Does IT Really Matter?

Everyone of us has encountered IT and has always has been part of our day to day life. But it only in our Management 286 class – Management of Information Systems and Technology that I have been exposed to IT in a structured organized manner. We were assigned to perform certain task and complete assignments such as create blogs, create spreadsheets, make a plan for improvement of IT systems of organizations(ISSP), use google sheets, create data base, learn and understand certain concepts such as project management, strategic planning in IT, outsourcing, corporate governance, collaboration tools and wireless networks, create database systems, understand abstract, complex concepts such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Decision Support System, Knowledge Management, Ethical, privacy and security issues of IT and finally, integrate it all into Enterprise Architecture. It was all greek sounding to me then but if you discuss this IT topics now I may have thoughts and opinions on these things after having passed thru this subject. I know that this will have a great influence in my work now and in the future. This will help me improve work performance in my organization.
This may well be considered small baby steps to some but this is going to the right direction, a direction of improvement, towards something good, towards a labor and work worthy of emulating. I believe this direction is the right and proper direction to take on self improvement. Challenge has been accepted and I will finish and complete this course even if it will be difficult and challenging.

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Social Media: A Means To Inspire People

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My history with social media started a long time ago with Friendster.  It was a social media platform where you can post pictures, post “shout outs” and was very similar to Facebook.  It was a means of communicating thoughts, share ideas, and a medium for connecting with long lost friends.  Social media as we know now has evolved a lot.  It facilitates communication between people separated by distance.  It changes our perspective of things.  It shortened distance; we became part of a global community.  Facebook improved the user experience by adding a lot of interface and applications. 

Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat are “computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.”

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In Facebook, people of same interest can create “groups” where they can post pictures, communicate opinions, share ideas, and promote advocacy.  It can be used as a way of informing people about news or information of vital interest.   We can become thought leaders on certain topics we are passionate about.  We can influence people to do well, compel them to act and inspire them for greatness.

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My medical profession and decency prevents me to advertise and promote my services.  But if I use social media to promote public health safety, to interact and collaborate with other thought leaders, and promote advocacy that could improve lives then, I must be doing something right.  

Pirated Software

images (1)Software piracy is a the “mislicensing , unauthorized reproduction of software, whether for business or personal use.”
This is a global problem. The issue of piracy is also an issue of economics. This is usually a more widespread practice in developing or underdeveloped countries such as Russia, China and Indonesia. It is estimated that 39 percent of software installed on PC last 2015 were pirated software. This cost an estimated $9 billion loss of revenue for software developers in 2015. In most of these countries software piracy is considered a crime. Despite this economics effects and legal complications the practice is still rampant because of the prohibitive cost of the software. It cost more than a regular employee two month’s salary.
My thoughts on how to find a win-win solution of these is for software developer to sell their application at a lower price so that it becomes accessible to a wider audience or market but limit its capabilities or updates or even upgrades. If costumers would like to get full version they should pay for it. It allows their software to be tested and used by corporations especially widely used applications such as productivity and utilities app. unnamedBased on data gathered from BitTorrent download, listed software type most affected as of 2010 as based on share of pirated titles are Productivity 57%, Utilities 30%, Database 24%, CAD 15%, Creative 11%, Accounting 11%, Development 10%, Document management 7%, Media management 6% and security 2%. As to specific titles: Driver Pack Solution 11, Adobe Photoshop CS5.1. Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Word 2007 and WinRAR 4.0.
For consumers the benefit of these is that they can use applications for free and free of legal complications.

Business Intelligence Tools

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Business Intelligence (BI) in all its varied and complex definition is simply the process of transforming organizations raw data into usable information which may help organization make intelligent decisions to achieve their goals in the future.  It may use application software designed to retrieve, analyze, transform and report data for business intelligence.  Applications such as spreadsheets, reporting and query software, online analytical processing, dashboards, digital mining are a few examples of these digital tools.  business-intelligence-for-small-businesses1

 

Adopting this technology in your organization processes in order to improve productivity and meeting goals is a challenge.  Employees would always resist change especially things like new procedures, protocol and most especially new technology.  They resist change because it takes them out of their comfort zone.  It would also means they have to learn something new and if you have been used to doing things repeatedly for a very long time adopting new concepts is very difficult.  One suggestion that may help organizations adopt such changes is incorporating this into their day to day operations by slowly introducing use of this application one application at a time.  Requiring submission of reports using new applications such as spreadsheets would force them to adapt to the technology faster and easier.  Providing incentives such as productivity bonuses for timely, complete and error-free reports would also facilitate the change process.  Punishing them for incomplete data reports and failure to use of BI tools would not really help in the long run for it may breed resentment and anger towards management.  A positive reinforcement method of behavioral change such as salary increase, tokens, bonuses and awards is what I believe will be more effective.

 

Is it safe to shop online?

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Online shopping has gained popularity in the recent years because of the ease  and comfort it provides. Costumers may be able to select items without the hassle of going personally to different shops or stores. It can offer varied choices, presented in a manner that it can be customized and easy to navigate.  Customers may be able to see different types, color, sizes of the same product.  It can be done on smartphones, tablets or any mobile devices.
However, there are instances that this can pose problems. Since this online transactions involve money, safeguards are in place to help protect buyers from fraud and deceit. It involve steps and processes such as credit card validation, filling up forms, disclosing certain details about yourself for verification, all these might turn off buyers because of the hassle it presents.

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There are items that I think I can purchase online with little hesitation.  These are plane tickets, hotel reservations, and small items such as accessories to laptops, tablets or cellphones.  Purchasing online plane ticket has a long history of being secure and has been used by a lot of people.  Hotel reservations and payment although at times involve risk of you not liking the place or poor service.   One may have the assurance that there is a physical onsite facility to address your complaints.  Small items such as cellphone accessories, chargers and tablet or laptop covers are cheap items and at times may well be worth the risk.  Moderate risk are on items that might be useless if it does not fit or not at par to your expectation or preference.  Examples are clothes, shoes and other personal items that might need to be fitted or tested for size.  Large expensive item are too risky to be purchase online and I believe should be purchase personally.  Jewelries, expensive gadgets such as high-end smartphones, tablets, laptops, watches, even cars/vehicles which can now be traded or purchased on the internet are items I would not risk  buying online.

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How safe are wireless networks?

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Wireless Network connect information technology hardware  and devices without cable or wires with each other and also connect them to internet. An example of wireless networking is WiFi or wireless fidelity connects mobile device such as laptops, smart phones, tablets to internet.  The advantage it provides is mobility of access of these devices to internet and since it does not have cable to connect multiple devices it can connect at the same time to a single router/access point/”hotspot”. Being a medical service provider I use mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to internet either to send email or get information to help me in treating patients and at times store patients record online or into the database of the medical center.
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These information are mostly sensitive and bounded by the doctor-patient confidentiality. There is always a risk of possible access by hackers to personal  accounts or device if you are connected to a public network. If a medical facility has a medical record system that is automated and online then it is prone to illegal access thru WiFi.
The medical center or unit must have in place certain guidelines on the use of  internet connectivity like WiFi, guidelines on what data to be recorded online and guidelines on who are the people allowed access to these records to lessen the risk of data leak.

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Patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality are to be considered foremost in every organizations or medical unit database guideline or protocol.

Should Companies Outsource IT Security?

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Should a company outsource Information Technology (IT) security?  My personal opinion is that it would pose a lot of risk on the part of the company to outsource their IT security to other service providers. The biggest risk would be data security breach and break in the integrity of  the company’s data which will open up the company to attacks from rival companies.  Since outsourced companies have no loyalty to the paying company, it is susceptible to temptation in divulging sensitive information to other rival companies for a certain prize.  However, there are cases that the benefit to partner or outsource far outweighs the risk, then this can be reasonable decision.  A good example of potential benefits of this partnership are updated security systems, less cost in maintenance of hardware security system,  and cutting cost on salaries to IT security personnel.  However a careful review of the written contract between the two parties should be done.  It should stipulate provisions on what specific services are allowed for the service provider, who are the people responsible for every specific work areas, what are the expectations the company has from the service provider and lastly, what should be done to the data or information in case there is a falling out of relationship between the two.  

Management Information System Survival Tips

Information System(IS)  is a rapidly growing field and competition is steep.  Managers who work in this industry need to continually improve themselves or be left out.  Here are 3 skills that I believe are important to survive in this technology-driven field.

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  1. Ability to balance specialization.

Managers involved in decision making in an IS environment should have a balanced expertise and skill set to marry technical knowledge and management skills.  Specialization may limit ones perspective on the whole system or program.  The key I believe is to provide a holistic and integrative system that may take advantage of technology for the advancement of the business or company.

  1. Actively communicate and build strong working relationships

The ability to actively listen and effectively putting your ideas across clearly and let the other persons understand is the secret for effective communication.  A manager must have a “working knowledge” of IS to communicate clearly to the technical personnel what the management wants.

  1. Ability to recognize and manage risk.

The ability to recognize impending risk and handle it with confidence separates the ordinary from superior managers of IS that excel in their work.

To climb the ladder of success in your organization you must learn to identify the aspects of your work you need to improve and then commit to better yourself everyday by continually studying, developing new skills and becoming proficient in what you do.

“IT and Me”

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“Technology is nothing.  What’s important is that you have faith in people, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”                                                                                                                                                                                                        Steve Jobs

Information Technology (IT) is defined as all tools that capture, store, process, exchange and use information and involves things such as laptops, smartphones, computers, productivity software, internet, WiFi and cloud storage. These things have become an essential part of every modern day working individual. It helps us in our daily task, helps us increase work productivity and efficiency  but it may also be our source of confusion and problems.

I wear several “hats” daily,being a father, husband, a friend, mentor, counselor, an adviser, a doctor, psychiatrist, government worker, teacher, researcher, and a lot more to different individuals I work and interact with daily and add to that I am also tasked or expected to do a lot of things.  I always need to multitask to deliver outcome or results that is expected from me at the end of the day.  Proper time management is key for a balanced life.  Gadgets, smartphones, smartwatch, laptops, internet, cloud storage such as Dropbox, One drive make my life easier.  Although we  need to invest a significant amount of time to learn new technology at the start but in the long run it will makes our life easier and relatively less stressful.

At the end of the day technology  as a whole is a tool that makes my life easier, bearable,stress-free and even fun…