The Internet of Everything and Africa

In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. Cloudtweaks is currently working with Cisco, who have released and exciting new thought leadership platform called InnovateThink. I have been asked to contribute some material to this project, and it is an honor to do so.

My most recent article looks at the way that the connected technologies of the Internet of Everything are making changes in the lives and economiesof Africans, who have long struggled to keep pace amid war, poverty and difficult weather. I hope it is appropriate. I would love feedback (positive or negative) from people who lived in, or have lived in an African nation, and who perhaps have experienced change through technology.  Here is an excerpt:

Digital banking, for example, has freed workers in places such as Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Soweto, from the dangers of carrying cash through lawless areas, as well as allowing them easier and safer transfer of funds to relatives with lower remittance fees and the elimination of the need for physical travel. Cellphone-based banking has also cut down on corruption and illegal “dipping” made by employers. The dual benefit of cloud-based money transfer not only assists individuals in keeping their cash safe, but stands also to coax wary Africans from storing their savings under their mattresses – an amount estimated to be the equivalent of two billion dollars in South Africa alone. Additional funds feeding the banking sector hold the promise to trickle through to the establishment of stronger commercial sectors and social programs.

With the agricultural sector currently accounting for seventy percent of Africa’s total employment and thirty percent percent of its GDP, technological innovations in areas such as drought prediction, low-cost machinery for quickly draining flooded fields, smartphone apps that assist with the health of herd cattle, or point-of-sale transactions and supply chain management are the first steps towards growing the economies of African countries, moving them towards stability and greater competitiveness on the world stage.

To read the full article, please visit CloudTweaks here.

IDG-DELL Article on Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)

In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. I was asked by Cloudtweaks clients IDG and DELL  to write a quick blog which will become part of their End-To-End Solutions group on LinkedIn.  My topic is the shift from BYOD to CYOD in the corporate, cloud-based workspace. Here is an excerpt:

This dilemma – how to satisfy and engage employees while still protecting corporate assets is being answered by a new trend – a hybrid in and of itself – between the open market of BYOD and the more rigid, traditional world of company-issued laptops and phones. In this new approach, employers make available a range of devices that vary in terms of brand and functionality, and which have been fully loaded and prepared, in terms of virus/malware protection, network access and secure compatibility with the company’s network and cloud management structure. These devices are offered as a selection from which the employees are allowed to make a selection. This concept is called choose your own device (CYOD), and many industry watchers are confident that this will soon eclipse BYOD as a milestone in smart mobility management.

To read the full article, click here.

 

Making Time for Reviews

August 20, 2014

In addition to my own posts, I also contribute to Time Management Magazine. My post for September 2014 has to do with the importance of making time for reviews, including self-assessment. Here is an excerpt:

Back in the 1980’s New York City had a mayor by the name of Ed Koch. He was generally well-liked, and was instrumental in helping clean up the city, and was a very public figure. His trademark greeting was to walk up to average people on the street and say “How am I doing?” This obvious flip-around on the normal way of greeting people symbolized his ongoing desire for feedback from constituents, tourists and anyone who happened to be in the city. It was a request for an impromptu performance review, and it had the double benefit of both an informal poll of his performance as well as a savvy piece of marketing as the mayor that cares.

Mayor Koch, and other political figures like him, take a risk, realizing that the answer will not always be positive. But knowing where dissatisfaction exists represents the first step towards fixing what needs to be fixed, and building what needs to be built. This is doubly important in situations where the source of dissatisfaction – the thing needing to be improved – is currently a total unknown.

Reviews, then, form part of the project management required to get things done. They are an essential component that appear at first glance to take time, but in the long run save much more.

To read the full article for IOS (Apple), itunes…. or for Android bit.ly/….

Time Management and Willpower

July 25, 2014

In addition to my own posts, I also contribute to Time Management Magazine. My post for August 2014 has to do with willpower. Here is an excerpt:

People who seek advice on time management often tend to lust after the concept of winning back more hours in the day in order to get things done. “If only there was a way to freeze time,” they say, or “If I could just squeeze another hour or two out of the day, I could get caught up.”
Well, maybe, but consider the following non-time-related issue:

A friend comes to you and says, “I have a problem with credit cards. I am maxed out, I am paying hundreds of dollars per month in payments and I feel I am getting nowhere. What should I do?”

Many people, in seeking to answer such a question might reply, “cut up your credit card,” or get a loan or a line of credit and pay off the balance right now.” These are two highly practical suggestions, but they will not solve the problem. They will not achieve the desired result.

To read the full article for IOS (Apple), click here or for Android click here.

The Internet of Everything and Corporate Life

July 17, 2014

In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. Cloudtweaks is currently working with Cisco, who have released and exciting new thought leadership platform called InnovateThink. I have been asked to contribute some material to this project, and it is an honor to do so.

My seventh article looks at the way that corporations – business of any size – can leverage the technologies and processes within the Internet of Everything to learn more about employees’ hidden talents, and to tailor jobs and tasks more closely to their abilities.  Here is an excerpt:

How, for example, could a regional manager identify a great candidate who is both willing and able to take on a new and risky project? How might the skills required – leadership, comfort with risk, diligence, delegation, discipline – be truly demonstrated? Social media sites such as Facebook are natural places to discover such abilities, not through overt verbal job titles, but through actual real-life proof. For example, consider an employee who reveals on her Facebook site that she loves to scuba dive and is certified to teach scuba to others. The connection between the ability to lead people through risky behavior in this way might not show up on a traditional personality assessment or performance review, but it is evident in her real life activities.

How about those individuals who are natural communicators? The ones who, for whatever reason, everyone turns to in order to get things done? Not because they are workaholics, but because they have a natural ability to network, to put people in touch with other people, to move, shake and make things happen? Technology that identify these types of people as well as fostering the same types of connective behavior in others will strongly assist in breaking down silos and enhancing the productivity and profitability potential of a company or department.

To read the full article, please visit CloudTweaks here.

The Internet of Everything and the Public Sector

July 10, 2014

In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. Cloudtweaks is currently working with Cisco, who have released and exciting new thought leadership platform called InnovateThink. I have been asked to contribute some material to this project, and it is an honor to do so.

My sixth article looks at the way governments, or more precisely the public sector are taking advantage of the The Internet of Everything to deliver new services to its citizens. Here is an excerpt:

If you live in Chicago and you want to know when the street sweeper is coming around so you can move your car and avoid getting a ticket, well, there’s an app for that. It’s a simple yet elegant solution produced by one of an army of app developers that the city’s public service has engaged to capitalize on the ever-growing usefulness of the Internet of Everything, defined by Cisco as the juncture of people, process, data and things.

Traditionally the public sector has been maligned as a place and mindset that is far from the cutting edge, with bureaucracy and partisan politics dominating. But increasingly an opposite perspective can be seen. Given the enormity and variety of the responsibilities held by government, the constant scarcity of funds, combined with increased calls for transparency and accountability, the opportunities offered by the connected technologies of the Internet of Everything are both appealing and fiscally prudent.

To read the full article, please visit CloudTweaks here.

 

Time Management: Willpower Through Words

In addition to my own posts, I also contribute to Time Management Magazine. My post for July has to do with willpower. Here is an excerpt:

Picture this: you’re hungry. You’re walking along and you spy a fast-food restaurant. You know that the food they offer is not as good for you as it should be. High numbers in the calorie, cholesterol and sodium columns to be sure. If you care about such things, then you know this food is not really right for you. But it is very hard to resist. Fast food is manufactured to taste and smell wonderful. There’s a science to all of it, right down to the choice of colours used in the branding: that wonderful shade of red that human beings look to when they are in search of something to satisfy the hunger urge – it’s there, on the signs, the posters and the cups.

The people behind the science of fast food know that urges are stronger than common sense. Instinctive desires win out. People always give in to emotion and to desire, since these things are simply stronger. Using willpower to try to stick to some better plan is a herculean task quite simply because it is not natural for a person to act consciously against one’s own urges. Urges are based on instinct. Instinct is based on survival. Ultimately pure biological life relies on listening to instinct.

So willpower doesn’t stand a chance. Or does it?

The best way to avoid succumbing to the urge to devour a calorie-laden, fat-laden fast food meal is to inoculate against the urge by feeding on logic in advance. This technique applies to other areas of life as well, of course, including time management.

To read the full article for IOS (Apple), click here or for Android click here.

My take on cloud computing for business, for Mint.com

MintRecently I was interviewed by online personal finance powerhouse Mint.com. The topic: cloud computing for business. It is always a great honour to be called upon to discuss such matters. A short excerpt is below. The content is (c) Mint.com.

It’s hard to believe that just five years ago not many people outside the tech world knew anything about cloud computing. Wikipedia only had a couple of sentences about it, and not too many websites were discussing it either.

So Steve Prentice and his colleagues decided to cash in on what they suspected would be game-changing technology by creating CloudTweaks, a site devoted to educating business leaders, entrepreneurs and techies about cloud-based technology.

“We knew that this was going to be a high-growth industry with lots of interest due to the online accessibility and low costs of SaaS and cloud computing,” Steve says. “This is when we decided that it was a good time to start to educate CEOs CTOs, governments and students on the subject, and we have not looked back since.”

Their gambit has paid off. Today, everywhere you look there are references to cloud computing, and CloudTweaks has continued to position itself as a highly regarded source of industry news.

We recently checked in with Steve, a senior writer at CloudTweaks, to learn a little cloud 411 and find out how the technology can help business owners. Here’s what he had to say:

To read the full article on the Mint.com website, please click here.

 

 

Money, Currency and the Internet of Everything

In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. Cloudtweaks is currently working with Cisco, who have released and exciting new thought leadership platform called InnovateThink. I have been asked to contribute some material to this project, and it is an honor to do so.

My fifth article focuses on money, or at least virtual money, which is not only representative of the Internet of Everything, it also promises also to play a major role in the way things are bought and paid for.

Here is an excerpt:

In terms of the Internet of Everything, virtual currencies such as BitCoin allow for a wider range of actions that traditional banks find too costly to touch, and who make too expensive to use, such as micro-transactions. These small purchases may be the equivalent of a couple of cents, and would allow consumers, or their IoE-enabled possessions, to pay a small fee for to access a single news story on a news website, for example, removing the need for banner ads and other old-school monetization techniques, and allowing a greater sense of pay-as-you-go-only-for-what-you-need.

BitCoin is not the only virtual currency out there. In fact there are many dozens, if not hundreds of virtual currencies vying for market attention. BitCoin is only the most famous of the bunch – for now. But together they represent change, and a significant move toward decentralization and virtualization, just as cloud technologies are doing with big data.

To read the full post, please visit CloudTweaks here.

The Internet of Everything: Value at Stake Index

In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. Cloudtweaks is currently working with Cisco, who have released and exciting new thought leadership platform called InnovateThink. I have been asked to contribute some material to this project, and it is an honor to do so.

My fourth article discusses the Value At Stake index, a calculation of the potential profits up for grabs for companies that embrace this third wave of Internet engagment. Here is an excerpt:

The potential for the range of the Internet of Everything is virtually infinite, with an expectation from some observers that up to 99% of the items people use, in life and business, will be connected within the next few years.

Along with such a far reaching vision of usage, comes an equally astronomical assessment of the profit potential for companies that embrace it. Cisco, which sits on the leading edge of the IoE frontier, incorporates this assessment as part of its overall Value Index, and puts its estimate in the form of a Value at Stake of $14.4 trillion worldwide over the next 10 years (2013-2022). That refers to net profit up for grabs.

The Cisco IoE Value Index combines survey data and third-party metrics on business and technology environmental factors to gauge IoE capabilities around the world. The Value at Stake component highlights the potential bottom-line value that can be created, or that will migrate among private-sector companies and industries, based on their ability to harness the Internet of Everything over the next decade. Cisco predicts that this IoE Value at Stake will be $14.4 trillion for companies and industries.

To read the full post, please visit CloudTweaks here.