What is Content Marketing and how it helps your business

What is Content Marketing and how it helps your business

This morning I was asked to explain what I meant by “Content Marketing” and why it is relevant in today’s digital world. It has been the hottest sales / demand generating topic in and we’ve been doing it at Terabyte for 3-4 years now, with us realising its value in some unexpected ways....

I was asked if it was only applicable to professional services firms and the answer is a definite NO. For example...

High performing companies have tech savvy board members Deloitte study shows

"The percentage of public companies that have appointed technology-focused board members has grown over the last six years from 10 percent to 17 percent. However, this figure almost doubles (32 percent) for high performers—companies that outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) by 10 percent or more for the past three years. Although having a technology-focused director may not be the sole reason for performance success, many high-performing companies appear to recognize the potential advantage of having technology expertise in the boardroom..."

Read "Bridging the boardroom's technology gap"...

Jack Ma of Alibaba shares his wisdom

Chris Skinner shares his notes from Jack Ma's presentation at a conference in China a week ago...

"It is impossible to do business today offline, as everything has to have something online, which is why we need more ‘netrepreneurs’.

"The whole supply chain will be impacted by the internet.

"In the future, there will be no ‘made in’, as in ‘Made in China’ or ‘Made in India’. You will just have designed, ideated, printed and made it on the internet. There is no made in China or India.

"Everything can be customised. It’s expensive today, but if you can’t do it tomorrow, your company will fail.

Read Chris' full article...

5 Cyber security questions a board should ask their CEO

After the current Petya destructive wiper malware and recent WannaCry ransomware attacks that effected large numbers of companies, it's a timely reminder for boards to ask their CEO about their company's cyber security preparedness.

Here are 5 key questions to begin with:

1. What would it cost our business to loose our IT systems for a week?

Think about Maersk who have closed down their whole global system to prevent further exposure to ransomware. They can't access the information required to load and unload ships.

What would be the impact on your company of a total loss of IT systems?
For a rough guide, if sales and turnover are dependent on your IT systems being available, divide your monthly turnover by 20 for the potential daily business impact from loss of trading, excluding the cost to get systems back on-line and damage to your business in the market.
IT systems can be impacted by a wide range of risks, the following of which I've seen suppliers and clients suffer from over the years:

  • Flooding from an airconditioning fault soaking servers and ruining them. Ensure valuable computer equipment is raised off the floors.
  • Fire in a neighbouring floor closing down the office with access to IT systems being cut off. The same was experienced with the Christchurch earthquake. 
  • Catastrophic hardware fault.
  • Theft of servers and the backups.
  • Virus attack preventing normal function of IT systems.
  • Ransomware encrypting business critical data such that it is unusable.

2. How valuable is our data?

One way to get a feel for this is to ask two questions.
What would happen to our business if we lost our data?
What would be the impact on our business and our customers if a copy of our data ended up in a cyber criminal or a competitor's hands? 

3. How securely do we backup our IT systems?

  • Are they running reliably? How do we know this? Do we do a periodic test restore, eg quarterly?
  • Where are the backups kept? They should be somewhere safe off-site
  • How many days + weeks + months do we retain backup copies? The very minimum should be 30 days of daily backups.
  • Do we backup everything, ie operating systems, software and data?
  • How long would it take to restore a complete system from backup and who would do it?

4. How secure are our IT systems?

  • When was our network security last reviewed and by whom?
  • How often do we update Windows patches on our computers? 
  • Do we have any computers running non-current Windows operating systems?
  • What are our weakest points?
  • What are our password security rules and how often are passwords required to be changed?
  • Do our computers automatically log out after a period of inactivity?
  • Who has access to our most critical passwords and how are they stored? eg are they stored in a secure password management system (recommended) or insecurely written down or stored in documents on the system?
  • Is our physical security sufficient to protect against unauthorised access?

5. What staff training and awareness do we conduct?

  • Many cyber attacks are delivered via malicious emails and they are getting quite sophistocated. 
  • Regular cyber awareness discussions help staff remain up-to-date, more aware, and vigilant.

This certainly isn't an exhaustive list but would be a good start to understand the risk to the business, the potential cost, and to encourage an action plan should it appear that the business is not well prepared.




The rise of electric cars will kill the gas station

Gas stations are a lifeline. They not only fuel our cars but us, too -- whether it's with lukewarm coffee during the morning commute or the salty-sweet buffet during road trips. They're a glowing oasis when the gas tank is empty and our bladders are full. It's going to be a long while before

Which NZ industries could be extinct in 20 years?

The recent ground breaking WhatNext.nz TV series got 250,000 interactive kiwis engaged and thinking about what life could be like for them in 20 years' time.

Will their current job be replaced by robots? Would they choose to live to 130 if they had the choice? At what age would they retire? And many more great questions were discussed with audiences participating with live feedback via the web, FaceBook and Twitter.

As I live and work in a digital world I can see industries facing dramatic change and potential extinction unless they transform themselves.

And of course new ones we haven't imagined yet will be born.

So, I thought practically about a few businesses that have gone, are hurting, and are threatened within 20 years. Just my thoughts and observations but here goes...

Amazon eating Whole Foods is nothing - entire industries are about to become toast

Vivek Wadhwa says "Companies now have to be on a war footing. They need to learn about technology advances and see themselves as a technology startup in Silicon Valley would: as a juicy target for disruption. They have to realize that the threat may arise in any industry, with any new technology. Companies need all hands on board — with all divisions working together employing bold new thinking to find ways to reinvent themselves and defend themselves from the onslaught of new competition."