The Emerging Role (Future) Of Accounting

1. INTRODUCTION

Accounting has evolved as human beings have evolved and as the concepts of the accounting subject are directly coined out from its most fundamental principle of conservatism, it is not difficult to see why the style of accounting at every point in time has a direct link with the age. As man has developed from a primitive age to a modern interdependence age, living has advanced from being subsistent as a hunter-gatherer to a knowledge driven globalised world concept of ‘effectiveness turning to greatness’ and all along with this evolution, self accounting with the abacus has developed through stewardship accounting to financial accounting and now managerial accounting; which has a focus on decision making.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) of the US which generally standardised and strengthened the globally adopted Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) took significant strides in the year 2012 to come together with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in a manner termed as ‘International Convergence’. Such a convergence is expected to gradually harmonise the GAAPs and the IFRS until they become one and the same in a bid to stream line corporate/company reports into a uniform process globally.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

There is no absolute certainty as to what the future holds for the Accounting Profession. It thus seems however, that the future age which definitely would be one of scientific advancement, would move man from greatness to something worthier for the time. Spiritualism, Environmentalism and Developmentalism could be key factors in the future age. This paper is to find out if Accounting itself would be more of a reality providing accurate solutions to financial problems where man’s ability to value natural capital fairly would give rise to a significant asset on the balance sheet in contrast to the industrial age when even man himself was regarded as labour and not being considered as important as the machines he operated.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

This paper was approached from a content analysis view point – both conceptual and relational. A content analysis is “a research technique for the objective, systematic, and quantitative description of manifest content of communications” – (Berelson, 52). The conceptual analysis was simply to examine the presence of the problem, i.e. whether there is a stronger presence of positive or negative words used with respect to the specific argument while the relational analysis built on the conceptual analysis by examining the relationships among concepts. As with other sorts of inquiry, initial choices with regard to what is being studied determined the possibility of this particular paper.

2.1 Evolution of Accounting Theory

According to investopedia.com, Accounting Theory in the light of its evolution can be defined as the review of both historical foundations of accounting practice as well as the way in which accounting practices are verified and added to the study and application of financial principles. Accounting as a discipline is believed to have existed since the 15th Century. From that time to now businesses and economies have continued to evolve greatly. Accounting theory must adapt to new ways of doing business, new technological standards and gaps that are discovered in reporting mechanisms hence, it is a continuously evolving subject. As professional accounting organisations help companies interpret and use accounting standards, so do the Accounting Standards Board help continually create more efficient practical applications of accounting theory. Accounting is the foundation of efficient and effective business management and intelligent managerial decision making, without which businesses and trade world-wide would operate blindly and fatally. It is therefore necessary to link how it has evolved to its future role.

2.2 The Origin of Accounting

Luca Pacioli wrote a Maths book in 1494 (ehow) that consisted of a chapter on the mathematics of business. As this book is thought to be first official book on accounting, Luca Pacioli has severally been regarded as ‘the father of accounting’. In his Maths book, Pacioli explained that the successful merchant needed 3 things: sufficient cash or credit; an accounting system that can tell him how he is doing; and a good book keeper to operate it. Pacioli’s theory still holds today, it included both journals and ledgers and it is believed to have popularised the use of the double entry accounting that had been in place since the late 1300s.

2.2.1 The First Change in Accounting

During the depression of 1772, the Accounting profession went beyond book keeping to cost accounting. The theory and the idea were transformed into a method determining whether a business is operating efficiently or using an excess of labour and resources. The new theory of cost accounting allowed a trained book-keeper or an accountant to use the book kept to extract financial reports to show the efficiency represented by such data. This new idea led to the survival of businesses during the depression; business that would otherwise have failed without an intelligent management decision making informed by a cost accounting breakthrough.

2.2.2 The American Revolution/ British Courts Influence

The end of the American Revolution saw the first United States (US) governmental accounting system being created in 1789 and it was established to account for and manage the treasury of the US. The double entry practice and theory were adopted. The British courts ruled that they needed professional accountants to make financial information in relation to court cases. Chartered accounting bodies/ concepts were introduced in Britain (and in the US in particular, the Certified Public Accountant – CPA). In 1887, the first standardised exam emerged with Frank Broaker becoming US’s first CPA.

2.3 Modern Cost Accounting

This was first established by General Motors (GM) Company in 1923 and it developed methods that helped cut its costs and streamlined operations and this remained relevant for over 50 years. The new accounting techniques developed included return on investment, return on equity and GM’s flexible/adjustable budget concept.

2.4 Accounting Concepts and Conventions

This was established in US between 1936 and 1938 by the Committee on Accounting Procedure (CAP) thereby standardising Accounting practices for all companies throughout the US. In 1953, the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) was updated to new standards, CAP became Accounting Principles Board (APB) in 1959 and later in 1973, APB (having suffered from poor management) was replaced by Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) with greater powers and opinion for its professional stance.

2.5 International Financial Reporting Standards

FASB issued almost 200 pronouncements between 1973 and 2009 thereby establishing the foundation of Accounting Standards in use presently and is now making current moves to harmonise all accounting principles of GAAP with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). It is widely believed that development of accounting profession in any nation and around the globe is a mixed effort of both accounting theoreticians and practicing accountants. Thus, the framework of accounting is a harmony of efforts whereby professional accounting bodies are usually in the lead of a path to regulation and standardisation of issues relating to accounting.

2.6 The Nigerian Scenario

In Nigeria, the case is not different from what has already been discussed. Most of the country’s accounting standards (concepts and conventions) were inherited from the British colonial masters. And because the world has indeed become a large global village with globalised accounting bodies supervising and making sure that all member countries are abreast with current Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Nigeria has also tagged along making several public sector and private sector reforms the most recent and famous of which include the approval by the Federal Government in July 2010 to adopt International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for the public sector and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the private sector as a conscious effort to ensure a uniform chart of reporting system throughout the country by both the public sector and private sector.

2.7 International Convergence of Accounting Standards

This concept is both a goal and a path taken to reach such a goal. The FASB believed that the ultimate goal of convergence is a single set of high-quality, international accounting standards that, companies world-wide would use for both domestic and cross-border financial reporting. To this end, conscious efforts are being made by the FASB and the IASB to jointly eliminate the differences between the ‘GAAP’ and the ‘IFRS’. One such conscious effort was made on the April 5th 2012 when an update report was submitted to the Financial Stability Board Plenary on Accounting Convergence. The ever increasing demand by global capital markets driven by investors’ desire for high-quality internationally comparable financial information is as a result of the usefulness it is expected to immediately provide for decision making and thereafter accurate solutions to problem solving. The IASB was established 1st April 2001 as successor to International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and on March 1st 2001 the IASB, which is an independent accounting standard-setter based in London, England assumed the responsibilities for Accounting Standardisation. The IASB is responsible for issuing many accounting standards and pronouncements known as the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

3. PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS

To give a pictorial view to this paper, two (2) illustrations are used to make presentations (interpretations) of the findings. Illustration.1 traces the Evolution of Accounting; its principles, roles, concepts, professionalism, standardisation and internationalisation. Illustration.2 on the one hand relates Accounting evolution with Human evolution and on the other hand it broadens the understanding of the reader with regards to the subject matter. The reader (user) of this paper easily discovers a past-present-future view of the Role of Accounting and it purports to postulate finally what the future of Accounting could (or should) be. Self Accounting is not a terminology found in the literature of Accounting but is used here to depict any primitive Accounting system which was maintained by traders long before double-entry. Self Accounting, thus, was the past of Accounting when the role of Accounting was merely to have records of Incomes and Expenses, show Liabilities and not necessarily showing Assets and profits as distinguished from the personal or private earnings/estates of a trader. Assets at times might have been recorded as expenses. These are assumable because most businesses operated (and still operate) as sole-ownerships. The Present role of Accounting encompasses; stewardship, financial reporting and managerial decision making. These three provide the nexus of what Accounting is today. The stewardship aspect is so referred to because rich merchants in Europe and the Americas at that time trained their slaves to render book-keeping services. So the merchants themselves did not have to do the tasks. Financial Accounting was developed to give standard to financial reporting especially for the users of such reports who are largely to the businesses concerned. Managerial Accounting evolved to provide records that would aid the decision making process of the managers and owners of businesses. Generally all three roles of accounting as at present assist stakeholders to make good judgments regarding their dealings with businesses. These stakeholders may or ‘may not’ have rights to receive the reports so discussed. The stakeholders include; creditors and government (having rights to receive only financial reports); the shareholders, investors and management (who make use of both the financial reports and the managerial reports); the employee and the management team (who are the users of all the reports: book-keeping, financial reports and managerial reports); and the competitors, resident community and customers – who do not have rights to receive such reports but are able to retrieve financial reports (annual reports) to aid their decisions with regards any business of interest to them.

Having accurate records (reports) support good decision making but sometimes bad interpretation and judgment of the reports and their recorded results may lead to bad decisions taken. The three roles of accounting presently have been the bed-rock with which accounting standardisation of principles and procedures have evolved to date. The Emerging Role (Future) of Accounting then must be anticipated with keen readiness with regards to what should be probable. Illustration.2 would do justice to this concept.

Illustration.1- The Evolution of Accounting in the US (1300 – 2014)

Stewardship (prior 1300)

-Slaves trained to render basic book-keeping

Double Entry (1300)

-Introduction of Double Entry principles

Book-keeping improved (1494)

-Financial Reporting begins

Cost Accounting (1772)

-Managerial Accounting for Decision Making begins

Double Entry (1789)

-Principle of Conservatism fully adopted

Professionalism (1850)

-Concepts/Chartered bodies introduced

AICPA formed in US (1887)

-Providing standards and operational guidelines

-Certification process begins

Qualifying Exams (1897)

-First standardised exams introduced

Cost Accounting Revamped (1923)

-Modern cost accounting methods developed by General Motors Company and remained relevant beyond 1973

Concepts and Conventions (1936)

-Conservatism expanded into other concepts and conventions

-US Committee on Accounting Procedure (CAP) establishes standard accounting practices

CAP Evolves (1953)

-New standards of GAAP fully established

CAP further evolves (1959)

-CAP becomes APB (Accounting Principles Board)

APB evolves (1973)

-Due to poor management and inability to Accounting theory as desired, APB is replaced by FASB

FASB established (1973)

-Financial Accounting Standards Board replaces APB and makes over 200 pronouncements up to 2009

-The foundation of accounting Standards all over the world further strengthened

Influence from the England (2001)

-IASB established as an independent ‘International Accounting Standards-Setter’ based in London, England

-IASB assumes responsibilities from IASC on March 1st 2001

FASB and the International Convergence (2012-2014)

-GAAP (established by the FASB) is being considered for merger into the IFRS (established by the IASB)

3.1 Reality Accounting versus the Future Role of Accounting?

What is Reality Accounting and what then should Reality Accounting encompass? Wikipedia.com defines reality as the totality of all things, structures (actual and conceptual), events (past or present) and phenomena whether observable or not. Reality is thus seen as a term that links ideologies to world views or part of them (conceptual frameworks). Reality Accounting is close to ‘Fair Value Accounting’, which is both a basis and theory of accounting. And it seems to be transforming into the Future Role of Accounting. In Financial Accounting, it is easily seen that accounting reflects corporate and economic realities as they are, though it is common sense to know that accounting cannot adequately reflect reality particularly in relation to the technical limitation of double-entry bookkeeping and Fair Value Accounting. As part of the changes emanating from Reality Accounting, a new concept of ‘Natural Capital’ has surfaced. At the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development organised by the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development (UNCSD), which took place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012. At the Conference, a Natural Capital declaration was made such that Natural capital is now understood to be comprising of all Earth’s natural assets (soil, air, water, flora and fauna) and the ecosystem services resulting from them, which make human life possible. It estimated that ecosystem goods and services from natural capital are worth trillions of US dollars per year and constitute food, fibre, water, health, energy, climate security and other essential services for everyone.

3.2 The Concept of Natural Capital

Neither the services, nor the stock of Natural Capital that provides them, are adequately valued compared to social and financial capital despite being fundamental to all that exists. The daily use of Natural Capital remains grossly undetected within our financial system. There is therefore the need to use Natural Capital in a manner that is sustainable. All stakeholders, including the private sector and governments must begin to appreciate and account for the use of Natural Capital and recognise the true cost of its economic growth as well as sustaining human wellbeing now and in the future.

3.3 Natural Capital Framework

Natural Capital though treated as a free good but must be seen as part of a global pool of wealth for which governments must act now and wisely to create a framework that shall regulate, reward or tax the private sector for its use. Reliable policy frameworks that can report the value, use and depletion of natural capital must be the intent of any government desirous of making a good start with this new accounting phenomenon. Deeper economic influence is given to accounting under Reality Accounting since all that are regarded as real are only truly real in their consequence and not in their physical. Therefore the value of Natural Capital for instance would be the value ascertained after considering various factors that give rise to such valuation. These factors include the size, presence of mineral resources, location, other natural resources, presence of plant and animal life etc.

Illustration.2- The Emerging Role (Future) of Accounting

HUMAN AGE………….HUMAN EVOLUTION…………………………….ACCOUNTING EVOLUTION

Primitive age………..Hunter – gatherer……………………………..Self Accounting

(Independence)……(Subsistent living)……………………………..(Abacus)



Colonial age…………Colonialisation…………………………………Stewardship Accounting

(Dependent age)…..(Being efficient)……………………………….(Book-keeping)



Modern Age………….Technology driven by Industrialisation…….Financial Accounting

(Independence)…….(Being effective)………………………………(Financial Reporting)



Modern Age………….Technology driven by Knowledge…………..Management Accounting

(Interdependence)…(From effectiveness to greatness)…………(Decision making)

?↓

The Future Age………Technology driven by advancements……..Reality Accounting?

(Efficiency…………….Environmentalism?…………………………..(Not as a tool for decision

based on……………..Developmentalism?………………………….making but providing

Interdependence……Spiritualism?…………………………………..accurate solutions to

…………………………(From greatness to what?)………………….financial problems)

4.0 CONCLUSION

As man seeks greater heights in a modern world full of scientific and research discoveries, Accountants must ponder what the emerging role of their profession must be. From merely providing information on the wellbeing of a business to financial reporting as a corporate responsibility and now decision making managerial approach for future forecasts, what then does that future hold for accounting or how is accounting expected to remain professional and relevant in that future which seems would be molded by environmental and developmental challenges all over the globe. As accurate records and reports have supported good decision making though sometimes bad interpretation and judgment of the reports and their recorded results have led to bad decisions taken, the present roles of accounting, which have formed the bed-rock with which accounting standardisation of principles and procedures have evolved are now facing evident changes.

Under the scope of Reality Accounting, it is clearly observed that concepts such as International Convergence, Natural Capital, Environmentalism, Developmentalism and Fair Value Accounting will sooner than latter set the path for the future of accounting.

This paper is to stimulate academic arguments for or against the subject matter in order to bring to the awareness of accountants about a subconscious change that is already taking place. It is recommended therefore that seasoned researchers should come forth with further ideas, summaries and reviews that can boost a clear pathway for the future of accounting.

REFERENCES

1. http://www.investopedia.com (Accounting Theory)

2. http://www.eHow.com (The History of Accounting Theory)

3. Berelson, Bernard. Content Analysis in Communication Research. New York: Free Press, 1952

How to Protect Curtain Walls From Damage During Construction and Shipping

Many new commercial construction projects are designed with large, glass curtain walls that are attached to the outside structure of buildings. These glass walls allow filtered natural light to enter the building interior as well as create a beautiful outside appearance. Another benefit of these wall systems is to increase fire spread between floors and to keep out air and water. Typically, a curtain wall spans more than one story and is composed of metal framing with infill units of glass. Unfortunately, these glass walls are often damaged during construction activity at considerable cost.

Curtain walls can be damaged during shipment to the job site, during installation and after installation while the remaining construction work takes place. There are several methods that manufacturers’ can use to protect the aluminum windows and mullions from damage for shipment. Protecta-foam strips can quickly be adhered to the metal surface and act as a protective barrier between stacked wall units. Reinforced cardboard edge protectors from 2.5 to 4.0 inches can be taped to all edges of the units for shipment. Lastly, rolled cardboard can be used in some cases if the weight of the units is not enough to crush the cardboard. Wall glass can be protected from scratches during shipment by using adhesive window film.

Once curtain walls have been delivered to the job site, unpacked and properly installed, they are at the highest risk of damage. Various construction trades will work both outside and inside the construction project for months or years. Not only can the aluminum be dented or scratched, the glass is at high risk for scratching and breakage as well. Some glass may be very expensive if it provides seismic- or hurricane-impact resistance or ballistic proof glass specified on courthouse projects. Protecting both the glass and metal once the curtain wall has been installed is a smart move by any contractor.

Most damage to curtain walls occurs at the lowest 5 feet of the walls on each floor of the building. This is where the workers and equipment will be in the closest contact to the walls. The best protection provides a “wall” in front of the glass wall itself. This protection wall can be constructed of wood or plastic. While wood is the strongest wall protection available, it is also expensive and time-consuming to erect. Corrugated plastic sheets in 4 ft by 8 ft sections can be taped together in front of the curtain wall providing a light weight and easily constructed wall. Unlike wood, plastic can be cleaned to remove dust and dirt as needed. Since there is no electricity for lights during early construction, protection walls constructed of white or clear plastic allow natural light to enter the building.

As the demand for curtain walls continues to increase, the need to protect these walls during construction will prove a challenge. Forward-thinking architects and building owners are taking the next step with wall systems by moving from energy conservation to energy generation. These newer walls with photovoltaic modules will be even more expensive and harder to repair or replace. With proper foresight and the use of temporary curtain wall protection, the smart contractor will not have to worry about damage to his or her curtain wall systems getting damaged.

The Golden Age For Software Testing In China

The China’s Computer Market 2008 Forecast Report has been released recently. It showed that in the first three quarters of 2007, the software industry in China has registered sales revenue of $50 billion, up 23.6% on pcp, accounting for 10.95% of the entire electronics and information industry’ sales revenue. As the software market matures, people have higher and higher expectations over software features, quality and reliability. In October 2005, Ministry of Labour and Social Security formally listed computer software product tester (software test engineer) as one of the new professions. In only two years’ time, software testing has become a powerful dark horse in the software industry.

Steadily rising status

“In the early 1990s, software industry was still at an infant stage in China. Most software projects were very simple, the whole code writing and development process could be handled by one person. As industry competition intensified, software companies were gradually evolving from one-man-band small shops to software engineering co-operations. Although division of labour could improve software development efficiency and functional varieties, it also lead to increasing number of bugs between modules and deteriorating qualities,” said Mr Wang Yazhi from CONCEPT Information Technology Ltd, a major software development company in Beijing. Quality impairment would not only damage a software firm’s competitiveness, it could also lead to massive economic loss for software users or even personal injuries, such as medical accidents.

As China’s software enterprises continue to prosper, the importance of software testing has also been increasingly appreciated by software companies. Many large and medium software companies have begun recruiting professional staff to take care of software testing. Ms Ran Chunjuan, a former testing manager in Wuhan Superidea Technology Ltd, said that “in Superidea, the ratio between software testers and developers is 1:4. Although this is still well behind the international best practice of 1:1, it is still a great improvement from 1:8 a few years ago.”

Industry experience appreciated

In addition to lifting the number of software testing staff, many companies are demanding higher staff quality as well, especially in areas of professional testing experience and thinking ability. “A tester without professional training can still work out 3-5 testing methods, but not necessarily detect bugs. Even if bugs are discovered, he might not be able to express the problems in proper languages, which could increase developers’ workload. Those well-trained testers can work out 10-20 testing methods, such as boundary value analysis, equivalence classes and cause-effect diagrams, to maximally discover any bugs. Professional testers can also articulate testing documents in standardised languages, thus improving the recovery rates of software problems,” said Mr Liu Fei, a former testing manager in Qualcomm. Many companies in China have now established independent testing departments, working along with R&D departments.

As companies’ software testing knowledge deepens, work scope for testing staff is expanding from system testing phase to unit testing and integration testing phases. “This requires software testers to have in-depth knowledge about the businesses a product is involved in,” said a testing manager from Founder Group, one of China’s largest software companies, “for example, when we test software for banking applications, we have to first understand the specific users in the bank. Some operators only use keyboards in the office, but if we don’t know about this and design it as a mouse-friendly control, banks will not buy, it no matter how well the software works.” Therefore it could be forecast that the status for software testers who possess technical experience and customer demand knowledge will further enhance.

A sellers’ market

“The software testing industry is at a growth stage,” said Prof Zheng Renjie, a software testing expert. The current hot market for software testers is mainly due to the rapid development in software industry itself, “companies are demanding better quality software, which has in turn stimulated demand for software testers. But talent supply and talent training are lagging behind the dramatic changes in market demand, hence a telent shortage.”

At present, software testing talent shortfall in China has exceeded 200,000, and it is rising to the 300,000 threshold. According to statistics, total software tester supply from nationwide IT training institutions is less than 10,000 per year, thus it can be foreseen that the testing talent shortage could last another 5-10 years. At the same time, talent shortage has given leverage to tester remunerations. According to a remuneration report from 51Job.com in China, starting salary for software testing engineers ranges from $400 – 650 per month, and it could increase to $1200 – 1650 for engineers with 2 to 3 years’ experience, higher than the remuneration for many developers with similar service years. As the talent supply shortage continues into 2008, software testers’ remuneration is looking for more gains.

Education and training

The shortage in software testers in China has not only lifted the remuneration levels, not also created a boom for educational and training institutions. Even two years ago, several prominent IT professional training institutions had realised the importance of software testing positions, and organized a few domestic and international software testing experts to co-develop training courses, which have successfully cultivated lots of software testing talents in the past two years. Currently in China, apart from overseas recruitment and company internal training, external professional training is also an important channel for producing software testers, amounted to 12% of total talent supply. As companies are paying more attention to labour costs control, more professional talents are expected to come from external training institutions.

While professional IT training is booming, tertiary education institutions also began to test the water. In August 2007, the first software testing education forum was held in Shanghai by various government bureaus and universities, explicitly marking “software testing” a core area in software engineering courses in China. But Dr Chen Honggang, who had been involved in development and testing of projects such as Windows95, Internet Explorer 4.0/5.0 and SQL Server 2000, commented that although universities can ease some pressures on software testing talent educations, based on overseas experience, professional training will still be the main channel for supplying software testing talents.

Samsung Nexus S: Effective With All Mobile Deals

Consumers have been always delighted by the mobile manufacturer Samsung with its numerous technically advanced handsets. The company has recently added another member to its family by with the name Samsung Nexus S unified with several multimedia features and applications which enable consumers to experience the advanced technologies incorporated in the handset. This new innovation by Samsung has been enriched with several high-tech features which make it a modern device. Consumers can avail this handset with several Samsung Nexus S deals.

This superb phone has a large 4.0 inches of Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors, with a picture resolutionof 480 x 800 pixels, added with other features like Oleophobic surface, Contour Display with curved glass screen, Multi-touch input method, Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, Touch-sensitive controls, Proximity sensor for auto turn-off, Three-axis gyro sensor. A large internal memory of 16GB is imbibed in the handset availing you with a huge storage space for your favorite videos as well as music and other data.

Technically refined camera of 5 MP with a high resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus is loaded in the gadget. Document editor (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF), Social networking integration, Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration, Image/video editor, MP4/DivX/WMV/H.264/H.263 player, Digital compass, MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player and many more features come preloaded in the phone. Samsung Nexus S works on Android OS, v2.3 Gingerbread supported with a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor.

Mobile phone users will find Samsung Nexus S in the form of contract deals, pay as you go and SIM free deals. All these deals are provided by the top service providers like O2, orange, T-mobile, 3mobile, Vodafone and Virgin making your desired handset affordable with a reasonable price. All these deals are available with many profitable and valuable free gifts and incentives. All these deals are available on various online mobile shops where users can compare all the deals and than pick the best one.

Can the Determination That Drives Great Athletes Be Taught to Entrepreneurs?

Is the determination that drives great athletes similar to the determination that drives successful entrepreneurs… and can core values like determination be taught? There is no doubt that great athletes are born with natural abilities but I’m not talking about natural ability or even the skills learned from good coaching. I’m talking about core values like their unbounded determination to win, that differentiates a great athlete and separates great athletes from merely good athletes. Values like determination, risk taking, and the ability to overcome obstacles that move great athletes ahead of the competition. Many athletes develop skills and become good at their game but lack the drive needed to make them great… just as in business, where there are good managers who seem to lack the drive that could turn them into successful entrepreneurs. An athlete’s desire to win can be seen in the determination they bring to their game. In most of the motivational sports stories we hear it’s hard to tell where the athletes skills end and their determination to win begins. To understand how an entrepreneur might apply these same values we need to separate the athlete’s technical skills and natural ability from the core values that drive him.

We’ve all heard stories about athletes who overcome great obstacles to achieve their goal. Unfortunately, when you hear these stories you only hear about a small part of the athletes life. That is the reason these stories often leave you feeling that something is missing… sports stories tend to be “cliff hangers” that don’t tell you what happened to the athlete later in life. You hear how the athlete accomplishes their immediate goal but you’re left to wonder what will become of his life once he moves beyond the sports arena. The implied ending in most sports stories is that the athlete will go on to achieve other great things in life but we know that is not always the case. Because the story is limited to his success on the court, you can’t tell whether his success was due solely to his athletic skills or to the determination that drove him. To gain insight into the role values like determination played we have to see what happens to his life after his athletes skills fade. Will his determination to succeed bring him new accomplishments in other areas? We know that some athletes go on to find great second careers in business while others, sadly, never find further success in life and some even fall to crime once their athletic careers end. What are the core values that continue to drive some athletes forward and enables them to succeed later in life? These are the values we want entrepreneurs to learn.

And while we are missing the end of most sports stories, we may also be missing the beginning. Where did the athlete learn the values that brought his success? Like all of his teammates he may have started learning skills in youth sports and may have had the benefit of dedicated coaches in school. But what gave him that “fire in the belly” that others didn’t have? Why is that determination there for one person but not for another? Are these the same values that drive some people to escape poor environments and overcome their circumstances while others succumb to their environment? Somewhere in the athletes life he chose to follow a path to success and learned the values he would need to achieve greatness. We hear about an athletes determination but rarely hear the part of the story that tells us where he learned the core values that drive him. If we can see how he learned values like determination, we might learn how to teach these values to others. To gain useful insight we need to understand where the athlete learned the values that drove his success and then examine how he was able to apply those same values over and over to bring about serial success both in and out of sports. Perhaps that would also explain why most entrepreneurs become serial entrepreneurs.

I recently did the research for the biography of Dr. George Tinsley. His sports story is tremendous and his desire to win is clear in everything he achieved on the basketball court while setting records as an NCAA champion. His life story is equally tremendous. After his sports career, he was able to overcome many obstacles to also achieve greatness as a businessman and serial entrepreneur. Because the pattern of his serial success were so apparent his biography quickly started to take on new meaning as I was able to examine the values that became the drivers throughout his life. His story became far more than his sports accomplishments. It was about the values that helped him achieve success both on and off the court. It became clear he would have found a path to success with or without sports. By looking at his entire life it was possible to see that the values that led to his success in sports had also led to his success in business as a serial entrepreneur.

What I found by looking beyond his basketball career was that the values that brought his athletic success were the same values that led to his entrepreneurial success and which had been his guides to achieve every goal he set in life. He had learned those core values as a child growing up in the inner city, even before he graduated from elementary school. His adoptive mother, while poor and physically challenged had told him never to let anyone or anything stand in his way, that he could achieve whatever he set his mind to. She taught him that he was responsible for his own actions and what happened in his life. This didn’t mean not to accept help from others but not to be dependent on others for his success. She taught him to set goals and not to make excuses for failing. She taught him that, if he was determined enough, he could find a way to overcome any obstacle. George Tinsley’s life is proof that these values can be taught and his life is an example of what can happen when one applies entrepreneurial values like determination, hard work, and overcoming obstacles no matter what the challenges are in their life. His story has a beginning and an ending that, when followed, will give others a path to success. He learned to apply these values over and over no matter what his goal was.

When someone hears George Tinsley’s story they are not tempted to say he succeeded because of his natural abilities as an athlete. His sports story only explains one part of his life. Only the constant application of the entrepreneurial values over and over throughout life can explain his serial success. George Tinsley speaks with many student groups about entrepreneurism and the “Obstacles to Opportunities” they will face in life and teaches them how they can succeed. They may come to hear an NCAA champion speak but they learn by hearing his full life story.

Importance of Windows Hosting

There are times when one needs to look at ways to acquire windows hosting with asp.net. This option has several benefits. It is these which make it an important tool for those interested in making use of technologies and other features, which are only supported through the Windows operating system. This will give you the ability to come up with applications for the web, which are both powerful and more functional. When this happens, the software resources will be used more efficiently. Some of its most renowned features include the script framework.

It has been pointed out that anyone looking into ways through which to come up with some of the finest web applications, meeting the latest standards, is possible through windows hosting with asp.net. Any person developing web applications for the very first time, will find this hosting platform quite effective. It not only allows you to develop, but to test your application as well within the right environment. The hosting experience comes equipped with rich features at fairly low costs.

The AJAX framework is another feature found within window based hosting with asp.net which makes it quite important. This hosting plan provides an environment in which seamless integration can be carried out with Microsoft SQL. The server databases give you the greatest opportunity for creation of some of the most dynamic websites. Even where a particular web application was developed using some archaic technology, it can be supported in Windows using this hosting plan; that is, the asp.net solution. It is found in the current and modern version 4.0.

The windows based hosting with asp.net plan makes it easier to upgrade from the 2003 to 2008, or even the latest operating systems or versions. It is a process that makes it simpler for certified professionals to monitor release of service packs as well as any security updates available at any given moment. It is a simple process through which any device, which is useful in this type of web hosting plan, can be properly and effectively maintained. Servers which come installed with RAID cards, enable faster set-up of backup hard disk in cases where the original one crushes or fails.

There are a number of companies, which provide both shared windows and dedicated or reseller hosting plans for those in need. These plans are offered at competitive rates and prices so that as many people as possible will find them to be affordable and within easy reach. Shared hosting can be found in 4GB, 8GB or even 16GB hard disk space or even lesser 1GB, 2GB etc. Reseller hosting is availed in a way, which gives one the ability to choose between a plans that can support 10, 20 or up to 30 different websites.

The moment you subscribe to the windows based hosting with asp.net plan, you will find that you are given anything up to 2GB of email storage capacity per domain. However, a number of hosting companies and plans allow you to upgrade up to 5GB of mail storage. This is possible when you pay some extra fees. Other services you will receive here include secure FTPS, in addition to shared SSL, either for free or at a fee. It may allow for unlimited FTP uses, though this feature depends with the hosting company from whom you are acquiring these services.

Ease of Use

Irrespective of the windows hosting with asp.net plan one opts for, one aspect you will be assured of is ease of use. Furthermore, these come with abundance of disk space in addition to the provision of a setup process which can support hundreds of email accounts. Moreover, what makes this hosting plan slightly easier to use, is the fact that it allows for monthly transfers which range from 240GB to unlimited.

Reliability

There is no question that all the features stated above, enable Windows hosting with ASP.Net to offer a higher level of reliability to the site, client and users of the website.

Proven, Practical Tactics For Agile IT Release Management – A Case Study

Overview:

This article is the first in a series of five that will explain how an IT organization delivered a release management process that exceeded its management’s expectations and provided a foundation for continued success. The series includes:

1. How did we get here – THE CONTEXT

2. First solution steps – DEFINITIONS AND TRIAGE

3. Intake and Release Planning – THE CORE SOLUTION

4. Production Change Control – FINAL QUALITY CONTROL

5. Metrics and Insights – LESSONS LEARNED

Summary:

Many Information Technology organizations flounder when they are tasked to understand, organize and implement numerous changes to the system and application software serving their clients and end customers over a period of several years. This article explains at a high level the very practical and common sense framework and processes that successfully conquered the problem for one corporation and its IT team. How successful was this framework? Frankly, IT metrics is a dangerous and obscure element to discuss scientifically. But this organization accomplished the following:

– In one year, it increased its client satisfaction ranking from 2.5 to 4.0 on a 5 point scale.

– In one year, it delivered 85% more change requests and projects into production than in the prior 12 months.

– The organization exceeded its own stretch targets for throughput and change request cycle time by 40%.

– It accomplished these results with no headcount increases and no expenditures for IT “toolware”.

– It did increase the IT expense budget by 3.2% to cover the cost of a single consultant to instantiate the framework and processes for agile release management.

What was the secret sauce to make these accomplishments possible? The answer requires that we carefully consider the context for this organization.

Context:

The company and its IT department can be characterized as follows:

Company

– Industry – telecommunications – one segment of a very large Regional Bell Operating Company

– Primary Products – voicemail service and ancillary features

– Consumer base – 4 million consumer accounts with 25% growth forecast

– Total company headcount – about 500 people

– Primary operation – a 24X7 call center of 300+ people selling and servicing consumers on voicemail products and features

– Financial Results – High Line-of-Business Profit Margins within very large corporate structure

– Everyone worked in the same building

IT Organization

– IT staff – about 60 – most with 2-10 years of organizational history

– Functionally aligned into – Operations, Project Management and Analysis, System Development, QA and Help Desk, Configuration Management

– Applications – 7 major home-grown subsystems serving the company’s direct operations

– HR/Financial/Corporate functions were served by corporate parent and processes, with interfaces

– Technology – fairly current languages, operating systems and technical infrastructure (hardware, network, DBMS)

– Recently installed improvements:

– Software Configuration management tools, staff and processes

– Perceived primary problem – no effective control of changes submitted to production

– Everyone worked on the same floor

Strengths

– Strong and growing revenues

– Company Management – generally very experienced in call center management and product improvement processes

– IT Management – 80% had 4+ years within this organization and very little churn, only 2 levels of IT management

– Mature and successful IT processes included:

– Project Management

– Quality Assurance Testing

– Several strong IT manager advocates for improved Release Management

– Co-location of IT and its direct clients – the managers of the business functions

Weaknesses

– Company managers negotiated private deals to get their change requests and projects installed “earlier”

– No central clearinghouse for adjudicating departmental requests for IT changes

– No tracking system to account for all change requests and projects demanded and delivered

– About 325 requests/projects believed to be in play

– A haphazard intake and control/tracking process for “small” change requests

– Programmers could independently implement an application change to production

– No single point of contact/communications between the IT organization for each small change request

– Current status and target implementation date of any single change request difficult to obtain/pin down

– IT operations changes were totally independent of organizational change control and viewed as disruptive

Opportunities

– A new chance to consolidate and share information on everything on IT’s plate in a single place

– A chance to leverage the existing knowledge and maturity of the IT staff

– A chance to reduce the start/stop nature of IT work due to competing and vociferous input from company managers

– A chance to incorporate IT infrastructure changes from Operations in a planned manner

Threats

– Software developers desired new toolware – not more management processes

– Company business managers enjoyed calling the shots directly with programming resources

– Tension between IT managers on what were the best paths for organizational improvement

– IT had failed on its first attempt the prior year at Change Control and Release Management processes

– Consultants rarely added value

Conclusion/Transition

The CIO, facing this situation, agreed to allow the Manager for Project Management and Analysis to contract for a resource to implement Release Management (Version 2). The CIO believed that she could deliver better results to her constituency by implementing change in a series of well-understood application package upgrades at regular intervals. She also wanted to take back to her peers a plan that they could understand and use to directly influence the order of implementation for their changes. The Manager of PM retained me as the Release Manager with the mandate to institute the processes and controls needed, and engaging all IT staff and VPs in business departments as needed for success.

The rest, they say, is “agile” history. To learn what it really takes, our story continues next with DEFINITIONS AND TRIAGE.

The Evolution of Word Wide Web – WWW

Introduction

World Wide Web (WWW) is the system of interlinked hypertext documents containing text, images, audio, videos, animation and more. User can view and navigate through these documents using hyperlinks or navigation elements which have references to another document or to the section of the same document. In a broader sense “The World Wide Web is the universe of network-accessible information, an embodiment of human knowledge.”

History of World Wide Web

WWW was first proposed in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau while working at the CERN, the European Council for Nuclear Research. Both of them came out with their individual proposal for Hypertext systems and later on they united and offered joint proposal. The term “Word Wide Web” was first introduced in that joint proposal. The history of every invention has lot of pre-history. Similarly the World Wide Web has also lot of pre-historical gradual development of hypertext system and internet protocols which made the WWW possible. The gradual development started in the early 1945, with the development of Memex, a device based on microfilms for storing huge amount of documents and facilitating organizing those documents. Later in 1968 “Hypertext” was introduced, which made linking and organization of documents fairly easy. In 1972 DARPA (Defense Advance Research Project Agency), started project that connect all research centers to facilitate data exchange which later adopted for military information exchange. In 1979 SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) was invented to enable sharing of documents for large government project by separating content from the presentation and thereby enabling same document to be rendered in different ways. In 1989 Tim Berners-lee came out with Networked Hypertext system form CERN Laboratory. In 1990, joint proposal for hyper text system was presented and the term “World Wide Web” first introduced. In 1992 first portable browser was released by CERN, and that had picked up industry interest in internet development. Today web is so much popularized and has grown to be so invaded in to our lives; it becomes almost impossible to imagine the World without web.

Web Evolution – What and How?

Each technology has certain distinguished characteristics and features. Similarly web has certain features such as data, services, mess-up, APIs, social platform and more. These features are continuously and progressively evolving in distinct stages with qualitative improvements over the existing. Web evolution is categorized and hyped with some fancy marketing terms like “Web 1.0”, “Web 2.0”, “Social Web”, “Web 3.0”, “Pragmatic Semantic Web”, “Pragmatic Web” and many more.

Yihong Ding, PHD candidate at Brigham Young University, in his article on “Evolution of Web” explained the development of Web by analogically comparing it with the human growth. Yihong Ding stated “The relationship between web pages and their webmasters is similar to the relationship between children and their parents. As well as parents raise their children, webmasters maintain and update their web pages. Human children have their normal stages of development, such as the newborn stage, pre-school stage, elementary-school stage, teenage stage, and so on. Analogically, web has its generations, such as Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and so on.”

Along with technological advancement web design also changed over the period of time. Initial design was simple hypertext read only system which allowed users to read the information. User was just a viewer of what is presented on the web. Gradually images and tables added with evolution of HTML and web browsers, which allowed making better design. Development of photo-editing tools, web authoring tools and content management tools enabled designer to begin creating visually appealing website design layouts. In the next phase of development, web design changed with the change in usability and the focus is diverted on the users rather than the content of the website. User interaction and social touch is applied to the web design. Now user is not just a viewer. User can drive the web with feedback, information sharing, rating and personalization. Gradually we got the mature blend of function, form, content and interaction, called Read/Write Web. Continuing this evolution, meaning is added to the information presented on the web so that online virtual representatives of human can able to read and interprets the presented information. This kind of web where user agent imitating human behavior, can read and understand the information using artificial intelligence is called semantic web.

Web 1. 0 (Read Only Web)

World Wide Web is evolved in stages. First stage was the basic “Read Only” hypertext system also termed as Web 1.0 since the hype of Web 2.0. In fact in the original proposed web model, Tim Berners-Lee envisioned web as the Read/Write Model with HTTP PUT and HTTP DELETE method. These methods were almost never used just because of security reasons.

Some of the Characteristics of Web 1.0

1. In Web 1.0 web master is constantly engaged with responsibility of managing the content and keeps user updating. Majority of hyperlinks to the contents are manually assigned by the web master.

2. Web 1.0 does not support mass-publishing. The content on the website is published by the web master and thereby does not leverage the collective intelligence of users.

3. Web 1.0 uses basic hyper text mark up language for publishing content on the internet.

4. Web 1.0 pages do not support machine readable content. Only human who are web readers can understand the content.

5. Web 1.0 provides contact information (email, phone number, fax or address) for communication. Users have to use the off-line world for further communication with this contact information.

6. In Web 1.0, web pages are designed to react instinctively based on the programmed condition. Specific result or response is generated when the programmed condition is satisfied. Web 1.0 model does not understand remote request and can not prepare response for potential request in advance. To clearly understand above characteristics of web 1.0, Yihong Ding in his article on “Evolution of World Wide Web” has analogically correlated World of Web 1.0 with the world of a Newborn baby.

Newborn Baby : I have parents

Web-1.0 Page : Webmasters

Newborn Baby : Watch me, but I won’t explain

Web-1.0 Page : Humans understand, machines don’t

Newborn Baby : Talk to my parents if you want to discuss about me

Web-1.0 Page : Contact information (email, phone number, fax, address, …)

Newborn Baby : My parents decide who my friends are. Actually, I don’t care

Web-1.0 Page : Manually specified web links

Newborn Baby : Hug me, I smile; hit me, I cry (conditional reflex)

Web-1.0 Page : Reactive functions on web pages

Source: Analogy from the Article by Yihong Ding from http://www.deg.byu.edu/ding/WebEvolution/evolution-review.html#w1:1 “The web 1.0 pages are only babies.

Web 2. 0 (Read Write Web)

“Web 2.0 is the understanding that the network is the platform and on the network is platform roles for the business is different. And the cardinal role is user adds value. And figuring out how to built database and things to get better so that more people use that and it’s the secret of web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.”[4]

In Web 2.0 the idea of Consumer (Users) and Producer (Web Master) is dissolving. Web 2.o is more about communications and user interactions. Web 2.0 is all about participation. “Content is the King” often cited quote during early web 1.0 days, is now turned in to “User is the King” in Web 2.0. In web 2.0 users communicates through blogging, wikis and social networking websites. Everything on the web is tagged, to facilitate easy and quick navigation. Web 2.0 is also about combining it all in one single page by means of tagging and AJAX with better usability via lots of white space, and a cleaner layout. The API ability makes it possible for programmers to mash up data feeds and databases to cross reference information from multiple sources in one page. In contrast with web 1.0, web 2.0 has collective intelligence of millions of users.

Web 2.0 is all about improved version of World Wide Web with changing role and evolving business model where users learned to communicate with the other users instead of just communicating with the publisher of the content.

Some of the Characteristics of Web 2.0

1. Web 2.0 is the second version of Web providing RIA (Rich Internet Application) by bringing in the desktop experience such as “Drag and Drop” on the webpage in browser.

2. SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is the key piece in Web 2.0. Buzzwords around SOA are Feeds, RSS, web services and mash up, which defines how Web 2.0 application exposes functionality so that other applications can leverage and integrate those functionalities providing much richer set of applications.

3. Web 2.0 is the Social web. Web 2.0 Application tends to interact much more with the end user. End users are not only the users of the application but also the participants whether by tagging the content, whether he is contributing to the wiki or doing podcast for blogging. Due to the Social nature of application end user is the interval part of the data for the application, proving feedbacks and allowing application to leverage that user going to use it.

4. In Web 2.0 philosophy and strategy is that “The Web is open”. Content is available to be moved and changed by any user. Web site content is not controlled by the people who made the web site but by the user who are using the web site.

5. In Web 2.0 Data is the driving force. Users are spending much more time online and started generating content in their passive time. Web 2.0 requires some of the key technologies to be used in the development of web pages. One of the important technologies is the AJAX which supports development of rich user experience.

6. Web 2.0 websites typically include some of the following key technologies.

– RSS (Really Simple Syndication), which allows users to syndicate, aggregate and to set up the notification of the data using feeds.

– Mashups, which makes it possible to merge the content from different sources, allowing new form of reusing of the information via public interface or APIs.

– Wikis and Forums to support user generated content.

– Tagging, which allows users to specify and attach human readable keyword to web resource.

– AJAX – Asynchronous Java Script and XML, which is the web development technique, allowing exchange of interactive data behind the scene without reloading the web page.

To clearly understand above characteristics of web 2.0, Yihong Ding in his article on “Evolution of World Wide Web” has analogically correlated World of Web 2.0 with the world of a Pre-School Kid.

Pre-School Kid : I have parents

Web-2.0 Page : Webmasters (blog owners)

Pre-School Kid : Parents teach me knowledge (though often not well organized)

Web-2.0 Page : Tagging

Pre-School Kid : I understand but maybe imprecise and incorrect

Web-2.0 Page : Folksonomy

Pre-School Kid : I can deliver and distribute messages, especially for my parents

Web-2.0 Page : Blogging technology

Pre-School Kid : Who my friends are is primarily determined by my parents’ social activities and their teaching

Web-2.0 Page : Social network

Pre-School Kid : Multiple of us can be coordinated to do something beyond individual’s capabilities

Web-2.0 Page : Web widget, mashup

Pre-School Kid : I can do suggestion based on my communication with friends

Web-2.0 Page : Collective intelligence

Following table distinguish the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0

Web 1.0 is about : Reading

Web 2.0 is about : Reading /Writing

Web 1.0 is about : Publishing

Web 2.0 is about : Feedbacks, Reviews, Personalization

Web 1.0 is about : Linking Content using Hyperlinks

Web 2.0 is about : mashup

Web 1.0 is about : Companies

Web 2.0 is about : CommunityCommunity

Web 1.0 is about : Client-Server

Web 2.0 is about : Peer to Peer

Web 1.0 is about : HTML

Web 2.0 is about : XML

Web 1.0 is about : Home Pages

Web 2.0 is about : Blogs and Wikis

Web 1.0 is about : Portals

Web 2.0 is about : RSS

Web 1.0 is about : Taxonomy

Web 2.0 is about : Tags

Web 1.0 is about : Owning

Web 2.0 is about : Sharing

Web 1.0 is about : Web form

Web 2.0 is about : Web Application

Web 1.0 is about : Hardware Cost

Web 2.0 is about : Bandwidth Cost

Web 3. 0 (Semantic Web)

Web is no longer linking and tagging of information and resources. With the advent of semantic web concept, special information is attached to the resources or information so that machine can understand and read just like human.

Timer Berner Lee envisioned

“I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A ‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The ‘intelligent agents’ people have touted for ages will finally materialize.”

Semantic Web has derived from his vision of web as the universal medium for exchange of data, information and knowledge. Web 3.0 or Semantic Web is an Executable Phase of Web Development where dynamic applications provides interactive services and facilitates machine to machine interaction. Tim Berner Lee has further stated

“People keep asking what Web 3.0 is. I think maybe when you’ve got an overlay of scalable vector graphics – everything rippling and folding and looking misty – on Web 2.0 and access to a semantic Web integrated across a huge space of data, you’ll have access to an unbelievable data resource.” Semantic web is the an extension of World Wide Web in which web content is expressed in machine readable language, not just in nature language, so that user agents can read, process and understand the content using artificial intelligence imitating human behavior. In other words Semantic Web is an extension of the web where content expressed can be processed independently by intelligent software agents.

There can be several agents one can program within the context of vocabulary of the vertical domain.

For example

“Travel Agent”, who keep searching chipset air tickets based on your criteria and notify you when it gets the perfect one.

“Personal Shopper Agent”, who keeps looking for the specific product on the eBay and get it for you once it finds the one that match with all of your criterions.

Similarly we can have “Real Estate Agent”, “Personal Financial Advisor Agent” and many more.

All user is doing is just creating their personal agent which talks with the web services which are exposed publicly and there by taking care of lots of repetitive tasks.

Precisely Web 3.0 = Every human + Every device + Every Information

Characteristics of Semantic Web

1. Unlike database driven websites, In Semantic Web database is not centralized.

2. Semantic Web is the Open System where schema is not fixed as it may take any arbitrary source of data.

3. Semantic Web requires using Meta description languages such as Web Ontology Language and the Resource Description Framework (RDF). Annotation requires lot of time and effort.

Web n.0 – a Glimpse of the Future

Let me add one more element to the previous formula

Web 3.0 = Every human + Every device + Every Information = Everything in the context of current technology advancement.

Web 3.0 is still evolving and it is going to encompass everything. One can not envision anything beyond web 3.0 in the current technology advancement.

Breaking all current technological capabilities Raymond Kurzweil, the inventor of OCR (Optical Character Reader) envisioned Web 4.0 as the Web OS with intelligent user agents acting parallel to human brain. Following figure illustrate the evolution of Web along with technology advancement and the semantics of social connections. Source: Nova Spivack and Radar Networks

Conclusion

The evolution of web has gone through phases as mentioned in this article and that has introduced numerous technologies and concepts in various areas; software, communication, hardware, marketing, advertising, content sharing, publicity, finance and many more.

In a way the World Wide Web has changed the way people were used to look at things earlier. I believe this evolution is never ending and moving towards excellence.

References:

How Is the Automotive Industry Handling the New Industrial Revolution?

Bill Gates is alleged to have once quipped that “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 MPG.” Even though the authenticity of this quote is questionable, it has been circulated throughout the internet for years because there is something about the sentiment that rings true to us. It certainly does not seem that the automotive industry has kept up with advancing technology the way that the computer industry has.

This may be due in part to the manufacturing infrastructure that has evolved over the years. Making sweeping upgrades to equipment and/or processes seems a very expensive and risky proposition. When you couple this with the fact that many automobile manufacturers today struggle to find enough demand for their current supply, it is easy to understand why keeping up with the latest technology isn’t always a top priority.

The problem with this reluctance, though, is that automobiles are not inexpensive consumables that people buy casually. Customers expect vehicles to come with the highest standards of safety and efficiency. Customers expect the latest technology possible. How can manufacturers keep up with this demand for innovation without changing their processes?

It seems that some manufacturers are beginning to embrace the ways of the modern industrial world, and are finding ways to align their business models with the current wave of interconnectivity and streamlined automation.

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama

Honda’s largest light truck production facility in the world – a 3.7 million square foot plant – was faced with a problem all too common to large manufacturing facilities. Over the years, a number of different automation systems were introduced to help streamline production. With operations including blanking, stamping, welding, painting, injection molding, and many other processes involved in producing up to 360,000 vehicles and engines per year, it is not surprising that they found themselves struggling to integrate PLCs from multiple manufacturers, multiple MES systems, analytic systems, and database software from different vendors.

Of course, on top of these legacy systems, Honda continued to layer an array of smart devices on the plant floor and embed IT devices in plant equipment. The complexity introduced by this array of automation systems turned out to be slowing down the operations they were intended to streamline.

After reorganizing their business structure to merge IT and plant floor operations into a single department, Honda proceeded to deploy a new automation software platform that enabled them to bring together PLC data with the data coming from MES and ERP systems into a common interface that allowed the entire enterprise to be managed through a single system. This also allowed Honda to manage and analyze much larger data sets that revealed new opportunities for further optimization. While this reorganization required a significant investment of resources, they were able realize benefits immediately, and ultimately positioned themselves to maintain a competitive edge through the next decade or more.

Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Company operates a global network of manufacturing operations, and have had difficulty when trying to promote collaboration and share best practices between their various plants. They found a solution using technology based on the Google Earth infrastructure.

Ford was able to develop a cloud-based application that stores 2D and 3D representations of Ford’s global manufacturing facilities, and allows users to navigate through these virtual environments, place pins, and upload video, images and documents to these pins that are shared throughout Ford’s global operations. Engineers and operators can share information about current plant conditions and procedures, which can be accessed in real time from anywhere in the world. The accumulated data can be used for training or to update standard procedures. By creating a global collaborative tool, Ford has created a means of ensuring that each and every one of their employees has the latest, most accurate information on how to best perform a particular task or how to avoid a problem that was encountered elsewhere.

We will have to see in coming years whether or not these innovations will lead to improved market performance for either of these manufacturers, but in the meantime it is probably safe to expect other companies to follow suit. With the advances in manufacturing technologies and machine-to-machine communication, it is becoming very difficult to remain competitive without playing by the same rules as everyone else. Industrial technology has advanced to the point that we are experiencing what people refer to as a new industrial era – or Industry 4.0. Reluctance is no longer a viable option.

Asp Net Development: A Brief History and Advantages

Asp.net is one of the leading web application development framework allowing programmers to build dynamic web sites, web applications and web services. It was developed and launched by Microsoft. Currently there are millions of developers, and significant amount of software development companies opting for asp.net development for their development needs. It was released in January 2002 with version 1.0 with the current version 4.0. It is based on the.net framework and is the descendant to Microsoft’s Active Server Pages technology. Furthermore, it is built on the Common Language Runtime (CLR) giving freedom to programmers to write its code using any supported.net language.

Some of the major advantages of Asp.net development could be classified as under:

• As it is a part of Microsoft technologies, so a programmer could be rest assured with the quality of services. In addition, a programmer could also get support from Microsoft.

• Serves as one of the prominent solutions in designing robust and dynamic web sites, web applications and web services.

• Frequently updated by Microsoft to meet the cutting-edge technological requirements and a developer could download these updates as and when required.

• Can be cross-linked with various other technological frameworks such as C, C++, C#, JAVA/AJAX, Flash/Flex, and many others.

• Cross-browser compatibility as the solutions provided could work on multiple browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome etc.

• Gives freedom to the programmers to write the asp.net code in any.net framework because of its Common Language Runtime advantage.

• SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) extension framework, which allows its components to process SOAP messages.

• It is used by millions of users around the globe, proving it as a prominent widget for the development process.

• Support of themes, templates, add-ons and plugins, along with several other advantages.

Apart from these, there are several other advantages, which can be availed by its programmers, in their development process.

Asp.net development could provide thriving solutions in the following categories:

-> Business and corporate website

-> Social/ business/ community networking website

-> Solutions for web-based application

-> Custom CMS (Content Management System)

-> Custom CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

-> And several other solutions, customized to meet individual/ business specific requirements.