If you are setting out to do great things in your business, you will need to optimize your productivity and make sure that you are getting the most value out of your processes and provide consistent quality to your customers. Today, it is much easier to work with loads of data, thanks to the development of computer software that have the ability to give you a snapshot of every aspect of your business in real time. Below you will find a list of areas where you can make a positive difference using data analysis and technology.
When you are trying to set up your business or scale it up, you will need to have your finances in order. You don’t have to wait until the end of the month when your accountant is ready with the reports; you will now be able to generate all the charts and graphs you need to see clearer about where you stand when it comes to your finances and your future income. You can even take advantage of custom investor reporting tools to find out whether or not you are going in the right direction when funding your business projects.
If you don’t have a detailed market strategy, you will not only struggle to enter a new niche and remain competitive, but also find it hard to secure finance, because you will not have a feasible and detailed business plan. You should always do your research and identify the opportunities to reduce your risks and improve your chances of success. Gathering business intelligence on your market, customers, and your competitors will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
At the end of the day, we are all in business to make a difference in our finances and our customers’ lives. If you are not getting the financial rewards of your work, there is no point carrying on working. What was the last time you checked the profitability of your products or services? If you think it is hard work, you should think again. A simple spreadsheet will tell you how much time and resources will go into delivering the end result to your client and how you can improve your pricing to get more out of your business.
Marketing ROI Improvements
No matter if you are automating and scheduling your social media posts or outsourcing your digital marketing sales funnel development, you will need to make sure that you are getting a high enough return on investment to be worth it. There are plenty of ways you can measure the results of your campaigns and track your conversions, so you can change your strategy for the better continuously.
Product and Service Development
If you would like to enter new markets or provide new products or services to your customers, knowing the demand and trends is important. Today, you don’t have to invest in expensive research and statistical reports; most of the information is available on the internet. When it comes to product or service development, you will also need to understand the preferences and buying triggers of your target customers.
If you have employees, you will need to measure their productivity to find out whether or not they are generating more value than the resources they use. For example, if you are paying your employees 10 dollars per hour, but they only generate 7 dollars value, you will either need to find a way to improve their productivity, or change your processes so you can help them become more effective at what they are doing.
Risk Assessment and Analysis
If there is one technological trend you should embrace in your business, it is the risk assessment tools available for almost every industry. No business exists in an empty space, and this is why you will need to consider the regulatory, financial, and competitive risks when coming up with a long term strategy to move your business forward. There are plenty of risk assessment software available that will make your job as a company manager easier and prevent the disruption of service.
No matter if you are starting a brand new business or scaling up an existing one, you will need to put technology to good use and gather intelligence on your market, your customers, your competitors, and the trends, as well as the operating environment, so you can prevent risks instead of constantly managing them.
With so many tech startup successes, you may be forgiven for thinking that running this type of business is easy. However, there are plenty of potential disasters that could ruin your business chances of success. Luckily, to be forearmed is to be forewarned, so read on to find out some of the most significant issues to avoid.
You run out of funding.
You have to spend money, to make money in the tech startup world, and that means funding is key to avoiding disaster. It also means that it is crucial to find finance for each stage of the development and launch process. After all, when it comes to tech you need enough money to create your product, then refine it, and only then can you launch.
Luckily, there are several options you can use here. The most desirable one is to find an angel investor that puts up the majority of the finance that you need. Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to secure this and therefore may need to use bank business loan or even peer to peer lending products to avoid the disaster of running out of money at a crucial time.
Someone steals your creations.
Next, one of the most essential things in tech startup success is having a smart concept and executing it well. Unfortunately, once your creations hit the market, it’s easy for other business that are in competition with you to use your ideas for their own success.
Happily, even if you do experience this issue, you can use one of the many intellectual property consulting firms to deal with your case. You can even ask them to help you with litigation support, something that means you can protect your hard-earned concepts, and guard your startup against disaster.
You don’t have the right employees.
Employees are essential, no matter what type of business you run, but when it comes to tech startup you absolutely have to have the right staff to avoid failure. The reason being that you will need not only the specialists that are relevant to the field of tech you are working in but also just the right people to market and sell your product as well.
Luckily, you can maximize your chances of finding this sort of people by being proactive about your recruitment. This means making sure that you have an attractive employment package to encourage the best applicants, as well as keeping the names of good, but unsuccessful candidate on file.
You run into heavy competition.
Lastly, remember that half the appeal of setting up a tech startup is that the initial costs and time to get things off the ground is relatively small. Of course what this means is that it will also be small for your competitors, and that can be problematic.
In fact, you may start as the only business to offer your particular product or service in your industry, but there is no guarantee that things will stay that way.
To that end, it’s crucial that as well as the chief product that your business is focused around, you also have plans for expansion into other areas and markets as well. Otherwise, after a short time, your startup could be facing disaster!
What will change in programming in the following year? What should one pay more attention to in order to kickstart a career in most promising programming fields? This article would help you to find out what’s going on in programming as well as discover the latest trends in the IT field in general.
The only thing you can be completely sure of is that this industry is full of changes: there are more and more talks about machine learning, artificial intelligence, chatbots, IoT and how these technologies are used on various projects among different industries.
1. Clean Code and Technical Documentation Is a Must
This is rather a serious issue because while the number of devs is constantly increasing, it does not mean that the share of highly skilled specialists is increasing. On the contrary, careers in programming attract a lot of newbies to this field but most of them never overcome the junior level.
Regardless of what programming languages you study, whether your goal is to master Python or become a skilled Android app developer, you need to learn how to write clean code. A clean and easy-to-maintain code that other developers have no difficulty in understanding, which can be easily maintained and filled with new functionality, is the key to success.
Having the knowledge and experience to write code with comments that your colleagues can understand, you can get into the field of specialists to work on more complicated, interesting and better-sponsored projects.
3. Functional Programming Is Back!
Functional programming is not a brand new term, but it makes a serious return in 2018. Not a surprise, because in 2017 it has already become one of the largest development trends in programming.
Currently, parallel data processing and work with large data streams or so-called Big Data brings up a lot of issues. By using different streams you can process different data at the same time and, as a result, get the desired result in a split second, which is very critical in the real world. Also, do not forget about decentralized (distributed) computing like blockchain-based technologies and others. This is exactly when the functional code is best suited due to all the principles of functional programming (such as pure functions, for example). The use of all the basic techniques of FP facilitates parallel code execution and support.
In addition, if earlier functional programming was used only for solving specific problems, now it is used even on classical projects. From which we can safely conclude: large IT companies do not have to doubt about the use of functional programming. Although functional programming is certainly advanced technology, it includes languages such as Haskell, Scala, and Clojure
4. Material Design Skills Are in Demand
Every novice web developer should learn the tactics of design and user experience (UX), especially if there is interest in this. The best UI starts with the right approach to front-end development. In the majority of cases, the same specialist is doing both design and development unless the project is too comprehensive and time is a top priority.
In the case of this kind of design, user actions are the focus. All interactions occur in the same environment, interactive objects without interruption of the sequence are transferred from one medium to another. Now Material Design is a set of user-friendly design standards and was developed back in 2014. This approach is characterized by fashionable minimalism and flexible scaling for different screen sizes.
Material Design is a story about the functionality and each UI element meaning. According to this principle, it is important to focus on the main user interface elements in order to direct the user in the right way. Material Design focuses on usability, not just good design in general. Its principles can be the best starting point for creating an application that will conquer a huge audience with its grace and convenience.
5. Backend as a Service
Web developers face increasing demand to create attractive applications for multiple platforms at once: web, Android, and iOS, standalone Backend as a Service (BaaS) is becoming an increasingly popular tool for increasing efficiency. According to CenturyLink, the main prerequisite for BaaS is the development of “API-first”: an API is first created to serve as a basis for creating various mobile platforms (iOS, Android, etc.).
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in the Banking Industry
Thanks to the implementation of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, the banking industry will increase the value of the business by $1 billion before the end of 2020. The total global turnover of cryptocurrencies has grown to $155 billion in the past year. The market can grow even faster if banks would start applying new financial technologies sooner.
Gartner advises all businesses, not just banks, to take into account that crypto-money will soon reach the same level with fiat money. Analysts recommend starting the reform of payment systems, changing the approach to collecting taxes and setting prices for goods and services.
Internet of Things Is to Expand
The same Gartner’s report states that by 2020, the IoT will penetrate into 95% of electronic devices. Monitoring systems, smart sensors as well as cloud-based solutions will become more accessible and IoT will grow in popularity. For this reason, Gartner experts recommend investing in the development of IoT solutions right now. By 2022, half of the security-related expenses in the IoT segment will be used not on protection against threats, but on the elimination of consequent issues like product recalls and system recovering after hacks.
Just a few years ago no one could have envisaged how much technology would progress, and it is continuing to do so at an amazing pace. One of the innovation to emerge from this is the cloud, and this is changing our world in many more ways than is often realized. It is being utilized in many different ways, and here are just a few examples.
Education has been totally changed by the cloud. Distance learning and online courses are now possible for just about any course you want to complete. There are not many colleges and universities that do not offer this form of education because it has so many advantages over the traditional physical buildings.
Cloud technology has meant that meetings can be held between tutors and other students. Discussions can happen in real time, with all those taking part seeing exactly the same piece of work. This has opened up further education to a whole range of people that it was not accessible to before.
Parents with young children and anyone working that wants to gain more qualifications, just as a couple of examples, can now do so online while fitting the course in with their lifestyle.
For businesses, using the cloud is more secure and can be more cost-effective. Because several workers can see the same project at the same times, errors are less likely to happen and the risk of work being duplicated is lower.
Software is updated automatically, and when a provider such as SimplyClouds is used, the business is not tying themselves into a long-term contract. This can be a huge advantage, as can saving the capital expense of an IT infrastructure. A monthly –pay-as-you-go deal can help cash flow enormously and save the business having to perhaps consider financing for the IT it needs.
Gone are the days when your physician had to wait three weeks to get a written report about your hospital appointment. Now the details are put into the computers at the hospital and because of the cloud, your doctor can see them straight away. This has resulted in more effective treatment being prescribed sooner, which has meant that many people are not suffering as much as they would have done before this innovation.
In years gone by, if you were not at home you did not know what was happening there. Now that has changed thanks to modern security systems. Alarm companies have utilized the cloud to let you see if there is an intruder or a fire maybe. In factor, you can watch what is happening in your home even if you are the other side of the world.
This means that if there is a problem, you can contact the police or whoever else you need to so that the matter is dealt with.
These are just some of the areas where the cloud is altering how we use them and our perception of how we will use them in the future. The entertainment world, online shopping, social media, mobile apps, and file storage are a few other areas where the cloud has helped, and there is no doubt many more of them.
From smart speakers to self-drive cars, there’s a growing push towards even greater connectivity in our homes, offices and our transport systems. This so-called Internet of Things only looks set to develop as technology allows us to sync our phones with our cars, our heating and our lighting systems allowing us full remote access from anywhere in the world with a 4G or Wifi connection.
There area clearly many plus points in favour of inter-connectivity but some more serious downsides too. In this blog, we take a look at how the Internet of Things is changing lives, for the better and for the worse.
Advantages of interconnected lives
When you reach old age staying in your own home would be the ideal scenario for as long as possible would be the ideal scenario for most of us. No one really wants to lose their independence or be moved against their will into unfamiliar surroundings. This is where the IoT really comes into its own.
With smart speakers that can control lighting, tell you what the room temperature is and set timers for medication, the IoT can play an active role in maintaining independence. But more than that, there are devices out there that can be placed in fridges to check how many times a day they’re opened and ensuring that the resident is eating enough and regularly. Doorbells that allow not only the caller to gain access but feature video and audio capabilities to screen unwanted visitors.
Many older and vulnerable people will appreciate having a console that can be turned on by a voice command and summon help at a shout or one-word response. These devices, no bigger than a tablet, can also be used to video call friends and family and get in touch with a central agency, monitoring the home and well being of the resident in a hands-off, unseen and remote location.
Security will always remain the number one issue with the threat of a virus of hacker able to take down the system and infect those inter-connected paths. One of the issues yet to be addressed is that of devices that stand-alone, a smart light bulb for example, while it can be told to switch on and off, it doesn’t necessarily have its own operating system and therefore doesn’t have any software that can be updated against a cyber-attack. It is, therefore, vulnerable as an independent piece of technology.
With companies such as Sylvania Connected Solutions working towards even greater connectivity on an even larger, urbanised level it seems clear that in the not-so-distant-future we will be part of the IoT. There are so many reasons why this is a great thing to look forward to, with more control over the running of our homes, the chance for more and more people to live independent lives and entertainment systems that know instinctively what music we’re in the mood for. For now, we watch and wait as the tech giants figure out how to make this as safe as possible for our connected future.
Tech trends come and go, but there are some that stick and become the norm. Here are just five tech trends that have risen in the last decade that every business should embrace if they want to stay relevant in the future.
Many business owners are still yet to embrace the cloud, largely because they don’t understand what it is. In basic terms, it involves storing data on a remote server instead of on your computer or on a local server. Storing information remotely allows you to access it from any device. Multiple people may also be able to access it at the same time. For many businesses, it’s mainly a form of backup – if somebody hacks into your work computer and deletes your files or your office burns down, you’ll still be able to access your files on the cloud from another computer. However, it can also be a means of sharing information more easily as well as allowing you to work from any location.
Analytics is a way of processing large amounts of data made possible by computers. It can be used to analyse your company finances, monitor web traffic and calculate risk, often displaying these figures as graphs. Whilst analysing each piece of data would have been far too time-consuming before the age of computers, it can now be done instantaneously with the right software and online tools. Cognitive analytics can even be used to make better business decisions such as deciding where to trim costs or where to focus marketing. In fact, many companies are automating tasks based off analytics such as using analytics to keep track of stock and automatically order new stock when items are running low. This can result in less admin.
There’s more to apps than mobile games. Many pieces of software found on PCs are now available as apps – by downloading these apps you can perform work on your smartphone that you’d usually do on a PC. This can be great for working on the go. It’s also possible to build your own apps – this could include a training app for employees or a marketing app for customers such as a digital loyalty card or a catalogue app.
Social media has taken the world by storm and it’s also had a significant effect on businesses. In fact, it’s becoming a major marketing tool for companies, allowing existing customers to stay updated on news and promotions whilst also drawing in new customers through ads and promoted posts. If you haven’t got Facebook and Twitter pages for your business, it could be well worth creating pages – it costs nothing to create a page.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a method of digital marketing that every business should invest in. It’s a strategy that involves using keywords, hyperlinks and ads to boost a company’s search engine rankings. Most people discover new companies nowadays via search engines like Google and Bing and appearing on the first pages is vital if you want to generate business. You can learn to do your own SEO, however most people tend to just hire an SEO company.