Economic Factors Affecting Insurance Industry
Economic factors affecting insurance industry can either enhance or hinder the thriving of insurance firms. The insurance industry is a major player in the economy and this implies economic imbalances can as well be felt in the sector. In fact, the insurance industry relies on the economy for its survival. Thus, if the economy is not doing well, the insurance sector will also be crippled.
The Main Economic Factors Affecting Insurance Industry
The health of an economy is defined by various elements, which may encourage or hurt growth. This article will outline some of the key economic factors affecting insurance industry. Besides, it will also discuss how those factors can impact the operations of players in the insurance industry.
Inflation is a situation whereby the overall prices of goods and services become too high for many people, causing a decrease in the value of a country’s currency. Besides, it is also a state of uncertainty about the health of the economy characterized by unemployment. As a result of this, many people shy away from obtaining services like insurance. At this point, even government interventions may not have significant impacts since even insurance companies depend on investments from their customers in order to do business. Although, the government can still make efforts towards preventing further inflation.
Inflation is caused by a series of factors and activities like foreign exchange rate, unlimited supply of money by the government, which may not be in the direct control of insurance companies. However, it may have far-reaching consequences on the sustainability of the insurance sector.
The levels of inflation may have varied impacts on the insurance industry. For instance, if the inflation rate is so high, many people may feel threatened to lose their property and may rush to acquire insurance. This will mean more business and revenues to the insurance sector. The general impact of inflation on insurance depends on its relationship with other economic and financial factors.
Generally, deflation is a situation whereby there is a decrease in prices of goods and services. It is caused by the lack of demand across the various sectors of the economy, forcing suppliers to lower their rates or prices in order to attract customers. A fall in the aggregate money supply in the economy is one of the main causes of deflation.
Deflation means the economy is doing well and the value of the currency is competitive in the market. As a result of this, many people are able to spend more, which is good news to insurance companies. When many people start obtaining insurance, the companies will get money to pay claims, attracting more business and revenue.
However, it should be noted that if deflation is allowed to persist in an economy, it may be difficult to change the trend of continuous decrease in prices of commodities, which can impact reduced profits and increased unemployment rates. Central banks should be able to see the signs of growing deflation and tame it before it poisons the various sectors of the economy.
Economic policies can be formulated and implemented depending on the economic situation in order to regulate the activities of financial institutions like insurance companies. In times when an economy is facing a crisis, the government can implement economic policies to shield consumers from exploitation by insurers while also protecting insurance companies. An example is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999.
The economy of a country can also affect the level of competition by increasing or decreasing it. For instance, in developing economies, there is a high level of competition since many people are attracted to the lucrative insurance business. In such cases, insurance companies may be forced to consolidate their efforts through mergers and acquisitions in order to survive in the market. This may sometimes decrease the profits margins for many players in the industry.
Going by the key economic factors affecting insurance industry discussed above, manipulating the economy to suit the interests of insurance companies is a nut too hard to crack. However, insurance companies and the government have a role to play in the formulation and harmonization of policies that encourage economic growth.
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Factors Affecting Corn Production
There are numerous factors affecting corn production. Corn is a vegetable and a grain that grows with tall grass-like stalk while producing large kernels in a cob. The color of the kernels can be yellow or white. However, kernels mostly have a mix of oranges, yellows, reds, purples and browns. The production of corn is affected by numerous factors which influence its yields.
Major factors affecting corn production
Weather is the major factor that affects the production of corn. Unfortunately, farmers do not have much control of this factor. Weather aspects like temperature, rainfall and moisture all have impact on the production of this crop. Weather factors can also be called environmental factors which influence corn growth.
- Nitrogen supply
Supply of nitrogen in the soil also affects the production of corn. This factor explains the difference that continuous production of corn and rotation of corn with soybeans has. Soil with high amount of nitrogen has the capacity to support high yields of corn. This is why some farmers apply nitrogen fertilizers in their fields to supply nitrogen that corns need to grow. Globally, the use of nitrogen fertilizers is gaining considerable attention in terms of research due to their impact on the production of various crops including corn.
- Hybrid selection
Biotechnology or genetics play a vital role in improving the potential of the corn seeds that are available to farmers. Hybrid selection is an important decision that corn farmers have to make because it impacts on their overall production. Some farmers do not realize that there are commercial hybrids that have high yield potential. Thus, hybrid selection is increasingly becoming a significant factor that affects the production of corn.
- Plant population
The maximum occupancy of the land where corn is grown also affects production. This entails aspects like spacing of the crop during planting which impact on their growth and yields. Plant population is usually affected by weather because some plants can be damaged by bad weather at their early stage. Planting more plants in a small field will also make them susceptible to the unfavorable conditions and diseases. As such, plant population is bound to affect the production of corn.
Chemicals like foliar fungicides make corn less sensitive to the environmental stressors. This has an impact on the overall yields that a farmer can harvest from a given corn field. Even chemicals that some farmers use to control weeds and pests while growing corn affect the overall corn production.
The timing and degree of tillage affects the production of corn because reduction in production from the previous crop or yield penalty is associated with residue. Additionally, the tillage system that farmers adapt can affect the population of the plant.
How factors affecting corn production are managed
The factors that affect the production of corn are managed in different ways.
They include the following:
- Field selection
The field where corn is produced affects the overall production of corn. As such, farmers try to manage these factors by selecting the best fields for growing corn. Generally, corn grows better in low stress and highly productive environments.
- Residue management
Corn residue is a major factor that affects the production of corn. It has been identified as a major cause of yield penalty. To manage residue, corn growers take numerous actions like removing residue partially, ensuring proper hybrid’s selection and proper tillage. Farmers also apply nitrogen to accelerate the breakdown of residue.
By rotating corn with soybean, farmers maintain high yields in places where they grow corn frequently or consecutively. This is because rotating corn with soybean reduces yield penalty because soybean replenishes nitrogen in the soil. This facilitates the growth of corn in the next crop.
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Factors that Affect Food Security
Factors that affect food security contribute to the nutritional status of a country. Food security refers to a situation where all people have access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs all the time to ensure their healthy and active life. Due to foods insecurity, some people have reduced immunity, reduced productivity, impaired mental and physical development. Food security is largely dependent on demand than on supply. This is because the demand for food is higher than the supply. Generally, food security is affected by several factors which vary among countries but they all contribute to making food shortage a major global issue.
Key factors that affect food security
- Climate change
Climate change has led to weather pattern changes. Effects of climate change which include rises in the average temperatures, floods and droughts are some of the factors that are affecting food production which in turn affects food security. Crops like rice which is grown in the Asian countries where it acts as the stable food for most Asians have been affected by these changes. If nothing is done to mitigate the effects of climate change, crop production will continue to decline and this will have more negative affects on food security.
- Reduction in Arable lands
Only 3 billion hectares of 14 billion hectares of the global land is arable. This area continues to reduce due to the fast rate at which human population is growing. For instance, in 1959, there was approximately 12 acres per individual globally. This reduced to approximately 6 acres by 2006. It is estimated that reduction in arable land acreage per person will reduce to 2.8 acres per individual by 2040. There has been more than 55 percent decrease in the arable land ratio to the population between 1960 and 2000. Additionally, half of the land that is arable now will be unusable by 2050. The degradation rate of arable land in Africa, Latin America and Asia is between two and six times higher than in North America and Europe.
- Food loss
Food loss is the qualitative and quantitative reductions in the value and amount of food. Food spoilage or loss occurs in the supply chain of food between the production point and consumption point. Crops can be damaged by pests, diseases and rodents in the field. Poor harvesting, transportation and storage cause further loss of food. All these factors combined lead to significant food losses and subsequent food insecurity.
- Food accessibility and availability
Food availability is the existence of adequate quantities of food types for communities, countries and individuals. Having adequate food is not a guarantee that everybody in a country has access to food. In some countries, food security for households is dependent on their income levels. This leads to food insecurity in rural areas where populations have limited income.
How to address factors that affect food security
For the factors affecting food security to be addressed, the input of governments, policy makers, non-governmental agencies and individual households is required. This is because food insecurity is a global issue that cannot be addressed by a single country or entity. For instance, a factor like climate change that cause food insecurity by affecting food production negatively can be addressed if only all countries in the world agree to work together towards reducing their greenhouse gases emissions.
Generally, food security is a complex phenomenon. It is largely dependent on political and social systems as well as environmental factors. Therefore, for the factors that affect it to be addressed properly, input of political and social systems is required as well as the participation of everybody in conserving the environment.
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PESTEL Analysis for Apple
A PESTEL analysis for Apple indicates the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors that affect this company. PESTEL analysis is a tool or framework that marketers use in analyzing and monitoring factors of the external or macro-environment that can affect an organization. Apple Inc. is a recognizable and visible brand of consumer electronics. The company specializes in designing, manufacturing and marketing media and mobile communication devices, portable music players, personal computers, and related software, peripherals, services, third party applications and digital content as well as networking solutions. Its products include Apple TV, iPod, iPad, iPhone Mac and OS X as well as iOS operating systems, and iCloud among others.
Detailed PESTEL analysis for Apple
- Political factors
The performance of Apple in every market where it has its operations is subject to various political factors that include political stability. For instance, the call made by Dmitry Gorotsove, a Russian Parliamentarian, in stopping the lawmakers from using iPads and iPhones in protecting foreign services’ eavesdropping is an example of how political factors can affect the performance of this company. Another Russian lawmaker took a harsh approach in regards to gay propaganda suggesting publicly that Tim Cook, the Apple CEO, should be banned from entering the country because he acknowledged that he is a homosexual on 30th October 2014. These cases illustrate clearly how political factors can affect the sales of Apple within Russia. Both of these cases are related to politics and they affect Apple directly. Other political factors include government-level trade, pressure groups, tariffs and industry-specific initiatives by the government that can affect the performance of Apple or those of competitors. Additionally, the kind of relationship that USA, the mother country of Apple, has with other countries can affect its performance in relevant countries because substantial revenues share are generated outside the US.
- Economic factors
The revenues of Apple can be affected by economic crisis and recessions to a larger extent when compared to the other businesses because of the strategy of premium pricing. For instance, the revenues of this company decreased by 16 percent in Europe during the third quarter of 2012 as compared to those of the same quarter in the previous year. Increased inflation rate also affected the company in the United States because of the large cash reserves amount. On a global scale, the company is a receiver of the currencies from other countries. This means that the exchange rates’ changes can affect the company especially strengthening of the dollar in the US can affect the net sales as well as gross margins of the company negatively.
- Social factors
Apple is affected by social factors like consumer spending changes in places like Africa where people might be unfamiliar with some of its products. Some consumers of Apple products are young and are not attached to Apple products emotionally. There is also a backlash against the stylish and expensive products among some consumers in Europe and the United States. Additionally, there are ethical concerns in the manufacture of Apple products in China which can limit the company sales.
- Technological factors
Some of the technological factors affecting Apple performance include competition from other technology companies like Samsung and Google. Some of these companies are duplicating its products. The growth in the use of tablets and Smartphone can lower the demand for popular computers from Apple.
- Environmental factors
The disposal of nonworking or used electronic devices is the major environmental factor facing Apple. Concerns are also being raised about the side effects of its manufacturing plants in China which include pollution that leads to climate change.
- Legal factors
Apple relies on several products that are under the laws that govern intellectual property. The company has also entered the financial sector that is highly regulated. This is likely to increase government oversight and regulation.
Why this PESTEL analysis for Apple is important
The outcome of this analysis is used in identifying weaknesses and threats that are used in the SWOT analysis of the company. This gives the management a detailed picture or overview of the environment where Apple operates making effective decision making and strategic planning possible.
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Understanding Current Challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria
Boko Haram is Nigeria’s homegrown radical Islamist movement. It originated from the country’s history of poor governance, inequality and extreme in northern states. What makes Boko Haram unique is its ability to combines radical Islamic agenda with violence, meted on Nigerians almost daily. Boko Haram’s main goal is to establish a Sharia State in Nigeria. However, it has no interest in promoting good governance and development in the country. Wahhabi theological system forms the basis of the group’s operations and opposes traditional Islam of Northern Nigeria, which is tolerant. The challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria are harmful in every aspect in Nigeria, with the group expanding its area of operations.
A brief analysis of the challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria
Hardly does a week go before Boko Haram causes havoc in Nigeria. It has become a thorn in the flesh of the government, with the military on the receiving end for failing to tame the insurgent group. Boko Haram poses an array of challenges in Nigeria. One of these is loss of innocent lives. Thousands of Nigerians have died since 2009, when the group emerged. Another challenge is destruction of property and infrastructure. Through bombings, the militant group has destroyed roads, bridges, communication lines, and railway lines in Northern Nigeria cutting off some areas. This makes it impossible for the military to access the states under attack.
In addition, Boko Haram has intensified kidnappings, which has become its main source of revenue. With its attacks spreading to other states, including Kano and Lagos, the government of Nigeria treats the group as part of Al Qaeda, an international terror outfit that emerged in late 90s and was responsible for the 9/11 attack on the United States.
Moreover, the challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria are humanitarian in nature. For example, hundreds of thousands of people in worst hit Northern Nigeria are refugees, having been displaced from their home. This crisis has escalated to neighboring countries like Cameron and Chad, which hosting thousands of refugees.
How Boko Haram Threatens Nigeria’s Stability
Boko Haram remains a threat to the stability of Nigeria, one of the largest economies in Africa and a leading oil producer. However, some people believe that the group is a product of a failed system of governance that thrived in corruption and oppression of the poor. However, an explanation of the origin of the militants remains complex.
At the turn of the millennium, different groups emerged in Northern Nigeria, willing to use violence to pursue their main objective of having a Sharia state. Most of these groups had a coherent worldview towards Islam. While the government managed to crush the groups in 2004, it spared Boko Haram, which presented itself as a religious outfit and unthreatening to the state. The group later turned violent and in 2009, its leader, Mohammed Yusuf was arrested and killed. It was from the ashes of Yusuf that Boko Haram emerged as a hyper-violent gang, meting deadly terrorist attack on Nigeria. As a result, security and the possibility of destabilizing the country remain the top challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Finding Solutions to challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria
Nigeria needs an urgent solution before Boko Haram tares it apart in a similar way Al Shabaab destroyed Somalia. Because of the complexity of the issues surrounding the origin and operations of the group, it is evident that no single approach can offer a holistic solution to the problem. For Nigerian Christians, they need to understand ideological Islam and encourage non-Islamist Muslims to denounce Jihadist and political streams. For Muslims, their responsibility is to arise and reclaim their faith, which the group rides on. Muslims have a greater responsibility because they can easily recognize Islamist extremists.
Regardless of religious affiliations, Nigerians must advocate for the freedom of individuals and their liberty. They need to cooperate in defeating Islamist laws that propagate blasphemy outside Islam. In addition, the government of Nigeria has the greatest responsibility in addressing the challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Importantly, it should improve security in Northern Nigeria and address historical issues of inequality and corruption that led to the emergence of the group.
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Factors Affecting Food Production
There are many factors affecting food production which have led to the global shortage of food. Factors that affect the production of food can be classified as biological, environmental, socio-cultural and physical. Food production is a crucial determinant of food supply or food shortage. The potential of producing food varies among countries but it largely depends on natural factors, political factors and cultural factors. Different countries are affected by these factors different but they can all combine to cause global food shortage.
The major factors affecting food production
- Climatic factors
Rainfall and temperature are important climatic elements that determine how and when crops are grown in most parts of the world. For instance, some countries in Asia can harvest crops three times per year. However, food production is almost halted during the dry seasons. Climatic conditions like low temperatures or extreme heat can damage crops. Such climatic factors combined with thaws or frosts can ruin crops in the field or during harvesting. Seasonality is a major climatic factor that affects food production. It means that there are times of the year when some places cannot produce crops. The global climate change, which has led to excessive rainfall or floods and droughts, has also affected food production in most places. Climate has affected food production globally because not all places can depend on irrigation.
- Political factors
Political factors are important vital social factors that affect food production in many countries. In most countries, economic policies, which affect agriculture, are made by politicians. These policies can affect food production in different ways. For instance, politicians can make legislation to impose taxes on farm inputs. Such policies will affect the morale of farmers because they will reduce the returns that farmers will get from their investments in agriculture. Some countries have lands where food can be produced but no production takes place. This is because political issues have led to war. People who could engage in food production are busy fighting in such countries.
- Environmental factors
Soil is a major environmental factor that affects food production. The fertility and structure of soil affects food production. Although these factors are not considered by most people because they are modified by rainfall or temperature, they affect food production in various ways. For instance, the dark soils in the Midwest in US and sand in Sahara cannot produce the same amount of food. Some soils such as those in the tropical regions have less phosphorous and nitrogen. There are also soils with low capacity for absorbing fertilizers. Such environmental factors affect crop production in most places.
- Biological factors
These include biological stressors like disease, animals, humans, insects and weeds. They all affect food production by damaging crops in the field. They also increase the cost of production because farmers are forced to buy chemicals for controlling them. Due to human habitats and urban development, there has been a reduction in the cropland area.
- Cultural and social factors
Socio-cultural factors like labor and land use as well as dietary preferences affect the overall production of food. In some places, women are not allowed to inherit land. Only men inherit land and some of them are unable to utilize it properly. Crop choices in some countries have also led to hunger in some countries.
How to address the factors affecting food production
To address the issues that affect the production of food, various stakeholders should be involved. These include farmers, policy makers and government agricultural agencies. These should be involved in the formulation of policies that affect food production. Additionally, farmers should stop depending on rain-fed agriculture and instead, invest in irrigation systems to ensure that their food production is not affected by climatic factors. Socio-cultural factors that affect the production of food should also be addressed through public education and proper legislation.
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An overview of Challenges posed by Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda is widely known for its 2001 attack on America. The 9/11 attack was quite devastating that President George W. Bush declared war on terrorism. Because of years of relentless fight by the U.S and its allied intelligence units in the world, Al Qaeda is today a shell of what it used to be. President Obama’s administration launched a scathing war on the group and in 2011, the US seals killed its leader Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. However, many people contend that Mr. Bin Laden had massive impact on the U.S and in the world. Following the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans and other nationals, the U.S went ahead to spend more than a trillion dollars to establish a homeland security alone. It is important to note that the challenges posed by Al Qaeda today are real even after the death of its leader, almost five years ago.
Economic Challenges posed by Al Qaeda
Americans have and millions of other people around the world have dearly paid the price. Governments spend huge sums of money to secure their security instead of focusing on development issues. Al Qaeda pumped terrorism fear in the world, scaring common citizens and putting pressure of presidents to crack the hard nut of combating global terrorism. In the U.S alone for example, what the government spends on security is a pointer to the overblown terror thereat that rules the mind of many.
Today, many Americans are willing to pay more in form of taxes to have the government secure its people against Al Qaeda and other organized terror groups in the world. Because of the high security alert and fear that Al Qaeda caused in America, the government’s expenditure on infrastructural development went up. For example, if the government plans to construct an airport or bridge, it must factor in the security challenges posed by Al Qaeda in its final budget. Since the emergence of Al Qaeda in the late 90s when it launched deadly attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, travel alerts and spending long hours at airports because of security checks remains the order of the day in America and in many other parts of the world.
Al Qaeda’s Global Threat
While it is true that America successfully assassinated Osama Bin Laden, it is equally undeniable that the terror group exists. Following the blow that dented its structure, the movement shifted its attention from South and Central Asia to Yemen and Somalia in Africa. In Somalia, a militant group called al Shabaab joined Al Qaeda with the intention of conquering the government and thwarting military efforts to restore order in the war-torn nation. Even though it is not clear if the entire terror outfit endorsed the union, it is clear that Al Qaeda likely considers a large section of Somalia as its own.
The challenges posed by Al Qaeda cut across borders. However, with the world’s attention on its insurgencies, with its top commanders on the list of most wanted people by America, the group is unable to replicate the operations it carried out in the United States and Europe. Weakened and disorganized, Al Qaeda now makes pleas to individuals and supporters to execute lone-wolf attacks, most of which go unanswered.
The challenges posed by Al Qaeda after the death of Osama
Even after the death of Osama in May 2011, Al Qaeda poses real and imaginary threats to America and the rest of the world. Despite its dismantled structure and weakened network, Western governments and the media are still worried that the group might one day execute its propaganda of turning New York into a city of blood.
The death of Bin Laden may have weakened the network, but did not eliminate all the challenges posed by Al Qaeda. The group still pursues its quest to destroy the interests of America and other Western countries. The intention of killing Americans and their allies is not vested in Al Qaeda commanders alone. Individual Muslim extremists can still cause havoc in the world. This gives America a costly challenge of being prepared for attacks through increased surveillance and better intelligence everywhere.
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Challenges posed by Al Shabaab
Somalia, an East African country, has struggled without a formal government since early 90s. The existence of an illegitimate government in Somalia bred lawlessness, allowing extremist groups to emerge and take over large parts of the country. Today, neighboring countries, especially Kenya face the challenges posed by Al Shabaab, one of the leading militant groups in the region. The group controls a large part of rural Somalia and remains an ally of Al Qaeda since 2012. Al Shabaab has about 9,000 combatants under the command of Ahmed Umar also known as Abu Ubaidah. Umar rose to the helm of the militant group following the death of its leader Ahmed Abdi Godane in 2014 in a U.S led air strike in Mogadishu. The group remains a security threat in the region, having carried out a series of deadly attacks on Kenya in recent years.
A discussion on the challenges posed by Al Shabaab
Al Shabaab represents a global vision for jihadists. It holds that Somalia needs religious governance to overcome its current ills. In an effort to show that Sharia was equitable, Al Shabaab insists on following Islamic Law to the letter, executing those who go against its spirit. Because of its recent violent attacks meted on East African countries, Al Shabaab has gained prominence, dwarfing other militia groups in the region. The challenges posed by Al Shabaab are immense in terms of security, with neighboring states like Kenya ever grappling to find an antidote to neutralize the threats.
Al Shabaab poses a range of challenges. For example, because of its militia and guerilla operations in Somalia and in the region, it poses physical threat and destruction. Hardly does a month elapse without the outfit launching attacks in Mogadishu. This disrupts the normal lives of Somalis as many live in fear not knowing when and where the enemy will hit. Besides this physical threat, Al Shabaab affects people’s mind and socio-cultural way of living. For instance, because of several attacks that Al Shabaab has meted on Nairobi, Kenyans live in fear. Many have had to adjust their way of living, thinking and acting. Because of these perceptions, the Kenyan government sent its troops to Somalia to crush the militants in a bid to secure its borders and the region. The results of this are however yet to come forth with Al Shabaab having carried the Westgate Mall attack in 2013, killing more than 60 people. In April 2015, Al Shabaab raided Garissa University in North Eastern Kenya, leaving about 150 dead, majority being university students.
The Ideology of Al Shabaab
Very few people understand the ideology of Al Shabaab. Apart from its association with Al Qaeda and Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, nothing much is known about this outfit. In the minds of many, Al Shabaab is a disoriented group of youths who were looking for something to keep them busy. Kenyans never worried about the impact and activities of the group as long as it operated in within the fragmented state of Somalia. However, with the challenges posed by Al Shabaab, everyone in the region is concerned about ways of taming the group.
In recent years, Kenyans see Al Shabaab as their number one security threat. The group has its strongholds in Jubaland, which was part of colonial Kenya. The formation of the group can be linked to local and global failures in addressing issues within Somali. The dream of having Greater Somalia by bringing different people together was seen as a way of uniting Somalis. However, when the government collapsed, the differences that had been suppressed among people resurfaced.
The challenges posed by Al Shabaab to Kenya
While almost every country in the region, including Uganda, and Ethiopia feel the challenges posed by Al Shabaab, Kenya appears to be at the center. The attack on Garissa University College that left 147 dead and scores injured was a demonstration of how the militants are determined to spread Sharia Law, having targeted non-Muslims in the attack. With its dwindling popularity and heightened surveillance and intelligence, the group has resorted to kidnappings.
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Challenges Posed By Enterprise Applications
Enterprise Application Systems, (EAS), are use to manage and support business processes of large corporations. The systems play a key role in managing operations, finance, human resource and production. For example, in an insurance company, EAS track policyholders, pay claims of clients and send out billing. The systems also have application in learning institutions as they help in monitoring enrollment of students, scheduling of classes and assign online learning. In addition, the software’s operation depends on several servers and databases. They can serve a wide geographical area and support thousands of employees. While this is the cases, several challenges posed by enterprise applications remain a threat to the development and usage of the software.
Common challenges posed by enterprise applications
Software developers who specialize in building enterprise applications face a range of challenges. For example, during corporate mergers and restructuring enterprise applications become more complex even though they limit the available resources. Moreover, the world is embracing broader and affordable networks that allow greater connectivity while breeding new exposures and vulnerabilities. Mobile phone technology has also offer fresh freedom and usability even though they alter how developers come up with software. In this section, we shall discuss these challenges in depth.
Common challenges posed by enterprise applications arise during hard times for corporations. During such moments, when organizations are making changes to survive, EAS must also act swiftly to meet the new demands of the market. For example, if a company acquires another firm, EAS must support both organizations bridging business models that could be at odds. Another example of complexity is how the Affordable Care Act operates. Since it has changed how companies do business, their EAS must embrace the new changes. Additionally, CIO must support new demand without enough funding and limited workforce.
How security and mobility affect Enterprise applications
Most EAS remain vulnerable to online threats because they live on the internet. This means that EAS equally remain susceptible to vulnerabilities, which have brought down excellent e-commerce sites. The starting point for security is inside the application software, authenticating user input to uphold data integrity while taking measures to neutralize injection attacks. For maximum privacy, it is necessary to encrypt your data. Another way of keeping off intruders out and maintaining the security of sensitive data is by use of firewalls. The greatest responsibility of any EAS is to protect an organization’s enterprise data, which is always a company’s greatest asset.
Other challenges posed by enterprise applications relate to mobility. Today, enterprise data is not limited to the office alone since data is going online where customers can conduct business in either offices or homes. Because of mobile devices, you can access data at anytime from anywhere in the world. Therefore, businesses that do not offer mobile services can easily lose its grip of the market to its competitors if it does not keep pace with changing dynamics. Mobile development is not easy. You need a web infrastructure and developers that understand ways of having simpler and focused apps.
Major challenges posed by enterprise applications
Despite the fact that enterprise applications offer a wide range of solutions in securing enterprise data for organizations, it has a series challenges. Firstly, it is never easy to get it right on cloud apps. Even though today’ abstraction of infrastructure helps in application management, it does not simplify the writing of complex distributed applications. As developers get into the infrastructure, services like multi-tenancy, availability, and elasticity become the responsibility of the application.
Another challenge is confusion during choosing. Like never before, developers have numerous options when selecting application services and elements. The days of using enterprise standard app server, database and web server are gone. This is a good achievement. The additional flexibility has unlocked business value, which would have been very expensive to attain.
Other posed by enterprise applications relate to bureaucracy and too much firefighting. Did you know that you could easily change technology than changing your culture? Because of an ultra-conservative operational model, software developers do not have the freedom. They fear change because of the unforeseen challenges, which are looming.
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What are Enterprise Applications?
The simplest definition of enterprise applications is that they are business applications. In terms of usage, it denotes huge business applications. In the corporate world today, these applications are complex, component-based, scalable, mission-critical and distributed. Organizations may deploy these applications on a variety of platforms such as the internet, corporate networks, or intranets. Unlike other apps, business applications are user friendly, data-centric, with stringent conditions for security, maintenance and administration. This should tell you that they are highly complex systems.
When you design functional business applications, you are satisfying different separate requirements. Importantly, every development decision you take to meet each need affects other requirements. By failing to meet any of these requirements, the entire project could fail.
Overview of Enterprise applications
In this section, you will learn more about the design and development of business applications. Most app developers use Java EE platform to come up with large-scale, reliable, multi-tiered, secure and scalable network applications. The main aim of developing enterprise applications is to offer solutions to problems in large enterprises to ensure their smooth running. In an increasingly networked world, the benefits of these business applications are not limited to large-scale organizations; they are becoming essential to small organizations and even individuals.
These applications are complex because of the special features they have in terms of security and reliability. However, with Java EE, it is possible to minimize the complexity of these applications by offering a development model, API, together with a runtime environment, which makes developers to focus on the functionality of the application. In a multi-tiered world of business applications, the functionality of an app is differentiated into unique functional areas known as tiers. The tiers include client tier, data tier, and middle tier.
The client tier has a client program, which sends requests to the middle tier. On the other hand, the middle tier handles requests from clients and process application data before storing it into the data tier permanently. This explains why the data tier is sometimes called the enterprise information systems tier.
Why business applications are important
With the emergence of software applications, companies, especially large organizations are able to handle critical business services with a lot of ease. From customer relationships to supply chain and business intelligence, solutions are sought within a short time to ensure excellent service delivery. Thus, enterprise applications come with a host of advantages, making them a must have in the business world. Among others, the streamline business operations, enhance healthy data collection and analysis, and allow effective communication among different parties within the organization. Here are the benefits in details.
The first benefit is about information sharing. Business applications allow smooth flow of information among a range of software programs in an organization and from external sources. With this, it is possible to consolidate data collection and eliminate redundancies to enhance efficiency.
Besides sharing of information within an organization, business applications are good at process automation. They can be useful in streamlining processes, which have data from different software applications. The applications further reduce IT complexities in organizations. Obviously, enterprise-level organizations experience challenges to adapt to new technologies. With these applications, it is possible to overcome such challenges without crippling the operations of a company. They also enhance organizational agility, as a company is able to identify and respond to opportunities promptly.
Disadvantages of enterprise applications
From the above discussion, it is evident that enterprise applications offer a wide range of solutions to large-scale business organizations. They help companies create products, track orders, and incorporating revenues, costs and profits. With these applications, companies are able to streamline their process. However, business applications have their fair share of drawbacks. Here are a few:
The first demerit is cost. Implementing and managing business application systems can be costly for small-scale companies, which lack financial muscles. Another source of cost is in licensing. Companies must purchase licenses in order to receive services, including technical support and upgrading software. Lastly, in cases where business applications are incompatible with a company’s legacy systems, it may incur extra costs by acquiring new computers and servers and higher more consultancy services. Other disadvantages of enterprise applications include training and turnover, and difficulties in customizing.
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