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Spring Journal

Volume 29, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

LONDON – EDF Energy, one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, is using Tinubu Square’s Risk Analyst service to carry out credit risk assessments which are helping the company to win deals where speed of response is critical.

EDF Energy produces around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. Today, the company employs over 15,000 people across the UK - from Torness in Scotland right down to Exeter in Southern England.

 

Adrian Wijay, Mass Market Credit Risk Manager at EDF Energy explained the challenge that the company faced:

“In the B2B market, we quote on hundreds of thousands of counterparties. The associated credit risk assessments vary in detail dependent on deal size. SME size deals primarily make use of standard bureau auto scores, whilst the largest deals make use of public credit ratings and in depth internal investigations. The middle ground often presents the challenge; where lack of easily attainable information and significant exposure exist.”

 

Tinubu Square’s Risk Analyst service combines quick and comprehensive credit risk assessments and reports with access to a team of experienced risk analysts. The service can deliver information on any buyer in any country, and supplement this with on-call expert opinions to match a client’s own risk parameters.

 

Having assessed the service offered by Tinubu Square, and after deciding that it could be a useful resource to help with specific requirements with a view to providing a trusted additional view, EDF Energy requested its first risk analysis report.

 

“The first report came back and we immediately noticed the degree of detail, and the way that the language was pitched at the right level,” commented Adrian Wijay. “It provided us with a lot more than a standard credit check, which provides a useful tool for my team.”

 

EDF Energy primarily uses the Tinubu Risk Analyst service to provide it with a level of detail that it would find hard to secure elsewhere. The company appreciates the format of the reports which can be passed on and utilized by the internal credit management team, and the explanatory style which clarifies all the key issues.

 

“We know what depth the reports will go into, which supports our internal resources and the intelligence included saves us a great deal of time and effort, so they are operationally very useful,” continued Wijay. “What we also like is the option to talk to Tinubu’s analysts; this gives us additional context when we are assessing a credit request, because the decision making is not always straightforward.”

 

EDF Energy also benefits from the account management that it receives from Tinubu, and believes the access to expertise, on-hand second opinions and a willingness to go the extra mile makes the Risk Analyst service good value for money.

 

A recent deal with a global manufacturer was ably supported by Tinubu’s service. Quick responses on potential group guarantors allowed EDF Energy to win this large supply contract, where the risk / return decision was highly complex.

 

Since using the Tinubu service, Wijay says that the service has helped to win deals where speed of response is critical.

 

“As a Credit Risk team, we are here to support our commercial team in securing business in line with our risk appetite” Wijay said. “To continue to do this, in what is an increasingly competitive environment, we are likely to need more help from Tinubu because their analysis is useful, particularly in less straightforward cases and where we are on a short deadline. If we see a contradiction between standard credit checks or with own internal detailed checks, we know we can go straight to Tinubu for a valued additional view.”

 

About Tinubu Square

A fintech innovation flagship for 15 years, Tinubu Square is the leading European expert in trade credit risk management. Thanks to a high-level knowledge of credit risk, Tinubu enables organizations across the world to significantly reduce their risk, financial, operational and technical costs with best-in-class SaaS solutions and services.

With its innovative technological approach, Tinubu Square provides IT solutions and services to different businesses including multinational corporations, credit insurers and receivables financing.

 

Sopra Steria awarded exclusive contract by Financial Conduct Authority to provide a ground-breaking regulatory platform

 

LONDON – Sopra Steria, a European leader in digital transformation, has today announced that it has been selected by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to deliver a new digital regulatory market data processing platform. The exclusive six-year contract will see Sopra Steria supply a complete solution, which ensures investment firms’ trading reporting activity remains compliant.

 

Based in a major international financial centre, the FCA has a critical role in maintaining the integrity of global capital markets. As part of this, the new market data processing platform will support the FCA’s on-going regulation of firms, as well as encompassing new requirements under the forthcoming EU regulation entitled the ‘Markets in Financial Instruments Directive' (MiFID II). Under MiFID II trading venues and investment firms will be required to submit market data on a wide range of financial instruments to the FCA. In order to meet stringent validation times and deliver value for money by reducing implementation and running costs, the FCA required an innovative offering utilising the latest digital technology.

 

Following a competitive tender process, the FCA chose Sopra Steria’s Regulatory Support Service solution which incorporates best-of-breed industry partners. The platform is a big data solution using cutting-edge open source application components and hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). It will be able to handle millions of transactions per day, the receipt and delivery of which are guaranteed by Axway which assures the exchange of files between submitting entities, the FCA and other stakeholders. Powered by DataStax Enterprise Max it will validate and store all transaction reports, ensuring they meet the MiFID II rules.

 

It is estimated that the Regulatory Support Service will store billions of transaction reports over the initial six-year term of the deal. Its reporting warehouse facility will interrogate large amounts of data with the purpose of giving the FCA greater transparency, and therefore a larger breadth and scope of information on reported transactions. The solution has been designed to be multi-tenanted to enable others to benefit from the platform.

 

John Torrie, UK Chief Executive, Sopra Steria, said: “This strategic big data solution will not only offer a ground-breaking service to a key client of Sopra Steria, but also the potential to reduce the cost of financial regulation in both the UK and around Europe.”

 

Georgina Philippou, Chief Operating Officer, FCA, said: “Having reliable, robust and scalable market data processing solutions is critical to our role in regulating capital markets. Following a rigorous selection process, we have chosen Sopra Steria to help us meet our rapidly changing requirements in this area, and we very much look forward to working with them.”

 

Melba Foggo, Managing Director of Sopra Steria Financial Services, said: “This contract is a key win for my team and further supports our already strong relationship with the FCA. This deal, with an initial six-year term, has now placed us at the forefront of MiFID II developments, cementing our aim to become one of the prime providers of regulatory trading solutions. The high-speed data ingestion and processing capability has far-reaching implications for the investment industry. It will allow us to explore adjacent MiFID II opportunities, such as providing a validation service directly to investment firms who need to report to the FCA.”

 

About Sopra Steria

Sopra Steria, a European leader in digital transformation, provides one of the most comprehensive portfolios of end-to-end service offerings on the market: consulting, systems integration, software development, infrastructure management and business process services. Sopra Steria is trusted by leading private and public-sector organisations to deliver successful transformation programmes that address their most complex and critical business challenges. Combining high quality and performance services, added value and innovation, Sopra Steria enables its clients to make the best use of digital technology. With over 38,000 employees in more than 20 countries, Sopra Steria had revenue of €3.6 billion in 2015.

 

For more information, visit us at www.soprasteria.com

 

Info ComFI : Sopra Steria Group (SOP) is listed on Euronext Paris (Compartment A) - ISIN: FR0000050809

 

About the Financial Conduct Authority

On the 1 April 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became responsible for the conduct supervision in the UK of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers. Find out more information about the FCA.

Rice University civil engineering professor Philip Bedient is an expert on flooding and how communities can protect themselves from disaster. He directs the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center at Rice University.

Starting late Sunday night, the Houston area began experiencing major rainfall. By Monday afternoon, rainfall totals in some parts of region had exceeded 15 inches in 24 hours. It’s an event many are comparing to to 2011’s Tropical Storm Allison, which devastated the region.

Bedient is hoping to make those type of flood events less devastating. He designed the Flood Alert System – now in its third version – which uses radar, rain gauges, cameras and modeling to indicate whether Houston’s Brays Bayou is at risk of overflowing and flooding the Texas Medical Center.

In an interview with Urban Edge editor Ryan Holeywell, conducted after the Memorial Day floods of 2015, he said more places need those types of warning systems.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Flood-Alert-System.html

Data security is not optional. Organizations owe it to their clients to protect sensitive client data. And market forces in the form of reputation damage, revenue loss and hefty fines (for regulated data) ensure that there is plenty of incentive to do so.

As organizations move to address increasingly sophisticated security threats, they are often caught off guard by the many hidden costs of security and compliance, realizing (too late) that safeguarding data from current and future threats is more resource-intensive than first imagined—and is growing more so with each passing day.

In part 1 of this series, I’ve outlined five hidden costs of security and compliance that organizations often encounter when embarking upon data integration and management projects.

...

http://corporatecomplianceinsights.com/5-hidden-costs-data-security-compliance/

  • New tools are helping to transform cybersecurity frameworks, yielding holistic, integrated safeguards against cyberattacks
  • Cloud computing has had a significant  impact on technology innovation in the past decade, and it is increasingly central to secure interconnected digital ecosystems
  • The Internet of Things are expected to increase the stakes for securing cloud-based networks as the number of internet connected devices continues to surge to greater than 30 billion by 2020
  • There was a 38% increase in detected information security incidents, as well as a 24% boost in security budgets observed in 2015

NEW YORK, NY – Year after year, cyberattacks continue to escalate in frequency, severity and impact. However, prevention, detection methods and cybersecurity innovation are on the rise as forward-leaning business leaders focus on solutions that reduce cybersecurity risks and improve business performance. The Global State of Information Security® Survey 2016 released today by PwC US​​ in conjunction with CIO and CSO examines how executives are looking towards new innovations and frameworks to improve security and mitigate enterprise risk.

As cyber-risks become increasingly prominent concerns in the C-suite and boardroom, business leaders are increasingly rethinking cybersecurity practices, focusing on a nexus of innovative technologies that can reduce enterprise risks and improve performance. The vast majority of organizations – 91% – have adopted a security framework, or more often, an amalgam of frameworks. These technologies are yielding considerable opportunities to improve cybersecurity and produce holistic, integrated safeguards against cyber-attacks.

"We are seeing more of what we once saw as a risk, being turned into possible solutions," said David Burg PwC’s Global and US Advisory Cybersecurity Leader. "For example, many organizations are embracing advanced authentication as a cloud service in place of solely password based authentication."

The adapting of traditional cybersecurity measures to an increasingly cloud-based world is an example of this effort with considerable investments being made to develop new network infrastructure capabilities that enable improved intelligence gathering, threat modeling, defense against attacks and incident response. According to the report, 69% of respondents said they use cloud-based security services to help protect sensitive data and ensure privacy and the protection of consumer information.

Connected to the emergence of cloud-based systems, Big Data and the Internet of Things are each ascendant technologies that present a host of cyber challenges and opportunities. In the case of Big Data, often considered a cyber liability, 59% of respondents are leveraging data-powered analytics to enhance security by shifting security away from perimeter-based defenses and enable organizations to put real-time information to use in ways that create real value.

As the number of internet connected devices continues to surge, the Internet of Things will inevitably increase the stakes for securing cloud-based networks. Investment intended to address these issues doubled in 2015, but at this point only 36% of survey respondents have a strategy specifically addressing the Internet of Things.

“There is no one-size-fits-all model for effective cybersecurity. It’s a journey toward a future state that starts with the right mix of technologies, processes, and people skills,” added Burg. “With those components in place, cybersecurity potentially serve as an indispensable ongoing business enabler.” 

Over the past three years, the number of organizations that embrace external collaboration has steadily increased. Sixty-five percent of respondents report they are collaborating with others to improve security. As more businesses share more data with an expanding roster of partners and customers, it makes sense that they also would swap intelligence on cybersecurity threats and responses.

“An advanced and enhanced information security program will not only enable companies to better defend against cyberthreats, it will also help create competitive advantages and foster trust among customers and business partners,” said Bob Bragdon, VP/publisher of CSO.

Additional notable findings this year include:

  • Information security spending increases: Respondents boosted information security spending significantly, reversing last year’s slight drop in security spending. This year respondents boosted their information security budgets by 24% in 2015.
  • Evolving Cybersecurity Roles: 54% of respondents have a CISO in charge of the security program. The most frequently cited reporting structure is the CEO, CIO, Board and CTO, in that order.
  • Increasing Board Involvement: 45% of boards participate in the overall security strategy. This deepening of Board involvement has helped improve security practices in numerous ways.
  • Mobile Payments Going Mainstream: 57% of respondents have adopted mobile payments systems - but the ecosystem continues to rapidly evolve as new partnerships are formed among a constellation of technology, financial, retail and telecommunications firms.
  • Investing in Insurance: Technically adept adversaries will always find new ways to circumvent security safeguards. That's why many businesses (59%) are purchasing cybersecurity insurance to help mitigate the financial impact of cybercrimes when they do occur.
  • Government Surveillance Impacting Buying Decisions: Purchases in certain countries are either under review (34%) or happening less frequently (22%) as a result of hearing about reports that the government is conducting surveillance on hardware, software and/or services from certain countries.

To explore the survey findings by industry and region, visit: www.pwc.com/gsiss.


METHODOLOGY

The Global State of Information Security® Survey 2016 is a worldwide study by PwC, CIO and CSO. It was conducted online from May 7, 2015, to June 12, 2015. Readers of CIO and CSO and clients of PwC from around the globe were invited via email to take the survey. The results discussed in this report are based on the responses of more than 10,000 executives including CEOs, CFOs, CISOs, CIOs, CSOs, vice presidents, and directors of IT and information security from more than 127 countries. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of respondents were from North America, 30% from Europe, 16% from Asia Pacific, 14% from South America, and 3% from the Middle East and Africa. The margin of error is less than 1%.

About CIO

CIO is the content and community resource for information technology executives and leaders thriving and prospering in this fast-paced era of IT transformation in the enterprise.  The award-winning CIO portfolio—CIO.com, CIO magazine (launched in 1987), CIO executive programs, CIO strategic marketing services, CIO Forum on LinkedIn, CIO Executive Council and CIO primary research—provides business technology leaders with analysis and insight on information technology trends and a keen understanding of IT’s role in achieving business goals. Additionally, CIO provides opportunities for IT solution providers to reach this executive IT audience.  CIO is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, events, and research company. Company information is available at http://www.idgenterprise.com/.

About CSO

CSO is the content and community resource for security decision-makers leading “business risk management” efforts within their organization.  For more than a decade, CSO’s award-winning web site (CSOonline.com), executive conferences, strategic marketing services and research have equipped security decision-makers to mitigate both IT and corporate/physical risk for their organizations and provided opportunities for security vendors looking to reach this audience. To assist CSOs in educating their organizations’ employees on corporate and personal security practices, CSO also produces the quarterly newsletter Security Smart. CSO is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, events and research company. Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com.

About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

 

©2015 PwC. All rights reserved

Many BCM practitioners talk about BCM standards, but few walk the walk. I write this blog as this subject continues to boggle my mind in today’s risk-filled environment.

I recently presented to two groups: one at a major conference in Orlando and the second at a leading continuity group in Nebraska. We spoke to a total of about 140 practitioners regarding standards and compliance. The attendees were all from mid-level to very large companies – some regulated, some not. Experience levels ran from beginner to advanced.

The first question I asked both groups was: How many of you have adopted a standard to drive your enterprise BCM program?

Want to guess what percentage had adopted a standard?  1%? 25%? 50%?  Less than 10% of the 140 had adopted a standard—a dreadfully low number.

...

http://www.mha-it.com/2016/04/why-are-bcm-practitioners-continuing-to-ignore-bcm-standards/

New PwC global defense map illustrates priorities and postures

National defense organisations are facing complex and dynamic security challenges, ranging from a myriad of modern terrorist threats to tough spending cuts.

PwC’s global defense experts have assessed the impact of these challenges on 60 countries worldwide - including the top 50 defense-spending nations – and mapped the results.

The security challenges confronting national defense organisations are both complex and dynamic. Countries now face a range of threats that vary greatly in both scope and scale. Long-standing threats from neighbouring nations, such as the enduring tensions on the Korean peninsula and Indian subcontinent, are the types of traditional challenges that most national defense organisations have been organised to confront.

But, says Tom Modly, PwC’s Global Defense Network Leader:

“Major terrorist attacks such as those of September 11, 2001 and, more recent attacks on schoolchildren in Kenya and French satirical writers in Paris, typify the emergent challenges of ‘asymmetrical adversaries’. These groups possess destructive capabilities that are more difficult to detect and defeat through conventional means – and thinking.”

The other challenge highlighted by the PwC report - Global Defense Perspectives: Mapping prioritisation and posture in a challenging world – is the downward pressure on defense spending. Faced with growing government costs, sluggish economic growth and weariness after a decade of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, defense budgets for many NATO allies and partners have dropped substantially in recent years.

Many of these countries continue to struggle to modernise outdated systems and maintain readiness as the security environment facing ministries is both uncertain and increasingly complex.

PwC’s approach for developing these global defense perspectives looks at recent defense spending trends and the major investment, institutional, structural and strategic priorities and challenges impacting these nations.

Using the insights and unique perspective of PwC’s Global Government Defense Network, we have measured and plotted these 60 nations against two dimensions: how they prioritise defense spending, and how they position or ‘posture’ themselves in the global security environment.

Global Power Projectors: The US and Russia.  These two nations alone spend greater than 3% of their GDP on defense and are very engaged in security efforts around the world.  They seek to use their military capabilities and security posture to influence global security issues.  Their defense organisations are very large and mature.  Although not necessarily nimble, they are capable of deploying forces, managing large complex procurements, and, at least in the case of the US, conducting large scale operations around the world.

Constrained Force Projectors: Australia, China, France, and the UK.  These four nations spend between 1.5% and 3% of their GDP on defense and are very engaged in security efforts around the world. These nations are among the world’s largest defense-spending nations, who prioritise high-end defense capabilities and have militaries that can deploy or exert their influence in most regions of the world.  They can selectively deploy forces to key regions around the world, manufacture and integrate complex weapons systems - but, with the exception of China, are also aggressively looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiencies in these times of significant fiscal constraints.

Coalition Partners: Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden.  These six nations spend less than 1.5% of their GDP on defense, but they are very engaged in security efforts around the world.  Despite modest budgets, they readily contribute to UN peacekeeping and multilateral coalition operations around the world.  Except for Sweden, these nations are all NATO allies who have a strong track record of operating together.  They deploy forces regularly, but have struggled in recent years to maintain readiness as defense budgets have shrunk.

Robust Self-Defenders: Angola, Algeria, Bahrain, Colombia, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  These 15 nations spend more than 3% of their GDP on defense, but are more focused on security efforts in their immediate geographic region.  Because of internal or immediate regional threats, they have developed military capabilities centred on directly and aggressively countering those challenges.  They generally do not get involved in UN or multilateral coalition operations except when addressing nearby security concerns.

Threat-Focused Self-Defenders: Chile, Croatia, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, India, Iran, Malaysia, Portugal, Poland, Qatar, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.  These sixteen nations spend between 1.5% and 3% of their GDP on defense and are more focused on security efforts in their immediate geographic area.  Many of these nations participate in UN peacekeeping or multilateral coalition operations to help build relationships with allies and partners, but the focus of their spending is on countering a specific threat emanating from a single nation.

Territorial Security Seekers: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, and Venezuela.  These 17 nations spend less than 1.5% of their GDP on defense and are more focused on security efforts in their immediate geographic area.  These nations spend modestly on defense, but many contribute to UN peacekeeping operations or multilateral coalition operations in some fashion.

PwC analysts conclude there are a number of lessons to be learned when looking at the Defense Map:

  • Expect movement: There is a tremendous amount of growth in the lower half of the Map where 31 nations have seen significant recent growth that is expected to continue in the next five years.
  • Global players under severe pressure:  The preponderance of nations that have a globally-oriented security posture are also under significant budgetary pressure as evidenced by the fact that spending in 10 of the 12 nations in the top half of the Map has declined or remained flat in the past five years. 
  • Cost-cutting dominates strategy:  Institutional reform efforts focused on cost-cutting are a major emphasis for most of the nations that have a globally-oriented security posture.  Global Power Projectors (such as the United States), Constrained Force Projectors (like the UK), and Coalition Partners (such as Canada) are all undertaking initiatives to increase efficiencies and reduce overhead or personnel expenses.
  • A focus on institutional and national capacity:  Furthermore, institutional reform efforts focused on capacity building are a priority principally in those nations in the lower half of the Map.  Robust Self-Defenders (such as the UAE), Threat-Focused Self-Defenders (like India), and Territorial Self-Defenders (such as Japan) are less focused on efficiencies than on building the institutional capabilities of their respective ministries of defense.
  • Collaboration in Procurement:  Cooperative efforts are particularly prevalent among the nations that had lower levels of defense prioritisation.  Cooperative procurement efforts, for example, are much more prevalent among the Coalition Partners and the Territorial Self-Defenders than with the Robust Self-Defenders. 
  • Asymmetric threats and cyber ‘insecurity’ gains prominence:  Regardless of where a nation currently resides on the Map, vulnerabilities to asymmetric threats such as terrorism and cyber crime/attack are driving investment in new, non-traditional defensive and offensive capabilities.  Such investment has profound implications for the nature of the future forces with respect to recruiting, training, career development and retention.

Concludes PwC’s Tom Modly:

“The depth and breadth of these current security challenges leave defense leaders with some tough choices. What institutional reform initiatives are needed to posture their ministries for the future?  What procurement priorities are needed for the coming years?  How do they build the necessary organisational agility in order to address a wider range of threats such as strategic nuclear, conventional, terror, and cyber? And how should they cooperate with allies and partners around the world?”

Notes

  1. The nations that the PwC report and mapping focuses on are: Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, US, Venezuela. Europe: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, UK. Middle East and Africa: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syria, United Arab Emirates. Asia Pacific: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

    In addition, due to their regional and global significance, other countries have been selected, including: Ukraine, Baltic States, Bahrain, Philippines, Qatar and Vietnam.

  2. Methodology: PwC developed a template to analyse specific national defense characteristics.  This template had two principal sections that focused on: Recent, current, and anticipated defense spending trends; and the major investment, institutional, structural and strategic priorities and challenges impacting these nations. We used the insights of PwC's Global Government Defense Network as well as publicly available resources to populate the templates and develop insights on the progress made by these defense organisations in adapting to their respective challenges. Using this information, we then measured these nations against two metrics: 1) Prioritisation - how they prioritise defense spending, and 2) Posture - how they posture themselves in the global security environment. 
  3. The full report, Global Defense Perspectives: Mapping prioritisation and posture in a challenging world, can be downloaded from here.
  4. At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

    PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

    ©2015 PwC. All rights reserved

Two earthquakes within a few days may seem like a lot for one region of a country to withstand, but in the case of the insurance and reinsurance industry early indications suggest the impact of the Japan quakes will be manageable.

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck the Kumamoto prefecture of Japan last Thursday. Just 28 hours later a magnitude 7.3 quake struck the region. So far, Japanese officials have confirmed 46 fatalities and more than 1,000 people injured.

Reports appear to show significant property damage in the region, but it’s too soon to know what insured losses will be.

...

http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=4421

Backup is broken. Anyone who has had to work with enterprise backup knows this to be the case. Gartner, in fact, published a report six years ago titled, “Best Practices for Addressing the Broken State of Backup.” One would think that, given how awful the state of backup was in 2010, the situation would have improved by now. But, unfortunately, the broken state of backup is actually getting worse, not better.

For example, a global survey of CIOs and IT pros in 2015 showed that, on average, an organization experienced 15 unplanned downtime events that year. This compares to the average of 13 reported in 2014. In addition, unplanned mission-critical application downtime length grew 36 percent from 1.4 hours to 1.9 hours year over year, and non-mission-critical application downtime length grew 45 percent from 4 hours to 5.8 hours. These outages cost the average organization $16 million a year, up 60 percent over 2014.

The central problem is that backup cannot provide what organizations really need: availability. After all, when a mission-critical application is down or the file server has crashed beyond repair, it’s cold comfort to have a backup of the data somewhere across town on a tape in an underground vault. The enterprise is undergoing a digital transformation in which executives, employees, customers and partners expect to have 24/7/365 access to data.

...

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/04/19/backup-is-broken-enterprises-need-availability-instead/

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 00:00

Preparing for the Disruption of the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to cause disruption in almost every industry. Companies need to examine how they can take advantage of connected products and services and plan for the significantly increased data workloads that will likely come with the deployment of sensor-enabled products. However, an expected surge in product innovation also means that companies should carefully consider how they will deal with the potential rise of new, more agile competitors whose business models will be based primarily on IoT products and services. Here are some points about the IoT I’ve been discussing with colleagues that organizations may want to consider.

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http://blog.cutter.com/2016/04/19/preparing-for-the-disruption-of-the-iot/