how do startups know if it’s time to grow up? 

By Alexander Moiseev

LEADING entrepreneurship magazines are filled with stories about how people started their businesses and quickly achieved success — turning their business from a hobby or a quick and dirty idea into an actual small company. From a being a chef to founding a food startup or from working in an office as a software developer to developing their own service, or from a young mother to an owner of an online store, people can dramatically transform their careers.


Transformation from individual entrepreneurship, which is often a hobby, to a real business, occurs so quickly that sometimes newly successful business leaders do not even have time to realize the gravity of their new status. I noticed this when talking with guys from our Innovation hub — Kaspersky’s dedicated department where we scout internal and external innovative startups. They see themselves as entrepreneurs, but not yet the users of full-fledged business services (for example, messaging, videoconferencing, collaboration cloud services and storage). 


The line between the two states is indeed very thin. However, if new business leaders become aware of their new status, they can make their lives much easier, solving business problems faster and more effectively.


IKEA for business

Here is a very clear example of how this can be done. Let’s use the story of Wendy and Peter. Peter works as a cook, and in his free time, he experiments with healthy desserts and sells them through his Instagram account. Wendy works as a consultant in a large firm and dreams of exchanging the office routine for something more exciting. Once Peter and Wendy know they can rely on each other’s support, why not step into the wonderful unknown world of running their own small business? After thinking it over, they decided that their resources and skills are great for opening a small café with trendy healthy desserts and drinks in a busy city neighborhood. A new business captures their imagination and they feel like pioneers who have to go to accomplishing their goal.


The business plan was written, the documents were ready, the menu was drawn up, and the right space had been found. It was time to buy furniture, accessories and utensils to turn their new space into a lovely café, so they visit IKEA. They entered as new apartment owners, striving to fill their store with new products. After having thought through the design and choosing the right products on the retailer’s website, they go around the store for a long time with their trolley, picking up cups, spoons, chairs, plants. They wasted precious hours doing this, and for entrepreneurs who occasionally combine several jobs in one at the start of business, this lost time is extremely valuable. 


The fact is that IKEA has a special service — IKEA Business, which works with companies and simplifies their purchasing tasks. Through this service, as a business owner, you can choose a finished interior or individual products, order delivery and installation, and even do it all on credit. A ritual passage through the IKEA exhibition halls is not necessary; everything can be done online, saving time and effort, which means money for new business. But neither Peter nor Wendy paid attention to this service, but chose a less effective, longer journey.


Cybersecurity for maturing businesses

All the characters in this story are fictional, and any chance that this has happened to real people is just a coincidence, but it illustrates the trend that we found among small businesses, including our customers that use consumer tools instead of special offers for business.


We interviewed nearly 700 companies with less than 50 employees around the world, and a quarter (25%) of them admitted that they use products for home use to protect their business from cyberthreats. This confirms what we see through our sales analytics as well — consumer IT security products are purchased by businesses, and the share of these sales is remarkable, it is not about several occasional cases per year. Basically, these are companies that consist of several people, some of which have just recently left individual entrepreneurship, and some have had their business for some time already, with a staff of three to ten employees.


Perhaps this option seems easier, cheaper and faster for them. It is likely that they do not have full-time IT specialists, they do not need to set up special policies, analyze threat events or manage hundreds of devices. They just need to ‘set and forget’ their IT security for reasonable money. And it seems that a home-based product for family protection provides all they need.

What is wrong with consumer protection

Security tailored for consumers is a great thing and it is possible to use it for business protection. It is possible to protect several devices with one license including PCs and mobile devices. However, it still lacks some features and can’t meet all business demands, even for small companies. 

What if a company has not five but 20 employees or the business is growing very fast and the number of employees is constantly increasing? Then it suddenly needs several licenses of consumer product but a person who manages protection won’t be able to manage all devices together. The business will not have the visibility it needs across all devices and the status of their protection. In addition, consumer products cannot be used for server protection, so file servers where a company normally stores all business data will not be safe. 

Changing mindsets

The use of inappropriate services and products, is not necessarily fatal for businesses, and even cybersecurity is not an exception. The key takeaway from this story is the idea that companies should realize they are actually businesses. 

This means they need to consider everything from a point of view that benefits the company and ensures efficiencies. Companies must find optimal solutions to solving problems — whether it’s buying furniture for a restaurant or managing the logistics of order deliveries from a store in Tokyo to Copenhagen. These small steps into a big business will not harm progress, but, most likely, will help to save money and time. Moreover, a properly organized cyber-defense will help secure all these effective business processes and the results of entrepreneurial work. (Author is Chief Business Officer, Kaspersky )

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Employee training must be part of developing a security stra

By Rob Rashotte, vice president for Global Training & Technical Field Enablement at Fortinet

  CISOs are facing a perfect storm when it comes to securing their networks. Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated just as corporate networks are becoming more distributed and complex – all while security talent becomes harder to find and security strategy best practices evolve.


In the midst of this turmoil, CISOs are now forced to wrestle with how to prioritize the often-limited time and resources available to them to most effectively secure their networks.


This complex, multi-point challenge is explored in the Forbes Insights survey Making Tough Choices: How CISOs Manage Escalating Threats and Limited Resources, conducted in association with Fortinet. Surveying more than 200 CISOs about their priorities, the report illuminates the challenges CISOs currently face, including a lack of security budget and the belief that the capabilities of cyber criminals are outpacing their network protection abilities.


The survey examines what contributes to these challenges and then explores ways CISOs can effectively address them. While a number of actions CISOs can take are outlined in the report, one of the most clear moves they can take to improve their organization’s overall security posture is to prioritize employee training and create a proactive cybersecurity culture as part of their overall security strategy.


Cybersecurity Challenges at the Employee Level. According to findings from the report, 35% of CISOs cite the lack of a centralized cybersecurity strategy and the lack of support from senior management as top constraints to effective security. But when examining the reasons behind the lack of central strategy, many of the issues seem to start at the employee layer – both among IT employees as well as general employees across the various lines of business.


Skills Gap. First, CISOs are dealing with the effects of the ongoing cybersecurity skills gap. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 82% of employers claim that they are currently suffering from a shortage of cybersecurity professionals within their organization. This shortage has hindered their ability to develop a more strategic approach to their cybersecurity programs, as well as in their ability to keep pace with new threats.


Because the skills shortage prevents IT and security teams from shifting away from their threat-prevention based security strategy to one focused on detection and response, their security teams end up staying focused on tasks aimed at preventing existing threats, rather than using threat intelligence and advanced tools to identify and respond to unknown vulnerabilities and zero days. 


Departmental Buy-In. But that is only part of the challenge. Cybersecurity cannot be the sole responsibility of the IT team. Even if they had adequate resources, IT and security teams still cannot effectively move beyond a tactical approach without buy-in and participation from the executive suite or from the various lines of business.


One of the biggest challenges that occur inside the network perimeter is insider threats. When looking at priorities that CISOs list among various security initiatives, the prevention, detection, and response to insider threats were consistently listed among their top-tier priorities. 


Managing insider threats and risks, especially unintentional events – like clicking on a phishing link, using weak passwords, or exposing the network to an unsecured device – eat up a lot of the time and resources of the security team, whose time could be better spent managing threats from external sources. To address this, employees across departments must take a more active role in cybersecurity by learning to avoid common attack tactics and assisting security teams in developing an approach to cybersecurity that will be effective without limiting productivity.


Putting employees at the center of the cybersecurity strategy. By putting employee development at the center of their cybersecurity strategy, CISOs enable their teams to work more efficiently while taking a holistic, strategic approach to network protection. 


There are a few key ways this can be done:


1. Employee Training. As the skills gap persists, CISOs should ensure their security team has regular opportunities for further education in deploying, configuring, and managing advanced security tools, as well as identifying and addressing new emerging threats. This is especially crucial to enable them to switch from a focus on prevention to a focus on threat detection and remediation. Proficiency in these types of integrated tools provides IT teams with enhanced visibility into how data is used and moved through the network, in addition to simplified management and analytics abilities. This is crucial as networks become more distributed and detection and remediation become increasingly important.


Additionally, the skills gap means organizations are less likely to hire new people with extensive field experience, which means they will have to focus on developing the skillsets of their existing team. To make this easier, Fortinet customers have access to our in-depth, hands-on training on our product suite as well as fundamental security principles through the Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) program. 


The NSE program offers eight course levels, beginning with understanding the threat landscape and the evolution of cybersecurity, through to the ability to configure, install, and troubleshoot a comprehensive security solution. Investing in security training like this enables CISOs to ensure that a strong internal candidate is ready when a position becomes available, as well as assisting in employee retention for essential security staff.


Leverage automation. Another way CISOs can help increase the productivity of their limited security teams is by giving them back time to focus on strategy. One way to do this is to deploy security solutions that make extensive use of automation through AI and machine learning. 


Cyberattacks are happening at machine speed – meaning that your security team cannot keep up with threat correlation, or even basic remediation efforts, on their own. Automated solutions can work to respond to anomalous activity and known threats attempting to breach the network – allowing security teams time to focus on strategy and remediation efforts. 


For example, rather than having security teams working around the clock to detect potential internal threats, they can use machine learning to understand what normal behavior for employees looks like, and then react when behavior deviates. They can also be assigned menial tasks such as inventory management and patching, freeing up human resources to focus on higher-order activities.


Develop a cyber-aware culture. The top answer given by CISOs when asked about security priorities over the next five years, was to “create a culture of security.” This involves training employees across lines of business in good cyber-hygiene. Beyond making sure that employees can identify phishing attacks or know how to update their applications on a regular basis, CISOs should also foster collaboration between departments and the security team. 


This will reduce instances of inadvertent internal threats, and increase overall buy-in for the security program. Ensuring that lines of business are aware of security strategy, and are happy to work with IT teams to ensure security policies, ensures buy-in across the organization.


By focusing on training and enabling employees to perform basic security tasks such as updating devices, identifying suspicious behaviors, and practicing safe cyber behavior across teams, CISOs can begin to establish a holistic security strategy that can stand up to today’s advanced threats.


Final thoughts. CISOs are in a challenging position of having to secure increasingly distributed networks from advanced threats with limited resources. By focusing on employee development, enablement, and buy-in, CISOs can create a centralized security strategy that builds collaboration and reallocates security teams away from tactical, reactive work to more proactive and strategic efforts. 

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Smart Cities in the Philippines: A Citizen-Centric Goal

by Edler Panlilio, Managing Director, SAP Philippines

ALL eyes are set on the developments made in Central Luzon as the first phase of the construction of the country’s first ‘smart city’ is now in full swing. This long-sighted planned community, called the New Clark City, is envisioned to cater to the reoccurring problems of the national capital—the congested roads, excessive flooding, the high costs of utilities, overcrowding, and more importantly, the lack of resiliency to natural disasters. [1]


This year, the Global Peace Index of the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) revealed that the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable to climate change, especially because of its high exposure to natural hazards, such as typhoons, landslides, floods, and droughts, as well as its heavy reliance to its climate-sensitive natural resources.[2]


Just like the other smart cities across the globe, the New Clark City—and all the digital transformation initiatives of other cities nationwide—provide an opportunity to make not just Metro Manila but also the entire country more resilient to natural calamities.


The need for smarter cities. In its simplest essence, ‘smart city’ is all about providing people a better quality of life by improving a cleaner, healthier, and more convenient environment. It integrates information and communication technologies to enhance the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation, and utilities to reduce resource consumption, wastage, and overall costs. 


In the Philippines, where half of the population of over 100 million already reside in urban areas, disaster relief is a relevant pillar in building a smart city.


According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), more tropical cyclones (TCs) are entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) than anywhere else in the world. An average of 20 TCs enters the region per year, with about eight or nine crossing the country[3].

Among the most devastating typhoons that ever landed in the Philippines is Super Typhoon Yolanda, which hit the country with gusts of up to 235 mph. While we are no stranger to strong typhoons, Yolanda’s onslaught left about 6,300 people dead, 28,689 injured, and 1,061 missing.[4]


Laying the groundwork. Following this devastation, preparedness in the face of weather disturbances appeared to have increased, especially with the pre-evacuation of residents in vulnerable areas that lead to fewer casualties. On the other hand, developing smarter cities is a foremost counter-measure to preparing and withstanding the force of destructive elements.


Aside from the New Clark City, Davao, Cebu, and even Manila are now laying the groundwork to make their areas smarter and safer. These metropolises, known to have the most population in the country, are agile enough to undergo a faster digital transformation because of sufficient resources. They can even spur the nationwide plan to develop smarter cities.


Disaster and Risk resiliency. A Smart City is capable of monitoring the environment, such as pollution levels, water runoff, and even sewage system overflows. These things are needed to aid essential functions back and running to keep a city habitable after a disaster.


Smart cities also help identify any buildings that are too hazardous or not up to code. And through its systems, initial and preemptive repairs can be done to help the city endure and recover after the calamity.

Another important aspect that smart cities provide is the ability to keep communication lines running in times of natural disasters. It also prevents total blackouts, reducing the probability of mass hysteria and panic.


Not a thing of the future. All these capabilities are not a thing of the future and, SAP’s past projects can attest to this, be it for bettering one’s place or for providing security and preparedness.


For instance, SAP’s social venture Relief.io provides an activity planning app easily accessible to any platform for NGO’s planning and collaboration during dire needs. Relief.io uses a machine learning-based tool that supports the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN ONCHA) with an established Disaster Relief Network for citizens’ aid and speedy recovery of disaster-stricken developing countries. [5]


With the right utilization of smart technologies, the road to Smart Cities in the Philippines is not far ahead. As a citizen-centric goal, it will uplift the economic standards, and create a resilient country that provides shelter as well as better living to Filipinos.


References:
 [1] PH’s city of the future, now rising in Clark, November 2018. https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/08/19/phs-city-of-the-future-now-rising-in-clark/

[2] Institute for Economics & Peace. Global Peace Index 2019: Measuring Peace in a Complex World, Sydney, June 2019. http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2019/06/GPI-2019-web003.pdf

[3] The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Tropical Cyclone Information http://bagong.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/climate/tropical-cyclone-information

[4] National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Philippines, Y It Happened, Learning from Typhoon Yolanda. http://www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/attachments/article/2926/Y_It_Happened.pdf

[5]Relief. IO, Relief-Collaboration https://relief.io/relief-collaboration/

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Winning the Hearts of Travelers with Emerging Technologies

Adrian Johnston, SVP, Cloud Applications (SaaS),  Japan and Asia Pacific, Oracle

ASIA-Pacific is on track to become the biggest driver of demand for air travel, with nearly 4 billion passenger journeys expected over the next two decades, according to the International Air Transport Association.  This means business-as-usual will not be enough for the hospitality industry to support the explosion of travellers.


One of the trends behind this increasing demand is the “Instagram effect” which is influencing people to prioritise meaningful experiences over the need for luxury.  Take Jasmine, for example.  She is one of the 4 billion travellers thinking about her next trip – and she is considering either a year-end journey to Australia or the Olympics in Tokyo. She also has specific travel preferences such as opting for low-cost carriers while splurging on four-star accommodations.


Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are also playing a role in growth by making it easier for people to plan, check-in and manage their trip, which is putting pressure on industry players to embrace data and advanced analytics in order to attract and retain their customers.


By leveraging emerging technologies in the cloud, hospitality companies stand to improve customer service, optimise productivity, and control operational costs.


Tapping on emerging technologies to upgrade customer service 

Jasmine will likely spend hours trawling through several travel aggregators to find the best deal to her destination, not giving preference to any one website, airline or accommodation brand. Recognizing this, Expedia, a popular travel website, is building an emotional connection with customers through targeted deals that suit their preferences. Leveraging the cloud, Expedia has partnered with Oracle to harness all customer interactions across channels to build a holistic customer journey and present the right level of hotel and the right flights to customers like Jasmine.


Accommodation providers are turning to the cloud, as well, to go the extra mile for guests at the point of booking and are adapting to various guest requirements on-the-spot at check-out. 


Case in point – serviced apartments company Oakwood Asia Pacific integrated all its processes in the cloud, enabling its front desks to seamlessly configure rental billing based on travellers’ requirements and quickly generate guest bills. As a result, loyal guests like Jasmine can receive personalized rates from Oakwood, gain the flexibility to extend her stay and even assign certain nights to her corporate account to easily combine work with pleasure. 


In addition, hotels are turning to the cloud to fully utilize emerging technologies such as AI-enabled chat-bots, virtual assistants and concierge services that can decrease problem resolution time by an average of one-third and almost immediately respond to guest inquiries, freeing staff from routine tasks and significantly reducing guest wait times.


Moreover, AI can automate “best next actions” like playing Jasmine’s favourite music playlist or streaming content tailored to her favorite TV shows by leveraging her data stored on the cloud, which enables hotels to provide the ultimate personalized experience.


Mapping a win-win scenario for airlines and passengers with AI

Despite rising passenger numbers, airlines are struggling to keep up amidst fierce competition, persistent cost pressures and further volatility in oil and currency markets. Both full-service and budget airlines in the region need to act strategically to survive – they face two-fold pressures of controlling costs and providing unparalleled travel perks like more leg room and free in-flight WiFi. 


With emerging technologies, airlines can bridge business and customer demands by streamlining finance and procurement operations and reallocating resources to provide passengers like Jasmine with more experiential offerings. In the longer run, this optimisation cuts costs and obtains better operational insights for airlines to address potential issues and adopt ways to better serve their customers.


Japan’s largest carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA), for example, implemented Oracle ERP Cloud to streamline how it approves invoices and manages its suppliers through automation and social collaboration. The new cloud solution helps reduce risks and costs of all procurement processes and time spent on administrative tasks, so the airline’s employees can focus more on their customers. 


A leading regional low costairline AirAsia also deployed Oracle ERP Cloud to reduce operating costs and predict the profitability of competitive decisions, such as raising or lowering fares and opening new routes. Moving to the cloud has given AirAsia a better handle on inventory so that travellers like Jasmine can pick from the best selection of in-flight food and beverages as well as duty-free goods.


Streamline airport operations and boost staff efficiency

As air travel continues to surge across the region, airport operators are seizing the opportunity to expand operations. To support this growth, airports need well-trained staff in the right positions who can readily access training to optimally maintain airport operations during busy travel periods.


Kansai Airports is also keeping up with this influx. To cope with new, additional flight routes from Korea and China and expanding South-East Asian networks, Kansai Airports has embraced Oracle HCM Cloud to consolidate human resource information for quick decisions in training and staff deployment. With human capital management tools on the cloud, they can now conduct end-to-end recruiting, streamline on boarding for new employees and able to maintain optimal staffing for continuous business growth, providing visitors with reliable service and lasting positive impressions. 


Cloud provides uplift to traveller experience

The sky’s the limit for growth across the hospitality industry, as the Asia Pacific region will see a record high of almost 900 million international visitor arrivals by 2023 and contribute more than 42 percent of all international air travelers by 2040.


All players in the hospitality industry – from travel planning websites to accommodation services – must capitalize the cloud to gain easy access to emerging technology services to improve operational efficiencies, automate processes, lower operating costs and ultimately woo the hearts of discerning travelers like Jasmine.

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Four skills CISOs should develop to succeed in 2019

Maxim Frolov, Vice President of Global Sales at Kaspersky Lab

As cyber-risks became a business issue, the role of the CISO in an organization has changed. The modern CISO is not just a head of department, responsible for implementation and management of security controls - like ensuring every workstation has the latest version of endpoint security, or making sure critical ports are not exposed to the internet. It’s no longer suitable for a CISO to make their company the most secure in the world as it can hinder progress and profitability. As a C-level executive, their role is now made up of two crucial and equally important elements. Firstly, to enable the organization to achieve their business goals – such as releasing better products faster than competitors, looking attractive to stockholders, and increasing revenue. And secondly to be a cybersecurity pro, and minimize the risks of cyberattacks that could threaten their business. Getting this balance right requires not only excellent security expertise and awareness of the latest technology trends, but a set of ‘soft’ skills, which may not come naturally to those who started their career in the IT department.   


To help today’s CISOs succeed in their roles, there are four key skills to focus on.


1. Business acumen 

In the good old days, the CISO was responsible for developing a defense plan based on their company’s IT landscape. This strategy is now insufficient and the modern-day approach needs to line up with the business vision. That is why almost every CISO job advertised, on Glassdoor and other sites, not only requires detailed IT security knowledge and a list of certifications, but also a business mindset. 


As a result, CISOs cannot dismiss or prohibit a technology that their business would like to implement. They need to evaluate the risks associated with it and propose the most secure strategy that will not impede organizational progress. If staff need to have access to corporate resources from their devices, the CISO should implement a BYOD policy on the network. 


In the words of an acting CISO, best practice involves advising others to become a risk manager as well as offering assistance and guidance to the business: “Before introducing any new technology in any department, I conduct meetings with those departments to ensure that their changes are not going against our security norms. Then we make the required changes so as to have proper integration with our network.” 


2. Communication and presentation skills

Being an executive involves interacting with the C-suite and the board of directors. But with very few top managers having a security background, it can be a challenge to overcome and a CISO must develop rhetoric that ensures the board understands how serious the risks are, especially if you are used to speaking in IT jargon.


Although the ability to present complex ideas in an easy to understand manner has long been a vacancy cliché, the skill of translating cybersecurity language into business terms can fill in this communication gap. It may also help when it comes to the major headache facing every CISO – IT security budget justification. As the cybersecurity budget is often part of the overall IT expenditure, money can be prioritized for IT projects that demonstrate evident business profits and ROI. Communication skills, such as the ability to tailor information to a non-technical audience and creating strong arguments (penalties for non-compliance, damage caused by past attacks, breach reports) can prove that benefits far outweigh the costs.


3. Crisis management skills

According to a recent Kaspersky Lab report, 86% of CISOs think cybersecurity breaches will happen sooner or later, meaning that businesses cannot afford to be unprepared. Every office has an evacuation procedure that everyone must follow in case of a fire. Likewise, a company should have a strategy for when a breach happens, as panic and disorganization will only worsen the situation.


An action plan is not limited to changing affected passwords or recovering systems. To eliminate the attack quickly, it is essential to figure out who is responsible for certain actions and identify key contacts in other departments to inform first. These can include legal, PR, or customer success teams, who in turn, will be able to take part in resolving the crisis. If a breach happens, it is essential the CISO remains aware throughout an incident and becomes a link between stakeholders, who coordinates the information security team in their incident response activities, informs the business and advises further on how to resolve the situation.


4.  Supervisory and leadership

With 62% of CISOs agreeing that there is a shortage in cybersecurity talent, it is becoming harder to find new security specialist. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and the main cause for concern is employee retention. A lack of security specialists means that workers have many job offers when they decide to change a work, as one CISO explains: “I’m a manager of very talented cybersecurity specialists, who are targets of multiple head hunters”. The lack of IT security labor force also increases the workloads of current staff, causing additional worry for security leaders. With a plethora of redundant and mundane tasks, are burnouts as inevitable as cybercrime? 


As CISOs have a direct influence on security personnel, they should be a leader who people can follow, be a mentor who can support the team and find ways to motivate employees. Motivation isn’t limited to monetary incentives, it may include granting more decision-making authority, learning and professional development possibilities (for example, by attending and participating in security conferences), and even simple recognition of one’s hard work. What works perfectly for one person may not suit another, so to be an effective manager a CISO must choose the optimal incentive or source of motivation for everyone in their team.


Conclusion

It is clear that the CISO’s role is challenging, as it requires a unique combination of soft, human skills as well as hard, technical skills. To be effective, a CISO must develop management and leadership qualities, broad IT understanding, a business mindset and cybersecurity knowledge. 


While technical skills form the foundation of the role today, key factors will continue to affect the balance of skills needed in the future. For example, the rise Artificial Intelligence-powered defensive tools on the market to aid the fight against cybercrime doesn’t have to mean that robots will take our jobs as they cannot learn the soft skills we’ve discussed. The day might come where machines have better cybersecurity expertise than any human and be able to solve technical tasks, but if CISOs have soft skills – like team and time management as well as business acumen – then their roles will remain a necessity for businesses in the future.

 

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FuelLing Collaborations through Innovation

By Edler Panlilio, Managing Director, SAP Philippines

Editor's note:

This column was written as part of the Asian Innovators Summit will be held in Manila on April 12.


IN today’s innovation race, the ability for organizations to identify and act on digital trends as they arise can spell the difference between success and failure. The emergence of new digital tools helps companies respond swiftly to changing business demands, industry movements, and global occurrences and seize opportunities as they come. Moreover, these innovations also fuel the creation of digital business models.

However, enterprises should consider the proper integration of innovation within their organizations to ensure rapid upward economic mobility. Collaborative environments within and beyond infrastructures also are ones of the keys to assure steady growth of organizations in the digital world, while simultaneously obtaining information about current challenges, as well as potential problems.


Innovation in Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, for instance, technological innovations, and even digital transformation, pave the way to success for most businesses. These innovations have also played a massive role in accelerated growth of the region.[i]


A report released by the ASEAN Economic Integration, Southeast Asia is now projected to be the fourth largest economy by 2030.[ii] This forecast means that the region is making a global impact as it focuses on innovation, especially with its goal of building business models that can solve economic and social challenges around the world.


Whether it is education, traffic, or loan and credit accessibility, Southeast Asia is thinking forward to address billions of consumers residing in both traditional and digital markets.

The region also considers digital innovation as one of the main sources of its rapid growth, catering to the well-being of citizens. Executives are showing confidence in their respective businesses by transforming services and products and exploring digital for economic growth opportunities, so they can cater to the rising demands of consumers.


Innovation in the Philippines

Enterprises in the Philippines are still looking out for ways on innovating their products, services, systems, and strategies and other solutions to face the pressing challenges from the rise of Industry 4.0.

Despite these challenges, the Philippines is moving toward an industrial policy that enables inclusive and sustainable growth through its 2022 Development Plan.[iii] This plan envisions the country as a society with a stable family and well-developed and resilient communities.


Local enterprises, therefore, are urged to include people and communities as catalysts for their innovation. Leaders should also be knowledge builders to identify what customers want and provide strategies focusing on consumer satisfaction.


Innovation and Collaboration in the Experience Economy

As we delve more on consumer contentment, local enterprises should also be intelligent in this age of “experience economy” for them to thrive, especially that the Philippines remains one of the leading growth economies in Southeast Asia.


According to the World Bank, the country would sustain its economic growth of 6.7% during this year.[iv] However, relying on products and services to satisfy customers may not be enough in the experience economy. Businesses should go beyond the commodities of their products and gain competitive advantage through transformative experiences by delivering customer preference through collaborative settings.


Collaboration in #OurGrowthStory

These mindsets are the reasons why SAP is presenting #OurGrowthStory in the Asian Innovation Summit this year. SAP is showcasing the the digital transformation journeys of the country’s top innovating companies, such as JG Summit Holdings, Inc., Globe Telecom, and PLDT.


JG Summit Holdings, Inc., one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, jointly announced their collaboration in a project to help accelerate the latter’s journey towards digital transformation using SAP S/4HANA solution, spurring new growth areas for JG Summit’s main corporate arm, its subsidiaries, and affiliates.


Meanwhile, Globe Telecom collaborated with SAP to digitalize its finance processes, enabling real-time decision making and support agile environment using S4/HANA business suite platform, as well as Concur and Ariba Procure to Pay (P2P) service solutions, to keep up with the fast changing landscape of the business and market. These solutions allowed Globe to upgrade its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), automating most of the manual processes.


PLDT, Inc., the country’s largest telecommunications company, implemented the SAP Revenue Accounting and Reporting (RAR) solution in addressing the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) compliance requirements.


The presentation will also showcase experts and professionals in their respective fields to further highlight the importance of innovation in the economic growth of the country, as well as sharing information regarding the presence of technology and involvement of intelligent enterprises in an experience economy.


Together We Write #OurGrowthStory

The digital world presents an exciting time for united business enterprises to grow with the economy through the proper investment and innovation towards technological tools, systems, and disruptive models. This is also the reason for another warm and exciting communion at the Asian Innovator Road Show in five major cities in Southeast Asia.


Asian Innovators Summit (AIS) is the premier platform for family conglomerates, the public sector, and various industry players to network and gain valuable insights on how the latest technology and solutions help them with their innovation agenda.


We are brewing an exciting format for 2019, as Asian Innovators Summit will set the stage for businesses to lead and create new business models through the Industry 4.0 Revolution. The fresh content is where Technology meets Business needs –as participants experience the use of technology across our ecosystem of partners and understand how they all come together to bring the best customer experience in the age of intersection with AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain.


FOOTNOTES:

[i] https://www.asiamediacentre.org.nz/features/tech-innovation-southeast-asia-amarit-charoenphan/

📷Tech innovation in Southeast Asia - Asia Media Centrewww.asiamediacentre.org.nzFrom education to traffic woes, every problem in Southeast Asia is a business opportunity for problem-solving entrepreneurs, says Amarit Charoenphan.  

[ii] https://asean.org/storage/2018/11/AEIB_4th-Issue_r1.pdf

ASEAN ECONOMICasean.orgT he global economic outlook remains upbeat albeit with slightly reduced growth forecasts. The forecast for the global economy has been revised down to 3.7% (from 3.9%) for both 2018 and  

[iii] http://www.neda.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/SER-Chap-14_as-of-May-7.pdf

14 - neda.gov.phwww.neda.gov.ph118 | Socioeconomic Report 2017 Moving Forward Promoting and accelerating technology adoption STI utilization in the agriculture, industry, and services sectors increased Outputs of STI activities are not brought to the market at once.  

[iv] https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/philippines/publication/philippines-economic-update-investing-in-the-future

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KonMari: How businesses can find joy

John Abel, Head of Innovation and Cloud at Oracle

WHEN Marie Kondo released “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” in 2011, it became a sell-out hit. Clearly, the KonMari approach – the notion of removing anything from our homes that doesn’t bring us joy – resonates. Kondo is now taking Netflix by storm with her TV show, encouraging more people to get purging. Whether you’ve been swept away by Kondo or not, it’s hard to downplay the strength of a motto: get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy.


 So what can businesses learn from the KonMari tidying principles? Thanks to automation, companies are now in a position where they can ‘remove’ processes that don’t bring staff joy. But how can businesses make sure they’re taking the right approach? Here are some KonMari-inspired steps to help ‘declutter’ businesses:


 1) Commit to the approach. The first step to the KonMari method is to commit fully. It might feel like a lengthy process, but complete dedication makes the situation better in the long run.


For businesses, that means commitment from everyone. Driven by the leadership team, cultures will need to change to ensure minimal barriers to the approach. Kondo says imagining your ideal lifestyle can drive this motivation, which is helpful for businesses. If staff understand ideal outcomes from automation and what’s expected of them, that’ll support the cultural shift towards a “more joyful” business.


 2) Follow the plan. The KonMari method relies on tidying by category, not location. For businesses, this means working out what to implement, not where. All areas of the organisation should get the same level of the ‘tidying’ approach at the same time, with the same tasks automated.  Once this is decided, a clear plan needs to be determined, demonstrating how it’ll be rolled out step-by-step across the whole organization.

 
 3) Tidying. How to decide which tasks to automate? Kondo says we must look at each item and decide whether it brings us joy. If it doesn’t, we discard it.  In a single organization, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of business operations that aren’t bringing staff joy. However, just because a process doesn’t bring an employee joy, doesn’t mean it’s not imperative. For example, while security updates and patches might be time-consuming and boring for staff, they are integral to businesses who must keep data secure. And while payroll might seem mundane to the finance team, it needs to happen!


The easiest way to free staff from having to do these business-critical processes while still ensuring they happen is to automate the processes. Following the example above, implementing a self-patching and self-updating system could be a way of bringing joy to staff by reducing mundane processes, but still aligning with business objectives. 


 Through automation, staff are free to pursue activities that bring them joy and allow innovation. That might be developing original ideas, better engaging teams, or winning new business.
 4) Folding and storing. Kondo argues you should fold and store the items you’re keeping in a way so that you can see them at the same time. Businesses should think of the Cloud as their easily visible drawer – you have easy and real-time access to data across the business. 


The KonMari method dictates a streamlined approach for a happy home environment, but it’s something businesses should achieve as well. Now’s the time for businesses to think how they can automate the processes that don’t need staff attention to reap the benefits of a more joyful and engaged workforce. 



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TECH.SPEAK: TRAVELLING, SMART CITIES & TRAINING (SEPT-OCT)

ORACLE: Emerging technologies can win the hearts of travellers

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Asia-Pacific is on track to become the biggest driver of demand for air travel, with nearly 4 billion passenger journeys expected over the next two decades, says the IATA.

SAP: Smart cities in the Philippines is a citizen-centric goal

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All eyes are set on the developments made in Central Luzon as the first phase of the construction of the country’s first ‘smart city’called the New Clark City.

FORTINET: Employee training needed in developing security strategy

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 Cyberattacks are happening at machine speed – meaning that your security team cannot keep up with threat correlation, or even basic remediation efforts, on their own.