Identity and Access Management (IAM): How Risks and Cyber Threat Possess Challenges to Businesses.

There has been overwhelming incidents of data breach and unlawful access to information and sensitive data across business organization and governmental agencies across the world. The new age of cyber threat and attacks has now risen beyond just rouge individual phishing for information on consumers by luring then with suspicious emails asking for bank account numbers to deposit large sums of amount money from a foreign country. The treat now encompasses the likelihood of company and governmental secretive information been stolen by organized groups of highly trained and sophisticated computer wizards. Often times these threats are identified within an organization’s own four walls. It has become evident that the most common places where data breach occur is right within an organization—where employees pic2mistakenly or purposefully access data that they are not privileged to access.

These issues have made organizations become more aggressive in protecting their sensitive data from such intrusions whether within or outside their premises. An example of a global data breach is the massive Panama papers. According to this article, “Nearly half of companies do not evaluate the risk of vendors before transferring them data, but change may be underway. Law firms report facing more diligent scrutiny of their security capabilities, but all industries should pay attention to the missteps of Mossack Fonseca. The Panamanian firm employed outdated software with critical vulnerabilities, including that for its customer portal”. This is where Identity and Access Management policies and initiatives come into play.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is the security discipline and process of managing who has access to what information, applications and systems over time within an Organization. Resources within an organization must have access to systems and applications in order to be efficient and productive. Such resources are often granted access based on their roles and job functionality. The introduction of role-based access control (RBAC), as part of a holistic IAM initiative gives accesses to these resources and individuals through roles that relate to characteristics such as the individual’s job function. The Cross-functional process provided by identity and access management system (IAM) is to initiate, capture, record, and manage the user identities and related access permissions to the organization’s proprietary information and systems- among these are a defined user rights, access rights and their active and inactive periods.

Identity and access management has not been a top priority for many organizations nor has it been systematically organized at different platforms until recent years. Although many executives view IAM as an Information Technology (IT) function, but this process also affects every business unit throughout an organization. The IAM system is a centralized user and access rights database integrated to many different target systems-These users may extend beyond corporate employees. Businesses are currently experiencing an ongoing transformation when it comes to information security. In light of this, a best practice for an enterprise is to implement an Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution that handles the creation and management of connected device, information as well as user’s access and authentication into external and internal applications, databases, or networks. For instance, users could include vendors, customers, floor machines, generic administrator accounts, and electronic physical access badges. Identity management can be roughly divided into user rights management, access management and provisioning. However, the core premise remains the same.

The choice between a cloud-based and on-premise IAM system often depends on the business’s strategic goal. Some of which could be a mixture of cost savings and security. There are several challenges that urge businesses to embark on an effective implementation of an on-premise solution or cloud-based identity and access management system. For many organizations, this is as much a compliance decision as it is a business decision. Many still believe that on-premise solutions provide greater security and control, and, realistically, it’s often the path of least resistance for a large enterprise with the resources to manage the operation and integration. On the other hand, cloud solutions offer immediate cost savings, faster implementation, easy scalability, and much greater flexibility. There’s no right answer here and you’ll find many solutions offer both cloud and on-premise, as well as hybrids of the two, which may be the best answer for getting something in place sooner rather than pic4later. With or without an identity and access management system, there is always the existence of a weakest link, a link that could lead to risks that cannot be easily mitigated and among such risks are:

  • Lack of Regulatory Compliance.

Corporate governance and data privacy protection depend on strong security over applications and IT infrastructure. Without such security, internal controls cannot be relied upon and regulatory compliance cannot be assured. One of the weaknesses of manual user administration is that people are not consistent – they make mistakes. As a result, security administrators cannot be expected to reliably enforce standards regarding what access rights users should have. Regulatory compliance like Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, SOX, and other regulations have significantly impacted organizations worldwide. Organizations must be able to provide auditable evidence that these controls are in place and effective. Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley specifically states that management must assess the effectiveness of internal controls on an annual basis. Organizations must automatically inspection a request to check whether it violates any business rules. For example, requests should not trigger violations of Segregation of Duty (SOD) rules, nor should it specify invalid department or location codes, etc. Periodically inviting managers and application owners to review users and security entitlements within their scope of authority and flagging inappropriate entries for removal should be an ongoing activity if a company wants to boost its regulatory compliance initiatives. A user awareness program should also be considered, to ensure that all users understand what the system is, what it is intended to accomplish, where to find it and how to use it.

  • Information Security Risk.

If an organization fails to deactivate the access rights of a departed user, then that user or an intruder impersonating him might abuse the infrastructure or compromise sensitive data. In many organizations, the removal of user access rights or access rights for a digital identity can take several weeks if not months. This may present an unacceptable risk to the organization, especially if an individual is able to continue accessing company systems and resources during the access removal period. With that said, Access termination must be quick, to minimize the time window available for the aforementioned exploits. The difficulty in modeling complex, heterogeneous entitlements is compounded by the fact that although users accumulate entitlements over time, they rarely ask IT to terminate old, unneeded rights. Moreover, it is difficult to predict when, after a change in responsibilities, a user will no longer function as a backup resource for his old job and so old entitlements can be safely deactivated. It is not enough to deactivate a departed user’s login IDs on major systems. Every access right should be revoked, to eliminate the possibility of abuse by users inside the network.pic-5-jpg

  • IT Operating and Development overheads

Considering the different number of credentials often needed or giving to an employee, where a typical employee may have a username and password for their desktop, a different Usernames and password to gain access to other systems, multiplied by their frequently expiring passwords, credential maintenance can become overly complex and unreasonably costly in terms of department overheads and often times result in employee writing down these numerous passwords in an attempt to remember them when needed—these actions  often result in  the potential of an employee leaving a notepad full of passwords that could be stolen, which in this case could result in a security breach. Wouldn’t it be better if we all have one login credential for all our office systems and applications? The common answer will be yes, right? The benefits of single sign-on (SSO) are compelling; reduced password fatigue from different user name and password combinations, reduced time spent re-entering passwords for the same identity, and reduced IT costs due to less IT help desk calls about passwords.

  • Ineffective Systems Access Control

Users typically require access rights that span multiple systems. High-value, high-risk employees and contractors are often unique and are consequently not usually well served. A new user may need a network login, an e-mail mailbox, and firewall access and login rights to multiple applications. These accounts are typically created by different administrators, using different tools. Some people in the organization often bypass defined processes and protocols in an attempt to get their requests implemented more quickly. This is often done by calling a helpful friend in IT rather than going through the standard IAM process. These activities often undermine the effective control of system access across the organization. For an organization to effectively control its user access, the following questions must be answered: How will each type of access request be validated?; Who are appropriate authorizers for each type of request?; What is the expected response time from authorizers?; What parts of a request are authorizers allowed to see?; What parts of a request are authorizers allowed to modify?. Once these questions are answered and measures are put in place to control these variations then a more sound and secure access control environment can be created.pic-3

 Organizations have faced the complex problem of managing identities and credentials for their technology resources. What used to be a simple issue that was confined within the walls of the data center has become a growing and exponentially complex problem facing organizations of all sizes. To mitigate some of such complex problems, implementing an IAM solution should not only be limited to the “NOW” problems, but rather gauge future need especially if your business is poised to expand its processes. Simple questions like; is the solution simple to implement across disparate systems? Is it scalable? Is it well supported with fixes, updates, and new releases? Will your solution be developer-friendly and cost-effective for the duration of its deployment? Even the simplest things are important. For example, you wouldn’t buy a solution that is only offered in English when you’re planning to open an office in China in two years, a holistic approach and strategic implementation should always be a part of management’s decision-making not just from a compliance stand point alone.

Acknowledgement: Some content in this blog can be attributed to. “GTAG-Identity and Access Management”.

Policy Risk- Navigating an Unseen Risk in Emerging Markets- By:Fkmensah

As national companies face steep competition in their home countries in recent years, the need to go abroad to build a competitive edge is now on the rise. Some government entities in such countries welcome such decisions of foreign business and often times encourage business to choose their countries by relaxing their tax systems and other attractive measures to lure   foreign companies to establish locations in their countries. Many a times, some companies relocate or open branches in emerging markets through means like Turnkey projects, Strategic Alliance, and Joint venture. All these mode of entry simple help business enter a market for the first time to build relationships. However, these methods sometimes provide companies some sort of protection and minimize the potential risk associated with doing business abroad. Over the past two decades, the most thought about of such risk is the “Expropriation Risk”- which simply means the likely hood of a foreign government seizing the assets and resources of a foreign company. With international trade laws and regulations, such risk is not as prominent as it was. Instead it has been replaced by “Policy Risk”- The risk that a government will discriminatory change the laws, regulations, or contracts governing an investment—or will fail to enforce them—in a way that reduces an investor’s financial returns is what we call “policy risk.images

According to the Harvard Business Review, although the data on policy risk are less clear-cut than the hard numbers on direct seizures, press mentions of policy risk indicate that it has risen dramatically as seizure risk has fallen. Even though there are business laws and contractual agreements surrounding every business activity, any business that befalls such maneuvers by foreign governments turn to have limited options since the traditional contract laws and mechanisms that applied in their home countries often times does not apply in foreign countries because of the political situations and the less than perfect democratic systems. Therefore, business looking to do business abroad must adopt a strategic risk management capabilities and political-management strategies that limits foreign government entities’ incentive to divert investors’ returns. As your business deliberates on going into emerging markets, you should remember that managing uncertainty will help avoid loses but having a strategic long-term risk mitigating plan would be a source of competitive advantage in addition to a means of avoiding losses.

Global Workforce Crisis Puts $10 Trillion at Risk in World Economy, Study Says: by BCG.

July 01, 2014

Global Workforce Crisis Puts $10 Trillion at Risk in World Economy, Study Says
By 2030, the Potential Value Squandered Because of Labor Shortages and Surpluses Could Exceed 10 Percent of World GDP, or Nearly 60 Percent of U.S. GDP, According to a New Report by The Boston Consulting Group
BOSTON, July 2, 2014—Workforce shortages and surpluses worldwide are becoming so acute that they threaten $10 trillion of world GDP over the next one to two decades, according to a new report being released today by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

This projected value loss stems from acute shortages and unrelenting surpluses that are being exacerbated by a range of factors, from anemic economic growth and aging populations to low birth rates and restrictive immigration policies.

BCG examined workforce supply-and-demand dynamics in 25 major economies—including the G20—to forecast the extent of labor shortages and surpluses for 2020 and 2030. Overall, by 2020, many countries will still be experiencing a surplus. But by 2030, this surplus will for most have turned into a massive shortfall, according to the report, The Global Workforce Crisis: $10 Trillion at Risk.

“The consequences for many nations’ growth and competitiveness are serious,” says Rainer Strack, a BCG senior partner and a coauthor of the study. “Governments, companies, and other institutions must begin to take action now if they hope to avert the potentially long-lasting damage to national and regional economies, as well as to the global economy.”

The impact of the labor imbalances worldwide will be neither simultaneous nor uniform. Here are some of the crippling shortages and chronic surpluses that the world will face:

• Germany will see a shortage of up to 2.4 million workers by 2020 and up to 10 million by 2030—23 percent of the labor supply. The country will not reach its historical GDP growth rates unless it takes action soon.

• Brazil will have a shortage of up to 8.5 million workers in 2020; by 2030, that figure could increase nearly fivefold to 40.9 million people—at 33 percent of the labor supply, more than 10 percent worse than Germany’s and the highest projected 2030 shortage of the 25 nations studied.

• China is expected to have a surplus of 55.2 million to 75.3 million workers by 2020. By 2030, that surplus could reverse sharply, turning into a shortage of up to 24.5 million people.

• The U.S. is expected to have a surplus of between 17.1 million and 22 million people in 2020. By 2030, it will still face a surplus—at a minimum, 7.4 million.

• France, Italy, and the UK, all projected to have single-digit surpluses in 2020, face labor shortages by the subsequent decade.

• South Africa faces the gloomiest prospects, with a projected surplus of 36 percent in 2020 that’s expected to grow to 39 percent by 2030.

The problems associated with labor surpluses are well known. High unemployment cuts the tax base and raises the cost of social services while raising the risk of social instability. In the long term, surpluses can lead to the attrition of skills and ultimately reduce an economy’s competitiveness and attractiveness to investors.

But the problems with shortages can be equally harmful to the economy because job openings cannot be filled. This fuels wage inflation and, above all, impedes business growth and competitiveness.

The authors used two scenarios for GDP- and labor- productivity-growth rates over two periods (the past 10 years and the past 20 years) to forecast two different future scenarios. They calculated the size of the labor force that each country would need to keep GDP and productivity growth for 2020 and 2030 at historical levels.

The report features a number of tables and charts, including graphs comparing labor supply-and-demand trends among countries within major geographic regions and a table benchmarking key labor-supply levers across the 25 countries. (See Exhibit 6 below, from the report, which highlights the projected imbalances.)

Click to Enlarge

In addition, the authors outline the basic levers and interventions that governments can put in motion to mitigate the imbalances, such as modifying the official retirement age, liberalizing immigration policies, and encouraging greater labor force participation by specific demographic segments.

The Global Workforce Crisis: $10 Trillion at Risk is the first in a series of reports on this issue. Subsequent reports will break down the surplus and shortage numbers by education levels to reveal in greater detail the severity of global labor imbalances. They will also illustrate the consequences for companies.

“A country may appear to have a perfect balance of supply and demand,” observes Strack, who is a coleader of BCG’s human resources work within the firm’s People & Organization practice. “But after breaking down the numbers, we might find that it actually has a surplus of 1 million people with a primary education but a shortfall of 1 million with a secondary education. This kind of de-averaging reveals the crucial challenge ahead for governments and businesses. Both will need far more sophisticated tools to analyze supply and demand and devise solutions.”

To download a copy of the report, please visit http://www.bcgperspectives.com.

Risk Mitigation Plan: Are you or your Business taking a Risk thinking you don’t need it! By: F.kMensah

images risk    In the world of finance, risk management refers to the practice of identifying potential risks in advance, analyzing them and taking precautionary steps to reduce/curb the risk. The global business environment  is constantly becoming complex, new models of how to run your small or large-sized business is  brought to light everyday by the expects, but what these models do not share light on is the constant risk that every business small or large are prone to on a daily basis in local or international markets. Many local, national and international business owners or corporations succumb to the notion that just having business insurance is good enough, and forgetting that running any type of business has risks associated with it that needs a strategic risk mitigation plan and ignoring these risks or how to mitigate them when they arise has caused many businesses to fail. JFK once said, “There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction”.  It’s far better to find out problems before it finds you, and when you identify such problems, having the right action plan always comes in handy. Yes the insurance may cover some of the risks, but relying on your policy alone without a strategic plan to combat such risks undermines your original idea and goal of going into business in the first place, thus, success and maximizing shareholders profit.

Expects in the Risk management industry has strongly echoed the notion that inadequate and poor risk mitigation plans or even no plans are not only reckless on the part of a business owner, but also a quest to throwing away your dreams of running a successful business for the long run because every business be it small or large, regardless of industry are prone to unexpected events that could dramatically raise your cost of operations if not shorten the life of your organization, and in this competitive business environment, Can you afford to take such risk and be less competitive than your direct competitor? Competition is a good; having a business plan is great, but maintaining a carefully crafted risk mitigation plan when your business finds its self in a crisis mode is crucial and it is what will define the faith of your business and whether or not the business can still remain competitive after all the chaos.

Internal and external risks such as accidents in the workplace or fires, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, not forgetting complex  legal risks  such as fraud, theft, and sexual harassment lawsuits, business practices,  market uncertainties, failures in projects, credit risks, or the security and storage of data and records. Do you still think your policy alone without a comprehensive mitigating plan serves you better?

The above stated risks are not only associated to local and national businesses within the continental US market. In today’s global business environment, never has it become more important to consider such risk elements when venturing into international markets. These risks become more eminent once a business makes a decision to go global. Depending on the nature of the business, there are external risk elements like political climate, cultural sensitivity of your niche market, infrastructure compatibility to your business needs— internet and cyber security, industry legal frame-work, Etc. All these factors could have certain imbedded risks that can hinder the growth and success of your business in a particular market.

The awareness of having a strategic risk mitigating plan does not sometimes translate into a proactive action by decision makers in an organization. Among the many reasons why businesses choose not to actively strategize in anticipation of such risks is that, they either fall for the perceived notion that having an insurance policy alone takes care of the problem, and may also feel that it is unlikely that prior events will happen again, or that the effects if they were to occur would not be overly severe or destructive. In conclusion, the primary purpose of this article is to remind organizational decision makers about the fact that poor risk mitigation. Ignorance or mismanagement of risk always does result in loss of assets, shareholders’ investment and one important element— which is loss of reputation or goodwill built over the years. Why come up with a great business ideas, implement it, and set the ball rolling without a strategic risk management plan? Or not thinking you need such plan? Rethink again.

Winning in Africa: From Trading Posts to Ecosystems

JANUARY 09, 2014by Patrick DupouxTenbite ErmiasStéphane HeuzéStefano Niavas, and Mia von Koschitzky Kimani

Article image

Africa is growing larger on the corporate map. Mostly ignored by multinationals since the 1980s, the continent is now receiving their attention and investment, and for good reason. Growth rates are rising, and many long-running wars and conflicts are giving way to democracy and bureaucratic competence. Infrastructure and connectivity are improving.

As competition for growth in Southeast Asia and Latin America gets fiercer, companies are seeking the next frontier market. They have understandably trained their sights on Africa, whose growth trajectory has been the steepest in the world over the past decade and is likely to remain so into the future, with forecasts projecting 6 percent annual increases over the next decade. Emblems of optimism, progress, and consumerism abound in the form of smartphones, paved roads, bank accounts, and peaceful transitions of power. Over the past two years, dozens of media and analyst reports have increased awareness of Africa’s rise and the opportunity for private investors and multinationals.

Awareness of the Africa opportunity is one thing. Winning in Africa is another. The continent remains a dizzying collection of emerging markets, each with its own unique business environment, risk profile, and potential. Success in places like China or India will not necessarily translate into success in Africa. Many companies have been operating in Africa for decades and have learned the hard lessons that await newcomers. Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nokia, and a few others generate up to 10 percent of their sales in Africa. But companies just starting their Africa journey in earnest do not necessarily know how much to expect, where to start, and how to win.

In 2000, The Economist declared Africa “hopeless”—the conventional view at the time. In 2011, the magazine revised that assessment to “rising” and in March 2013 to “aspiring.” In fact, the seeds of Africa’s resurgence were already planted in 2000 but had not yet borne fruit. Today the fruit is ripening.

 

Managing Diversified Groups In A Global Economy. by: Fkmensah

Management theories and the concept of business management mutate in accordance with changes in the global market. Managers and entrepreneurs together agree on that fact that business practices change almost every decade. Business culture in the US in the 60s through the period of the Vietnam War changed drastically after the Cold War. The 80s through the 90s presented different business environment and organizational climate, and consequently, the millennium and the emergence of globalization presented a new culture and business practices, i.e., Diversification—this may be explained in other words as the act of introducing different varieties of workers based on gender, race, culture and color into a working environment to accomplish a common goal. Diversification is a simple process, however, its implementation is anything but simple. Managers in corporations in recent years have had problems managing a diversified group of workers. This may not necessarily mean managers are not capable of managing their diverse groups of workers; it may mean managers need a carefully crafted approach to their managing style when it comes to overseeing a well-diversified work group. Globalization and the turn of the millennium have had a cross-cultural influence on most management and leadership styles in domestic and international corporations around the world. This is more eminent in the western countries where immigration has given way to a diverse cultural groups working together to promote the business goal. In today’s economic environment, more businesses are seeking other opportunities across their shores and at the same time these corporations are also attracting foreign talents to contribute to their corporate ventures. Globalization has created a global demand for talented and well educated individual from all parts of the world to share and contribute their knowledge and ideals to transform local and national companies into global companies with culturally diverse work groups. Diversification does transform a work place by way of creating a thriving workforce with different ideas and perspectives on issues that pertain to the growth of the company as a whole. A well-diversified company benefit in many ways, such as workers being able to tolerate different background of workers based on a mutual respect and the attainment of company goals and values. On the contrary, there may be some down sides to this perspective. Such transformations sometimes do create an environment whereby lower and upper management personnel strive to find ways by which they can manage these individual workers of different cultural and management backgrounds effectively and efficiently. This however, does not mean that diversifying the work place is a bad thing. According to the Wharton Article, “the goal is to understand the meaning of diversity in the work place and learn from the most effective diversity programs—even as it is clear that what makes a company truly diverse has become increasingly complicated over the years. Most agree that an effective diversity program is one designed to reduce racial and gender inequalities in the American economy…” (p1) . Over the past decade, most local companies in developed economies have experienced a cultural change with respect to management styles. Before this massive impact of globalization and migration, companies in their local markets were accustomed to a definitive style of management which conforms to the cultural patterns of their local market. In today’s economy, global social change and multi-cultural influences are impacting the fundamental change in organizational values and a sense of diversity within a local or multinational company. Irrespective of the kind of company or organization whether local or global, there is always the need for an organization to adopt and grow with currents trends not only with its current or potential customers but also with its employees through cultural and ethnic diversity─ the fact is that, the working environment is constantly changing; which makes it more eminent for corporation to adopt and restructure their management policies to accommodate these swift changes in their internal or external environment. images (1) Wharton, “Diversity in Corporate America: Still a work in Progress” Upenn.edu

Why Choose Emerging Markets?. by: Fkmensah

Emerging markets(developing economies) mostly third world countries, are little known in this global economy because of their moderate economic scale and their negligible impact on the world economy in this new age of globalization. Even though emerging markets are known to be developing economies mostly located in third world regions and states, these markets have been the ideal destinations for investors who have now come to realize the importance of these markets to the global economy. Over the past decade, Brazil, India, Russia, and China (BRIC) has been the most noticed and talked about developing economies making tremendous impact in the global market, some of these countries in some cases have been perceived to be major players among the world’s largest economies.
images (3)When we consider an economy or market to be an Emerging market, there are several factors that constitute this status— currency value, population, GDP per Capita, socio-economic development level, Infrastructure and Inflation. Some of these factors could act as stimulants to the positive growth of a potential emerging market. Most developing country in Asia, Africa, South America and in some cases the middle east, does exhibit these traits but are most often neglected based on the idea that they are third world countries whose footprints on the world economy is minimal.
Globalization has made it possible for emerging markets in this global economy to gain unlimited potential of becoming part of engine of growth among the economic powerhouses around the world. Emerging markets are now becoming well known and recognized in some aspects as influential components in this global market whose contributions and commodity exchange create positive impact on other first world economies. Based on these advancements, foreign investors are moving away from their saturated home markets to seek other profitable ventures in regions like Africa, Asia, and South America. This is partly because business environment in these Emerging markets have become more business friendly by way of Tax benefits to investors, massive profit potential due to population and customer demand for products, economies of scale, managerial urge, technological and infrastructure advancements, and easy excess to foreign market opportunities.
When it comes to Tax incentives, some foreign governments in emerging markets make provisions for investors through tax benefits in order to create and retain job creation in their economy. Trade agreements among emerging markets and developed markets has contributed to the evidence that tax incentives are part of the mechanisms that attract many foreign investors to either establish subsidiaries or relocate to emerging markets. According to Morisset, “It is no coincidence that in 1985–94 foreign direct investment grew more than five-fold in tax havens in the Caribbean and South Pacific. And Ireland’s tax incentives have been recognized as key in attracting international investors over the past two decades. Moreover, in recent years there has been growing evidence that tax rates and incentives influence the location decisions of companies within regional economic groupings…”(2003). These tax incentives policies are being practices by some emerging markets that find the need to attract foreign inventors into their economy.

Tax incentives are not the only influential components of foreign investment in emerging markets. The economies of scale factor─ the benefits that a business or investor derives from expanding into other markets; also plays a major role in incentivizing investors to move from their saturated and competitive local markets into emerging markets that will create a demand for their products. Emerging markets sometimes provides investors and businesses with the option of expanding and becoming multinational companies by way of establishing subsidiaries or entirely relocation to a new market where there is the demand for their products. Expansion into other markets economies does provide an investor with the option to diversify its resources to other markets where the potential of increasing their market share are high and limited the risk of a potential lose of resources in a single market.

Emerging markets in most cases does create an environment where investors and business can set a profit and growth goals due to the large and diversified customer base mostly present in emerging markets. The goal of every foreign investor is to generate profit and growth, this goal is most often realized in some potential emerging markets whose business climate promotes such growth and profitability. Emerging markets are also known to be a destination for young labor forces. Labor and other overhead cost are comparatively cheaper in emerging markets and this sometimes adds to the profitability and potential growth a new business in emerging markets. Many companies like Nestlé, Phillips, and Vodafone all saw their profits rise in due to their expansion into emerging markets. “Led by the rapidly expanding economies of Brazil, China and India, as well as countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and even Africa, investor appetite for higher return investments has led to a newfound interest in emerging markets. The continuing policy of lowering taxes, privatizing government-run companies, and giving incentives to entrepreneurs has been instrumental in the rapid economic growth in these regions”(Katsman 2011).

Technology is a major driving force in this new age of globalization. Much of the global economies are now within easier reach more than before. Emerging markets are now catching up with the technological advancements that use to be limited to developed economies for the past decade. Based on this positive shift, governments in emerging markets are creating and developing ways to tap into the technological advancement of the first world economies by way of investing in technological institutions within their economies. This adds to the reasons why merging markets are becoming potential emerging of growth within the technological realm of the global economy. According Segran, “Until recently, growth in emerging markets was predominantly driven by execution capabilities. Today, this is undergoing a paradigm shift, says a top executive with a leading Indian IT company: this growth engine is increasingly being driven by innovation…Emerging markets today, says Shibulal, provide three key opportunities: new growth markets, talent hubs, and innovation hubs. These are not the threats to developed countries as they are commonly perceived to be – but opportunities that need to be leveraged…” (2011).
Emerging markets does provide business with another option of having to sell their products all year round. The life cycle of a product is prolonged when a business establishes foreign subsidiaries in emerging markets whereby products that are out of season in one market could be sold in another market where the product might still be in demand. This is a strategic move been adopted by business and investors who wish to extend the life of their products. Emerging markets are normally a great source for such business ideas to be executed swiftly because these markets most often have different seasons than that of the investor’s home market and therefore creating another market to products which may have completed its life cycle in an investor’s home market.

Aaron Katsman, http://seekingalpha.com/article/266312-emerging-markets-profit-from-outside-the-u-s

Jacques Morisset. http://rru.worldbank.org/documents/publicpolicyjournal/253Moris-020603.pdf

Grace Segran, http://knowledge.insead.edu/innovation-emerging-markets-110112.cfm?vid=515

Simplification Of Document Shearing.

Google Docs in one way or the other an alternative to using Microsoft’s office. It has the basic Word, Spreadsheet, andPowerPoint applications as Microsoft Office; better yet its free to use! many people use Google on a daily basis, yet they may not have realize the other benefits Google has to offer through the use of their Google Docs Application to simplify their daily computer tasks like document shearing –an act of sending , reviewing, editing the same document with as many people as possible. This application in my opinion does simplify document shearing.Even though the normal everyday use of emails to send and receive document is still popular, many people are yet to know about this feature Google offers besides free emails.

Document shearing , in recent years have become a common trend among computer and internet users around the world. The simple act of showing or sending someone a document in some sense is no longer a tedious task;instead,Google Docs has made it simple by creating a “cloud computing”—a process where on can shear or send document to many people at the click of a mouse on a computer, tablet or mobile phones, by allowing these individuals to review and edit the same document as originally sent to them. The simplification of document shearing through Google Docs, Dropbox, Apple’s Cloud, MSN’s Skydrive, etc. is still not known by many people, majority of internet users still send and receive document through emails which is not a complicated task but only becomes hectic if you are someone who receives tons of emails a day, try going back to look for an email attachment sent to you 48hours ago!
Some have argued that Google’s technological inventions, i.e., Google Docs application is a major add on to fulfilling the computers’ main object—to minimize or even eliminate the use of paper which sometimes take up too much space on our desks at home or at work. Some google Docs enthusiast even argue that using cloud computing goes a long way to help achieve sustainable initiatives(Going Green); may be true, but whether the use of cloud computing will one day dominate the traditional way of shearing documents, i.e., faxes, emails, mail etc, it is yet to be known.

The Ignored Economies

 

Economic ideas can matter in various ways to transform or bring down a country’s economy; these ideas often shape reality; but in my opinion, ideas are like seeds of crops that must fall on fertile ground to grow—paying attention to the “political economy” of policy reform can boost and help unveil the fertile ground. In the event that a development economists be it political, social or pure economics are to exercise more influence, there will be no doubt that they will have to achieve greater and coherent understanding of pressing problems that are not easy to fix in comparison to the technical analysis they so proudly perform– more politicized, involve issues of constitutive rationality, and require institutional change. They will then better understand the causes of differences in development performance and how to institute policy reform towards other economies that are so functionally different from what they are used to. Under developed economies in recent years, has been either disregarded or thought of as insignificant contributors to the global economy. These developing economies that is widely known in the business world as emerging markets are gaining traction, third world economies that make up these emerging markets are mostly Africa, Some Asian, and Latin American countries, yet it’s only the (BRIC) economies are mostly viewed as “ideal” business environments for the western world.
Let me refer you to the neoclassical Hecksher-Ohlin-Samuelson (HOS) model, which argues that firms are supposed to compete based on static comparative advantages, and free trade maximizes both national and international welfare. So if many economist embrace this idea, I guess my question will be , isn’t global economies supposed to compete based on comparative and competitive advantages? If that’s the case do these other ignored or left behind economies not have either of these advantages to compete in the global economy? Or do they not understand these concepts well enough to apply it? Or is it the simple fact that, regardless of what natural resources they may have in abundance still does not make those economies suitable enough to investors and countries to enter into trade agreements to foster growth in the so called third world economies?. What do you say?