Cyberspace, as it has been labeled by US Militant leadership, is doing well and spreading all over the world. Drones are launched on to the skies to reach out territories where no cables are no-one to erect towers either. Brazilians launched even a satellite just a while ago, on the geostationary orbit, so that gigabytes after gigabytes can reach who Brazil well over Atlantic and everywhere what happens lie under the fake moon looming on the sky high up.
At the same time big ideological changes are occurring in the way people treat each other, how they are treated by the “state” (let it be deep or not so deep) and indeed about what is the role of the human in the production cycle, as a person, individual, source of thought. Cybernetic power has established herself into the cyberspace, by establishing structures of obedience towards self-service, password management and, at last, ever-growing threat of viruses, diseases and even catastrophic loss of everything. Now, this makes people to seek shelter, under the umbrella of emerging cyber powers.
However, the face of tyranny in cyberspace is still unpolished and immature. Like a young girl it still has the potential to grow either way. But, as achieved already teenager years, it is growing violent, trying her limits and also sometimes seems to be exploring herself in a way that she wont really yet understand herself. And, what is worse, she has no idea of the world outside of her innocent mind.
This is perhaps as accurate as it goes when one considers the face of power in cyberspace as it is today. And this horny young girl, teeny as she is, does not have parents. Barely anyone is guiding her to grow out and behave. But people are so eager, well mostly, about the pretty faces of power, captivated about her beauty and pretty eyes. She smile and smooth, even dance-like movement, makes everyone just sit hours after hours hands on their keyboards, in offices, homes, cafes and military camps. She truly has her peace-ensuring character, as people unite around databases, wonders of pixels and invisible networks. Free Word and Excel, like the gift from the heaven, has suddenly landed on to the surface of earth. This is too much to be true! Suddenly everything is easy, all tyrannies are gone, as there are free email, low latency networks available for all — and we all have the freedom to do what we want! There is no danger of this pretty girl to grow despotic and bad as long as there is freedom of movement and free pron.
But, as people tend not to, they won’t see the truth. They won’t see the advance of time, which they think is bound to the atoms, which they think is stable and absolute. And they are so in love with that pretty face of the girl that they think that she must be good. They are so in love with the pretty faces of truth, that they are ready to get rid of anyone who says otherwise. Witches find themselves soon burning alive across Europe. Who dare not to love that pretty girl! He must go! It has happened before, and it will happen again.
Let that girl grow up and people will see. Soon she will grow old and nasty. Like a pretty butterfly it will turn herself into a black widow. Cast wings off and grow in size. Suddenly there is no more fun as she turns out her next phase.
Make no mistake, the beauty of the teeny girl is soon gone. Already she is fighting on the streets and quarreling like never before. But, no worries, there will be more to come. Let her grow out, cast her wings off and go out.
Some years ago cloud services were a huge success and booming business. Companies could save good loads of cash by dumping servers and applications running on cloud farms. In short sight that was the fact for some, but the cloud costs on a wide array of cases did rapidly increase after deployment. Something which initially looks like a good deal, might come up as twenty times higher cloud costs than what the original traditional it infrastructure costs were.
Some IT service business providers have started to tackle with the issue. Like when doing anything big and remarkable, a mess and dump of things to clean up may build up. Same goes with cloud business. Pay per hour and per megabyte sounds cool. Pay per uptime and transfer items. Back to the old good transactional business. However, the transactions are designed and defined from the cloud business providers point of view, not from the point of view of the customer company that pays the cloud costs.
Hire a cleaner to cut the costs
Getting rid of bad and smelly contracts can be a hard one. It rarely goes like in the movies that one can just imitate Mr Trump and cut the stuff off. Even when one had the bold mouth to get rid of bad supplier contracts, building up new infrastructure can cost more than what the benefit of cutting the contract would be in years.
That is one place where you need consultants and IT service business providers. Take for example ITSyndicate, a Hong Kong based company, that recently launched a new product targeting just about that market.
“We guarantee the reduction of Amazon Cloud costs for our customers”, says the product manager Alex Kondratiev of the new “AWS Cost Reduction” product. Service supply management can be a profitable business and surely a good service for customers. Cutting down costs requires quite a lot of expertise from the cost structure itself. Also a lot of technical experience is needed.
Moving stuff around without breaking anything is the ultimate promise of that company. Putting things in better order, so that service supply chain gets more effective and production costs will go down.
Global Cloud Business
IT Services running in cloud are by nature suitable for global businesses. And indeed that is what the cloud is good for. Solving the global issues requires a global company which knows the technologies but also can cope in the context of global cyberspace.
Optimising cloud costs requires quite a lot of knowledge and experience on the global IT infrastructure market. Prices go up and down, but when it comes to the IT infrastructure, it does build up a critical component for the business. Choosing the right supply partners for IT Cloud business supply chain management is a critical choice for any modern business who operate deep in the cyberspace.
Steering an enterprise or even mid-sized company during its course of development can be an endeavour comparable to navigating a deep space probe. Similarities are found in the amount and reliability of instruments, like ERP systems, as well in the feedback loop speed, accuracy and efficiency. Even with constant and careful course correction manoeuvres and an up to date ERP system, the probability of missing the target and ending up lost in space is still high.
Similarly, like the development in the aviation industry led to the Instrument Landing System (ILS), where an aircraft is able to land, even spontaneously, by using only the readings of various sensors and with the aid of ground base station, an effective ERP system is, therefore, comparable to the avionics of modern aircraft. And just like crashes do happen, so an invalid, old or difficult to use ERP system can lead to bankrupt of the business. On the other hand, well working ERP system, just like good avionics, can also prevent financial losses, insolvency and even crash of the business. As the operational performance and stability is an important asset for the business in the fierce competition on the market, the access for ERP tools is highly corporatized, limited and in many cases heavily guarded and protected. Thus, the strategic decision on ERP implementation, deployment or renewal can be heavy decision point for the management, not only due to the cost of investment but also because of how tightly the ERP transformation and deployment processes are tied to the risk management of the company.
As things get crucial and form one of the core competitive advantage for business, finding clear and concrete answers may prove to be difficult. Indeed, if it was easy and simple mechanics like basic math, it would be no competitive advantage at all. That is the fun and exciting in running a business, its full of risks but also opportunities for success. That makes planning and even discussing of ERP systems a thrilling experience.
Temporality of Things
The early motivation and sales argument of an ERP system was to digitalize former manual and often paper-based processes of the enterprise, then to combine various other control and management systems under a single technical solution and access point. Today, an ERP system is considered as important as good lawyer or insurance policy. As the size of companies vary just like the turnover and profit volumes, for some business an Excel sheet will do for ERP system, whereas other larger entities might want to set up a whole warehouse full of hardware, cables, databases and networks in order to run the business and produce the valued deliverable for its customers. Even the builders of pyramids surely had their version of resource planning, in order to keep the process going on across generations and during the long time of construction.
Hence, the crucial question becomes for any business that of how to ensure that a specific ERP system is good for the business, considering its level of maturity and the volume of the business. Furthermore the question is that of how to manage the transition from one ERP to another. Since any business will grow, if not decline, the need to migrate ERP system becomes crucial. Today businesses need to be and demonstrate agility, and hence being stuck and bound into a legacy ERP system can grow up to be a hindrance for the business development. On the flip-side of the coin, a too heavy ERP system can paralyze a company, as its unable to downgrade back to Excel, and need to take the lethal injection of increasing costs.
What remedies are there for the management of the company then available when it comes to steering the ERP transformation, or just deciding or being aware of when it is time to initiate such? What are the seven most important signals of forthcoming ERP transformation need? Crucial is to remember that signals come from various sources and that they are of different qualities. It is up to the management to analyze, combine and decide using proper judgement and thought.
7. Administrative overhead
As noted, ERP systems come in numerous forms and shapes, but all of them introduce some amount of administrative overhead. They need maintenance, integrations, configuration and data input etc. As the management notices signals about the change in the administrative overhead caused, that should be taken into account and not ignored. If there is an indication that the overhead is approaching to the effort of management of the deliverables themselves, it may already be too late to downgrade or react in other way. On the other hand, if there seems to be no overhead at all, one should make conclusions and investigate further whether or not the ERP is actually used and whether it contains accurate information. Reasons for non-use, ignorance or increased overhead can be numerous, yet they all give important signals of the bondage between the employees and the production. People rarely react for no reason, so a serious management will take these signals in the early consideration.
6. Myth of comprehensive ERP and a single truth
When the organisation or indeed the management itself becomes too attached in love with the abstract concept of wonders and relief of centrality and concentration, that is an important signal of approaching internal corruption and hindrance of development. Militant enforcement of one single solution and indeed one single truth across the organisation gives a strong signal on that the organisation itself is growing hostile, blocking development and growth and entering a survival mode. Reacting to these signals at early stage, may give the management time to react and avoid the situation where the tyranny of ERP has taken over the whole company. While an ERP surely brings some benefits of consolidation and coherence, if it overrides the core values of the business and blocks the diversity as the source of development and growth, then it might already be too late to react.
5. Angry King
Customer is the king of any business. And if the King gets angry or ceases to provide protection, then there is not any more much the management can do to save the business. Signals of changes in the customer satisfaction can be an indication of overaged or underused ERP system. If that will develop up to the point where customers are unable to purchase the products, due to even peripheral ERP system involvement, then a noisy red flag should rise up. If the customers get angry, then there is no more time to renew, fix or downgrade the hostile ERP system.
Example of real life signals
Customer was not able to purchase company products (Aviation Industry) due to invoicing system not accepting new top level domain names.
Furthermore the company did not respond to the incident. Result: loss of turnover and angry customer
An ERP system did not accept customer to pay in cash. The staff of the company were not authorized to make an exception. Result: loss in turnover and angry customer, faulty customer data probable.
4. Risk Management Process
Management might get blinded of the wonders of federation, coherence and concentration that they wont pay attention to the inherent dangers of “putting all the eggs in one basket” like the old saying goes. While the IT Infrastructure might back things up and replicate across redundant locations, the management of the company should not neglect the signals and findings coming from enterprise risk management process.
Considering not only modern cyber security risks, if the risk analysis of the enterprise signals issues around the ERP system, eg. maturity level, complexity or lack of internal competence, it remains the responsibility and indeed good reason for the management to react accordingly. Only ignorant management would keep the ears closed for these signals. While no system comes without risks, the time for renewals of ERP system can be triggered by just a slight yellow flag in the company security audit process. After all, the ERP system is like the heart and lungs of the business, and should them be compromised or fail, that can usually end up with fatal consequences.
3. Competitor analysis
The apes know it very well, that it is generally safer and cheaper to follow what other, specifically competitor do rather than invest heavy resources in the internal analysis and processing of information. Hearing signals from the competitor analysis about more effective ERP system or management process, specifically if that signal indicates that domestic system was heavily outdated, constitutes an important sign that it is time for the management to respond to the imminent need of ERP renewal.
While this is particularly crucial from the standpoint of competitive efficiency, it can also be an important strategic decision for the business. Something like being compatible with military alliance, implementing compatible core functions and operations, if not even the culture, will ensure that in the time of needs merging into another business entity goes more smoothly. Maintaining operational compatibility to potential enterprises willing to acquire the business can be an important strategic signal the management should consider and respond at the early stage of the business development.
2. Research and Development
Small companies might not have large R&D department or funds available to invest in developing internal processes. Still not even small businesses should avoid taking risks and reacting also to internal, often informal, research and development. If the management will receive clear signals from the internal innovators, that is good sign of raising need for renewal or improvement of ERP system. These signals can even originate from the core operators of the business, those who are daily in close contact with the production process as well as with the customers. Neglecting to listen their advice was foolish, instead an innovation driven business should nourish and encourage for spontaneous innovative activity rather than old-school military style top-down enforcement of authority and control of obedience.
1. Changes in the environment
Happiness in life and success in the business is largely question of social competence. Those businesses who are capable of collaborating in concert with customers, suppliers, employees and investors do have a good standing point for further development. From this also derives that as the environment changes, the single most important thing for the business is to react and adapt rather that try to stick to old standards. In the context of ERP, perhaps the most important signal for the small and medium business to renew their ERP system is the ongoing fragmentation of the supply chain. As large enterprise customers open up their supply chain for diverse sub-contractors, the need for professional ERP management becomes more imminent even for small business. Indeed many ERP providers have already turned their sales efforts towards small and medium sized businesses.
Last but not least, also related to the previous thing, are the signals coming from changes in the regulative environment. As new legislation is enacted, it may also impose administrative requirements for small and medium sized businesses. That is largely uncontrollable when that happens, and in what form, but the regulative changes can impose heavy development needs for the company. As the company is sued for misadministration, it may already be too late for the management to initiate an ERP renewal process. Good thing with these kind of requirement changes are that they usually are slow paced, and widely announced. Dedicated management of the business may even tackle these up front, and be ready before competitors, acquiring an important competitive advantage.
Under the umbrella of Cyber Security it has become more and more common and accepted to discuss about national security and indeed push forward the concept of nationalism. Research around the globe is moving the attention to towards state security, highlighting its importance and sometimes even discussing its diminishing in a tone that indicates sympathy, like a loved one was sick and needed urgent treatment. Yet these tones rarely seem to recall what kind of consequences the past world wars did have in the terms of nationalism. Under the umbrella of Cyber Security the old memories and connotations dissolve and the motive for security move away from people to the state. What is the state so afraid of? Is the question existential, and if so, is it really because of Cyber, or is Cyber still just an innocent catalyst while the raising nationalism as an unintended consequence?
Surely there are issues around global economics that require some kind of concept of securing actor, at least, and the people need to be able to get on with their living even when much of the transactions did move online. However there is little to none reasoning to assume that it was inevitable and required to secure the state as such. In fact very few points in the world indicate that the present form of governance and international order was nothing permanent. It would be foolish to assume that this was the case either. Still much of the Cyber Security research and literature discuss about how to build safeguards for the state, as prerequisite for the wealth and indeed the life as whole for the people. This kind of methodological nationalism is getting foothold in the science and society, and getting reflected or inspiration from the casual raising nationalism. Yet on the global scale and on the regional level new institutions, castles and spheres of influence are emerging. People across the globe are identifying themselves more and more with issues and things which are not born of, managed by or controlled by the legacy nation. Of course, in the halls of power, old caliphates are worrying about what is happening and how to get the old authority and obedience back. What could be more appealing case for them to start the fight than Facebooks, Network Blocks, and indeed domain names and numbers? Then somebody came with the concept of Cyber Security. Cyber comes from Greek language. Yes, the Greek which becoming more and more to be a confrontational proxy force between the caliphates Merkel and Putin. Cyber means to govern. So the Cyber Security is actually about Security of Governance, if not even has turned in someones head to Security of the Nation. Really, that is what can be read from the literature but also from the recent press. And European Union is collapsing to the hands of nationalists, closing borders and pushing up national pride. They do this perhaps because they are afraid. Afraid of what? About their very own existence, as they feel — have been thought to feel — that their very existence is dependent on the State. Through systems like pension, wages and state-run healthcare, people across the continent have grown to be dependent on the state — an unintended and shameful consequence of the industrialization. Now, as the state is loosing its significance on the global level, and as various threats are appearing, it is only natural for people to turn back to the old concept of nationalism from which they think they will get the security, healthcare, food and pension. However, most probably they never will. Except if they put their eyes on the new emerging power structures, and are able to give up from the past.
“There is ongoing re-arrangement of power in the world” — said one freelancer journalist recently. Various parties are endowing fear and terror on the people, in order to gain their control or cause chaos. What ordinary people can do? Resist the fear appeal framework from targeting themselves. As integral part of the global war is the terror, imposed from nation states as well as from emerging institutions. Yet, deep in their heart people know that they can resist the fear and construct the necessary security for their surroundings.
Many of the western societies both in science and business are eagerly researching the governance models where there are no central authority. Indeed that ultimate theoretical question on capability for efficient organization without central management, leadership or even sovereign herself has been appealing to human kind for a long time. Recent studies have also referred to cases in nature where mesh-like networks of spontaneous yet target-oriented tiny living things can co-operate in perfect concert. Often more they do so without any central authority or form of leadership. Coincidentally the public fuzz around peer-to-peer networking has some similarities just like are the recent organizational research efforts.
The very same question becomes relevant in the world commodity markets, the markets of the money and in fact the world of currencies. On the scale of decentralization the other end is the bare commodities such as gold which is not governed by anyone yet in the interest of all. The other end is more common for all, the modern speculative cash which are heavily centralized and their value and worth are largely dependent on the single authority.
Global flows and networks
As the world is gaining speed on migration, the efficiency and popularity of cross border payments becomes more relevant for individual people as well as for the particular economies and unions. In the light of Bretton Woods institutions, the financial system was largely based on the concept of sovereign state and their interoperation. During the decline of the “State” as such and the emergence of various unions and coalitions, if not new global organisation and corporations, new forms and infrastructure has evolved for the needs of immigrants and global nomads as well as employees and corporations spanning globally.
The introduction of virtual currencies, having the prime example as popular BitCoin, is one of the infrastructural developments supporting this process. Between the legacy national banking industry and the other extreme of black market BitCoin there are also wide array of semi-global fund transfer services. These new forms of world remittance infrastructure at best support and enable the globalisation, while at worst confront with and challenge old institutions.
Many advocates of worlds “cyber currencies” put the stress on the decentralization argument of the currency. Without any specific central authority to manage and supply the currency world wide, like is the case with modern speculative currencies, these peer to peer coins aim to implement the global dream. And indeed in the theory of science generally, the topics around decentralized management solutions are on table more and more. Having been inspired by the world of nature, and its phenomenal examples of autonomous mesh-like networks, and indeed the innovation of packet based IP networks, similar approaches have invaded also the worlds financial structures and motives.
Given the importance of money markets for Westphalian states, they tend to actively protect their position and sovereignty in the matter. As such many virtual currencies pose a difficult challenge for them. However, make no mistake and explore just the relation between virtual currencies and old monolithic singletons, but take the challenge into broad consideration. The challenge of globalization is much more diverse than the question of developing a policy response to the taxation and identity challenges.
What the unionization across the globe, take the examples of European, Eurasian, Asian, African, BRICS, TTIP as more demanding challenges for the old state than any single technical infrastructure can or will ever be alone.
Hence the ultimate challenge for the state is how to ensure its agility and ability for reform peacefully, rather than end up defending its status quo institutions and mechanisms, or what worse setting up a confrontation with its people. Digital currencies and global movement of labour, businesses and funds have all become to grow not because they wanted to challenge or confront but because of peoples will and effort for global networking.
Currency of Internet
As the major of world transactions and many purchases are occurring online, it is only natural that independent and global currencies and transactional mechanics will gain popularity and foothold in the world. Building barriers and policies to try to keep people and funds static is no different than building physical walls to force people to stay labour for one single state. And not many people want to see the history of walls to return, and indeed not to repeat the horrors of nationalism.
While the banks provide still basic foundation for much of the “internal” transactions, worlds remittance occurs more and more in the unofficial private domain. From the end user point of view, this is often only a question of practicality, to lower costs and to make use of the efficient services. National Banks tend to overprotect their assumed and gained established status, and thus wont provide effective policy responses for the transactions which, as they may think, would challenge its own protected position.
While posing particular challenge for the identity of the state, the modern global remittance mechanisms and infrastructure are sometime seen also as threat to essential state infrastructure. Using the discourse of security, the decentralized nature of global remittance infrastructure is challenged and put on trial.However it remains questioned whether the state-sponsored infrastructure would be able to provide to the global needs. Instead the security discourse tend to aim to enforce the state from the standpoint of history and indeed nationalism. Blindly attacking the evolving, by aiming to nationalize the Internet, in the name of criticality and security may in the worst case contribute more to the unintended consequences.
While some leaders boldly state “The future is borderless”, some of them fall back to nationalistic terms by building up barriers and walls in order to try to enforce and regain their established institutions.
The concept and indeed phenomena of affiliate marketing is well founded on the development of the Internet as global market place. While traditional bazars and businesses also use similar sales methods, the Internet-based affiliate marketing has its unique characteristics and thus unique drawbacks and obstacles. In the simple terms, the issues around affiliate marketing arise from the nature of the scheme, where a business will provide commission or other benefits for public at large to promote, sell and advertise its services. In the early years this was mainly regarding banners and spam, but later has developed into more mature and controlled area of marketing, something many serious businesses are utilising in their daily marketing routines.
While the large crowd of affiliates might act as a powerful lead generator network, it does incur issues just because of that large mass of actors.If left uncontrolled, it has been noted to cause issues for the business reputation due to illegitimate or even hostile spamming actions by the affiliate partners. Thus, one of the main obstacles in setting up effective affiliate marketing scheme is to ensure the proper control and code of conduct towards and for the affiliate members.
On the other hand, for the business, to effectively use the affiliate marketing, obstacles are found also from the end-point of the delivery, that is the client browsers. More and more client devices are blocking 3rd party cookies by default and even blocking advertisements in the first place. As end-users become more and more aware of these mechanisms to block the unwanted advertisement content, the potential value of affiliate marketing becomes less and less for the business. Thus, second main obstacle can be described by the notion of decreasing availability in the end-use devices.
Furthermore the effective application of affiliate marketing mechanisms might be out of reach because of the lack of industry standards and training. Partly because of it’s relatively recent appearance as such, and partly because of the global diverse nature of things, it might not be expected in near future to have such formal certification authority to roll out such a training or standardisation scheme. However at the same time, many local legislatures and indeed global agreements towards illegitimate actions globally all the way from spamming to the serious offences of cyber crime, all they also apply when it comes to the regulation of affiliate marketing. The mesh-like network of this regulation however is not easy to comprehend nor comply to, not even be aware of, considering small businesses capacity. Hence, the regulative obscurity could be noted as one of the top level obstacles.
Content creators, businesses alike, are in the constant struggle in interest with the global search indexing providers. Some of the affiliate marketing providers put much effort into trying to push up their content in the index, in order to attract more traffic to their affiliate marketing page, and thus generate revenue from the company providing the affiliate marketing program. The autonomy of the indexing algorithms for the fundamental obstacle for affiliate marketing.
Keeping servers up and running can be a lot of hassle. Viruses come and go, disk space is always low and oh my, the cpu is never enough. The art of servers, cooking and maintenance is like running a restaurant in the middle on nowhere. Customers demand attention and servers yell day and night. It may even happen that NSA and other intelligence agencies come to plug themselves in. The very same thing happens in a restaurant where celebrities, politicians, wannabes and artists meet.
There is no place as valuable for government spy agency than a bar, restaurant – and, ah, and a server room! The role of IT management is like being a chef in a cozy restaurant middle of action. During the early hours, people sit and drink. Big mouths and deep throats take on together and a lot of interesting stuff hits the air.
Only the best professionals of servers, cooking and maintenance can hold their positions and serve for the years to come. Welcome to the world of espionage, global intelligence and gathering of the top notch spies of the world!
Global Companies in Cyberspace
The nature of the business today is rather odd and diverse. There is not much any more room for small scale interest protection, as the people move around, beef and ribs are eaten everywhere. Servers and cables connect even the remotest parts of the world to the central mesh of domain name servers.
Just like the Happy Ribs and fusion kitchen combine and blend in the various parts of the world, so does the server rooms, databases and global intelligence networks. So are they real that their actual global coverage remains rather fragile.
Only the best of the best know how to treat servers when the things turn out weird and strange. Only the best chef know how to do the ribs and stuff. And only the best customers can find the tasty rib and awesome root server admins of the world.
Ukraine and the World
When it comes to the proactive maintenance services, just like cooking and hospitality business, the businesses are spread around the world. Ukraine goes to the markets, and companies get on set up to Hong Kong and elsewhere. Fusion kitchen wont try to be narrow or local, but just sucks off the influences and traditions from everywhere to combine an awesome soup.
No. 5, 17/F Bonham Trade Centre
50 Bonham Strand
Take a piece of the world, take the slips off your eyes and see the world. It is amazing and diverse. Taste the flavours of east and west, and meet the worlds top notch admins of the root. Those who don’t fear to hit the console and do. World economy runs on services and consulting, people helping each other, with the pride of global professionalism. Join the forces of good and happy people! Eat Ribs and get your Root’s done!