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CIO interview: Marc Roberts, CTO, HiyaCar

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CIO interview: Marc Roberts, CTO, HiyaCar. Being CTO at a startup business that uses IT to differentiate itself means there is no legacy hangover and software can be developed quickly to address business challenges. HiyaCar is a peer-to-peer car rental company, or, as CTO Marc Roberts puts it, “like Airbnb for cars”. The company, established three years ago, enables members to make their cars available for rent to other members through an online platform. As head of IT at a startup company that is disrupting a sector through technology, Roberts is in the privileged position of having a group of business leaders around him who understand the importance of digital technology. The first 18 months of its existence saw its founders trying to get the right insurance policy. “This is the key thing that helps the business run and we couldn’t do without it,” says Roberts. Roberts says: “This was not perfect for us, but it proved the market and enabled the founders to raise money.” It was at that point that Roberts joined HiyaCar and started to build a new platform from scratch. “We migrated all data and launched the platform in April,” said Roberts, adding that the actual migration to the new platform took only about two hours one night. It has about 15,000 registered users, with about half of them active.
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Is this the end of the traditional company hierarchy?

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Is this the end of the traditional company hierarchy?. 0 Peter Vakkas is Accenture’s Managing Director for Technology in ANZ, responsible for driving Accenture’s Technology Services business and implementing modern engineering practices and innovation across these markets. Replacing traditional hierarchies with talent marketplaces As a result, leading companies are dissolving traditional hierarchies. Labour platforms like Upwork are enabling workers to become more liquid. They support distributed teams that are quickly assembled to complete projects and then dispersed. The 180-year-old company is creating new workplace models by experimenting with larger external talent marketplaces. It recently completed a pilot program using Upwork’s freelance management system Upwork Enterprise. Without the legacy hierarchies that organisations have relied on since the industrial era, digital leaders can easily use these technologies to quickly fill talent needs, jump-start new projects, and respond to market changes. Organisations looking to implement a workforce marketplace strategy need to: Identify a top executive as the talent marketplace transformation sponsor. Start identifying pilot opportunities By interviewing business leaders within your organisation to determine which 2 or 3 groups, projects, or products are most in need of gaining agility in their workforce and skills in order to compete in the digital economy.
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3 Keys to Customer Satisfaction: Speed, Efficiency, Knowledge

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Customers want fast service or support from knowledgeable people where, when and how they prefer to receive it, based on results of a study the CMO Council published Tuesday. Among the findings: 52 percent mentioned fast response time as a key attribute of an exceptional customer experience; 47 percent said knowledgeable staff, ready to assist whenever and wherever needed, was key; 38 percent wanted an actual person to speak with at any time and place; 38 percent wanted information when and where they needed it; 9 percent wanted brand-developed social communities; and 8 percent wanted always-on automated services. Consumers have a shortlist of critical channels they expect to have access to, the survey found, including the company's website, email, a phone number, and a knowledgeable person to speak with. "The mindsets of consumers -- whether B2B or B2C -- are shifting, said Liz Miller, SVP of marketing at the CMO Council. Marketers "have to start asking, 'Are we set up to be a responsive organization that looks at data, looks at analytics, understands what's coming in through CRM and is able to reflect that back through all touchpoints, including physical ones, quickly? The Customer Wish Conundrum One problem marketers face is that customers appear to have conflicting desires, as shown by the survey results: 36 percent of respondents were angry about not being recognized for their loyalty; 12 percent wanted companies to recognize their history with the brand at any touchpoint; 10 percent wanted multiple touchpoints; and 23 percent felt they were being followed online. "This survey did indicate the respondents wanted knowledgeable staff -- and for that, I'd argue part of the knowledge is knowing about the customer, not just the product, so that the advice can directly address the customer's unique problem," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. That said, consumers don't care how companies do what they do -- they only care about the results, the CMO Council's Miller noted. Consumers don't care how you make them, they just want tasty sausage. Email Richard.
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T-Mobile CTO has ‘huge interest’ in 3.5 GHz

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Quizzed about T-Mobile’s interest in 2.5 GHz spectrum, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said he has “huge interest” in the 3.5 GHz block and said the 3.5-4 GHz range is the most formative block of spectrum emerging globally for 5G. (Any spectrum is good spectrum but they’re not that into it.) T-Mobile is so interested in the 3.5 GHz band, which is also known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Services band, that it filed a petition for rulemaking with the FCC to amend the CBRS rules so that it’s more attractive to mobile carriers. In particular, the “uncarrier” would like to see the commission initiate a rulemaking proceeding to auction all 150 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band as PALs, or Priority Access Licenses, with General Authorized Access use offered opportunistically throughout the band. In its June 19 FCC filing, T-Mobile said 5G in the 3.5 GHz band is a global race and other regions and countries have already begun to act to make spectrum in the band available for 5G, including the United Kingdom, which initiated procedures to auction parts of the 3 GHz band; Japan, which has already allocated and licensed to three carriers spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band for mobile broadband; and China, which recently issued a public consultation request seeking comment on plans to use the 3300-3600 MHz and 4800-5000 MHz bands for 5G. As for small cells, Ray said during the conference call that T-Mobile has been very active on that front. It picked up about 13,000 DAS nodes, or small cell equivalents, through its acquisition of Metro PCS, and it’s got more than 2,000 traditional small cell and new small cells in the ground, with plans to hit about 8,000 by the end of this year. In the Los Angeles market, it now has more than 1,000 small cells turned up and it’s starting to see the benefits of macro network offload, speed enhancements and “really good numbers coming through when you get a material volume of small cells on the ground in a key urban and metro environment.” The goal is to make every small cell that it deploys by the fourth quarter of this year be leveraging unlicensed LTE in the 5 GHz band. Thanks in part to some early preparations the operator made on 600 MHz, it expects spectrum covering more than 1.2 million square miles to be clear in 2017, with actual deployments in many areas by year-end. Several compatible devices are expected by the holiday season, CEO John Legere said during prepared remarks, and it’s not wasting any time, with plans to light up the first 600 MHz site in August.
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SolarCity co-founder, CTO Peter Rive to leave Tesla

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Dive Brief: Greentech Media reports SolarCity co-founder and CTO Peter Rive is leaving the company, capping a stream of executives exiting since it was acquired by Tesla. The Buffalo News notes that with Rive's departure, "all of the rooftop solar installer's highest-ranking executives have either left or plan to leave." Rive's brother and former SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive left the company in June, with plans to start his own company sometime next year. Rive helped develop the "solar roof," Tesla's roof-mounted solar panels that mimic the design of traditional shingles. Dive Insight: There's no word yet on where Rive will head to next, but in a note to employees, he said work on solar roof "is being transitioned to other Tesla engineering leaders, who are among the brightest, most accomplished on the planet." He added he plans to spend more time in the outdoors, with his family and offer his expertise to solar non-profits in the near-term. Last year, Musk unveiled an integrated solar roof and battery storage product at an event in Los Angeles and began taking preorders for solar roofs a few months ago. The new roof systems will integrate with the Powerwall 2.0 battery system, and Tesla is touting them as cheaper and more durable than a traditional roof. Since being acquired by Tesla last year, a string of executives has left SolarCity. Tesla has plans for up to five factories, including SolarCity's factory in Buffalo, which it considers its second location after the Nevada Gigafactory.
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Why BBDO Rolled Out a Food Truck in NYC That Served Poisonous Meals

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Who's up for some crispy pufferfish? If a chef offered you a dish that included “paralyzing toxins” that “could suffocate you,” you probably wouldn’t eat it. A new campaign from nonprofit End Allergies Together (or E.A.T.) and BBDO New York seeks to raise awareness of food allergies—and money to research possible cures—by illustrating the harsh reality that, for people suffering from food allergies, one bite of the wrong food can be deadly. To that end, the agency teamed up with celebrity chef Ming Tsai to create a food truck that offered non-allergic eaters a taste of the allergic experience—by serving up poisonous dishes. The truck was set up in New York City, in what looks like a small public area across from Madison Square Park (a bustling commercial area where food vendors often hawk their wares). As an attention-grabbing stunt, it’s effective, even if the exchanges themselves are staged (as such productions usually are, to some degree). The PSA is dedicated to an 11-year-old who died last year after accidentally ingesting a walnut, despite having been diagnosed only with a mild allergy to nuts—and to other fatal victims of food allergies. But some 17 million Americans suffer from food allergies, and 220 million around the globe, says E.A.T. has raised $1.4 million for studies seeking treatments.
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Interview: LeadHome, CTO John Murray speaks about tech disruption in real estate

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The establishment of Leadhome was inspired by the need for transformation in the real estate industry. Customers are charged enormous amounts of money for a service that many are unhappy with, and the industry largely still works on a model that hasn’t changed in decades, with very little use of technology. The agency combines the best of traditional real estate agencies and modern technology to provide an online, 24×7 service combined with expert real estate agents that guide clients through the process of selling their homes – from start to finish – for a flat-rate commission fee (R29 995 excl VAT). Technology enables us to provide a superior customer experience, at a very low cost. Why the shift from the traditional way of operating a real estate organisation? At Leadhome we have re-engineered the whole process, using a combination of expert agents, modern technology, and a centralised business model to lower costs for customers while optimising customer service. This is done to simply offer better value for customers. Simpli allows clients to manage the process, time and have transparency of the selling and buying process which allows them to make informed decisions. How is technology disrupting the real estate industry? While property portals have made a big improvement to the buyer experience and fundamentally changed how properties are marketed, very few estate agency businesses have invested in technology to improve the seller’s experience.
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Facebook Launches 'Discover Growth' Global B2B Ad Campaign

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Facebook Launches 'Discover Growth' Global B2B Ad Campaign. Facebook on Wednesday launched "Discover Growth," a global ad campaign targeting B2B marketers. Marketers who sign up will get four weeks of direct mailings from Facebook with more information on how they can attract new customers on the social media network. "This is Facebook's B2B ad campaign to increase ad sales on their platform by using the data collected from [their] users to attract attention," said Cindy Zhou, principal analyst at Constellation Research. "It's Facebook's first global B2B ad campaign to attract more buyers," she told the E-Commerce Times. Sending a Mixed Message In promoting its Discover Growth webinar held Wednesday, Facebook made the point that "91 percent of people who could buy your products don't click on ads." "The overall digital advertising spend continues to grow at a rapid pace," noted Kate Rodriguez, principal at Altman Vilandrie & Company. "Facebook and Google have been the primary beneficiaries, capturing nearly 75 percent of the overall digital advertising market growth," she told the E-Commerce Times. "What happens after this campaign?" Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008.
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In the publishing world, we’ve seen an increased trend towards CEOs writing books

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In the publishing world, we’ve seen an increased trend towards CEOs writing books. When they are able to make the time to write a book, it’s almost always valuable to readers. That’s the book marketing business, and it’s not the business you want to be in. Beyond the sales and other opportunities we’ll discuss below, the smartest executives we work with make sure to promote the fact that they have written the definitive book in their field. 2) Personal Media Opportunities In addition to the credibility that’s gained from being a published author with a high quality product, books open the door to media opportunities. When journalists see you as an author as well as an executive, they become more interested in sharing your story, and press quickly follows. But, even better, the ones who see real potential to work together will reach out to you with these opportunities. But, with so many things competing for your attention, it can be difficult to make time to pass on your wisdom to up-and-comers in your organization. Writing a book is a way to scale the time you spend on mentorship. And, in the end, that’s why writing a book is worth it: It’s a way to show the world the great ideas that you already have, the ones that truly set you apart, and to pass those ideas on.
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10 Tips For Marketing To Gen Z On Instagram

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Interview Gen Z Customers To Create A Persona As with any demographic, marketers should first create a buying persona that helps everyone at the company to better understand the target customer. While there are many different methods that can be used to create a marketing persona, there are a few important things all marketers should understand. For brands interested in marketing to Gen Z on Instagram, it therefore makes sense to consider creating video content. Invest In Instagram Analytics Without understanding how Instagram content is performing, it will be difficult for Instagram marketers to know if the channel is performing well. Investing in an Instagram analytics tool will help marketing teams create content that truly resonates with Gen Z followers. Well-known influencers include Amandla Stenberg (made famous by her appearance in The Hunger Games) and Shawn Mendes (a popular YouTube singer). Create Mobile-First Website Content Gen Z is a mobile-first generation. So few Gen Zers use a desktop computer that it wasn’t even included in the findings! It therefore makes sense for brands to use Instagram as a channel designed to educate followers about a product or service in an informative and unbiased way. Mine Gen Z’s Favorite Brands For Inspiration The Huffington Post recently published a report listing brands that most appeal to members of Gen Z.
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Under Armour Launches New Digital Campaign Using Misty Copeland

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Under Armour Launches New Digital Campaign Using Misty Copeland. In its new campaign launched today from Droga5, Under Armour uses iconic ballerina/warrior Misty Copeland, first African American to be named as principal ballerina. Words by Saul Williams. As we all know, personalities can be iconic—just like the logos and products they represent, they instantly signal specific values that resonate and keep products relevant. Under Armour riffs on this well-worn meme by aligning with the values of personalities like Ms Copeland, Zoe Zhang, Jessie Graff, Alison Desir, and Natasha Hastings, who are atypical sports heroines: ballerina, actress and Taekwondo Black Belt, a stunt woman, entrepreneur and Harlem Run Founder, plus a world champion sprinter. The use of unusual, perhaps niche sports celebrities certainly highlights Under Armour's "Unlike Any" theme. But what underlines the campaign is that while each celebrity has their own film (the spots are directed by Georgia Hudson of Agile Films), the campaign was designed for social from the start. Over 110 unique assets for social have been created in order to highlight the many new products and technologies in Under Armour’s FW17 collection. This is an agile course-correction from traditional media and we're happy that Agency of the Year Droga5 has been champion enough to raise the bar. Watch for the “Unlike Any” campaign as it spreads across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, SnapChat and Pinterest.
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SolarCity CTO, Co-Founder & Key Solar Roof Developer Peter Rive Departs Tesla, Inc.

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SolarCity CTO, Co-Founder & Key Solar Roof Developer Peter Rive Departs Tesla, Inc.. Peter Rive has officially left the Tesla building. The move by the cousin of CEO Elon Musk and co-founder/former CTO of SolarCity — a company the California automaker acquired about a year ago — was confirmed to GreenTech Media by a Tesla spokesperson. The split doesn’t appear to be acrimonious. After years of helping put solar energy production on the roofs of many thousands of customers and, more recently, working on the development of the Tesla Solar Roof, Rive has decided to step away and, according to a letter circulated internally, “…spend more time exploring the outdoors, more time with my family, and helping non-profit solar projects in the developing world.” His departure is not expected to significantly impact the continuing development of the solar roof, which should be going into production right about now, but may be behind schedule. Tesla is the most important company on the planet when it comes to accelerating our transition to sustainable energy, which has made my decision very difficult — there is no other company that can be more impactful in our fight against climate change. Work on Solar Roof is being transitioned to other Tesla engineering leaders, who are among the brightest, most accomplished on the planet. At this point I don’t have a plan for another company. The future is even more exciting when you contemplate the combination of electric vehicles, storage, and solar generation, which are the critical components of a sustainable energy future. I know this is an exciting future for all of you and wish you all of the best going forward. Pete.
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Europe's richest businesswomen

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Europe's richest businesswomen. 0 Emma Wheaton has worked as a magazine journalist and editor for a variety of print and digital publications covering business, lifestyle, design and travel for the past 10 years. In celebration of the ladies across Europe who are breaking the mould, enjoying success and inspiring others, here’s a collection of the wealthiest self-made females, worth a combined €20.4 billion. Adele Net worth: €145 million Occupation: Musician Residence: UK Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE is a singer–songwriter and Britain’s wealthiest ever female musician. The 29-year-old has enjoyed a hugely successful career, breaking records for her album sales, number one hits and trophy hauls, and honoured by the Queen for her services to music. In an era of digital music streaming, that her wealth surged €45 million in the past year (following the release of her third album) is only all the more impressive. Dame Natalie Massenet Net worth: €155 million Occupation: Founder & Chairman of Net-a-Porter Residence: UK Luxury ecommerce pioneer Dame Natalie Massenet founded the hugely successful online fashion website Net-a-Porter in 2000, stepping down from her executive chair role at the company two years ago following its merger with YOOX. Kit has worked in interior design for more than 3 decades as the co-owner and Design Director for Firmdale Hotels, renowned and lauded for its original approach to design. As one of Europe’s wealthiest self-made women, she has certainly found the right approach. To find out who Europe's richest businesswoman is, pick up a copy of The CEO Magazine on shelves now or subscribe here to never miss an issue!
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INSIGHTS A New Service Model

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By enabling businesses to build help or support into mobile apps, these new models are re-inventing support to get the job done. In it we discovered that people living busy lives often desire a slimmed-down approach. Now, a company-sponsored research effort reveals how this new approach to service works. Almost half (45 percent) of consumers surveyed said they would be interested in trying mobile apps that offered live customer support. Well, um, the app might be intuitive -- and the developer may have worked hard to make it so -- but that doesn't mean the underlying business process that the app supports is intuitive. Again, according to the survey, 89 percent of travelers and loyalty members said they would want to be able to use a customer support feature in an airline's app while flying. That's why 83 percent of airline app users and upwards of 95 percent of loyalty members felt that airline apps would improve the travel experience. However, it's also clear that the apps themselves don't provide all of the help that customers might want from them. Help When You Need It In fact, the survey suggests that a new dynamic has come into play. Of course, in some situations, "being there" still means having a live agent -- but increasingly, it means building support into the app with prepositioned content or any other technology that fits into the service matrix.
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Building a Blockchain Strategy? Deloitte's CTO Has Advice For You

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Building a Blockchain Strategy? In this light, Deloitte's investment strategy might seem like a small series of shots in the dark. But, it's not just any crowd that generates Deloitte's investment data. Based in New York City, the team of three analysts gathers original data from events, clients, startups and paid data sources like DataFox to look for potentially valuable patterns. Aligning interests The blockchain investment research being done in these two cells is then mirrored by groups dispersed throughout Deloitte's global staff. While S3 is focused exclusively on blockchain and other fintech applications, Briggs also helps manage what he calls a "sophisticated tracking function that looks at widespread investment opportunities" at a global scale. "It's a win-win," said Briggs. Typically, those investments tend to be in services-heavy startups aimed at growing their client base. As revealed to CoinDesk, Deloitte's latest investment is in a third lab, this time in Hong Kong. Briggs concluded: "Whenever the market and client needs are aligned with our own growth and investments, goodness happens."
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Facebook users vexed by sound on autoplaying videos – here's how to stop it

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Facebook users vexed by sound on autoplaying videos – here's how to stop it. Facebook’s long-dreaded update that switches on sound for autoplaying videos by default is starting to roll out causing users to lash out on social media. Now those same autoplaying videos will start pumping out sound in a feature, as one user put it, “literally nobody asked for”. By June users were revolting: (@ow) Literally nobody asked for this pic.twitter.com/9dM1aJelUe July 16, 2017 During Facebook’s announcement of the feature in February, product manager Dana Sittler and engineering manager Alex Li said: “As people watch more video on phones, they’ve come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on.” “After testing sound on in News Feed and hearing positive feedback, we’re slowly bringing it to more people.” Sadly, these positive feedback-giving people seem to have ruined the experience for the rest of us. But there is salvation. It is possible to turn off autoplay sound, or stop autoplaying videos altogether, but it’s still an opt-out not an opt-in feature. Users need to enter the Facebook app’s settings and turn off the feature labeled “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound”. In the Android version of the app the setting can be found under the three-line “hamburger menu” icon, located in the top toolbar in the App Settings option. You can disable autoplaying videos in their entirety in the settings of the Facebook app too, or restrict them to wifi connections only. The Facebook app will respect the volume setting of the smartphone or tablet, however, which means that if the phone is set to silent videos will not make any sound.
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Interview: Flexjet CTO, Greg Johnson, on challenges of re-designing fractional providers’ app

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Flexjet has recently released its new app for their customers, allowing owners to fully manage their account with the fractional ownership company, from booking flights to placing catering requests. Corporate Jet Investor: Have customers been asking for an app? Corporate Jet Investor: Is this being driven by customer experience rather than the aim of cutting customer service costs? Corporate Jet Investor: A lot of charter brokers have launched apps saying that they offer end-to end bookings without any phone contact. We aren’t expecting anyone to buy a fraction of an aircraft online, so for fractional companies there is always going to be the necessity for more communication with clients than just through the app. Corporate Jet Investor: Is it fair to say that fractional companies are now catching up with online charter brokers? We hold over 480TB of data, which is rapidly growing, and we have a huge technology infrastructure to support this. Corporate Jet Investor: Which feature(s) of the app do you see as being the most innovative? Johnson: We will continue to update the app, and add more features to enhance the customer experience even more. This is a fluid process, and we will constantly learn from which features users like the most, and continue to use feedback to improve what the app can offer.
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Trump's Plan to Make Government IT Great

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The American Technology Council, which President Donald Trump established this spring by executive order, has four years to rebuild the federal government's information technology structure. An overwhelming majority of federal IT managers (81 percent) said that the federal government's aging IT infrastructure had a significant impact on their agencies' cybersecurity risk, Chappell told the E-Commerce Times. IT infrastructure, Sy told the E-Commerce Times. No single government agency is tasked with overseeing innovative thinking about technology, so having an agency such as the ATC is great, according to Sy. "Having government agencies move to the cloud is a good first step -- but then what? Singapore has two agencies responsible for government IT and technology innovations. "These two agencies are in lockstep with all other Singapore government agencies," Sy said. "How many times do we see government waiting to step up and make change only when bad things happen? The government has to step up," Sy said. "The government is planning on using powerful open source technology on top of their legacy systems.