Telecommunications companies are not doing enough to address cyberthreats

As the telecommunications industry continues its shift to a digital business model, organisations are recasting themselves as technology companies that offer a broad array of digital communications, connectivity, and content services.

They are racing to deliver not only high-quality and reliable communications services, but also to provide fresh content across a range of computing platforms to an expanding range of customers. Digitisation also has led to new products and services that are created and delivered in innovative ways, resulting in a raft of new collaborations, joint ventures, and strategic alliances across industries. At the same time, a slew of big deals are in the works, including mergers of telecommunications companies, multi-system operators, satellite television providers, and mobile communications networks. Some telecoms are acquiring businesses outside of their traditional scope to gain intellectual property and broaden their services.

Many of these changes are compounding network traffic and demanding that telecoms deliver enhanced capacity and quality of services – without raising fees to customers. That represents a formidable challenge as new entrants to the telecom market and lower pricing structures intensify competition and, in some cases, erode revenues.

Making matters more difficult: The frequency and scope of cybersecurity and privacy risks continue to mount. While breaches have typically targeted customer data, there is growing concern that ultra-sophisticated adversaries like nation-states, organised crime, and hacktivists will initiate attacks that disrupt services and even cause physical damage. A recent attack on a French television network provides an example that is uncomfortably close to home: In April, politically motivated hackers infiltrated a major television broadcaster, knocking 11 channels off the air and compromising websites and social media accounts.

As telecoms pivot toward a more digital future, they will very likely encounter entirely new types of cybersecurity risks to data, applications, and networks. Yet according to findings from The Global State of Information Security® Survey 2015 (GSISS),many telecommunications companies are not doing enough to address cyberthreats for today – or the future.

Advertisements

The tax function as a strategic business asset

A new PwC study shows that the need for change is certain given the challenges tax functions are currently facing and those on the horizon. While a tax function may have been a passive participant in transformational and enterprise efforts in the past, it must now be a strong advocate for change. Tax functions should take ownership of their business case and pursue actions to ensure it is ready for the future.

The tax transformation journey will not be easy, but it is now imperative and the return on investment can be significant. With a thoughtful roadmap, the positive impact on the organisation may be felt for many years to come. The potential benefits will not only reduce above and below the line costs, but will improve company-wide risk management and tax governance, resource management, recruitment processes and many other areas. Through continuous transformation, the tax function will be viewed as not only as a critical and efficient compliance function, but also as an even more valuable strategic organisational asset.

The accounting challenges of cloud services

Cloud computing is generally defined as using a shared pool of computing resources accessible via the internet. Those resources can be rapidly acquired as needed, with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

However, operators who provide cloud services face a number of complex accounting challenges. In particular, bundling cloud services with non-cloud services will likely complicate revenue recognition patterns. Adding cloud services to the equation means operators may face problems in pricing mechanisms and revenue allocation amongst the various elements. There are also re-seller arrangements to consider (in which it is sometimes difficult to determine the principal and agent) thereby making things even more complex. Some arrangements could result in embedded leases, where an operator is providing exclusive use of an asset.

PwC has considered some of the key accounting issues in relation to cloud services offered by operators in a newly issued report: Making sense of a complex world: Cloud computing – the impact on revenue recognition

10 Principles of Organization Design

Did you ever think “let go of the past” and “focus on what you can control” could apply outside your personal life? PwC’s strategy+business takes you through the steps of your reboot. To find the principles, click on the elements image below:

00318_ex1b.1

strategy+business

For some time I’m working on the KM integration of Strategy& (former Booz & Company) with PwC and I can say there is more than finance about this acquisition. They are good. PwC has probably acquired the best in strategy consulting.

You can make your own mind by having a look at their magazine – strategy+business (s+b). Forbes nominated it among the top 25 websites for CEOs and its readership now spans more than 1,000,000 business leaders around the world. The magazine publishes ideas from chief executives, prominent business thinkers, academics from leading universities, and subject matter specialists from across the PwC network.

In s+b‘s latest reader survey, 90% of respondents reported taking action after reading an s+b article. You may also find it to be an insightful resource.

Seize Megatrends Opportunities: What made McDonald’s persevere in China?

In one of the latest “Strategy+Business” articles, the authors are asking a very powerful question for anyone looking into seizing megatrends opportunities: “What made McDonald’s persevere in China, and why did its U.S.-centric marketing approach succeed?” Here is their answer:

Because its leaders were early to recognize an opportunity in the interplay between two global megatrends. The first was the shift in economic power toward Asia. In 2000, less than 2 percent of global middle-class consumption occurred in China and India. By 2013, that proportion had reached almost 10 percent, and it is predicted to multiply several times by the middle of this century.

The second megatrend involved cultural transformation stemming from demographic change. The prevalence of smaller families under China’s one-child-per-family policy, which has been in place since 1979, has led to a stronger emphasis on children’s well-being.

Together, these two trends suggested that a huge number of Chinese citizens would gain a noteworthy (albeit small by Western standards) increase in their discretionary income. With relatively few children to spend it on, and more opportunities to learn about cultures outside China, they would aspire to the lifestyle of their traditionally more affluent Western counterparts. Well-known Western brands would suddenly be an attainable status symbol.

In 2004, many Western fast-food brands were struggling in their home countries, where they faced highly competitive markets and shifting public food preferences. So McDonald’s seized the Chinese market. The chain put in place subtle variations to its basic menu, such as locally popular sauces, and adopted a few tailored innovations, such as take-out windows for drinks, and of course the McWeddings. The chain also kept adjusting its offerings to reflect the responses it observed from its customers. In this way, the company gained a substantial foothold in the vital China market.

With a clear idea of the interactions among large-scale trends and how they will play out during the coming years, your company could gain a similarly strong advantage.

Paying Taxes 2015

The Paying Taxes study remains unique. It measures the ease of paying taxes across 189 economies by assessing the time required for a case study company to prepare, file and pay its taxes, the number of taxes that it has to pay, the method of that payment and the total tax liability as a percentage of its commercial profits.

The results show that tax policy issues are becoming ever more challenging. There are pressures on tax authorities to raise revenues, to fund social expenditures but also to ensure that their tax system fosters business investment. The business environment is complicated and has the potential to become even more so with complex tax legislation and onerous administrative obligations. It is not surprising therefore that in the most recent edition of the PwC Global CEO survey nearly two-thirds of CEOs around the world say the international tax system is in urgent need of reform and 70% say the impact of tax on their company’s growth is among their top concerns.

For more interesting results and to extract data based on your preferences click here.

Enterprise has a huge opportunity to embrace and mainstream wearable technology

A recent PwC study shows that companies are already putting wearables to work in the workforce. In an era where workplace loyalties are fragile, use of wearable technology in employer-sponsored health and wellness programs can lead to a healthier and thereby more productive workforce. Implementation of wearable tech could have very clear implications for a company’s bottom line— opening the door for enterprise to subsidize the use of wearable devices amongst both employees and consumers.

Authored by Liviu Mihaileanu

%d bloggers like this: