Millward Brown recently released its annual Brand Z study of the most valuable global brands. And, for the third year in a row, Apple has yet again taken the top spot as this year’s World’s Most Valuable Brand.
In Millward Brown’s 2013 Brand Z report, Apple took the top spot with a 1% increase in brand value. However, this is pale in comparison to last year’s 19% increase. Google, on the other hand, was able to jump back into the second spot with a 5% increase in brand value. In 2012, Google dropped one spot, settling for 3rd as IBM took the 2nd spot after incurring a 15%increase.
Other top brands for 2013 are IBM, McDonalds and Coca-Cola. IBM currently holds 3rdplace, dropping one spot as compared to last year’s Brand Z report. Their current value is now at $112 million. McDonalds is 4th despite a 5% decrease in value. And, Coca-Cola was able to enter this year’s Top 5 spot with a 6% increase in brand value.
Some other notable brands in the technology sector are Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo. Facebook decreased by a whopping 36% percent, settling at a value of $21 million. Microsoft decreased by 9% and sits at $69.8 million. Yahoo, which hasn’t been part of the Top 100 Brands for quite some time now, was able to re-enter the Top 100 World’s Most Valued Brands at the 92nd spot.
According to Millward Brown, after 5 years of unstoppable growth, brands in the technology sector have slowly started to decline.
Brand surveys differ significantly from one another, given that they each have different methodologies of analyzing data. Still, they are useful tools to use when studying global branding and marketing trends.
To check out the World’s Most Valuable Brands, visit Millward Brown’s 2013 Brand Z report.
The cloud isn’t going anywhere, and I’m of the firm belief that every single business right now is either stuck on the ground, toying with the idea of cloud or have already well an truly taken off into it.
For some, there are valid reasons for not going cloud just yet, but there are also lots of excuses, many of which only serve to keep your business in the dark.
It’s time for a rethink, so here are 6 signs that you and your company are ready for Cloud:
1. Your company is growing more mobile
The number of smartphones just topped 1 billion globally, and the number of tablets is expected to exceed 600 million by 2016, this is in addition to [...]
I responded that I felt this was incorrect and that in fact I Know IT Online, our own Cloud offering would never take ownership of a clients data. The tweeter responded stating that then “security is a problem for Cloud users and should be avoided” which is something I also have an opinion on…
Of course, these conversations can be difficult to have in the short 140 character tweets we are limited to, so I’m blogging today not just to respond to this one follower, but because I think if 1 person on Twitter holds these beliefs about Cloud then undoubtedly many others might be fearing the worst and not embracing the benefits of this technology because of fear or misconceptions.
Before we go any further, I’m of course referring to commercial Cloud offerings not a 99c app you bought on iTunes that keeps track of your friends birthdays and your last 5KM run. [...]
We’ve solved 100,000 problems.
For those of you familiar with the I Know IT method for tracking and keeping you informed of the progress of your requests, we just clocked 100,000 ‘tickets’ in our internal system! Our friends and long term clients at Western’s were the lucky 100,000th ticket so not only did Paul get his lost folder restored, but Western’s also won themselves an iTunes gift card. Congrats guys!
Speaking of IT problems – Mobility is freedom for you to work from anywhere, but lately we’ve noticed a rise in issues relating to attempting to connect to a work VPN or Citrix connection via the hotel Internet service. When you’re travelling with a laptop or tablet, you may be inclined to use the hotel Internet, but remember that each hotel is different and have different network policies. When things don’t work, Clients may be inclined to think that their own IT systems aren’t working correctly but there’s a very high probability that the hotel itself is either preventing you from accessing your own internal IT systems or there is a problem that can only be resolved by the hotels IT department – every hotel is different so here are some quick tips for travelling.
1. If travelling in Australia, take a 3G or 4G dongle from any service provider ie Telstra, Optus or Vodafone. So long as these devices have coverage, we’ve never seen a problem connecting to work over a VPN or Citrix. If the hotel wifi doesn’t do it for you, go for the backup plan..
2. If travelling abroad, try the hotel wifi but if you’re having problems, go to an Internet cafe, Starbucks or any other venue that provides wifi.
3. If you have no option but to use hotel wifi, ask the reception to provide some assistance. Most hotels have thousands of business travellers each year and they usually have support on hand or at least some guidance.
Failing all of this, log a ticket (you might be our 100,100th if you’re quick!) and we have ways to diagnose these faults remotely.
BYOD seems to be a hot topic… Or is it? In a recent article I question whether clients are considering BYOD or if there is a better way to approach the trend toward tablet computing, generational gaps in IT knowledge and an alternative acronym to consider…
Lastly if you’d like to get future editions of Last Known Issue direct to your inbox you can sign up right here http://jamesvickery.com.au/newsletter/ or feel free to send the link to someone you know might enjoy reading it.
If you have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of fibre to your home via the NBN then you probably know that it’s still a long way off, however most people are completely in the dark as to when NBN is even likely to be in their area let alone connected to the home.
Look no further.. NBNs own website has a simple look up tool and roll out map you can use to.. well.. tell you that your home is not connected and in some cases when it might be. While I got a disappointing “NBN is not available in your area yet” i’m sure many areas have at least a bit more of an indication of when they’ll get a piece of the multi-billion dollar network.
Visit http://www.nbnco.com.au/when-do-i-get-it/rollout-map.html and punch your address in.
And tell me.. is your home or business NBN enabled yet? Where are you based in Australia and what will you do with all your extra bandwidth?
I’m not seeing it, certainly not at the same scale that the hardware and software vendors would have you believe. But then, that’s pretty typical of any buzz acronym in the IT industry – in this instance “BYOD”.
Sure, employees may bring their own phone to work or the occasional tablet PC because the boss didn’t provide them with one, but by and large we still see organisations issuing their employees with a company phone, notebook and/or iPad.
In fact, BYOD (bring your own device) is seldom mentioned by our clients.
But the question is, like many trends, is BYOD going to become the norm or will it not gather the same momentum as say the surge in iPad use.
First, I think it’s important to explore why BYOD hasn’t yet taken off in most company’s. Here it is: employees don’t want to buy enterprise grade technology. That’s right – employees have better things to spend their money on than a piece of equipment that will make them more productive at work. Funny that. Instead, they’re more likely to spend it on their holidays, their cars, their home renovations and their hobbies. Sure, employees have smartphones and notebooks, there’s a high probability that someone in their home has a tablet, but there’s an equally high probability that they aren’t yearning to convert it to a business tool. Likewise, they’re far less likely to have purchased top of the line, business grade IT just to satisfy your commercial standards – not when the alternative from Harvey Norman or JB Hi Fi is far more affordable and probably a lot more fun than your boring old company issued workhorse.
There is certainly a business case for providing your employees with the flexibility to work from anywhere and most organisation’s we work with are experiencing that through our Hybrid Cloud and Citrix based solutions, but I think BYOD is a small percentage of that right now.
What we really ought to be talking about is CYOD – yep, another acronym. This time, Choose Your Own Device. I, like many, have seen such a dramatic change in technology these past few years that it would be sheer ignorance to ignore the fact that computing is not limited to a small number of vendors that offer a “business” solution. It’s a pleasure to be writing this article on my iPad, and when I’m done I’ll be hopping on to my system at work through a laptop that albeit is bought by the business, is not the same as other “standard” laptops we use in our company. instead, this one that suits my own personality and work style. And if I can enjoy that luxury, then so should those around me.
As computing is simplified, so should our choices be relaxed. I can’t see company’s eliminating the purchase of IT in it’s entirety for all of their staff. There are numerous benefits for both the employer and employee to continue to do so – packaging a phone and a tablet for a new starter is a great incentive, likewise, employees who don’t want to bring their personal devices to work should have the option to not do so.. Instead, I think what we’ll see is the employer providing more choice.
What if someone in marketing prefers a ChromeBook tablet? Perhaps members of your sales team are of a.. Ahem.. vintage that prefers to do as little computing as possible but when they do, it’s Microsoft all the way.
Savvy company’s will need to adapt to a generation of users who might know a little bit more about IT than they do whilst not overcomplicating for those that don’t. This will mean the company needs to provide some recommendations, offer a couple of standards and gives the employee the choice to bring their own device if they so choose.
Whether its BYOD, CYOD or plain old buy and supply, you can have your cake and eat it too, but underpinning all of this is ensuring the right foundation is in place to support an onslaught of new technology and a new breed of worker hitting our businesses every day. Planning for this is essential before employees start moving on to more flexible workplaces or worse yet, staying loyal to you whilst staying unproductive on unsuitable technology.
“In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook”
That’s the opening of a story written by Wired journalist Matt Honan. Like many people, Matt uses the same password across most of his online subscriptions and hackers refer to this as ‘daisy chaining’. Once your profile is compromised, it’s not much of a stretch for the hacker to gain access to your entire life online.
When clients ask about protecting passwords, it’s usually in the context of protecting their Windows account or internet banking, and we’ve always advised clients to use strong passwords with characters like @$&78 and combining UPpER and l0w3r case characters with num3ra1s – but these same rules are just the beginning when it comes to cloud based services like Amazon, iTunes and the many, many news services and “free” applications we subscribe to.
The fact that Matt was daisy- chaining (using the same password everywhere) is only part of the issue. In recent times there have been numerous high profile hackings including Sony’s Playstation service releasing thousands of personal records, and around the same time, McKinsey, a global resource of articles, case studies and statistical data for company’s also had its database compromised.
When we enter our personal information online we’re assuming that these service providers have an uncompromisable standard of security and the fact is, they simply do not. Convenience of use always wins out over security.
As consumers of these services we must take further safe guards to protect our privacy. This is especially important in our businesses.
I’d like to tell you that there is a magic bullet – for example many of us have fingerprint scanners on our notebooks – why can’t we use our fingerprint instead of a password? Or we often hear about biotechnology or chips that plug into our computers that identify and authenticate us, but in reality not all online services (especially that exciting new “free” or unbelievably cheap one) offer this level of protection. I’ve no doubt it’s right around the corner but the industry simply hasn’t yet matured.
Instead, we need to remain diligent. Use intelligent passwords, never use your kids names, your date of birth, the name of your company (we see this almost every day by the way!) or your surname. Instead, use variants with strong characters that are hard to crack, and vary this from site to site so you aren’t making life too easy for hackers.
Example 8$7Orange for one site and Apple8$7 is enough of a point of difference to prevent someone automatically hacking all of your accounts and has a close enough association that your brain should be able to remember it or you ought to be able to keep a list of clues written somewhere to remind you on those hazy Monday mornings…
Lastly, if security is of the utmost importance to you then by all means look at tightened measures such as secure hardware based tokens for your Internet banking which most banks offer today.
One last thing, if remembering passwords is a real headache for you – you might be tempted to use one of many free apps today for your smartphone that entice you to store all your passwords in the one place and they’ll encrypt that information on your device and out of harms way. Call me skeptical but I’d be avoiding these services – for one thing, who created the app? Where does your information actually go? And what assurances do they provide you for a “free” service that they offer?
Good practice starts at home. Look at how your company stores and secures information. Consider stronger password policies and communicate stories such as Matt’s with your people, friends and colleagues so that they can reassess their habits as well.
Lastly we regularly send out a special edition of Last Known Issue to our clients, friends and colleagues – if you’d like to be included on the list you can sign up right here http://jamesvickery.com.au/newsletter/ or feel free to send the link to someone you know might enjoy reading it.
One of the things I find a bit unusual about LinkedIn and other social media is that many of us go to great lengths to update our profiles and “connect” with one another, but I don’t often get to engage with many of those connections at all. For a social tool, it can seem a bit antisocial at times.
So, I decided to make a profile video to introduce myself instead and put a face to the name. Recently LinkedIn has added video capability to the Profile Page which I think is a cool feature.
If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn I always welcome the opportunity to do so, I can be found on LinkedIn right here
If you just want to watch the video.. then you can also watch it here!
What do you think, would you use LinkedIn’s video profile feature?
With so many innovations occurring minute by minute on the internet, organisations will need to keep track and be prepared to make use of change. Sure, we’ll still need to stick to the basics whether it be hosting a website, having our documents stored on a server or using a widely accepted accounting platform such as MYOB or Xero, but with so many cool applications out there, businesses who want to innovate and stand out from the crowd must keep a close eye on new technology outside the traditional format and find better use of time for employees.
Take for example ‘Shoeboxed‘
This application allows you to snap a photo from your phone of any receipt/invoice you come across in your daily work ie Fuel, coffee, lunch with a client and upload the receipt instantly to the ShoeBoxed service.
The ShoeBoxed team categorises the receipt for you, and provides you with a file that you or your book keeper can upload into your accounting application, usually within 24 hours.
You can provide the ShoeBoxed app to your team as well saving them the hassle of handing in receipts and expense reports. Very cool…
Or if you’re constantly picking up new business cards in your day to day travels you’ve probably ended up with a stack of them that you haven’t had time to enter in to Outlook or your CRM, or someone in your company is entering them manually or scanning them each week.
Cardmunch, like ShoeBoxed, allows you to take a quick photo of the card, upload it to the CardMunch service and their team transcribes it into an Outlook contact card, and because Cardmunch is also owned by LinkedIn the contact is also (optionally) added to your LinkedIn connections so you can continue the conversation with them there.
Just a note of experience, I’ve found both of these apps very useful and innovative but it’s early days. At times the CardMunch app has taken a long time to get my cards back to me in a reasonable time (ie a couple have taken over a week!) but with so much competition in this space these services are bound to improve and it’s worth taking advantage of these free or relatively low cost services.
Do you have any apps to recommend that are saving you time and helping you re-think the way your organisation works? Let us know!
Have you upgraded yet?
Back to traditional, yet necessary IT and just a reminder that Microsoft and many software vendors are no longer supporting the Windows XP platform (now over 10 years old). Many clients have made the switch to Windows 7 or the new Windows 8 with positive results. If you have any questions or you’re not sure what the next step is please drop me a line.