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Overcome Cyber Security Concerns with Cloud Technology

Overcome Cyber Security Concerns with Cloud Technology

Keeping data in the cloud is becoming more and more common. Despite the benefits that come with cloud computing – reduced costs, flexibility and automation to name a few – concerns around cyber security have developed. Some companies express concerns regarding the security of the cloud, fearing that they’ll have less control over confidential data. However, an article written by David Burg and Tom Archer, both principals at PwC in USA, points out that “applications and data maintained in the cloud can be more secure than data held in on-premises corporate systems.”

How cloud technology is combating cyber security (Burg and Archer, 2016)

  • Moving to the right kind of advanced cloud system represents a more dynamic approach to risk.
  • The security of the barriers is based not just on keeping people out, but on watching people who come in. You learn from every use of your data, and even from any attempted attack.
  • You integrate cyber security with marketing, customer service, and logistics, developing a single way of tracking the behaviour of everyone who interacts with your company.
  • With this type of system, the more attacks the cloud faces, the stronger it becomes.

The best way to reap the benefits of cloud technology is to begin with analysing your current systems to determine the plan you need. If you currently have an on-premise system, book a free Technology Review consultation to learn more about how the cloud can overcome cyber security concerns. Offer ends 5pm, 30 November 2017.

Your free Technology Review includes:

  • A two hour consultation on premise or remotely.
  • Review of your existing IT systems, processes and documentation.
  • Identification of areas of both risk and opportunity.
  • A detailed report with recommendations and priorities to navigate cloud technology.

Burg, D and Archer, 2016, ‘Safety in the Cloud’, Strategy in Business, March 8, 2016 / Summer 2016 / Issue 83.

The Cloud Generation: Millennials in the Workforce and the Technology that Drives them

The Cloud Generation: Millennials in the Workforce and the Technology that Drives them

The Cloud Generation

The cloud generation is comprised of later Gen X and millennials. Having grown up with information at their fingertips, their expectations in the workplace are different from previous generations.

What is Cloud Technology?

Cloud technology is any software or application that is hosted online, and delivered as a service via a browser or operating system. Read more about cloud technology. 

The Workforce Today

1946 – 1964: Baby boomers. Workers aged between 53-71 are early IT adopters, prioritising job security with their main method of communication being via telephone. 1965 – 1980: Gen X workers aged between 37-51 care about having a work life balance with a preferred method of contact being email. 1981 – 2000: Millennials aged 17-31 are digital natives, seeking freedom and flexible working – mainly using text messaging/social media to communicate. 2001 onwards are Gen Z, aged 0-17. With Facetime as their means of contact, they are “digital die-hards”. In 2017, millennials make up 40% of the workforce – and by 2025, this will rocket up to 70% of millennials.

The Millennial Drivers

There are three key drivers for millennials:

  1. Flexibility.
  2. Automation.
  3. Real-time information.

Millennials need to be flexible. They need to be able to work anywhere, at any time, on any device. Due to having technology and devices so readily available, the need the power to control their own user experience and continually improve their environments. The ability to automate repetitive tasks is vital. Millennials need to be able to control how and when information is presented to them, and to tweak systems to suit their needs. Real-time information at all times means an open and collaborative information sharing place, in a “google-style” search environment.  Millennials take having information readily available for granted. If they cannot immediately find what they want or if it’s too hard to find, they’ll seek it elsewhere.

The millennial as a colleague

Millennials are more driven by the opportunity for education and training rather than money, as their salary expectations are not as high as previous generations. This creates a need for organisations to focus on staff acquisition and retention; if they cannot keep millennials happy then they’ll leave – resulting in high recruitment rates. With a priority for this generation listed as flexible working, investment in cloud systems is important for businesses. With access to information anytime, anywhere, it creates an open and collaborative working environment to enable millennials to work harder and smarter. By 2040, businesses are estimated to have less office space due to remote flexible working. Get in touch with one of our experts for more information about cloud technology. This content was originally used in a talk at the CFO Symposium. If you’d like to download the full slide deck, please enter your details below.

Industry 4.0 Cheat Sheet

Industry 4.0 Cheat Sheet

Industry 4.0 Cheat Sheet – As a result of huge developments in the modern world, manufacturing is changing. Here we explain key terms; Industry 4.0, Cloud Computing, Smart Factory, Internet of Things (IoT). With the use of computers, automation and cloud technology, factories are becoming increasingly efficient and “smart”. Industry 4.0 is the latest phase for the manufacturing sector which has come about because of the Internet of Things and the accessibility of data. Factories that are known as “Smart Factories” are becoming more prominent, particularly in Europe. What can we learn from our European friends? We can learn how and why they are connecting manufacturing machinery within their production lines, their administration systems and external suppliers and in some cases, the entire lifecycle of the product. This connectivity between each stage of the manufacturing process, enables a more streamlined automated production environment. Fundamentally, it is also driving product innovation that will give entrepreneurs a competitive edge in the market.

Industry 4.0 Cheat Sheet Key terms explained:

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 (the ‘fourth industrial revolution’) refers to the current trend of improved automation, machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication, artificial intelligence, continued technological improvements and digitalisation in manufacturing. Industry 4.0 has been driven by 4 disruptors;

  • a rise in data volumes
  • computational power and connectivity
  • emergence of analytics and business intelligence capabilities – e.g. new forms of human-machine interaction such as touch interfaces and augmented-reality systems
  • improvements in transferring digital instructions to the physical world such as advanced robotics and 3D printing.

 

Smart Factory (Another term for Industry 4.0)

The terms “Smart Factory,” “Smart Manufacturing,” “Intelligent Factory” and “Factory of the Future” all describe a vision of what industrial production will look like in the future. In this vision, the Smart Factory will be much more intelligent, flexible and dynamic. Manufacturing processes will be organised differently, with entire production chains – from suppliers to logistics to the life cycle management of a product – closely connected across corporate boundaries. Individual production steps will be seamlessly connected. The processes impacted will include:

  • Factory and production planning.
  • Product development.
  • Logistics.
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP).
  • Manufacturing execution systems (MES).
  • Control technologies.
  • Individual sensors and actuators in the field.

In a Smart Factory, machinery and equipment will have the ability to improve processes through self-optimisation and autonomous decision-making. This is in stark contrast to running fixed program operations, as is the case today. Read more.

Internet of Things (IoT) within Industry 4.0

The concept of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.  This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. If it has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT.  Read more.

Cloud Technology / Cloud Computing within Industry 4.0

Cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. Read more.

Industry 4.0 – An example of a Smart Factory

A pilot facility, developed by The German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Kaiserslautern, Germany, is demonstrating how a “smart” factory can operate. This pilot facility uses soap bottles to show how products and manufacturing machines can communicate with one another. Empty soap bottles have RFID tags attached to them, and these tags inform machines whether the bottles should be given a black or a white cap.  A product that is in the process of being manufactured carries a digital product memory with it from the beginning and can communicate with its environment via radio signals. This product becomes a cyber-physical system that enables the real world and the virtual world to merge.

Industry 4.0 – Why should you care about all this?

Within the manufacturing industry today, there are said to be two groups: the traditional, first generation who may be struggling in the Australian market due to a lack of desire to invest in technology, and the innovators, who are finding themselves more success in a tough climate because they are open to adopting new ways. Annaliese Kloe, Managing Director of Headland Machinery explains that “Industry 4.0 is being spoken about everywhere. In particular, it was widely reflected at EuroBLECH 2016. It will widely change the approach to the way that manufacturers work, so if you aren’t looking into this now then you’ll be left behind. It will revolutionise your business, so it is vital to get on board.” With an increasingly digital future ahead of us, this new era for manufacturing looks set to transform businesses worldwide. It is imperative for manufacturers to consider new technologies arising and explore how they can adapt their processes to comply with the expectations of the modern world. For more information about cloud technology, read more here. If you’d like to discuss how you can modernise your business processes and systems, get in touch to speak with an expert.

Globalisation: Diversify & Succeed

Globalisation: Diversify & Succeed

Globalisation has increased competition for many businesses with many of their competitors able to offer lower priced goods and services due to lower wage costs. To compete and survive, the focus of many downstream businesses has been on reducing costs and doing so by offshoring components of their business process into lower wage countries. Once this is done, however, how can you take advantage of these lower costs to diversify and compete in to different markets? The answer is to think outside the box and to innovate. Don’t just look at traditional business models for diversification and growth. The Digital revolution is reshaping business in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. The ability to reach customers in new markets, communicate with them and service them better are only some of the benefits it brings. Many traditional industries (think videos, books, music, travel, even hiring a taxi) have been transformed by the digital revolution, leaving traditional business models on the extinct list. This has come about because Customers are time poor, want to get their products and services as quickly as possible and do far more shopping from their phone, work or home because of this. If they can’t find you or interact with you digitally and they can with your competitors, you will lose them. From a diversification perspective, the digital revolution changes the way in which we can enter new markets. Starting a website (that adjusts for Mobiles and Tablets) and selling your product online in a new market is a quick and relatively low-cost method of entering that new market. Couple this with social media and the use of mobile apps and gamification to generate awareness and give you exposure for your products or services. My recommendation is for businesses to embrace innovation and the digital revolution and look at how you can transform your business on an ongoing basis. You’ve transformed it by offshoring and reducing costs. Now transform it in how you deal with your customers. Look at what others are doing with digital in other industries and how they have transformed those industries and look at how you can leverage these ideas in yours. Focus on your time poor, instant gratification seeking customer and simplify their ability to purchase your product or service when they want to and do it in as many markets as you can.  

4 Tips to Being the Smartest Fish in the Big Pond

4 Tips to Being the Smartest Fish in the Big Pond

 

Australian businesses quite often find themselves competing in a smaller market due to our geographically challenging location. As such, we wind up as big fish in a small pond. There’s endless opportunity for your business to succeed, however are you considering the other companies vying for that same opportunity?

 

Are you giving your business the greatest chance of profitability and success? Now may be the time to consider changing your tactics.

Most businesses are afraid of the idea of expanding and going global – there are risks, however to execute your expansion plan successfully you need to plan ahead.

 

1. Researching the market is key to succeeding.

It might seem obvious but believe it or not, researching your target market will ensure you receive traction instantly. You want to be able to see what your product’s potential demand is, as well as the cost of business.

 

2. Know who your competitors are.

While you are researching your target market, it’s also a good idea to research who the other players are. Knowing your competitors brand, product and their market presence is essential, if you want to go head to head with them.

 

3. Ensure your IT systems can handle your business going global.

If your business is ready to go global it usually means you are in a position where your business is growing rapidly. Technology plays a big part in preparing your business for globalisation. You need to ensure your systems can keep up with rapid business growth, without putting pressure on admin staff. You will want a system that gives you visibility over all aspects of business, from finance, to sales to inventory management – you need to see how your business is performing no matter the subsidiary.

 

4. Hiring the right employees.

Finding the right people to look after your business in another country can often make or break your expansion plan. You will need to consider hiring people that understand the language, business processes for that country etc… to ensure customers receive the best service. Hiring the right people will allow you to understand if there are any cultural differences that might impact the way your brand is perceived, or what the countries buying behaviours are.

 

As a business leader, you should think big. Consider all of your options before making the decision and ensure you are prepared. Researching is key and make sure you have the IT infrastructure to cater for change. Scalable systems will allow your company to grow rapidly, without business risk. Now, all you have to do is go global and reap the rewards that overseas markets can provide.

 

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