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Investing in digital in times of recession

August 9, 2022

By Newton Braga

With the increase of inflation around the world, several recent economic forecasts identify an increase in the probability of a recession in different parts of the world.

According to a Bloomberg survey of economists, the median probability of a recession in USA over the following 12 months is 47.5%, when it was 30% in June. With Italy’s renewed political trouble, the EU’s looming gas crisis, JPMorgan has warned the block will be pushed into a mild recession by early 2023, limiting the ability of the European Central Bank to hike interest rate. Analysts expect the UK will face a 15-month recession soon, deepening UK’s economic crisis as they are facing an increase in the cost of living while inflation up to hit 13%. In addition, although Australia can avoid a recession, the Reserve Bank of Australia anticipates that the economy will grow slower than it has in a non-recessionary period, growing by only 1.75% in 2023 and 2024.

In such global economic circumstances, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) around the world must continue to invest, accelerating the right digital initiatives within an organisation, while facing an environment characterised by higher inflation, scarce and costly information technology (IT)...

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Tags: cfo, cio, digital, investment, recession


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Great Resignation and The Loss of Tacit Knowledge

May 15, 2022

By Newton Braga

The “great resignation”, a phenomenon that describes record numbers of people leaving their jobs after the COVID-19 pandemic, seems to be real and continuing – not a hype as some companies prefer to believe. In one of the largest surveys conducted so far analysing the great resignation issue, the Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey conducted by PwC, drawing from more than 52,000 workers across 44 countries and territories, has some interesting finding.

Workers with specialised or scarce skills are feeling empowered to test the market. Eighteen per cent of workers who responded to the PwC survey said they were very or extremely likely to switch to a new employer within the next year, with a further 32% stating they were moderately likely to switch. One in six (16%) expected to leave the workforce temporarily or permanently.

The results are a wake-up call to organisational leaders. Retaining workers will require more than a pay increase, as employees start to consider other matters such as having a fulfilling work, concerns about environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and how their work can impact them and also the pursue of a more flexible, family friend work environment.

Employees...

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Institutionalising workplace changes made due to COVID

March 19, 2022

By Newton Braga

Organisations had been dealing with volatility and some unpredictability for decades well before the COVID pandemic taking place more than two years ago. The pre-pandemic changes in the way companies operated, alongside the digital transformation in the workplace and the raise of start-up disruptors, led to many organisations failing to keep up with.

While many organisations had aspects of agility and preparation for the future somehow present inside them, few could claim to be prepared for the level of adaptability necessary to thrive during the pandemic. The pandemic inherent challenges broke almost everything, from supply chains to customer interactions and the way employees worked. But it also offered business and other organisations the opportunity to embrace changes which they were not prepared to go through, insisting in old ways of working that were not ideal for them. Companies that promptly embraced the changes due to the pandemic and made them permanent new ways of working, demonstrated an ability to thrive during the pandemic.

In a recent podcast, Keith Ferrazzi, founder of the consulting firm, Ferrazzi Greenlight, and the lead author of the book, “Competing in the New World of Work: How Radical Adaptability Separates the Best from...

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WEF Global Risks Report 2022 Highlights

January 17, 2022

By Newton Braga

As we entered 2022, global society continues to experience the economic and social consequences of COVID-19, as it still poses as a critical threat to the world. The Global Risks Report 2022, 17th Edition, published by the World Economic Forum, presents the results of the latest Global Risks Perception Survey (GPRS) which gathered insights from nearly 1,000 global experts and leaders.

The report highlights the risks of the global vaccine inequality – the poorest 52 countries, hosting 20% of the global population, only 6% of the population has been vaccinated at the time of the release of the report – and how it can create global divergence, increases cross border tensions and pose as a threat to the world economy recovery – it is expected that by 2024 advanced economies will be 0.9% above their pre-pandemic expected GDP growth, while developing economies will have fallen by 5.5% below it.

Only 16% of the GPRS respondents feel positive and optimistic about the future outlook for the world while 11% believe the global recovery will accelerate.

Technological risks were also identified by the survey’s respondents as short and medium-term threats to the world, including digital inequality and cybersecurity failure....

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Ransomware, insurers and cyber resilience how well prepared is your organisation?

December 1, 2021

By Newton Braga

With the increase in business embracing digitalisation – the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities, including but not limited to, embracing new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), expanding available datasets and smart technology usage, the need for robust cyber security systems has never been greater with the increase in the cyber-attack surface.

According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Annual Cyber Threat Report 2020-21, some of the greatest threats to cyber security included exploitation of pandemic-related services, with ransomware (demand of payment by locking up or encrypting user’s files so that you can no longer use or access them) identified as one of the most significant threats to Australian organisations.

Insurance companies are perceiving this increased risk in ransomware and some are halving the amount of cyber cover they provide, after the pandemic and home-working drove a surge in ransomware attacks and subsequently increasing the insurers’ payouts. They are now charging higher premium rates to cover ransoms, the repair of hacked networks, business interruption losses and even PR fees to address reputational damage.

According to US authorities, suspected ransomware payments totalling US$590...

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Compliance Report Exposes Cyber Security Shortcomings in Nine Audited NSW State Government Agencies

November 9, 2021

By Newton Braga

A report released in last October by the Audit Office of New South Wales, “Compliance with the NSW Cyber Security Policy”, identified significant cyber security weaknesses and noncompliance by nine state government agencies audited for the report. The nine agencies audited were the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Communities and Justice, the Department of Customer Service, the Department of Education, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the Department of Regional NSW, the Ministry of Health, the Treasury and Transport for NSW (specifically the former functions of Roads and Maritime Services).

The audit was based on the level of compliance reported at 30 June 2020, and it aimed to find out whether, during the year to this date, the participating agencies “met their report obligations under the NSW Cyber Security Policy (CSP), provided accurate reporting in self-assessments against the CSP’s mandatory requirements, including their implementation of the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Essential 8, achieved implementation of mandatory requirements at maturity levels which meet or exceed the ‘level three - defined’ threshold (i.e. are documented and practiced on a regular and consistent basis)”.

The report identified key elements to strengthen cyber...

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Tags: cyber, nsw, security


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Business-led IT: the new face of shadow IT?

August 21, 2021

 By Newton Braga

For several years shadow IT has been a problem in many organisations, where business units invest in acquiring, developing and/or operating IT solutions outside the formal control of the IT function. When many organisations changed the IT function from a decentralised to a fully centralised operation model, in many instances, the shadow IT issue became more prevalent, with business unit managers complaining about central IT not being nimble enough to respond to the organisation’s business challenges and requirements.

Shadow IT rose to prominence following the proliferation of cloud and mobile technologies consumerised IT. Employees could suddenly access applications via the corporate network or working remotely, using company owned or their own computers and mobile devices.

The pace of change in the modern workplace and business environment is relentless, the ability to adapt is considered now one of the most important skills for companies undergoing a digital transformation to face new business environments, increased competition from established players and new market disrupting organisations. To really support the business needs, CIOs and other IT leaders need to move from the concept of shadow IT to a business-led IT model.

I refer to business-led IT as any technology that...

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Cloud enterprise spending continues to grow - Winners and Loosers

July 26, 2021

 By Newton Braga

Data from Synergy Research Group for the 2021 Q1 cloud spending shows that the enterprise investment on cloud infrastructure services was over US$39 billion for the quarter. It translates to an increase of over US$2 billion, from the previous quarter, up 37% from 2020 Q1.

The report identified Microsoft is slowly gaining ground on Amazon (AWS) percentage of the market – the gap between the two major players in the cloud market has been narrowed by two percentage points over the last year, with Microsoft reaching the 20% watermark for the first time, and Amazon having 32% of the cloud market.

 

 

While Amazon’s market share in the worldwide cloud infrastructure market amounted to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2021, still exceeding the combined market share of its two largest competitors, Microsoft and Google, with AWS share staying consistently in the 32-34% band throughout a four-year period, and Microsoft investing more into the cloud than ever before, as highlighted by the company CEO, Satya Narayana Nadella in the recent Microsoft Ignite 2021 event, the gap between them could narrow further in the next quarters. Microsoft is launching new products for hybrid and multi-cloud...

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AIOps Another Hype, New Acronym or a Real AI Solution?

July 22, 2021

 By Newton Braga

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – what was once a magical, science fiction concept, seems now to be a silver bullet for many of the complexities of businesses nowadays, pointed as a solution for sales forecasting and enablement, predictive analysis for marketing, business automation and insights, customer experience improvement, corporate knowledge management, real time decision making, Predicting Repairs and Upkeep for Machinery, cyber security and the list goes on and on.

And to add to the arsenal of AI proposed solutions, Gartner coined a new acronym, AIOps, which stands for “Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations” (not sure why IT is missing from the acronym).

AIOps is considered to be one of the better use cases for artificial intelligence. It can be applied to maintain IT infrastructure, managing the myriad of system alerts generating petabytes of data, providing problem root cause analysis, watching the infrastructure for unusual levels or types of activity, proactively monitoring and providing quicker responses to the most significant problems which requires prompt attention.

With IT now a critical part of almost every business activities, and corporate systems becoming too complex with mixed cloud and on premises infrastructures, to ensure IT systems and infrastructure are...

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Tags: ai, aiops, itops


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Cybersecurity and the disconnection with the C-Suite

July 18, 2021

 

The role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or another most senior information security officer role in an organisation, has become prominent as reports of data breach, company compromises impacting critical services and other information security related compromises consistently make the news worldwide.

Engaging board members and an organisation’s executive team to embrace cybersecurity as a critical issue has always been a challenge to cybersecurity leaders. A study by the Ponemon Institute and security vendor LogRhythm was recently released, assessing security executives’ progress in turning security priorities into business priorities. And the findings, unfortunately, are not the ideal.

From 1,426 cybersecurity leaders surveyed in the United States, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, the study found that 93% of respondents were not reporting to the CEO. Rather, in fact, on average they were three levels away from the CEO, which can make more difficult for CEO and board members to have an accurate and full understanding of security risks and their implications for the organisation.

60% of the respondents advised they had been victim of a cyberattack in the last two years. For the cyberattack events, it was found that 35% of respondents advised that nobody was held accountable for the...

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