Dr. Kakul Agha Entrepreneurship
Leadership is a much needed and cherished role that only a few fit into. Managers come in several shapes and sizes but leaders are curated with special traits, exceptional talent and noticeable charisma.
Mr. Muhammad Habboosh Lifestyle and Trends
Social Media means engaging people to create videos or thoughts or share them with others using virtual network. Social Media started with simple platforms such as GeoCities, launched in November 1994, and Classmates.com in 1995 and then SixDegrees.com in 1997 (Wikipedia, 2022)
Prof. Raid Al-Adaileh From Different Corners
No doubt that the world is undergoing many fundamental changes in all aspects of economic, political, social, and technological life. The rapid development of digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, and many other modern concepts constitutes a real opportunity to address many of our contemporary problems, foremost among are environmental pollution, global warming, population overcrowding, and increasing pressure on limited natural resources. These problems are worsened and their impact is increasing in major cities. Statistics estimate that the population of the Earth will reach 9.8 billion in 2050, 70% of them will be living in cities. Hence, the search for solutions has become inevitable and even existential to ensure the survival of future generations and their right to live in a clean and safe environment.
One of the most prominent of these solutions that float on the surface is the so-called smart or digital cities. Cities where technical, human, and physical infrastructures are available to optimize the use of modern technologies that can achieve economic sustainability and improve the quality of life in all its details and ensure the wise use of resources and maximize their value. The concept of SMART cities has developed from an ambitious idea in the 1990s into a reality in many cities of the world. Many countries have developed the necessary mechanisms and technologies for these cities and have created practical models that have achieved many of the strategic and lofty goals, such as providing clean energy and increasing agricultural productivity through horizontal farms that rely on intelligent irrigation. These models have also developed transportation, health, and educational systems with modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and advanced sensors. These technologies enabled the collection and processing of the big data needed to improve decisions relating to the daily life of individuals in streets, in parks, in shopping malls, and their workplaces. Many cities are becoming relatively SMART. Cities like London, Seoul, Singapore, and Dubai are seen as role models.
Despite the positive outlook, digital transformation is not without challenges. Data security and privacy may be among the top concerns. Some also believe that with the use of modern technologies in such a transformational way, we may lose control of our lives and put ourselves under the control of many digital companies, whose motives might be questioned by many. Others call for the need to return to the land and promote a reverse migration from crowded cities to rural agricultural areas as a means of distributing the development gains and strengthening our capacity for food and agricultural production to achieve self-sufficiency and food security, rather than absolute dependence on imported consumer industries.
Despite the foregoing, and given the challenges and contradictory views on the reality of smart cities, the rate of transition towards smart cities is still modest. Nevertheless, the future looks promising in this direction, especially with the increasing problems of environmental pollution and global warming, which threaten the entire world and call for more efforts to protect the future of the Earth on which we live.
Prof. Haitham Alzoubi From Different Corners
There is a strong belief that even with the logical decisions we make, there are a lot of emotions feeding that logic. Professionals try to assure that people can put aside their feelings while they are making a particular decision, but in reality, that is almost impossible. The emotional dimension of the brain and its logical dimension are integrated in a way in which we cannot make any part work individually. The best way to improve the decision-making process is to enhance the skills on how to use the emotional and the logical dimensions in the proper manner. This process is called “emotional intelligence”. In enterprises and institutions, the top management is often assessed based on their effectiveness and efficiency decisions. This means that the top management is under constant stress while taking their decisions.
In work-life situations, emotional intelligence is closely associated with harmonious and friendly relationships among employees. Controlling self-emotion helps the effective management in preventing disruptive emotions and impulses or the buffering of negative emotions in favor of mood enhancement. Human intelligence and its implications on the organizations ought to be distanced from emotional and intellectual views, where emotional intelligence proves to have a greater effect on the organizations’ success. This harmony is the basis of synergistic sharing of skills within groups, whose performance surpasses that of other groups with similar technical skills but fewer social skills. Moreover, emotional intelligence is directly related to workgroup cohesion, which is closely related to superior performance.
Many successful managers believe that emotional intelligence can be trained and developed since the intellectual use of emotions gives individuals the ability to make accurate decisions when they are self-aware of their power and limitations. Hence, they feel more confident. Having good levels of emotional intelligence skills can protect the management from the anxiety and difficulties they experience when making wise decisions.
Finally, recent studies have illustrated that the more the managers have the understanding and practice to adapt and control their emotions will impact their abilities to produce more effective decisions.
Dr. Kakul Agha Human Resources
Knowing what the future holds for us is nothing but an estimation of the present. We are aware that since the last eighteen months, the world is undergoing dynamic changes and rapid evolution. Over a period of time, organizations have realized that these changes are needed for the functioning of people, departments and leaders’ roles in organizations. Several latest researches indicate that current trends in HR and Hospitality Sector focus on building new and better workplaces.
The first and foremost trend points towards Upskilling and Reskilling of Employees. To handle a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) business environment, there is a need for managers to plan and foresee requirements for upskilling and reskilling employees to fit into new and unexpected roles. HR needs to let employees shift their focus from traditional career paths spanning over decades to think outside their role in the organization. There is an urgent need among employees to develop critical and newly-found skills so that they can be more competent over a period of time. The critical skills required for the future may include higher-order cognitive, social, emotional and digital skills along with higher-level of adaptability, resilience and empathy. HR should offer greater development and learning opportunities to employees. The hospitality sector needs special upskilling and reskilling as this sector has suffered much and it needs a heightened level of resilience (ability to bounce back to new normal and adapt new requirements).
The second trend focuses on Adaptable and Flexible Work environment. The traditional work environment, large offices, requirement for parking spaces, excessively high costs for amenities, business travel and physical presence for work completion as well as meetings has become a thing of the past – as the pandemic has challenged it in an extreme manner. Things that were not even imagined till last year have become a reality and the need of the hour. The change in organizational structures and hierarchy need to be replaced by distributed structures and delegation for faster decision-making as required by the new order of the world. The current trend is to let HR teams focus on bringing flexibility and agility in their actions rather than just being service providers. Supporting employees in efforts of enhancing their work-life balance should be the goal of the HR department. The latest McKinsey report on leadership during tough times highlights the value of collaboration and networking of teams along with enhanced information sharing and distributed authority among employees to handle tough situations like these pandemic times. So HR and most sectors should try to bring about more flexibility at the workplace with remote working, diminished travel, and spatially spread-out teams.
The third and dominant trend is related to embedding forward-looking technology and AI techniques within the workplace. The surge in technology usage has been the most important and direct consequence of the pandemic COVID-19. Suddenly employees and management have realized that everything can be done with the help of technology, practically in all sectors. Integrating technology and AI at workplace can support employee “superteams” to produce more impactful work that enables organizations to transform and achieve high performance SMART goals. It is being experimented that with heightened usage of AI, the teams can use data more effectively to generate future-looking market trends and business insights. Further, this can help teams analyze and use data for superior decision-making and faster action by leaders.
So overall, these trends have been viewed and experienced by organizations, managers and employees alike, and they need to be sustained for better success in the future. These business developments cannot be negated post-pandemic times and therefore leaders need to study trends and develop suitable infrastructure to bring forth changes related to the functioning of teams, organizational structures, policies related to employees and provide enhanced opportunities for training and development in the near future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has evinced how well financial institutions can operate with remote staff, which is a positive aspect. In view of the combination of new technologies and digital accounting, CPAs operating remotely may still deliver high-quality service to their clients.
Even though a rising proportion of accounting firms are embracing the notion of having their employees work remotely regularly, it is also evident that cybersecurity precautions must be considered to avoid costly data theft.
Many areas of accounting work shifted from handling financial records to analyzing data, have been digitized, allowing them to be completed online and from any place. Accountants will continue to help customers establish a sustainable and cost-effective balance in the future, whether they work from home or in the office.
Organizations can aid from these crucial trends and should consider how to do so effectively, but accountants should also consider how to strategically integrate these six technologies into the strategic planning process.
Focus on Big Data and Data Analytics
An emphasis on data analysis of key financial and accounting data is an essential accounting trend in 2020. Since knowledge is pivotal to prudent financial decisions, progression in data centers, database technology, and software have steered to an improvement of management decisions in the age of big data and data mining. Accounting data has been a vital source of company decision-making information for a long time.
Businesses can attain useful insights from the process of studying numbers so that processes can be honed, efficiency can be increased, and risk management can be achieved. The industry focuses on data analytics as the new technology automates many accounting activities. Accountants take on new responsibilities as advisors, which require unique data analysis skills.
While large data is not a new facet of accounting services, in recent years it has become increasingly ultra-modern and provides more actionable insight through a new light on financial performance. Larger accounting firms use tax, advisory, risk management, and audit data analytics. In the meantime, CPAs use the most advanced tools in data analysis for industry-specific requirements in other organizations.
Data is crucial in the corporate world to make financial choices. In addition to statistics and spreadsheets with which accountants have for years been used, the data now contain unstructured data that can be evaluated using natural linguistic processing. This could avail monitoring of the financial situation in real-time. Data is the gasoline that propels other Fourth Industrial Revolution technology advances that are revolutionizing finance and accounting. Even the auditing procedure has gone digital. In the financial world, data provides useful cognizance, drives performance, and improves the client experience. Because everything has a digital footprint, our world's unprecedented digitalization is empowering us to glean previously unobtainable insights from data. These insights help ameliorate internal procedures and increase revenue.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence can be utilized by accounting and financial experts. Machines can perform long, repetitive, and redundant tasks with AI algorithms. With the succor of AI, financial professionals can spend more time inspecting and not merely crushing the data. By simplifying procedures, machines can help reduce costs and errors. The more finance professionals rely on AI, the more time they will have to concentrate on their key strengths, analyze and process huge volumes of data and perform routine work. The expectations of customers have evolved due to new technologies and accounting can be stated the same. Accountants benefit from AI since it increases their efficiency.
Accounting Today estimates that the global software market would amount to more than 12 billion dollars by 2026. The way accountants work and, by virtue of, how they communicate with their clients, has changed cloud computing, often referred to as cloud accounting. From 45 to 60 percent of companies have switched to cloud computing, eliminating the need to have accounting software installed on every computer. Software is saved on a server or the cloud instead. This will surge the efficiency of cloud-based software upgrades rather than internal renewals and downloads, which take time.
Because of the concept of sharing resources, such as accounting software that runs on the providers' servers and the ability to access financial information in the cloud, accounting information is more accessible, and the process is more efficient. Furthermore, more distant accounting employment for collaborative accounting will be created as a result. Furthermore, online accounting adds an ancillary layer of security to the data, protecting it from being hacked, damaged, or lost.
Technology-driven solutions adoption is on the rise and will continue to rise in the coming years. Accounting software manufacturers will develop better solutions in response to the increased demand for digital accounting. These software platforms impart several characteristics that accountants value the most, including process optimization and the decrease of manual tasks.
The epidemic of the COVID-19 has triggered some of the most recent dramatic job trends and the steep increase of remote labor in every industry, including the accounting industry. Although traditional accounting firms are built around coherent internal teams, the trend is growing to outsource specific duties and projects to third parties.
Outsourcing is an entrepreneurship cost-cutting strategy. Recent surveys show that 300,000 jobs are outsourced every year, with 59 percent of firms choosing to outsource costs. Outsourcing has many ascendancies, including enabling your company to take on new customers, providing a variety of services and addressing critical capacities gaps for highly complex projects.
Accountability can be outsourced for a range of reasons. It enables companies to concentrate more on their limited resources and to increase earnings. It also helps to reduce costs, such as wages, taxes, salaries, benefits, and training. Subsequently, more and more organizations outsource their accounts. As a result, there are increasing numbers of outsourced providers of accounting services, and it is one of the fast-growing accounting divisions.
The third technological topic to emphasize is Blockchain, which has significant consequences for financial and accounting professionals. Blockchain or distributed ledger is an exceedingly secure database. This means that the data that are useful for accounting and financial recording are kept and accurately recorded. Blockchain validates intelligent contracts, protection, transfer of assets, verification of identities and credentials, and much more. Once the technology is widely used and challenges to industry regulation are overcome, Blockchain will aid businesses through cost savings, traceability improvement, and safety improvements.
Blockchain is a vigorous accounting trend, and in the future, its use is sure to heighten. The way accountants’ function will be transformed. It will not get outworn but will be more coherent. As computers and Internet have revolutionized workplaces across all industries, Blockchain will proffer solutions to industry-wide accounting problems.
Calabrese, Nathan. 2021. 2021 Trends in Accounting and Finance. Retrieved from https://www.g2.com/articles/accounting-finance-trends-2021 on June 29, 2021.
Marr, Bernard. 2021. The 6 Biggest Technology Trends in Accounting and Finance. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/07/27/the-6-biggest-technology-trends-in-accounting-and-finance/?sh=58c71e823c7e on June 29, 2021.
Dr. Manas Pradhan Information Systems
The organization sustains and grows with various factors such as people skills, market situation, macro-economic and socio-economic conditions, globalization, geopolitical scenario, regulatory concerns, and environmental issues. Now organizations are finding technology the most important factor that impacts their business. The gift of the internet, especially information technology, has made every business leader think and visualize the progress in a SMACS Platform. SMACS, refers to Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, and Security. There's no doubt that data or big data is now the new natural resource for business. Looking at data flows across different functional units of an organization internally or externally, we cannot deny the chance to get a surprise solution at a certain point. SMACS organized the data in a meaningful way that helps the business to survive and facilitate 360 degrees growth.
Social: With many social media platforms in place, the IT industry stands at the beginning of the most significant revolution in recent years which create leverage for other industry to find the biggest space to create customers. The social metadata which captures the user’s information and activities is valuable to marketers for customer insights that may increase marketing indicators and sales lead. The use of social data such as tweets from Twitter, posts on Facebook, pins on Pinterest, posts on Tumblr, among others, and the relevant business application interface help in converting social data to market data.
Mobile: The world works with changing expectations, the same way business moves with the expectation from the workforce, clients and global communities. The evolution of mobile devices and apps has given a new dimension to the business process reengineering and optimization through enterprise mobility. The information and data just click to go. Business leaders have been practicing their dashboard strategy and operational plan by visualizing the most important triggers across departments on real-time dashboards in a small device. The data insights are accessible to the whole organization by sharing information from distributed business systems onto a single dashboard.
Analytics: Transferring data into insights and providing the ability to act upon those insights in real-time is becoming a smooth process with the advancement of business intelligence and analytics tools. The major IT players such as IBM, ORACLE, MICROSOFT, and Google have proved to be helping small to big organizations in terms of collecting, extracting, analyzing and visualizing data in a multidimensional way. The advantage of providing a global gusher of information has become a reality for businesses by energizing the old school statistical methodologies and landscaping techniques of Artificial Intelligence.
Cloud: The easy way of finding data in a centralized location of stored data over the internet for business makes it agility, flexibility, and scalability. The game-changing disruptive technology and utility computing model are making accessible data from any device or from any platform available at any time and from anywhere. Moreover, the cost reduction emphasizes the three aspects of cloud services i.e. Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS), Platform as a Service(PaaS) and Software as a Service(SaaS).
Security: When there are technology and data inflow, security concerns are always there. The demand for information as per organizational needs and business apps should perform reliably and securely, wherever and whenever we use them. This changing scenario gives new challenges to IT security. IT security firms have been trying their best to device robust control mechanisms that respond to the new ways people work with data and information.
With the changing global business scenario, hopefully, in the coming days, the adoption of SMACS will be beneficial and give organizations a new level of a working model.
Mr. Mahmoud Alsakhnini Information Systems
Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs are currently taking the digital art and collectibles world by storm. Digital artists are seeing their lives change thanks to huge sales to a new crypto audience. And celebrities are joining in as they spot a new opportunity to connect with fans. But digital art is only one way to use NFTs. They can be used to represent ownership of any unique asset, like a deed for an item in the digital or physical realm.
What are NFTs?
A record of transactions called a "blockchain," is where these tokens live. They're digital assets that can only be found on this record. The blockchain is a public record that anyone can check to make sure the non-fungible token is real and who owns it. The tokens are non-fungible, which means that they can't be traded for another asset of the same value.
Tokens that can't be traded are called NFT. When you talk about things like furniture, a song file, or your computer, they are called "non-fungible." This is an economic term that you can use. The properties of these things make them different from other items, so they can't be used with other things.
How do NFTs work?
Most NFTs are on the Ethereum blockchain. These NFTs are different from normal coins because they store extra information that makes them work in a different way. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin. Its blockchain also allows for these NFTs, which store extra information that makes them work in a different way than normal coins. It's important to note that other blockchains can make their own versions of NFTs. (Some have already.)
Fungible items can be exchanged because their value defines them rather than their unique properties. For example, ETH or dollars are fungible because 1 ETH / $1 USD is exchangeable for another 1 ETH / $1 USD.
What does an NFT consist of and how can you buy these tokens?
People can buy NFTs with cryptocurrencies, dollars, and fiat currencies. Just like cryptocurrencies, people can buy or sell NFTs on specialized platforms such as Mintable, OpenSea, Nifty Gateway and Rarible. The data of any transaction related to the token is recorded on the blockchain.
NFTs are not just used in digital art. Some of them can be in the form of a song, a video, a picture or text. Users can buy and sell even unique tweets as NFTs.
There are a lot of people who like NFTs because their prices keep going up. Afterward, they can hold on to it and sell it. Buyers sometimes sell NFTs in a day or two. Other buyers keep the NFTs for a few days to make money.
The tokens can help artists who have problems with how to make money from their art. Every time a token is sold, the artist gets a cut of the money. This is called "NFT."
With Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, and Sunny Leone getting into NFTs, the market is going up.
What are the issues with NFTs?
There is no guarantee that you will always make money with NFTs because the industry is not regulated. Second, no one can be sure how valuable NFTs are. A lot of money can be lost when the hype dies down for any reason. Buying and selling tokens can be very technical and difficult for many people who want to buy them.
The process of buying non-fungible tokens costs money to pay for a lot of energy-consuming computer transactions, or mining, that is needed to make sure that each transaction is correct. Environmentalists have also questioned the process of mining because they say that the amount of energy used in the process causes a lot of greenhouse gases, which then cause the planet to heat up.
The world has been suffering from the spread of Covid-19, which was recognized as a pandemic in early 2020, and its unexpected variants since the fourth quarter of 2019. No one denies the negative impact of this pandemic on our lives. Its effect has hit different sectors all over the world. Industry, trade, transportation, aviation, service providing, all kinds of business, in addition to education, are merely examples of the most affected sectors.
Besides this effect, the huge number of confirmed cases and high mortality rates in some affected countries have created a feeling of fear against social gatherings. As a precautionary procedure, governments all over the world moved toward lockdown and curfew. They issued several policies and procedures in order to control social activities such as social isolation, social distancing, and institutional and self-quarantine. Accordingly, social isolation became one of the most successfully used methods during this crisis to limit mixing and direct contact between people. Therefore, social isolation can be defined as the loss of social relations at the personal level or disengaging essential social institutions from each other at the societal level.
While millions or even billions of people were forced to stay in their homes to evade the infection and to activate social isolation, alternative mediums of communication have become needed. During the pandemic, distance learning or electronic learning (e-learning) was the chosen medium used in order to continue the learning process. The existence of Learning Management Systems (LMSs), e.g., Moodle, WebCT, Blackboard, and video conferencing applications, e.g., MS-Teams, Zoom, and WebEx helped in compensating for the shortage in physical contact between students and instructors.
Distance learning is reported as one of the most important and fastest-growing areas of the high technology development sector, especially in academic environments. A LMS is as a web-based software platform that provides an interactive online learning environment and automates the administration, organization, delivery, and reporting of educational content and learner outcomes. It provides an easier avenue for sharing learning materials and activities than the traditional classroom where it could take too much time to deliver these materials.
Whereas the interaction and delivery methods used in online classes are dramatically different from traditional classes, undoubtedly, the successful sharing of knowledge, in general, can help to improve study habits and be successful in any educational setting, regardless of the type of learner involved. Although the instructor is a very important factor in the learning process, the advantages of e-learning systems change the role that the instructor plays in this process. Distance learning gives an opportunity to anyone to learn anytime and anywhere in a rapid and customized way. Currently, many LMSs, either open-source or commercial, available in the marketplace offer several intelligent, creative, and innovative electronic teaching and learning tools.
Lastly, no one denies the important role of technologies in growing any working environment; the learning environment is no exception. Technology is a suitable modern way for both instructors and learners to communicate in a virtual environment by ignoring the boundaries of distance and time. E-learning involves the use of multimedia interaction in order to get the best form of online communication. Therefore, LMSs enable teachers to share materials, create assessments, and communicate with their students in a professional virtual way without the hindrance of time and place. During this tough time of the pandemic, many schools, universities, and higher education institutions over the world activated their contingency plans and moved to distance learning. It is obvious that technology is compensating, filling the gap, and helping education recover from the negative effect of the Covid-19 crisis.
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Mr. Mahmoud Alsakhnini Information Systems
The World Economic Forum has a list of four industrial revolutions, and we are in the fourth one right now. The third revolution, which was digital transformation and information technology, came after that. WEF said that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has four main effects on businesses: customer expectations, product improvement, collaborative innovation, and organizational forms, all of which are influenced by the revolution.
The fourth revolution is marked by a mix of technologies that blurs the lines between the physical, digital, and biological worlds. Metaverse, Virtual Reality/ Augmented Reality (AR/VR) will play a big role in the fourth revolution. It will touch every part of our lives in a way we've never seen before. These technologies are a way to make sure that the digital and physical worlds aren't too different.
What is the Metaverse?
In fact, because the "Metaverse" is still in development, there isn't even one definition of it that's the same across the world or universal definition of it.
There are many online worlds in the "Metaverse," and they can be used for work, study, fun, games, and business. You can use virtual reality and augmented reality to interact with 3D avatars in these worlds.
"Snow Crash," by Neal Stephenson, was the first time the term "metaverse" was used in a novel. In the book, people wear virtual reality headsets to interact with a game-like virtual world.
Cryptocurrency is already used as a form of payment in some metaverses. Decentraland is the first fully decentralized world. If you visit, it will be the first thing you do. If you want to live in Decentraland, all you need to do is buy tokens called "MANA" to buy anything and everything you want.
As it turns out there are only a few tokens in the metaverse that have turned green this year: Decentraland, Sandbox, Alien world, Axie Infinity, and Enjin (ENJ) are just some of them.
AR/VR technologies not only improve legal outcomes, but also shorten the distance between different places in the world. Legal professionals will no longer be afraid to take on high-profile multi-jurisdictional trials. When AR/VR technologies are used in multi-jurisdictional and geographical lawsuits, they will also help cut down on the cost of those lawsuits.
Metaverse is beyond the realm of gaming and fun. The utility of these and many more evolving technologies is still unexplored yet promising. Additionally, we are still in the early days of evolution and don’t know how they will evolve. It’s important to start to explore how these technologies can enhance your business model and client experience. While Metaverse offers new and refreshing ways of professional and personal interaction, easing human efforts, the potential cons could not be overlooked. Right from the fraudulent transactions to potential data compromises to invading private space, unregulated space calls for laws and regulations.
Some blockchain-based platforms, like Decentraland and The Sandbox, require Ethereum-based crypto tokens, like MANA for Decentraland and SAND for The Sandbox, in order to buy and sell virtual goods.
In Decentraland, people can trade NFT art or charge people to go to a virtual art show or concert. They can also make money by selling land, which has risen in value over the last few years. They can do this because land prices have risen.