Gordon Ross: Internet trends; Challenges Facing Businesses; Issues for Companies (or organizations taking on a new direction)

This is the next interview in the continuing series of Computing Canada’s (CC) Blogged Down (BD) which is featured here “first” in the Canadian IT Managers (CIM) forum.

We began this blog series on September 15th, 2006. I continue my talk with Gordon Ross, Internet Filtering Pioneer, Biometrics / Security / Telecommunications / Ethics / Privacy Expert, Founder of Net Nanny; President of Virtual Perceptions Systems Inc.

Stephen:  What should businesses know about future trends in the Internet environment? What are the implications and business opportunities? Why should businesses care?

Gordon:  First they should understand that the Internet is not going to go away. It is the future of global and local business. It allows companies to conduct business 24 hours a day, 365 day a year (366 in a leap year). One of the biggest opportunities is the distribution of software products, Intellectual Property, and any form of digital media. Another trend is providing security tools for the users of the Internet that allow them to maintain and track their own data and information.

The Internet will replace the existing telephone lines that we currently have in our homes. All communications will be done over this medium and other wireless networks in the future. If businesses do not care about this, they may not be in business for long. The Internet offers one of, if not the cheapest, forms of communications. The Net will allow businesses to cut back on some of their overhead in office and real estate space while at the same time increase their productivity. There are no time zones on the internet. Business can be conducted at all hours of the day.

Stephen:  Can you provide an overview of the main challenges facing businesses and your recommendations to resolve them?

Gordon:  One of the main challenges for businesses will be the securing of their information and Intellectual property. The ever advancing technology field changes rapidly as new hardware and software are continually being developed.

The hardest thing will be budgetary planning for technological change. When do you throw out the old and bring in the new? As soon as you buy any technology today, it is outdated. So look carefully at the ROI (Return On Investment) before acquiring any technology. Do proper due diligence. Don’t just go by the sales and marketing brochures. Look at it as, is this a “nice to have” or is it really necessary for the operations of the business.

One of the fastest growing expenses for an organization is their electricity costs. Be cognizant of the power consumption requirements for your technological systems. For future purchases make energy conservation a requirement for purchase.

Stephen:  In your current role, what are your biggest roadblocks?

Gordon:  Challenge one:  Raising investment capital to expand from a research and development environment into a market driven environment

Solution:  Develop a strong business plan. Ensure your intellectual property is properly protected. Network with others who have gone through this situation. Continually knock on doors of the investment community and look for strategic partners.

Challenge two:  Turning a research and development company into a market driven company while, at the same time, maintaining ongoing development of the technology.

Solution:  Educate existing staff on the importance of sales and marketing and getting customer feedback. Acquire the resources needed to grow and develop the company into a marketing and sales driven organization.

Challenge three:  Getting past the “early adopter” stage and becoming recognized as a mainstream technology.

Solution:  Develop strong marketing and public relations programs. Attend various trade shows and do the appropriate press tours.

In the next blog, Gordon will discuss
the biggest issues facing business; predictions of future trends and their implications/opportunities; his picks for the top recommended resources; and free commentary plus contact information.

I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at sibaraki@cips.ca.

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Thank you,
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.

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