The Great Debate UK
–Ian Winham is Chief Information Officer of Ricoh Europe. The opinions expressed are his own.–
Cloud computing is widely regarded by policymakers and business leaders to be one of the biggest keys for unlocking business growth in Europe today. So much so that the European Commission is currently formulating a cloud strategy to promote cloud use across the private and public sectors across all of Europe.
The reason behind this effort is clear. Policymakers and businesses alike are full of confidence in the cloud’s ability to drive growth for Europe and particularly for SMEs, deliver savings for governments and ultimately create a more efficient European economy. The numbers are just as promising. Cloud services can boost Europe’s five largest economies by €763 billion over the next five years and create 2.4 million jobs, according to research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Other business forecasts are even more optimistic. IDC estimates the cloud could generate up to 14 million new jobs globally by 2015.
So it is a not matter of if Europe should adopt cloud storage, but rather when Europe will adopt cloud storage more broadly. The cloud will one day sit at the centre of the future workplace, with businesses becoming more flexible and mobile than ever before.
The words ‘tech bubble’ have been bandied about since the Apple share price really started to climb at the end of 2011. Earlier this month, its market capitalisation hit $600 billion dollars, only the second company to see its market cap get that high. So it appears like everyone wants a bite out of the proverbial apple.
There is a dangerous precedent for markets’ believing that tech stocks can only go in one direction. The dotcom bubble back in 2000 caused havoc in the equity markets and also contributed to the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates incredibly low, one of the contributing factors to the housing crisis in 2007.
from Paul Smalera:
Lately Internet users in the U.S. have been worried about censorship, copyright legalities and data privacy. Between Twitter’s new censorship policy, the global protests over SOPA/PIPA and ACTA and the outrage over Apple’s iOS allowing apps like Path to access the address book without prior approval, these fears have certainly seemed warranted. But we should also remember that Internet users around the world face far more insidious limitations and intrusions on their Internet usage -- practices, in fact, that would horrify the average American.
Sadly, most of the rest of the world has come to accept censorship as a necessary evil. Although I recently argued that Twitter’s censorship policy at least had the benefit of transparency, it’s still an unfortunate cost of doing global business for a company born and bred with the freedoms of the United States, and founded by tech pioneers whose opportunities and creativity stem directly from our Constitution. Yet by the standards of dictatorial regimes, Internet users in countries like China, Syria and Iran should consider themselves lucky if Twitter’s relatively modest censorship program actually keeps those countries’ governments from shutting down the service. As we are seeing around the world, chances are, unfortunately, it won’t.
–Joe White is COO of Moonfruit.com. The opinions expressed are his own.–
All this week Seedcamp, a UK-based internet startup accelerator, has been running its headline annual event Seedcamp Week in London.
As an accelerator, Seedcamp has mimicked a successful process established in the U.S. by Y Combinator, Techstars and others of taking early stage internet entrepreneurs and running them through an intense programme of mentoring and business development. Mentors are laid on from different disciplines and work with the entrepreneurs each day. They cover founders, product experts, venture capitalists, marketing specialists and more. The best ideas at the end of the programme get funding to get started. Seedcamp Week brings the best of the best from the Seedcamps throughout the year and around the world for a final London mentor and pitch feast.
– Jeff Smith is Senior Director Infrastructure Services, Global Crossing EMEA. The opinions expressed are his own.–
For many years now, number crunchers have obsessed over the growth of data, marvelling at the way that the computer age has generated enormous amounts of content and IT types have speculated as to how disks, tapes and other storage devices would need to evolve to accommodate this. Now, however, the problem has spread and the new fear is greater: could the digitisation of the world’s information lead to catastrophic communications breakdown?
Whether the corporate IT world is ready or not, a growing number of employees now use a variety of mobile devices to access and carry corporate data. Powerful smartphones are becoming omnipresent – led by the universally enticing iPhone, while tablets such as the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Research in Motion (RIM) Playbook are set to make major inroads this year.
Mobile devices can transform almost any business for the better as increased productivity across the organisation leads to higher revenues and happier employees. And, of course, companies that have high morale find it easier to recruit and retain high-value employees. But it also raises very important questions around security and what IT departments need to do to keep information safe. Securing the entire mobile estate — both corporate and personal devices — will be imperative for businesses in 2011 and beyond.
from Business Traveller:
As technology and business travel become ever more inextricably connected, I talk to a man whose life is a symbiosis of both worlds
John McHugh, VP and Chief Marketing Officer of networking infrastructure firm Brocade, proudly sits on both sides of the buyer-seller fence. On one hand, a WiFi-less or WiFi-jammed hotel will not be seeing his custom again in a hurry; on the other, his company offers hotels WiFi deployment.
Jess deCourcy Hinds, a library director and writer, has written for Newsweek, the New York Times, Ms., and School Library Journal. The opinions expressed are her own. Thomson Reuters is hosting an International Women’s Day live blog on March 8, 2011.
I am the librarian at Bard High School Early College in Queens, New York, where my students speak 34 languages, from Albanian to Urdu to Tibetan. And I’m proud to say that these bright, culturally diverse students are learning about feminist history—some as early as 9th grade. I had to wait until graduate school to become a feminist scholar with the kind of research opportunities my youngest students have now.
from Davos Notebook:
- Michael Fertik is the founder and CEO of Reputation.com, an online privacy and reputation management company. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Agenda Council on Internet Security and recipient of the WEF Technology Pioneer 2011 Award. The opinions expressed are his own. -
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has named cybersecurity one of the top five risks in the world. In its Global Risks 2011 report, the WEF's Risk Response Network nominated cybersecurity alongside planetary risks posed by demography, resource scarcity, trepidation about globalization, and, of course, WMDs. This is heady stuff. Cybersecurity has officially gone prime time. This week in Davos, I'll be moderating and contributing to panel sessions on this topic.