Author Archives: Steve Prentice

The Idiosyncrasies of Bitcoin and the BlockChain

The Idiosyncrasies of Bitcoin and the BlockChain

The ‘Centerless’ Economy

Have you ever wondered why certain coins have ridged edges? They are prevalent within the currencies of many nations. The mint actually calls it “reeding.” But what is it for? There was a time when the coins themselves were worth what they stood for; they were made from an amount of gold or silver equal to their face value. People discovered quickly that it was possible to shave a tiny sliver off the edge of each coin, slowly building up a tidy amount of stolen shaved silver or gold. Reeding took care of this problem by installing a ridged edge, which would give away any attempts to slice pieces away.

Fintech Economy Currency

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Although reeding has eliminated this form of financial fraud, its continued presence on some of our coins serves as a reminder that the modern monetary system is beset with challenges. There is a dynamic tension between the value of goods and the honesty of those performing the transactions. It has never been perfect, primarily because it is based on faith. In many regards it is quite amazing what people will do, based on the mutual acceptance of a fiat currency, or on the supposed legitimacy of a signature on a contract. This faith extends to the person across from you, the banks that handle and lend out money, and the governments that oversee it all. This is about to change.

Most people have heard about BitCoin, the “virtual currency” that seems to defy explanation as to how it works, and which seems to be the favored exchange medium of international criminals, drug lords and arms dealers. It appears as a novelty, doomed to obscurity due to a lack of cultural connection and consumer comfort. But there is a lesson that comes from the slow advance of BitCoin that all companies and individuals should heed, even if they never make a BitCoin transaction, and it comes down to one word: decentralization.

The Block Chain 

BitCoin is a payment system, not a currency per se. It belongs to no nation, and no government can legislate its value. The most significant feature of BitCoin is the machinery that makes it work, called the BlockChain, and that’s what enterprises and individuals must pay strict attention to.

(Bitcoin Explained via Duncan Elms)

The BlockChain is a collection of computers stationed around the world, and maintained by anybody. You or I could have a computer that connects to the BlockChain if we wanted. They essentially act like a group of peers, who must all be notified of every BitCoin transaction and must unanimously and independently verify and approve each one. They become the witnesses, and the value of every transaction completed is based no longer on faith but on fact.

The most important thing to take away from this, however, is that the BlockChain approval process does not only happen for BitCoin-based transactions. It can happen in any area of business or activity in which independent, impartial oversight is required.

Playing With Numbers And Formulas

Take accounting, for example. Accounting places much of its stock in trade in the balancing of books. Every dollar that a company takes in, spends and retains must balance out. That’s what a ledger is for, and that’s what accountants do. They make sure it all balances. But this is what the BlockChain does, too. It acts like a giant global ledger and insists that every transaction also balances.


This has huge implications for all types of businesses, including banking, accounting, insurance and real estate. It does not necessarily threaten to put them all out of business, but it does point to a significant change in the way transactions and contracts are negotiated and acted upon. The global approval systems established by the BlockChain will influence every area in which humans need to prove something. This could include certifications, diplomas and affidavit-type documents. Where once a signature sufficed, now the proof of a transaction will need to pass the test of a million unrelated and impartial computers. BitCoins and similar virtual payment systems can even be programmed to be spent only on certain products and services and no others. For example, an insurance company’s payout could include a BitCoin that can only be applied to specific medications or car repairs at a selection of approved suppliers. This has the potential to vastly improve the security of payouts and the efficacy of systems that rely on money to be spent exactly where it should be.

The mechanics of how BlockChain does what it does take much more space to explain, in just the same way modern banking or insurance structures do. But for businesses, consumers and employees in today’s workforce, the notion of a secure, “centerless” place for the verified exchange of goods, services and promises is moving ever closer.

Bottom line (to use an accountant’s terminology), if you have considered BitCoin to be merely a quirky virtual coinage system available only to technology buffs, think again. Your next house purchase, employment agreement or company audit may run on this new, centerless track very soon.

For more on this topic, please visit, sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

By Steve Prentice

Furthering Business By Seeing Beyond

Furthering Business By Seeing Beyond

Furthering Your Business

Here is a typical customer service story that illustrates the gap between the power of modern commerce and the struggling mindset of business.

John is a retail customer, who, like many people, enjoys shopping at specific stores. He re-visits these stores often, out of habit and convenience. He recently purchased a coffee maker from a homewares store in his neighborhood just one week prior to moving house. He brought it home, but did not open it. It remained in its original packaging. Two weeks later, after moving into his new house, he found the coffee maker, removed it from its box and plugged it in. It did not work. He called customer service and was told to take it to a local affiliate – a store that was not a direct part of the chain, but that sold some of the chain’s branded merchandise.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

When John arrived at the affiliate store, with his coffee maker in hand, the young sales clerk informed him that although the store was connected to the homewares chain, she was not able to accept the appliance, since her store did not directly deal with this particular brand. She politely suggested he return to the main store back in his old neighborhood. John left the store, with his coffee maker under his arm. He felt a little under-appreciated and consequently decided to switch his loyalty to their competition.

Question: what – if anything – could the young sales clerk have done differently to stop John from leaving the brand?

This type of customer service scenario happens very often. It is the end result of an absence of long-range thinking on the part of higher-ups in the retail chain, a subsequent lack of education of front-line retail staff and a lack of time. Store associates seldom have the time or the permission to think proactively.

Data is King

big data

The people who manage this affiliate store overlooked a key component of the new business economy. Even if the coffee maker was rightfully not a brand that they supported, the cost of returning it on behalf of the customer pales in comparison to what John would have left them in return: data. Customer relationships and customer data carry a far greater value than any individual transactions. Business, both in the B2C (retail) and B2B (industrial/commercial) spheres, relies increasingly on big data and analytics. This is the material that helps further individual customer relationships, spreading them out into additional channels.

Data allows vendors to outperform – For example:

Up-selling:John, your 4-cup coffee machine is good, but have you considered an 8-cup model, so you can make enough for guests?

Cross-selling: “John, most people who buy this type of coffee maker also buy this amazing kettle, made by the same manufacturer, with six different water temperature settings.

Data-based selling: “John, last time you shopped at the main store, you bought a highway safety kit for your car. Do you know about our really great thermos cups? They’re perfect for enjoying that great coffee safely while you’re driving.”

Subscription services: “John, we’ve partnered with this premium coffee supplier who sends coffee by courier. Not only will you never run out, they always send an additional sampler with every shipment.

Freemium: “John, I know you might never have tried coffee shipments by courier before, so we are happy to send the first 1-week package at no charge. You can order online if you like it.

Loyalty: “John, if you choose to order your coffee online, maybe you want to try our loyalty app. It works on your smartphone and you get points and rewards with every purchase.”

Mobile Commerce: “John, since you’re thinking about the loyalty app, you might want to think about our full, downloadable native app that shows the specials throughout the entire store, but primarily the areas that we know you like the most, like coffee and cars. If you set the permissions, it will also know when you physically enter the store and you will get 15% off automatically.”

New Service Lines: “John, we are offering gourmet dessert preparation classes online in conjunction with a local catering school. Perhaps you or a family member might wish to sign up, to learn how to make great desserts to go with that wonderful coffee.

The sales clerk in this scenario was only doing what she had been instructed to do, which points to a deficiency of vision in the management hierarchy. John should not have been allowed to leave the store without the clerk entering his account code to find out who he was, how long he had been a customer of the main store, and to identify and deliver these types of up-sell opportunities right there and then. The clerk should have been educated to understand that rejecting a customer for any reason will result in a high possibility of losing that customer, whereas helping him would have opened up more channels of loyalty and business.

Data is king. Customer data gives company representatives at any level the opportunity to fully understand the needs of each client/customer and to address them in a high-touch, contextual manner. That is the currency of modern commerce.

For more on this topic, please visit, sponsored by HP Enterprise Services.

By Steve Prentice

The Future of Employee Engagement

The Future of Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement

Employees face a number of challenges in their day-to-day jobs, with emails, distractions and a never-ending workload topping the bill. A great deal of time is spent learning to use business technologies in the name of improved productivity, but, twenty-five years after the release of Microsoft Windows, there are still significant gaps between the ideal productive workspace and the status quo.

Seeing Is Believing

employee engagement

A new generation of technologies promises to change this, by placing focus on employee engagement, rather than simply on tasks. These fall into the collective concept called “collaborative workspaces,” and they take advantage of the cloud to allow people to break free of their social silos and actually see each other.

The key phrase here is “see each other.” One of the key engagement techniques that has faded from view over the past two decades is the capacity for face-to-face communication. This decline started with email, and has continued in the smartphone era. It is very rare to see a person sitting anywhere – or even walking or driving – without being involved with text messaging on their phones.

Texting and social media are useful for many things, but genuine engagement is not one of them. Regardless of the age and generation of an employee, to be engaged with people, especially managers to staff, staff to managers, and supplier to customer, there must exist a degree of interpersonal interaction that cannot be conveyed or reinforced through digital means. This is easily demonstrated in the numerous cases of misinterpretation that have occurred within text messages and email. A lack of context turns easily into misunderstanding. People need a human connection in order to learn, to communicate and to work together. They need the skills of conversation and active listening, an understanding of body language, and both the willingness and the capacity to handle difficult conversations. This demands face-to-face contact.

phone addiction

New collaborative technologies are permitting this, through their greater bandwidth, in terms of data rates as well as compatibility across different platforms (desktop, tablet, phone.)

Some examples:

  • A project kick-off meeting has a far better chance of connecting with and positively influencing a team when everyone else knows what each other looks like, and can talk live via video.
  • Professional development workshops achieve far greater levels of retention when participants are given the opportunity to learn, research, ask questions and provide feedback on their own terms, learning according to their own style.
  • When teams schedule conference calls using video conferencing, the degree of engagement increases not only thanks to the face-to-face connection, but through the elimination of those side tasks people do, such as checking email, while they sit in on a teleconference.
  • Preparing to meet or chat with a new client/colleague is made easier by visiting business sites such as LinkedIn and finding out what they look like and where they come from.

Connecting With Permission

The process of employee engagement requires two essential components. The first is the means to connect, and the second is permission. When Toyota embraced the concept of kaizen (continuous improvement) into its factory workforce during the post-World War II re-build, a central component was the genba walk, in which managers were encouraged to walk around and learn from the workers through questions and conversation. This represents a physical embodiment of encouraging engagement – it allowed workers of all levels to communicate and know that they have been heard.

Collaborative environments further this approach by making human contact and engagement easier and less threatening. It heralds the potential beginning of an age in which people need no longer hide behind keyboards and can instead develop and reinforce their interpersonal skills.

For more on this topic, please visit, sponsored by HP Enterprise Services.

By Steve Prentice

Security Training Through Practical Experience

Security Training Through Practical Experience

The Importance of Practical Experience

One of the most interesting scenes to watch – if you are fortunate enough to time it right – is a full-scale emergency drill conducted by joint teams of firefighters, police and paramedics. These can involve hundreds of people, including volunteers who are given realistic wounds by skilled makeup artists, and who play the roles of the wounded in a mass-casualty situation. They usually take place at an actual office building or other public structure, and everything is made up to be as real as possible. So real, in fact, that neighboring businesses and residents are often warned repeatedly about the event in order to avoid panic.

Emergency Response

The question arises, with so much great virtual reality available, and with so much information retrievable from the Internet, why go to the expense of a full-scale mock-up in the physical world? What more could someone learn in such a setting that they could not obtain through research? Any fire chief or triage specialist will tell you: there is no online learning equivalent to real-world experience.

In emergencies, a number of physical experiences contribute to increasing the chances of a successful and safe conclusion. Touch, sight, smell, sounds, muscle memory and intuition – all of these represent proficiency that cannot be satisfactorily reproduced simply by reading or watching a video. This is why disaster exercises are held, from large-scale mock-ups through to the tedious office fire drill. Nothing beats practical experience.

Learning To Adapt


The same rule applies for information security professionals. This is an industry that gets more complex by the day, especially as more data and operations move to the cloud. Many traditional IT security practices no longer apply in cloud computing environments, and a broader range of IT experts are required to have the knowledge, skills and abilities to ensure data and systems are protected across the entire IT ecosystem. Learning and staying up-to-date with these changes is vital. But validating that knowledge is just as important, so that organizations can confirm IT staff have both the insight and problem-solving skills necessary to manage threats, proactively and reactively.

A significant benefit of experience is the capacity for cloud security professionals to communicate clearly and effectively to various operational levels within a department, from the most junior to the most senior. Very often, a simple problem-solving exercise can be delayed or even sabotaged due to inadequate understanding, talking to the wrong people or sheer resistance from stakeholders. The skills required to manage a conflict and defuse situations filled with tension or panic are as much part of the job as is technical know-how. When it comes to dealing with people, prior experience is an absolute must.

Deeper Knowledge


When describing hindsight as being 20/20, people often say if they knew “then” what they know now, they would have done things differently. This is why an extensive working background is so vital. Similarly, this is one of the reasons why (ISC)² and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), two of the leading non-profits focused on information and cloud security, developed the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP℠) certification – to ensure that cloud specialists have the knowledge, skills and abilities to audit, assess and secure cloud infrastructures. Their requirement for candidates to demonstrate experience, specifically five years in IT, three years in IT security, and one year in cloud security, represents a well-rounded awareness of the situations that can happen on either side of a computer screen. CCSP certified professionals are able to demonstrate how they have gained a deeper knowledge of cloud security through hands-on experience and practical know-how. This gives information security and IT staff the skills and credibility to get the job done, and gives organizations greater comfort in granting the freedom and authority needed to confidently move IT infrastructure to the cloud.

For more on the CCSP certification from (ISC)², please visit Sponsored by (ISC)².

By Steve Prentice

Engagement Through Password Literacy

Engagement Through Password Literacy

Citizen Engagement Literacy

The term “engagement literacy” is not commonly-used at this moment, but it is a concept that bears greater attention in an age where personal data is king. Citizens and consumers now provide two currencies to the retailers and companies around them. The first is actual money, transferred either electronically or by hand, but the second, which has much greater value, is that of data. Data has far greater ability to shape the future of a vendor’s business, since it compounds quickly when added to, or compared with other data.

data education passwords

Consumers are generally not aware of the power of this data. Tracking technologies and data gathering techniques used by websites, many of which have been around for years, are largely ignored, as is password management. So let’s look at these two in the context of citizen engagement literacy.

Engagement through Password Literacy

Many of the hacks and cyber-attacks that happen daily can be traced to human nature, including inadequate password strength, phishing scams, or simply being too trusting. People also resist having to memorize or carry numerous passwords, especially when they are long strings of unintelligible characters. Entire papers are dedicated to this topic, but for the purposes of this article, the point is this: there are many sophisticated and often free password management applications available that can take care of the creation and maintenance of strong passwords. It is up to the citizens themselves to learn how to use these, with the same degree of comfort and habit as they would with their home alarm system. That comprises part of “literacy” in the digital age.

Engagement through Data Literacy


In a related fashion, customers must become more aware of the data they share and the power they have over this data. Very soon, more and more retail stores will start to take advantage of smartphone-based apps to identify shoppers and enhance the in-store experience by making offers based on past browsing and purchasing activities. Sales associates may even greet shoppers by name. Some people feel this is too much, even invasive, but the point is, the individual consumer can and should exercise control over which data is made available and to whom. Apps and online profiles have privacy settings, but too often these appear complex and intimidating to the average user.

Engagement Literacy

Engagement literacy is a requirement for functioning in the wireless world. As a comparison, in the physical world, most people can read and drive a car. These abilities require training and practice to master, but most people find they are able to do both (and sadly, with texting, they feel they can do both simultaneously).

Engagement literacy is something that should be taught, and more importantly, is something that citizens must recognize as essential to maintaining personal control while enjoying the growing benefits of a highly tailored retail and service environment.PrescriptionMeds

When the day comes that the smartphone entirely replaces the wallet, for payment, ID, medical information, and loyalty programs, there should be no fear. Managing and protecting the data that this smart phone can hold, including mitigation in the case of loss or theft of the device itself, should be effortless, comfortable and well-practiced. That is what engagement literacy is: privacy, protection and control of data – all in the palm of your hand.

For more on this topic, please visit, sponsored by HP Enterprise Services.

By Steve Prentice

The Need For A Security Incident Response Team

The Need For A Security Incident Response Team

Security Incident Response Team

The incidences of modern cyber-attacks are growing, along with their sophistication. Every single weakness, whether technological or human, is being constantly exploited, and the interconnectedness of computers means that a break-in, theft or infection on one system has far-reaching consequences with customers, suppliers and the general public.

Network Security

Network security is an industry created out of necessity. Company decision-makers must recognize that the sheer variety of attack vectors is something that requires constant vigilance, and that not only preparedness, but post-attack response strategies, too, are a critical part of doing business.


MetricStream is a global organization that focuses on Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) for modern and digital enterprises. Their recent white paper, entitled The Important Role Of A Cyber Security Incident Response Program, and authored by Vibhav Agarwal and Dr. Michael Redmond, presents a comprehensive assessment of the damage that hackers can cause, the value of deploying a Security Incident Response Team, along with some fascinating case studies and a wealth of highly actionable preventative steps.

Here is an excerpt:

We live and do business in a whole new world; one marked by increasing cyber attacks, and all new rules. Beyond the increase in frequency of attacks, we also face an increase in the types of organizations that have become targets. Today, it goes beyond banks and government-related institutions, to include healthcare providers, retailers, and essentially any entity that owns or has access to the assets and information of its consumers.

Organizations require more focused awareness to bolster their security policies and practices as the foundational structure of an overall risk-management strategy. Furthermore, organizations need to ensure compliance with new laws and regulations that govern how they protect information assets.

It’s also critical that organizations buy into the fact that network and systems administrators alone cannot protect corporate systems and information assets – it must be an organizational team effort. A Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) is a must in today’s world.

In April 2012, a server hack was responsible for a HIPAA violation by the Utah Department of Health, where over 780,000 people were compromised in the server attack at the authentication level, permitting hackers to hijack Social Security Numbers and personal health records. It was determined that a vulnerable server was not properly configured as per normal procedure, allowing hackers to gain access into the computer network. Added to that, in January and February 2012, nearly 1.5 million individuals were affected by hackers who successfully infiltrated and gained access to the payment processing system of Global Payments Inc. On December 14, 2014, it was reported that the Dutch government suffered a website outage due to a cyber attack. Allegedly, hackers crippled the Dutch government’s main websites for most of the day, rendering back-up plans and contingencies largely ineffective. All of this goes to show the serious loopholes in our current infrastructure and back-up plans.

While organizations cannot always prevent a breach, a quick response to a security event can go a long way when it comes to minimizing the financial damage and most importantly, protecting the business and its reputation. In order to reduce the costs associated with increased call center activity, customer education and awareness programs, brand repair campaigns, legal and compliance fines, and expenses associated with any customer settlements, organizations should adopt a proactive approach with timely stakeholder communication.”

Pandora’s Box

Of greatest significance in the paper is the recognition that attacks have incalculable costs. Data breaches and thefts unleash a Pandora’s box of additional problems. One compelling case study describes a data break-in to a state Revenue agency that resulted eventually in the filing of hundreds of fraudulent tax returns. It is precisely because no organization can know everything that must be known, that an alliance with governance, planning and response organizations is essential. To review the entire paper, visit Metricstream

By Steve Prentice

Facebook’s Lesson In Effortless Marketing

Facebook’s Lesson In Effortless Marketing

Facebook’s Effortless Marketing

Do you remember those early TV commercials for Facebook (See Parody)? When it was just starting out and social media was a new thing? Of course you don’t. Because they didn’t happen. Facebook grew into a world-changing phenomenon despite a lack of traditional advertising. Their first ever TV spot happened in 2012, and this tale of two marketing approaches speaks volumes to organizations that marvel at Facebook’s enormous success – with almost 1.5 billion subscribers – and who would like to emulate it, even in part.


The magic of Facebook’s growth is partly in the very fact that they did not have to advertise. People were drawn to it because of a collective and instinctive desire to connect, communicate and to see what others were doing. In other words, attraction to, and use of this product required no enticement. It answered an ultimate need, and engagement became effortless.

This is a crucial lesson to learn. Marketers spend a great deal of time and money trying to figure out what customers want, and then building both a stimulus and a response into their customer relationship vehicles. The current focus on omni-channel is a strong case in point. Customers today have not only become more mobile, but they are expecting a seamless, consistent experience that offers no delays, and which responds to their needs even when they switch from desktop to smartphone. This ease of communication echoes to some degree the key factors behind the easy adoption of Facebook: it’s a natural activity of connection.

Creating Innovations with Art & Science


(Image Source: rvlsoft / Shutterstock)

The business of digital marketing is an art and a science that focuses on developing and communicating a brand, and then getting that brand message across to an audience who is then expected to respond with a desire to purchase the product. The lever of enticement uses degrees of friction, from high – using techniques such as urgency and peer pressure, through to zero friction, which is the case with FaceBook.

The growing sophistication of the global customer base, in the retail and the B2B industrial fields, means that the closer you can get to zero friction, the more genuine and long-lasting the relationship will be.

This is why techniques such as HP’s process to analyze “digital halos are well primed for this newest era of the new economy. In today’s connected world, the Digital Consumer leaves “digital fingerprints” whenever they interact with the brand. This provides unprecedented insight by looking at the available data about the customer’s Digital Halo to predict future purchase behavior. It allows for a more accurate calculation of the next best action in both service and sales, which can then be presented at the right time, in the right channel and at a price that will successfully influence a purchase decision. Whether in a store or using an app, a customer deserves and expects to feel truly understood, and highly up-to-date. Data-based profiles help do just that.

The second lesson to take from the Facebook model is the fact that they now have started to run TV spots after all. This seems to fly directly in the face of their effortless marketing, but in fact demonstrates that no company is ever too big or too successful to question its approaches and to try new things, especially given the endless stream of competitors and start-ups nipping at their heels.

So Facebook is now trying to spread its message consciously through advertising. Google has reinvented its brand. And thousands of other companies are discovering their true new calling in switching from product focused to service focused. Innovation and change never stop. But the constant is the human desire to answer its needs through convenience. So long as this is demonstrable in your marketing message, you will have direct access to the customer’s attention and loyalty.

For more on this topic, please visit, sponsored by HP Enterprise Services.

By Steve Prentice

Cloud-Based Collaboration And The Heart Of The Tin Man

Cloud-Based Collaboration And The Heart Of The Tin Man

The Heart of the Tin Man

This is an exciting age to do business. Humans are connecting and communicating using new technologies that free them from many of the factors that caused delay and error in the analog world, such as death by meeting, flight delays, traffic jams and overbooked boardrooms. Wireless devices, BYOD and cloud-based collaboration are the new tools of commerce. The challenge, though comes about with their human operators, who sometimes do not make a successful adjustment.


Old habits die hard. People who started their careers, or even their childhoods, using a rotary dial phone, tend to retain some element of the tradition of formality and centralization of power that is at odds with today’s new seamless and wireless economy. Such a mechanical device, which in earlier decades was run essentially by a singular “phone company” influenced the attitudes and expectations of a great many people. Individuals struggle to this day, seeking to reconcile the new instantaneous, multi-channel economy with the attitudes of structure and formality formed in earlier years. Yes, they all may be carrying smartphones now, but they are still booking boardrooms for meetings, booking flights for cross-country travel, and finding themselves buried under a mountain of email. (Although email appears to be a modern technology, it has more in common with paper than it does with the internet.) Cloud-based collaboration and project management applications remove the need for email attachments and email itself. But it will likely be many years before email becomes as scarce as the electric typewriter, and for the same reason: it is a comfortable connection to past behavior. Habit has a hard time letting go.

The Next Level of Enterprise Communication

It is necessary for thought leaders and managers in organizations to recognize that the inherent biases in being an analog human are hard to remove, and the attitudes must be unfrozen and replaced with new ones, in concert with the installation of wireless, digital collaboration technology.

Face Time

CubicleTake the concept of face time for example. How prepared is your company or your manager, to trust that if you choose to work from home, that you are actually working, and not watching Dr. Phil? Has the trust factor sufficiently penetrated your culture to allow remote work to have a value equal to being at the office? There are numerous studies that show that work performed at home, in blocks that match an individual’s attention span, is far more productive than simply sitting in a cubicle. But facts do not by default override feelings. That is the human way. What people feel will always carry more weight than what they think, until proven otherwise.

We have an opportunity now to avoid repeating a mistake of 25 years ago. When electronic mail was introduced as a new high-speed communications technique, it did not come with any form of instruction or policy manual. This resulted in millions of people suffering the time-wasting distraction of overloaded in-boxes, the political ramifications of poorly worded text, the redundancies of cc lists, and the overall inefficiency of the medium for creativity and problem solving. E-mail has probably cost companies more than it has made, not because of the technology itself, but because humans were never shown how to properly use it.

Organizations need policies and standards: how to prepare a timeline for a project based on units other than the hours between 9 and 5; how to structure employees’ workweeks to truly balance family and health time with slices of applied work that match metabolisms rather than calendars; and how to delve into the unstructured data of social media to detect and understand the latent passions, talents and potential of an employee that the more formal, traditional assessment tools tend to miss.

There is no question that an organization still needs structure to run effectively, just like a human being needs a skeleton. But around our bones there are organs and systems, specialized and very fluid, that have not only evolved to exploit a specific ability, but also continue to respond and react to influences around us, building immunity and furthering the collective effort.

Modern business technologies are fascinating and beautiful in their wireless and dynamic versatility. But every human being, regardless of age or generation, suffers an attitudinal time lag, anchored to the experiences of their formative years. These, too, must be recognized and built in to any exercise in organizational renewal.

For more on this topic, please visit, sponsored by HP Enterprise Services.

By Steve Prentice

CloudTweaks Comics
Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

DDoS Knocks Out Several Websites Cyber attacks targeting the internet infrastructure provider Dyn disrupted service on major sites such as Twitter and Spotify on Friday, mainly affecting users on the U.S. East Coast. It was not immediately clear who was responsible. Officials told Reuters that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

Security and the Potential of 2 Billion Device Failures

Security and the Potential of 2 Billion Device Failures

IoT Device Failures I have, over the past three years, posted a number of Internet of Things (and the broader NIST-defined Cyber Physical Systems) conversations and topics. I have talked about drones, wearables and many other aspects of the Internet of Things. One of the integration problems has been the number of protocols the various…

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Security, Security, Security!! Get use to it as we’ll be hearing more and more of this in the coming years. Collaborative security efforts from around the world must start as sometimes it feels there is a sense of Fait Accompli, that it’s simply too late to feel safe in this digital age. We may not…

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

A New Era for Cyber Crime Last September, the website of a well-known security journalist was hit by a massive DDoS attack. The site’s host stated it was the largest attack of that type they had ever seen. Rather than originating at an identifiable location, the attack seemed to come from everywhere, and it seemed…

5 Ways To Ensure Your Cloud Solution Is Always Operational

5 Ways To Ensure Your Cloud Solution Is Always Operational

Ensure Your Cloud Is Always Operational We have become so accustomed to being online that we take for granted the technological advances that enable us to have instant access to everything and anything on the internet, wherever we are. In fact, it would likely be a little disconcerting if we really mapped out all that…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

The 80-20 Rule For Security Practitioners  Everyday we learn about yet another egregious data security breach, exposure of customer data or misuse of data. It begs the question why in this 21st century, as a security industry we cannot seem to secure our most valuable data assets when technology has surpassed our expectations in other regards.…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Competing in a Digital World Telecoms, otherwise largely known as Communications Service Providers (CSPs), have traditionally made the lion’s share of their revenue from providing pipes and infrastructure. Now CSPs face increased competition, not so much from each other, but with digital service providers (DSPs) like Netflix, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, all of whom…


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