The Silver Cloud Overhead – Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing

Technology transforms the way individuals, businesses, and governments conduct themselves. Today, with the integrated use of the internet and devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers, individuals have become much more empowered. The most popular product of the combination of the internet and these devices has been ‘cloud’ computing. Commonly referred to as ‘the cloud’, it  allows individuals and businesses to use applications without installing them on their computer to access personal files at any computer or device with internet access, i.e. Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo, etc.  The ‘cloud’ has been considered the driver of future growth by many companies today, such as IBM, Apple, and Amazon.com. But along with the benefits of technological advances there come certain set-backs. The following are pros and cons about ‘cloud’ computing for businesses today:

PROS

  • In a developed country, tapping into the Cloud for data assures users of a pure product
  • May reduce costs
  • Improves efficiency
  • Drives innovation
  • Allows for business to start up faster
  • Allows for businesses to adjust to changes in demand more quickly
  • Infrastructure and service costs can be shared with other entrepreneurs and business owners

CONS

  • Erodes corporate control
    -Companies may lose complete control over everything in the networks
  • Security threats
    -Hacking: Certain data or information may be compromised by unauthorized issues
    -Bad data can be transmitted through a laptop or tablet from a person’s
    home network to the ‘Cloud’
  • Interoperability issues
  • Portability issues

QUESTION: What has your experience been in using cloud computing, what benefits and drawbacks have you experienced? Let us know!

Beyond International Trade

Source: World Bank (WB)

The East Asia and Pacific Region are no strangers to international trade, with a great portion of its growth coming from exports. However, the World Bank has recently released a report stating that growth in the region is still strong but slowing, from nearly 10% growth in 2010 to 8.6% in 2011. This comes as a result of  the lower growth in manufacturing exports and supply disruptions in light of the Japan earthquake and Tsunami and severe flooding in Thailand, Lao, PDR, and Cambodia. With the EU, U.S., and Japan accounting for more than 40% of the region’s exports, and their current weak demand which is most likely to remain weak, it has been suggested that countries in East Asia and the Pacific need to rely less on exports and more on domestic demand to maintain high growth.

To read more about this issue, click here.
To download the full report, click here.

[NTS Alert] Trafficking in persons: Singapore’s evolving responses

Source: The Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS)

For a long time, sending countries have been the focus of efforts to combat trafficking in persons (TIP). However, in recent years, destination countries such as Singapore have also stepped up their efforts. This is timely because improved recognition and management of the threat and challenges of TIP will do much to prevent the abuse and commercial exploitation of adults and children. This NTS Alert discusses the TIP phenomenon, focusing on Singapore and the significant new developments in Singapore’s policies on the issue. In particular, it highlights the establishment of Singapore’s Inter-Agency Taskforce on TIP and the development of its National Plan of Action.

To access the full report, click here.

Source: http://www.rsis.edu.sg/nts/html-newsletter/bulletin/nts-bulletin-apr-1201.html#TRANSNATIONAL

International Patent Filings Set New Record in 2011

Source: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Despite difficult economic conditions, international patent filings under the WIPO-administered Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) set a new record in 2011 with 181,900 applications – a growth of 10.7% on 2010 and the fastest growth since 2005. China, Japan and the United States of America (US) accounted for 82% of the total growth. Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corporation was the biggest filer of PCT applications in 2011. Among the top filing countries, PCT applications from China (+33.4%), Japan (+21%), Canada (+8.3%), the Republic of Korea (+8%) and the US (+8%) saw the fastest growth in 2011.

Source: WIPO http://www.wipo.int/sme.