What We Can’t Know

Reaction to What We Can’t Know

            In the Professor J. Budzisweski work, he questions the modern assumption that there are moral truths that are unknowable. He logically and clearly examines the tradition of the natural law and comprehensively restores confidence in the code of morality based on the human nature. Budziszewski acknowledges that there are some moral truths that are known to us, but we pretend not to know. He stipulates that we would be unable to face the condemnation of moral law without the knowledge of the religious redemption (Budziszewski 14).

 According to Budziszewski, we innately understand things either right or wrong and no matter how hard we try, we cannot escape ourselves from that knowledge. For instance, an adulterer knows the wrong of adultery while a murderer knows the wrong of murder. Denial of moral knowledge ought to drive us to repentance but with no divine intervention; it can only lead us to commit more acts that are heinous (Budziszewski 98). Budziszewski explains that all human beings who are in violation of moral knowledge are simply lying. Human beings are given confidence in the truth of religious morality.

            Murrel& Steve (29),helps us see the pattern of God’s fabric of the way things are and that can efface with the destruction of His works. Our design, the world’s design, and our conscience are all witnesses of the natural law. The rules in the religious books are all written in the deep conscience of every human being. Even though surface conscience can mistake, deep down, the things we cannot not know are always there. People may say otherwise, but clearly they know they are lying.

            Conscience operates in two modes, feeling remorse for the morally committed wrong that can prevent the future repeat of the action or the urge to come forward, confess, and seek repentance. However, since not all people feel remorse, the knowledge of morally wrongdoing generates the need for confession, atonement, reconciliation, and justification. Other sister furies of remorse like inflexibility, relentless and inexorable demanding satisfaction fade away, suppressed or never come at all (Budziszewski 114).

             The avenger mode punishes the wrongdoer’s soul, and surprising refuses to read the indictment (Campos, Nauro&Fabrizio 40). The common outlet to remorse is fleed from the wrong, outlet to Confession is admitting the wrong one has done, the outlet to atonement is to pay the debt, the outlet to reconciliation is the restoration of the broken bonds and outlet to justification is to get back to what is right. I agree with Budziszewski that conscience is a teacher and a judge through cautionary, avenging, and accusatory modes.

            According to Budziszewski, denial of the Furies of Conscience only leads to wrongdoers to commit more and more wrongs driving their lives to the kilter. The wrongdoer compulsively confesses the action committed and strongly deny its moral sense. As a result, this not only makes the wrongdoer try to flee from the action committed but also refrain from thinking about it. The justification of own actions brings more and more punishment to the wrongdoers as they try to deny Furies of conscience. This is evident as they seek companionship with guilty as they are to simulate broken bonds of intimacy (Budziszewski 120).

            According to Budziszewski, the target readers of this book is the persuaded, half persuaded and wish-I-were-persuaded. Although he writes the book from the Christian point of view, he explicitly invites people from other religions to read the book. Budziszewski asks all people to read the book to feel the weight of the moral law or the weight of instincts or feelings for the non-religious. The author justifies his decision to write the book from Christian perspective by referring to Rabbi David Novak, who wrote a book from Judaism perceptive. Clearly, this book is relevant to people of any faith tradition since the book primary aim is to instill confidence to the people in the rational foundations of the moral law.

Budziszewski clearly writes about the shared presuppositions of the moral law and comment on his faith with insights that are separate from what is common. The author claims the book is not for a firmly persuaded audience, and he acknowledges that this is due to their different perceptive of things. He still invites this audience to follow through despite being on different sides hence his Christianity does not affect largely the readers of this book. However, some few readers may feel over reference of the Christian religion but this does not prevent them on reading the main aim of the book: moral law.

            Do we need to ask ourselves the role of public relation to the moral right? The methods applied by the public to judge what is morally right or wrong are whose goal is to acquire power either creating or breaking patterns. For instance, the movement against cloning project seeks confusion of the human identity instead of a solution to childlessness. Clearly, the role of public relation to the moral right is to identify the conflict that exists. The author acknowledges that the cultural activists make mistakes when defending the natural law in the public (Budziszewski 250).

           In conclusion, Budziszewski points out the persons only hope to become even wickeder and more stupid than planned to become so wretched that they come to themselves or of God. He points that what is called “the left hand of God” maybe the left hand of his mercy and that perhaps to soften a heart,He will let it become even more rocklike. There for he believes that we claim we can’t not know, we know it but we are living a lie of denial.


Budziszewski J., What we can’t not know.1st ed.2003.Web

Murrell, Steve. 100 Years from Now Sustaining a Movement for Generations. Nashville, Tenn.: Dunham, 2013. Print.

Campos, Nauro F., and FabrizioCoricelli. Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don’t and What We Should. London:, 2002. Print.



            Reality is a mystery that has engaged humanity for many years and has been expressed in varying and sometimes antagonistic approaches by individuals using specific philosophies and believes. For instance, in most religious oriented explanations of reality, there exists a deity of a higher order and beyond the understanding of human beings. Modern sentiments about reality reveal a definition based on binaries of exclusion hence discrimination. On the other hand, post modernists immensely criticize the binary method of establishing meaning and propose a neutral approach to eliminate the shortcomings of modern reasoning(Wilkins 36). Notably, all of the three perspectives described above involve reasoning but lead to distinct conclusions about definitions. Therefore, it is clear that reasoning forms an important element of deriving meaning but its ability to lead to,or the manner it impacts valid common ideologies is unclear hencehighly controversial.

            The religious concept of reality and development of common meaning is derived from psychic sources and involves little or no human thoughts. For instance, the Christianity view of morality, as well as definition is based on the Bible, which most of the Christians believes that it never involved human reasoning efforts to develop but represents the code of conduct that God commands humanity to adhere to. In most cases, human reasoning is involved in the interpretation of the codes of conduct from the deities. The approach of developing meaning and the code of conduct is heavily criticized by the modern views for its inability to create a common understanding that can articulate a civil government and promote order. Modernists argue that different religious ideologies, such as Islamic or Christian, adhere to varying code of conducts from their unique deities hence complicate the process of identifying a common ground that can enhance civil rule(Smith 2). Antagonists of the religion based morality or definition indicate that they are inadequate or inappropriate because they lead discrimination hence division. For instance, some of the meanings adopted from the religious perspectives define the chosen people by excluding the rest as the enemies. Thus, an improved level of reasoning is required to establish the best way to develop meaning, which is less discriminating hence can lead to common thinking and enhance civil rule.  Reality

            Common understanding or ideologies are important to the survival of humanity because they provide essential definition hence promotes the prevalence of order in the human society. Adam Smith quotes the perspective of Mister Hobbes, who emphatically criticizes the religious orientation of definition, which includes a supernatural being and a predetermined code of conduct to allege that modern reasoning is highly important to the existence of humanity because it enhances adherence to the civil judge (2). Hobbes, a modernists, argues that through reasoning, humanity can identify a proper understanding that can lead to valid common definitions and development of laws that can guide the behavior of human beings. In addition, modern views indicate that reasoning enhances the formation of the general maxims of morality through induction and experience (Smith 8). Furthermore, modernists such as Hobbes reference the increased prevalence of war before the inception of civil style of governance. The modernist approach concludes in common binaries of inclusion and exclusion, which offer meaningful definitions that are commonly understood by all people hence provide the basis of developing a code of conduct. However, the technique of defining by referencing the undefined is heavily criticized because it leads to unreasonable privileges and punishment that come along with its use. For instance, the definition of man is achieved by excluding everything else that is perceived unmanly. Specifically, the definition of man his roles excludes the woman, as well as her duties hence makes the former more privileged than the latter. Thus, the modernist strategy of deriving meaning, setting rules and expressing reality results to distorted and biased understandings hence requires intense interrogation through reasoning.  

            Postmodern philosophies immensely refute the modernist approach to defining and setting common rules, by identifying its shortcomings such as discrimination that result from the binary of exclusion. Jacques Derrida, a French postmodernist, was one of the most vocal and fervent critics of the modern perspective of definition and proposed and deconstruction method of improving human understanding. Derrida argues that language possess a weakness in naming and communicating meaning because it favors or names the common and discriminatesthe unique, unrepeated and the private by denying them names(Wilkins 35). For instances, postmodern sentiments indicate that gender is discriminatory because it provides definite names for the man and the woman but fails to adequately recognize other sets of gender, such as bisexual, gays and lesbians. Therefore, postmodern reasoning propose a deconstructive method of deriving indiscriminative meaning by overcoming the binary exclusion and inclusion outcomes. Notably, language is means of expressing meaning but not a technique of developing it. In this regard, weaknesses revealed by language indicate a deficiency in the mechanism of definition. Thus, postmodernist criticism of the modern approach is based on a misplaced perspective and may lead to ambiguous conclusions. Reality

            Clearly, reasoning is regarded as a means of improving understanding hence promoting efforts to identify a code of conduct that creates fewer differences. The modern ideology proposes a common understanding that enhances the formation of a common law. Modernists immensely criticize the religious views because of the prevailing wars in the world in the premodern era, which were associated with the differences attributed to religion. Notably, modernism acknowledges that reasoning does not explicitly establish meaning but improves a common view, which can be used to promote a shared code of conduct. However, the postmodern method of reasoning indicates that the modern technique leads to unnecessary privileges and disapprovals through binary inclusion and exclusion. Postmodernism proposes a neutral approach to eliminate the weaknesses of modernism by establishing meaning that are not relative. Nonetheless, the neutral mechanism of deriving definition seems unpractical because it is increasing difficult to establish definite and common meaning without relativity. In addition, postmodernism critics on modernism are based on language as means to determine meaning rather than a tool to convey meaning. Therefore, their reasoning promotes understanding, which can enhance a shared view and philosophy but does not explicitly determine its fundamental source.  Reality

            In most cases, definition of reality is an immense task to humanity and points to superhuman forces above the finite order of things. Specifically, relativity plays an essential role in articulating definitions that can be understood by a significant number of people. For instance, finite is expressed in relation to the infinite, while reality is articulated by expressing the surreal, and the known is understood in the context of the unknown.Notably, the three ideologies of identifying meaning and developing meaning incorporate the notion of relativism. For instance, the religious perspective includes relative, such as good and the bad, chosen and the forbidden, the truth and false, which are core to the code of conduct it promotes. Modernism, through criticism of the religious ideologies suggests a binary exclusion or inclusion method of understanding. For instance, modernism define good by excluding the bad, man by excluding the woman, moral by excluding the immoral, among others, through increased reasoning and learning from nature.Thus, the modern aspect of definition immensely borrows from the religious sentiments, which it focuses on invalidating. Reality

            On the other hand, Postmodernism, improves on modernism by suggesting more reasoning from a neutral base hence eliminate unnecessary discrimination and privileges. However, neutral is believed to lie between the positive and the negative, which are a continuum of continuums. Establishing the correct position of neutral between the negative and positive may be impossible because there exist no defined boundary between the points. In addition, any point in the continuum forms two continuums between itself and the two points hence it is not possible to establish the precise definition of neutral. In this regard, the perspective of postmodernism is imprecisely defined and is similar to the concept of binary exclusion because neutral is related to the positive and the negative. Thus, reasoning improves understanding and enhancesexpression of meaning by making it more abstract but cannot create meaning. Reality

            In conclusion, the source of meaning is still mysterious to humanity despite improved reasoning that enhance understanding. However, fundamental concept of reasoning used by the three methods described above is similar. The three methods emphasize a binary view of definition, which becomes more abstract as reasoning intensifies. Nevertheless, despite improved understanding from reasoning the binary element of definition remains constant. Notably, while it is identifiable that reasoning enhances understanding, it fails to eliminate its primary target hence its explicit impacts to definition are unknown. In addition, the binary aspect of definition can be termed as natural or real because it survives the impacts of hence above human reasoning. The source of definition can only be linked to forces above the reasoning and understanding of humanity hence creates a cycle of reasoning among the three ideologies. Thus, explicit impacts of reasoning to meaning are mystery to humanity and may require a more complex technique to fathom. Reality

Works Cited

Smith, Adam. The Whole Works of Adam Smith: In Five Volumes. Printed for J. Richardson and Co, 1822.

Wilchins, Riki Anne. Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer (large print 16pt). ReadHowYouWant.com, 2011.

Leaders in an Organization

Good Leaders in an Organization

            Leaders respond to challenges or problems through four steps whereby conventional thinkers search for simplicity in the process hence are forced to make unappealing tradeoffs. On the other hand, integrative thinkers are not afraid of complexity-even when it translates to a repetition of some or more steps- , which allow them come up with innovative solutions. Therefore, integrative thinkers make better leaders in an organization compared to conventional thinkers because of their innovative way of approaching issues.

            One of the areas where integrative thinkers outshine their conventional counterparts is determining salience. In the determination of salience, conventional thinkers focus on the obvious relevant features while people who think integratively search for potentially relevant factors whether obvious or not. The approach by conventional thinkers is to discard as many options as possible to evade complexity.

            When analyzing causality, integrative thinkers also consider nonlinear and multidirectional variable relationships. On the other hand, conventional leaders consider variable relationships in one-way linear approach. This approach explains why linear regression methods are very popular in the world, whereby organizational leaders use these approach to evade complexity. However, use of these methods can led to bad decisions because the approaches do not capture all the salient relationship variables.

Airline and Airport Operations

Airline and Airport Operations (Oman Air)


            Based in Muscat international Airport, Oman Air is the national airline of Oman and a member of Arab Air Carriers Organization. The airline operates a regional air taxi, and scheduled international and domestic passenger services. Oman air was established in 1970 as Oman International Services (OIS). (OIS) experienced a steady growth which led to building of several facilities such as workshops and in-flight catering and hangers to cater for the increased activities. In 1993, (OIS) became Oman air with its first flight taking place in March which was from Muscat to Salalah. Airline and Airport Operations

            The Airline has been implementing a ten year strategy that targets the tourism industry. The company has invested heavily on infrastructure. New airports have been built and the state of the art aircrafts have bought. The airline has increased their destinations to expand their market. Massive loss has been incurred in the cause of implementing the strategy. Oman Air also has a business environment that work against the airline and others that promote their business.

Factors within Oman Air Business and Competitive Environment Analysis

Factors Affecting the Airline Positively

   External Factors

          Political factors

The Government of Oman has a 99.8 ownership of Oman air hence determining most of the policies governing the Airline. The fact that the government is the largest stakeholders mean that political environment is friendly regarding the national laws. The government has created a conducive environment for the Airline to operate. For instance, the Airline has not been experiencing much problems in matters regarding licensing[1]. Airline and Airport Operations

The government of Oman has also in the past engaged other countries to ease the process of license acquisition for Oman Air which has led to its vigorous expansions regarding destinations. Importation of new aircrafts and other machines has also been facilitated by the government which has led to the Airline owning the state of the art infrastructure.


The government controls security in the country and for the fact that they have some interests in the airline means that the security of the airline premises will always be given priority. Security in airports and other facilities owned by the Airline is always at it best meaning that the Company does not require incur additional cost on the matter. The government also has the capacity to engage other countries where the Airline operates on matters security[2]. Improved security from government operations will result to client confidence leading to more business for the Airline. Airline and Airport Operations


The Airline has been given budgetary allocations and grants by the government to acquire new aircraft and build airports. The government also has the capacity to waive taxes for the Airline which results to competitive ticket prices. Oman is also an oil producing country with the government also owning a lot of stake in the sector. The fuel prices have been fluctuating a lot in the past affecting highly affecting the ticket prices[3]. Oman’s government has been able to provide almost near stable oil prices for the airline hence leading to near stable ticket prices and hence a more satisfied clients.

Social Rest

Oman is a largely peaceful country within the gulf region enhancing airline activities within the country. Social unrest can also scare away visitors to the country affecting the air travel sector negatively. Social rest has contributed to the growing number of the airline customers in terms of tourists. The gulf region is also highly creating an economic zone that is steadily rising[4]. The region attracts business people from all over the world increasing clients for the airline.

Macroeconomic factors

Oman’s Economy has been expanding at a very high rate in the past fifty years. The country’s GDP has been on the rise with the much in put originating from the oil sector. Economic improvements have led to citizens with higher buying power which has boosted the Airlines local and abroad activities[5]. The country also exports a lot of commodities using the airline as the avenue making increasing their activities abroad. A better economy has also enhanced the government to support the airline both financially and security wise. Airline and Airport Operations

Consumer Confidence

Improved security and almost stable tickets have led to the Oman’s Air clients having a lot of confidence with them. The clients are almost sure that insecurity cases are not likely to happen and the prices will rarely fluctuate[6]. The stable economy has also enabled the airline to maintain competitive ticket packages and offer discounts enhancing marketing. Airline and Airport Operations

                  Microeconomic factors
Market Size

Gulf region mostly operates as an economic region greatly expanding the market size of Oman Air. Almost similar policies that guide the gulf region markets helps the airline to operate without much difficulties. Apart from the regional market, the airline also operates flights to other destination in Asia, Europe and Africa. Oman Air has been able to maintain an expanding market hence increasing their revenue base[7]. Airline and Airport Operations


The enlarged market and competitive ticket prices boils down to an increase in demand of the airline services. Increased demand results to further expansion of the markets adding more customers to the airline[8].


Oman has introduced mechanisms to meet the demand of their services. By 2018, the Airline targets to increase their fleet to 50 aircrafts and to 70 aircrafts by 2020. In 2014, the airline purchased Boeng B33s and Airbus A330s and opened various destinations[9]. Airline and Airport Operations


In the gulf market, the airline faces stiff competition from other companies but the company has been able to compete fairly well by working with a business model different from the others[10]. Oman does not offer a generic ‘Gulf Carrier model’ rather they incorporate a unique touch of Oman culture, hospitality and identity. Improving is another strategy that the company employs to deal with competitors. For instance, the airline offers lounge to aircraft limousine service to some of their clients[11].

                     Social Factors

As mentioned earlier, the company employs the unique Oman’s culture and hospitality to have a competitive edge. Being owned by the government also gives an ambassadorial role and hence challenging them to work hard. Supporting social missions such as sports and giving out scholarships improves the airline activities in the country[12].

                       Technological factors

Oman Air has been on the forefront in incorporating technology in air travel. The airline was the first company to enhance use of mobile andWiFi internet in some of their flights. Technology has also been employed to speed up and ease the booking process. Oman air has also invested heavily on aircraft using state of the art technology to cut cost and improve customer satisfaction. Airline and Airport Operations

                               Environmental factors

Environmental conservation is observed in and around the airports to ensure that accidents caused by environmental factor are eliminated or minimized hence reducing losses emanating from damages and boosting customer confidence[13]. A fairly good weather in Oman also helps the airline to conduct its activities all the year round.

        Internal Factors

Management changes

The government of Oman has maintained an ownership of Oman air of not less 30% since the airline started decades ago. The government has been heavenly involved in the managed of the airline without changes. This factor has been advantageous to the airline since polices are executed easily without much interference emanating from management changes[14]. Airline and Airport Operations

Employee morale

The employee benefits package for Oman’s airline appealing. Besides the normal salary, the employees enjoy health and life benefits, savings and retirement benefits, free travel, career development opportunities[15]. All these benefits helps to keep the employees highly motivated and improve their output

Culture changes

Consistency in management has enabled the company to maintain their business cultures almost creating an identity. The cultural changes have been minimal and long term hence eliminating adapting confusion[16]. Airline and Airport Operations

Financial changesand/or issues

Oman’s air always has a source of financial support from the government. The government of Oman has invested heavily on the airline enabling the airline to execute their strategies even when the airline is not doing so well financially[17].

Factors that affect the Airline Negatively

External factors

Political factor

Oman air being state owned, has been heavily relying from the government. Although the government support is welcomed, the over reliance can kill the company’s competitive desire. Companies determined to make profit for their owner are always aggressive in the market space. Airline and Airport Operations


Some big airline companies such as the fly emirates and the Qatar airways give the airline a very stiff competition. These companies have capitalized on the market where this (gulf) market   where the company does not give a lot of concern[18]. Airline and Airport Operations

Economic factors

The airline is highly affected by economic hard times. When the national economy is not doing well the company is affected because of its over reliance.

Internal factors

Management Changes

Oman air, due to its state ownership has not experienced much changes in management. This factor although in some aspect it is advantageous, the company has not taken advantage of diversity in ideas. Policy formulators are same with the traditional view of the market[19]. New minds in management can come up with fresh ideas that can help a lot in the airline expansion.

Culture changes

Oman air has also not exploited the business cultural changes where by fresh ideas are implemented to counter emerging problems due to the state ownership. Airline and Airport Operations

Plans or Actions the Oman Air can adopt to Overcome Uncertain times

Employees Morale

Oman’s air have been involved in strikes and pickets over the past due remuneration issues. The company has failed on several occasions to ensure that the employee issues are sought out amicably without harming the institution[20].

Reduce over Reliance from the government

Government support is welcome in terms of finance and policies. However, the airline should not rely on this support to survive. The airline should struggle to exist as an independent entity surviving on its means. Being a singular entity can help the airline to come up with the effective measures to survive even under economic recessions[21]. Airline and Airport Operations

Coverage Expansion

Oman’s airline destinations outside the country is not very comprehensive. Most of the airline destinations are in Asia and Europe. Extending their destinations to diverse markets such as the sub-Sahara Africa and America can help the airline avoid effects of hard economic times. This avoidance is possible because large market size can lead to more revenues and hard economic times do not hit all the markets at once. Normally, when some markets are doing badly there others that perform which can salvage the situation[22]. Airline and Airport Operations

Product and Marketing Differentiation

Marketing mix


            Oman air has a primary goal of increasing visitors to Oman. The airline targets trade visitors and tourist from their country of operation and their partners regions of operation. Combining efforts with the tourism ministry, the airline has embarked on missions to lure visitors in their country[23]. The most distinct product that the company deals with fall under the economy class seats, business class seats, first class and business lounges and cargo shipment.


Despite the major improvements in their products, Oman air has not increased their prices and continue to charge normal prices as most of their competitors[24]. Airline and Airport Operations


In the quest to increase visitor to Oman, the airline has embarked on giving free family trips to flight agents from their destination. State of the art technology is also used in flights for entertainment and to enhance other services such as bookings. Despite major improvements in their lounges the company has also not increased ticket cost[25].


The primary goal of the airline to lure customers to Oman has led to the company targeting people outside the country.The strategy has seen the number of people using the airline highly increase[26].

Identifying and serving the ‘customer’

            The Airline targets potential visitors to the country who they categorize as tourist or business people. Oman has improved highly their business class sections of their flights and the airport lounges. Further, the airline has improved entertainment through innovation and technology to better serve the customer. 

            Market segmentation

The company major strategy is to drive traffic to Oman. This has led to the targeting of potential investors and tourists. The airline has created products targeting investors and tourists making them their major target market.

            Business and marketing Strategy

The business strategy that the airline is implementing is to more people visit Oman. The strategy is more different compared to the other airlines who focus on increasing traffic in their network of operation. The uniqueness has led to the airline being more powerful than its competitors. The marketing strategy of creating products that target tourist and investors have also worked positively for the airline because the competitors use other strategies.

            Airline product and differentiation

The airline has created products that target a particular market in different levels. The luxurious aircrafts have the first class, business class and the economy, classes. All the classes have been improved in order to accommodate every client. This factor has led to all the customer satisfaction hence an improved business. Airline and Airport Operations

            Brand management

The airline has identified a single business strategy that they have built their brand on. The Oman air business revolves around the tourism sector. This brand has become an identity to the business such that most tourists will prefer their services.

            Pricing and revenue management

Despite heavy investment on their packages, Oman air has maintained constant prices which has given them a strong competitive edge.

Distribution strategy and channels

The company new products have been placed at strategic places where the customer must realize them. Customers must realize the improvements on the business classes and the airport lounges. Airline and Airport Operations

            Relationship marketing and promotion

Oman air has been able to create a relationship with their customer by creating discounted long term ticket packages. These tickets create a long for the airline to interact with the clients.

Business and marketing strategies that made this airline superior


 The business strategy that the airline is implementing has made the airline to incur a lot of cost. The luxurious aircrafts and the lounges have are very expensive leading to the airline making a lot of loss. Loss incurred can scare away partners and contractors hence affecting the airline negatively. Airline and Airport Operations


The discounts on air tickets have made the company to incur further loss that can also scare away partners and contractors.

Oman air has been able to create a products that target a specific market. The airline targets investors and

The product mix that makes the Airlines improve its load factors

Oman air is an airline in Sultanate of Oman and based in Muscat. The airline operate flights in the Gulf and region and the larger Asia. Oman air also has direct flights to some Europe cities such as Zurich and Paris[27]. Apart from the Asia and Europe, the airline has direct flights to some parts of Africa. The company also has a number the codeshare agreement with other airlines such as the fly emirates. Oman Air specifies on two types of products that are- on-ground and inflight services.             

On-ground services include a First and business class lounges at their headquarters. The lounges feature complimentary spatreatments, a la carte dining, and elegant and tranquil relaxation areas. A first class Lounge-to-aircraft limousine service and premium check-in facilities are also offered at Muscat international airport.

The Airline Inflight services are outstanding aircraft interiors that include a mini suite that provide direct aisle to each of the six First Class Passengers. The Mini Suite also converts to one of the longest lie flat seat in the skies. Business class seats also have some outstanding feature such as the ample storage, latest technological amenities and a direct aisle Access[28]. The economy class also is not left behind, its seat have adjustable leg and head rest combined with a generous leg elbow room. Other inflight services are video and audio on demand, live satellite TV, mobile and WiFi internet services, and individual seat back screens.

The products discussed above assisted the company generate a lot of traffic towards Oman. Despite increased number of visitors, the airline is currently trading at a loss which can be attributed to the heavy investment they are making on infrastructure. Most of the airline revenues are used on recurrent expenditure and infrastructure. Revenue is used in line with the business and the marketing strategy of the organization. Oman’s Air business strategy is to generate traffic towards Oman as opposed to its competitors whose strategy is to generate traffic in their network of operation. The market strategy that the airline uses to fulfil their business requirements targets tourists and business investors. Attracting investors and tourists will call for luxuries in the aircraft and motivated employees which justifies Oman’s air use of revenue[29]. Airline and Airport Operations

Inflight services

assess how well the airline has performed financially during the past 5 years

In the financial year 2011, the Oman air revenue increased by 35% compared to the previous year. The number of passengers increased to 3.8m which was a 16% increase from 2010. The seat factor increased to 73% and the freight revenues increased by 28%. The overall loss was US$286% or RO110million.

In 2012, Oman Air’s recorded 11% decrease in losses registering a loss of RO97.47 million and the revenue increased by 18 percent as compared to 2011. The seat factor increased up to 73.8%. Freight revenue increased by 36%. The number of passengers rose to 4.5m[30].

In 2013, revenues increased by 14% and a decrease in loss of 8%. The seat factor increased up to 74.1% and freight revenue increased by 38%. The number of passengers rose to 4.9 million. The overall loss was RO84.21 million.

In 2014, revenues increased by 4%, to RO 398.389 million and losses reduced by 4% also. The number of passengers rose from4.9 million to 5.1 million passengers. About 23,500 round trips were recorded. Capacity rose to 15.2 billion seat kilometers. A 74.4 seat factor was also achieved. The overall loss was 5.096 million. The freight revenue also increased by 39.2%[31].

In 2015, revenues increased by 3% to___ million and the losses reduced by 2%. The number of passengers increased to 5.26 million passengers and about 23,900 trips were made. The capacity rose to 16.2 billion seat kilometers and a 74.6 seat factor was achieved. The overall loss was 5.134. Freight revenue increased by 40%

Over the past five years, Oman air has recorded a uniform diminishing loss. The loss was highest in being recorded in 2011 and the lowest in 2015. Over the years also, the company experienced a cumulative increase in revenue. Capacity also has been increasing steadily since 2011 together with the number of trips made increasing. The seat factor has shown a slight increase over the past five years.The freight revenue has also been on the rise since 2011[32].

Over the period that this financial data was recorded, the airline was still in the process of implementing a ten year strategic plan that aimed at increasing the number of visitors in Oman. The strategic plan involve increasing the number of flights and the size of the aircrafts. The plan also includes improving the airport and the flight services of the company due to the type of clients they were targeting. Since the launch of the plan, the airline has accomplished better services in the aircrafts, increased number of destinations, improved routing network, convenient schedules for passengers itineraries through use of technology, technologic fleet planning and assignment, standard business practices and a successful long term strategy[33].

The long term strategy has resulted to the financial records shown above. The increased revenue comes from the expansion of customer base through the increased destinations. Discounts on air tickets has also resulted to more customers using the airline.  The strategic plan has also increased the number of air crafts implying that even though the number of passengers increased there enough aircraft to accommodate them hence resulting to an almost constant seat factor. The slight seat factor can be attributed to other components of the strategy. Increased number of aircraft has also contributed to the increase in the freight revenue. Increased destinations and the number of aircraft is the major cause of the airline capacity increase. The airline also introduced state of the art lounges and highly improved customer services at Muscat international airport to compliment the luxurious the aircrafts for the targeted market[34]. The Airport the airline have been working in harmony to achieve a similar goal. The loss witnessed from 2011 is as result of the heavy investment the airline is making to implement the strategy. The discount on air tickets have also contributed to the loss. The Loss has been diminishing uniformly because a breakthrough is expected in 2017.

Increased competitions, regulation and relevant global issues have not been able to play a very big role because the strategy has made the airline a force to reckon with. The financial performance has no impact because the airline is funded by the government. All other factors effect can be said to be negligible compared to the effects from the strategy[35].


Some factors in the business environment of Oman air work to advantage the company and others disadvantage the company. Government ownership is such factor that affect the business positively and competition is a factor that affects the airline negatively. Oman air, over the past few years has been implementing a strategic plan to increase their destinations and capacity. A business strategy that targets an increase in the number of visitors to Oman is underway.

             The Market strategy target tourists and business investors in order to achieve the business strategy. In trying to implement the strategy, the airline has invested heavily on infrastructure such as expanding airports and acquiring of new and large aircrafts. The investment has resulted to the airline becoming one of the big forces in the industry.

            Various benefits that the company enjoys currently can be attributed to this plan. For instance the company has experienced an increased revenue since the strategy began to be implemented. From the similar strategy, the company has also suffered some negative impact. Some of the negative impacts that the company has experienced include loss of contractor and partner confidence due to incurring losses. Oman government and the airline expect that the strategy will reach a break-even point in 2017.


Bamber, Greg J., Jody Hoffer Gittell, Thomas A. Kochan, and Andrew Von Nordenflycht. Up in the air: How airlines can improve performance by engaging their employees. Cornell University Press, 2013.

Cochennec, Y. “Gulf carriers and the art of one-upmanship.” Air & Cosmos, Aviation Magazine International 1890 (2003): 30-32.

Dron, Alan. “The other Gulf carrier: Oman Air is quietly growing and expanding, albeit in the shadows of its much larger Gulf carrier neighbors.”AIR TRANSPORT WORLD 50, no. 8 (2013).

Grimme, Wolfgang. “The growth of Arabian airlines from a German perspective–A study of the impacts of new air services to Asia.” Journal of Air Transport Management 17, no. 6 (2011): 333-338.

Hammam, Adel, Azza Saad, and Emad Abuelenain. “The Contribution of Airlines in Consolidating the Sustainability of Tourism.”

Hanlon, James Patrick. Global airlines: competition in a transnational industry. Routledge, 2007.

Jasmin, Schawalder, The future of inflight entertainment in europe, according to passenger expectations: Why airlines should embrace consumer technology. Anchor Academic Publishing (aap_verlag), 2014.

Kazemi, Mostafa, and Amirhossein Bagherieh-Mashhadi. “A COMPARITIVE ANALYSIS OF Airlines Efficiency: Evidence From Middle East And North Africa.”

Lee, Boon L., and Andrew C. Worthington. “Operational performance of low-cost carriers and international airlines: New evidence using a bootstrap truncated regression.” (2011).

Lee, Boon L., and Andrew C. Worthington. “Technical efficiency of mainstream airlines and low-cost carriers: New evidence using bootstrap data envelopment analysis truncated regression.” Journal of Air Transport Management 38 (2014): 15-20.

Lee, Boon, and Andrew Worthington. “The relative efficiency of international, domestic, and budget airlines: nonparametric evidence.” (2010).

Nataraja, Sundaram, and Abdulrahman Al-Aali. “The exceptional performance strategies of Oman Airlines.” Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal 21, no. 5 (2011): 471-486.

O’Connell, John F. “The changing dynamics of the Arab Gulf based airlines and an investigation into the strategies that are making Emirates into a global challenger.” World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research 1, no. 1 (2006): 94-114.

OTT, JAMES. “Oman exploits its strategic location.” Aviation Week & Space Technology 173, no. 16 (2011).

Paylor, Anne. “Oman Air Finally Fulfills National Carrier Ambitions.” ATW: Air Transport World 44, no. 11 (2007).

Rajasekar, James, and Unnikammu Moideenkutty. “Oman Air Challenges Of Repositioning Through Business Level Strategy.” Asian Journal of Management Cases 4, no. 2 (2007): 117-141.

Romanow, James. “Oman Air: A Developing Airline For A Developing Middle Eastern Country.” Aviation International News(2003).

Schawalder, Jasmin. The future of inflight entertainment in europe, according to passenger expectations: Why airlines should embrace consumer technology. Anchor Academic Publishing (aap_verlag), 2014.

SHAW, ROBBIE. “Oman Air.” Airways: a global review of commercial flight12, no. 5 (2005).

Teigeler, Julia. “Arabic Airlines in the European Market. Strategies, Consequences and International Market Changes and Challenges.” (2015).

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[1]James Patrick, Hanlon, Global airlines: competition in a transnational industry. Routledge, 2007

[2]Mostafa, Kazemi, And Bagherieh-Mashhadi Amirhossein, “A Comparitive Analysis Of Airlines Efficiency: Evidence From Middle East And North Africa.”

[3]Azza Saad, HA and Abuelenain Emad, “The Contribution of Airlines in Consolidating the Sustainability of Tourism.”

[4]James, Ott, “Oman exploits its strategic location.” Aviation Week & Space Technology 173, no. 16 (2011).

[5]Boon, LL, and Worthington, AC, “Operational performance of low-cost carriers and international airlines: New evidence using a bootstrap truncated regression.” (2011).

[6]Boon, LL, and Worthington, AC, “Technical efficiency of mainstream airlines and low-cost carriers: New evidence using bootstrap data envelopment analysis truncated regression.” Journal of Air Transport Management 38 (2014): 15-20.

[7]Wolfgang, Grimme, “The growth of Arabian airlines from a German perspective–A study of the impacts of new air services to Asia.” Journal of Air Transport Management 17, no. 6 (2011): 333-338.

[8]Anne, Paylor, “Oman Air Finally Fulfills National Carrier Ambitions.” ATW: Air Transport World 44, no. 11 (2007).

[9]Anne, Paylor, “Oman Air Finally Fulfills National Carrier Ambitions.” ATW: Air Transport World 44, no. 11 (2007).

[10]Alan, Dron, “The other Gulf carrier: Oman Air is quietly growing and expanding, albeit in the shadows of its much larger Gulf carrier neighbors.”AIR TRANSPORT WORLD 50, no. 8 (2013).

[11]Robbie, Shaw, “Oman Air.” Airways: a global review of commercial flight12, no. 5 (2005).

[12]James, Romanow, “Oman Air: A Developing Airline For A Developing Middle Eastern Country.” Aviation International News(2003).

[13]Greg, JB,Gittel, JH, Kochan, TA, and Nordenflycht Andrew, Up in the air: How airlines can improve performance by engaging their employees. Cornell University Press, 2013.

[14]Cochennec, Y. “Gulf carriers and the art of one-upmanship.” Air & Cosmos, Aviation Magazine International 1890 (2003): 30-32.

[15]Julia, Teigeler, “Arabic Airlines in the European Market. Strategies, Consequences and International Market Changes and Challenges.” (2015).

[16]Sundaram, N, and Al-Aali Abdulrahman, “The exceptional performance strategies of Oman Airlines.” Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal 21, no. 5 (2011): 471-486.

[17]Sundaram, N, and Al-Aali Abdulrahman, “The exceptional performance strategies of Oman Airlines.” Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal 21, no. 5 (2011): 471-486.

[18]Greg, JB,Gittel, JH, Kochan, TA, and Nordenflycht Andrew, Up in the air: How airlines can improve performance by engaging their employees. Cornell University Press, 2013.

[19]James, Romanow, “Oman Air: A Developing Airline For A Developing Middle Eastern Country.” Aviation International News(2003).

[20]Sundaram, N, and Al-Aali Abdulrahman, “The exceptional performance strategies of Oman Airlines.” Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal 21, no. 5 (2011): 471-486.

[21]Sundaram, N, and Al-Aali Abdulrahman, “The exceptional performance strategies of Oman Airlines.” Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal 21, no. 5 (2011): 471-486.

[22]Cochennec, Y. “Gulf carriers and the art of one-upmanship.” Air & Cosmos, Aviation Magazine International 1890 (2003): 30-32.

[23]Cochennec, Y. “Gulf carriers and the art of one-upmanship.” Air & Cosmos, Aviation Magazine International 1890 (2003): 30-32.

[24]Cochennec, Y. “Gulf carriers and the art of one-upmanship.” Air & Cosmos, Aviation Magazine International 1890 (2003): 30-32.

[25]Cochennec, Y. “Gulf carriers and the art of one-upmanship.” Air & Cosmos, Aviation Magazine International 1890 (2003): 30-32.

[26]Cochennec, Y. “Gulf carriers and the art of one-upmanship.” Air & Cosmos, Aviation Magazine International 1890 (2003): 30-32.

[27]Greg, JB,Gittel, JH, Kochan, TA, and Nordenflycht Andrew, Up in the air: How airlines can improve performance by engaging their employees. Cornell University Press, 2013.

[28]James, Romanow, “Oman Air: A Developing Airline For A Developing Middle Eastern Country.” Aviation International News(2003).

[29]James, Romanow, “Oman Air: A Developing Airline For A Developing Middle Eastern Country.” Aviation International News(2003).

[30]James, Romanow, “Oman Air: A Developing Airline For A Developing Middle Eastern Country.” Aviation International News(2003).

[31]Greg, JB,Gittel, JH, Kochan, TA, and Nordenflycht Andrew, Up in the air: How airlines can improve performance by engaging their employees. Cornell University Press, 2013.

[32]Greg, JB,Gittel, JH, Kochan, TA, and Nordenflycht Andrew, Up in the air: How airlines can improve performance by engaging their employees. Cornell University Press, 2013.

[33]Julia, Teigeler, “Arabic Airlines in the European Market. Strategies, Consequences and International Market Changes and Challenges.” (2015).

[34]Greg, JB,Gittel, JH, Kochan, TA, and Nordenflycht Andrew, Up in the air: How airlines can improve performance by engaging their employees. Cornell University Press, 2013.

[35]Greg, JB,Gittel, JH, Kochan, TA, and Nordenflycht Andrew, Up in the air: How airlines can improve performance by engaging their employees. Cornell University Press, 2013.

Photovoltaic Solar Power Stations

1.0.            Introduction

1.1.            Background

Solar has been used to generate power for several centuries, with magnificent discoveries and inventions such as the photovoltaic effect in 1836, which led to the invention of photovoltaic solar panel. Since the discovery of photovoltaic effect and the invention of the solar panels, much progress has been made, with sophisticated systems such as the solar park being used to generate power in large-scale that is supplied to the electricity grid. Solar parks, also known as photovoltaic power stations, have increased in use and popularity in the modern world due to the numerous benefits and few disadvantages associated with the form of large-scale power generation.

The difference between Photovoltaic Power Stations and decentralized solar power applications such as the Building-Mounted Systems is that the former supplies power at utility level while the latter supply to the local user or users. However, in some parts of the United States and Canada, small-scale photovoltaic power producers including Building Mounted Power systems supply power at the utility level. Increasing growth of the PV power stations has increased over the years, whereby integration of photoelectric power on the grid has increased popularity of the technology.

Figure 1: A Photovoltaic Power Station (Lave 2013)

Figure 2: Example of a Building-Mounted solar power system, in Barcelona, Spain (Sun et al. 2014 ).

2.0.            Technical Perspective of Photovoltaic Solar Power Stations

A big number of photovoltaic solar power stations are PV systems mounted on the ground, which are known as free-field solar power plants. The ground mounted PV systems can be fixed tilt, or can utilize single or dual axis solar tracker. According to Chu et al (2013) although tracking enhances performance, the technique raises the cost of installing and maintaining the system. Hirth (2014) also notes that the photovoltaic solar power stations are composed of several components, which include photovoltaic arrays, solar inverter, and step up transformer.

Singh (2013) further explains that photovoltaic arrays convert sunlight to electricity in Direct Current form, the inverter in turn converts the generated DC to AC, which is connected to the utility grid via a high voltage transformer. Typically, a three-phased step up transformer with over ten kilo Volts is used. 

2.1.            PhotovoltaicTechnology

Photovoltaic technology is a technique used to produce electric power directly from sunlight through natural electronic process in some categories of materials known as semiconductors. Solar energy frees electrons in the semiconductor, which can be induced to travel via a circuit to an electricity grid or to power devices. When the PV systems are large enough to supply huge volumes of electricity to the grid, then they are called photovoltaic solar power stations.

2.1.1.      PV cell

The process of generating electricity using photovoltaic technology starts when photons from sunlight strike, and thereby, ionizing the semiconductor material on the panel. Ionizing the semiconductor makes some of the electrons to break free of the atomic bonds. The structure of the semiconductor is designed to force electrons to flow in single direction hence creating an electric current.

According to Hosenuzzaman et al. (2015), several materials can be used as the semiconductor, which include crystalline silicon. Kurokawa (2014) indicates that crystalline silicon solar cells do not give a 100% efficiency because some light is too weak to create infrared, some of the light spectrum is also reflected, and another section generates heat instead of the expected electricity.

Figure 3: Crystalline silicon solar cell (Kurokawa 2014)

2.2.            Photovoltaic Array Model

The smallest components of a photovoltaic array are the photovoltaic cells that form the modules. Arranged in a series-parallel circuit, the modules form the photovoltaic array, which in turn form the photovoltaic power plant (Kurokawa 2014).

2.3.            Photovoltaic Array Arrangement

The Solar arrays, as indicated above, are made up of a large number of photovoltaic modules that are embedded on support structures and are connected in series-parallel circuits to provide electric output to the subsystem for power conditioning. According to Budischack et al (2013) a small number of solar farms are configured in buildings hence utilize photovoltaic arrays embedded on buildings. However, Kurokawa (2014) insists that most of the photovoltaic power stations are ground-mounted; hence, use arrays that are also mounted on the ground.

2.4.            Other Components of PV Power Plants

Other Components of the PV power station include inverters for converting the Direct Current from the power arrays to alternating current that is connected to the public grid. A transformer is used to step up power from the inverter to the grid.


Figure 4: Structure of a PV Solar Power Plant (Piano & Mayumi (2017))

2.5.            System Performance

According to Sharma & Chandel (2013), photovoltaic solar power stations performance can be approached in two ways, which are performance ratio, and capacity utilization. Performance Ratio of a photovoltaic solar power plant depends on the climatic condition, system configuration, and equipment.

A plant’s (PR) for a Period of time= Measured Energy (kWh)/ (Irradiance (kWh/m2) on the solar panel x PV module active area (m2) x PV module efficiency), and the Capacity Utilization Factor = Measured Energy (kWh)/ (365*24*installed)

Some of the factors that are critical in the comparison of CUF versus PR include

  • PR takes into account the grid availability, while CUF does not.
  • PR also considers the lowest level of irradiation required for electricity generation but CUF does not
  • Performance Ratio considers irradiation at a specific point in time, while CUF does not

Since performance ratio takes into account environmental factors, the approach is very applicable in comparisons of different photovoltaic systems even when located in different regions (Chandel et al. 2014). Hence, the tool compares the design and the system’s ability to convert energy to electricity. Piano & Mayumi (2017) postulate that the failure of CUF to take into account essential factors such as the environment; makes the method an inefficient approach of system comparison.

Karavi et al. (2013) also conclude that PR is the best tool to measure losses between the modules’ DC output and the amount of the alternating current delivered to the grid, which are influenced by a broad range of factors such as the mismatch, conversion inefficiencies, cable voltage drop, and light absorption losses including others.

3.0.            Advantages and Disadvantages Photovoltaic Solar Power Stations

The sun, in an hour, radiates adequate energy for human consumption in a whole year; hence, mechanisms that try to harness the potential are very popular (Ellabban et al. 2014). Photovoltaic solar power generation of electricity is one such technique, which possess a myriad of benefits compared to other methods of solar energy, and the general techniques of electricity generation. However, Li et al (2013) argues that the technology is not developing at the required pace to ensure that the technique is as efficient as possible. Desideri & Champana (2014) further argues that the lag is a significant source of drawbacks, which make the technique unfavorable for large-scale projects. However, previous studies indicate that the Photovoltaic solar power stations’ power generation assimilates most of photovoltaic technique strengths. Since photovoltaic technology possesses many strengths, the solar parks are also very robust electricity generation tools (Ellabban et al. 2014).

3.1.            Advantages

3.1.1.      General Photovoltaic Systems Pros

Photovoltaic systems generate clean-green power, whereby the technique used to convert solar energy to electricity does not lead to emission of greenhouse gas; hence, making the systems friendly to the environment. Precisely, the systems assist to reduce carbon dioxide emission to the environment; hence, minimizing the ‘greenhouse effect.’ In addition, a photovoltaic system like the rest of green energy technologies, reduce or avoid the release of other harmful gases to the atmosphere that are a serious threat to the environment and public health.

According to Sueyoshi & Goto (2014), photovoltaic systems provide a reliable method for solar energy exploitation. Previous studies indicate that the existing photovoltaic systems will last for at least the next thirty years without a need for replacement. Sahu (2015) explains that not unless disaster strikes the PV systems will operate at a significant efficiency for a very long time. The autonomous way of operation is another strength of the systems.

The mode of PV systems operation unlike some other forms of green energy generation such as wind turbines does not produce disturbances and noise because of lack of moving parts except the optional tracker for adjusting the sun radiation. Therefore, PV systems in their operation do not pollute the surrounding environment. Compared to other methods of green and renewable energy generation, photovoltaic systems demand minimum maintenance.

Tyagi et al. (2013) indicates that PV systems require regular cleaning of the solar arrays surfaces and checking of cable connections. Singh (2013) also notes that most of the other technologies of generating renewable and green require mechanical efforts such as moving a turbine and hence demand a lot of maintenance due the large number of moving components.

According to Koran et al. (2014), photovoltaic systems also inherit strength of peak power generation from solar energy generation whereby maximum production is reached when demand is also at the highest point in a day. In most, energy consumption reaches maximum at midday when everybody is active, whereby in a typical urban setting, businesses such as hotels and offices are open by this time and require energy supply. Coincidentally, the high demand meets the supply also at peak; hence, shortages, which can cause blackouts, are not experienced.  The attribute of the system is very helpful in peak shaving and load curve ‘smoothing’ hence minimizing chances of blackouts. Finally, the recent advances in photovoltaic technology are increasing in popularity, due various milestones in cost reduction. The reduced costs achieved have started taking effect in the market because of their application modularity, diversity and are easily installed and expanded. However, Hirth (2014) states that Photovoltaic industry are still expansive and much is required in terms of cost reduction before the technology can achieve the necessarily competitiveness in the market (Sun et al. 2014).

3.1.2.      Advantages of Photovoltaic Solar Power Stations

Solar Radiation Potential

The sun has the highest energy potential in the world and is easily accessible compared to all the other sources of renewable energy. According to a study by Tyagi et al. (2013)  the yearly technical potential solar energy was more than the total yearly potential of the other renewable sources of energy by about twenty times. Sahu (2015) argues that the high global technical potential in a year for direct solar shows the room that the techniques of harnessing the category of energy source compared to the rest. In this regard, Photovoltaic solar power plants being a tool for harnessing direct solar energy possess an advantage of unlimited source of raw material. The potential of solar energy compared to others sources of renewables is higher by far. For instance, the wind’s maximal global technical potential is about 1% that of direct solar.  

Reduced Carbon intensity

Compared to the fossil-based technology, Photovoltaic power plants have low carbon intensity, which shows their contribution towards a clean environment. Therefore, PVPP (Photovoltaic power plants) are a critical component of the fight against environmental that is happening globally. According to Singh (2013), reduced carbon emission is one of the factors increasing the popularity of PVPPs in the world.

Reduced Investment Cost

According to Desideri & Champana (2014) installing, exploiting, and replacing of PVPP is very simple; hence, leading to low cost of investment. Hirth (2014) indicates that installing of photovoltaic power plants is cheap because the process does not involve heavy machinery and complicated cabling. PVPP installation involves setting up of the structure for the solar arrays and few cabling from the arrays to the inverter whereby the DC out is converted to AC output. Cabling is also required from the inverter to the transformer for stepping up the AC power for connection to the grid. According to Sueyoshi & Goto (2014), the simple installation of the PVPPs requires minimum skilled labor; hence, immensely reducing the total cost of investment. Since, sunlight is the only raw material for PVPP, which is free, easily accessible, and requires no modification or transportation, the cost of exploiting the source of energy is zero. Once a power plant is set, power is produced at no cost; hence, the owner of the plant requires no extra expenses (Sun et al. 2014).

PVPP also have a long lifespan with an outstanding efficiency hence eliminating the need for replacement after a short duration. According to Singh (2013), PVPP can maintain high efficiency of about 80% for long periods of about 80 years. Karavi et al. (2013) also insists that replacing the PVPPs is very easy as they involve three components. Therefore, the plants have reduced cost of replacement, which in turn reduces the cost of investment.

 The above analysis shows that unlike the rest of power generation plants such as wind PPs (Power Plants) and Hydroelectric PPs, which require heavy machinery such as turbines; hence, demand technically skilled labor for installation and replacement, PVPP demands has a low investment cost. The source of energy for the plant is the sunlight, which is free; hence, no cost of buying raw materials as is the case for fossil fuels power plants. Accessibility of the raw material is also free; hence, no costs required for transporting or for inventory, as is the case with fossil fuels power plants. Therefore, reduced or zero cost of exploitation leads to a massive reduction of the investment cost (Sun et al. 2014).

Reduced Operation and Maintenance Costs

PVPPs consist one of the lowest fixed expenditures such as Taxes, Salaries, rates, insurance, among others, and variable costs of removing waste, chemicals, maintenance, repair, chemicals, etc. PVPPs consist of few moving parts, and require a small number of employees compared to other plants, which require a huge number of high skilled labor such engineers and technicians.

According to Tyagi et al. (2013), PVPPs are fixed except for the tracking options, which have some few moving parts; hence, the plants require a small number of maintenance employees, materials, and other components of keeping them up and running. Krebs et al. (2014) insist that other methods of generating power require heavy machines to generate energy. For instance, a wind power plant requires a mill and a turbine that have a many moving parts, to produce energy. Therefore, the plant will require close monitoring by skilled personnel to identify any possible source of breakdown and perform regular maintenance. The moving parts also lead to tear and wear hence repairs have to be done regularly hence the cost of materials and chemicals is highly increased.

Reduced External Costs

There are two components of reduced costs, which are-

-Change in climate damage costs associated with carbon emissions

-Air polluting elements such as heavy and radioactive metals, which have negative impact on health, environment, and crops, damage costs.

In a study by Tyagi et al. (2013), comparing the external costs (ECs) of PVPPs and fossil fuels power plants, PVPP were found to have a low impact on human health of 0.21 EURct/kWh while that of fossil fuel power plants was found to vary from 0.28 to 2.74 EURct/kWh. The same study also indicated that fossil fuel plants have a high impact (which was found to vary from1.84 EURct/kWh up to 3.89 EURct/ kWh) on environment compared to the PVPP (0.24 EURct/kWh). Further, according to Lave (2013) the impact of power plants running on fossil fuels was found to cause a high impact on environment compared to PVPPs.

According to the study mentioned above, it is apparent that photovoltaic power plants cause low impacts on environment, human health, crops, and emit low levels of carbon compared to fossil fuel run plants. Therefore, the external costs incurred due to PVPP are by far less than by fossil fuel plants.

According to Krebs et al. (2014), some other benefits of PV power plants include security as the stations provide electricity for a considerable long time. PVPPs have long life spans ranging from 40 to 80 years of supplying energy at constant cost. Fossil fuels power plant, on the other hand, is usually affected by fuel prices in the market hence affecting the cost of power in the market. Reliability is another benefit of PVPP, where the plants assist in supplementing the other sources of energy such as wind and fossil fuels. Tyagi et al. (2013) postulates that integrating power from the PVPPs with other sources assists in increasing reliability in areas, which are prone to energy blackout. Krebs et al. (2014) indicate that disruption of power always occurs in areas that are prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and storms. In such areas, PVPP can be used to improve reliability whenever such disasters occur. Integrating well-balanced PV power plants can also assist in avoiding or delaying local transformer substations by increasing their rated power hence improve reliability.

3.2.            Disadvantages

3.2.1.      General Photovoltaic System Cons

Since Photovoltaic Solar Power Stations inherit the general pros of solar Photovoltaic Systems due to the use of photovoltaic technique; in a similar manner, they also acquire disadvantages associated with the method. Therefore, an overview of the photovoltaic general cons is critical when analyzing the benefits of the large-scale photovoltaic disadvantages.  

One of the major disadvantages of photovoltaic systems, as noted above, is that the cost of the technology is relatively high. According to Lave (2013) Compared to other sources of energy including the conventional techniques, photovoltaic technology is considerably costly. For instance, the cost of power generated by other methods of renewable and green energy such as wind and biomass is cheaper compared to that generated using photovoltaic technology. Similarly, the cost of power generated using conventional and non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels is much lower than that produced using photovoltaic technologies. Therefore, until the expected cost reduction and efficiency improvement is reached, the popularity of photovoltaic technology in the market will continue to be low. Making the technology viable economically will continue to rely on tax incentives and subsidy funding (Hirth 2014).

The type of power generated by the Photovoltaic systems is another major drawback of the technology. PV systems generate DC current, which, as explained earlier, needs inverters for connection to the power grid. Inverters are expensive devices, which play a critical role in increasing the cost of the power generation (Wang et al. 2014). In addition, to increase the reliability of PV system require the use of storage devices such as batteries, which further increase the cost of power generated by the technology (Sun et al. 2014).

According to the research also, the efficiency of generating power using the photovoltaic technology is low depending on the type of cells used. Considering the technology (thin film, poly-crystalise, and monocrystallic PV arrays) used, the efficiency of the PV system ranges from 8 percent to 20 percent.

Generally, PV systems possess a wide range of benefits and are an essential component of exploitation and utilization of renewable energy sources. However, the two primary drawbacks, which are high cost and low levels of efficiency, are critical. Therefore, further support in technological progress and finance in terms of tax incentives and subsidies is required to make the technology competitive in the market.

3.2.2.      Disadvantages of Photovoltaic Solar Power Stations

High Carbon Emission Compared to Other Renewable Sources of Energy

According to Krebs et al. (2014), Large-scale PV power stations are made up of many solar arrays for converting sunlight to direct current energy. Krebs et al. (2014) indicate that most of the solar arrays in use today are made of mono crystalline silicon, which has a carbon footprint, 2 728 kg/kWp of CO2 equivalent. Tyagi et al. (2013) argue that PV power plants are carbon intensive compared to the rest of renewable sources because production of silicon ingots demands a lot of power.

Singh (2013) postulates that the rest of renewable sources of energy such as wind and hydro emit little or no carbon; are more cleaner compared to PV power. For instance, wind power generation requires a mill and turbine, which do not emit carbon in the process of generating power and require little energy in production. Due to slightly high carbon emitted by PV power stations compared to other sources, the PV power has more effects on the environment; hence, have higher extra cost compared to other sources of green energy.

Increased Integration Costs

Connecting of PV into the grid includes an additional cost to the levelized cost of electricity. Integration of power to the grid includes the short-term cost of power balancing and issues related to the grid costs, and profile costs. According to Tyagi et al. (2013), the need to use, large capacitive PV power plants attract profile costs of intermittent power sources integration for balancing of power. Hence, efficiency and full-load operation of the plants can diminish tremendously due to the demand of operating in mode of constant adjusting of capacity to maintain a balance on the grid (Hirth 2014).

The short-term cost of power balancing emanate from the variable nature of photovoltaic power plants. Krebs et al. (2014) argue that it is extremely hard to get the accurate solar radiation at different times of the day and year. Therefore, additional costs are incurred since extra measures and preparations are critical for smooth integration to the power grid.

When the PV power plants are located far away from the consumption regions, then grid related expenses are incurred due to the need for transmission of the power generated by the plants. Power from the plants must be transmitted to the consumer whereby they must be connected to the grid. Additional costs can also arise if grid constrains are increased by integration of the PV power. Finally, additional costs can be incurred if the rate of PV power stations is high such that the power produced cannot be connected and consumed in the grid and the storage facilities do not exist or are inadequate in the system to store the generated power (Krebs et al. 2014). 

4.0.            Limitations of Photovoltaic Solar Power Stations

Photovoltaic systems like other techniques of generating solar power and renewable-green energy production do not emit green gases, hence contribute in the reduction of global warming. However, the technology possesses numerous limitations that make the method undesirable for large-scale power production (Hirth 2014). One of the limitations is adjusting the power generated by a solar power plant whereby the output of the photovoltaic systems including photovoltaic solar power stations, is fixed and cannot be adjusted according to need. Solar arrays used in the solar plants produce power output depending on sun light intensity, which cannot be adjusted. Therefore, whether, power consumption increases or decreases, the rate of output from PV Solar Power Plants will remain constant. On the other hand, some techniques of power generation such as nuclear, fossil fuels, and natural gas plants can be adjusted to increase the level of output when demand is high. Location of the photovoltaic solar power plants is another limitation of the technique (Lave 2013).

The availability of land for plant construction and high sunlight intensity makes the deserts ideal locations for photovoltaic large-scale power generation. However, transmitting the generated power to the consumption areas is a challenge due to the loss incurred in the process. Therefore, to eliminate the problem of transmission, power plants should be set in areas near the consumers, which also attract the challenge of finding enough land to set up the plants and low sunlight intensity. Reliability of photovoltaic solar power plants is another major limitation of technology.

According to Ondraczek (2014), photovoltaic solar plants do not generate power at night; hence, night consumers cannot rely on the technology. Photovoltaic will therefore, require supplementary method of power generation to ensure that the needs of all the consumers are met. Alternatively, power storage techniques are required to store power generated during the day for use at night. However, currently, there exist no efficient and cheap methods of storing photovoltaic solar power plants for use at night. Krebs et al. (2014) also insist that when power PV power is not enough for connecting and consumption in the grid, losses can be incurred due to lack of sufficient storage facilities (Krebs et al. 2014).

Photovoltaic power stations also possess a limitation of emitting more carbon dioxide compared to other sources of green energy. According to Tyagi et al. (2013), PV cells are made up of silicon compounds, which consume a lot of energy to produce. Since the PV power stations require a huge number of solar array with billions of cells, probably trillions, a lot of carbon diode is emitted in the process of producing the materials.

Challenges of estimating the accuracy of solar radiation in different times of the year is another limitation of PV power stations. The challenge leads to increased cost of power integration; the cost of levelized cost of electricity. Therefore, there is a challenge of smoothly integrating power to the grid; hence, extra measures are required enhance integration, which in turn increases the LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity) (Singh 2013).

5.0.            Current State of Technology

Crystalline Cost Reduction (Reduction of Solar Modules Cost)

The global rise in popularity of photovoltaic solar power stations can be attributed to the increased innovation regarding the technology used to build the systems. Some of the current technological advances are focused to reduce the cost of power generated by the photovoltaic solar power plants. Some of the advancements include the development of solar panels with holographic concentrators, which is under investigation in the International Company Solar that is based in the United State of America (Krebs et al. 2014).     

The non-constructed patent for the technology diffractive lens assisted in achieving of 28% percent efficiency compared to the conventional silicon photovoltaic modules. The lens concentrated light into small amount active areas; hence, reducing the amount of silicon required. Therefore, the technique assists in reducing the cost of production because silicon production demands a lot of energy to produce. The holographic techniques concentrates light of required wavelength hence undesired ranges such as infrared do not affect the system. Therefore, the technique assists in minimizing the problem of overheating (Singh 2013).

Morgan solar company, also, provides a promising innovation of solar modules manufactured on high performance triple junction cells, which possess a broad range of sunlight spectrum with a stable output. The reduction in silicon on the power arrays as also reduced Extra Cost incurred when power is generated using the technology. As noted earlier, production of silicon requires a lot energy, which leads to increased carbon emission. Emitting carbon to the environment increases the greenhouse effect. Therefore, necessary measures have to be adopted to reduce the effect, which lead to an increase in extra cost (Lave 2013).

Integrative capacity of photovoltaic Power Stations

Photovoltaic power compared to the other sources of energy such as hydro, wind, and fossil fuels is highly stable. For instance, a study in Germany revealed that the average daily production indicator of turbines run by wind changed thrice in a year. Therefore, in a case where wind is the sole source of energy power blackouts or wastage are expected depending on the design of the power plant (Singh 2013).

In case the power plant is built to supply power to the grid on the higher margin, blackouts will be expected when the plant start producing on the lower margin. Designing the wind power plant to supply on the lower margin will lead to wastage when the facility starts to produce at the maximum level (Lave 2013). A similar case is experienced when fossil fuel plants are used to supply power to the grid, in that power becomes expensive when the price of fossils rise and the market and cheap when the prices go down.

Due to the instability of other sources of power, grid balancing costs increase; hence, power consumer have to pay for the extra cost. Therefore, a stable source of power is required to obtain the correct ratios between powers of intermittent power generation plant in the grid. Appropriate matching of total powers significantly reduces the cost of balancing in a long-term perspective and reduces the required reserve capacities (Desideri & Campana 2014).

Since, the intermittent sources of power possess different causes of regular interruptions, the more they are the bet reducing the variations. For example, a combination of wind and PV power in the ratio of 1:1 can reduce variation of the resulting power. Taking into account of other sources of renewables is necessary to ensure the correct balancing is achieved. Since Photovoltaic power is the most stable compared to the other producers; therefore, can be used to set the rest of the sources at their optimum levels (Karavi et al. 2013).

In short, the current state of technology is focused on efficiency improvement and cost of power generation reduction. Therefore, the current state of technology has resulted in an increased efficiency of Photovoltaic modules, production optimization, prolonged lifetime of the photovoltaic systems, and standard development. 

6.0.            Potential Future Development and Challenges

Among the major problem in the global energy sector is generation of cheap, adequate, and clean power. Currently photovoltaic power is clean but is not as cheap as expected and adequate to satisfy the consumers (Koran et al. 2014). Innovations are required in the increase of efficiency compared to other forms of energy generation such as using fossil fuels. Innovation is also required in reducing cost of generating cheap modules such as the holographic solar panels, which can significantly reduce the cost of installing the photovoltaic solar power plants.

Methods of generating cheap modules such as thin film technologies existing currently face a lot of challenges due to their over reliance on scarce elements (Ondraczek 2014). New thin film technologies that utilize earth abundant resources promising flexibility and low weight possess several limitations such as manufacturability and efficiency and could lead to high balance of system costs. Therefore, new technologies for coming up with cheap modules that will in turn lower the costs of installing Photovoltaic power stations are required.

Moreover, development is required to ensure that photovoltaic technology can be used to create a stable combination of intermittent sources to reduce the balancing costs. For instance, since wind power varies throughout the year, fossil fuels are undesirable due to carbon emissions, and biogas based power plants are very few in many countries, determining the correct amount of PV power is essential to ensure that the cheapest combination is arrived (Koran et al. 2014). Arriving at the necessary ratios is a challenge, which requires more research to determine.

However, as current research has focused on development of cheap modules and creating a balance of intermittent powers in the grid and while a considerable progress has been achieved in these individual areas, a challenge of combining the technologies has emerged. Cheap technologies that lead to cheap modules cause the balance of system (BOS) costs to escalate. Therefore, as technological advances are made on either sides they cannot be simultaneously beneficial to the PV power plants.

Regarding technological improvements to lower (BOS) and Solar modules that can lead to cheap, reliable, and efficient PV power, new technologies for combining the two are required (Ondraczek 2014). Therefore, as separate efforts to develop cheap modules and lower BOS are being emphasized in future, more funding, and research focusing on mechanisms that can guarantee smooth integration of cheap PV power (due to use of cheap technology to develop the solar modules) to the grid by reducing the BOS are critical in future.    

In addition, in future, technologies combining photovoltaic and concentrated solar power generation can assist in increasing the output of the systems, whereby heat and light components of sunlight will be used to generate power simultaneously. A possibility of thermal power plants relying has been identified in the past. Hence, combining the techniques can eliminate the weakness of PV plants inability to supply power at night (Koran et al. 2014). Hence, a developing a hybrid technology based on the ideology can yields a lot of potential. Therefore, future studies should focus on combining the technologies and improvement of the hybrid system.

In a nutshell, for PV power plants to increase in popularity, future efforts in terms of research, finance, and policies should focus on developing cheap modules such as thin films and effective ways of PV power integration to the grid to achieve reduced BOS costs are required. Further, Extensive and intensive research on efficient technologies to integrate cheap PV power due to reduced cost of modules on the public grid to reduce BOS expenses are required in future. Finally, a combination of PV and thermal solar technologies of generating power are worth consideration in future to increase power generated per annum and eliminate the inability of photovoltaic plants to supply power at night.  

7.0.            Conclusion

Photovoltaic solar power stations possess immense potential in generating large-scale power that is the connected to grid. The power stations inherit the benefits of photovoltaic technology, which include generating clean energy by converting solar energy without emitting carbon dioxide; hence minimizing global warming. The power stations also have a reduced cost of maintenance due to lack of movable parts like many other sources of power such as wind and hydro, whereby heavy machinery is used.

However, photovoltaic solar power stations have some disadvantages, which are a major drawback to the mode of large-scale power generation. The plants lack the necessary efficiency compared to other sources of renewably and considering the type of material used to create the solar arrays. Hence, high cost power generated using the method compared to other technologies of generating power is becomes a very major drawback of the photovoltaic power stations.

Moreover, photovoltaic solar power stations possess several limitations that make the technology undesirable in the market, which include the inability to generate power at night and the increased loss of power during transmission when the site of generation is far away from consumption areas. In addition, the current state of technology is not working efficiently to reduce the cost of power using the approach regarding integration to the public grid; hence, technological and financial support in terms of tax incentives and subsidies are required to ensure that the method remains competitive in the market. In that regard, technology in large-scale photovoltaic solar power generation is making a lot of advances; hence, improving the potential of photovoltaic systems in future.

8.0.            References

Hosenuzzaman, M., Rahim, N.A., Selvaraj, J., Hasanuzzaman, M., Malek, A.B.M.A. and Nahar, A., 2015. Global prospects, progress, policies, and environmental impact of solar photovoltaic power generation. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews41, pp.284-297.

Budischak, C., Sewell, D., Thomson, H., Mach, L., Veron, D.E. and Kempton, W., 2013. Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time. Journal of Power Sources225, pp.60-74.

Pellet, N., Gao, P., Gregori, G., Yang, T.Y., Nazeeruddin, M.K., Maier, J. and Grätzel, M., 2014. Mixed‐organic‐cation Perovskite photovoltaics for enhanced solar‐light harvesting. Angewandte Chemie International Edition53(12), pp.3151-3157.

Lave, M., Kleissl, J. and Stein, J.S., 2013. A wavelet-based variability model (WVM) for solar PV power plants. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy4(2), pp.501-509.

Sueyoshi, T. and Goto, M., 2014. Photovoltaic power stations in Germany and the United States: A comparative study by data envelopment analysis. Energy Economics42, pp.271-288.

Tyagi, V.V., Rahim, N.A., Rahim, N.A., Jeyraj, A. and Selvaraj, L., 2013. Progress in solar PV technology: research and achievement. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews20, pp.443-461.

Desideri, U. and Campana, P.E., 2014. Analysis and comparison between a concentrating solar and a photovoltaic power plant. Applied Energy113, pp.422-433.

Li, X., Hui, D. and Lai, X., 2013. Battery energy storage station (BESS)-based smoothing control of photovoltaic (PV) and wind power generation fluctuations. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy4(2), pp.464-473.

Krebs, F.C., Espinosa, N., Hösel, M., Søndergaard, R.R. and Jørgensen, M., 2014. 25th Anniversary article: rise to power–OPV‐based solar parks. Advanced Materials26(1), pp.29-39.

Sun, H., Zhi, Q., Wang, Y., Yao, Q. and Su, J., 2014. China’s solar photovoltaic industry development: The status quo, problems and approaches. Applied Energy118, pp.221-230.

Archer, M.D. and Green, M.A. eds., 2014. Clean electricity from photovoltaics (Vol. 4). World Scientific.

Singh, G.K., 2013. Solar Power Generation by PV (photovoltaic) Technology: a review. Energy53, pp.1-13

Bhandari, B., Lee, K.T., Lee, C.S., Song, C.K., Maskey, R.K. and Ahn, S.H., 2014. A novel off-grid hybrid power system comprised of solar photovoltaic, wind, and hydro energy sources. Applied Energy133, pp.236-242.

Ellabban, O., Abu-Rub, H. and Blaabjerg, F., 2014. Renewable energy resources: Current status, future prospects and their enabling technology. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews39, pp.748-764.

Wang, G., Ciobotaru, M. and Agelidis, V.G., 2014. Power smoothing of large solar PV plant using hybrid energy storage. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy5(3), pp.834-842.

Ondraczek, J., 2014. Are we there yet? Improving solar PV economics and power planning in developing countries: The case of Kenya. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews30, pp.604-615.

Koran, A., LaBella, T. and Lai, J.S., 2014. High efficiency photovoltaic source simulator with fast response time for solar power conditioning systems evaluation. IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics29(3), pp.1285-1297.

Chandel, M., Agrawal, G.D., Mathur, S. and Mathur, A., 2014. Techno-economic analysis of solar photovoltaic power plant for garment zone of Jaipur city. Case Studies in Thermal Engineering2, pp.1-7.

Hirth, L., 2014. Market value of solar power: Is photovoltaics cost-competitive?. IET Renewable Power Generation9(1), pp.37-45.

Sharma, V. and Chandel, S.S., 2013. Performance analysis of a 190 kWp grid interactive solar photovoltaic power plant in India. Energy55, pp.476-485.

Kurokawa, K., 2014. Energy from the Desert: Feasability of Very Large Scale Power Generation (VLS-PV). Routledge.

Sahu, B.K., 2015. A study on global solar PV energy developments and policies with special focus on the top ten solar PV power producing countries. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews43, pp.621-634.

Chu, Y., Urquhart, B., Gohari, S.M., Pedro, H.T., Kleissl, J. and Coimbra, C.F., 2015. Short-term reforecasting of power output from a 48 MWe solar PV plant. Solar Energy112, pp.68-77.

Kuravi, S., Trahan, J., Goswami, D.Y., Rahman, M.M. and Stefanakos, E.K., 2013. Thermal energy storage technologies and systems for concentrating solar power plants. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science39(4), pp.285-319.

Piano, S.L. and Mayumi, K., 2017. Toward an integrated assessment of the performance of photovoltaic power stations for electricity generation. Applied Energy186, pp.167-174.

Subudhi, B. and Pradhan, R., 2013. A comparative study on maximum power point tracking techniques for photovoltaic power systems. IEEE transactions on Sustainable Energy4(1), pp.89-98.

Haaren, R., Morjaria, M. and Fthenakis, V., 2014. Empirical assessment of short‐term variability from utility‐scale solar PV plants. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications22(5), pp.548-559.


Final Assignment

 Relationships can very complex hence highly difficult to manage especially when partners are bound by fate rather than by individual and optional interests towards each other. For instance, people do not choose be siblings but are expected to exhibit a healthy relationship despite the nature of differences between them(Verderber 160). In addition, a brother or a sister being one of the people someone a person interacts or is to interact the for the longest time in a lifetime, their rivalry or enmity can be very disappointing or sometimes surprising hence emotionally extremely demanding to handle. Nonetheless, it is a common scenario that siblings for various reasons, such as dishonesty or completion, undergo differences that escalate to fierce rivalry if poorly addressed. My elder brother and I presents a typical case of a discord between children of the same parents, which emanated from assumptions that it was unlikely to have in-depth dispute between siblings. The row, which started as healthy childhood competition deteriorated to outright wrangles and a declaration of war between us in adulthood. Nonetheless, both of us clearly acknowledge that as siblings we are supposed to maintain a healthy relationship and the need to support each other in life but no one has ever bothered to suggest a solution in the past. Thus, recently, after consultations with family and friends, I proposed a ceasefireand a well thought collaborative approach to end the wrangles.

       Pursuing incompatible goals, which are personal objectives that are naturally mutually exclusive or demand similar and scarce resources is one of the leading causes of conflicts between siblings. For instance, the discord between brother and has been largely by unhealthy competitions with a primary objective of impressing parents. Notably, nobody including my parents could predict that the end result of the competition could as far-reaching as it is today because at early stages the contention basically involved academics, which seemed healthy (Rockefeller 89). Besides, any behavioral aggressiveness was regulated by the presence of parents hence everything appeared normal. Nevertheless, after high school, I had to join college and move away from my parents in a similar manner as my brother had done a few years before me. Therefore, away from the parents, the previously controlled aspect of the dispute had a far and wide reaching ground to operate in full swing especially considering additional catalysts to the feud, such as interdependency and superiority. Relationship

      Superiority, includes either of the party feeling more important or assuming higher authority than the other is one of the factors that has taken the issue to a very high level. Specifically, my brother feels that, by being the eldest of us, he is naturally the most senior especially in the absence of parents. On the other hand, having beaten all of his previous academic records and being past the age of majority, I feel that I have a right to equally participate in decision making particularly involving my affairs.Notably, most of our verbal engagement ends in a fierce confrontation and with no agreed conclusion because of the superiority race between us.Nonetheless, I have been depending on my brother for emotional, as well as financial supports hence increased his feeling of seniority (Noller 130). Thus, the interdependency, as well as the superiority competition have resulted to a stretched relationship between us. Relationship

       In most cases, the competitions between us results to jealousy, especially from the perceived loser, and interference aimed at securing a win or avoiding a loss. For instance, after completing high school and scoring a higher grade than my brother had scored few years earlier, I started realizing a change of attitude from him particularly characterized by invalid complains. Interference, which includes dishonesty and a competition of family any other type of resources accessible to both of us, are some of the features of our relationships. For instance, last year, when I tipped my brother that I was intending to borrow some money from my father to start a small scale business, he called my father and warned him of giving me any money because he was suspecting that I was using drugs. Since then, our relationship has been characterized by deceptive maneuvers, as well as interaction avoidance. Thus, the perceived healthy childhood competition is now fully developed, because of poor interpersonal communication, to immense hostility, which is quickly degenerating towards use of dubious schemes against each other. Relationship

Julia Woods suggests a strategy of conflict resolution between partners that is based on seeking and assessment of information, as well as making judgement regarding validity and showing appreciation (238).Notably, information gathering include immense and appropriate listening to establish meaningful trends from communication elements, such as complains. According to Wood, there are three commonly utilized strategies of conflict evaluation, which arelose-lose, win-lose and win-win. The least preferred Lose-lose strategy indicates that resolving a certain conflict is injurious to all the parties involved. Win-lose method suggests that addressing a discord leads to one of the parties benefiting and the other one losing, while the win-win mechanism, which is the highly used technique, implies that conflict resolution benefits all of the partners. Therefore, after gathering adequate information regarding a specific dispute, evaluations are conducted to establish the best mechanism of responding.

After discord evaluations, a response mechanism is selected considering the nature of the conflict and the willingness of the parties involved to participate in the process. One of the methods or levels of addressing a disagreement is known as the exit response, which involves physical or psychological withdrawal from a relationship. The exit response strategy is commonly utilized in lose-lose situations because addressing the conflict cannot elicit adequate benefits to or all of the parties involved (Noller 123). Denial Response is another method of responding to a conflict, which is characterized by immense refutation that a disagreement exists. In this level, a discord is bound to increase hence partners must identify means of acknowledging that a problem exists unless its impacts are insignificant. The third technique, which is the actual beginning of conflict resolution, is known as the loyalty response that requires all the parties be committed to ending the strife. Voice response is the last approach of conflict resolution, which involves active talking, about an issue, to identify the most favorable solution. Adopting proper listening and engagement techniques is highly important in the voice response phase to improve the understanding of a party. In addition, seeking advice from outside is immensely important to navigate complex and interlocked aspects of negotiations. Thus, effectively manage feuds, parties must analyze an issue, acknowledge that a problem exists and make commitments to address the matter, as well as actively engage in solution formulation and implementation.  Relationship

In a voice response, factors of proper communication are highly important to avoid negative aspects such as debilitative emotions by embracing supportive statements hence lead to smooth engagement and achieve positive results. For instance, parties are supposed to utilize descriptive remarks and refrain from using evaluative sentiments. In addition, provisionalism must be embraced and certainty avoided to create a room for discussion. Furthermore, constructive discussion must encourage problem solving oriented remarks, as well as disregard control focused statements to enhance autonomy and freedom to parties. Finally, Wood suggests that voice engagements must involve empathy and prevalence of equality to ensure effective communication of the intended message.

Six weeks ago, my brother and I recognized the essence of ending the rivalry that has taken decades to develop hence designed a plan of action. The intervention program included problem evaluation to establish the specific causes of the disagreement, commitment to address the issue, and a structured active engagement aimed at the development of rules and guidelines that will guide our future interactions. In the evaluation phase, each party was supposed to identify five previous events that were considered to be the greatest triggers of the discord. Each events was supposed to be accompanied by personal views and interpretations regarding the behavior of the other party. A meeting was supposed to be convened afterwards before the next phase to identify a common view on the sources of the conflict. The meeting was designed to include complains, bargaining, which included avoidance of insignificant issues, compromise to accommodate others views, and collaboration to develop future engagement. Advice from parents was supposed to help us maneuver through points of immense differences. After problem evaluation, each one of us was supposed to make commitment to a win-win approach of ending the conflict. Finally, the final phase of the intervention program involved formulation of future engagement by considering the sources of the previous disagreements. Relationship

            The results of the six weeks program reveals that assumptions are the main source of conflicts between myself and my brother. Assumptions that include competitions between siblings cannot lead to dangerous rivalries between the parties. In addition, pursuing incompatible goals, such as competing to please parents, forms the foundation of the conflict. Furthermore, the six-week intervention indicates that avoiding to solve minute disagreements and denying that, such discords exist, led to a build-up, which explodes, with time, to serious confrontations and arguments(Verderber 133). For instance, after my brother exhibited a high level of dishonesty by lying to my father that I had become a drug user, there was a complete shutdown of interactions between us only for them to reappear after a while. After identifying the main causes of our dispute, we developed a six month program of new commitment, which was to be evaluated monthly by both parties with the help of parents. The programs begins with apologies regarding faults identified on either of the parties, forgiveness, and reconciliation. In addition, programs involves increased interaction, which includes a monthly physical meeting and phone call communication at least once in two days, immediate conflict reporting and resolving, and including negotiations before planning using of family resources. Relationship

Works Cited

Noller, Patricia. “Conflict in Family Relationships.” The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships, 2012, pp. 129-143.

Rockefeller, J D. How to Get Kids to Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk. 2015.

Verderber, Kathleen S, et al. Inter-act: Interpersonal Communication Concepts, Skills, and Contexts. 2010.

Wood, Julia T. Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. 2016.

Rationale and context

Rationale and context

Basically, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) encompasses a subscription-based licensing of software systems and subsequent delivery over the internet. It is based on a centrally-hosted or cloud-based software model, whereby users access SaaS using internet-connected thin clients and personal devices via supported web browsers (Thibiti ). SaaS solutions have become very popular among small and medium businesses (SMBs) and multinational corporations for application across business functions such as back office operations, human resources management, finance and accounting, communications and collaboration, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and sales and marketing. SaaS enables business functions while assuring on-demand or reliable, scalable, highly available, and cost-effective services.  In addition, organizations that adopt the SaaS model do not have to apply regular software updates and implementation, integration, and maintenance hassles that would otherwise constitute another cost factor (Thibiti ). Therefore, there is a growing trend in adoption of SaaS-based applications across organizations to derive the benefits associated with this cloud-based service model. Nevertheless, SaaS is commonly delivered via the public cloud model, which attracts immense information security risks.The fact that customer data is stored on the SaaS provider infrastructure implies an obvious information security issue. While remote system access and administration enable improved levels of convenience and cost cuts, they are another SaaS security risk that ought to be prevented or mitigated (As’habi, Vafabakh&Borji 2016). Therefore, it is important to carry out this research in order to establish a deeper understanding into security weaknesses and vulnerabilities facing the promising SaaS-based applications in addition to potential countermeasures that may be adopted by vendors and organizational consumers to uphold the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of confidential/sensitive business information. Rationale and context

The study will involve SaaS users (as respondents) drawn from a number of organizations that have adopted some form of SaaS enterprise application such as accounting, supply chain management (SCM), CRM, human resource management, or sales management. In this context of organizations that are SaaS consumers, there are better chances of obtaining valuable real-world perspectives regarding the research topic (enterprise SaaS security risks and potential countermeasures) as the basis of primary data for this study. Rationale and context

Research aims

Existing literature indicates that there are considerable information security challenges facing SaaS providers and consumers in the course of the delivery and usage of cloud-based software solutions. This comes at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with potential security and privacy breaches to their confidential and/or sensitive information in the hands of third-parties whose actual location cannot be explicitly ascertained (Thibiti ; Thibiti ). Consequently, the aim of this research is to develop a comprehensive understanding into SaaS security risks to consumers’ information confidentiality, integrity, and availability and into potential countermeasures. The findings will be critical to providing recommendations to SaaS providers and consumers for creation of a rock-solid and comprehensive SaaS security strategy for improved confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the consumers’ information resources in the current era of increasingly growing cloud-related security vulnerabilities and threats. Rationale and context

Research questions

  1. What are the security risks and potential defence strategies in relation to the SaaS cloud service model in organizations?
  2. What are the security risks facing the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of consumers’ information resources hosted in SaaS cloud environments in addition to potential countermeasures over the last five years?
  3. To what extents can the identified countermeasures help eliminate, prevent, or mitigate the SaaS security risks in relation to information confidentiality, integrity, and availability in order to determine and cater for the potential residual risk?
  4. Which SaaS security strategy can SaaS service providers and consumers adopt to uphold the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of consumers’ information resources (both at-rest and in-transit)? Rationale and context

Proposed research methodology

Research method

Qualitative and quantitative research methods will be simultaneously used in this study, implying a mixed-method approach to primary data collection. The mixed- method research is an approach that stands to lead to collection of adequate amounts of qualitative and quantitative primary data; it assures realization of broader perspectives into the research topic. In addition, theapproach has been credited with the benefit of reduced potential bias because it allows for validation of subjective-prone qualitative data through statistics arrived at quantitatively. However, mixed-method comes with the following major disadvantages: considerable effort, cost, and time requirements; and potential confusion when working with huge volumes of primary data(Creswell & Clark 2011). As a countermeasure, questionnaires will be administered to 60 respondents, out of which only 15 will be requested to take part in the semi-structured interviews. This way, there are chances that it will be possible to save on research time and effort. Rationale and context


Through random sampling, 60 organization SaaS users will be recruited as respondents to this study with the expectation that the sample will attract at least 90% in guaranteed response rate. As such, it is expected that aadequately reliable sample will be arrived at for completeness of the target primary data. According to Creswell and Clark (2011), random sampling represents a obvious challenge to proper representation of huge populations, but it overcomes the problem of systematic bias. Systematic bias is eliminated by guaranteeing all persons that qualify to be respondents an equal opportunity of participation, leading to an unbiased representative study sample.

Data Collection and analysis

A systematic literature review drawn from publications greatlyfacilitates convenient research without the need to conduct intensive empirical studies studies that require huge resourcing (in terms of costs, time and personal effort) (Shields &Rangarajan 2013). Moreover, literature review supports detailed investigations into situations or fields that may be intrinsically illegal and/or unethical (for example, areas faced by privacy or confidentiality infringement risks, financial losses, and legal liabilities). However, the approach grooms biased or subjective deductions (Yin 2009). Rationale and context

Potential value of this research

According to Li, Zhang & Fang (2014) there exist a real security challenge to SaaS providers and consumers. Li, Zhang & Fang (2014) claims that SaaS consumers are at risk of losing privacy to third parties involved in the provision of the service. Consumers can also lose privacy and other essential data incase of a security compromise from attackers and hackers. Li, Zhang & Fang (2014) also states that the SaaS providers risk losing customers and hence business incase of such security compromises. Due to the magnitude of the damage of the possible damage emanating from the security issues associated with SaaS, Li, Zhang & Fang (2014) postulates a comprehensive analysis of the possible risks to the service providers and holistic formulation of the counter measures. Rationale and context

The research,‘enterprise SaaS security risks and potential countermeasures’ will be aimed at creating an understanding of security issues associated with enterprise SaaS. The study is expected to assist consumers and SaaS providers to identify potential security risks and be able to avoid them. SaaS providers and consumers will also be able to identify proper counter measures just incase of an attack using the study. One of the specific areas that the study will be able to assist consumers is the handling of crucial information such as passwords and usernames in order to avoid malicious threats such as phishing and other forms of Trojan horses program(Li, Zhang & Fang 2014). The study will also assist SaaS providers and consumers to develop a working relationship, which can help in easy identification of attacks and hence come with quick ways of responding(Li, Zhang & Fang 2014). From the research, SaaS consumers will be able to establish trustworthy providers to trust with confidential information. Various data security strategies will also be comprehensively covered in the study, which can help SaaS providers avoid attackers, crackers, and hackers and other sources of threats. Rationale and context


Li, B, Zhang, H & Fang, Y 2014, “Research on the Key Technologies of SaaS Information Security”, in , Applied Mechanics and Materials, vol. 687-691, pp. 1860-1863.

Research plan

school racial segregation

Impact of school racial segregation as a source of academic achievement disparities between black and white student in the contemporary united state


School racial is a hot topic in the United States of America and with this study we try to analyze the impact of distinct forms of school racial segregation on black/white achievement gaps. According to James Baldwin (the native son) the blacks in the society have no say and they are supposed to behave in a certain way for failure to do so or simply stand up for one’s right then one should be ready to face enmity from the surrounding community. This study we will show what racial segregation has done to the students and affected the academics as a whole.

Racial segregation affect blacks for they attend schools that are poorly resourced leading to poor performance in schools..

Research objectives

The primary intention of the study is to establish the outcomes of this racial segregation. The study seeks to offer a. number of answers, pointing to factors ranging from inequalities in students’ social class backgrounds to differences in cultural orientations toward schooling to various inequalities between and within schools themselves.

Research statement

Racial segregation is the act of forbidding people certain privileges like schools, restaurants, churches or other facilities simply because of the color of their skin. In this research we tend to show what impact racial segregation has over our schools.

Research questions

  1. How does racial segregation affect performance in schools?
  2. How does racial segregation affect interactions of pupils in school?

Theoretical framework Racial segregated schools tend to be unequally resourced. Studies have shown that schools with higher percentages of racial minority students are under resourced compared to white schools in terms of class sizes, school facilities, funding, and curricula. Teacher quality and mobility are of particular concern, as studies have found higher percentages of novice and less qualified teachers, lower levels of overall teacher experience, and higher rates of teacher turnover in predominantly minority schools. Attending separate schools thus means attending unequally resourced schools, which is an advantage for white students and a disadvantage for black students. Second and primarily, though, school segregation concentrates the stratification of resources emanating outside of schools that students bring with them to school. In the context of intergroup relations in the contemporary United States, whites constitute the dominant group and tend to have more resources than blacks i.e. more wealth and income (Oliver and Shapiro 2006), a lower poverty rate (Rank 2005), higher employment rates (Boardman and Field 2002), higher levels of educational attainment (Orfield, Marin, and Horn 2005), better health (Feagin and McKinney 2005), and so on. When white and black children attend separate schools which is primarily but not solely because they live in separate neighborhoods (Sohoni and Saporito 2009; Goldsmith 2010) white students are surrounded by classmates whose families tend to possess more of these non-school while black students are surrounded by classmates whose families tend to possess fewer of them.School segregation, then, intensifies group stratification by creating resource-rich educational environments for white students and resource-poor educational environments for black students. Importantly, this is true of both resources that emanate outside of schools and school resources themselves. In these ways, school and neighborhood segregation work together to generate unequal educational opportunities for white and black students, with important implications for black/white inequalities in learning. School segregation involves both the problem of unequally resourced schools and the unequal distribution of resources in neighborhoods that become concentrated in the educational

Digital Intelligence Architecture

1 Introduction

Currently, the entire manufacturing industry is subject to huge paradigm shifts and facing fresh opportunities, which are based on technical and business perspectives. According to (Herterich, Uebernickel and Brenner, 2015), conventionally, manufacturing firms have focused on selling tangible products; however, the organisations have also been offering product-related services throughout the lifecycle of products. In the past few years, most of the firms have increased revenues by providing product-related services, specifically in areas of maintenance, repair, and overhaul. Digital Intelligence Architecture

Increase demand for the service dominant paradigm to replace the traditional good dominant logic has brought a better understanding of recent business models in the conventionally goods-driven industries among scholars. Due to the increased revenue realized from servitisation, the services focused is becoming more important. In addition, a demand for full-service offerings that are integrated and increased focus on performance rather than just selling and providing maintenance is being observed.

(Leitão, Colombo and Karnouskos, 2016) also notes that since, traditionally, manufacturing companies are made up of electrical and mechanical components; hence, breakdowns lead to downtowns and become highly costly to the firms, a shift towards digital technologies. Currently, most of the industrial and consumer products possess sensors and connectivity, which enhance transformation of the service-oriented businesses or create new hybrid business models in the manufacturing industry where a high demand for equipment, reliability, and capabilities cutting across and transcending the conventional product boundaries exists. Digital Intelligence Architecture

According to (Williams, 2014), adopting such technological capabilities (indicated above) has immense results; for instance, by reducing product downtown through condition monitoring, and incorporating preventive and predictive maintenance. However, (Leitão, Colombo and Karnouskos, 2016)notes that pervasive digital technologies are a huge information security threat to the digitized service oriented business that highly relies on technology to thrive[H1] . For instance, denial of service attackshave increased in frequency and magnitude over the past few years. Therefore, current paradigm shift from the traditional product driven to the service-oriented manufacturing industry requires robust cyber-security techniques to survive; otherwise, a single cyber-attack can lead to immense losses due to huge recovery costs, or a total collapse of the business.

According to (Williams, 2014), previous studies have inadequately covered cyber-attack threat to the manufacturing industries. For instance, there exists limited information regarding effective techniques that can be utilised to quantify cyber-attack effects and determine cyber security requirements in a manufacturing system. However, (Ani, He and Tiwari, 2016)argues that data driven techniques possess immense potential to develop robust cyber-security defence mechanisms for the manufacturing systems.

(Ani, He and Tiwari, 2016)indicates that automated manufacturing systems depend on and output many data, which if, utilized effectively can assist in detecting cyber-attacks before they cause damage to the system. In addition, data for automated manufacturing systems can be used analyse effects of cyber-attacks on such systems, thereby, identifying effective response techniques. According to (Venter, 2014), increase in the use of digital technology in the manufacturing industry has attracted the use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, to speed up processes and increase efficiency. Digital Intelligence Architecture

Use of (AI) techniques, whereby machines systems can learn from the existing data and perform some action(s) without direct control of human beings, also requires that similar techniques be applied on cyber security, to ensure that threats detection and response in case of attacks can be performed in the same speed as the process. (Leitão, Colombo and Karnouskos, 2016) insists that failure to use robust AI techniques to improve cyber security in manufacturing industries can lead to dangerous attacks because automated systems function at a very high speed; hence, detecting and responding to attacks manually becomes in effective or impossible. Therefore, digital intelligence for data driven cyber security is a necessary component of automated service oriented manufacturing systems. Digital Intelligence Architecture

2 Aim and Objective

2.1 Aim:

Develop a digital intelligence architecture for data-driven cyber security of a manufacturing system.

2.2 Objective:

  1. To determine effective techniques for quantifying the effect of cyber-attack on a manufacturing system.
  2. To identify cyber security requirements in a manufacturing enterprise.
  3. To outline an effective defence architecture for securing manufacturing system.
  4. To develop an adaptive and autonomous cyber-attack security response architecture for manufacturing system.
  5. To validate the framework and model in (3) and (4).

3 Research Gap

Previous studies in the manufacturing area indicate that information security is critical in the manufacturing industries especially in these days of increased processes automation. According to Linton, Boyson, and Aje (2014), manufacturing has shifted from goods oriented to a services focused industry, whereby, most of the tasks such as are inventory management are highly automated with most of the work being done by machines rather than by human beings. For instance, current purchases and supply management systems can assess the level of inventory and available suppliers to determine the correct time for ordering a particular commodity and from which supplier and automatically do so with involving direct human aid. Digital Intelligence Architecture

Rongping (2014) also indicates that increasing manufacturing systems automation elicits a lot of data, which has become a serious problem to manage due to its dynamic frequency and of course its large volume among other things. However, Wu et al (2016), argues that Big Data management has experienced enormous progress, whereby, sophisticated technological techniques of data analysis have been devised. In addition previous data related studies have revealed that manufacturing industry data possess immense potential in managing information security threats and vulnerabilities due to the level of information they provide regarding the topic. Digital Intelligence Architecture

Venter (2014) also identifies that conventional information security management techniques have focused on countering particular information security threats and vulnerability without regarding the issue as system of threats. Linton, Boyson, and Aje (2014) acknowledges that approaching information security threats as system is the most efficient way to counter threat since particular techniques can lead to disastrous attacks for instance when one of the mitigation and control measures fail. Also, Williams (2014) insists that much of previous research in manufacturing industry have not focused on analysing the industry’s information security requirements, while few have superficially covered the topic.

Therefore, there exists, a wide shortage of system wide oriented techniques and knowledge of solving information security threats. With Big Datapossessing immense information regarding manufacturing industry information security systems, development and implementation of intelligent information security systems which can analyse data and counter security threats without involving human beings is required. Digital Intelligence Architecture

4 Research Questions

RQ1: How can the extent of damage from a cyber-attack to a manufacturing system be quantified?

RQ2: Can the cyber security needs of a manufacturing enterprise be accurately ascertained from data-driven vulnerability assessments?

RQ3: How can defence mechanisms be adopted effectively to secure a manufacturing system?

RQ4: Can response to cyber-attacks on manufacturing systems be adaptive and autonomous?

5 Research Methodology

5.1 Research Methods

Quantitative and qualitative methods of research will be used simultaneously to conduct the proposed study; hence, mixed approaches will be utilized to collect primary data. The benefits of using mixed method techniques include the ability to generate adequate primary data for both qualitative and quantitative segments of the study hence assuring a wide perspective of the study topic(Creswell & Clark 2011). Reduction of biasness is another benefit of the technique since subjective-prone data from qualitative analysis can be validated using statistical analysis of the quantitative data. However, the approach possess several drawbacks such increased cost, effort, and time and the difficulty of handling large volumes of data.

Therefore, streamlining of the manufacturing industry, to identify, the right samples, which will give considerable enough information, while being cost effective, will done to counter the drawbacks of the mixed-method approach. Hence, a sample of 50 organizations will be selected from the enterprise manufacturing sector and manufacturing information system vendors, whereby, thirty of which are expected to take part in the study.

5.2 Sampling

Random sampling will be used to identify a group of employees, and management members from enterprise and information system vendors’ organization in the manufacturing industry. The expected guaranteed response rate of the random samples in this study is expected to be 90%, which will be adequate sample to generate the expected primary data. According to Creswell and Clark (2011), random sampling attracts the problem of huge population representation but aids overcoming systemic bias.

5.3 Data Collection and analysis

A systematic literature review of secondary materials such as journals, books, magazines, newspapers, and corporate reports will be conducted. Such materials will be searched for in physical libraries and digital libraries as well, whereby, Proquest, Google Scholar, EBSCOhost will be considered. Keywords such as Big Data, IOT, Manufacturing Cyber-security, manufacturing cyber-security requirements, among others, will be used to identify relevant materials on the topic.

Literature reviews play a vital role in convenient study work support, without having to perform resource intensive quantitative research. Additionally, the reviews will aid in generating adequate knowledge to familiarize with the subject of study. Close-ended questionnaires, and semi structured interviews will be used to collect quantitative and qualitative primary data, whereby, questionnaires will focus on acquiring quantitative data, while interviews will be used to gather quantitative data. Analysis of the qualitative data will be done by categorizing the lengthy interview statements into evident themes or groups, whereby inferences can be drawn. Quantitative data will be analysed using statistical tools such SPSS and MS Excel.

6 Research Motivation

Considering the paradigm shift in the manufacturing industry from the product-focused to service-oriented manufacturing organizations due to immense potential that the latter possesses, the study will focus on the information security requirements, such as managing the ever increasing attacks for instance, denial of service attacks and reducing vulnerabilities, of the modern manufacturing[H2] . In addition, acknowledging that service oriented manufacturing heavily relies on automated process, which pose a high risk of cyber-attacks, the proposed research will focus on understanding cyber-security in the state-of-the-art manufacturing.

Specifically, the emergence of robust technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big-Data, which introduce new opportunities and risks such as improved AI and cyber-attacks respectively, is one of the motivationshere; service-oriented manufacturing will be perceived in the context of such information technology capabilities. In this regard, ways to develop digital intelligence architecture, which rely on data to provide improved cyber security in the manufacturing sector will be explored in the proposed study. Specifically, the proposed research will examine the possibility of using data-driven techniques to quantify requirements of cyber security, develop efficient defence mechanisms, create adaptive and autonomous response techniques, and assess the damage of cyber-attacks in manufacturing.

7 Scope and Limitations

The study will primarily focus on developing a data driven information security system, with digital intelligence capabilities, to counter ever increasing cyber-security threats in the manufacturing industry. In that regard, the study will seek to understand effective strategies for cyber-attack effects on manufacturing system quantification and establish cyber-security requirements in a manufacturing oriented business. Further, the research aims at outlining a working defence architecture for manufacturing systems and create an independent and adaptive cyber-attack security architecture for quick recovery in case of attacks in the manufacturing systems. Finally, the study will consider validating the proposed framework and model. Digital Intelligence Architecture

In pursuit of the above, the study will identify an adequate sample of manufacturing industries with automated services especially purchases and supply chains. Further, some manufacturing industry system developers will be considered. Finally, the study will analyse previous studies conducted less than ten years ago. With that kind of approach, it is expected that adequate information will be generated to enable valid conclusions regarding the research gap identified in this proposal. However, several challenges are expected in the process of undertaking the task.

One of the major limitations of the study most of the areas that will be considered, such as Big Data and IoT, are very dynamic ;hence, are changing at a very high speed due to the level of investment in terms of research and finance that the fields are getting (Babiceanu & Seker 2016).Therefore, if such changes are too much, they might make the study conclusions irrelevant because they will not reflect the situation on the ground, especially if they take place within the time of carrying out of research. In addition, the issue of dynamic technologies being factored in the study will affect the time that its conclusion will remain relevant.

Sampling is another limitation of the study, whereby, identifying an adequate sample to represent the entire manufacturing industry will is not possible; hence, the findings might not represent the entire industry. According to Boyson (2014) manufacturing industry is so diverse such that acquiring a good representation of every firm might take large samples; hence, studies involving such samples might take large amount of time to conduct. Therefore, the study will have to use streamlining techniques whereby realistic samples can be achieved to conduct the research. 

8 Literature Review

8.1 Overview of Literature Review

This section will involve reviewing of the existing literature related to cyber security in the manufacturing sector to identify the possibility of using data driven techniques to prevent, and effectively responding to cyber-attacks incidences. Peer reviewed journal articles are considered the best sources provide information related to business continuity in the manufacturing industry. The selecting of databases was done based on relevance to the study area. In addition, a number of accessed resources databases were re-categorised and reviewed for easy organisation, among which are: Digital Intelligence Architecture

Table 1: Resource Database Listing

 Digital LibrariesScopus, IeeeXplore, ACM, Web of Science, Google Scholars.
 Electronic ResourcesElsevier Science Journal, Springer Journals.

Table 2: Research method for scientific references

No.Review TermsParameters
 Search Terms(Cyber Security * AND Data-Driven * AND Manufacturing *) AND (Cyber Security and Big Data* AND Manufacturing*). Cyber Security – Data-Driven Cyber Security – Big Data Security – Cyber-Physical Security – Manufacturing Cyber Security
 Review Date   Resources with publication dates from 2013-2017.
 Relevance      Resources listed as far as the first forty.
 Language       Resources with publication in English Language.
 Authorship      Resources with clearly indicated authors.
 Referencing   Journal papers.

Figure 1 Resource Database Documents by year

Figure 2 Resource Database Documents by subject area

8.2 Content Review

The review was done based on four major areas of manufacturing security as noted from current literatures. These include

  1. Theories related to data driven strategies and cyber security.
    1. Game Theory for Cyber Security
    1. Deterrence Theory and Cyberspace.
  2. Quantifying the Damage of Cyber Attacks.
  3. Ascertaining Cyber Security Requirements.
  4. Adaptive and Autonomous Response to Cyber Attacks.

A summarised representation of the reviewed papers and application areas are presented in table below:

Table 3: Elements considered in the research

NPaperAuthorsElements considered in the research
IntroductionTheories Related to Data Driven Strategies and Cyber SecurityQuantifying the Damage of Cyber AttacksAscertaining Cyber Security RequirementsAdaptive and Autonomous Response to Cyber AttacksOverview and Open Research Areas
Game Theory for Cyber SecurityDeterrence Theory and Cyberspace
 Review of cybersecurity issues in industrial critical infrastructure: manufacturing in perspectiveAni and Tiwari (2017)P P   
 Big Data and virtualization for manufacturing cyber-physical systems: A survey of the current status and future outlookBabiceanu and Seker (2016) P  P There is the issue of cyber security, whereby, defense architecture based on game theory.
 Cyber supply chain risk management: Revolutionizing the strategic control of critical IT systemsBoyson (2014) P P  Strategies based on game theory to information and cyber security issues is attracting immense interest to establish the nature of warfare between attackers and defenders
 Smart Cities as Cyber-Physical Social SystemsCassandras (2016)   P  Cyber risks estimation may never become an accurate science, the understanding of the reasons that cyber risks forecasts are inefficient is improving
 The impact of cyber-physical systems on industrial services in manufacturingHerterich et al (2015)P     Manufacturing firms have focused on selling tangible products
 Cyber security in the supply chain: A perspective from the insurance industryKeegan (2014) P PP Information technology and infrastructure has made significant milestones in the recent past, thereby providing fresh opportunities.Effective security solutions
 Subspace Methods for Data Attack on State Estimation: A Data Driven ApproachKim, Tong and Thomas (2015)   P  Cyber risks highly depends on the type of business nuclear (outage, insurer)
 Research letter: Issues of cyber supply chain security in KoreaKim and Im (2014)  P   Build robust defence mechanisms, which might make attackers to stand down, knowing the cost of attacking is higher compared to the benefits realized.Focuses on retaliation, when an attack occurs.
 Industrial automation based on cyber-physical systems technologies: Prototype implementations and challengesLeitão, Colombo and Karnouskos (2016)PPP  PCyber security teams in an organization not only need the results of raw scanning, but also are required to establish, which vulnerabilities compose a real threat
 The challenge of cyber supply chain security to research and practice–An introduction’Linton, Boyson and Aje (2014)   P  Varying games have been built in a bid to illustrate different demands for effective information warfare approaches.
 Attack tolerant architecture for big data file systemsMadan and Banik (2014)  P   Cyber and land possess immense similarities in that entry barriers are minimal, there are numerous players, and there exists a concealment loophole
 A Deep Convolutional Neural Network for Anomalous Online Forum Incident ClassificationPomponiu and Thing (2017)   P  There exists no organization, which can eliminate cyber risks.Business have to adopt the correct choices concerning cyber threats, acknowledging that risk mitigation is critical.
 Data-driven analytics for cyber-threat intelligence and information sharingQatar et al. (2017)   P  The cyber risks is the most critical asset a company can possess.Understanding lower and upper boundaries of risks requires gathering of the general business, operational, and technical data, which can be modelled against the possible risks
 Security in the cyber supply chain: A Chinese perspectiveRongping and Yonggang (2014)   PP Companies can estimate the percentage of customers that they will lose in future due to cyber-attacks.Organizations can use past incidences to identify applications with the highest risks.
 Security issues in the security cyber supply chain in South AfricaVenter (2014)P    PThe modern organization faces numerous vulnerabilities across the networked applications and infrastructure.
 Security in the cyber supply chain: Is it achievable in a complex, interconnected world?Williams (2014)PPPP PGame theoretic techniques are used conduct tactical analysis of existing options to respond to a cyber-threat

8.3 Theories Related to Data Driven Strategies and Cyber Security

There exists several theories related to cyber security, which are very helpful in understanding the requirements of cyber security that include risk mitigation approaches, defence mechanisms, and attack response strategies, among others. An in-depth discussion of such theories is provided below. Digital Intelligence Architecture

According to Keegan (2014), information technology and infrastructure has made significant milestones in the recent past, thereby providing fresh opportunities; however, complete security is yet to be achieved in the cyberspace. While there exist effective security solutions, they are ad hoc (focus on particular problems, which they designed to address) and do not possess a framework for quantitative decision-making; therefore, they fail to adequately respond to dynamic scenario.

With regard to the above information, Babiceanu and Seker (2016) proposed a holistic approach to the issue of cyber security, whereby, defense architecture based on game theory were found to possess immense potential regarding information system security. Boyson (2014) explains game theory as mathematical language to describe strategic interactions and possible outcomes. Strategies based on game theory to information and cyber security issues is attracting immense interest to establish the nature of warfare between attackers and defenders. Williams (2014) explains that game theoretic techniques are used conduct tactical analysis of existing options to respond to a cyber-threat. Leitão, Colombo and Karnouskos (2016) also notes that varying games have been built in a bid to illustrate different demands for effective information warfare approaches. Digital Intelligence Architecture

The department of computer science, Memphis University, proposed one of the game theory based solutions, known as GIDA (Game Inspired Defence Architecture). The department proposed a semi-autonomous architecture for cyber-security that was supposed to leverage a game theory to fight cyber-attacks. In the architecture, the system administrator was supposed to take a “carrot and stick” strategy to prevent an adversary.

The carrot a stick strategy is policy providing punishment and rewards to induce the adversary behaviour. A game model was the brain of the GIDA, which was supposed to choose the countermeasure after an in-depth analysis reward and cost. The game model was not attack or countermeasure specific. The department also envisioned wrapping a self-testing software module over particular parts of the system, consisting of, trade-off among the security, performance, and cost. Digital Intelligence Architecture

The solution envisioned by Memphis University also was supposed to be a distributed architecture having three parts: an administrative console, a group of game agents including the central coordinator, and a dynamic honey net. The three parts interacted in a semi-autonomous manner to offer a means of identifying, evaluating, and acting upon net flows. Particularly, the honey net offered a way of redirecting malicious flows to the honey pots instantiated dynamically to observe malicious activity and its forensic data. The administrative console was designed to offer a user interface, which allowed network state data correlation, conduct forensic of the data related to the honeypot, offer a messaging channel, and configure varying parts of the system.

According to Williams (2014), AVOIDIT is cyber security concept using a game theory, particularly a cyber-attack taxonomy offering attack vectors classification to enhance defenders with the dissemination of defence mechanisms. Memphis University utilizes five classifiers in the characterization of an attack’s nature that are classification by the target of attack, attack vector, operational impact, defence and informational impact. The solution is presented in a tree-like structure, for proper classification of common vulnerabilities, and vectors of attack utilized to launch cyber-attacks. The design of AVOIDIT was expected to provide a base for cyber security community and enhance continuous growth as defences and attacks become more complicated. Digital Intelligence Architecture

Memphis University expected AVOIDIT to become a repository schema for knowledge management system (KMS) in a local network. KMS exploits the ability of utilizing knowledge from experts and previous data to come up with a system where sharing of information in the entire organization is possible. The objective of the concept is to come up with an organization, that is, attack resilient in all of its functional areas. Knowledge management was expected to enhance accurate flow of attack data within the organization. The knowledge management system for the AVOID it classifier was designed to utilize a GIDA (Game Theoretic Inspired Architecture) system for the investigation of action attacker and defender action space determination applicability. KMS for AVOIDIT was expected to enhance integration of attack information into GIDA to enhance easy location of relevant defence approaches by the game agents.

During the cold war, the preferred popular framework for military doctrine and analysis to explain nuclear weapons influence and to conclude that nuclear powers, would not conflict with each other due to the fear of the consequences. Since then, the theoretical framework to cyberspace, as cyber deterrence. While the domains have some similar characteristics; for instance, the offensive advantage, acknowledging the difficulty and costliness of defence, there exist significant differences.

Deterrence theory dates back to the 1920s and 30s when the first flight bombers were regarded as unstoppable using the defensive mechanisms. Strategists thought that huge attacks on one’s city would only be prevented, if the opponents feared counterattacks with similar magnitude, which is known as deterrence by punishment. Convincing the opponents that their objective will be denied, in case they attack is another approach of deterrence, also known as deterrence by denial. Digital Intelligence Architecture

According to Kim and Im (2014), deterrence theory occurs in two approaches, whereby the first one is build robust defence mechanisms, which might make attackers to stand down, knowing the cost of attacking is higher compared to the benefits realized. The second approach focuses on retaliation, when an attack occurs. However, Leitão, Colombo and Karnouskos (2016) argues that the approach is not very popular in the cyber space due to the problem of identifying the source of attack.

Williams (2014) also adds that the problem of unmasking the source is a major obstacle to the applicability of the approach because digital domain naturally lenders itself to anonymity. Therefore, Williams (2014) indicates that the issue of unmasking the source attracts the third component of deterrence in the cyber space, which is known as attribution. The attribution approach of deterrence postulates a three-pronged strategy, acknowledging that responses vary between non-state and state actors. According to Madan and Banik (2014), cyber and land possess immense similarities in that entry barriers are minimal, there are numerous players, and there exists a concealment loophole. However, Ani and Tiwari (2017) indicates that cyber is also different from land in that the geographic separation between the attacker and the defender can be very large. Hence, combining the geographic separation problem and the issue of concealment, results to an immense difficulty in the attribution approach, which may diminish the fear of retaliation in the cyber world. Therefore, the first line of approach should be developing a robust defence, which is a combination of strong software and hardware to make attacks almost impossible. The second approach should be dealing with the few possible attacks in a retaliatory manner. Digital Intelligence Architecture

 Cyber breaches might be the most expensive threats to companies; however, there exists few firms, which can estimate the cyber risks exposure. According to Linton, Boyson and Aje (2014), most of the companies rely on qualitative methods such as ‘heat maps’, which provide a low or high description of risks, using vague estimates, whereby the frequent small and rare large losses are lumped up together. Williams (2014) notes that such kind of an approach cannot assist managers to accurately estimate the cost of risks; hence, establishing where to invest in terms of cyber security is not possible. Therefore; in most cases, corporations adopt the wrong cyber security capabilities and obtain inadequate insurance protection to the cyber risks.

Pomponiu and Thing (2017) notes that there exists no organization which can eliminate cyber risks; hence, business have to adopt the correct choices concerning cyber threats, acknowledging that risk mitigation is critical. Cassandras (2016) indicates that, although, cyber risks estimation may never become an accurate science, the understanding of the reasons that cyber risks forecasts are inefficient is improving. Digital Intelligence Architecture

According to Qatar et al. (2017), accurate estimation of the cyber risks is the most critical asset a company can possess. Qatar et al. (2017) also notes that cyber risks fall into two categories that are those related to services shutdown, and that compromise data that range from corporate secrets, bank accounts, to sensitive data. Kim, Tong and Thomas (2015) also notes that estimating cyber risks highly depends on the type of business; for instance, a utility company’s biggest risk might be a nuclear outage, while insurer firm may be hacking or losing data. Digital Intelligence Architecture

Qatar et al. (2017) also notes that understanding lower and upper boundaries of risks requires gathering of the general business, operational, and technical data, which can be modelled against the possible risks. Keegan (2014) notes that, utilizing external and internal data related to business and operations, companies can be able to estimate probable and maximum losses for a period of one to three years, in similar manner as estimating future revenues. In addition, Rongping and Yonggang (2014), notes that companies can also estimate the percentage of customers that they will lose in future due to cyber-attacks, or the level of stock valuation due to bad reputation in case of a an attack. Organizations can also use past incidences to identify applications with the highest risks.

Therefore, although challenging, quantifying of cyber risks is feasible using data oriented techniques. Most companies, especially in the manufacturing industries should drop the inaccurate qualitative techniques and adopt data related methods of risks analysis. Using data related techniques companies can budget for the future attacks because they can achieve a smaller margin of error in estimating the costs of future attacks compared to the past.

According Keegan (2014), the current methodologies for assessing risk fail to fit real in the wild attack data, while the post attack risk mitigation techniques are have more impacts, are highly dangerous to the organization, and increasingly costly compared to pre disaster mitigation techniques. With the current techniques that are based on (CVSS) Common Vulnerability Scoring System possessing several fatal flaws, new mechanisms, probably data driven techniques, are required. Digital Intelligence Architecture

Babiceanu and Seker (2016) notes that for an organization to utilize the plethora of data to adopt intelligent decisions, which reduce the risk to infrastructure and applications, there are several things that must be done to enhance action ability and value ability of such information. One such action is correlating and cleaning the vulnerability scanner data whereby the False Positives are extracted from the vulnerability assessment results by testing out probable exploits while utilizing multiple sources of data to flag possible False Negatives. When the best solution is established for each security layer; the probability of landing on a specific vulnerability multiple times and identified by varying sources increases. In addition, chances of having multiple vulnerabilities being flagged on multiple fields of the same category increases; hence, the developer can solve a number of problems using one fix.

The next step of making data valuable and actionable is correlating between disparate data sources, which involves techniques such as data mining vulnerability assessment, reviewing of results, and penetration testing. Since the ultimate goal is to come up with an automated and intelligent solution that can solve multiple security issues, action number three involves relating asset groups of risks to each other. Action 3 enhances understanding of existing risks to a particular platform through mapping of the platform’s assets together, including related security vulnerabilities.  Rongping and Yonggang (2014) indicates that developing of intelligent systems for cyber security using the steps described above, heavily relies on data, whereby the understanding of the requirements is highly understood. For instance, step one, which involves removing of False Negatives, increases the understanding of system requirements, whereby the relevant on ones are separated with the least relevant, while step three improves the understanding of cyber-security platforms requirements through mapping of vulnerability and risks involved. Digital Intelligence Architecture

According to Venter (2014), the modern organization faces numerous vulnerabilities across the networked applications and infrastructure; however, only a few vulnerabilities cause most of internet breaches. The real-time risk, which a specific vulnerability poses to a company, is highly critical compared to its density, volume, and previous rankings. Leitão, Colombo and Karnouskos (2016) insists that cyber security teams in an organization not only need the results of raw scanning, but also are required to establish, which vulnerabilities compose a real threat.

Williams (2014) indicates that serious cyber security teams assess risk across the entire asset layers such as host and networks, applications, and databases. Williams (2014) also explains that most organizations dealing with a considerable large environment are not struggling with managing data from vulnerability penetration test, assessment, and modelling of threats to fix critical sections first.

According to Leitão, Colombo and Karnouskos (2016), there exist no cyber-security threat defence mechanism that can guarantee total security free of attacks. Therefore, adaptive and autonomous techniques to respond to attacks when they happen are required, whereby; the time taken to recover from disasters should be as minimum as possible. Venter (2014) also insists that response mechanisms should be able to learn from an attack to prevent similar attacks in future. Such response mechanisms get better in terms of efficiency as they encounter more and more attacks. Digital Intelligence Architecture

9 Research Documentations

9.1 Work Plan

9.1.1 Subsection Heading (use Heading 3)

9.2 Section Heading (use Heading 2)

9.2.1 Subsection Heading (use Heading 3)


Ani, U. P. D., He, H. (Mary) and Tiwari, A. (2016) ‘Review of cybersecurity issues in industrial critical infrastructure: manufacturing in perspective’, Journal of Cyber Security Technology. Taylor & Francis, 0(0), pp. 1–43. doi: 10.1080/23742917.2016.1252211.

Babiceanu, R. F. and Seker, R. (2016) ‘Big Data and virtualization for manufacturing cyber-physical systems: A survey of the current status and future outlook’, Computers in Industry. Elsevier B.V., 81, pp. 128–137. doi: 10.1016/j.compind.2016.02.004.

Boyson, S. (2014) ‘Cyber supply chain risk management: Revolutionizing the strategic control of critical IT systems’, Technovation. Elsevier, 34(7), pp. 342–353. doi: 10.1016/j.technovation.2014.02.001.

Cassandras, C. G. (2016) ‘Smart Cities as Cyber-Physical Social Systems’, Engineering. THE AUTHORS, 2(2), pp. 156–158. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/J.ENG.2016.02.012.

Herterich, M. M., Uebernickel, F. and Brenner, W. (2015) ‘The Impact of Cyber-physical Systems on Industrial Services in Manufacturing’, Procedia CIRP. Elsevier B.V., 30, pp. 323–328. doi: 10.1016/j.procir.2015.02.110.

Keegan, C. (2014) ‘Cyber security in the supply chain: A perspective from the insurance industry’, Technovation. Elsevier, 34(7), pp. 380–381. doi: 10.1016/j.technovation.2014.02.002.

Kim, J., Tong, L., Thomas, R. J. and Fellow, L. (2015) ‘Subspace Methods for Data Attack on State Estimation : A Data Driven Approach’, 63(5), pp. 1102–1114.

Kim, K. C. and Im, I. (2014) ‘Research letter: Issues of cyber supply chain security in Korea’, Technovation, 34(7), pp. 387–388. doi: 10.1016/j.technovation.2014.01.003.

Leitão, P., Colombo, A. W. and Karnouskos, S. (2016) ‘Industrial automation based on cyber-physical systems technologies: Prototype implementations and challenges’, Computers in Industry, 81, pp. 11–25. doi: 10.1016/j.compind.2015.08.004.

Linton, J. D., Boyson, S. and Aje, J. (2014) ‘The challenge of cyber supply chain security to research and practice – An introduction’, Technovation, 34(7), pp. 339–341. doi: 10.1016/j.technovation.2014.05.001.

Madan, B. B. and Banik, M. (2014) ‘Attack Tolerant Architecture for Big Data File Systems’, ACM SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review, 41(4), pp. 65–69. doi: 10.1145/2627534.2627556.

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explain what is the huge threat?

 [H2]explain the requirements of the modern manufacturing?

Network Design and Management

Network Design and Management Trends


            In 2016, virtualization for the second year in row was among most searched topic on Google. The popularity can be attributed to meteoric rise of container related services such as Docker and continued increase in popularity in cloud platforms. In 2015, virtualization also was on top of the chart as one of the technologies to watch. A closer look of the technologies that enhance virtualization can aid in understanding of the increased popularity of the technology(Yamanaka, Kawai & Shimojo, 2016). Network Design and Management

            Docker and VMWare.Discussion about hypervisors and containers was constantly high in 2016; the discussion intensified when Docker partnered with, Google, Red Hat, canonical, parallels, and Microsoft in 2015. The partnership evoked a lot of debate with some people arguing that the time of Hypervisors is over and that of containers has begun. Some people are also of the view that hypervisors are going nowhere(Yamanaka, Kawai & Shimojo, 2016).

            It is true that Containers are light and VMs are heavy, and the technology horse race between Containers and VMwares puts both of the tools at odds with each another. However, the technologies are varying tools, which can complement or supplement each other provided they are used for the correct task. The debate between these tools has tremendously increased the popularity of virtualization from the beginning of 2014 until the end of 2015(Bianco, Bestak & Norros, 2016).

            Hybrid Cloud Strategies. In 2015, RightScale a hybrid cloud company reported that eighty-two percent of businesses have a hybrid cloud, which was an improvement from seventy-four percent in 2014. Cloud hybridization trends are attributable to the fact that virtualization only cannot make a cloud. According to the RightScale director, virtualization is only a foundation for cloud and hence cloud hybridization is required to create a complete functional cloud(“Application Aware Routing in SDN”, 2015).

            Some of the of hybrid cloud strategies include the ability to keep critical resources such as user files and details in a private cloud, utilize the public cloud for less critical functions, or  combine both of the capabilities. The hybrid cloud approaches depend on the user requirements for compliance, in-house team, security, and budget. According to lief Morin, any cloud solution adopted by an organization demands the information technology team to proceed with the cloud education, hence in 2016, IT professionals had to continue with cloud training and searching for information related to the technology(Yamanaka, Kawai & Shimojo, 2016). Network Design and Management

            Storage Virtualization. The purpose of storage virtualization is to create large pool of resources that are accessible by the end users on-demand. Heavy lifting in the background without the users’ knowledge is enhanced by the technology due to the existence of numerous physical storage spread across a vast geographical area. Changes in hardware created a need for the shift of professional roles, for instance the network administration is gradually shifting to data management hence creating a need for training. The training includes information about virtualization hence increasing the popularity of the subject on search engines(Yamanaka, Kawai & Shimojo, 2016).

            The increase in demand for hybrid cloud technology and other related tools from 2015 to 2016 account for the improved popularity of virtualization, which is the foundation for cloud, from 2014. Therefore, it can be assumed that people looking for information about cloud technology tools such as VMware, Dockers, and Hybrid cloud technology also searched for virtualization. Since companies, which have adopted cloud strategies require that their IT professionals continue looking for more information about the technology, it is clear that these people searched for virtualization hence increasing its popularity from 2014 to 2016(Yamanaka, Kawai & Shimojo, 2016).

            The interest by region map on virtualization (See the appendices section) shows that virtualization was most popular in India followed by USA. The interest in virtualization by both of the countries can be explained by the fact thatIT companies from USA market and outsource skills from India. USA having been with cloud computing for a while now, their focus is gradually shifting to other fields while in India the topic is still hot. Virtualization lags behind compared to SDN and wireless network because the technology has been around for a while and people have shifted focus to other emerging cloud related technologies(A.P & Sakthivel, 2015). Network Design and Management

Wireless Networks

            Wireless LAN (WLAN). In 2016, there was a continuous flow of WLAN (wireless local area network) developments, which made the subject trend almost throughout the year. For instance, MIT researchers released a technology for indoor positioning of Wi-Fi, which enabled access point to spot individuals within a distance of inches of their locations, which is a potential milestone for small businesses that cannot afford the-location based services. Cisco also unveiled a unique multigigabit switch hosted on cloud and increased desk phones and access points for Meraki wireless unit. Such development and many other led to an increased public curiosity that resulted to an increase in number of google queries hence made the topic to trend through-out the year. Notably the release of the wireless LAN products has been constant since 2014 hence creating a constant popularity of the mobile networks(A.P & Sakthivel, 2015).

            Mobiles Networks. The year 2016 also recorded some activities about mobile networking especially the 5G technology. The 2016 summer experienced a focus on the new 5G technology whereby AT&T using a different approach compared to Verizon in the next-gen cellular service. Aruba, which is a business on Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Company created a new and the first mobile platform that is based on application programming interfaces from a combination of six network products. The interest on the mobile networks has been increasing from 2014 to 2016(A.P & Sakthivel, 2015).

            Operating Systems. The introduction of mobile phones with sophisticated operating systems created a lot of interest about wireless network. One such development is the release of Microsoft windows phones. The windows smartphone wasreleased in 2011 following a partnership between Microsoft and Nokia. In 2014, Microsoft Corporation acquired Nokia and increased production of the smartphones. The release of the windows increased the popularity of the wireless network(A.P & Sakthivel, 2015).

            From interest by region, map (see the appendices) the interest of the wireless was at a 100 high since 2014 when the windows phone was released. Most of the keywords and phrases searched are related to the windows phone. The high popularity of the wireless network in china can be attributed to the robust mobile phones industry in china and the fact that the Microsoftwindow is not so popular in china. The wireless network popularity in the comparison graph is between SDN and virtualization. The technology has maintained almost a constant popularity even when there are no new operating systems being released due to the emerging developments such as the ones discussed above(“Application Aware Routing in SDN”, 2015). Network Design and Management

Software Defined Networks (SDN)

            Software Defined Wide Area Network (SDWAN). SDN is finding a lot of applicability in wide area networks where the technology is used to minimize latency. Prior to SDN technology invention Network Architects were facing many challenges in connecting remote sites while utilizing few number of connectivity choices. Limited choices always led to bottlenecks, connections because of sparked outages, and increased latency. Existing WAN technologies were not adequate to solve the issue due to lack of end-to-end visibility. SD-WAN solved the issue by centralizing the control pane of the WAN hence enabledchoosing of the most optimal routes possible(A.P & Sakthivel, 2015).

            Software Defined Local Area Network (SDLAN). SDN is also creating a lot of interest as regards applicability to the local area network whereby the technology is expected to create many improvements. SDN is expected to enhance a complete end-to-end LAN with automated intelligence for provisioning and routing. The increase in demand of the SDN in the local area networks has also played a very big role in the increased popularity of the software-definednetwork, which translate to increased searches on google(Yamanaka, Kawai & Shimojo, 2016).

Data Center. The data center is another area where massive deployment of SDN components is taking place whereby the technology assists in eliminating the need for manual provisioning of new applications, services and other network functions. SDN also assists in ensuring that data flows can be automated at a granularity level unseen before. Applicability of SDN in the Data center since 2014 is also a very big contributor to the popularity of the technology(Yamanaka, Kawai & Shimojo, 2016).

            The increased in popularity of SDN is attributable to the increase in applicability in data center, LAN, and WAN. From the interest by region (see the appendices), SDN is most searched in USA reason being that the technology is new hence not popular in other areas. United States also has vast computer coverage involving various WANs and millions of LANs, hence explain the interest of the technology in the region. The comparison graph (see the appendices) shows that the most popular networking technology is SDN. SDN popularity can be attributed to its ability to solve various network problems and the fact that it is new hence creating a lot interest from people who need information about the technology. Network Design and Management

Past Trends in Networking

Computer networking technologies in the past focused on the hardware, software, and networking speed. Many innovations were made regarding networking hardware such as cables, servers, routers, switches among others(Yamanaka, Kawai & Shimojo, 2016).

. The focus of most of the hardware such as fiber optic cables was to increase speed and the size of data communicated. Software and hardware mostly focused on protocols, routing and switching. Computer hardware companies had a booming business whereby it came up with sophisticated devices such as servers, routers, and switching (A.P & Sakthivel, 2015).

Modern Trends in Networking       

From the above analysis of network trends for the past three years shows the modern trends in networking are focusing on the software, code, and open systems. The report shows that virtualization, a cloud computing technology, was very popular for the past three years with technologies such as containers and hypervisors being hot topics over the duration. Storage virtualization has also been popular for a while now.

            Cloud technologies such as hybridization are also becoming popular topics in computer networking today. Most of services previously performed on-site such as security are currently possible on cloud through technologies such as software-as-a-service, in the modern world(A.P & Sakthivel, 2015). While software for cloud technology is reducing in size hence requiring no improvement in hardware it is also becoming extremely sophisticated. SDN is also increasing in popularity in the modern world where it is applicable in both LANs and WANs. SDN, which is basically a technology based on network software is highly improving networking whether LANs and WANs(A.P & Sakthivel, 2015).

            Currently the world is also moving towards a sophisticated internet of things where almost every electronic device on earth will be connected to a large network. In the report, it is evident that this topic is trending currently whereby Wi-Fi which can recognize the presence of people by MIT. From the technologies discussed above it is clear that modern networking has become a large open system.


A.P, Jyothi and Usha Sakthivel. “Trends And Technologies Used For Mitigating Energy Efficiency Issues In Wireless Sensor Network”. International Journal of Computer Applications 111.3 (2015): 32-40. Web.

“Application Aware Routing In SDN”. International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) 4.12 (2015): 1977-1978. Web.

Bianco, Andrea, Robert Bestak, and Ilkka Norros. “Special Session on Selected Papers From Networking 2015”. Computer Communications 84 (2016): 39. Web.

Yamanaka, Hiroaki, Eiji Kawai, and Shinji Shimojo. “A Technique For Full Flow Virtualization Of Multi-Tenant Openflow Networks”. Computer Networks 102 (2016): 1-19. Web.


A Comparison of Virtualization, Wireless Network, and SDN Trends

An Interest by Region Map

Virtualization Interest by Region Map

SDN Interest by Region Map

Wireless Network Interest by Region Map