Friday, February 23, 2007

Wine and Meetings

My favorite Meeting Places…Wine Stores…Pictures are from a meeting that I had in San Francisco...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Managing Knowledge Security

"Desouza provides cogent and compelling real world examples that immediately grab your attention. CIO's can not afford to become complacent in times where the most mundane event – a courier's misplacement of a data tape for example – can have expensive if not catastrophic consequences. There are bad guys out there willing and able to profit at the expense of the unwary custodian of information. Desouza's provocative examples will make even the most fastidious CIO think twice about the security of his/her company's data in a time when very real threats are present in cyberspace. In an age where Information Technologies are ubiquitous and easily acquired, sustainable competitive advantage is achieved through the cultivation and application of intellectual assets, not technology. However, as Desouza points out, 'Intellectual Asset Management' is not yet a common college course. This book is your best bet to galvanize your team and your organization. This is must reading for CXO's in every firm. If you read one management book this year, this is the one to read and to act on – immediately!"

Mike Williams
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Parsons Brinckerhoff

"Desouza has done an impressive job of taking an issue that's worrying CXOs at companies around the world and simplifying it. While reading this book I was actually scared - our intellectual property is in many cases unprotected and this book is doing a good job by showing how important this issue is to the senior management of any company. A must read…"

Roshan D'Silva
Chairman & CEO

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Special Issue on IT and Terrorism

Along with Winston Koh (Singapore Management University) and Aris Ouksel (University of Illinois at Chicago), I have edited a special issue on IT and Terrorism for Technology Forecasting and Social Change.

Citation: Desouza, K.C., Koh, W.T.H., Ouksel, A.M. “Information Technology, Innovation and the War on Terrorism,” Technology Forecasting and Social Change, 74 (2), 2007, 125-128.

Here is a portion of the introduction:

The horrific scale of destruction of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has ushered in a period of global uncertainty on various fronts: political, economic, military and technological. In essence, terrorism involves the use of violence to achieve political objectives, by deliberately trying to inflict mass casualties or cause other forms of costly damage against civilian populations. It is a form of psychological warfare, as the terrorist acts are designed to frighten targeted populations and attract global attention. Terrorism may also be viewed as theatre to focus attention on terrorists' aims and incite discontented masses.

The use of the term “war on terrorism” has a political basis. Terrorism is a means rather than an end. It is a tactic being used by extremist Moslems who, at the moment, see it as their most effective tool in countering the Western democracies. There is, of course, a long history of Islamic confrontation with the West and the U.S. war in Iraq has once more shown the glaring disparity in military strength between the two sides. Terrorism is now a significant weapon for the radical Islamists as the inevitable response to it draws more moderate fellow Moslems to their side, furthering their long-term aim of a resuscitated Islamic caliphate. The term “war on radical Islamism” would therefore be more appropriate; although it is being avoided by the Bush Administration. This special issue confines itself to the narrower subject of dealing with the terrorism threat from a technological viewpoint, analogous to analysis of means to counter Soviet ICBMs in the Cold War. It does not address the larger problem of strategies to confront radical Islamism.

I have a new paper published - Desouza, K.C., and Wang, T-Y. “Impeding Insurgent Attacks: The Information Management Agenda,” Technology Forecasting and Social Change, 74 (2), 2007, 211-229. This paper was co-authored by an undergraduate student in my INFO 300 (Intellectual Foundations of Information) class. Here is the abstract

Recent confrontations in Iraq between coalition forces and insurgents have caused much havoc in the way of economic and political reforms. Insurgents use a wide range of tactics, from suicide bombings to kidnappings, to cause tension between the local factions and the Iraqi populace, and between the locals and the coalition forces. The strength of the insurgent strategy emerges from the nature of their attacks: highly erratic, yet potent. All-out assault on these insurgents is impossible as they cloak themselves and exploit the advantages of guerrilla warfare tactics. In this paper, we will highlight the informational issues that the coalition forces must appreciate in order to curb and curtail these insurgent attacks. While we do not aim to propose any grand strategy to eradicate all insurgent attacks, we do believe that the true weapon that needs to used optimally (effectively and efficiently) against such attacks is information. Whether the insurgents or the coalition forces, the side that is more successful at managing and deploying information potently and with intent will ultimately prevail.