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Governance

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Abstract

Governance is a concept with no shades of gray; the application service shall be open, honest and transparent for all parties.
1. Application services that involve a value-chain of different companies working together must earn trust.
2. Trust can evolve where companies share in real-time data regarding business flowing through the application service.
3. Fraud can be eliminated by ensuring that money cannot be hidden and all amounts are fully disclosed to all parties.
4. Audit trails are comprehensive, provided to all parties, are beyond manipulation by any person and replicated to many secure locations that cannot be accessed by any party.
5. Disclosure must be complete and correct at all times with real-time on-line information, rather than hand-crafted periodic reports that could have errors.
6. The application service has a duty of care and responsibility to each and every user to provide high quality data that can be trusted as complete and correct.
7. Many different parties will have payments, bonus and commissions based on the amount of business flowing through the application service - the duty to these parties is that the metrics are correct and cannot be hand crafted.
8. Good governance is easy to see because everything is open, honest and transparent, but systems that hide certain data and only deliver hand crafted periodic reports will never be seen to be open and transparent.

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CSF:

A plethora of books have identified a CSF for the success of a business is based on identifying a niche market that can grown, develop and be profitable.   The success of most application services is in the identification of a niche market that our competitors fear to follow and cannot afford to follow.

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Real-Time Monitoring:

The modern manager can monitor the business operate in real-time - like a massive game, except that the players are real people making real-time decisions and entering data into a CRM for bookings, quotes and orders.   By monitoring the business in real-time, the manager can become proactive and deal with exceptions as they are happening, rather than having to tidy up an operations problem some time later.   From a customer point of view, an apology from an executive within an hour is worth a lot more respect than a response to a monthly report that identified a series of similar operatational problems.
The role of an account manager may evolve into that of the real-time monitor who can pass critical events to the correct executive within the hour.   The quality of the application service can be dramatically improved when real-time monitoring is taking place in an effective way and any improvement in effectiveness should lead to higher revenues for all parties.

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Low Quality Services:

The reverse of real-time monitoring is a very cheap application service where monitoring is excluded - the web service may fail for some time before it is reported and before an engineer checks that a server needs to be restated.   Where cost is the key factor, then cheap application services can be cost justified where compliance, security and operations permit.   A villa accomodation booking service can be delivered for only £199 per year where it is tollerable for the application service to be down for a few days in the event of an hardware failure that is not monitored in real-time.
 
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Meta Governance:

Governing of Governing as established ethical principals.   By definition, no one party is responsible for metagovernance, but collectively all parties have a say and must comply with the same open, honest and transparent method of working.
Every business has a choice of being ethical and doing no harm, or pushing ethics into unsavory, non-disclosure and avoidance methods of working.   We are in the very fortunate position of being wealthy in ethics and choose not to do harm to others, will not take advantage of a trading parner and will walk away from any business that is not 100% clean and for the good of mankind.   Please walk away from any business that is not open, is not honest and is not transparent - you will be judged by whom you do business with.   Any business that facilitates another business to make fraudulent returns, to make false reports and will not disclose what is does is as guilty as the perpertrator - ignorance is not a defense.

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Revenue:

The amount of revenue flowing through the application service should be disclosed on real-time dashboards that can be viewed at a glance.   While each party earns a modest part of the total revenue, by monitoring the total revenue, then each party will know their own slice of the action.

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Business:

Metrics that count coustomers, assets, bookings, invoices and other fundamental business objects in real time will enable to savvy business person to know haw things are progressing each day and each hour of each day.   Critical Success Factors (CSF), Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and related metrics enable cloud-based services to dramatically improve how business is conducted.

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Key Performance Indicators:

Number of new customers added today: nnnn.
Number of new quotations sent out today: nnnn.
Capacity of call centre used in last hour: nn.nn percent.

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Critical Success Factors:

Value of new orders agreed today: nnnn.
Amount of payments received this month: nnnn.

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Fraud:

Each application service must be open, honest and transparent to all parties so fraud cannot happen and it can be seen that no place exists where money could be lost, missappropriated or hidden.   All parties trust one another as to the degree of openness, honesty and transparentness provided by the application service as good governance.
Where one party in the value chain is excluded from complete and correct disclosures of shared management information, then that party needs to be concerned that they have been excluded and certain business information is withheld.   Where a party withholds certain information from other parties, then trust in the value-chain is hard to maintain and places have been created where fraud could take place.
The application service has a very comprehensive audit trail that is shared by all parties so fraud has no place to hide.   Where all parties understand that the audit trails cannot be manipulated by any party, that data is replicated to secure places where no party is permitted access and where real-time on-line information shows business transacted as it happens, then trust can mature.   Where a parties is provided with a hand-crafted periodic report, then they are part of the Windows-Software era when fraud was widespread and cooperation dificult.
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