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BlockChain Technology

The Next Generation Blockchain Platform ‘Locus Chain’

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A Discussion on the Future of Cryptocurrency

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BlockChain Technology Myths

Blockchain Technology and Entrepreneurship: The Evolving Equation

CONTENTS

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The UAE's AI Opportunity

Beyond Productivity: The Human Side of the Digital Workplace Quantified

5 Steps on the Journey to GDPR Compliance

Artificial Intelligence

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Smart City

Intuitive Networks and Smart City Transformations

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Blockchain for Business

Transformational Blockbuster for UAE Businesses or ‘Slow Burn’? 2

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Digital Workplace

Data Security

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Service Providers

Service Providers in the Middle East can Win by Deploying Technology on Their Own Terms


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Converged Structures

Putting Hyper-Availability at the Heart of Converged Infrastructures

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Cyber Security

There is No Silver Bullet for Cyber Security but Unified Defense is Best Approach

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Publisher & CEO:

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Shantanu A.P.

Make Data the Center of Your IT Infrastructure Strategy

Ramakrishnan Jayaraman

Big data

Consulting Editor: Content Manager:

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Data Security

Cambridge Analytica Scam Urges Sophistication of Security

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Technology Addiction

Priyanka Kotoky

Expert Contributors: Harish Krishnamoorthi Radhika Iyer Diksha Vohra Mohamed Khan Rohan Nathan Sirish Kumar

Technology Giants Address the Technology Addiction Issue

Designer :

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Distribution Department

Innovation

Thinking Innovation in Business: Every Entrepreneur’s Responsibility

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Enterprise

Common Mistakes Tech Start-up Companies Make

Rahul A. Chauhan

Jerry P. Sam

Disclaimer SPI Publishing has endeavoured to bring out a publication that is reliable and informative. This is true to the best of our knowledge. The opinions presented are those of individual writers and not necessarily endorsed by SPI Publishing. The content in this magazine is protected by copyright law and is copyright to SPI Publishing unless credited otherwise, and may not be copied, reproduced or republished for any commercial purpose or financial gain.

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EDITOR'S NOTE

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Dear Readers, Innovation leading to digital transformation is reshaping almost every aspect of corporate business. As technologies advance, becoming more intelligent and self-taught, the opportunity to create more streamlined enterprises increase rapidly. Keeping in mind this culture we are extremely delighted to announce the region’s Biggest Innovation Conference, The Global Innovation Summit in September 2018. What’s in it for you from a Business Perspective? Well Everything! Through inspiring keynotes, panel discussions, workshops & educational breakouts, you will learn to be even more audacious and bold than you are now. Come join us and feel free to grow your mind, grow your business, and grow your bottom-line. The Global Innovation Summit provides a platform where innovators will experience everything they need to find success – the ideas, the connections and the practical skills. Global Innovation summit is creative, strategic and tactical in spirit. Our warmest welcome to all of you to attend this summit and gain new and improved insights on growing as an Innovator. For more information, please visit: innovationsummit.ae Happy Reading!!

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CONTENTS

Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The UAE’s AI Opportunity

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

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rtificial Intelligence, otherwise referred to as just A.I., has quickly evolved to become the most important technological development of this century. Andrew Ng, one of the most influential minds in A.I., has stated that “A.I. is the new electricity� due to the unprecedented potential that it has to dramatically change the way in which people live and work. Fundamentally, A.I. is the provision of computer-based systems with human-like ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. Practically speaking, A.I. is often associated today with deep learning, which is a class of machine learning techniques that utilize huge amounts of data to train multi-layered neural networks to do things like identify faces and recognize spoken words. Although a number of experts argue that deep learning and other state-of-theart analytical techniques may themselves never produce truly human-like cognitive abilities, such methods have nonetheless already begun to demonstrate the incredible potential for A.I. to provide economic value in the public and the private sectors. In

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE the race to capitalize on this potential, multiple countries have already published A.I. strategies and more than USD 15.2 billion was invested in AI startups globally in 2017. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country that has committed to capitalizing on the economic potential of A.I. Not only has the UAE developed an A.I. strategy, it is the first country globally to establish a Ministry focused exclusively on A.I. According to Accenture, A.I. could contribute as much as USD 182 billion to the UAE’s Gross Value Add (GVA) by 2035 through a combination of automation, augmentation of human capabilities and stimulation of the country’s fundamental innovation potential. Likewise, PwC has stated that A.I. could add as much as USD 96 billion to the UAE’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030, which would be equivalent to about 14% of the country’s GDP in the same year. In support of such projections, 50% of the UAE-based companies surveyed by Accenture have indicated that they plan to invest in A.I. during 2018. These investments are stimulated by the UAE government’s multi-faceted A.I. strategy, which aims to attract and train A.I. talent, support an environment of data access and sharing and provide governance and regulation for the safe and ethical use of A.I. Stakeholders across the UAE’s innovation spectrum are critical to the implementation of the country’s A.I. strategy. At the Khalifa University of Science and Technology (KU), our research and development strategy is highly aligned with the UAE’s A.I. efforts. In early 2018, we launched two flagship research centers that will lead our growing set of A.I. capabilities. The KU Center for Autonomous

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Robotic Systems (KUCARS) addresses some of the key technology challenges in the application of A.I. for robotics, including robust autonomy in dynamic and unstructured environments, sensing and artificial perception, sense and avoid capability, GPS denied navigation, vision based control and 3D tracking, and human-robot interactions. The center’s specific focuses areas are robotics for extreme environments, robotics for industrial applications and robotics for infrastructure surveillance and inspection. These focus areas collectively support a number of UAE strategies that are underpinned by A.I., including -The UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which explicitly refers to ‘’developing national industries in the field of robotics and autonomous vehicle technologies’’, -The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, which aims to transform 25% of the total transportation in Dubai to autonomous mode by 2030 and -The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, which includes a target of having 25% of Dubai’s buildings constructed via 3D printing technology by 2030. Complementing KUCARS, the KU Center for CyberPhysical Systems (C2PS) plays a key role in the utilization of A.I. to gain insights from the massive amounts of information being generated by internet-connected devices. According to IBM, more than 90% of the world’s data has been created since 2015 and the world’s internet traffic has already surpassed 1 zettabyte annually, which is equivalent in size to about 250 billion high-definition movies. The technological backbone for such massive and increasing

data flows is a high-bandwidth global information network that provides connectivity for billions of devices. Given this context, C2PS has significant research efforts underway on next-generation networks as well as the cybersecurity methodologies necessary to establish trust between network-connected devices, users and applications. The A.I. research conducted by C2PS advances the state-ofthe-art in machine learning to gain business-relevant insights from the data generated by connected devices. Consistent with emerging trends in A.I. research, the center is investigating A.I. analytics performed on server-based hardware and software as well as hardware and software explicitly optimized for A.I. at or near the point of data collection. The A.I. research, development and innovation that we are undertaking at KU aims to have a significant impact on the UAE’s ambitious A.I. agenda. We therefore are not only developing A.I. knowledge and technologies, but also developing a workforce trained in the use of essential A.I. tools and techniques. Moving forward, we will focus on translating these academic and research outputs to the UAE’s public and private sectors to support the country in realizing its A.I. potential.

Dr. Steven Griffiths

Khalifa University of Science & Technology


SMART CITY

Intuitive Networks and Smart City Transformations Built for digital business and Internet of Things, intuitive networks promise to transform public sector organizations struggling with legacy networks and looking for a stepping stone towards a much bigger picture.

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y 2030 the number of connected devices and objects will reach an estimated 500 billion. This rapid growth in networks and devices has meant that the connected world is now too big and too complex for humans to administer effectively. Networks of tomorrow will therefore not be manually administered. They will be too complex, too cumbersome, and too complicated, to effectively allow manual administration. Traditional networking models simply do not scale and perform to meet the expectations of this digital era. Businesses now need a new networking framework, that is simplified and more secure to use. IDC indicates that businesses that have invested in modern networks, have improved their rate of growth

in revenue, customer retention and profit, by a factor of two to three times. For digital organizations, the network is the foundation of their business and success. From the field of analytics, machine learning can be used to build complex models and algorithms within networks that are capable of generating forward looking trends. Analytical models inbuilt inside networks can produce reliable and repeatable decisions and can uncover hidden insights through learning from historical relationships embedded in data. Machine learning can give networks the ability to learn without being programmed. This approach has evolved from pattern recognition and learning theory in artificial intelligence. Networks with such inbuilt algorithms can learn and make predictions from data. With the help of these algorithms, networks can overcome the limitation of

static programming and can make data-driven predictions and decisions, through building a model from data inputs. In the past, data mining has been used to discover new trends in wide arrays of collected data. However, in the case of such intuitive networks built on machine learning, algorithms discover known trends that are prevalent in data as it is aggregated. Networks with in-built machine learning and complex algorithms can establish a pattern of baseline behavior and can successfully flag deviations without supervision. One of the immediate benefits is the ability to successfully build models of optimal network behavior and proactively react without intervention to anomalies and intrusions within. Intuitive networks shift from the traditional manual, time-intensive, static mode of operation, towards one that is capable of continuously learning from the data that it manages for an organization. The more volume of data it manages, the

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SMART CITY more it is capable of learning through analytics and adapting for automatic and efficient response. The intuitive network automates the edge of the network and embeds machine learning and analytics at a foundational level. Both of these characteristics make them well suited for Smart City use case applications. Dubai recently announced its entry into the adoption of latest digital technologies through its Smart Dubai vision. The vision encompasses advanced technologies like intuitive networks, machine learning, artificial intelligence,

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and analytics to solve real life chronic problems, achieving sustainable development, maintain economic competitiveness, as well as providing high levels of quality of life for its inhabitants. With Dubai’s citizens experiencing some of the highest technology adoption rates in the region, matching their expectations on living, personal development and their quality of life, requires the city to adopt the latest digital technologies as well. A key aspect of meeting these objectives is to have better digital integration

amongst significant citizen facing players inside the Emirate. The Smart Dubai initiative therefore looks at strategic partnerships between 11 government entities operating within Dubai and this includes the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Executive Council, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Smart Government, Department of Economic Development, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Dubai Design District.


SMART CITY These eleven strategic partners are expected to drive use case initiatives using a number of enabling digital transformation technologies. These include IoT sensory systems, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, drones, wearable devices, robotics, driverless vehicles, and virtual reality. Other initiatives that are making progress include Dubai's Open Data Law, Dubai's Happiness Meter, and PublicPrivate partnership. The objective of the Smart Dubai journey is to radically change how governance is

practiced, how business is done, and how society as a whole and people as individuals live in the city of the future. Highly intelligent digital and networking technologies are expected to play a key role in meeting these objectives. Where does all this lead? The first is, an intuitive network will gain the trust of public and private sector organizations wanting to select a platform to build their digital business models of tomorrow. This will be on the basis of its machine learning capabilities, that it is constantly learning and evolving to become highly

secure and provide insights. And the second is, the intuitive network is just the stepping stone to a much bigger vision of creating intuitive technology infrastructure. But for now, the network remains the accelerator and enabler towards this exciting end game.

Osama Al-Zoubi

Cisco Middle East & Africa

Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Blockchain for Business: Transformational Blockbuster for UAE Businesses or ‘Slow Burn’? M

ost people associate blockchain with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It is the technology that many are built on. However, blockchain is now being billed as a technology that will improve visibility, productivity and security for business. In fact, some have gone as far as to say that its system for record-keeping, transparency and verification could replace the role of trust in our society. So why is it important for businesses in the UAE? A global realisation has emerged that blockchains can bring new efficiencies to commerce and profoundly change how the world conducts business and interacts with Governments. In fact, the UAE is already ahead of the curve with the government’s April 2018 announcement of the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021. Major IT providers like IBM, Microsoft, and Infosys are collaborating with banks and other financial institutions in

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY a race to develop commercial blockchain platforms. The advent of blockchain is fueling a large number of startup companies focused on specific industries and consumer applications and Governments are considering how blockchain can make tax reporting easier while reducing fraud.

party to have their own writeable copy of the same historical record. An entry written to one replica will eventually arrive at the other replicas, which then have to collaborate and decide if the new entry is valid. This can be harder than it sounds to facilitate.

Is your business blockchain-ready?

Is blockchain secure enough?

Despite being in the news for several years as the technology driving Bitcoin, blockchain for commercial use is still very new. Much of the commercial uptake is still in the proof of concept (or startup) stage.

Whilst in general, blockchain is considered a step forward for securing transactions, like most things in computing, security is not inherent. Blockchain uses public key encryption, hashing, and digital signatures, and other mechanisms which are well known, but not always administered correctly. Missteps in securing a blockchain, or simple bugs in the platforms, can cause serious disruption. For example, on November 6th, 2017, $280M in assets were accidentally (and temporarily) frozen in a blockchain managed by Parity Technologies due to a bug in the underlying platform.

There are four key areas to consider when deciding if your business is ready for blockchain:

Are the standards good enough for your industry? Blockchain works as an application programming interface (API), which means standards need to be developed before there is widespread adoption. There are multiple groups working on standards, including Hyperledger and the Etherium Alliance Framework. However, Gartner expects the industry to stabilize in 2018 with 75 commercial blockchain platforms before consolidating to about five platforms in 2019 (source: “The Evolving Landscape of Blockchain Technology Platforms.”)

Is the technology robust enough yet? While blockchain is conceptually simple, the underlying technology encompasses some difficult technology challenges. This is especially true for the distributed capabilities of blockchain which allow each

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Will I be compliant? As is often the case for new technologies, there are policy issues to be worked out. For example, if a blockchain is immutable, how can the “right to be forgotten”, a mandatory requirement in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), be applied? There are also concerns that individuals making property transfers or declaring wills on a permissionless blockchain conflicts with how existing institutions manage public records. These anomalies still need to be ironed out. For many businesses in the UAE, the answer will be ‘not yet’. Ultimately, there is no doubt that blockchain is a disruptive technology which

has the potential to transform industries across the region. However, despite recent momentum, it is a technology that isn’t (yet) particularly easy to use for many businesses. The platforms are still maturing and, like many other software platforms, they are subject to bugs and operational errors. The potential risks of being a blockchain pioneer are higher than other technology adoption waves because blockchains typically apply to monetary transactions as well as transactions carrying fiduciary responsibilities. However, blockchain technology is likely to be intrinsically embedded within business processes in years to come. Those businesses that have technology with flexible deployment options, and those with modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in place, will be in a better position to take advantage of blockchain technology and adapt faster. So, is blockchain right for your business? Assuming you agree that it is a technology that can improve visibility, productivity and security for businesses, then maybe the answer is yes. Any technology that provides components needed to achieve business growth is worth paying attention to, in my view. Is it right for your business in 2018? I’d have to say that the chances are unlikely. So blockchain, in some form appears to be in everyone’s future, even if it’s not just yet.

Erik Johnsson Epicor Software


DIGITAL WORKPLACE

Beyond Productivity: The Human Side of the Digital Workplace Quantified Global study reveals benefits transcend productivity, but organizations must prepare for data security risks

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mployees who work in digital workplaces are not only more productive but also more motivated, have higher job satisfaction, and report an overall better sense of well-being, according to a new global study from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. The study, The Right Technologies Unlock the Potential of the Digital Workplace, reveals both the business and human benefits of more digitallydriven workplaces, and how companies that are less technologically advanced are at risk of falling behind the

competition and not attracting top talent. It also notes that companies must be vigilant as more digital-savvy employees are taking greater risks with data and information security.

Key Themes and Findings The study of 7,000 employees across 15 countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), revealed a clear chasm in employee performance and sentiment between more advanced digital workplaces and those that employ digital technology to a lesser degree. A number of key themes emerged: Beyond productivity, digital tools unlock human benefits: “Digital Revolutionaries” employees identified as those who work in fully-enabled

digital workplaces where new workplace technologies are in widespread use - were 51% more likely to have strong job satisfaction, and 43% more likely to be positive about their work-life balance than “Digital Laggards” - those who have less access to workplace technology. The Revolutionary employees were also 60% more likely to say they are motivated at work, and 91% more likely to praise their company’s vision. Digital working also supports professional development: 65% of Revolutionaries reported they had seen professional development and growth through the use of digital technology, compared to just 31% of Laggards. With a digital workplace, 72% of Revolutionaries reported a higher ability to adopt new work skills as compared to 58% of Laggards.

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DIGITAL WORKPLACE

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DIGITAL WORKPLACE Productivity gains from digital technology quantified: 73% of Digital Revolutionaries reported a positive impact to their productivity and 70% cited improved collaboration thanks to digital technologies, vs. 55% of laggards. Continued advancements in digital technology and automation pave the way for better workplace experiences: While automation can be perceived as a threat to job security, our research found that there was widespread enthusiasm for it. 71% of respondents said they would welcome a fully automated workplace in the future, allowing organizations to build smarter, more effective working environments.

Emerging risks The study also found that employees are enthusiastic about new technology and have a desire for their employers to provide more. Almost all respondents (93%) thought their workplace would be improved through greater use of technology, while 64% said their company will fall behind the competition if new technology isn’t implemented. The same portion (64%) believe the traditional office will become obsolete due to advances in technology. - Globally, 69% of respondents said their companies have invested in digital workplace tools in the past year, and interest is growing in a new generation of technologies including smart building tools that automate temperature controls and lighting (24%), voice-activated and wireless AV technology (23%), and custom corporate mobile apps (23%). - Most respondents thought digital technology would result in a more efficient (56%), more collaborative (52%) and more appealing (47%) work environment. While the benefits of digital workplaces are wideranging, the study also revealed that cybersecurity is a challenge for employers. - Although employees reported higher levels of cybersecurity awareness (52% think about security often or daily), they also admitted to taking more risks with company data and devices, with 70% admitting to risky behaviors such as sharing passwords and devices. - A quarter (25%) of employees have connected to potentially unsafe open Wi-Fi in the past twelve months, 20% said they use the same password across multiple applications and accounts, and 17% admitted to writing down passwords in order to remember them. Gamal Emara, Country Manager, UAE at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company says, “Our research shows that digital workplace trends in UAE

Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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DIGITAL WORKPLACE are in line with global trends. Organizations in the country and the larger Middle East region need to understand that more digitally-driven workplaces not only foster productivity, but employee wellbeing, motivation and job satisfaction. The organizations that capitalize on implementing a digitally-enabled workplace will gain a competitive edge, by helping employees fnish tasks quicker as well as making the process more collaborative and enjoyable.” “Simultaneously, companies need to be aware of the growing information security threats that are now a routine problem for increasingly connected organizations. Our fndings suggest that the problem is as much about human failures as it is digital workplace design.”

The Road Forward These findings indicate that companies must adapt to leverage the benefits of new digital workplace technology while simultaneously minimizing security risks. Aruba recommends that organizations take the following actions: Adopt a digital workplace strategy: IT departments need to work with business managers, end-users and other stakeholders to define a roadmap for their digital workplace evolution. This includes moving beyond established technologies to deploying new tools such as smart sensors and customized mobile apps that will create increasingly personalized workplace experiences. Build collaborative digital workspaces: Companies need to think about how the digital workplace extends beyond their head office to support remote workers, partners, and customers. IT leaders need

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to plan for, and invest in, a working environment without borders. Incorporate security from the ground up: Companies must architect the digital workplace with security as an integral part of the design, taking into account the role of human error as well as bad actors. To achieve optimum security that can adapt to change and unknowns, IT must look to emerging technologies in networking, cloud computing, AI and machine-learning. “The consumerization of the workplace is a very real movement. Employees are consumers and we bring consumer expectations with us to work,” said Janice Le, Chief Marketer for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. "The workplace is getting smarter and therefore, employees are working smarter.” A new paradigm has started to emerge where smart building technologies are intersecting with the digital workplace to form the Smart Digital Workplace. This is where human-centered design meets IoT and building automation. The Smart Digital Workplace can enable personalized experiences such as connected furniture and smart lighting that adapts to the user. Buildings can go greener by dynamically optimizing energy utilization based on employee patterns. These new use cases not only foster employee productivity but also improve efficiency while putting people at the center. Le concluded, “This global study indicates that choice, personalization, ease and automation are improving the top line and the bottom line for organizations who are defining the future of work. Our own place of work is a living lab for

the Smart Digital Workplace and we are seeing results such as faster hiring and higher offer acceptances. The benefits are tangible and go beyond productivity.” To Read the Full report, visit www.arubanetworks.com

Research methodology A total of 7,000 employees were interviewed in April and May 2018. The respondents were from organizations of all sizes, across both public and private sectors, with a focus on the industrial, government, retail, healthcare, education, finance, and IT/technology/ telecommunications sectors. Interviews were conducted both online and via telephone using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate. Respondents were interviewed in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates, the United States, Singapore, Japan, Australia, India, Brazil, Mexico, China and South Korea.

Gamal Emara Aruba


CONTENTS

verybody is talking about us

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DATA SECURITY

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And if the stipulations of the GDPR seem significant, it’s because they are. We’ve not had any updates to data protection laws since 1995 and things have changed a lot since then. The way businesses collected and stored personal data back then is no doubt very different to the way they do it in 2018.

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here are still a vast number of organizations that have not taken the necessary steps to ensure GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance? The problem surrounding GDPR compliance is that it’s thought of as being just an ‘IT issue’. Lots of businesses seem to either have an inflated sense of confidence around how they already handle data, or they’re shrugging it off as someone else’s problem – which is to miss the point entirely. Compliance with the GDPR, in terms of both preparation and maintenance, should be a company-wide effort. Not least because companies who are found to be non-compliant could face hefty fines that would affect everyone.

When you put it like that, the GDPR seems pretty overdue. Today’s organisations should be welcoming it as an opportunity to update their whole relationship with data protection and make it fit for the future. To implement a methodology that’s built into the fabric of the organisation – not an afterthought or just something for IT to deal with. The way we see it, there’s a very simple way to frame your approach to GDPR compliance. The five steps detailed below is the process we at Veeam went through to prepare. Now, we’re sharing it with you, in the hope that you’ll be able to complete your journey to compliance.

Knowing your data If you’re a business that has or holds data on EU citizens, formally known as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), then the GDPR applies to you. That means you’re liable to


DATA SECURITY penalty fines if you’re found to be non-compliant after the deadline of 25 May 2018 which has now passed. The best starting point, then, is simply knowing whether you hold this kind of data or not, and if you do, where it’s kept. Creating a visual map of all the data you hold will help you to build a comprehensive picture and get better oversight of this. A lack of knowledge around the kind of data they hold may be another reason why so many businesses don’t seem to be taking much notice of the GDPR – or just don’t think it applies to them. It could be that they don’t believe they hold any relevant data (hint: if you employ EU citizens, you do), or don’t realise the breadth and scope of the data they do hold (hint: personal data is more than just names and addresses). Which is precisely why just knowing your data is the first step on your journey to compliance.

Managing your data Once you’ve built up a picture of all the relevant data you collect and hold, it’s time to look at who has access to it and how it’s being used. Different teams and departments in your business will be accessing the same data in different ways and will be using it for varying purposes. Whether it’s a marketing team inputting data on prospective customers and sharing it with the sales team, or a HR team handling data on its own employees, it’s essential that you implement standardised procedures and workflows around the handling of personal data, and that employees only have access when it’s necessary to their business function. Managing your data is about having visibility of the way data lives and breathes

in your organisation – even if that’s not in-house. Your GDPR compliance also depends on the compliance of any third-party vendors or providers you work with, so the onus is on you to make sure they’re abiding by the rules. No turning a blind eye to data management once it’s out of your own business’ hands.

Protecting your data Having gained better oversight of your data and implemented standardised processes to manage it, it’s time to make sure the right security controls are in place to protect the data – but that doesn’t just mean encryption. To be compliant you can’t simply turn security ‘on’ and put your feet up; the GDPR requires constant monitoring and diligence, and also much quicker action in the event of a data breach. It’s true that technology will play an important part in that journey, but technology alone will not bring about compliance. Rolling out a new company-wide approach to data protection requires a combination of security techniques, standardised workflows, internal education, access control, backup solutions, and much more besides. Keeping on top of who has access, where and when, with constant auditing and monitoring will enable much swifter responses to the data breaches that, despite everyone’s best efforts, are probably still inevitable.

Documenting and complying One of the GDPR’s hottest topics is the introduction of data requests, which means an individual will have the right to request the correction or deletion of the data held about them. Businesses will be

expected to comply with these requests and show that they’ve done so, which is why visibility over what data you hold – and where – is so crucial. Ongoing compliance with the GDPR also requires the documenting and auditing of what data you’re collecting, what it’s being used for and how long you’ll be storing it for. When we went through this step, we asked ourselves questions like: Is the data we collected months ago still relevant today? Do we still have visibility of data when it’s moved from one place to another? Are our third-party providers still compliant?

Continually improving One of the benefits of constantly monitoring and auditing your data protection processes is the opportunity to constantly review and improve them. It’s true that the GDPR is something of a line in the sand, but as the digital world we live in constantly evolves and expands, it’s safe to assume that responsibilities around data privacy and protection will also continue to increase – so businesses will need to continually improve to keep compliant. The GDPR should be seen by businesses as an opportunity to rethink their entire approach to data protection, now and moving forward. It’s a chance to make their organisations fit for the future – and they should grab it with both hands. We learnt a lot about our business and our data in becoming GDPR compliant. We hope our story now helps you.

Claude Schuck Veeam Software

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SERVICE PROVIDERS

Service Providers in the Middle East can Win by Deploying Technology on Their Own Terms 22

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SERVICE PROVIDERS

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or a service provider to succeed, their technology needs to work for them, not vice versa. And it certainly can’t work against them. Service Providers need choice. And they need the ability to future-proof their network to accommodate all of the latest and greatest technologies that hit the market. Stagnation equals death. They have to embrace elastic and agile service delivery. That means they have to build and e mbrace architectures and solutions that enable them to leverage various deployment options.

Hardware Appliances Hardware appliances are the tried and true workhorses of the service provider space. They have the power to deliver services quickly and with airtight reliability. They offer massive amounts of throughput and capacity, and they pack the performance punch and more can always be added to accommodate growth and scale. Delivering services via modern hardware appliances is always a wise decision.

delivery and networking services as software. Light weight and easy to deploy, bare metal options are deployable on the off-the-shelf hardware service providers already own, eliminating the space and capital expense constraints of a traditional hardware model, while delivering high performance horsepower for the most demanding workloads.

Virtual Running atop the hypervisor, virtual deployments offer a ton of flexibility and advanced on-demand services. If service providers are already running a virtual environment and need to add application delivery services, a virtual deployment is worth investigating.

Cloud The cloud adds swiftness and scalability, providing an oftentimes much needed agility boost. Service Providers can burst into the cloud in a hybrid model, or leverage cloud-native applications and services. Embracing this modern delivery method preps the business for a cloud future and primes the organization for the use of modern architectures like microservices and containers. And they will be ready to embrace and benefit from the principles of DevOps to keep them ahead of their competitors.

Bare Metal Don’t have room for more boxes in the data center? Already standardized on certain hardware? Deploy application

Mohammed Al-Moneer MENA at A10 Networks

Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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CONVERGED STRUCTURES

Putting HyperAvailability at the Heart of Converged Infrastructures C

onverged infrastructures are a very appealing prospect for large and midsize businesses alike. They offer a quick and simple solution to two of the most persistent challenges in enterprise IT — managing data centre sprawl and keeping complexity under control. But that's just the start. Because they pull every part of the enterprise IT puzzle together into a single integrated stack where every component has been selected to work together seamlessly. They offer a turnkey solution to many of the issues that commonly keep data centre managers and administrators up at night.

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Converged infrastructures are designed to help enterprises:

- Modernize their entire IT environment with a single, outof-the-box solution

- Keep costs low by reducing management workloads, and rationalizing the volume of tech and components taking up space in the data centre

From convergence to hyper-convergence

- Simplify processes such as patching and updating by providing a set of components that can be patched in unison, without fear of conflicts or compatibility issues - Improve manageability by cutting the volume of technology you need to manage, and providing simple, integrated tools to streamline many common management tasks - Increase efficiency by delivering a fully-integrated IT stack where every component has been selected to get the most from each other

Over the past few years, traditional hardware-focused converged infrastructures have set the standard for enterprise IT convergence. Today, that convergence — and all the benefits that come with it — is being pushed to the next level by a new generation of hyper-converged infrastructure solutions. Hyper-converged infrastructures go beyond the hardware, delivering a soft-ware-centric architecture that pulls together compute, storage, network, and virtualization resources in a single stack. And because components such as networking are software-defined within a


CONVERGED STRUCTURES

hyperconverged infrastructure, they can offer even greater manageability and simplicity than their converged counterparts. It comes as no surprise then that industry analyst Gartner states the market for hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS) will grow 79 percent to reach almost $2 billion in 2016 — propelling them towards mainstream adoption in 2017 and beyond.

The missing piece of the hyperconverged puzzle With an ever-growing number of businesses adopting integrated systems and hyperconverged infrastructures, it's important to note one significant issue with both. While they appear to contain everything an enterprise needs for simple, successful IT, one critical component is missing

— fully-integrated HyperAvailability solutions.

availability and movement of valuable business data.

Many vendors will tell you that their integrated systems and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions include Availability solutions and capabilities as part of their complete, integrated offerings. But the truth is that few offer anything beyond very basic Availability.

However, without the right Hyper-Availability solution supporting the converged infrastructure, there's no guarantee it will be able to support those kinds of workloads effectively.

Achieving true convergence through Hyper-Availability One of the biggest selling points of con-verged and hyperconverged infrastructures is that the seamless integration of components lays the foundation for digital transformation. When every part of a system is designed to work together, it provides the perfect platform for new initiatives that rely on the

A dedicated Hyper-Availability solution that's completely integrated with your chosen converged infrastructure is the final piece in the puzzle, and it's what you need to deliver the kind of Hyper-Availability modern workloads and apps demand.

Mohamad Rizk Middle East at Veeam

Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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CYBER SECURITY

There is No Silver Bullet for Cyber Security but Unified Defense is Best Approach Enterprises of all sizes are falling victim to very determined malicious actors whose motivations range from financial gain to government sponsored campaigns. The threats are not limited to commercial enterprises but have significant impact on civilian and non-civilian government agencies.

E

nterprises of all sizes are falling victim to very determined malicious actors whose motivations range from financial gain to government sponsored campaigns. The threats are not limited to commercial enterprises but have significant impact on civilian and noncivilian government agencies. The nature of what organization must address has changed dramatically over the past decade. The threat surface has expanded significantly, the nature of the threats is evolving at an unprecedented rate and the complexity of what makes up an organization has grown. Organizations have migrated from having a tightly controlled network with endpoints and devices provided by the company, to one where the very definition of an endpoint and device is changing,

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driven by the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), organizational policies to allow employees bring their own devices on the network (BYOD) and the adoption of private and public cloud deployments. The definition of a network has changed too, it is no longer a walled garden but an amorphous structure where users can access organizational resources from anywhere, anytime, and from almost any device. To counter these factors, organizations have started implementing solutions to address security. However, this might be a disappointment to several of you, but reflects reality. There is no silver bullet! - no single solution that can address all security issues. A “defence in depth� approach did not come about by accident but is based on the determination that while you might need a thousand solutions in your network, you need solutions that address different aspects of security.

You are not alone. Your networks have changed significantly and you have multiple solutions. That establishes a baseline. The question is what can organizations do differently to be better prepared. Here are some suggested best practices.

Introspection This means understanding your capabilities and risks. Just understanding the impact of being breached in terms of cost, downtime and reputation of the brand will help you prioritize what actions to take.

Get visibility Develop a clear picture of the key assets you have, where they are located, who has access to them, identify the most critical assets. In the digital age, data is king so knowing which devices have access to your data is key. Note that data is not just the domain of the large enterprise, but a reality for every size and type of organization. This


CYBER SECURITY assessment will lead to you the determination of what makes up your organization.

difference between perception and reality. Organizations must start with the basics.

Examine your architecture

Institute best practices

With the proliferation of IoT, adoption of BYOD, growth in use of virtualized environments, and adoption of public and private cloud infrastructures – all require that you step back and examine how you architected your core network. Focus on the outcomes you desire while you examine the architecture – is your network architected to maximize availability and ensure continuity even if it is under attack, have you secured your data paths to make sure you are protecting every known avenue that can be used to steal that data, does your protection extend to the physical and virtual elements in your network.

Do a process inventory Technology is a key element to addressing security challenges, but technology is part of the solution. People and processes play an equally important role in maintaining a robust security posture. Developing an understanding of how sensitive information is handled, who has access to sensitive information, your internal policies on how you treat sensitive data, policy enforcement mechanisms and ongoing training of personnel handling sensitive data must be part of the overall solution.

Start by addressing the basics Often organizations invest in the latest and greatest technology and buzz word driven solutions. Sometimes there is a perceived correlation between “high end solution” and impact. But there is a

Like I said above, people and process are a critical component of addressing your security posture. Make sure you have instituted best practices around passwords, patching your systems with the latest updates and keeping up to date with your hardware and software.

Address the core of your network Organizations that have adopted a defense in depth approach have done so for several critical applications like e-mail, web traffic and endpoints. Often, they ignore the core of their network –the basic systems that allow access to applications and services on their network. In other words, core elements like DNS, DHCP and IP address management, often referred to as DDI.

Get help

one system sees a vulnerability that information should be shared with the other parts of the infrastructure. Whether that information is an indicator of compromise or threat intelligence – the information should be shared. For example, if your DDI infrastructure identifies a new device on the network, that information should be shared with a Vulnerability Scanner so it can scan the device to ensure its integrity. While the information in isolation is useful (a new device on the network) it is becomes actionable and more impactful when it is shared with other parts of your infrastructure. Of course, this requires that the vendors you select have an open approach and have built their products with the ability to share information with other parts of your infrastructure.

Mohamad Jamal Tabbara Inflowbox

Too often organizations rely on internal expertise, but budget constraints and the availability of trained security experts constrain their ability to have the extensive coverage they need. Help comes in many forms, technology and external expertise. Augmenting the team’s skill sets with the latest development in technology that allows automation and leverages machine learning to drive better insight into threats is key. Relying on security expertise from organizations that specialize in security is often underutilized.

Unify your approach Make sure that all the elements of your defense in depth approach work in unison. This means that when

Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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BIG DATA

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e’ve been talking about data growth for the past two decades, but data is accelerating like never before. In fact, 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years alone. One of the biggest changes is that most of the data being created today is generated by machines, and not by humans using applications. Compounding this problem is that this data has gravity—if it’s created at the edge of your network or in your factory, you may not be able to move it to a central data center or the cloud, to be able to process it in realtime like your business may need.

Make Data the Center of Your IT

Infrastructure

Strategy

So, data gravity matters, and increasingly we need to be able to analyze and react to data where it is created. Artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL) are bringing what’s possible with analytics to the next level, and it’s impacting every industry. In fact, by 2020, Gartner predicts that AI will be pervasive in almost every softwaredriven product and service. The intelligence opportunity is particularly exciting. For one, it helps us analyze big data and transform to go beyond human consciousness. Secondly, it gives us the ability to build exciting new services for our customers. Finally, it allows us to automate infrastructure which inturn allows us to be far more efficient and reliable in our operations. The challenge is that today’s infrastructure wasn’t built from scratch to implement a cohesive data strategy—it was built over time, probably project by project and is most likely fragmented, and not very cloud-like (simple, scalable and agile). Given the importance and value of data, it’s time to re-think the IT infrastructure from the bottom-up, and to put data at the center of the design. You have to invest in building a truly data-centric architecture, built on five key principles.

Consolidated & simplified To drive efficiency and achieve the potential of data, it is essential to consolidate and move away from data islands. This is where all-flash makes the difference. Flash enables consolidating many applications into large storage pools, where what used to be tiers of storage can all be simplified into one. This drives efficiency, agility, and security. Management can also be converged, ensuring that storage plugs-in nicely to your infrastructure orchestration strategy.

Real-time The second dimension is that you have to build for real-time, as slow data just isn’t an option anymore. Real-time data makes your applications faster, your customer experiences more instant and immersive, and your employees more productive. It’s also worth pointing out that real-time not only means real-time data, it also means real-time copies. This is the ability to take copies of data and easily share it between multiple consumers,

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BIG DATA e.g. fresh copies of production data shared with test and development.

On demand & selfdriving This third pillar—on-demand and self-driving—represents a paradigm shift in terms of how we think about operating storage for the business. What if your storage team could stop being a storage operations team, and instead think about their mission as running the inhouse storage service provider for customer X? What if they could deliver data-as-a-service, on-demand, to each of the development teams, just like those developers could get from the public cloud? Instead of the endless cycle of reactive troubleshooting, what if the storage team could spend it’s time automating and orchestrating the infrastructure to make it self-driving, and ultra-agile? For this to become a reality though, it will require some significant changes in how you operate. You have to get ahead of the curve, anticipate the business needs and design a set of elastically-scalable storage services that allows you to build ahead of consumption. On the front-end, this is all about standard services and standard APIs. Whereas on the back-end, this is about automation over administration, and the tools to make that happen are getting very accessible, and very sophisticated.

Multi-cloud I believe the future architecture will be multi-cloud, even if you run everything on-premise. Think about your environment today—you have a production cloud, you probably support multiple development environments, you likely run a cloud for analytics and

you operate a global backup network. Each of these environments increasingly wants to run in the cloud model and they expect those same cloud attributes: simple, on-demand, elastic, and a driver for innovation. At the same time, each of these have their own requirements which means that you have to design a next-gen data strategy that delivers the cloud data experience to each of these environments, yet also delivers the unique capabilities they demand. This is why your datacentric architecture should be designed with multi-cloud in mind—an assumption that you need to manage data across multiple clouds and achieve the data portability and openness to make this possible. If you don’t design for this, you face a real danger of lock-in, because data is the foundation of infrastructure lock-in.

Ready for tomorrow Finally, you have to embrace the reality of how fast data is moving. About eight years ago, 1PB of flash required six racks of space, and AI was a research project. Fast forward to today and we can store 1PB in less than 3U, and AI and automation are becoming mainstream. Data moves fast, and you have to design an architecture that has the performance for tomorrow but is built to evolve and innovate.

one that enabled real-time across your business, and one that delivered data-as-a-service to your various internal clouds? A datacentric architecture will allow you to simplify performance of core applications while reducing cost of IT, and empower developers with on-demand data, making builds faster and enabling the agility required for DevOps and the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CD) pipeline. It will also deliver next-gen analytics as well as act as a data hub for the modern data pipeline, including powering AI initiatives. In short, a data-centric architecture will give you the platform to accelerate your business and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Christian Putz Emerging, EMEA, Pure Storage

So, what does this all mean? What if you could implement a data-centric architecture, one that was consolidated on flash,

Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

The Next Generation Blockchain Platform ‘Locus Chain’ Bitcoin, a gift of Satoshi, and Ethereum In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto said, “We use P2P networks to prevent double payments,” and he showed blockchain’s technological innovation possibility through Bitcoin that allows individuals to make transactions without going through a bank. Bitcoin, a use case of blockchain technology, is one of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) developed to record transaction data. Traditionally, every transaction is recorded on central servers. However, DLT allows all users

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in the transaction consensus system to keep the same ledgers and to compare them with each other whenever new transactions occur, guaranteeing maximum security in that regard. The blockchain technology represented by Bitcoin has showed the possibility of reorganizing the information power structure through decentralization. In 2014, Ethereum developed Smart Contract by expanding Bitcoin's blockchain, enabling the decentralized application (DApp) to be powered on the blockchain. Ethereum's Smart Contract is considered as an innovative system that improved blockchain to be applied on the many fields. Currently, this blockchain field is taking a step forward by

developing 'alt coins' optimized for specific purposes in various industries, such as energy, communication, finance, and public sectors.

A need for another innovation, and Locus Chain Even though the blockchain technology presented by Bitcoin and Ethereum clearly shows the potentials to revolutionize the business process in many industries, it also carries certain problems that need to be solved. The blockchain technology essentially requires an encrypted verification procedure for all new blocks to be added. However, as the number of block users increase, the transaction gets overloaded raising the


BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

difficulty level of encryption, which in the end brings slower updating speed compared to traditional database. Also, the more accumulated transactions occur, the bigger the size of DLT becomes, which makes it another problem. Such issues arouse a demand for a new generation blockchain that can not only hold its speed stable regardless of the increasing number of nodes but also control the rapidly growing size of block ledger. A number of second generations in the blockchain industry have tried to improve the speed down problem. Bloom Technology, the developer of Locus Chain, is confident that their featured technology of DLT is the key to solve this problem. Locus Chain is a fast and reliable next generation distributed ledger platform applicable to the real economy. The company has consistently developed a cutting-edge Dynamic State Sharding technology and Account-Wise Transaction Chain (AWTC) structure to solve ledger size issue and speed down problem. Such progressive development of Locus Chain is possible due to its core engineers from various

countries, including Korea and Japan. All engineers are veterans with more than 20 years in the field with sufficient academic experiences. They are equipped with remarkable career associated with complex commercial programs requiring fast performance. In particular, game engine technology and self-distribution technologies are the key point for developing blockbuster online games that must accommodate significant volumes of contents and a huge number of users. The core developers of Bloom Technology, fully charged with substantial expertise and long experience in the domain, contribute to develop technologies such as AWTC, VRF-MSFT, and Dynamic State Shading. In addition, they aim for next-generation base platform cryptocurrency, which can be diversely applied for systems of transaction and authentication used in various industries such as energy, communication, and IoT.

The Features of Locus Chain 1. Fast and Practical Transaction Speed Locus Chain targets to enable a transaction completed in few seconds.

The key point of fast transaction is to maintain the speed stability as the number of node or volume increases. Locus Chain is developing ledger data structure by using Per Account Blockchain, a type of DAG.

2. A Technology to Increase the Reliability of Transactions Smart Contract, noted for being mounted in most next blockchain generation, is on the road of continuous development to build a fast and reliable transaction system, rather than a mere contract system.

3. An Efficient Data Structure and Consensus Algorithms Locus Chain utilizes Account Wise Transaction Chain (AWTC) structures that provide fast speed for the ledger data structure. Instead of using traditional Proof Of Work (POW), Locus Chain also plans to apply a new model which compensates according to the contribution for network. The design of Locus Chain will incorporate a stake-based delegated-proof-of-stake (dPoS) combined with Verifiable Random Function based Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance(VRF-PBFT) algorithm in order to achieve two main goal of decentralization and fast transaction.

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY 4. A Blockchain Technology Which Has Flexibility and Scalability To offer better scalability with high transaction speed, Dynamic State Sharding technology will be applied to Locus Chain. Dividing blocks into smaller manageable sub-blocks (“Shards”) will resolve the problem of ever-growing data size. Moreover, Locus Chain are organizing multiple application development teams to provide various types of programming interfaces and hardware applications as early as possible.

Locus Chain Foundation The Locus Chain Foundation, which is in charge of the entire business and foundation of the 'Locus Chain,' is working to quickly establish the Locus Chain ecosystem. The Locus Chain's business advisers and partners play key role in the development of the Locus Chain Foundation, and they ultimately aim for contributing to innovative improvement of the society by applying Locus Chain to economy and social systems. The Locus Chain Foundation has decided to set the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia as the starting point for the Locus Chain to move forward. In most countries in this region, their currency value is not competitive in the global market, not to mention their national production, distribution, and management systems are relatively weak. However, using the blockchain platform 'Locus Chain' as their national base system and payment currency will enable transparent management, which will lead to increase national interest and economic development. To substantialize this vision, the Locus Chain Foundation has established intimate partnerships with major national institutions and businesses in the region. The Locus Chain Foundation has already made the partnership agreement with OMENE holding LLC run by Franklin E. Omene, the prince of Nigeria, with ONCOMED solution - a medical service company whose head office based in Dubai, and with

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JH run by Pengiran Alli bin Pengiran Hj Mohammad who is the current minister of religion of Brunei, not to mention the public service offices and a large number of enterprises in Africa, Middle East, and Asia.

Locus Chain Foundation is pursuing along with its vision for the future. Approximately 500 influential politicians and business officials from the Middle East, Africa and India attended the event, showing great interests in the Locus Chain.

The Locus Chain Foundation has signed agreements with several charities, including ibello in Nigeria, SaI sanjeevani Charitable Trust, Kashba Youth, and Human Welfare Trust in India. By using Locus Chain, these

In the show, Sang Yoon Lee, the CEO of Locus Chain, remarked on the strength of Locus Chain in terms of its limitless applicability to cover weaknesses of current blockchain technology. He also emphasized that the Locus Chain resolves current

The Locus Chain Foundation Launching Show 2018, in Dubai charities can guarantee transparency between donors and charities. The Locus Chain Foundation is leading the dissemination of decentralized system and overall development of society with their business partners in various fields. Recently, the Locus Chain Foundation held its first official event, the Locus Chain Foundation Launching Show 2018, in Dubai. During the show, Locus Chain introduced its technical excellence and presented the value

blockchain platform’s scalability issue by its own technologies such as AWTC, VRF-PBFT Consensus, and Dynamic State Sharding. He expressed his ambition to provide higher credibility to the entire human society and to contribute to a better future through practical use of the Locus Chain platform in various industries.

Dr Usman Zafar Locus chain


BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

A Discussion on the Future of Cryptocurrency E

ntrepreneurs have all experienced the transformation that cryptocurrency has brought about in the business world. Businessmen who had followed cryptocurrency from its inception to the present is well aware of the complete evolution, and transformation that this financial idea has brought to the business world. While we know what cryptocurrency means in the present world, the changing relation of the same with the business world makes every entrepreneur wonder what the future of cryptocurrency be in the market. It is possible to make out what the future of cryptocurrency in the future of the business world because there are some trends that are closely followed by the phenomena. The way it has gained in popularity, the way the gathered popularity brought about the scepticism regarding dealing with the cryptocurrency and the new rules on evolving the same that has emerged ever since its inception has shown that the future of cryptocurrency can be predicted. Love it or hate it cryptocurrency is here to stay. The digital cryptocurrency is definitely not the ideal financial

transaction that entrepreneurs would look at, but still many people especially people in directly involved in the cryptocurrency world believe that cryptocurrency has a bright future. To give an example, Kevin Murcko who is the CEO of CoinMetro says that “The cryptocurrency and blockchain industries are works in progress. Look at Bitcoin, for example; it’s not the way it was almost a decade ago. Aside from the change in value, it’s operating in different terrains. It’s receiving more feedback in terms of problems that provide areas for growth, development and innovation.” It is true that cryptocurrency had its own fair share of going into popularity and facing extreme scepticism, but if one is intelligent enough and has a financial sense of how things work in the business world one can easily make out what the future of cryptocurrency. Here are some intelligent guesses that would give ‘you’ – the ambitious entrepreneur – a peek into what the future of cryptocurrency would look like and how you can evolve your business to suit the changes.

The Institutional Investors would Patronise Cryptocurrencies in the Future:

There are a lot of governments that are looking at regulating cryptocurrencies. This has made it possible for entrepreneurs and investors alike to put their funds in them. The regulation that are going to be used on cryptocurrencies will make it easier for entrepreneurs to leave their anxiety concerns away regarding an investment in cryptocurrency. The December of 2017 saw bitcoin reaching a record high. Following this the investor Tim Draper has also said that Bitcoin would achieve a value of $250,000 per coin in the future. It is natural that the increase in investors investing in the Cryptocurrency market would take time. The reason is that there are many others who are actually looking at the way the cryptocurrency market is going. The introduction of regulations in the cryptocurrency market will make those sceptical investors start on their investment in cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency Regulation will move from being an Idea to a Need: Looking at the idea of regulation that governments are thinking of, this still seems to be a far distant idea that needs implementation. But the future will see a cryptocurrency market that is completely regulated. The need of regulation has come up because the lack of security has been the biggest concern for

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY traders. Even though people were eager to join the Cryptocurrency bandwagon they hesitated because of the lack of security. It is needless to say that hackers and cyber criminals have already taken advantage of this ad have made the cryptocurrency market unsafe for investors. The need to regulate the cryptocurrency market is best quoted by Ahmed Khawanky who says that, “When you try to push something new to the market there’s a need to win the trust of the people. People won’t trust something they don’t know or like. Therefore, ensuring security is the heart of the overall success of the block chain technology.”

Cryptocurrencies will stay as volatile as it always has been: People everywhere are trying to keep the Cryptocurrency market stable. But the factors that characterise cryptocurrency like,

Lack of Intrinsic Value

Lack of Institutional Capital

Implementation of Regulations

Keep the cryptocurrency market from becoming stable. It is possible that the regulation of cryptocurrencies will work to lower the volatility of the market but there needs to be a lot to be done to completely do away with its changing nature. The world of cryptocurrency will change surely and for the better in the future. Investors and entrepreneurs who are thinking of doing away with anything related to Cryptocurrencies must rethink about how an investment in the same would bring those profits. Cryptocurrencies are not something that they should do away with yet. There is a possibility that the future of the business world runs on cryptocurrency only. As said by many people the cryptocurrency market is a work in progress. But it is a work in progress and it will evolve further to suit the needs of the people in the business world. Entrepreneurs who are looking at investing in the cryptocurrency market can be sure that their investments will be in safe hands. For those who are sceptical can be sure to have a cryptocurrency future that would suit their expectations.

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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DATA SECURITY

Cambridge Analytica Scam Urges Sophistication of Security T

he Cambridge Analytica Scam has shaken the carefree business world. People and businesses who were affected by it are still trying to have the old sense of comfort with sharing data online. People and especially entrepreneurs now aware of what the real cost of sharing their personal information in free online interactions can mean. The business world that thrives in the digital age is filled with goodwill companies too who base their business in social media interactions and consumer goodwill. These companies too are increasingly careful about maintaining a healthy relationship with the consumers. Let us look at the things that we need to keep in place so that a business’s or a person’s data is secure.

1. Create Digital Awareness: When it comes to one’s digital presence ignorance is surely not good. Any person, business `or the people in an organisation who has a digital

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presence must first understand what a digital presence might mean to their information. Awareness is the first step that needs to be created before anyone goes digital. The Cambridge Analytica Breach has shown people of the far reaching effects of what a seemingly innocent sharing of information with third parties might mean for a company. Whoever has followed the Cambridge Analytica Breach would know that much attention has been given to the opportunistic nature of the third party data harvesters. Given this scenario it is increasingly important that businesses understand how social media interactions with mass consumer bases work. They must look at how they can protect consumer data. Create an awareness of how one’s actions can affect a business in your work culture. This can help your business to stay protected at all levels of organisation.

2. Protect Customer Interactions: While sharing personal information online is what makes scams like Cambridge

Analytica possible, it is impossible to imagine a company existing without any digital interaction with its customers. The digital age of doing business do not allow a business to anyway stay away from interacting with its customers. Moreover the companies of today has become more sophisticated in the way that they gather data. These allows their marketing teams to finetune their sales strategies based on the insights that it offers. These kinds of interactions are also aimed at troubleshooting and for loyalty programs. Customers are no longer afraid to leave digital footprints behind because the information that they leave for a business allows them to have a better relation with a brand. However, this is what has resulted in the scam like Cambridge Analytica. While it is important that a brand and the consumers maintain their relation, it is also important that businesses show a little more transparency in its data collection programme. Businesses should look at making their interactions more open and transparent


DATA SECURITY

while keeping their interaction unchanged. A SAP study that was conducted in 2017 revealed that consumers believed that brands should have a greater level of transparent data-use policies. A transparent working of data-collection by brands can help a business to stay away from scams like the Cambridge Analytica and also help customers to stay protected.

3. Adaptability: When it comes to handling lot of personal data, adaptability is key. Some companies are better prepared to handle data and move on when required. It is important that businesses can manage to adapt to the changing regulatory environment and consumer sentiments. Companies that rely on third party platforms to handle the data that they collect has a clear advantage over those who rely on data investors because the legal platforms have years of experience in the same and can adapt more easily to the changing needs. There has however been a growing debate as to whether businesses should make use of

the customer software program over a SaaS system that has a single code base. The custom-based software can be more tailored to a company’s needs but the problem with these is that it is slower when it comes to moving with the evolution in the market. The Saas community has therefore found more popularity when it comes to a company that is working with Social Media for collecting data. A SaaS platform that has a single code base like Hootsuite and Spredfast can be the answer to the problem. Cambridge Analytica can be said to have evolved the awareness of the business world. Entrepreneurs who do not choose to make the necessary changes would later find themselves in a position like the same. There are three basic ways to prepare oneself for a future that has evolved to be better because of the Cambridge Analytica Scam. The first is to consider customer’s data as the heart of any business. Secondly, businesses should move to a transparent way of dealing data. It should also be able to move along

with the changing regulations. The future of business seem to be wiser after the experience with Cambridge Analytica and the consumers seem to want a safer experience with an interaction. If you are an entrepreneur who is holding on to the old way of doing things it is advisable that you make that much needed change in your company. This will make your consumers feel good about interacting with your business on a digital level. It is natural that consumers who are comfortable with a business would naturally stay loyal to it. When it comes to data interaction safety and trust is one factor that allows the consumer and business relation to stay healthy. It is important for the future of any business to keep these basics in mind to maintain a great relation with their consumers. Sharing data has been long taken for granted as something that does not mean much to running a business. But the fact is that one should give the process of data sharing and customer interaction a lot more importance than what they had earlier given. This will keep your business in the good books of customers and help your business grow in the future.

SPI Thinktank Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION

Technology Giants Address the Technology Addiction Issue T

ech Addiction is a very serious problem and if you still think that it is something that you can simply wish it away, well it is not! The seriousness of this problem can be understood when one sees that companies like Facebook, Google and Apple have come together to fight the problem of Tech Addiction. They have joined hands with the antitech coalition called the Center for Humane Technology. Technology addiction has affected entrepreneurs worldwide from giving out their best. ‘The truth about Tech’ is a campaign run by the coalition that informs parents, teachers and students on the whole about the harmful effects of technology. Anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation are some of the effects that technology has on people at large. This campaign works to highlight the problem areas that technology has on an individual. Who are the people behind this Center for Humane Technology?

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It is important to note that the people behind the Center for Humane Technology are those who has had a deep involvement with the technology giants themselves. Tristan Harris is the executive director and cofounder of the organisation. He has worked as the former design ethicist at Google. Some other noteworthy people who form the advisors and supporters of the group include Facebook investor Roger McNamee, former Google and Apple communications executive namely Lynn Fox and also former Facebook executive Dave Morin and Sandy Parakilas. The Lyft president John Zimmer and Asana cofounder Justin Rosentein who is also famed to have created Facebook’s Like button are members. As the name suggests the coalition aims at Humane Design. It actively calls devicemakers like Apple, Samsung and social app companies like Facebook and Snapchat to redesign the products and services in a way that would help people to “protect our minds from constant distractions, minimize screen

time, protect our time in relationships, and replace the App Store marketplace of apps competing for usage with a marketplace of tools competing to benefit our lives and society.” If one looks at the coalition’s website one can see the following written on it. “Our society is being hijacked by technology. What began as a race to monetize our attention is now eroding the pillars of our society: mental health, democracy, social relationships, and our children.” This clearly shows what the coalition aims at removing and establishing. Needless to say, it recognises the effects that technology has on humans and tries to minimise and control the same. The fact that the group also has an anti-tech addiction lobby makes the effort even more interesting. However the main focus of the coalition remains “The Truth about Tech” ad campaign. The center is partnering with the nonprofit media watchdog like the Common Sense Media. To quote the CEO of Common Sense Media, he said that


TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION

the campaign is modelled on the anti-smoking campaigns and focuses mostly on its customers. It is great to know that the Center of Humane Technology is ready to control the power that tech giants on humanity and address the dangers that addictive technology might have on people. The fact that people in position of power and involvement in these technological giants have come up to solve the problems that technology shows the enormity of the situation and their matured handling of the same. It is old news that exFacebook president Sean Parker has openly said last November that Facebook was engineered to exploit a vulnerability in human psychology. There was also this news of two major shareholders and activist investor Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teacher’s Retirement System that sent a letter to the company where it asked it to study the iPhone addiction in children. It is needless to say that the iPhone addiction I children is growing and it can lead to a slowdown of profits for the company.

The study has resulted in the proposal of new parental controls for iOS devices. This is just the beginning of how the world is starting to manage the technology addiction that has started to affect humanity as a whole. The first federal study of internet addiction is already underway. This study has been taken up by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to examie whether Tech Addiction should be officially listed as a mental disorder. Given this scenario and the many more to come, the tech companies all over are going to be examined perfectly before the world decides to launch something it has proposed. The business world at large must be careful about what they bring to the technology table. People understand how technology affects them and the threats of addiction are clear. The future will belong to those technology companies who focus on bringing products that are high end and technologically advanced but also has with it the element of human well-being. This a great change that

has started in the business world. Tech companies will no longer be immune to an examination because it talks of high end technology. The world is eager to protect humans from the damage that technology brings to a humans mind. It is not something that can be taken lightly any longer. Entrepreneurs who are in the technology game must make sure that they back their products not with something that would make addicts out of normal human beings. Products that encourage and make use of the vulnerability of the human mind would surely be not gain sales in the future. The world has started to understand how technology has impaired a human’s potential and anything that works towards that would only be discarded. The future of technology would accommodate only those technology that empowers the human element in a person. Tech entrepreneurs must shape their technology according what the future would hold. This would also help to bring the world back to a state where humans are not mere slaves of technology but have a control over what works and what does not for their good. The future of technology seem to be going the correct way.

SPI Thinktank Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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INNOVATION

Thinking Innovation in Business: Every Entrepreneur’s Responsibility I

nnovation is a word that has always got the ears of ambitious entrepreneurs perked up, but somehow it has always been shoved away as something that has something to do with the technology people broadly speaking. The business world that we have known it as has dramatically changed with the technology and innovation shaping everything business. Given this scenario it is very important that entrepreneurs who want to lead their company towards a successful future in a technologically buzzing business landscape must look at innovation as something that they need to get involved into completely and get their hands dirty. There are many questions that arise when entrepreneurs attempt at getting involved into that part of business that

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seem to look good only with the experts in it. It is important that organisations understand that every entrepreneur and every employee now needs to understand innovation in an organisation. Maybe the more technical part can always be taken over by the technology team in the house, but it is imperative that everyone who makes up the corporation must look at innovation as an important part of the job role.

better ways of giving out tasks to robots to make use of the human resources for more useful tasks is proof to it. Alexa and Siri has not only been implemented by the struggling companies but by the big guys of the business world. If the big guys who seem to have nothing to improvise on can innovate and look for things to better, it is natural that other businesses would also likely have some things to be improvised on.

Here are the three reasons why you as an entrepreneur must include innovation as part of your job role.

Everything boils down to whether you want to do something or not.

1. If your company has scope of improvement you must have a team and a leader in your organisation that thinks the innovation way: Every company has a scope for improvement. There is always a better way of doing and managing things. The very fact that people now look up at Alexa and Siri and think of

Many entrepreneurs are cautious and are against making new changes. This is because when something is running smooth, why affect the flow. But the question is maybe there is scope to run things even smoother. Read – Alexa in workspaces. An aversion towards trying something innovative would naturally make a company lag far behind in the market with their peers working on improvising everything


INNOVATION 3. Do you want to push your comfort zone? If yes, you should go the innovation way: Growth has always been found on the other side of the comfort zone. If you are an entrepreneur who want to run things the way that it had been without any change to routine then you are at a risk of being extinct. The business world is changing every business minute and entrepreneurs who refuse to accept this will never be able to keep pace with the changes that are needed for surviving in the first place.

with the help of technology. Moreover, once something innovative works well in a company, others do not wait any longer to implement the same. So, it is very important that entrepreneurs take an active role in keeping his/her thoughts on innovation and not depend entirely on the in-house tech team. One can also create an environment of innovation culture where ideas from employees and entrepreneurs alike are discussed to make sure that the company is in sync with the advancements in the market place.

2. Do you want you robot proof your business? If yes, you should think the innovation way: It is old news that there is a threat to repetitive and mechanical work by robots. Robots are mostly threatening to take over the administrative and repetitive rule-based jobs. Robots have still not been able to tackle creative jobs that needs a

lot of human intervention. Being an entrepreneur it is important that you think of protecting your company from being completely robotised. Enhancing your creative problem solving way in the organisation will help you do so. A company that has a unique way of solving creative problems can stay robot proof. How can one make his/her company robot proof? Well, by simply flexing their innovative muscles a little harder. If you are against innovation and want to stick to the old way of doing things, very soon, your organisation will run out of the need to hire humans. There will be companies on the other hand who would emphasise on staying ahead of the game while you stick to the old way of life. This will leave you far behind in the business game. Innovation is not only important for your company’s progress but it is also needed for your company’s future existence.

Given the scenario where maybe every company would have something like Alexa or Siri for their tasks it is important that you too go their way. If possible find something better. Anything that is outdated would be naturally termed as inconvenient to people who are used to enjoying the conveniences of the bots. Organisations that do not evolve would lose out on customers, business and naturally money. What is the point in existing as a business then? Thinking about innovation and developing innovation as a company culture is something that is very important. It is no longer the domain of the technology department only but everyone who makes a company. An entrepreneur has all the more responsibility to think the innovation way. The business world has experienced innovation and is completely in love with how it shapes it. There is no looking back now. Innovative businesses and people are recognised and looked up to in this technology crazy world. If you want your business to thrive in the future of business, it is important that you develop a culture that attracts innovation. Give your company the freshness of innovation and let it reach success.

SPI Thinktank Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Blockchain Technology and Entrepreneurship: The Evolving Equation T

he business world has never been the same with the emergence of Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency. The changes were the

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beginning of the transformation that was coming the entrepreneurship way. Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency are no longer the new technology that arrived on the business landscape but something that has become a mainstream part of the


1. Entrepreneurship Education: Before the popularity of business studies entrepreneurship had been something that had to do with only the limited few who had the drive and passion. With the emergence of Blockchain Technology there has been companies like SuccessLife that use Blockchain tokens to offer video content, courses and personal coaching to almost anyone who has a flicker of passion for entrepreneurship. Management and investment techniques are now things that are available to people at the click of a button. The fact that the tokens have an immutable ledger and runs on automatic smart contracts make these transactions reliable and cost-effective. People who do not have the time to enrol in a business course can easily hone their skills with the help of these companies. Entrepreneurship education has therefore crossed the threshold of the few and moved on to the commons who has the fire to keep their business dreams blazing.

2. Crowdfunding Opportunities for All: The Blockchain Technology has made it very easy to have these crowdfunding campaigns. The year 2017 saw Blockchain startups raise an amount of $ 5.6 billion in funds through community campaigns. This crowdfunding that is based on Blockchain technology is so successful that it is attracting a lot of investments from the big guys also. business world. Entrepreneurs empowered by these technological convenience are in a rush to experiment and create innovative business solutions that are faster and more secure. Here are the six ways that the wonder called Blockchain Technology is shaping the entrepreneurship world in a more advanced way than we had known it.

The traditional crowdfunding market is extremely inefficient. This has led to entrepreneurs taking innovative measures to combine Blockchain technology with crowdfunding to give power to entrepreneurs across the globe.

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY Acorn Collective is one such company that provides secondgeneration open marketplace for businesses that are looking at crowdfunding. Any business man who passes the primary screening can make a pitch in the Acorn Platform. The Blockchain Technology makes the process transparent, and very safe. The fact that this can be accessed by people from any region makes it an entrepreneur’s dream. This helps entrepreneurs to increase marketing support and maximise the chance of a successful project.

3. Rise of User-Friendly Financial Tools: There has been a rise of user-friendly financial tools. Entrepreneurs are using cryptocurrencies alongwith fiat currencies to manage their financing. However managing both multiple fiat and crypto accounts has been a difficult task. This has led to the emergence of companies and platforms like Zerta that is a next generation trading platform that has been carefully built by a leading team of exchange technologists and entrepreneurs. This platform works to connect an exchange, a crypto, a fiat wallet and a bank all in one single eco-system. To quote Paruyr Shahbazyan, “We are taking the crypto-trading market up to the level of traditional markets and stock exchanges.� The use of cryptocurrencies are bound to increase. It is important that entrepreneurs focus on education and the ease of use of the financial services. Companies like Zerta would now have to shift focus to give users a personalised and customisable interface to help all experience levels trade, to

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send and receive payments and to engage with a community of like-minded people.

4. New Investment Opportunities: Investment is something that every entrepreneur is looking to diversify. The rise of the Blockchain Technology has opened up new opportunities for the same. To give an example the company Muirfield has decades of private equity investment opportunities but with the rise of the Blockchain Technology, Muirfield IP is launching its own Tokenised asset offering. The token based opportunities open up doors for new entrepreneurs to purchase assets. This facilitates a TAO which makes sure that the laws and regulations regarding the security tokens in business are followed.

5. Customer Loyalty Programs: Customer Loyalty programs are essential to every business. Every entrepreneur knows the importance of having a customer loyalty program. But managing a program is not very easy given that it requires a lot of bookkeeping hurdles and creating another huge field for entrepreneurs that they need to manage. The Blockchain Technology has helped to solve the problem with managing the customer loyalty programs. The automatable transaction ledger that Blockchain Technology has allows entrepreneurs to keep a track of customer interactions and manage customer loyalty status.

6. Reliable Agreements: Agreements hold the trust of entrepreneurs. The

relationship between an entrepreneur and his investors and partners are what make or break a business. Some relationships do not seem to need a contract because of the history of business that runs through the bond. But from a business perspective it is best to have a written agreement to avoid future complications that might arise. An agreement that is not adhered to often inconveniences an entrepreneur. It is best to have reliable agreements written to have a smooth business relation. The Blockchain Technology comes with the Smart Contracts that provide effective and affordable options for entrepreneurs who are looking at developing reliable legal contracts. There is a company named DocTailor that offers tools for entrepreneurs who are looking at building and customising legal agreements and smart contracts on the Blockchain Technology. The Blockchain Technology has been shaping the business world very smoothly. The changes that we see now are only the tip of the iceberg of the evolution that is to come. Entrepreneurs must keep themselves aware and up-todate with the changes that are reshaping the business world. It will help them to thrive in a business future that is very different than what we know. Blockchain Technology is here to stay and entrepreneurs who understand this can be sure of tasting success.

SPI Thinktank


BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

BlockChain Technology Myths T

he Blockchain Technology has become a favourite in the business world ever since it has arrived. The world of possibility that it has opened up for entrepreneurs has naturally made it a gold mine of an option. The fact that the Blockchain Technology allows a user to have a transaction with anyone in any remote location and it enables people to encode all attributes to a different immutable digital record makes it a very good technology for business. This along with the benefit of needing no middlemen make it alluring for entrepreneurs. Naturally, the business world is still reeling at the opportunities that the Blockchain Technology has brought about in business. But the question is, ‘Is everything that the Blockchain Technology promises true? Let us look at the myths that are giving the Blockchain Technology some extra advantage.

1. Blockchain is Scalable: The first myth about the Blockchain Technology is that it is highly scalable. The truth is otherwise. The Blockchain Technology is not scalable when compared to conventional transaction methods. Transactions works slowly in this technology. Transactions in a Blockchain Technology work well with mall payloads and are

up to a certain limit only. The opportunities that had been associated with the Blockchain Technology has brought about statements that are too good to be true. This is one of those statements.

2. Blockchain is Secure: There has been a lot of discussion on the security of Blockchain Technology. It has to be noted that the Blockchain Technology is based on Cryptographic standards but the responsibility to ensure privacy is outside the Block chain standards and implementations. The Blockchain technology can be understood and verified only by cryptographic experts. Security is something that has to be ensured by an implementer. This keeps the security of the financial world with Blockchain technology at the same place as it had been always. This is feel good statement but the statement that Blockchain is Secure is a myth.

3. Blockchain is Trustworthy: Blockchain ensures the integrity of all its transactions and stored information. This does not make the Blockchain Technology secure. A user of the Blockchain Technology can ensure trustworthiness of the technology by making sure that the parties that he/she is dealing with are trustworthy and the facts that are stored there are true.

Technology can give to the world effectiveness. Trust is something that humans need to ensure by using the technology for the right reasons. The statement that says Blockchain is trustworthy is a myth. It misses out on the fact that technology takes shape the way the user shapes it.

4. Blockchain Stores Everything: There are no written rules and guidance about what can be stored or not stored in a Blockchain Technology. This has had people assuming that one can store almost anything in the Blockchain Technology. However, one can only store small payloads with this technology. This payload needs to have agreed standards between all the participants. It might seem like a very convenient dream to cling to, but the statement that the Blockchain Technology stores everything is a myth.

5. Blockchain Allows Users to Express Almost Anything in the Smart Contract: It is technically true that one can express anything in a smart contract, but the Blockchain Technology is limited to only simple and well understood use cases. Smart contracts, when they are published, cannot be revised or fixed. The complex interactions make Blockchain Technology difficult to manage.

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BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

For Example – The resolution of the Decentralized Autonomous Organisation which is an Ethereum-based blockchain investment authority broke the community. It cost the participants tens of millions of dollars in a very few hours. It is important that users find the right use cases. The discussion on the possibility that one can express anything in a Smart Contract is a myth. It does not even have the basics of the Blockchain Technology correct.

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6. Blockchain Users can Go Private if they do not Like a Public Blockchain: There is this discussion that Blockchain users who do not like the public Blockchain can go private. But private Blockchain do not come with privacy features or restricted access to information. Private Blockchain has nothing private about it. There are many benefits of a public Blockchain Technology that the private might not have. It is possible

that a private Blockchain technology might lack the community and the academic scrutiny that is required to sustain its properties. The statement that a user who does not like the public Blockchain technology can use the private technology is a myth and implementing it will not bring in any profits to the user.

7. Blockchain has been re-created with an X feature:


BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

The community-driven Blockchain products are brimming in the market. The private players enhance them in various ways. It is important for users to know that the Blockchain that are open source and has large communities’ alongwith install-plus-bases adoption are the ones that are the Real Deal. The only force that can ensure the cryptographic properties of the implementation are the adopters, users, academia and the implementers. All the

others are far from the real Blockchain deal. The Blockchain Technology is a very complicated affair. The fact that it is difficult to decipher how it works and the many rules that govern it make it a technology that is impossible to tame. There can never be one kind of Blockchain. Some will have many participants, some might have a few while some others will require strong privacy around the facts that are stored. There are still others

that would require transparency. Blockchain technology is a blessing to the business world. Entrepreneurs can earn a lot of profit simply by tapping into this technology wisely. The myths prove that all that is said about the technology should not be accepted. It is wise to keep oneself aware of what really works and does not when it comes to the Blockchain Technology. This will keep your business safe from building a base on false promises.

SPI Thinktank Innovation & Tech | July 2018

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ENTERPRISE

Common Mistakes Tech Start-up Companies Make

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ENTERPRISE

T

echnology is the favourite of the business world. It shapes itself according to the whims and fancies of every new change in technology. Given this love for all things technology in business there are many entrepreneurs who are keen on building their start-up based on Technology. The entrepreneurs who are driven to start a small business on new technology are mostly the ones who are great innovators themselves or have a keen interest in technology. These are people who come from the best of schools and are brimming with ideas that can even give the big guys a run for money. But, innovating is not enough. An entrepreneur who wants that his/her business reaches the target audience, they should know how to market it, package it and make the audience understand why the innovation matters to them. The technology start-up entrepreneurs believe that having a great product would naturally attract the correct audience. But what if the audience does not understand the language that your start-up speaks? Here is a list of three mistakes that most entrepreneurs make while working on their Tech start-up.

1. Features and Functionality: Innovators always believe that they have the best to offer. Maybe the smallest, the thinnest the sleekest. Maybe they are true for the moment but what they forget in the passion of the moment is that if they market their product on the basis of features and functionality only, chances are that it will be very soon surpassed by some other competition company. There are many fast followers who are naturally looking to marginalise other brands.

What should entrepreneurs do? You know that you have the best to offer. But do not let that emotion overpower the need to market your

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ENTERPRISE product in a way that audience would love to experience. The features and functions of your product is important. But it is wise to market your product by the differentiating benefit that it provides to the customers. Tech start-ups who market their product on the basis of the benefit that it can provide to consumers have a higher chance of staying fresh in the market. Your product might be seven times better than what is out there in the competition, but what matters for consumers is how convenient it is for them to use. How comfortable their lives would be because of your product. Market on the comfort factor of the consumers. It is important that you understand that consumers are not tech-savvy. They are the ones looking for a comfort from a technology. Make that connect. The quality of your innovation will take care of the rest.

2. Manufacturing: Entrepreneurs start off with the product concept. Once that is finished they move on to making the prototypes, from there they move on to either crowdfund or distribute the product to the retail partners. Manufacturing process is something that they forget in the whole process. The manufacturing process of a product is not smooth. It is full of obstacles, unforeseen delays and product issues that make a lot of delay.

What should entrepreneurs do? Entrepreneurs must prioritise the manufacturing process before they promise to deliver the products to the retailers or consumers. It is important that you have everything ready before you launch your product in the market. Endless delays will only ruin your chances in a competitive market. Consumers want to get what they pay for and they want to get it fast. Delays from a start-up that is launching its

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product will only give out the wrong impression even before you start. This would make future business difficult for your start-up.

3. Audience: Every Technology Innovator creates a product that solves a certain problem. This problem must be specific to only one group of people. It is important that entrepreneurs stick to the audience for whom the product is made. Many entrepreneurs dilute the focus to appeal to a larger audience. Every product has a story that matches with a certain consumer. If an entrepreneur changes the story to make it resonate with people who have got nothing to do with it, chances are that the product will be lost even before it could make a connect. Looking for a large audience is good and in fact required for a company’s growth but changing the essence of a product to attract customers will only backfire.

What should entrepreneurs do? Do not mix the audience. Keep the essence of the product and target the specific audience. Once the product sells with the target audience it will gradually gain in popularity and bring in more business. It is important to be patient and well-informed when it comes to attracting the audience. The right audience will prolong the life of a product and your business. It is important that you focus on that. Going everywhere will mislead the audience, take off the individuality of a product and will not help your sales. The business market is brimming with companies that bring in new offers, new technologies and new experiences. An entrepreneur who wants to make it big must always focus on his/her company strengths and build up on from it. Find out what works for your start-up and what does not. Keep the passion of innovation alive in your business but also do not forget that your target audience need not necessarily be innovators. As stated earlier, they might be just people who do not understand technology at all but understand the comfort it brings to them or how it connects to them. Making the connect is important. This is what would increase sales. Make the product resonate with the target audience. Start small if needed but do not make the mistake of marketing a product without its essence to attract a larger audience. It is important to start right. Make sure you do not commit the common mistakes entrepreneurs make while being carried away with the passion of innovation. Make the right business moves and see your business taste everlasting success.

SPI Thinktank


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THINK TANK Akshay Lamba

CIO, Deloitte, Middle East

Akshay is an industry leader in the technology arena and has been associated with innovative projects such as large IT outsourcing deal across multiple industries,extending enterprise data to mobile platforms and information security paradigms in a web 3. 0world.He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School ,Boston and a revered speaker, invited to a number of international platforms ,widely acknowl-edged as a next-gen technology expert.His forte has been in the build-up of innovative business models ,with a focus on creating sustainable competitive business advantage .He is well known for leveraging strategic partnerships for both-in-house services delivery and joint go-to-market constructs .

Anthony Sayers

Internet of Things, Business Developer & Strategist at Dell

A leading technologist with over 25 years of industry experience , Anthony Sayers is the Strategist and Business Developer for the Internet of Things , Dell OEM Solutions EMEA , responsible for designing Dell’s business and technology strategy for the commercial OEM market . In his day to day work , Anthony meets with customers , partners and industry experts to research customer needs and drive the relevant market solutions . Anthony regularly represents Dell at industry forums as well as speaking and writing about the future of emerging technologies .

Haider Salloum

Director, Small & Medium Business (SMB) Segment at Microsoft Gulf

Haider’s professional experiences are best described by his work over the last couple of years at Microsoft Gulf. As the Director for the Small and Medium Business (SMB) segment, Haider is tasked with helping SMEs realize their full potential, through the adoption of innovative technology and cloud transformation. Working with SMEs across five countries, which were once emerging markets has provided Haider with significant scope and opportunity to learn , share and explore emerging trends in innovation within the SMB community. Whilst working with national governments, entrepreneurs and corporates , Haider seeks to continuously contribute to efforts to help SMEs thrive in their competitive landscapes .

Jean-Luc Scherer Founder, Innoopolis

Telecommunications veteran with more than 18 years experience in the Mobile Industry, Jean-Luc Scherer’s expertise crosses multiple domains going from Mobile Application Development, to Social Media ,Big Data ,M2M & Internet of Things. Passionate about the Networked Society, Jean-Luc is a regular Blogger, Social Media content curator and is also a regular speaker at IoT & Smart City industry events .As an entrepreneur ,innovation coach & start-up mentor ,Jean-Luc can help startups from the initial concept development phase all the way to successful market introduction .

Kazi Monirul Kabir

CIO, Spider Digital Innovations

Kazi Monirul is a powerful, passionate,entrepreneurial, innovative and objective-driven leader with global perspective and strong empathy for emerging market realities.He posseses extensive Marketing ,Communication, Innovation,Strategic Design and Business Development experience across Internet ,telecom and consumer goods industries. Monirul comes with a successful track record of excelling across global enterprise, multinational, social enterprise and start-up environments. He is a great believer in the transformative power of Strategic Innovation in driving the growth and development of emerging countries and has chosen the digital realm as his current playground .

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THINK TANK Nadine Bitar

CEO, Placemaking.me

Nadine Bitar is the CEO of Placemaking.me focusing on innovation in design for sustainability and Place sourcing – a social enterprise to design for liveability in the MENA region . She has led and participated in the design development of more than 30 large scale flagship projects including leisure and entertain-ment clusters , commercial complex , mixed use developments , golf and residential communities , hospitality projects and branded destinations in the Middle East and North Africa . She is active in Dubai community as the chairwoman of the Advisory Board – Interior design at the American University in Dubai , an Executive Council Member of Ellevate International and is an International Associate in the American Institute of Architects .

Roberto Ordonez

Managing Partner, AlunaCatalyst ME

Roberto Ordonez, Managing Partner, Aluna Catalyst ME, is an influencer and change agent with over 20 years of industry experience in the energy sector (BP, Hess Corporation, and Occidental Petroleum). He has broad multidisciplinary expertise and has held senior management positions across the areas of Operations, Finance, Strategy, Planning, Business Development, Change Management, and Procurement.He is a Board Member of the Kellogg GCC Alumni Association, and member of Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN). Roberto has a BS and an MS in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Dr. Steven Griffiths

Senior Vice President for Research and Development and Professor of Practice Khalifa University of Science and Technology

Dr. Steven Griffiths is currently Senior Vice President for Research and Development and Professor of Practice at the Khalifa University of Science and Technology (KU), which is the recently established university in the United Arab Emirates that resulted from the 2017 merger of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the Petroleum Institute and the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research. At KU, Dr. Griffiths advances the work he did in his prior role as Vice President for Research at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which includes establishing and developing large-scale, collaborative research partnerships, programs and centers, research grants and contracts, technology management and transfer, research computing and research laboratories.

Sulaiman Al Maazmi

Vice President, Information Communication Technology, Expo 2020 Dubai

Sulaiman’s role at Expo 2020 Dubai is to align business requirements with various stakeholders, support departments in order to streamline their processes when dealing with technology solutions as well as sourcing IT solutions based on current and future needs of internal and external stakeholders. Sulaiman has considerable experience in managing critical information technology projects in the Arab Gulf region, with positions in the Dubai office of the UAE Prime Minister, Thuraya Satellite Telecommunication and the Dubai Municipality, where he began his career.

Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Leo Brech

Professor at the University of St. Gallen,Switzerland

Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Leo Brecht is Executive Director of the Institute for process and technology management of the faculty of economics and mathematics at the University of Ulm, Germany and Adjunct Professor at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. His work focuses on innovation and technology management to improve company performance. He is founder of several companies and currently acts as chairman of ALPORA. ALPORA is an investment research company headquartered in Switzerland. ALPORA invests in most innovative companies and develops unique products how to invest in innovation.

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Innovation and Tech June 2018  

The horizon of technology is invariably widening and evolving rampantly. Enterprise technology & its digital ecosystem forms the very founda...

Innovation and Tech June 2018  

The horizon of technology is invariably widening and evolving rampantly. Enterprise technology & its digital ecosystem forms the very founda...

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