You are Vulnerable

High Tech

You might have noticed that AlexanderHold.com have been offline for the past days due to the flooding’s in Copenhagen. AlexanderHold.com is hosted by a Danish web operator and the servers are not at my disposal. For websites of this kind, it is very normal to outsource the hosting as it simply makes no sense moneywise to be hosting locally. This is not up for discussion. However this has started some thoughts of mine, about the whole concept of hosting in the Sky regarding companies.

In these years it is heavily debated whether or not the companies should jump on the wave of Cloud Computing. I have always been a great supporter of the concept and I do also believe that we within the next 5 to 10 years will see a dramatically shift from devices operating on local hardware to devices taking advantage of supercomputers located on remote server farms.

However the little incidence that I have been witnessing for the past days have put my mind to be more sceptical and I have come to understand company security experts’ concern about losing control of vital business elements. The problem is that companies today are 99% dependent on their IT to be doing business. You might not be doing business on the web. However all economical as well as stock data is all gathered in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, such as SAP and Axapta. Without these programs running the most companies cannot sell anything, simply because they have become too dependent.

As I see it.

The discussion whether or not to outsource the ERP to a Cloud solution comes down to risk vs. revenue. A company being very risk averse will never go for the cloud computing solution, where an innovative and risk seeker would go for the solution in the Sky, because it is smarter, more functional, modern, and overall a great cheaper alternative. The problem is when disasters strike, like the flooding in Copenhagen and all business suddenly enters a standstill. Will the operator prioritise your business in favour of others, or will you end up being shut down for several days?

The essential part of this article is not to discuss the pros and corns of the new technology of Cloud Computing, but to stress the necessity of considering the vulnerability of the company’s key functions. When knowing the vulnerable elements of a company, you have the opportunity to minimize the risk and do an analysis of risk vs. profitability.

I discovered that I was vulnerable and that I had absolutely no options in the current situation, but to wait for the operator to fix the problem. Knowing this, I am aware that I should not singlehanded depend on one source being functioning, but I should have others sources located on others systems available.

Global Management Challenge 2011

Global Management Challenge

I participated in Global Management Challenge (GMC) the world’s largest Strategy and Management Competition, where more than 450,000 university students compete worldwide. Global Management Challenge is the largest international business simulation event and has a history going back to 1980 when if for the first time emerged in Portugal by SDG – Simuladores e Modelos de Gestão. Today 34 nations are represented in the game and the nationalities stretch from Denmark to Singapore; from Venezuela to China.

The game is a simulation game challenging me and all the other 450,000 participants with over 60 different decisions weekly, created to simulate a real decision board in a real company. Everyone participate in team of 3 to 5 people, and I was joined with 4 classmates about making the decisions.

The game gave me a great insight in what it takes to manage a production company, with all from buy of raw material, production facilities, employees, budgeting, agents, distributors, investors and 60 other parameters.

The game is played on a weekly basis, with one decision sheet per week. What defines the success on the scoreboard for the company is the value of the company’s stock on the stock exchange. The greatest companies reach the Danish final, where the best team will represented Denmark in the international final, in year 2011 taking place in Macao, China, only an hour with boat form Hong Kong.

Global Management Challenge is in Denmark sponsored by Maersk, Accenture, Siemens, Cowi, BiBoB, KPMG, BK Medical, IDA management forum and DJØF.

Read the official documentation for Global Management Challenge here

Ivaerk & Vaekst 2010

Ivaerk & Vaekst 2010

Every year for the past 6 years there has been held the fair Ivaerk & Vaekst in Copenhagen Denmark, and I was visiting for the second time. Ivaerk & Vaekst is a forum for Danish entrepreneurs offering the opportunity to network with relevant expert, successful and experienced people, as well as likeminded entrepreneurs. A wide variety of interesting companies were represented at the fair and as well as less interesting organisations such as the Danish tax office. But common for them all was that they in one way or another could or would be relevant for business owners.

My own personal mission was to witness some of the great lectures taking place at stage. A large handful of known people were speaking about their success with entrepreneurship, and to recognise a few of them can be mentioned Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph, Leif Beck Fallesen, Jesper Kasi Nielsen, Christian Bitz, Peter Aalbaek, Angela Jia Kim, and many others. Especially one caught my attention. Angela Jia Kim is an American entrepreneur living in New York City and was never meant to become an entrepreneur, as she was educated a pianist.  However on a tour around the states with the orchestra, her skin suddenly breaks out in a rash, and she realize how many chemicals there is in here skin cream. From there she started to experiment with creating her own skin cream. According to Angela herself it was never thought to be commercialized, but as the interest grows from friends and acquaintance of her, she begins to receive orders from wellness centers around the states and business is rolling.

Through the process with selling skin creams, the talented pianist spot another opportunity in creating an entrepreneurial network specially minded for women. From her experiences with creating a business she knows how many questions there is in the process, and she decides to found the network concept Savor the Success. Special for Savor the Success is that men are not allowed and the goal is to advance women entrepreneurs in to success with their business.

Angela Jia Kim speaking at Ivaerk og Vaekst 2010
Angela Jia Kim speaking at Ivaerk og Vaekst 2010

Angela Jia Kim is great speaker and has a great story to share, and what she have done is quite impressive. However it strikes me that a strange tendency is appearing in the business life. For almost hundred years women have been fighting for equal rights with men, which is FAIR. However, today when men and women in many cases are equal the women starts to denying men access to their networks and businesses, just as men did to them hundred years ago. And I start to wonder if it soon will be men fighting for equal rights… It might be a subject for later debate.

Overall Ivaerk & Vaekst 2010 was a good experience with a great focus on networking. I personally took with me home, excessive ideas and knowledge for later use. I can strongly recommend others entrepreneurial minds to attend next year’s event, which probably will be held in Forum, Copenhagen like this year’s event.

Read further documentation for Ivaerk & Vaekst 2010 here. (in danish)

Leaders of a Sustainable Future! – 2009

Young Enterprise Alumni Conference 2009

I did some voluntary work in the planning process of the 6th annual European Young Enterprise Alumni Leadership conference, and by that automatically qualified myself for the conference.

The 60 most engaged JA-YE Alumni’s from across Europe were gathers in Copenhagen for 5 days of non-stop horizontal expanding activities. Everyday doing the conference the base for knowledge were shifting and Danish companies were hosting the activities. Of locations can be mentioned: COWI, Novo Nordisk, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and Experimentarium.

The conference had the theme of sustainability, and the following keynote speakers were pushing the limit of sustainable understanding: Martin Pedersen – COWI, Tim Vang – MyC4, Brynhild Vinskel – JA-YE Alumni Europe, Penny Perry – JA-YE, Morten Feld – Novo Nordisk, Skip Bowman – Conmoto A/S, Jesper Vej – Copenhagen University College of Engineering, Peter Schliemann – Green IT, Ministry of Science and Technology of Denmark, Lasse Lorentzen – Innovative Reflections, Espen Sivertsen – Kaouspilot, Tine Tygesen – Managing Director Venture Cup, and Nynne Christiansen – Experimentarium.

Especially Tim Vang from MyC4 challenged all participants and myself included. MyC4 is an online marketplace that connects people from all over the world with African entrepreneurs, who lack capital to develop their businesses. With the internet as a platform, MyC4 bridges the gap between people with needs and people with means. Tim Vang was in general talking about the concept of social entrepreneurship, and how companies should do something to change the world for the better, while making a profit.

The conference helped me expand and strengthen my network, while I expanded my horizon concerning sustainable leadership and business development in general.

Read the full documentation of the conference here

Young Enterprise Alumni Conference 2009
Young Enterprise Alumni Conference 2009

European Manager for a Day 2008

European Manager for a Day 2008

I attend European Manager for a day 2008, which was the first time I got acquainted with YEAD (Young Enterprise Alumni Denmark). I was recommended by my teacher to apply, and I got accepted for the popular event. It was a 3 day event, where the middle day was a visit to a manager in some Danish company. I was following a sales manager for MultiData, and I got an exclusive inside view in a large Danish company. The experience provided me with organizational knowledge, and a feeling of the real life in a large corporation.
Video from the Event: