Volume 21, Issue 2 (2020) Focus on Technology

December 15, 2020

Dear Readers,

It gives us great pleasure to launch the second issue of the Mountain Plains Journal of Business and Technology (MPJBT). After nineteen years as the Mountain Plains Journal of Business and Economics, the journal was renamed and moved to the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) in 2019 where a year was devoted to relaunching the journal in its new incarnation. The journal is made possible by the sponsorship of UNK’s College of Business and Technology, and UNK’s Library. The first issue under the new name was published in June 2020.

This second issue of MPJBT places emphasis on Technology as it affects businesses and organizations. The first article examines the state of telecommunications technology in rural areas of the USA. Readers with deep interest and concerns about the digital divide between rural and urban America will find the scholarly work by Drs. Obermier and Hollman most informational.

The article on Ransomware addresses a most timely and significant technological threat faced by all businesses and organizations – ransomware. In June 2020, the University of California, San Francisco forked out $1.14 million to hackers with access to students’ data. In August of 2020, the University of Utah paid $400,000 to hackers as ransom to gain back access to sensitive data. Garmin paid $10 million ransom to hackers who deployed WastedLocker. And the list goes on! Rough estimates place the total ransoms paid to hackers at $144 million in the first half of 2020. Drs. Hamlin and Frost share their research findings on the subject and recommend thirteen specific solutions to assist organizations when dealing with ransomware.

Dr. Bani speaks to a technology underpinning a convenience that most organizations and individuals use without giving it a second thought – cloud storage. His paper offers an overview of the technology of cloud computing and discusses its boons and banes in the context of enterprise environments. Bani’s article will enlighten and educate academics, business managers, IT managers, and higher education decision makers on the adoption and implementation of cloud computing in their organizations.

One paper is an outlier! It explores the impact of Walmart on the Finance and Insurance industry. Using Walmart as a prime example, Drs. Hall, Hayes, and Swinney illustrate that businesses strongly influence the level of social capital within the community.

Our next issue is slated for publication in June 2021. It seeks scholarly works on pedagogical and administrative aspects in higher education in general, and business education, more specifically. The issue seeks topics related to implications of new technologies on any or all aspects of business education, case studies of innovative curriculum in business and technology education, strategies and solutions to recruiting the digital natives, talent acquisition to lead universities in the coming decades, etc. You will see the related Call for Papers in this issue.

MPJBT is an open-access journal and all articles are downloadable. We have archived all previous publications from Volume 1 to Volume 16 in the journal under its former title, and we are still working on archiving volumes 17 through 20. You will find this issue’s publications and all the archived materials at https://openspaces.unk.edu/mpjbt/

Dr. Sri Seshadri, Ph.D.

Dr. Larry Carstenson, J.D.


Empirical Research


Walmart Impact on the Finance and Insurance Industry
Steven C. Hall, Suzanne K. Hayes, and Laurie Swinney

Industry Note

Call for Papers

Mountain Plains Journal of Business and Technology, volume 21 issue 2,

Editorial Board

Sri Seshadri, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Associate Editor
Larry Carstenson, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Copy Editor
Melissa Amateis, University of Nebraska
Publishing Editor
Laurinda Weisse, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Board Members
Tim Jares, Dean of the College of Business and Technology, Professor of Finance, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Vani Kotcherlakota, Emeritus Professor, Economics, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Kay Hodge, Emeritus Professor, Business Ethics, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Nacasius Ujah, Asst. Professor, Finance, South Dakota State University

Alan Hamlin, Professor, Management, Southern Utah University

Robert Houghton, Asst. Professor, Business Informatics, Idaho State University

Stoyu Ivanov, Professor, Finance, San Jose State University
Cover design courtesy of Todd Jensen.