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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

Chinese Handcuffs and IT Security in Large Companies!

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Chinese Handcuffs or the Chinese Finger Traps are classic analogies on what happens to IT security in large companies and how to eventually navigate them internally!

These Chinese Handcuffs defy your natural inclination to pull harder once your fingers are caught in them. You need to resist your natural instincts, relax a bit and push your fingers towards each other, then the bamboo interlocks of the Chinese Finger Cuffs ease up and you are able to extract your fingers out! The trick is to resist your natural urges and go exactly the opposite way!

Sort of like going with the skid, when you skid on ice. Counter intuitive but that's how it works!

I have been on business to a number of large companies where by their very nature of work they need to have high levels of IT security (IT Enabled Services Companies or Call Centers, or Back Office Centers, to be specific!). One thing I am increasingly beginning to notice is that IT security that is so much necessary in these places, is tightening its grip in ever so larger measures, with the result that Operations people inside these companies are hardly able to function and do any kind of analytics that will help them manage their operations effectively!

Like Chinese Handcuffs!

The answers may lie in actually easing up and going with the flow of IT security needs and hopefully there will be better ways of meeting your most stringent IT security needs, while at the same time, creating and using enough Business Intelligence so that you can manage your operations well!

In Managing operations, you may not need access to individual transactions as much as you need summary Business Intelligence that shows you patterns or "pictures at a higher level of abstraction".

Even though drilling down to a transaction may be desired, you may not always be able to get it at that level - like pulling against the Chinese handcuffs. Security restrictions may prevent you from accessing that level of detail outside a totally enclosed, IT bubble.

However, you may be able to convince the IT powers that be that you are abstracting and taking only summary information and not the individual credit card number of anyone or the personal medical history of any one person!

Sometimes the analogy to the Chinese Handcuffs can be pretty close and scary! But that does not mean that there might be other answers, especially if you know how to really get your fingers out of one!

Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.  - Chuang Tzu


Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .


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