Being Digital

That day, there was a discussion on our friends’ forum on being digital. There is a huge thrust and campaign by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for transforming India to ‘Digital India.’ Everyone wants to go digital. For some, it’s about technology. For others, digital is a new way of engaging with customers. And for others still, it represents an entirely new way of doing business. Being digital requires being open to re-examining our entire way of doing business and understanding where the new frontiers of value are. Unlocking value from emerging growth sectors requires a commitment to understanding the implications of developments in the marketplace and evaluating how they may present opportunities or threats. The Internet of Things, for example, is starting to open opportunities for disrupters to use unprecedented levels of data precision to identify flaws in existing value chains. Digitalisation offers substantial challenges and opportunities at the same time. At the same time, being digital means being closely attuned to how customer decision journeys are evolving in the broadest sense. That means understanding how customer behaviors and expectations are developing inside and outside the business, as well as outside the sector, which is crucial to getting ahead of trends that can deliver or destroy value. Critically, digital isn’t about just working to deliver a one-off customer journey. It’s about implementing a cyclical dynamic, where processes and capabilities are constantly evolving based on inputs from the customer, fostering […]

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#SaveTheInternet

The Internet has become so much a part of our lives that it is easy to imagine that it will always remain the free and open medium as it is now. We’d like to believe it will remain a place where we can always access any lawful content we want, and where the service providers delivering that content can’t play favorites because they want to charge more money for faster delivery. Network neutrality should be maintained. Net neutrality means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. It prohibits the owner of a network, that holds itself out to all-comers, from discriminating against information by halting, slowing, or otherwise tampering with the transfer of any data (except for legitimate network management purposes such as easing congestion or blocking spam). Why would the telecom companies want to interfere with Internet data? Answer: Profit and other corporate interests. Companies might also interfere with speech that makes them look bad, block applications that compete with their own, or increase their profit by forcing developers to pay more to avoid having their data blocked or slowed down. I am worried. On one fine morning, I may not be able to access my blog due to very slow speed of internet for accessing my blog! New technologies now allow telecom companies to scrutinize every piece of information we send […]

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Remote vs. In-person

Many organizations are nowadays practicing some kind of distributed work management. Typically some employees in some departments are working out of office in a while it’s because it’s convenient to them or they have some emergency at home that has made it temporarily necessary, or they just needed a quiet place to complete a report. It is tolerated sometimes for some individuals primarily because they are highly competent and they have threatened to leave the company if they can’t work flexibly. But sometimes these kind of ad hoc efforts cause jealousy and resentment among other employees, which they see as a highly desirable perk. Today, however, with the proliferation of low-cost conference calling and internet web conferencing, it’s not just about staying in touch with remote individuals; distributed project teams have become far more common in many organizations. It’s true that managing office work remotely is not so difficult. If the team understands what’s needed, understands the goals and can meet deadlines, it just isn’t necessary to be in the same room with them, or even meet them. I know of more than one successful company made up of staff based all over the world who will never actually meet each other. It can work. However, allowing employees to work remotely isn’t just a matter of tossing people out of their assigned workplaces and having them do the same work from different places. When face-to-face interaction is restricted and replaced […]

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First SPAM in the World

On May 3, 1978, Gary Thuerk, identified only as “THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO” (there were no dots or dot-coms in those days, and the at-sign was often spelled out),  a marketer for the old Digital Equipment Corporation sent a sales e-mail to 393 users on Arpanet (then a U.S. government computer network and the predecessor of today’s Internet). In those days there was a printed directory of everybody on the Arpanet which they used as source for the list. The message trumpeted an open house to show off new models of the Dec-20 computer, a foray into larger, almost mainframe-sized systems. This was a spam, though the term would not be used to refer to it for another 15 years. Little did Thuerk know that he had just become the world’s first spammer. The world’s first spam (presented in its original all-caps format): Mail-from: DEC-MARLBORO rcvd at 3-May-78 0955-PDT Date:  1 May 1978 1233-EDT From: THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO Subject: ADRIAN@SRI-KL DIGITAL WILL BE GIVING A PRODUCT PRESENTATION OF THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY; THE DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060, AND 2060T.  THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY OF COMPUTERS HAS EVOLVED FROM THE TENEX OPERATING SYSTEM AND THE DECSYSTEM-10 COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE.  BOTH THE DECSYSTEM-2060T AND 2020T OFFER FULL ARPANET SUPPORT UNDER THE TOPS-20 OPERATING SYSTEM. THE DECSYSTEM-2060 IS AN UPWARD EXTENSION OF THE CURRENT DECSYSTEM 2040 AND 2050 FAMILY. THE DECSYSTEM-2020 IS A NEW LOW END MEMBER OF THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY AND FULLY SOFTWARE […]

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