Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, James Carlini, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Release Management , Linux Containers, Agile Computing

Release Management : Article

The Tau Index & Revolution: Who's Next? (Update)

Egypt & Tunisia Were On the List. There are Some Others That Pop Up, Too

In Cairo, fear and trepidation of Facebook and Twitter ran high enough to prompt the government to flip a Liebermanesque Internet kill switch.

But perhaps it's not these two sites in particular as much as IT in general that's causing the problem for the world's dictators. And perhaps it is those countries that have tried to have things both ways--encouraging economic freedom while controlling political freedom--that are most prone to disruption, even revolution, today.

Disruptive Stuff
Countries that have moved from state planning to more open markets have experienced widespread disruption as the inequalities of capitalism announce themselves. When a country moving toward economic liberalization doesn't liberalize its press and political freedoms in the process, oppressed anger often builds to dangerous levels.

Add to this the notion that IT is disruptive, even revolutionary, and you can be crafting a toxic brew.

Through Internet connectivity, small computers, smart phones, and a universe of free websites, people in all corners of the world can communicate in ways that were simply not possible even a few years ago, and with opinions that will invariably run afoul of an oppressive, controlling government.

IT disruption cannot be measured accurately simply by looking at pure investment levels. In fact, the wealthier, more equitable, more stable nations of the world also invest the most on IT on a per-person (per capita) basis: Switzerland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands are the world's top five..

The next five are Hong Kong, Finland, Denmark, the UAE, and the UK. After that come Japan and Canada. All have internal problems, pressures, and loudmouths, of course, but none seem ripe for revolution.

Where, on the other hand, are the places that are truly dynamic-truly kinetic-in their level of commitment to IT? Which countries may be most prone to truly disruptive IT?

This was my question when I created the Tau Index a few months ago, in which I factored income inequity and local cost-of-living into per capita IT spending. Doing this created a Top 25 list that was far different from the simple Top 25 per capita list.

There were only two countries in the Top 25 of both lists: the Czech Republic and South Korea. And whereas most of the world's Top 25 IT spenders per capita are located in North America and Western Europe (plus Japan), most members of the Tau Index were located in Southern Asia, Eastern Europe, and Northern Africa.

Combustibility
There are some combustible places on this list. So given the revolutionary events in Tunisia and Egypt--both of which are on the Tau Index Top 25--it occurred to me to examine an extra dimension, one that measures government oppression.

For now, I've settled on the Press Freedom Index (PFI), published annually by Reporters Without Borders. Although some places rate poorly due to a general climate of fear and lawlessness rather than government oppression-the Philippines, a Tau Index Top 25 country, is the classic example-we can generally connect the dots between a poor PFI ranking and a nasty government.

I then connected the dots between high Tau Index ratings and poor PFI rankings-between the most kinetic (ie,disruptive) IT environments and the most restrictive media environments.

Doing so resulted in a list that, not surprisingly, includes Egypt and Tunisia. Integrating their Tau Index rating with their Press Freedom Index rating puts them in a red zone of sorts that, in retrospect, may have been a good indicator that revolution was ripe.

Who's Next?
The big question then becomes, if this connection is meaningful, who's next? By this, I don't mean who's next for ethnic or religious unrest, but rather, what governments are most likely to have a full-scale revolution on their hands soon?

Revolutionary talk is dangerous talk, and words do have consequences. Certainly, we all should abhor violence and the incitement thereof. But my numbers show the following candidates:

* Vietnam. The country has emerged as Asia's latest "It Girl" for investment. But IT is growing at a rate here that's disruptive, its 90 million people bring a lot of population pressure, and the iron-fisted Communist government has done nothing to ease political or media control.

Let's not forget Frances FitzGerald's book, "Fire in the Lake," in which she described the Asian, I Ching idea of an oppositional state that's ready to flare, unbeknownst to our more literal Western minds.

Note to the US government: whatever happens here, DON'T intervene.

* Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. No-brainers. Even the CIA is probably on top of the situations here.

* Libya. I don't have official IT spend figures for this country, so it doesn't appear in my official list. But my understanding is that the country is being aggressive. And press freedom there is abysmal.

* Thailand. On the surface, a succesful emerging "Asian Tiger." But this country almost tore itself in two last year through class-based conflict. Once the king dies, look out.

* Malaysia. This came as a surprise to me, and I doubt the place is ripe for revolution. My numbers don't tell the whole story here. Its abysmal press index stems from the nagging ethnic toothache among Malay and Chinese.

But the country doesn't face the population pressures of Vietnam, has already gone through the early states of development, and is on its way to becoming the South Korea of the next decade.

* Honduras. There's been very aggressive IT adoption here, and therefore a lot of disruption, without addressing income equality or liberalizing the media. The presidential charade of 2009 was no accident. This place remains a tinderbox.

* Morocco and Ukraine. On the bubble with my numbers. Certainly, the Moroccan government is nervous given Tunisia and Egypt. Ukraine is another place that almost split itself in two, a few years ago. It's the number two IT deployer in the world, according to the Tau Index, but has press freedoms similar to those of Russia and lower of those of Eqypt.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...