it is about low income. Hence why there is an argument being put forward that this might be the case in the two interpretations below:

  • In terms of the inclusion of people being considered, the inclusion of those who have some disabilities but not those who are disadvantaged due to the lack of social and financial opportunities. It should therefore be noted that this view does not only exclude those living in developing countries but also separate out people with disabilities as they are twice as likely to live in low-income households as people without disabilities.
  • While still supporting that accessibility benefits all types of users including the elderly, respondents believe that no particular group regardless their abilities, situation, personal, or social circumstances should monopolise accessibility.

Whilst Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) offers a useful bit by bit approach to accomplishing accessibility in discrete web pages; it is still being neglected by web technical developers (Lewthwaite, 2014). Finally, from this article finding it is time for it to be looked into if we are looking to end up reaching the initial goal of satisfying every individual by not omitting or making the disabled feel excluded in one way or the other.

References

Adam, A. and Kreps, D. (2009). DISABILITY AND DISCOURSES OF WEB ACCESSIBILITY. Information, Communication & Society, 12(7), pp.1041-1058.

Lewthwaite, S. (2014). Web accessibility standards and disability: developing critical perspectives on accessibility. Disabil Rehabil, 36(16), pp.1375-1383.

Yesilada, Y., Brajnik, G., Vigo, M. and Harper, S. (2013). Exploring perceptions of web accessibility: a survey approach. Behaviour & Information Technology, 34(2), pp.119-134.

Health Informatics Wearable Technologies

wearable_computing_word_cloudData Synchronization Of Health Book Between Smartwatch And Smart

Wearable health applications have seen much growth since top mobile smart phones producer such as apple has started integrating it to their devices. As a group we were tasked in choosing a health app and illustrate how useful the information it stores can be utilized in maintaining our health.

We decided to look at an Apple health application called “Health”. While looking at it and discussing in a group, I was able to reflect on the importance of it and also noticed some of the issue it has as well as shown below:

Benefits of Apple Health Wearable Application

– It records and stores vital health data such as

1 Blood Pressure

2 Body Temperatures

3 Heart Rates

4 Respiratory Rates

5 Body Fat Percentages

6 Body Mass Index

7 Heights

8 Lean Body Mass

9 Weights

10 Nutrition

11 Sleep Analyses

– It can be integrated with a self medical ID whereby your personal doctor can easily see all your health activity and history from the app.

– It gives people a form of self esteem and confidence when they notice the calories they have lost while taking part in any form of exercise

– It provides user with loads of information on nutritional needs for a health living.

Issues/Negative

– Data Privacy Issues may arise as health app tends to work and record user data by default without the user consent.

Health App Group Picture1Health App Group Picture2Health App Group Picture3

Group Presentation Video:

My Personal Reflection Video from this Health App Session:

IS Knowledge Management

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

Knowledge Management as concluded from our group brainstorming session, can be defined as the structured way of capturing, storing and sharing knowledge overtime from various sources for an effective decision making within any organisation.

Knowledge Management2

My reflective learning on the importance of knowledge management for organisation competitiveness is shown below:

– It creates easy access to information thereby enabling employees to retrieve it easily when needed, hence making their work run smoothly.
– It helps cut down dependencies on some particular skilled employees as their knowledge can be stored and re-used by other employee in reaching any decisive decision.
-When knowledge are being shared by all employees in a structured mechanism like the IS Knowledge Management, this leads to Innovation from within the organisation as each employee with a specific specialty will be able to trade their specific knowledge in their fields with others easily.
– Finally, the capturing and storing of knowledge by any organisation can help them to measure the specialty they have in abundance and where they lack enough knowledge on and what improvement is required within their organisation. Therefore, enabling them to improve and be more competitive as they strive to overcome their weakness through the reports generated from the use of Knowledge Management systems.

IS Knowledge Management Personal Reflection Video: