Boardroom briefing: reasons for using the cloud, renewable energy news and the importance of feedback


A new Deloitte study suggests more and more businesses are using cloud technology, by 2020 solar PV technologies will be cheaper than any fossil fuel source, and employees’ assumptions about lack of feedback could damage their performance. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

Say ‘hi’ to the cloud

Deloitte’s new study, The CFO’s Guide to Cloud, found that 93 per cent of businesses in the developed world either use cloud technology or are considering it.

The reasons for using this technology are lower costs and greater strategic value, and the advantages are nominated as: reduced time to market, scalability, and a way to drive agility and innovation due to the new capabilities.

‘The cloud has levelled the playing field between large and small business,’ the report says.

How does PNG fit into this picture?

Well, another new Deloitte study, Connecting Papua New Guinea, notes the shortage of digital competency in the country, but argues its comparatively young population offers hope.

‘Young people in Papua New Guinea have higher levels of confidence in digital technology compared to older people. Our experience is that young people have strong digital “street smarts”: they are able to work out how to get the most out of the technology available.’

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Price of photovoltaic cells Source: Bloomberg finance

Good renewable energy news

Electricity generated by onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies will be consistently cheaper than from any fossil fuel source by 2020, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

‘Onshore wind and solar PV are set by 2020 to consistently offer a less expensive source of new electricity than the least-cost fossil-fuel alternative without financial assistance,’ according to the report.

The global weighted average cost of electricity generated by concentrated solar power fell by 26 per cent from a year earlier, data compiled by the agency showed.

Bioenergy fell by 14 per cent, solar PV and onshore wind by 13 per cent, hydropower by 12 per cent and geothermal and offshore wind by 1 per cent. Analysts are describing what they call ‘Swanson’s Law,’ the observation that solar PV panels tend to become 20 per cent cheaper for every doubling of cumulative shipped volume.

Just give them feedback

Giving employees feedback is considered an essential element of good management. But what do staff think if they do not get any? Deborah Regal, writing in the Harvard Business Review, argues they will typically get three messages, or stories:

  • ‘As long as I’m not creating trouble for my manager, I’m doing fine.’
  • ‘My manager doesn’t think I can take feedback well.’
  • ‘My manager doesn’t think I can change.’

Regal says none of these messages is conducive to good employee performance:

‘Giving feedback that helps people achieve better business results is part of a manager’s job. By giving more helpful feedback, you’ll be providing your employees with the data they need to do more of what’s working, less of what isn’t, and with fewer opportunities to make up their own stories.’

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