Apple’s Irish Tax Problem…

Earlier this week Apple was effectively given an overdue tax bill from the European Union’s anti-trust commission for around $15 billion. Apple can certainly pay one $15 billion bill. However, this would also eliminate its related tax breaks from Ireland, which protected Apple profits across the EU and that will have a lasting, painful impact on its financial performance. Why I think Apple is screwed is that this massive tax is very material to every Irish citizen—about $3,000 per person—making it very likely that those that support Apple and are currently fighting the EU will be politically motivated to change sides or lose their elected jobs. For instance, assuming you are in the US, if you were told that finding against Apple would reduce our own personal Tax bill by $3,000, would you support Apple or—like most—figure Apple kind of owes you the money because it made so much off you over the last few years (Apple does have something like $500 billion in reserves). To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Lessons for IT: Learning from Others’ Mistakes

Learning from mistakes committed by other people is the foundation of observational intelligence. The concept is embedded in numerous religious texts, with examples commonly cited from the Bible (Old and new Testaments), Quran, Upanishads, Sutras and Bhagavad Gita, to name but a few. It’s also part of the core curriculum for traditional grandparenting, as in, “Just because your friends (insert moronic or self-destructive behavior), you don’t have to do it, too.” Given that rich history, it’s unsurprising that the concept continues to resonate and offer lessons, even for those in the most modern confines of business and information technology (IT). Here are four recent examples worth considering. To read the complete article, CLICK ON AUTHOR’S BYLINE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Is Apple’s Teflon Skin Wearing Thin?

Since Steve Jobs’ celebrated return in 1997 Apple has played, mostly successfully, by its own rules. Along the way, the company has weathered mistakes that would have badly damaged or sunk other organizations, including faulty phone designs, strategic missteps and failed efforts in new products and categories. In fact, its ability to avoid punishment was often linked to Jobs’ supposed ability to conjure up a “reality distortion field” at will. That obviously hasn’t been available in the half decade since Jobs’ death but it’s not like Apple needed an excess of mojo to sustain a Teflon-like, problem-resistant quality. Under the leadership of former COO Tim Cook, the company has become a far more stable and predictable organization, and a far, far more profitable enterprise. That’s not to say Apple hasn’t suffered disappointments, including its inability to launch a product or category as successful as the iPhone. But in spite of that, Apple seemed to be essentially on track, at least until recently when it tripped over issues that should have been relatively easy to avoid or resolve. Let’s look at this in greater detail. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Apple vs. DOJ Doesn’t Really Matter

Anyone remember the Crypto wars of the 1990s? Back in the early 1990s, the U.S. placed strict regulations on the exportation of cryptography and even put encryption technologies on the munitions list as auxiliary military equipment. This restriction was a real burden to software firms like Lotus, Microsoft, and Novell as they wanted to offer data confidentiality and integrity features for PC users. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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IBM, Apple, and Watson: You are about to become obsolete

I used to work for IBM and it is always a bit of a kick when I’m at an IBM event. IBM was not only the greatest company I ever worked for, it was the most frustrating. It was a firm defined by obsolete processes at the time, and decisions that were based on a worldview that seemed decades out of date. This is what makes analytics in particular so interesting for IBM. If anything could address fixing a problem like this, it would be analytics—and IBM is all in. One of my biggest takeaways from this event is how much the entire focus of this event has changed from last year and I think it is largely because IBM isn’t just “selling” analytics. It is using analytics and instead of making decision based on old—and often false—data it is increasingly making decisions on current accurate data. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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