My Eureka Moment In Salford Business School

A year ago (September, 2014) I began my quest on an adventure into Information System Management (MSc) at the University of Salford, Manchester. My journey through the course was quite interesting with creative ideas erupting from every module but little did I know that my eureka moment was in view.

Prior to our Business Innovation Project module, I was really keen on getting started on my career path as a Data Analyst so I had my mind made up to either go for a work placement or an internship. My desire met with an opportunity at the Center for Digital Business, Salford Business School on a Footy Fit project that presented an internship offer which I grabbed with both hands.

The internship truly helped me understand the practicality of market research and data analysis in the real world on a live project. IBM SPSS which is one of the leading statistical tools in high demand from data analysts across the globe was one of the tools I used to analyse the data gathered and make recommendations for the project based on my findings.

My advice to anyone willing to bridge the gap between theory and hands-on experience is to seize the internship opportunity provided by Salford Business School and define your own Eureka moment! My overall internship experience in three words will be Engaging, Insightful and Rewarding.

Peace Oshiafi (MSc. Information Systems Management)

THIS ISN’T GOODBYE…

The beginning of the end of blogging is here!!! I’ve enjoyed the hiking session of collaboration and brainstorming in Information Systems.

Quite certain of the fact that you’d all be seeing more of me in the nearest future, so in the words of Westlife…”This isn’t Goodbye”.

Special thanks to all those who have contributed to this blog across the globe and especially to my right-hand allies: FajerRichard, George, Sepide and Slizzy.

A-Team

THE FLIP SIDE OF ONLINE IDENTITY THEFT

The electronic syndrome has introduced a new hole in the system which makes us prone to the risk of online identity theft. Most of our transactions require our online presence, while this makes it quite easy to give our information to companies and services that require such, it also makes it easy for online fraudsters to become impostors of our true identity.

In an attempt to curb online identity theft, Cherry(2014) suggests the need for us to share less on social networking sites (SNS), stating that the more we share, the higher the risk of online identity theft.

Why create more social media platforms if we all seem to be at risk? With the security features on these platforms, Cherry (2014) noted that its important for us to act like there are no security features embedded in these platforms as these protections only apply to new items we post not to items that were already posted online.

For instance on Facebook and Twitter, the default text is “what’s on your mind?” and “what’s happening?” but in as much as we want to go with the flow, we need to be careful to avoid over revealing, which can be risky. Imagine updating your post to “i’d be home in 20mins”, its an invitation to friends and foes(impostors) alike. I have seen people publicize their Blackberry pin on Social Networking Sites, which in my opinion is quite a risky attempt as one might tend to attract the wrong people through that means.

An online identity theft employed by people who steal attributes like account numbers and passwords used by online customers is called Phishing (Geeta, 2011). One of the regular customer complaints in financial institutions is online identity theft. Imagine an impostor of a customer of the bank, sending an email with all his details for a transaction to be consolidated which was approved by the branch manager as they had been receiving such mails from the real customer, only for the real customer to get an sms alert of the debit transaction of which he had no knowledge of. By the time it was noticed, it was already too late as the online identity thief had succeeded in using his email details(username, password) and bank details to consolidate the transaction. This process can be described as Phishing.

In addition, attention should be paid to cookies within browsers as this tends to auto-save people’s information, usually there’s a pop-up either to “remember password” or “never remember password for this site”. Usually, most people are in a hurry to log in and click ‘yes’ but it should be ‘never remember’. Try to go the extra mile to fill in your details afresh in order to reduce the risk of exposure of your details to a third party from the cookies on the website.

Marshall and Tompsett (2005) explained the motives for online identity and the various forms they could occur. Fajer and I had a reflective session in this video that explained it further.

References

Cherry, D. (2014). The Basics of Digital Privacy: Simple Tools to Protect Your Personal Information and Your Identity Online

Geeta, D.V. (2011). Online Identity Theft: An Indian Perspective. Journal of Financial Crime 18(3). pp235-246

Marshall, A. & Tompsett, B. (2005). Identity theft in an online world. Computer Law & Security Review. 21(2) pp.128-137.

DON’T DIVE WITHOUT INFORMATION SYSTEMS’ LIFE JACKET

As a bad swimmer, I have discovered that it is quite easy to float in the shallow end of a swimming pool than it is to learn how to swim from the deep end. I see Information Systems as learning to swim in a deep ocean.

With so many bits and bytes involved, its advisable to carve a niche for yourself.

Information Systems(IS) is a system that is composed of people and processes that use the application of information technology to strategically improve the functions of either a private or public sector business (Arvidsson et al, 2014).

The ability to combine the understanding of what has become possible due to advances in technology, and an astute insight into some unmet organizational or societal need—in order to create something new and valuable with digital technology is called Information Systems management (Fichman, 2014).

There are quite a number of tasks that can be associated with Information systems such as Business Intelligence, Business Analysis and Data Analysis but in order to become a professional, it is important to have a good knowledge of certain tools and advanced technologies such as Hadoop, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Big Data, Python, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and SAP.

Get some of these life jackets to stay afloat in the IS ocean!!!

References

Arvidsson, V., Holmstrom, J. & Lyytinen, K (2014). Information Systems user as strategy practice: A multi-dimensional view of strategic information system implementation and use. Journal of Strategic Information Systems.

Big Data. IBM Big Data and Information Management. [Online] Available at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/bigdata/ Accessed 11/3/2015

Customer Relationship Management (CRM). What can CRM bring to an organisation. [Onine] Available at https://mscischinemeremubah.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/what-can-crm-bring-to-an-organisation/ Accessed 11/3/2015

Enterprise Resource Planning. ORACLE ERP: Modern ERP Cloud Solutions. [Online] Available at https://www.oracle.com/applications/enterprise-resource-planning/index.html Accessed 11/3/2015

Fichman, R., Dos Santos, B., Zheng, Z. (2014). Digital Innovation as a Fundamental and Powerful Concept In the Information Systems Curriculum. MIS Quarterly 38(2), pp. 329-353

Hadoop. [Online] Available at http://hadoop.apache.org/ Accessed 11/3/2015

Python. [Online] Available at https://www.python.org/ Accessed 11/3/2015

SAP [Online] Available at http://www.sap.com/uk/index.html Accessed 11/3/2015

A JOURNEY INTO THE CLOUD

Few days ago, Fajer’s system got infected with some virus on her Mac and as she tried reaching for an external hard drive, the space within the hard drive was not sufficient to transfer all her files and this led her to discover new ways to store her files. Interestingly, she realized that it is possible to back up her files on Mac’s cloud (iCloud) with a fee attached to the storage space required. This discovery made backing up her files and formatting her system quite simple.

Cloud computing is the connection of a large group of computers and servers together that can be accessed from anywhere across the globe over the internet with certain programs and applications irrespective of their locations (Mirashe and Kalyankar, 2010).

While it is true that the benefits of cloud computing such as its usefulness, business process transformation, cost reduction and speed of adoption (just to say a few) cannot be over-emphasized, companies like KPMG have started to have concerns about the security and privacy of their files in the cloud ( Hill & Wright, 2012).

On the other hand, the findings of Armburst et al. (2010) showed cloud technology might pose a similar challenge of fear of data loss if the cloud service provider crashes, however, he added that it is more secure in the sense that if a cloud service provider is down, data can easily be migrated to another service provider with the same security features and firewalls on the cloud. This helps to encourage business continuity for a long term.

Ultimately, cloud computing can either pose as an existential threat or become an irresistible opportunity.  Weinman (2012), summarized the characteristics of CLOUD as Common infrastructure, Location independence, Online accessibility, Utility pricing and on-Demand resources which tends to have more positives than negatives. With the help of Richard’s post, we can also understand why we need to have a blind trust in the cloud.

Even the cliche gives a positive thrill to CLOUD-9!!!  🙂

References

Armburst, M., Fox, A., Griffith, R., Joseph, A., Katz, R., Konwinski, A., Lee, G., Patterson, D., Rabkin, A., Stoica, I., Zaharia, M. (2010). A View of Cloud Computing. Clearing the clouds away from the true potential and obstacles posed by this computing capability. 53(4). 50-58. doi:10.1145/1721654.1721672

Hill, S. & Wright, R. (2012). The cloud takes shape. Global cloud survey: the implementation challenge. KPMG.

Mirashe, S.P and Kalyankar, N.V (2010). Cloud Computing. Journal of Computing, 2(3), 2151-9617. Retrieved from http://sites.google.com/site/JournalOfComputing/

Weinman, J. (2012). Cloudonomics: The business value of cloud computing (First Edition). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

PRIVACY DEBATE: IS THERE A MORAL BACKBONE TO DATA COLLECTION?

A couple of days ago in a workshop session, while asked to check out some applications that help to monitor our fitness, most iPhone users discovered some shocking findings. An application (Health) that usually comes installed with the latest iPhone seems to have been gathering data of each user without their knowledge.

So the big question pops up? Is this ethical? Is it a moral act? Should we take Apple to court?

While some were excited that their records of how many steps they take daily since they had the phone had been recorded, others were taken aback by this act of Apple stating that there could probably be more to this than meets the eye. Where does all this information go? Who saves them? What’s the data used for? Am I really safe using an iPhone?

The battle between right and wrong began to kick in.

Damon Horowitz in a TEDx conference stated how hard it is for such moral questions to be answered. Whoever determines the moral operating system also needs to be scrutinized, do they have the legal backing to say such?

It is almost impossible to install a new app on your phone without getting a prompt for you to agree to the terms that data from some social media platforms you’re on can be used within this new app. So we get stuck? For some, we just hit the “Yes” button just to get it over with and because we need the app, yet for others who are more skeptical and probably have alternatives, “No” comes easy. Privacy is one of the most significant ethical issues in digital media (Charles Ess, 2014).

From my perspective, I think it takes two to tangle. While I do not necessarily agree that applications should request for our information from existing social media platforms due to the fact that I will not want them linked, I also believe that most times we give permission that authorizes these apps to pull our data. So I see individuals and technology as parties both responsible for data privacy.

On the other hand, Fletcher et al(2011) argues that individuals knowingly and willingly allow individual pieces of personal data to be collected called their Personal Identifying Information (PII). That’s a fair statement to make considering the fact that most applications and social media platforms begin with us agreeing to some terms and conditions.

So the next time you want to install a new application, remember   “Terms and Conditions….APPLY”.

References

Ess, C. (2014). Central Issues in the Ethics of Digital Media. Digital Media Ethics. USA: Polity Press

Fletcher, G., Griffiths, M., Kutar, M. (2011). A Day in the Digital Life: A Preliminary Sousveillance Study. Retrieved 6th March, 2015 from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1923629

Horowitz, D. (2011). We need a “moral operating system”. TEDxSilicon Valley. Retrieved 10th March 2015 from http://www.ted.com/talks/damon_horowitz#t-354652

 

 

JUST GOT BITTEN BY THE SOCIAL BUG

When was the last time you came across a company with a very good brand and profit margin that had no online presence? Can’t recall the last time, must have been ages…

Recently, its become a norm. In order to stay ahead, you’ve got to be bitten by the social bug which means you’ve got to identify the social media platform suitable for your business and secure an online presence. Social media is becoming a strategic tool for many organizations to reach out to the mass users (Rauniar et al. 2013).

Statistics shows that 9 out of 10 users visit a social networking site each month; 1 out of 3 online minutes is spent on Facebook; 90million tweets are generated daily on Twitter The fact that users can actually feel free to interact with companies real time is amazing. For instance, customers of a bank might not need to even call customer care when they need assistance as most banks have taken their business solutions to social media platforms.

Companies need to see social media platforms as strategic actors as they play an important role in network effects, consumer demands and competition (Aral et al, 2013).

There are quite a lot of social bugs you can get bitten by like Twitter (which is one of my favorites by the way), Facebook, Instagram, Blogs etc.

Hurry and get your own fair share of the social bug bite!!!

Bugs
Bugs

References

Aral,S.,Dellarocas, C. & Godes, D. (2013). Social Media and Business Transformation. Information Systems Research 24(1):3-13. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/isre.1120.0470

Rauniar, R., Johnson,B., Rawski, G. & Yang, J. (2013). Social Media User Satisfaction – Theory Development and Research Findings. Journal of Internet Commerce, 12(2), 195-224, Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15332861.2013.817864

SEARCHING FOR A DIGITAL LIFELINE

What’s really the connection between technology and lives? I mean on one hand I think we should all try to keep things simple. If you’re ill…? Get someone to get you to the hospital…Meet the nurse…Book an appointment with the Doctor…Get prescription…Get well…Bingo!

I must have called that process simple, probably because I’m pretty healthy. But there are some extreme scenarios that require the effectiveness and efficiency of Health Information Systems to intervene (Thomas, 2015).

Couple of years back when taken to the hospital, I recall the long queue mum and I had to wait before it got to our turn, after which our files will have to be located before we could be attended to…but these days, you just have to walk into hospitals with your Health ID card that has a reference no. which stores all your data on systems. Now, that is the re-definition of simplicity as this increases patient-doctor confidentiality and receptionists will have access to basic information of the patient without breaching the confidentiality of the patient.

National Health Service(NHS) has indicated the need for staff members in medical fields to at least get an IT accreditation as those digital health systems once installed will not use themselves. People  need to be educated to ensure Health informatics becomes effective and efficient(Bryant, 2014).

With Health Informatics , patients with high blood pressure, diabetes and the likes can monitor these illnesses from their smartphone devices and this will further reduce the heart attacks encountered by most patients.

Informatics in the health systems requires the three E’s: Education, Empowerment and Engagement. For e-Health services to be implemented, these 3 channels need to be effected within the system (Emmanouilidou and Burke, 2013)

 References

Bryant, B. (2014) Director of Strategic Systems and Technology in NHS England. UK: British Computer Society. Retrieved 7th March from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPZSoMmHre8

Emmanouilidou, M. and Burke, M. (2013). A thematic review and a policy analysis agenda of Electronic Health Records in the Greek National Health System. Health Policy. Retrieved 7th March from http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol

Thomas, G.(2015). A New Vision for the Informatics Profession in Health & Social Care. UK Chip. Retrieved 7th March, 2015 from http://www.ukchip.org/

THE MYSTERY EDGE – KNOW.L.EDGE

Do you ever wonder why several companies offering the same services or selling similar products often produce different results? The basic thing that sets them apart is Knowledge.

Knowledge is more like a precious seed that if sown correctly can cause an organisation to flourish. However,rivals in businesses will never want the success formula in their companies to be distributed to their competitors. Yet there are some key advantages to the management of knowledge.

Companies, Business schools and Individuals have tried to stretch the extent to which knowledge should be managed. While companies such as Deloitte and Touche describes knowledge management as information that should be captured, shared and stored (Eyler, 2001). PricewaterhouseCoopers thinks that there is no definition when it comes to the management of knowledge, instead its concepts are centred around information sharing and information technology without a basis for knowledge management as it sees both as two different concepts without in-depth explanation of the latter (Petrash, 2000)

Digital technology encourages smart developments in kids, knowledge management has become more of an added edge even to my niece who uses information stored on the cloud as her resource hive.

Emmy
Emmy

Well,  from my perspective, without the principle of knowledge management I would have a vague overview of what this entailed but the fact that I could have a keen search and get this over the cloud is quite an edge that management of knowledge brings to the table.

Every company that hopes to encourage continuity and will love to live under the green roof of business continuity needs to embrace knowledge management.

KNOW-L-EDGE is the ‘KNOW’ing that Leaves you with an extra EDGE!

Knowledge

References
Wilson,T. (2002). The nonsense of knowledge. Information Research. 8(1). Available at http://www.iwp.jku.at/born/mpwfst/06/nonsenseofwm/p144.html

Intoto Knowledge (2014) Knowledge Management in 87 seconds. [Video] Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUZxaHj0FEI

Eyler, A.N. (2001) Corporate knowledge management. ProTopics, July/August, 6-9 Available at http://www.deloitte.com/dt/cda/doc/content/JulyAugustEnglish.pdf [Site visited 7th March 2015]

Petrash, G. (2000) Measure what matters: linking knowledge assets to strategy. Investment Management Perspectives, No. 1, 12-17. Available at: http://www.pwcglobal.com/extweb/pwcpublications.nsf/4bd5f76b48e282738525662b00739e22/92f014728e1030bf852568a3006b19c0/$FILE/knowledge%20mgt.pdf [Site visited 7th March 2015]

JOIN THE HACKATHON LEAGUE

If athletes can speak a marathon language, digital innovators can as well join the hackathon league…

A friend of mine chatted me up few days ago and sent me a link without a brief of what it entailed. Receiving such link from a digital icon in my world meant there’s got to be something new to learn. With a click, I got introduced to the hackathon league. What on earth does this mean?

UN influx
UN influx

Sincerely, at first sight, I barely understood what they meant by the UN_influx hackathon. But, what got me hooked was the fact that I saw him in the video contributing some ideas.

Hackathon is the platform that provides digital opportunities to developers by rapid building of digital prototypes of new ideas(Techopedia, 2015). This initiative has been used by several businesses to encourage collaboration of great ideas. Recently, an event was set up by United Nations to get insights in development of the agency using external sources called the UN influx hackathon. The fact that it considered different groups of people is what a business truly requires. In this case, the designers, developers and idea generators were all welcome on board.

This video gives a clearer insight.

References

Techopedia (2015). Hackathon. Techopedia. [Weblog]. Retrieved 7th March,2015 from http://www.techopedia.com/definition/23193/hackathon

United Nations (2015). United Nations Influx. [Online]. Retrieved 5th March,  2015 from http://www.uninflux.net/

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