The UKGovOSS network is here to bring together all those involved in open source and open standards in the public sector.

We’ve set up this space to continue the discussion which started at Public Sector Forums’ Local Government Open Source Conference in April 2009. This social networking community is the first part of an ongoing resource being developed by PSF.

Joining our community is free – simply register and fill in your basic profile information.

Joining lets you:

  • Create your own profile page so members can learn more about you
  • Meet and interact with other members
  • Join special interest groups – or create your own
  • Take part in public and private forum discussions
  • Stay on top of the action with email updates
  • Want to start your own blog about open source? Create one here.

This is an experimental essay so any comments, feedback and suggestions are very welcome.

We look forward to you joining our community!

Europe Still Brings Up the Rear in Average Broadband Use

The telecommunication industry is rapidly growing, from technical infrastructure to innovative product and service delivery. There are tremendous market opportunities in the industry that leads to a country’s’ economic growth.

OpenVault, a leading data analytics and service provider company, completes its year-on-year comparisons for the second quarter of 2018. According to the report, the average broadband usage in Europe is lagging behind the United States. The data collected by the analytics show the average usage per household in Europe is growing at a much slower rate of 19.5%. The 19.5% growth rate over the past twelve months that did end on June 30, 2018, is disappointing compared to the average growth rate of 31% recorded in the United States.

The United States has over 80 million broadband subscribers making it the largest broadband market in the world. Broadband technology is a crucial investment in the US with new technologies developing like HFC upgrades and fiber deployment. The market players are emphasizing developing 5G technologies that will facilitate the satisfaction of their customers.

The various market payers have developed DOCSIS3.1 services that provide customers that require bandwidths of 1 Gb/s and above. The telecoms companies in the U.S are looking to expand their services and reach more customers. To fully reap the benefits of digital technology the telecoms companies are looking into ways broadband networks can improve the education, health and energy sectors.

In Europe, there is approximately 46% percent of power users in several households that use a bandwidth greater than 1 TB. The number is growing significantly over the years, but the figure is still low compared to the United States. The 46% percentage of power users is equal to a fifth of the 2.5% of households – power Users in the United States.

As Netflix becomes widespread across the region, the Europe broadband market is growing steadily as more citizens hope to access IP content. As households opt for services such as video streaming instead of cable T.V, the delivery of broadband services need to be upgraded. The DSL based technology that can deliver symmetrical speeds of up to 1 Gb/s remains at the trial stage. Due to high installation and subscription cost, the subscriber base has slowed. Operators are still stuck at deploying copper-based Ethernet connection in a bid to improve data rates instead of opting for fiber technology. The European Commission hopes to provide 300 Mb/s by 2020 to all regions, schools, governments, and libraries. There is an ambitious target to access 5G technology by 2025.

According to OpenVault, there is a global growth rate of 30% on household broadband usage. If the telecommunications companies incorporate Usage Based billing, they will generate more revenue and reduce the stress felt by their networks. Globally, as of 30th June 2018, the annual average usage per household was 226.4 GB. These being an exponential growth compared to the ordinary usage recorded in the first quarter year of 2018.

The leading analytics company, OpenVault LLC, identifies Usage Based billing as the answer to curbing network strains and facilitating usage growth. An increase in network demand forces the market players to incorporate ‘capex’ to meet the demand. Usage-based billing will help the companies avoid capex thus leading to increase revenue.

Currently, operators that provide flat-rate pricing or Non-UBB have a 12.2% high average usage compared to their UBB operators. Over the years, customers using flat-rate tariffs recorded a 34% usage growth.

In conclusion, Europe should seek guidance from the OpenVault on tracking their data usage and in providing better management for the broadband networks.

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Copywriting Techniques to Boost Email Conversions

Taking a look at the number of emails a person can receive on the daily, it’s hard to imagine that your company’s email will be noticed. People don’t like wasting their time, so if they are flooded with emails, chances are they won’t really be tempted to spend too much time on yours or even open it.

Copywriting is one of the methods that can efficiently improve the likelihood of your message being read all the way through and be successful as well. Don’t really know how to do it? Here are some copywriting tips to grow your email conversions but that not the only way to increase your email conversation skills, you can read those email essays, so them might help you.

  • Add a P.S.

A P.S. at the end of the email can be a great way to grab the reader’s attention. Not only that, but their eyes may first wander around the email and end up reading the P.S. first. But after doing that, they usually end up reading the whole email. Doesn’t that already sound like a great idea?

This is why you should consider adding it at the end of the email so you’re sure the recipient will take interest in what the rest of the message says.

  • Length Doesn’t Matter

You may be afraid that writing a whole novel in an email will scare the recipient away and you’ll lose lots of potential customers that way. As such, your focus may go to making the email shorter, or just have the proper length, and you lose focus from what matters the most – the substance of your writing.

You need to know what to write in order to have the email engaging enough and motivate your potential clients to proceed with accepting your offer. So don’t worry too much about length, but rather about the quality of your email.

  • Have an Attention-Grabbing Subject

First impressions matter, and what is the first thing a person sees when checking their email inbox? That’s right, the subject of the email. Although the content matters, the subject is just as relevant, if not more. This is why you need to come up with a good one which will actually convince the recipient to open the email.

Therefore, it should not be dull. Add 1-2 numbers to the title, as well as a benefit of your offer, and you have greater chances to make them click on that email.

  • Personalize Your Emails

This can be a little time-consuming, but it’s a good technique if you want your copy to pay off. A personalized email may be more effective in that regard because you took the time to adjust the message to fit the person you send it to. For instance, you can address the person by the name, which will automatically make the reader feel like they’ve been connected with another person and not a robot. It’s a great strategy which can boost conversions.

  • Make an Interesting Headline

Something you really should not forget is that even emails need to be properly structured if you want them to boost conversions. You can’t just slap a wall of text there and call it a day.

That being said, you need to add a headline at the top of the email, in which you must grab the attention of the reader and make him more eager to read the rest. Give them a hint about what they can obtain, thus creating some mystery and intriguing the reader. This can successfully increase your conversion rate.

Final Thoughts

Boosting email conversions is not the easiest thing indeed, but by using some copywriting techniques, you should be able to change that. Use this guide’s advice next time you create an email draft, and you’ll have more success.

Analysis of Strategic Position of Tesla Motors

The main aim of this paper is to analyze the strategic position of Tesla Motors through the key strategy models, which includes, SWOT analysis, PESTEL analysis, and Porter’s Five Forces Model in both Tesla’s External and Internal factors.

  1. External factors analysis
  2. PESTEL Analysis

Political: Tesla, just like other automotive companies need to be aware of political patters that influence their business operations. One of such political factor is the United States loan programs for research and development of new car technologies

Economic: some of the economic factors affecting Tesla include the increase in the cost of maintaining of cars largely due to rise in the cost of fuel and the growth of alternative energy (Rothaermel &David, 9). 

Social: Social factors that affect Tesla are mainly concerned on preserving the environment.

Technical: Improving the technology involved in the development of cars is major concern in the operation of Tesla. Technology that has enhanced the development of fully electrical cars with autopilot capabilities.

Environmental: It has been a challenge for car manufacturers to produce fuel-efficient cars r eco-friendly cars.

Legal: There are numerous regulations from the government and the green movement that affect Tesla, they include franchise laws that restrict Tesla from selling cars directly to customers.

  • Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

Threat of Entry of new firms: in Tesla’s case, the threat of new entries of firms to the market is low.

Bargaining Power of Tesla’s Buyers: The buyers of Tesla’s care have a moderate bargaining power because Tesla depends on the partnership they have with Toyota and Daimler (Rothaermel &David, 16).

Threat of Substitutes: Threat of substitutes to Tesla’s cars is considerably low since there are very few choices that can substitute Tesla’s cars.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers: Bargaining power of the suppliers for Tesla is very high because Tesla is dependent on its suppliers.

The intensity of rivalry in the industry: within the automated car industry, rivalry is very high, however, in the market that Tesla takes part the rivalry is moderate.

  • SWOT Analysis

Strengths: Tesla has developed electric cars that have the auto-pilot functionality. Tesla also enjoys strong supplies. i.e. Toyota.

Weaknesses: Tesla incurs high cost of production hence their prices are higher than their competitors

Opportunities: There is an increasing support for Tesla’s cars by governments across the globe.

Threats: It is difficult for Tesla to produce, distribute and sell their cars due to their current business model.

b. Internal factors

  1. VRIO Analysis

Valuable: Large manufacturers such as Toyota and Daimler are buying components from Tesla to use in their vehicles

Rare: Tesla’s cars are the only ones that can go up to 300 miles on a single charge

Costly to Imitate: No other company can match Tesla’s technology

Organized: Tesla has partnered with various companies and individual to further develop electric cars

  1. SWOT Analysis

Strengths: Rising of revenues and a bold marketing strategy

Weaknesses:  Large debts and high prices

Opportunities: Rising cost of buying fuel has led to customer to buy electric cars

Threats:  increased government regulations

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Information Technology and Ethics

Abstract

             This paper analyses the issue of ethical privacy in information technology (IT). To achieve this, the paper identifies a working definition of the term ethics which it applies throughout the paper in relation to privacy issues. The paper relies on defining ethical privacy issues further by defining what IT is, identifying characteristics of IT as well as the ethical privacy responsibilities that arise from the use of IT. The paper is able to provide evidence that, there is an ethical privacy responsibility on both manufacturers and vendors on one hand, and other, the organization and users of any IT system. It is from the healthcare industry that the paper is able to provide evidence on the aforementioned ethical privacy responsibility.

Information Technology and Ethical Privacy Issues

Introduction

Derived from the Greek word Ethike, the ethic is a term that refers to character drives that make an individual to consistently behave in an accepted manner. This drive is guided by societal terms usually referred to as moral sanctions that are defined by society as to what is good or bad behavior. This differs from legal guidance’s of what is legal or illegal as dictated by laws since ethics is a guide on how behavior is either good or bad. As such, ethics precede law since it is ethics that pushes for the creation of laws towards viewing actions as guided by ethics and thus legally defining what good behavior is. From this, it is evident that morality, value, and ethics should be considered above character since all the elements guide considerations of how actions are understood. That is, ethical or unethical, right or wrong, whether something is valuable or not and whether organizations actions are justified (Schultz, 2005). It is from the aforementioned that the ethical privacy issues related to information technology can be analyzed. This paper will analyze characteristics of information technology (IT) and the ethical privacy issues that arise from these characteristics. In addition, the paper will also identify the challenges that exist as a result of the ethical issues that surround IT.

Characteristics of Information Technology

Rouse (2016) defines IT as both software and hardware used towards the innovation, processing and storage of data, security of the data and processes, and the capabilities of exchanging data. McAfee (2006) expands further on defining IT and categorizes it into function, network and enterprise categories. Under function, IT is considered as a capability that assists personnel to create efficiency in stand-alone tasks while network IT is defined by its capability to provide a channel where different people in different localities can communicate. Function and network IT differ from enterprise IT since the later is used in organizations as either applications and or processes that enable the organization to not only create an identity for itself but also enable the organization to carry out its primary activities effectively (McAfee, 2006).

From the  above, it is evident that IT is dynamic in nature because of the different forms  in which its applied. One factor that is inherent in IT is that regardless of its adaptability to different settings, it is expected to use innovation, processes, and storage of data in its various forms to produce truthful, accurate and trustworthy information  (George, 2008). These expectations are uniform in the function, network and enterprise categories of IT.

Ethical Privacy Issues in Information Technology

Ethical issues associated with IT occur due to the exponential growth in IT use and different forms. This is because the growth has lacked guidance on what is ethical or unethical and as such, developments and innovations in software and hardware have always occurred before the morality, values, and ethics associated with them have been considered (George, 2008). As discussed under the definition of IT, It is from the functional, network and enterprise capabilities, that evidence of IT touching both individuals and organizations is seen. As such, the innovations, processes and data storage associated with IT do consist of information that is meant to be kept secret. However, According to Relkin (2016), privacy and data storage align to security aspects associated with keeping them secret but these controls can be manipulated. Manipulation can take place through hacking, creation of malware and even from the people who have access to all the functions of IT. In addition, the growth of the internet as a part of IT infrastructure has seen innovations that can be manipulated and as such result in breaches in privacy. This includes innovations such as communication and interaction applications over the internet, Use of IT to control physical objects through the Internet of Things (IOT) all work towards breaching the privacy of individuals (Covert, Hamilton, Orebaugh, & Hamilton, 2014). These facts are echoed by Mason (n.d) who argues that IOT creates challenges in property and accessibility rights since they are central to the existence of IT.

Ethical responsibility in information technology

In IT, ethical privacy issues should be considered under two aspects. On one hand, ethics should be considered as hardware, software, and applications and on the other hand, the individuals and organizations that use the software. Under ethical privacy considerations of hardware, software, and application, it should be noted that these three aspects have no ethical responsibility. This is based on the fact that the aforementioned are thought of, created and implemented by individuals and/ or organizations. As such, where the cause of IT hardware, software, and applications emits from their creating and implementation the ethical responsibility should lie squarely with them. For example, where builders of IT hardware are found to have created hardware that inherently shares out private information, it is their sole responsibility to bear liability from any privacy concerns that arise from using their equipment. This principle of liability of unethical privacy behavior should be extended to vendors of software and applications. This is because, if their software systems and applications breach the privacy of users, it is not the software or applications that are in the wrong. It is the vendors who create, maintain and sell their products, which would otherwise be non-existent (George, 2008). This liability should be extended to IOT since creators know fully well the capabilities of their innovations.

The organization and individuals who use IT are also liable where their investments in IT hardware and software lead to unethical behavior. It is the sole liability of each individual who uses a system to ensure that their actions are unethical in light of privacy. For example, it would be the responsibility of an individual to ensure that they do not share data entrusted to them. This will ensure that items such as client or personal information remain private, and where actions are directed towards sharing such information, the liability should lie on the individual

In adding to the above, it is the organization’s obligation to ensure that its employees are trained as to how to use enterprise systems, ethically. This means that organizations should have policies, rules, and regulations that govern how privacy issues are protected. However, where an organization does not have policies, rules or regulations, where issues of ethical privacy issue exist, the responsibility will squarely lie on the organization.

Information Technology in Healthcare Industry

In healthcare settings, the use of IT is used as decision support systems, electronic records and order entries as means of ensuring high quality of healthcare are provided (Chaudhry, et al., 2006). It is evident that by using IT in healthcare, service delivery is efficient and cost effective. While decision support systems gather and interpret data to assist management in their decision-making role, electronic records are used to maintain patient data and their comprehensive heath history. Further, order entries supplement the work of healthcare workers by allowing for the ordering, dispensing and administration of medicine (Healthit.gov, 2014).

Where decision support systems, electronic records, and order entries are used, a number of benefits are identifiable. This includes an avenue where policies on the clinical support are analyzed. This is through clinical decisions support systems that allow for informed decisions to be made at the point of care in a timely manner (AHRQ, 2016). Further,the use of the systems will allow for decision makers to allocate resources and reduce costs while improving efficiency in healthcare delivery  (Devaraj & Kohli, 2000).

Electronic record systems are used to record of medical and clinical data thus acting as an avenue of maintaining comprehensive patient history which is shareable amongst all providers involved in the care provision of a patient (Healthit.gov, 2014). As such, healthcare organizations benefit from this system since it allows for tracking data, ease in the identification of patients revisiting the facility, monitoring patient responses to new medications and thus, improve the quality of care that the organization provides.

Lastly, order entries have the largest impact as regards the use of IT in healthcare. According to  (Bates, 2000), order entry systems improves safety by not only improving structures of medications by ensuring that medication orders include dosage, route and frequency instructions but also allow for the identification of the orderer as well as allow for information flow back to the orderer. As such. Order systems reduce the rates of medication errors that are evidenced where IT is not used.

Information Technology Ethical Privacy Issues in Healthcare Industry

In as much as the above discussion has reflected on the benefits of using IT in healthcare, it is imperative to note that decision support, electronic records and order entry systems all have a human element that is susceptible to either ethical and or unethical acts. The human element is not only visible in the creation of the systems, but also on the use and reliance of the systems. Thus, all the three divisions of IT in healthcare are faced with ethical issues.

Ethical privacy issues as identified above can arise in light of the creators of software and hardware as well as the organization. Sanou (2014) indicates that in regards of the creators or inventors of IT, decision support system ethical issues arise as a result of the systems being fault tolerant and actual system design. This is because there is a high reliance on their systems as regards clinical decisions as well as management issues. It is only ethical for creators to ensure that their systems contain updated knowledge base, that the employed hardware is capable of delivering expected results, and accuracy of reports that are generated from the system. Further, it is upon the organization’s management to ensure that the systems in use are used ethically. This is only reflected where the organization ensures that users especially physicians are qualified and trained in using the system without breaching the patient’s privacy. It also is the organization to ensure that it has policies in place that guide physicians in the delivery of service especially in areas that require the preference of patients to drive the service delivery  (Sanou, 2014).

The second ethical issue surrounds the electronic records systems where issues of privacy, data are at risk. The nature of this system relies on the collection of patient data in large amounts and is identified as a high-risk area in ethics in light of the above discussion. To this end, both the organization, creators of the system and those who have access, have to act in an ethical manner towards ensuring that records are appropriately disclosed to the relevant parties. Further, the designers of the system have to not only ensure that the data is secure from unauthorized use, but also allow for the relationship between the patient and physician not to be negatively affected (Cushmana, Froomkinb, Cavac, Abrilc, & Goodman, 2010)

The final ethical issue involves order entries systems. Although this system can be considered as part of the electronic system, this paper has provided for it independently due to specific ethical issues it faces. In as much as it is expected the institution will train its staff on how to use this specific IT, order entry systems can be easily manipulated by the user. As such, where the designer and organization have to meet ethical obligations, users have to follow the policies as well as show netiquette. It thus follows the user has does not share any information with unauthorized parties. This is because of the high dollar value given to medications that users of the system may be corrupted by.

Conclusion

The paper has offered an analysis into the ethical privacy values of IT in healthcare. It is evident that these ethical privacy issues are not only found in healthcare but in all industries that employ the use of IT. By comparing why ethics in IT and IT developments do not go hand in hand, the paper has identified that, due to the dynamic nature of IT, organizations have to ensure ethical practices regardless of the lack of laws and regulations that would otherwise offer guidance. In addition, the paper has been able to identify three IT areas in healthcare that face ethical privacy challenges. It is from these areas that it becomes evident that the issue of ethics in healthcare should be considered from the design stage of systems. This should be followed by organizational policies that ensure that the systems are used in an ethical manner by qualified and trained staff. Further, the users should also embrace ethical behavior since it is their input and actions that reflect whether systems are ethical or not.

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The Manipulative Nature of YouTube Commercials

You Tube is one of the leading social sites in the world. Based on the principle of video sharing, You Tube has enriched human lives by enabling the spread of knowledge and valuable information. Anyone, by having access to the internet, can be able to access important information by simply logging into You Tube where the needed information is found. Due to this, You Tube has also become an important platform to the business community, governmental and even non-governmental agencies through the embedding of short films known as Ads in the videos shared on this platform. Thus, by clicking a video link on You Tube the Ad first appears and in this way, important information is conveyed. Ads embedded in these videos differ in their nature, from product commercials to messages of peace. They however share a common denominator, that they are short. Thus, due to this reason, these You Tube commercials need to be very convincing and manipulative.

Morning in America (1984) ws a famous You Tube commercial by Ronald Reagan during his 1984 campaign. The commercial features the resonant voice over of Ronald Reagan who narrates the statistics of improved social lives of the Americans during his time as president. When the commercial starts, it is indeed a morning. There are images of a boat at bay, of a man merrily riding a bicycle to work, and that of a man hailing a taxi in quick exchange. These images give the impression of a beautiful American morning and the nature of hard working Americans.  Further, the commercial shifts to a wedding scene where a newly married couple kiss amid cheers, before closing with the final scene of a patriot raising the American flag surrounded by proud children. Through these images, the viewer of the commercial is easily manipulated to believe that the Ronald Reagan era is the best, since what he narrates is evidently backed by the video. Stuart Hirschberg, in his essay, Rhetoric of Advertising argues that “By showing active people in outdoor settings they put the thought of emphysema shortness of breath, or lung disease very far away indeed.” (2) This is the case with the Ronald Reagan’s commercial, since through it, he is able to show American prosperity and happiness, leading the view to disbelieve any notions of sufferings or difficulties in his era as a president.

Morning in America (1984) by Ronald Reagan is a You Tube commercial that heavily relies on statistics as its foremost tool to convince the viewer. The commercial states that about 2000 families will buy new homes, that 6500 young men and women will marry, and that inflation is less half than what is was four years ago. Ronald Reagan concludes by probing the viewer as to why he/she would want to go back to the days of pre-Reagan era. In Rhetoric of Advertising Stuart Hirschberg argues “These ads address the consumers as “You” (wouldn’t `you’ really rather have a Buick?). The “You” here is plural but is perceived as being individual and personal by someone who has already formed the connection with the product”(2)The emotional appeal creates fear in the consumer if he loses the product as much as it promises him/her of greater benefits if he/she subscribes to the product being advertised.

 In the You Tube commercial, Morning in America (1984), Reagan appeals to the viewer’s emotions by asking why the viewer would want to go back to the days before the Reagan presidency. By so doing, the commercial manipulates the viewer into believing its message and thus succeeds in the selling of the product. Stuart Hirschberg argues that “The emotional appeals in ads function exactly the way assumptions about value do in written arguments. “They supply the unstated major premise that supplies a rationale to persuade an audience that a particular product will meet one or another of several different kinds of needs”(2). In this sense, the Ronald Reagan commercial persuades the viewer to believe that his/her needs such as the need for work, happiness, pride and even the avoidance of inflation will be met by his government when he is voted in. This works in his favor because by highlighting what his government has done in the past for years, he creates in the viewer the desire to enjoy even greater benefits, and the fear of sliding back to the rotten days of the past when Reagan was not president.

Although the Ronald Reagan commercial supplies the viewer with statistics which map improved American living standards, the commercial fails to provide proof that the highlighted statistics are a direct result of the Reagan government. There is no direct link between 6500 young men and women marrying each day and the work of the Reagan government.  Stuart Hirschberg explains that “Claims in advertising need to be evaluated to discover whether something is asserted that needs to be proved or is implied without actually being stated.”(4).Since the commercial fails to do this its argument becomes problematic, since it settles on results rather than the process followed to achieve those results. Therefore, the commercial can be easily criticized by attacking its primary premise. Once the statistics become hard to prove, then the entire argument crumbles.

Despite the You Tube Commercial Morning in America (1984) failing to show how the Ronald Reagan era managed to accomplish many of the highlighted achievements, the advert would still find favor in the eyes of the viewer since it not only promises of better days, but because it also fills the viewer with the feelings of national pride by showing the patriot who is raising the American flag amid the proud children.

Conclusively, it can be seen that You Tube commercials are highly manipulative since they not only provide information about the products or the messages they intend to pass across, but because they succeed in appealing to the readers emotions.

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