My IT experience

Image result for information technology

A world seems so small. People are simply connected. Places seems accessible. Business made easy. Marketing and promotions came perfect. Employees became productive. Here are just some of the wonders IT has leveraged communication, business strategies, personal development and job efficiency. All this has been possible through information technology like telephone, fax, telex, computers, internet, e-mail, photocopier, printer, scanner, cellular phones, multimedia, pagers, videophone, digital cameras etc.

The following video shows how technology has changed us.

Here are my personal gallery oh how IT impacted my life. These captured moments are proof that IT has been an instrument of memories to last forever.

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Whether we like it or not, this is the new generation. This is the new world of technological advancements. And I have to summarize the highlights I have learned from this class, here’s to the realizations I have.

  1. The gift of connections
  2. Empowerment thru Knowledge sharing
  3. Life Hacks!
  4. Social Media fervors

My career as a banker relies primarily on IT. And through this learning, I have captured not just the use of IT in my every day transactions but most of all the value it can create in my productivity as an employee, my obligation to meet the bosses’ expectations and most of all the relationship I built and maintained with my co-employees.

And perhaps, through time, the future of banking industry will depend on how IT was utilized as competitive advantage to differentiate and establish the  company’s value proposition . The video below will give us the idea of how banks can serve as efficiently in the future, in terms of true service with the heart.

IT’s been a long journey, but some things are really meant to end. In this world full of uncertainties, we have to prepared, make use of every gift we have received for the betterment of ourselves and being responsible of the welfare of our society.

To end this one, I would have always take opportunities to thank someone who have been part of my career life. And I know IT through social Media application-Facebook, has created not just information and relationship, it has created a memory that will linger forever in my heart.

 To my mentor and my boss, maybe I couldn’t have been here if not because of you. Here’s to all the happy memories you left with us. And I’m truly thankful that we are born in this generation in which we can have our memories preserved. Sir Jo, you will always be remembered and loved.

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Mind your Posts!

 

socmedial
http://www.techzim.co.zw

Nowadays, we have everything in our fingertips. In a click, we can be connected to someone anywhere in the world, stream videos, watch your favorite movie in your preferred time, air advertisements, shop online and many more. With the advancement of technology, the world is more connected, informed, and equipped with the most updated information we need in our daily lives.

Social Media has been a common platform of people from different walks of life.The greatest innovations are paving their way to success with taking advantage of customer’s demands, apps and tools made easily available to end users. Social Media gives a “common ground” for sharing of sentiments and  opinions and  indeed has been an effective a learning tools for students, collaborative tools for professionals and good marketing strategy for marketers and businesses. With this opportunity to freely express just about anything under the sun, also comes the responsibility  and accountability of this gift of freedom.

Just like what my former boss says, every thing that we made public is a reflection of who we are as a person. And yes, every post, every bit for information we share online (on social media) will always will somehow paint our own unique colors. Socialization is what this platform brings. It is when we are involved and engaged that we can say that we are a “functioning member” of the society.

Social Media has been a good way for people who wants their individuality felt even in this virtual world of  connections. It trains and teaches us how to be involved in groups and be able to develop sense of “association”.  It gives us the leverage to do our reports and do our functions in work effectively because we do not work alone.

But through time, the idea of socialization has gone a milestone of changes, well sadly, not on the positive. As the concept of cyberbullying is rampant in any organization even in schools, in marketing emerged black propaganda, the rising numbers of hacking issues and people feeling bad about themselves making them psychologically troubled.

See how this  platform changed lives and its impact on the people around us and worst, to ourselves.

But, this is not what we want, this is not what the Social Media is all about. How would you want yourself to be known? How do you personally value freedom of expression? How can we say that we are doing the right things on Social Media?

Well, I think, as the chiche goes,  have to start it within ourselves first. We have to be the model for the responsible use of this gift.  We have to think about the future of the next generation just like feeling the stigma of cutting trees or throwing garbage anywhere. We have to be responsible, we have to take account of the consequences of our actions.

Here’s some of the “netiquettes” to remember ( I should also do this myself).

  1. Professionalism – What is the common thing between you posting  rude and good stuffs online? It’s the fact that you knew they are good and rude, but still you post it. The key for being responsible netizen is knowing and doing things right. It doesn’t mean that if you can, then you should. Not all things you like is acceptable to all, so always go back to that competence expected from a professional.
  2. Mind your Manners– in dictionary definition manners means etiquette. When you mind your manners, you are not just having a self respect but it a customary way of respecting others. Freedom is good, but it should not be put inside your head. Please know that you are posting things on public and the whole world is watching/reading. In this global scenario, we should take this in high regard, to know how to respectfully, tactfully and appropriately interact with people in all walks of life.
  3. Be careful what you share-This is the world where goodness is rare. So be careful of what you share. By that you can always protect yourself and the people you love. Someday, you wouldn’t want  your children  to sneak out on your posts and will mimic it for good.

This is to remind us that every thing given to us as a gift, can truly help us and should be used in manner that we always think about its impact in the society. If you think you are not sure if this can be of good help to those who can read, better keep it yourself. Being responsible is being respectful so mind your posts!

Sources:

http://isupportworldwide.com/blog/archive/socialmediaphilippines/

https://en.wikipedia.org

http://technology.inquirer.net

http://www.iynf.org

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/mind-your-manners

Piracy: Faceless Crime

piracy
wisegeek.com

Maybe a lot of us are guilty of copying pirated movies and software once in our life time. Excuses like “I can’t afford to pay”, why pay if you get if for free, and “information wants to be free” are some cliché to mention.

Let us understand here what is software piracy and how it became globally epidemic.

Software piracy is defined as the use of not legitimately paid for and used according to license terms. Software is typically sold as a license that gives the purchaser the right to install and use the software with specific rights such as number of computers or users. Cracking is the modification of software to remove or disable copy protection so the software can be used without purchasing a license or such that it can be installed on multiple computers. (www.mbtmag.com)

Many of us are pretty convinced that it’s okay to be involved in piracy as long as we are benefiting and that manufacturers or developers, as we believed,  are not really shaken by these activities. But the big fact is, not because they are not talking too much and that you do not hear too much from them doesn’t mean they are not hurt. Literally, they are not talking; rather, the prices of legitimate software are pumping up-this is their voice. That is because not just “the three of us” are buying pirated software somewhere downtown, there are a lot of pirates anywhere, buying, duplicating, re-selling illegitimate software.

faceless
http://www.johwnlund.com

The anonymity of these culprits and ease of making distributing illegal copies taking advantage of the internet, makes it hard for software companies to detect and sanction the lawbreakers.  Its million dollars/pesos loss and thousands of jobs lost for manufacturers and software vendors!. This isn’t a joke!

If you think you are getting a “small time” pirate, here’s the list of categories you may take a look:

“Hard core pirates or “the radicals” who believe all software should be free. This includes the hackers who can actually break the protection.

“Soft pirates” are those who have little  conscience to download or purchase low cost version of software online. Maybe lots of us fall in this ditch. This type of pirates are aware of that the site is illegitimate but buy it anyway. At least somehow, this type actually pay for it in a lower price. These activities are not only illegal but also dangerous because they may be infected by internet viruses-malware or spyware.

“Piracy victims”. Well, you may have known many people in this category. They do not even know that the software they got are counterfeit. Maybe they are not aware that re-sellers for instance, installed pirated software.

“Rogue companies” are organizations depends on pirated software as competitive advantage of their business. These companies are making tight and effective antidotes and policies  to avoid detection and prosecution in the courts.

Many laws has been made to prevent the issue of piracy. In developed countries, the laws punishing piracy are strict and punitive in nature. But in case of countries where piracy became as common and punishment is not strictly implemented, this is primarily because capturing the culprits is not easy as as capturing a physical theft. In  a way, companies can lessen the booming piracy thru the following:

  • Anti piracy programs and seminars that is open to vendors and users. There is really a need to inform not just the vendors but the users of the pros and cons of software piracy. As mentioned, there are lots of piracy victims who are unaware of the software they are purchasing. By informing them means, they will be able to capture the essence of why piracy is unethical and how it actually impacted other people’s welfare especially manufacturers and developers.
  • Site audits to software vendors– this can be done by thorough inspection on the software vendors itself. This is to make sure that vendors are following and govern by rightful acts towards legitimate selling of software.
  • Search warrants to inspect and confiscate computers with stolen software. The software companies can work hand in hand with local and government sectors to strongly implement the laws on piracy. In this case, if culprits are captured, they are liable for litigation processes  for copyright infringement
  • Adopt newer software piracy identification technologies to track illegal users and  recover significant revenue. Maybe not all can afford this one, but it is like an investment that in the long run, companies can recover the cost they may  lost if they use weak software piracy identification technologies.

When it’s commonly done doesn’t mean it is right. People who write the software have the rights to profit from it. Illegal copying of software means depriving the rightful owners of software of their hard earned income from the fruits of their labor. Pirating software costs everyone. Since not as many copies of software are sold, the software companies have to raise prices. This means that the legitimate users are incurring higher costs due to piracy. What if that legitimate user is your dad, your relative ? Then you are contributing loses in his part because he pays higher prices for legitimate software.

Technology is a gift. It is a gift that must be used for the good. In this getting vain world, what only remains are our faithfulness to humanity and integrity to uphold until the end times. In a way, we are making our own single step towards what we call CHANGE. As this old adage says ” No cause is lost if there is but one fool to fight for it”. NO TO PIRACY.

Sources:

http://www.mbtmag.com

(http://economictimes.indiatimes.com)

Knowledge shared is Knowledge saved

i quit
http://www.femside.com

People come and go. As much I wanted to stay, I have to leave; because at some point of my life, I have to choose the best for myself.  In my previous job, my mentor always tells me that to be called “successful” doesn’t mean that you have everything and that you just enjoy it yourself. He told me that blessings-may it come in any form must be shared for you to be fulfill your very purpose.

I  never get what it means until one day, I decided to leave the organization. I realized how important it is to share what you learned and how you do your work to your colleagues so that when you have to pass on the work to your replacement, it will be easier. Indirectly, I have been managing to transfer the knowledge I have acquired throughout the years in my stay there. In passing on the responsibilities, I have identified the differences between tacit and explicit knowledge.

km
Jobstreet.com

According to Nonaka and Takeuchi’s book The Knowledge-Creating Company, Explicit Knowledge is formal and systematic.  Explicit knowledge can be expressed in words and numbers and can be easily communicated and shared in the form of hard data, scientific formula, codified procedures or universal principles. In my case, these are the list of procedures on how my responsibilities are done. It also includes the normal practice on how to deal with client’s queries.

While Tacit Knowledge, on the other hand, as defined in the book of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s is described as something not easily visible and expressible. Tacit knowledge is highly personal and hard to formalize. Subjective insights, intuitions and hunches fall into this category of knowledge. In this case, I leave it to my colleague on how to manage retaining and gaining clients in the organization. This is something that I can’t put into writing.

In my past experiences, I have unknowingly captured the importance of what we call -Knowledge management.

knowldge mgt
basicknowledge101.com

Knowledge Management (KM) is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. It refers to a multidisciplinary approach to achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge _management)

In my recent job, we may not directly call it KM but we are practicing it. To name a few, knowledge sharing is done thru team discussions, trainings, collaboration tools such as emails and e-learning (online seminars) and refresher courses.

Team Discussions– we do it every morning before we start our work to open up ideas regarding our daily transactions and our responses to new policies

Training-we do it sometime in a year to have our training courses in the Head Office together with other departments. Through this, we will be able to update ourselves as a team to be more effective and efficient in our respective departments.

E-learning Courses- this is to update us with new policies issued by the BSP. By this, we will be able to capture real time issues pertaining to financial institutions and new solutions and practices are presented for effective cases’ responses. Usually, we are given exams after the online presentations and discussions.

Refresher Courses– the team usually visits bank branches to update them with the new policies and rules for our credit accommodation functions. By sharing them the knowledge, they will be able to and immediately address concerns and queries of clients pertaining to loans department.

Below are some of the benefits of KM in our organization:

  1. Retain the expertise of people leaving the organization

People come and go, but the expertise must be apprehended and remain so that this can be helpful in the business operation. There are skills that are rare and scarce, thus this must be captured and made available to the organization thru KM.

  1. Leverage Ideas/knowledge

Creating new knowledge out of individual knowledge through effective knowledge sharing can stimulate and leverage ideas. Teams benefits from the individual skills of each member, so if the knowledge of each member are shared, it can create a breakthrough in the overall function of the team.

  1. Enables Faster Decision Making

By sharing knowledge to our colleagues, they will be able to answer questions of clients and other stakeholders immediately.

We are made up of different genes, thus made us unique individuals. There are some who are open, there are some who are not, so to speak, below are some of the barriers in implementing KM in the organization:

  1. Time

Everybody is busy and KM needs time to be implemented effectively. So time is a big barrier for KM execution.

  1. Competition

Sometimes, there are people who want praises and credits concentrated to themselves, thus making KM very hard to be implemented. Egocentric people are ever present in any organization, thus the management cannot simply put KM because of attitude problem per se.

  1. Resistance

People resist changes, so is extra responsibilities. If KM is responsibility of everyone in the team, and others would not want to cooperate, then KM would be a challenging stuff.

Organizations can make use of the benefits to further improve their knowledge management. The list above may not be applicable to all organization but can be a “hugot” for the team to push the implementation of KM. On the other hand, certain barriers may need to overcome to continuously preserve expertise and knowledge and skills of every employee. Some may quote “protégé” as negative, as they are known to be the favorites and bias arises, but if taken positively, protégés are important for the organization to have an endless flow of idea and knowledge.

Knowledge is power and indeed it can serve the purpose to the person owning it. But when shared, it’s like a “snowball effect” that as it goes on and on, the mass is getting bigger, that eventually can create a big impact on business processes of any organizations.

So as the saying goes by Steve Covey:

empowered org

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_management

http://www.skyrme.com/kmbasics/ktacit.htm

www.google.com.ph/imgres?imgurl

www.presentedmedia.com

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/30-knowledge-management-insights-stan-garfield

http://quotesgram.com/organization-quotes/

BIG data? No problem!

big data

Thousands of customer’s demographics, loan information, and confidential data – this is to name a few that I have been working with from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm everyday, not to mention over time. Information overload is understatement.

But, BIG data? No problem,  thanks to Business Intelligence (BI) tools, I never thought I could appreciate these tools (as much as you do I guess) in organizing and translating relevant data  to useful information I need. Reports, monitoring, queries and analysis made easy by BI tools.

In financial institutions like banks, BIG data are assets, thus, must be protected and organized effectively to be converted to useful information. BI tools are very effective tools in analyzing the financial key performance indicators in loan departments. The top management will be able to compare the performance in current year versus previous years. Decision making is also made effective by the result of these analyzing tools.

Business intelligence tools are a type of software that is designed to retrieve, analyze and report data. This includes spreadsheets, reporting and querying software, visual analytics, digital dashboards, data mining, warehousing and decision engineering.

Organizations make use of these tools to leverage data and convert it into helpful information that can guide managers.These tools nowadays are paving its way to become competitive advantage of businesses in their operations. It keeps on innovating and evolving such that it can meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and industries. Below are some BI tools used by different organizations to meet the increasing demand of faster and efficient use of raw data.

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  • Spreadsheets
  • Reporting and Querying Software
  • Online Analytical Processing
  • Digital Dashboards
  • Data Mining
  • Process Visualization
  • Data Warehousing

Companies of any size can encourage more effective use of BI tools by offering seminars and training for employees so they have the knowledge to properly use tools in their respective function. By making employees understand the importance of these tools, comes appreciation and the drive to improve their performance. Companies can challenge its employees by giving them higher targets (in sales for instance) for them to be encouraged to use BI tools in reporting. By hitting the targets, come the incentives for them to be inspired to effort more on their respective endeavors.

For R&D companies, data mining and data warehousing are very useful. These companies can challenge its employees in the new product development thru the effective use of BI tools. By giving them rewards when a new product is successfully introduced in the market, the company is not “spending” but rather “investing” on the people. The future knowledge and skills the people developed in the long run will eventually have a higher return.

Sources:

 http://visual.ly

No Line ONLINE!

 

traditional

Imagine life when you still have to wait for queues in department stores just to buy your favorite stuffs?  Well, for others, the conventional way is still the good way, when you know; you can bump up to high school or college friends, your relatives or even your crush.  For others, it’s like a matter of socializing where you can still meet people along the way. But imagine how hard it is to wait on lines, rushing on after office to go to department stores before the closing, or how much you can actually spend on gas and extra food when shopping the traditional way.

As consumer behavior changing significantly, another way of  hassle free and easy shopping has conceived. It is something that took advantaged on how people want their shopping experience to be: no rushing on closing mall hours, no extra mile of travel while spending extra gas, something that they can do even on pajamas,  or even not wearing the usual get up when buying stuffs on malls. It’s a kind of shopping that consumers can do anywhere, anytime!

Thanks to the internet, it has transformed our perspectives when it comes to shopping the easier way. There’s no line online! Let’s go shopping online!

online shopping

Online shopping is revolutionizing our ways to purchase products, anywhere, anytime. It takes advantage on customer’s demand for an easy and comfortable shopping. Apparently, businesses are venturing in this trend to cope up with competition and the increasing call for better deals thru the use of the internet.

Online shopping is defined as purchasing items from Internet retailers as opposed to a shop or store. Me buying pair of shoes at Lazada.com.ph instead of going to SM Department store is an example of online shopping.  How can online shopping benefit us?

  1. No long queues. This is the best perk for online shopping. If you get tired easily, just like me, to shop online is the very best solution. You can do shopping in minutes, without waiting in long lines to pay for your purchase. In buying stuffs online, you can use your debit or credit cards as payment modes. With this, you can do shopping 24/7 wherever you are!
  2. Wide variety and reach. Of course we would want to have more choices to suit our preference when buying products. Several brands from different sellers put in one place. You can also choose products from different locations and that you are sure that stocks are not limited. You can easily get your favorite shoes and bags of different brands, of different colors all in one store!
  3. Cheaper deals and prices comparisons. We tend to compare prices, hence, if you have wide variety of products, you can easily choose the product you want in a reasonable price. We have the option to filter the prices so you can easily find the products that suits your budget. Not just that, you will also have the idea if the product is really great thru reviews, ratings and comments. Because you do not have to travel to come to one place to buy your favorite brand, you can save on transportation expense, gas and other outside expense (like eating because you’ll get hungry after you roam around the mall)
  4. No mobs. If you hate it when too many people around, well, we share the same sentiments. It causes me headache and it gets me tired easily. When you’re easily annoyed by the crowd, then shopping online will be very convenient for you. You will not also be annoyed by aggressive salespeople. Plus, when parking your cars would be an issue when you happened to be in a mall during events and festivals.

But how about the drawbacks when you shop online?

  1. Cyber Attack. This is when you pay purchases online using credit or debit cards, where thieves can easily take advantage of your personal information. Also, there will be an issue if the sites you are logging onto are legitimate sites hence you are safe to shop.
  2. Actual inspection of the product. If you are shopping online, you cannot have the chance for actual inspection or try on of the products you are buying. For example, shoes. When you buy shoes, different brands may have different standard of sizes.
  3. Immediate assistance from sales personnel. In online shopping, it’s DIY (do it yourself) shopping, with no immediate assistance from the online store. There are salespeople who are aggressive, but sometimes, you can find good salespeople to assist you with your queries immediately. Feedback from online shops thru emails or calls may take a long time and that will be additional cost in your part.
  4. Refunds and Returns. Sometimes online shopping cannot be that great idea. Especially when you have to return defective products. Refunds may take again a long time to be processed and returns are sometimes costly since you have to return the defective products on their perspective outlet locations.

As much as we wanted to buy all that we want online, there are certain limitations that we should consider when buying thru the internet. There are products that we really need to check carefully before buying just to make sure that indeed it’s fulfilling its purpose and you are actually getting what you pay for. Enumerated below are things that I personally choose to buy online, those with hesitations, and those I will never buy online.

 3 things I would buy online.

  1. Bags.For women, online shopping is heaven- when it comes to buying these stuffs. Because of its wide variety of products, you can choose the type of bags and shoes that suits you preference. Bags of different designs are made widely available in which you can easily choose depending on your mood. Just making sure that you check the products on actual like on department stores prior purchasing online.
  2. Buying Shoes online is a good shot too. Since this product is one of the top products bought online, you will be able to buy this on hot sales and promos in a far cheaper price.In here I make sure that the brands I choose are the one I also buy on the malls. I got to check the brands and sizes in the malls first before I order online.
  3. Airline Tickets. Well, yes even if I have to stay up late just to get a cheaper one. This one is better bought online than having on airline ticketing outlets. It gives you more time to browse on your preferred dates and places. And you can actually save on Seat Sales fares promos for instance.

3 things I will hesitate before buying online.

  1. Gadgets. Cellphones and cameras for example. I would rather buy this on stores/malls to make sure that I get what I really want. By buying on stores, you can easily check the features and the probable defects. In online shopping, gadgets may have the defects while in transit, so better buy it on malls instead.
  2. Medicines. Though there are many legitimate pharmaceutical sites online, you will still hesitate to buy medicines online. The fear that we get the wrong med and you know, we take it into our body is something we should highly consider. Also, buying without a prescription is something you should think about before buying.
  3. Appliances. There are lots of amazing deals online for this one, but buying a refrigerator  or TV online, you must think before clicking. Aside from its bulky feature and not easy to be shipped, these products are vulnerable to damages since it will require a lot of effort to transport. And if it happened to arrive to your house damaged, you’ll really have to make extra mile of effort to return it, so how is that?

3 things I will never buy online.

  1. Lingerie.A lot of these products are circulating online and yes, it offers variety of colors and designs and indeed good deals, BUT this I will never buy online. Your intimate apparels must be bought on a discreet manner, thus, you better have it bought on department stores alone if you want, but not online.
  2. Car.Some says, online shopping of cars is now okay maybe on some parts of the world, but for me, I should never buy one on the internet. This product is something you should have the actual experience. Buying a car will be better if you meet car dealer’s personnel who will give you the chance to  compare actual car features in which you can actually touch and test. You will also have the chance to talk to salesperson and get the needed answer to your queries right away.
  3. House.Maybe there are lots of sites offering houses of good deals, but believe me, I’ve been working on a financing institution, so please really check not just the property itself but the documents involved. This will require large amount of money, so to make sure that you are buying legit property with clean titles, you better consult someone like brokers and property owners before deciding to buy a house online. When I say the documents involved, making sure that the land title is clean and free from lien and encumbrances.

Online shopping is a very helpful way to purchase  things that we need and want. What’s important is that we should be careful in handling every transaction online because it may have a negative feedback on us for having been a careless shopper.

Sources:

www.thebalance.com

bestbuy.com

http://www.mirror.co.uk

google images

No Strings Attached: the Wireless Network Revolution

They say, this generation is an enormous generation that is socially conscientious, well, yes a group of millennials who really cares where their money goes. They seek out experiences and products that no one else has. That’s why wherever they are, maybe in restaurants, café, school, banks or even at home, they will manage to consume products and services that that adapts to their behavior. Trending now is how wireless network technology lures the hearts of this younger and tech savvy generation.

Wherever you are, what ever you do, WiFi has been a part of your daily routine.It connects millions of people of different locations; maybe in your business, browsing for favorite sites ,online shopping, online banking, booking plane tickets and accommodation for your vacations plans and many more.  Indeed it makes things a lot easier , convenient and fun.

But first, what is WiFi and how this actually works?home-solution-wifi-devices-network-184281306-57f795863df78c690f36336d

WiFi is the name of a popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections. WiFi is simply a trademarked phrase that means IEEE 802.11x.

WiFi networks have no physical wired connection between sender and receiver by using radio frequency (RF) technology — a frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum associated with radio wave propagation. When an RF current is supplied to an antenna, an electromagnetic field is created that then is able to propagate through space.

This is the “no strings attached” generation of technological advancements that brings ease and comfort to our lives.

Businesses have taken a lot of opportunities brought about by wireless network technologies. In banks for instance, wireless technology has brought a milestone development in providing the services for customers.Wireless banking is revolutionizing  the financial industry. Banks are now capitalizing on the new trend that people wants to access their financial information anytime and anywhere. Though not all financial institution will find it easy to cope up with this radical transformation, these organizations are now trying to adjust to connectivity issues, protocol challenges, and security issues.

So pissed off about queuing system in banks to pay your bills? Thanks to online banking– you do not have to worry about long line queues, everything made easy at the tip of your fingers, anywhere, anytime. Using your computers or mobile, you can now transact with the bank easier thru the use of wireless network technology.

images-29

Online banking has been in a rise and even mobile banking makes things easier for all of us. You can do a lot of stuff online! You can now  have the access to debit/savings accounts transactions, pay your bills, transfer funds, check your credit card balances and purchases, have your load wallets and prepaid loads for your phones and many more! It also gives us the assurance that we are pretty safe because we can do all this stuff at home without exposing your cash and cards.

But how about on Public places? 

When we say it’s easy, it doesn’t always mean great idea! When you are in a café, you should have a second thought on logging on thru Public WiFi to do online banking. Why? Since you information is traveling through the internet, this means that your confidential data is unsafe. It gives the hackers lots of chances to steal confidential information-your username and passwords, credit/debit card numbers, ID numbers  or sometimes, by pretending to be secure sites we are unaware that we are logging on to fake site! Some hackers may have installed “key-logger” that tracks every user name and password you enter. You may be a victim of social engineering attack.

Here’s how to ensure that your wireless network is safe.

Secure websites.

If one must do sensitive web browsing over a WiFi network in a public place you should be very sure you know that the WiFi is actually provided by the business and being passed through their router. It should be encrypted so you need a password to log on. The encryption scrambles your traffic so hackers can’t get your passwords or other information. You can tell encryption is running on a site when the web address in your browser starts with “https://”. A bank for example have this site for online banking: https://personal.metrobankdirect.com/RetailInternetPortal/

Use security software.

To encrypt your connection, you can use a virtual private network (VPN). In the business world, VPNs let employees working remotely create an encrypted connection with the company network so they can work safely. A VPN service lets you create an encrypted connection with one of its servers and you use that server to browse the internet. The connection is encrypted through the server, so the VPN can’t see your traffic either.

Use cellular networks.

Phones using Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet are susceptible to hacks. But phones using cellular data networks for their connection are much harder to fool. It’s much harder to replicate a cell phone tower. The biggest warning for checking and savings passwords on your phone for online banking is when it was lost or stolen. This time, it will be very easy for thieves to get bank and personal data. So keep a password screen lock and have a remote wipe program so you can delete all the data in your phone if ever.

Control your devices.

Don’t set your laptop and computers to “connect automatically” when it finds an available network. Thieves can make  a “seem like legitimate” site just like the café or bank is offering. Make sure you set notifications to your emails or contact numbers whenever there is a malicious transaction going on to your bank accounts.

Be updated. 

Also, make sure that you have updated antivirus on your mobile or laptops. Computer viruses may cause you “damage” when it targets your online banking information.Banks for instance, makes use of world class security and encryption to keep your data as safe as possible and are employing best IT people to continually improve and maintain security.

So every time we use wireless technology, don’t just be overwhelmed by the fact that it’s easy and great, please always take precaution before logging in especially to public (free WiFi) when it involves confidential and sensitive information just like our bank accounts. After all, nobody wants to get hacked and be left broke.

Sources:

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/Wi_Fi.html

http://www.komando.com/tips/317784

https://www.yahoo.com/news/blogs/upgrade-your-life/banking-online

Outsourcing IT Security: Leverage or Threat?

Outsourcing as defined refers to the way in which companies entrust the processes of their business functions to external vendors. Any business process that can be done from an offshore location can be outsourced. This includes functions like transaction processing, payroll and order and inventory management.

Outsourcing is not a new thing for businesses. It’s been a part of their operation as the processing seemed to be more complex, more challenging that a business has to be efficient with the utilization of resources to exist and seam with tough competition.

1475008727“Do what you do best and outsource the rest”, Peter Drucker

Such a short but very powerful words from this Austrian-born educator. This means that the company will have to focus on its strength while outsourcing its weakness. But how about  outsourcing IT security? This may not be easy for all companies though.

Computer security, also known as cybersecurity or IT security, is the protection of computer systems from the theft or damage to the hardware, software or the information on them, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.

For a company to outsource its IT security means reducing the cost and improve its efficiency by transferring IT security as a function to outside supplier rather than doing it within the business.Why outsource? Well, here are some of the reasons why companies choose to outsource some of its business function like IT security.

COST

The most obvious reason of all. Who wants more cost? No one.  Looking back to the economic concept of marginal thinking, where producers will likely to maximize the benefits from its resources at  the least possible cost. Indeed, business people know this by heart. To outsource this means to trim down cost, the concept of cost advantage per se, is highly considered. Here, we are talking about how a business can elude the too much cost brought about by handling IT security that they are not expert in. It will be able to avoid training fees for their employees as research and development  in handling and protecting sensitive information within their system. Also, they will be able to save itself it in producing such high technological advancement in handling IT security than entrusting it with the experts.

CORE COMPETENCY

Here, the company is focusing its effort and the use of its resources to functions that they are good in. It’s like saying, I will use my time for studying than washing up my clothes, why not have it done by the laundry? By this, I’m better off. It will not be effective for the company to use its people asset  on the tasks that cannot be managed even by the highly skilled employees. Because of the advances in technology, the company will free itself from the cost and waste of resources which in fact can actually be diverted to other important business functions.

IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY AND LEVERAGE

By outsourcing, companies can have the chance to have the best processes that will enhance products and services that they offer. With the advancement in technologies, businesses would aspire to have the best partner that can uplift their sense of leveraging in handling IT security. Since sensitive and valued information are to be protected, the company cannot bargain to entrust IT security in “less”suitable third party.

Companies, in its effort to meet the demand of customers, they are considering outsourcing as an advantage. But what are the set-backs?

RISK

The company is allowing “others” to take charge, manipulate, use and may divulge sensitive data to the outside world. This means that the third party will have the control over the security of the subtle area of business processing, the IT. Data security leaks may be the source of rundown of a business since these companies are vulnerable to cyber attacks.

NEGATIVE IMPACT ON BUSINESS PROCESSING

Due to trimming down of the cost, the company will tend to choose the labor power to have the least cost possible. But sometimes, the integrity of the third party must be evaluated, such that if you put your trust in the wrong people, the impact could be detrimental to the organization. There maybe mishandling of the product or incorrect procedures of services may be done by the third party such that it can pose a reason for customers to avoid your products.

With so many threats on the rise,  here  are the few conditions that must be stipulated on policies to be included service level agreement with an IT security ousourcer.

CONTROL AND LIMITATION

A business should  make sure that the the third party will have a limited control over the data that they are protecting. It should always be clear between the two parties that they are only allowed up to a certain degree when it pertains to the use and disclosure of the data. It should also develop rapport on the third party to maintain the good relationship.

CONSEQUENCES OF BREACHING 

Both parties should agree that breaching the contract may cost the life of the business, thus each should be properly guided with policies stated on the terms and conditions of the agreement. Since both of them are just doing business, each should protect their reputation to go on together. Breach of a  contract may have corresponding monetary penalty if it the third party breaks in the rules and regulations.

As much as we wanted to secure our business, there are lots of potentials Outsourcing can bring. But also, in a way, it poses threat to the business  as a whole. That’s why when it comes to IT Security outsourcing, the company should really take extra precaution to minimize failure in future.

 Sources:

https://www.flatworldsolutions.com/articles/benefits-of-outsourcing.php

https://www.google.com.ph/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=zImcWNjAFLLz8AfE9qOABA#q=outsourcing

Hard Skills, Soft Skills

149746_481c_2Significant Change?

Yes, in the past ten years, I saw lots of changes happening, and indeed it’s affecting the ways businesses and organizations do their stuff, it’s likely more of the “substance” than the aesthetic. It’s more of I am here now, and still here after 10 years and not just a fad for today. Consumer behavior is relatively changing, thus creating this   domino effect on products, prices , promotion efforts and skills needed by managers to cope up with these remarkable changes.  Businesses and organizations have to come up with solutions and strategies using scarce resources in strengthening its competitive advantage from the rest of competitors.

When we say successful business, what’s the first thing that comes in your mind? ofcourse, not one but FOUR P’s (people, place, product and promotion). Competition is relatively tough, that businesses seemed to shift its focus;  it’s not just about having good products and a good system in the right place, it’s about having good people managing the business-its entire system bringing new products and services in the limelight amidst competition. It’s more of defying the odds to remain in the spotlight, conquering and discovering new ideas to seam the ever changing needs and wants of consumers. It’s being unique, it’s being always new, and it’s being innovative, using IT to make the DIFFERENCE.

People?

Managers are the key people for the success or failure of information system of an organization. That’s why companies are hiring managers that can participate effectively in IS decisions. These decision is very decisive since it would entail cost and time for implementation and execution of projects pertaining to IT.

Skills?

Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as typing, writing, math, reading and the ability to use software programs. By contrast, soft skills are less tangible and harder to quantify, such as etiquette, getting along with others, listening and engaging in small talk. (www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hardskills.asp)

For me, to be a part of IS decisions, it takes soft and hard skills to be effective in decision making. Specifically,  these are my picks: communication skills, leadership skills and risk management skills.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

“I say, you follow” a no brainer they say, but this I think is a significant skill to possess. Effective managers are excellent in communications skills such that they can speak the right language to the right people thus they get things done effectively. These  managers can actually reach people with different backgrounds, different attitude and behavior. They can help each employee understand the process for them to cope up easily with changes in the organization. These people can briefly notify customers and stockholders about certain situations.  In today’s fast pacing global environment, communication is very vital since it will entail negotiation and collaboration process among employees as well as consumers and stockholders.

LEADERSHIP SKILLS

“let’s do this together”- these are people waking up early in the morning thinking of how they could actually help the welfare of the organization. Managers should be a leader that thinks of a strategy than just completing a task given to him. In marketing for instance, it’s not just reaching target quotas but building relationship and maintains it for life. In a way, there’s that domino effect here. You build now, you get the benefit later.  Not all leaders I’ve known are best in leading, they often think of themselves as more like a “boss”, they lifting up themselves in the expense of their colleagues. What makes these leaders so gifted with leadership skills is that, they are able to familiarize themselves with the trend in behavior and attitude of customers, as well as his colleagues, staffs and stockholders.  They possess dexterity which enables them to lead the team well and be able to deliver the projects efficiently.

RISK MANAGEMENT SKILLS 

“trouble shooters”- being adaptive is a skill that not all managers have. They may just be completing a task for instance but not having the skill to resolve conflicts when it arises. Managers in this case should somehow have this kind of psychology background, those who can predict the future and be able to prepare or at least mitigate the negative events. Well, not all managers can just beat the deadline without compromising the cost incurred. So, like what we have learned in our economics, critical people think at the margin, consumers always make the best out of what they have. Managers in this case should able to allocate the scarce resources to the project for example, without missing the deadline and without compromising the cost that will be incurred by the company. These managers immediately come up with solutions rather than whining and reacting to system failures.

Decision making and problem solving not only entails understanding the steps but understanding and foretelling the totality of impact of the said decision to the welfare of the organization. That’s why systems can’t just function alone. It needs effective managers to participate in IS decisions, to effectively serve its purpose.

Lastly, all these three skills mentioned are combination of soft and hard skills. Moreover,  if these skills are used with passion-  definitely employees,    specifically managers can create a masterpiece.   pic

IT make or break

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Source: Google images

Through time, information technology has been influencing our society in a very interesting manner. Very interesting, that somehow, somewhere, we haven’t imagined how our lives and values changed because of high end advancement in technology.

The extent of influence actually depends on how much a company, organization or individual needs or applied information technology as a strategy and support in a day to day operation. One of the industries that major benefits from impact of information technology in this fast pacing world is banking industry. It involves lots of transactions that use information technology as a medium of service to clients, support to delivery of products and services as well as giving the organization a core competitive advantage in fulfilling their missions and visions. Every bank transaction is an evidence product of high end advancement in IT.

I have been working in a certain financial institution. My work demands a lot of use of IT.  Our team caters financial support to individual buyers of real estate and brand new cars. During assessment processing, thru the use of computers and databases, we were able to identify potential clients, those that are qualified with to avail credit accommodation.  By the use of IT, we can gather relevant information about our potential clients from the bank’s association database which could really help us assess in the approval processing. We have internal systems that can validate raw data and convert it to significant ones needed by the team in verification purposes.

Have you ever been in a bank, making your transaction and suddenly the system’s operation just got offline? Well, of course we understand why you will feed bad. As employees, we actually feel the worst- seeing those impatient eyes looking at you and hearing those complains, sweet faces turned to beast mode. And yeah, knowing that you have to render extra time to finish your pending later. As to my function,  the use of IT is  very critical, it can make or break my day.

The very essence of IT on us is simply trust. Yes, it’s how much we value trust. It is the core of banking industry. The choice of IT systems is done with best measures because it can simply make or break the operation and later on the business as a whole. The reliance of this industry on IT is very high that it should pick up the best to promote the safety and assurance of customers as well as stockholder’s investments.

In this type of industry, IT became our competitive advantage over other financial institutions. IT is the heart of this business. While information as the lifeblood, IT is the pumping center. When something goes wrong, all  functions will be affected but as  long as it is functioning well, the flow of transactions will be smooth and efficient.

Bank policies are the toughest ones, thus the choice of IT system is very important.There must be no room for offline and system lags. Well you know, just like picking up a boyfriend-he must be the best; someone you could  really rely on, someone you can trust, someone who will never leave you broke and sad.  🙂