Virtual CIO - Business & Information Technology Blog

Home    Blog Author

Four-Day Working Week - Would It Work For Your Organisation?

November 6, 2023

By Newton Braga

The 4-day working week has been gaining momentum in recent years as more companies are experimenting with it. Some of the reasons why companies might want to adopt the 4-day working week include:

  1. Increased productivity and employee engagement: According to a study by Microsoft Japan, productivity increased by almost 40% during a trial period of a four-day workweek. Similarly, Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand-based firm that manages trusts, wills, and estates, found that enabling staff to work four days a week and be paid for the regular five was so successful in the trial that they hoped to make the change official. According to Perpetual Guardian, staff were more inventive, their engagement was better, their effectiveness in the workplace increased, they were all on time, and nobody left early or took extended breaks.
  2. Improved recruitment and retention of top talent: A four-day workweek can be an attractive perk for employees and can help companies attract and retain top talent.
  3. Less commuting and eco-friendliness: A shorter workweek can reduce commuting time and costs for employees, which can lead to less traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions.

However, such change is not suitable to every organisation, with some reasons...

[More]
Posted at: 08:46 PM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

The Crucial Role and Reimagining of Middle Managers in Modern Organisations

July 22, 2023

By Newton Braga

Introduction
Middle managers have long been the subject of negative stereotypes, portrayed as bureaucratic, ineffectual, and disconnected from both senior executives and front-line employees. However, the reality is far from these caricatures. In today's dynamic business environment, middle managers play a pivotal and necessary role in driving organisational success. They serve as the vital link between the strategic vision set by top executives and the execution on the ground by front-line employees. This article explores the importance of middle management, the reasons behind its bad reputation, the challenges faced by middle managers, and ways to empower them to be more effective in their roles.

The Critical Role of Middle Managers
Middle managers are a central cohesive source of support and stability of organisational effectiveness. They act as translators, bridging the gap between high-level strategy and on-the-ground execution. They cascade the strategic vision down to their teams, ensuring alignment and clarity of purpose. Without their guidance and support, front-line employees may struggle to understand how their work contributes to the organisation's broader goals.

To succeed, middle managers must have the ability to think about how they can accelerate value, to identify which risks and barriers they need to...

[More]
Posted at: 01:32 PM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Layoff in the Tech Industry

March 21, 2023

By Newton Braga

Following the COVID pandemic, when many big tech companies increased their staff number to support an increase in demand, 2022 proved to be a year where reality bit, and the same companies had to start looking in reducing their staff back as the demand for product and services experienced through the pandemic times did not continue to eventuate.

In 2022, 1051 tech companies laid off over 160,000 employees. The layoff rounds with the largest number of employees losing their jobs in 2022 were:

  1. Meta – 11,000 employees laid off in 09/11/2022.
  2. Amazon – 10,000 employees laid off in 16/11/2022.
  3. Cisco – 4,100 employees laid off in 16/11/2022.
  4. Philips – 4,000 employees laid off in 24/10/2022.
  5. Twitter – 3,700 employees laid off in 04/11/2022.

Following this first round of companies’ cutbacks in their number of staff, the first three months of 2023 seem to be a sign of layoffs to continue through this year. And if the beginning of 2023 proves to be just the top of the iceberg, as many analysts described the current state of the IT employment market, tech employees worldwide should be prepared for more uncertainty.

At the time...

[More]
Posted at: 01:31 AM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Blockchain technology: hype or reality?

January 2, 2023

By Newton Braga

Blockchain technology has been described for long time as having the potential to revolutionise a wide range of industries, from finance and healthcare to supply chain management and real estate. However, despite the hype surrounding blockchain, it is important to understand that not all use cases are equally feasible or practical.

One of the main benefits of blockchain is its ability to provide a secure and transparent record of transactions. This makes it well-suited for use cases where trust and transparency are important, such as supply chain management or even voting systems. For example, a company could use a blockchain to track the movement of goods from the manufacturer to the consumer, providing a tamper-proof record of the journey. Similarly, a government could use a blockchain to conduct elections, ensuring that the results are accurate and cannot be altered.

Some claimed successful blockchain use cases across a variety of industries are:

  • Supply chain management: Blockchain can be used to track the movement of goods from the manufacturer to the consumer, providing a transparent and tamper-proof record of the journey. One successful example of this is IBM's Food Trust, which uses blockchain to track the movement of...
[More]

Tags: bitcoin, blockchain, techhype, technology


Posted at: 08:55 PM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Brazilís General Data Protection Law (or LGPD) vs EUís General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

September 28, 2022

By Newton Braga

In face of the Optus cyber-attack in Australia in September 2022, the discussion about a broader data protection legislation in the country emerged again. Analysts, privacy advocates and cyber professionals question the existing legislation in place, with some recommending more restricting laws and higher fines are necessary to ensure organisations implement better practices and properly manage data security and privacy issues. Two legislations could be a good reference and guideline to improve Australian data privacy / protection legislation.

The first one is the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is considered one of the toughest privacy and security legislation around the world. It imposes obligations onto organisations anywhere, as long as they target or collect data related to people in the European Union (EU). It came into effect on May 25, 2018.

Another one is the Brazilian General Data Protection Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados, or LGPD), passed by the National Congress of Brazil on 14th August 2018. Coming into on 15th August 2020, the LGPD attempted to unify over 40 different status governing personal data in Brazil, creating a legal framework for the use of personal data in Brazil,...

[More]

Tags: dataprivacy, gdpr, lgpd


Posted at: 10:47 AM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

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)...

[More]

Tags: cfo, cio, digital, investment, recession


Posted at: 10:53 AM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

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...

[More]
Posted at: 11:59 AM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

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...

[More]
Posted at: 08:57 PM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

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....

[More]
Posted at: 10:34 AM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Ransomware, insurers and cyber resilience Ė 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...

[More]
Posted at: 01:27 AM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Posts by Date

Recent Posts

Archives