From the Editor
Today’s Social Technology - Just Scratching the Surface
Consider how many companies have been formed since just the start of the 21st century — and even in the dismal economy since 2008. Most of these, I’d wager, are information-technology products and services companies. And consider just how much the world has changed since the late 1990s when the Internet and instant communications dramatically began their charge.
It’s likely that more change has occurred in the past two decades than has occurred previously in the history of the United States. Again, that’s just my personal guess, but it may not be too far off reality. This is just the bare tip of the iceberg of the dizzying pace that is sure to continue as new, speedier, farther-reaching and more-sophisticated devices, schemes and systems make their debuts.
Entire industries have changed right before our eyes: booking air travel, buying products, reading books, watching movies and TV, to name a few. Social networking has stoked political unrest, resulting in leaders ousted in nations such as Egypt. Interestingly, as these communications devices have shrunk in size — from the original computers, to desktops to laptops, to BlackBerrys, smartphones and tablets — they have amassed exponential power.
By the mid 1990s, forward-thinking companies were developing an Internet and Web address. Now every company has a virtual presence. The Web pages the company develops are under its control. Those that external forces develop and communicate — its customers, employees, competitors, bloggers and more — are far beyond that control, yet the company can be greatly impacted by what is written about it and disseminated on the Web. Those writings can also be inadvertently placed on social media sites by employees, as well.
The Internet itself comprises an array of technologies that impact the professional and personal sides of people’s lives. But often the business and social sides interact. You’ve likely heard of people being hired — or not — or even fired because of items that appeared on their personal Facebook page.
With this as backdrop, in our cover story on Social Technology: The New Frontier, author Scott Klososky, a CEO of three startup technology companies and founder and chairman of the board of Alkami Technology, writes that social technology is not a subject for any business to ignore. “The phenomenon of these abilities to connect seamlessly across the world is much more powerful than most people understand at the moment. And, it will not be going away.”
Social media isn’t the only cutting-edge issue we’re exploring. Among the subjects of interest are articles on top derivatives regulatory concerns; new tax technologies that enable process improvement over the entire tax lifecycle; the eventuality of a cyberattack and how to deter it; sparking an American “Innovation Renaissance;” and the challenges in managing a mobile workforce. In addition, the Financial Reporting column covers issues related to the lease accounting standard and The Office column features Visit Orlando (and its COO/CFO Larry Henrichs) ... a timely addition as Orlando is the locale for FEI’s annual leadership Summit May 20-22. I am looking forward to meeting and greeting many of you there.