By Saul Haro
Sometimes the missing pieces of a puzzle can be right in front of you.
That’s how it was for me and my colleagues a few years ago. We were working in the supply chain and import/export group of a major automotive parts manufacturer and tasked with making sure operations moved smoothly.
It goes without saying that the automotive industry is huge, with hundreds of suppliers contributing parts and services to a single vehicle. But for context, consider that Toyota estimates the average car consists of about 30,000 individual parts – parts that have to be ordered, procured, shipped, delivered, received, installed, and tested. In this light, it’s easy to understand just how important managing the supply chain process can be to a successful production process.
The Weather Company delivers, on average, 15 billion weather forecasts to consumers and businesses every day. That’s an increase of more than 25-fold in the past five years, says Mark Gildersleeve, president of the business division of The Weather Company, which also owns the Weather Channel. The Weather Company is partnering with IBM to deliver those forecasts in real-time for 2.2 billion locations across the globe – a feat that would have been unthinkable without the recent advancements in cloud, mobile and data analytics. The Smarter Planet caught up with Gildersleeve to talk about how these new tools and technologies have improved forecasting and changed his business.
“The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”) was organized in 1985 to sponsor the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting, an independent private-sector initiative that studied the causal factors that can lead to fraudulent financial reporting. It also developed recommendations for public companies and their independent auditors, for the SEC and other regulators, and for educational institutions.
The National Commission was sponsored jointly by five major professional associations headquartered in the United States: the American Accounting Association (AAA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Financial Executives International (FEI), The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and the National Association of Accountants (now the Institute of Management Accountants [IMA]). Wholly independent of each of the sponsoring organizations, the Commission included representatives from industry, public accounting, investment firms, and the New York Stock Exchange.
Aug. 29, 2015 marked the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. During the storm and the ensuing chaos, 1800 people lost their lives in New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast. Many of these deaths, as well as the extensive destruction, could have been avoided or minimized if there had been better planning and preparedness in anticipation of just such an event, and if there had been much better communication and collaboration throughout the crisis as it unfolded. Responsibility falls on many from government officials (at every level) to hospitals to businesses to individuals. If there is any silver lining to such a destructive event, it’s that it forced many in the US to be much better prepared for the next major catastrophe. Case in point, in October 2012, Superstorm Sandy barreled through the Caribbean and the eastern US, affecting almost half of the states in the US. The storm caused unprecedented flooding and left millions without access to basic infrastructure and thousands without homes, but this time, about 200 people across 24 states lost their lives.
Shadow IT is happening in your company, and it is causing serious security problems. My IT Business Edge colleague Arthur Cole reported on a recent Cisco study that found that CIOs really are in the dark when it comes to shadow IT, with the use of the forbidden apps 15-20 higher than anticipated:
On average, the report states, IT departments estimate their companies utilize about 50 cloud services while in fact the number is 730. And the discrepancy between reality and perception is growing quickly: One year ago, it was 7x, within six months it had jumped to 10x. At this rate, the number of shadow apps could top 1,000 for the average enterprise by the end of the year.
So, we know that employees are turning to shadow IT and we know that it is a serious security risk. That leaves the most important question: Why? What’s happening in the work place that has employees going rogue with their applications?
A New York Times article over the weekend takes a behind-the-scenes look at the recent deadly blasts at the port city of Tianjin in China.
The series of explosions and fire that began at a hazardous chemicals storage warehouse in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin August 12, leveled a large industrial area, leaving at least 150 dead and more than 700 injured.
As reported by the NYT, the lack of safety and oversight at the third largest port worldwide is shocking.
The never-ending quest to achieve trusted IT advisor status gets a lot of attention, but MSPs need the right strategy to get there. For some providers, the path to IT trusted advisor leads through the NOC (network operations center) and data analytics.
As MSPs mature and master remote service delivery, the imperative to constantly find new and different ways to add value for customers never goes away. If anything, it becomes more pronounced because of the inevitability of commoditization.
Partnering with a NOC vendor to deliver round-the-clock support and routine functions, such as patch management and systems maintenance, enables you to better focus on the consultative part of the business.