Articles about ICT

IT Security for New Zealand Businesses – The threat within

Posted 10 July 2018 by David Spratt

Data protection is the process of safeguarding important information from corruption, compromise or loss. Many of us will have watched with some concern the ongoing reports of hacking, ransomware (where a hacker locks or encrypts your company data and demands a ransom before releasing it) and data theft by outside agencies. IT Security Threats Pose New Risks for Owners and Directors As owners and Directors of businesses in this country, we cannot ignore the real risks presented to our companies by theft or destruction of company data. Stricter laws governing Director’s...
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Driving Decisions on Buying Electric Vehicles

Posted 4 April 2018 by David Spratt

Last month’s article on electric vehicles elicited responses ranging from “hippy, coombyah, PC, Greenie horse poo” through to “Where can I get one of these gosh darn, new-fangled, electric buggies?”. Thanks to you all for your feedback. Rather than take sides in the debate about whether or not we should be buying electric vehicles, let’s examine the drivers that inform the decisions we will all make around which vehicles our companies buy. Price Electric vehicles are expensive. Buying electric vehicles today, we can expect to pay BMW prices for Corolla performance. As...
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Infusing New Operational Intelligence into Old Equipment

Posted 23 March 2018 by Jon Rabinowitz

A client of ours recently installed energy sensors across two areas of their facility. One area is significantly old using good practice equipment for the time, the other brand new and utilising advancements in equipment technology. Both areas are similarly sized and perform the same operation, however, measuring energy performance between the old and new will provide our client with real insights when making future strategic decisions. While our client operates a large portfolio of facilities around the North Island, they are using this specific site as a sandbox environment, a...
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How to Unleash the Value of Sensors and Big Data

Posted 16 February 2018 by Jon Rabinowitz

In the past couple of years, we have written a lot of commentary about how the world of IT and the world of Energy are converging. As more and more companies are choosing not to own and operate their IT, the role of IT departments is fast moving away from just technical support towards strategic thinking informed by data analysis. The same can be said for Energy as companies gain access to wireless energy monitoring via cloud-based analytics, CIO's and IT managers have equal interest as COO's and plant managers as the Internet of Things is rolled out. The convergence of data across all...
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Are Cloud Computing Costs in for an Unexpected Surge?

Posted 7 February 2018 by David Spratt

Last week the IT industry was shocked to find that the Intel chipsets that drive many of our phones, smartphones, laptops, desktops and our servers, have an architectural flaw that exposes them to hacking. The other two major chipset manufacturers AMD and ARM appear to be much less affected. By patching their operating systems to address this design flaw in the Intel chipset the OS providers have been forced to sacrifice the thing that impacts us most, performance. The numbers aren’t out yet but we could be seeing reductions in performance of between 5% and 30%. For the average...
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Geeks, nerds and that burning smell – ICT winners and losers in 2017

Posted 18 December 2017 by David Spratt

Last year I compiled a satirical list of ICT companies that won or lost the battle for the affection of us ICT brokers for businesses. The response was a mixture of simpering sweetness and hate mail (you know who you are). Nevertheless, I’m doing it again this year, in this article. To my colleagues who I offend in the next few hundred words, I apologise for my ill humour, even if you have been the authors of your own destruction. ICT Winners and Losers (a satire) The Coolest Kids in Town Award: Kordia Who would have thought that Kordia -- formerly government-owned BCL with its...
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Telecommunications: The Consumer Wins Again

Posted 14 November 2017 by Mike Ette

Telecommunications services are a commodity and this has driven the price of services, especially consumer mobile and fixed broadband, to levels that were only a dream a few years ago. Here is some context. My 13-year-old son gets more for his $10 per month prepay mobile plan today than I got for my $35 plus handset post-paid plan in the late 1990’s. At that time text messages were 20c each and only available from Vodafone. My home fibre broadband connection, without a phone attached, costs $95 per month and gives me 103Mbs/sec throughput at quiet times and at the worst times I still...
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Making Communities of Practice Work in the Real World

Posted 3 November 2017 by David Spratt

This is the third and final article on Communities of Practice (COPs), a model designed to help align business strategy with the evolving knowledge and experience of your people, while still taking advantage of the efficiencies that can be gained through more formal organisational structures and processes. I can now safely say, after many years of practice -- complete with a few painful cock-ups along the way -- that the workplace model, Communities of Practice (COPs), does work. Making Communities of Practice work doesn't happen on its own, but with the right groundwork in place and...
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Ongoing Insights with Cloud Analytics: Zespri Case Study

Posted 31 October 2017 by David Spratt

In 2013, Zespri, one of the world’s leading horticultural companies, and the recognised category leader in kiwifruit, was facing many significant challenges. The Psa virus which attacked their main gold kiwifruit crop, had the potential to devastate the company and its grower shareholders. In addition, they were facing significant capital outlays associated with their existing ICT systems and the need to upgrade their computer hardware. Zespri had to ask questions like, "Could the new variety of crop, Sun Gold, be more robust and become another bestseller?", or, "Would our outputs...
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Communities of Practice: The Three Essential Elements

Posted 26 October 2017 by David Spratt

Last month I introduced Communities of Practice, a model designed to help align business strategy with the evolving knowledge and experience of its people, while still taking advantage of the efficiencies that can be gained through more formal organisations and processes. There are three elements that make up a Community of Practice. These are Domain, Community and Practice. Domain The common ground that inspires members to join, drives their learning activities and gives purpose and meaning to their activities. Let’s take a simple example. Yours is a plumbing and gas fitting...
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