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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.
 

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Conclusion: This month, there have been increased discussions regarding highly targeted, industry-specific security threats. Security issues for managed service providers can be especially complex due to the nature of the industry and delivery frameworks. Targeted attacks on vendors that support a large and diverse client base, utilising intricate, often intertwined solutions which cater to a wide range and large number of business functions, can result in difficulties when security issues arise. Problems such as theft, malicious attacks, denial of service and framework collapses can cause added risks because of vendor/client structures in this sector. For vendors, attacks can result in difficulties such as managing security issues over a large number of clients or associated entities which provide services. For clients, outsourced networks spanning different sites and critical functions are amongst the variety of threats which can leave clients exposed. Responses for vendor co-ordination with clients, as well as associated service providers and partners, must be considered and thoroughly planned when developing response measures for service providers. Measures must be as robust as possible, as well as sufficiently flexible to cater to unforeseen events and the complex nature of the managed services sector, where threats can be highly variable in nature, volume and extremities.


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Conclusion: The enterprise application marketplace has seen some changes in the past two years, with new entries, consolidation and acquisition, particularly in the mid-market of ERP finance systems. IBRS recently investigated a cross-section of ERP finance systems from top tier to the smaller players including, but not limited to: SAP, Oracle, Workday (Finance), Technology One Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (Microsoft Dynamics AX), Sage X3, NetSuite, Microsoft Navision, Sage 300, Great Plains, MYOB, Xero and SaaSu.

This research paper includes a comparison of current functionality available across three popular mid to upper market ERP finance systems, namely Sage X3, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (previously A) and Oracle’s revamped NetSuite. They have been reviewed given their strength in the finance and operations functionality.


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Conclusion: A requirement of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the concept of “data portability”, which provides a right to receive personal data an individual has provided in a “structured, commonly used, machine-readable format”, and to transmit that data to another organisation.

Underlying data portability is an assumption that data standards exist and are widely used across all public and private sector organisations, especially in specific vertical industries, such as Financial Services, Health or Utilities. In many cases in Australia, no such standards exist and there is no framework to encourage industry cooperation.

Australian organisations needing to comply with GDPR will have to develop an approach and strategy to how they will provide data portability when requested to do so.


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Conclusion: The updated NIST cybersecurity framework (CSF) is a pragmatic tool to enable an organisation to gain clarity on its current level of capability for cyber risk management. Remembering that visibility, as a principle, is both an objective of the framework, but also a guide when working through the framework will make application of the framework much more valuable. Aiming for visibility will enable an organisation to accurately gauge itself against each function, category and subcategory. Visibility will enable an organisation to honestly assert current capability, and the gap to a more desirous level of capability. Achieving visibility will require ongoing collaboration with business stakeholders which, in turn, delivers visibility to these same stakeholders and ultimately enables informed decision making.


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Conclusion: Unless the process of allocating IT and business resources to competing projects is transparent, and follows agreed procedures, disaffected management could develop shadow IT solutions and create additional technical debt. To ensure the allocation process is equitable, develop pragmatic guidelines so sponsors need only provide information needed for an informed assessment of their proposals.

To minimise the risk of project failure, it is imperative the right projects are allocated resources and those at risk are rejected or reworked. When developing the guidelines, ensure the information requested is succinct, apt for the size of the project, and the risks are clear and can be contained. The objective must be to ensure the process is as transparent as possible, uncomplicated and not protracted.


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Conclusion: Traditional outsourcing and managed service contracts primarily focus on incident management service levels and give little attention to problem management. For example, incident management service level might be 95 per cent of Severity 2 outages resolved within four hours. In general, a temporary fix is sufficient to meet the incident management service levels. However, this might not prevent the outage from reoccurring because the outage root cause was not addressed. To address this issue, problem management root cause analysis must be used. This necessitates the integration of incident and problem management to govern multi-providers’ activities managing hybrid Cloud1.


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Conclusion: Maintaining a good relationship with the CIO provides many benefits to their direct reports. It is more than just being given the opportunity to shine and leading exciting and new innovative initiatives, it is also essential to the well-being of the direct report and keeping them motivated. According to Gallup1, the number one reason why people leave jobs is to escape their manager, so strive to keep the relationship as positive as possible and maintain that trusted engagement with the CIO.


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In the News

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OAIC report reveals 63 data breach notifications in first six weeks of NDB scheme - AFR - 11 April 2018

More than 60 data breaches have been reported in the first six weeks of the country's new Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme, with healthcare providers making up almost a quarter of the mandatory...
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New data breach notification scheme will be a barometer for business maturity - AFR -12 March 2018

Do not mistake cyber security for being merely a technical discussion about IT problems to be fixed. Cyber security is now, and always has been, purely a response to risk. The risks have changed...
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The Future of Work: The Role of People - Adobe - 31 Jan 2018

The Future of Work: The Role of People Foreword by Joseph Sweeney, IBRS Advisor For the past 30 years, organisations have applied technology to people to make the workplace more productive. But...
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Businesses unprepared for new data breach notification laws - AFR - 29th January 2018

Thousands of Australian small businesses remain woefully unprepared for the introduction of new laws that will require them to publicly disclose if their customers' data is breached by hackers or...
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