Yeah, IT matters

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My Managing Information Systems (MIS) subject has broaden my knowledge in understanding the essence of IT, it made me explore possibilities that I didn’t even consider (like writing this blog). This subject made me apprehend a lot of relevant information about the responsible use of social media, the ethics that I should be considering before using IS, the effects of piracy and the joys of using e-commerce.

Making use of collaboration tools in business and my personal life is one of its best products, it made learning and team work possible at any given time. Our laboratory activities made us see actual applications in excel and access that is being utilized in most organizations, these made me recognize that I’ve been doing it wrong all this time and it caused me so much wasted time. I feel fortunate that I am able to learn valuable information on specific IT topics plus having a very diligent professor to learn from, it just gave me more reason to never stop learning.

In terms of being a manager, it is a must to understand important roles in Information Technology – A manager should embrace IT and lead a well-rounded approach in handling employees in all its aspects.

In adapting IT governance, managers will be able to modify possible risk and ensure value for IT investments. The same goes with the implementation of Project Management and Knowledge Management in organizations – this can be a strenuous task for managers because it requires huge amount of adjustments for employees especially in the adaptation of change but these applications are all beneficial in achieving competitive advantage.

Making my own strategic plan in information systems made me feel the significance of planning, recognized the current situation’s disadvantages and stretch out possibilities in making solutions to IT problems. In IS, we must not be afraid to start something new, that we need to innovate to keep up with IT’s fast evolution.

Information technology is a gift that everyone wants and needs, it serves its purpose. All we have to do is to take advantage of the opportunities it offers and make the best out of its benefit in good use. So for me it does matter. In this rapidly changing world there’s no room for resistance, we cannot settle for less. With IT around we can live with our best potentials and be productive in whatever life we want.

My Social Media

 

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Social media has given the world inexpensive all in access to a variety of wants and needs. It provides useful electronic tools that enable us to collaborate, publish information and even build relationships. Just within my reach 24/7 I make sure that it is used in my advantage. In planning to expand our family business, social media gave me the best ways to reach possible clients and customers.  It is cost effective, simple to use, it can reach people from all sides of the world, and it gives the opportunity to interact with possible customers and build relationships for better business.

Now that it is becoming an indispensable part of our daily routine, its advantages are oftentimes being abused and we don’t even know it. So much time wasted and nowadays it is used to destroy a lot of innocent people. Social media seems to be controlling us. With this, in using social media I am committing myself with the following statements in reflection to my responsibility as an end user:

I shall not post very sensitive issues (work related/personal life) on any of my accounts.

I will only share relevant news that can benefit the public.

I shall limit my social media use to two (2) hours per day only.

I will utilize social media for the benefit of my business without harming other people.

And lastly, I shall not disclose very personal information about myself on social media.

There are many effects that stem from social media usage. According to Nielsen, Internet users continue to spend more time with social media sites than any other type of site. We are much consumed with the entertainment it gives that we oftentimes forget to focus on what’s really important. In making these commitments, I am reminded that I should be in control at all times not to be enslaved by this technology.

“The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other” – JR

The Software Piracy Issue

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Organizations today are facing competitive pressures in dealing with technological advancement.  To keep up with the demands of economic growth we tend to embrace piracy more.

Adapting to new technologies made it possible for conscientious software pirates to grow their network. The Philippines being one of the developing countries in Asia has given in to piracy to gain competitive advantage.  According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA) Global Software Study, pirated software is installed in 7 out of 10 computers in the Philippines and it worsens every year. 

Piracy seems legal to most organizations in this country because of the government’s slack approach towards the issue. Filipinos know this fact, but refuses to take it seriously because of indirect feeling of the harm it is causing other people’s lives, it is cost effective and because in this country people are made to believe that piracy is normal. Everybody is doing it. I too, am guilty of this.

I cannot question someone for using pirated software when I am guilty of using it myself. It is not really an important issue in our society, in fact when I am reminded every time I open my Microsoft Office software and it shouts in my face “Product Activation Failed” it doesn’t bother me at all.

Living in a city where you watch local report news and see in wonder how come policemen pulled out the selling of pirated porn movies while other pirated cd/dvd copies in the same area are not confiscated on live television. It just proved with certainty that the public’s view on piracy is okay, that it is legal and you’re not doing anything wrong. Well, as long as you don’t buy pirated porn.

We cannot blame the society if this is what they are influenced to believe. The people needs to be conscious of the effects of using unlicensed software, how it harms software publishers, creates unfair competition, and exposes customers to a range of security breaches, malwares and possible data loss.

The government should consider giving an interest in protecting intellectual property, they should make the first step by collaborating with the enforcement programs offered by BSA. Aside from traditional tools such as civil lawsuits to stop software theft, programs like software asset management (SAM) will raise awareness of the risks associated with using pirated software and educates communities on the economic impact of failing to use lawful, licensed software.

Piracy is stealing, we must totally believe it within ourselves to change our cultural perception about it. Awareness and the will to do the right thing can make a difference, as one of the users I should apply it myself and at the same time promote and reinforce it to my colleagues and the people I can influence. We cannot blame it all to the government when we ourselves don’t contribute to the change we want in our society.

 

Sources:

http://www.bsa.org/anti-piracy/anti-piracy-agenda

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/keyword/piracy

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98553

 

 

 

The KM Advantage

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Knowledge is the most important organizational resource, it gives an organization the competence in maintaining sustainable advantage. Organizations must in some ways rely on their employees and in order to sustain their knowledge they should embrace Knowledge Management (KM).

Our own organization will definitely benefit from Knowledge Management since it promotes a knowledge sharing culture, this activity will make ways for our employees to contribute to knowledge innovation and application. KM also facilitates problem solving, team work, information exchange, and coming up with new ideas and solutions that would surely result to productivity.

However, in adapting KM we must consider some barriers in implementation that may arise like employees may refuse to participate and may not want to get involved. Perhaps because of their busy schedules, their reluctance to share their knowledge and some of the employees may feel uncomfortable with this kind of management.  We cannot expect new programs to work immediately in any organization, managers are the key in implementing KM successfully. In starting small and if managers are greatly involved in the whole process, everything will just follow.

According to studies a knowledge sharing environment are more likely to achieve higher job satisfaction and this oftentimes result to high retention rates of employees in organizations. When knowledge is shared, employees gain the satisfaction they need which promotes quality performance and efficiency. Indeed “Knowledge is power but knowledge sharing is empowerment”.

Handling BI

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Business Intelligence has rapidly conquered the business world, its benefits are remarkable and it changed the level of competitiveness of organizations.  With diverse employee personalities comes the challenge of how to make use of BI effectively. Organizations should give more creative freedom to truly explore data like engaging people in what the BI applications has to offer.

Managing change is one factor, oftentimes employees’ resistance to change is a big hindrance in the effective use of BI. Managers should facilitate in the transition process by engaging themselves in making employees (especially the elder ones) learn the need for change and adapting business intelligence in their system for their own advantage. Managers should be collaborative, the BI applications should be discussed accordingly. It is not safe to assume that employees understand what they read.

The organization should consider a rewards program and pay raises based on job performance that requires the use of BI applications for them to be inspired. When employees hesitate to make use of BI tools, one reason might be that they are not motivated enough. A punitive program is not necessary, it just adds to the reluctance of employees in exploring BI tools.

Organizations can inspire more effective use of BI tools when employees are given the environment that offers easy-to-use and approachable enough for users especially for older workers. It is important that managers make the right approaches in maximizing the use of business intelligence so that the organization can harness the full power of big data and produce a more worthwhile working environment.

 

Embracing E-commerce

 

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The emergence of online shopping or e-commerce made a lot of things possible to achieve. Unreachable products became accessible for shoppers, who don’t have time to check at different stores for what they wanted before buying. Waiting for product availability became conveniently reduced with a wide variety to choose from at lesser cost.

Based on a study commissioned by Visa International nearly nine out of 10 Filipino do their shopping online and the top reasons why are because of convenience, price and deals. I certainly agree with these considering the boundless options ushered by e-commerce, shoppers everywhere want a good price and at the same time it also provided opportunities for both sellers and consumers.

Since it is very trendy and addictive, one way or another you’ll encounter inconvenience like the product is different from what is indicated by the seller, delayed shipping, difficulty in returning a product when it is not what you actually want, problems in changing sizes, security in payment transactions and worst case scenario not receiving the product you already paid.

Three products I would have no hesitation paying online are bags, airline tickets and phone bills, in my experience I have never encountered having problems with these transactions. Before any purchase I would first think carefully before buying clothes, shoes and medicines because of experienced inconvenience in changing sizes, health risk and warranty problems. I would never consider buying home appliance, a car, and jewelry online because it is fragile, it is very risky and because of delivery concerns as seen in the news and bad experiences told by friends.

The e-market is no exception from security risk. Because of its rapid evolution, deceivers and burglars have also invaded the system. With actual and shared experiences plus online warnings, we must always be more cautious in making transactions, choose merchants well and read important details before any purchase.

Sources:

www.philstar.com

http://www.infobeckons.com

www.msn.com

www.nielsen.com

 

Living Wireless

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When linked to wired networks, wireless network technology’s constant enhancements to high quality standards have eroded speed and security differences.  Since it provided means of speedy communication through networks from any location, it made it easy for business owners, managers and employees to work anytime anywhere. It has given a huge contribution to the society as it brought benefits and opportunities for businesses and also in our personal lives. 

It is convenient, reliable, flexible, easy to set up, fast and cost effective. These facilitated our business in getting the job done according to what is planned, it also encourages collaboration among our members and gives ample amount of time in troubleshooting possible problems that may occur. It is one of the reasons why our organization can now have a competitive advantage as it enables us to complete the work quickly and efficiently.

In using this technology it is very important to ensure security. To avoid probable risk and threats one must always keep in mind that wireless network should be safely locked at all times so that valuable information cannot be exploited by unauthorized users, if possible have wireless intrusion prevention system, and strong security protocols must be created to secure the wireless signals like WPA and WPA2. 

Certainly, the technology has given opportunities and advantages to organizations everywhere. However if used excessively it can affect our overall well-being and brain health according to studies (see http://www.wifinotes.com), at the same time it can also create a social nuisance. Its rapid evolution made people rely on the technology nonstop and it is overused in some situations. With its increasing role in the lives of people, one must consider learning to live using wireless technology in moderation to maintain a healthy balance.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.cisco.com 

http://www.wifinotes.com

http://www.who.int

 

IT Security: Outsourcing Risks & Benefits

cyber-security-information-security-job-descriptionOrganizations today face a viable and necessary consideration for outsourcing IT security because of its demands for reduced costs and more expertise around information systems. In my own view, it is adequate for an organization to consider outsourcing IT security. However the organization should first set proper security management guidelines and processes to protect sensitive data and customer privacy in outsourced IT projects or service.

When any IT operation services are provided by an outsourcing dealer, certain risks can materialize such that an outsourcing associate can be an “insider”.  Threats occur when the outsourcer are given access to internal information like processing and handling critical information, systems and assets, have access to sensitive or personal information, IT infrastructure, and even the weaknesses and limitations of the systems. Issues cannot be underestimated when these threats are associated with data theft and misuse of the systems.

To prevent these from coming about, it is important that all access is set in place to be able to mitigate the risks that may occur. The organization should clearly define the security requirements of the information systems such as personal and sensitive data handling, users should be monitored and reviewed actively, and the outsourcing group should include for all their staff to sign a non-disclosure agreements to protect delicate data in the systems.

While the services may be beneficial and cost-effective, data owners should be accountable in monitoring and reviewing all access rights granted to outsourcing dealers so as to protect key data at all times. Any failure in IT control has an impact on the organization, this only shows how managing the demands of outsourced IT security operations can be very challenging.  Managers should own the connections to his company and third party involved, keeping in mind that responsibilities are not all outsourced.

Sources:

www.information-age.com/management/Outsourcing-and-supplier-management http://www.secure360.org/2013/04/outsourcing-information-security-the-risks-and-benefits

Skills in Managing Information Systems

Some managers inspire, some motivate, and others fail miserably to engage their employees.From all production factors people are the most intricate to manage, Information System staffs have their own set of culture that a manager should also take into account. Nonetheless, in making important decisions that involves IS a manager should acquire these three important skills: Interpersonal, Technical and Conceptual.

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Interpersonal skill. These skills maybe innate or can be developed. The foundation for many other skills is built on strong interpersonal skills since these are applicable to our own affairs, professional lives and social relationships. In working with information systems, a manager should know/learn how to communicate and interact accordingly. This also includes active listening skills, solving problems, and exploring options to make sound decisions.

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Technical skill. It is defined as a learned capacity in just about any given field of work. This includes studying substantial knowledge about Information Systems, with significant information learned managers are able to represent IS in their own way that they are prepared to answer any given questions that may arise at any time.

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Conceptual Skill. In dealing with Information Systems it is imperative that a manager is able to understand abstract ideas, visualize concepts, and understand how programs, systems and ideas interrelate.

In fulfilling managerial duties, it is anticipated that managers always have functional knowledge about what’s going on around the organization. Learning these important skills will give managers an edge in dealing with colleagues to achieve organizational goals efficiently and effectively.

Information Technology and Me

Information Technology made my life easy. I guess that’s what people nowadays want easy life, easy access to anything you want but of course everything comes with pros and cons.
It was very rapid I couldn’t remember when the first time I touched a computer or a cellphone was. All I could think about is that managing IT is very challenging, getting carried away easily by the fun and entertainment that comes with it. One of its purposes “to save time” becomes “to waste time”.
In my entire experienced job interviews computer literacy was always expected, it is obviously a plus and a big deal to be employed. Of course, I tell that lie that I can do anything just to get the job and it’s quite a relief after getting hired that I learnt I’m not the only one struggling in this field. With no choice, I was forced to learn using specifically Microsoft office on my own and discovered that I can learn by asking questions from my office mates and following instructions through the internet. YouTube was very handy.
In my personal life, IT became my BFF in the form of Yahoo Messenger, Skype and Facebook. My husband works overseas and communication is very substantial to survive long distance relationship. I think this is the best innovation in technology ever created and my husby made the best out of it by using it every coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner breaks, before bedtime, and upon waking up that made it hard for me to think of topics to talk about. Maybe he just can’t have enough of “IT” or can’t have enough of me. 😉
Since being an adult requires social awareness and social responsibility, the use of news apps and other information sites made it convenient for me to know the latest up-to-the-minute news. It influenced me in a way that I should get involved and makes me think of doing prolific things.
Managing change in information technology is a must, like I have no other choice, it is essential to survive in this fast changing world. IT is a gift and a privilege that should be used responsibly. I am grateful having it in my life, and I love it but I know that I must always keep in mind that IT should come with the virtue of discipline to be able to make use of it productively. Make use of it in positive ways inspired by love instead of spreading hate, I see it as an instrument in doing good and influence greatness.
In using IT one should always think and make a decision of doing the right thing.