Categories
business Data and Security Hack Internet of Things IoT Mobile ReadWrite Software software security

Why Your Business Needs Non-Stop Software Security

software security

Have you ever lost 30 minutes of creative works on your computer? Or has it suddenly occurred to you that you have a great piece of data that will augment a business proposal, only to discover that the data is missing? Oh – how frustrating!

Data loss occurs for various reasons

  • 78 percent – Hardware or system malfunction
  • 11 percent – Human error
  • 7 percent – Software corruption or program malfunction
  • 2 percent – Computer viruses
  • 1 percent – Natural disasters
  • 1 percent – Other acts.

Impact of critical data loss across global enterprises

Meanwhile, research reveals that global enterprises lose a whopping sum of 1.7 Trillion dollars due to data loss and downtime. And this excludes disruption of business activities, the loss of productivity, the diminished customers’ loyalty, the break of investor’s confidence, the cost of time spent on reconfiguration, and lots more.

While it may be difficult to establish a precise impact of data loss and downtime on organizations, it’s obvious that it would, sure, have a radical negative effect.

With a seamless increase in web adoption and constant acceptance of new technologies, both small and large scale businesses have been able to share important data as regards their products and services — using the web-as-a-service, Waas.

Hackers can compromise corporate networks

Meanwhile, hackers are seriously looking for ways to compromise the corporate network of several industries. As a matter of fact, the Verizon Data Breach Report reveals that 15.4 percent of reported incidents were related to malware and web application attacks.

Also, many of the most fatal breaches that covered the media in the past few years were caused by web-application and software security vulnerabilities. A very good example is the Equifax breach.

Simply put, “business websites possess the greatest threat to organizational security.�

Watch your data loss due to website and software patches

A sizable number of business sectors have experienced (or will experience) data loss due to website and software patches. This has reduced the efficiency and productivity of these organizations to the barest minimum. Little wonder why 70 percent of firms that experience data loss run out of business within one year of the attack. (DTI)

You may not know when the next attack could occur, but taking proper precautions can hamper or completely abolish a hacker’s attempt at gaining access to your business website.

Why your business website needs software security programs

1. Monitoring and detection

How satisfying will it be to have effective and efficient protection of your business website against the worst threat ever?

Using a software security program means your business web is on the watch, and any single vulnerability will be detected on the spot.

Software security companies provide website security scanners that check your website at predetermined intervals to detect any malicious action. You can rest assured that you’ll receive an alert as well as the next line of action when this happens.

Not only does website security monitoring protect you and your customers, but it protects your website’s rankings by checking a variety of different blacklists, and notifying you if you have been placed on one.

2. Performance optimization

Do you know that Google, Bing, and other search engines, use site speed as a ranking factor?

We live in a world where nobody is ready to wait for anything. We have become accustomed to business websites and apps working instantly and perfectly. As a matter of fact, a study reveals that 47 percent of customers abandon business websites that take more than 3 seconds to load!

Performance optimization is a major reason why your business website needs software security programs. Besides SEO, a site performance typically revolves around reducing the overall size of web pages. This includes the size of the files and perhaps, more importantly, the number of them.

3. Fast disaster or data recovery

In an age where data is king, the idea that data can be lost so easily should be enough to encourage businesses to take steps to protect it.

The U.S National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of companies are unable to sustain their businesses over six months after a data breach.

According to the Ponemon Institute, the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000; and, for mid-sized businesses, it’s over $1 million.

Recent events have proven that nobody is safe from the threat of data breach — not large corporations, small businesses, startups, government agencies or even presidential candidates.

When a crisis occurs, there would be one of the two scenarios:

  1. You run a licensed app/piece of software and the vendor is responsible enough to issue an update/patch when issues are reported.
  1. You run a custom software delivered by your software development company and you ask for the software to be enhanced. That is going to take just as little time but chances are your custom software will ever be hacked is drastically lower. Just because the hacker would need to spend even more time looking for vulnerabilities than the AQ department of your software developer.

Even if your website is secure, a misconfiguration or simple mistake can lead to data loss. Only a sure backup plan can save you if your custom files are overwritten or tampered with.

A website security provider can offer secure remote storage, automatic backup scheduling, and an easy recovery process without disturbing your workflow. Decent software companies offer a fast and easy way to recover all the files you need in a very short time.

4. Regular software update

A software update, also known as a service pack is a periodically released update to software from a manufacturer, consisting of requested enhancements and fixes for known bugs. A software update is mainly to present security vulnerabilities in their existing items.

You may think that you do not have anything to protect on your business website but the reality is that security software gives protection for your data. Data is valuable for the sustenance of your business. Top software security programs keep your data secure by providing regular updates to keep you safe from malicious attempts.

Summing It Up:

Since 60 percent of businesses that are affected by a breach in business websites or data will shut down in 6 months, cybersecurity experts, thereby, recommend that you have an effective software security program to save yourself and your business from this calamity.

The post Why Your Business Needs Non-Stop Software Security appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
authentication business cybersecurity Data and Security Data Breach enterprise Hack hacking Password password manager ReadWrite two factor authentication

Passwords and Their Ability to Bring Down Even the Largest of Enterprises

passwords hacking

The dangers of using passwords as a means of authentication cannot be overemphasized. According to reports by IT Governance, poor password behavior is the number one cause of data breaches. Despite this, passwords are still very common in the average person’s personal and work life. Here are passwords and their ability to bring down even the largest of enterprises.

Passwords are difficult to manage, and bad password habits are easy to develop because of how difficult it is to store multiple complex passwords.

They are also very insecure because passwords are just too easy to guess, hack or intercept. What’s more, the legacy of bad password habits, reusing and sharing online credentials, leads to constant cybersecurity attacks of both people’s personal accounts and enterprises.

The consequences of a cybersecurity attack from a leaked, stolen, or shared password could be disastrous; a hacker could launch a highly sophisticated attack on you or your business, causing serious short-term and long-term damages. This could lead to serious financial and legal implications. In a worst-case scenario, a malicious attack could even sabotage your business and its operations to the extent that it may never be able to recover.

Too Many People Use Old Passwords — STOP THAT!

According to a 2019 HYPR password usage study, a study that involved analyzing data from over 500 American and Canadian full-time workers, about 72% of people surveyed reuse an old password when forced to change to a new one, and 78% percent of them forgot their passwords in the previous 90 days.

This can be said to be due to the overwhelming number of passwords users have to manage because the study further showed that over 37% of respondents have over 20 passwords in their personal life, which in most cases is too much to manage effectively.

Hackers will Always Try to Attack Your Employees

Many negative implications come with your business’ security being compromised due to poor passwords, some of which are discussed below.

  • Financial Implications

On average, cybersecurity attacks in 2017 alone cost enterprises $1.3 million and $117,000 for small and medium scale businesses to repair hardware and software. A data breach can also lead to legal consequences for your company if data leaked belongs to a third party or contains sensitive information.

  • Data Theft and Sabotage

Every single day, companies from around the world lose about 5 million records containing sensitive data due to vulnerability in their system or a human factor failure, with only a mere 4% of escaped data being protected by strong encryption and, therefore, cannot be misused.

In some cases, millions of email addresses and passwords are leaked during a single data breach.

Hacking and data breaches may also negatively affect digital data or even physical equipment. Some hackers may intentionally modify or damage data in order to harm their targets.

  • Poor Web Presence

For many businesses, especially small ones, most sales and operations are made online – as an online presence exposes businesses to larger markets, with two-thirds of small businesses relying on websites to connect them to customers.

Hacking or data breach, in this case, however, may be seriously detrimental to your online presence; it may lead to your website being slowed down considerably as hackers try to upload and run files on your company server.

Also, if hackers try to use your IP address to attack other websites, your web hosting might be suspended, or your website may shut down entirely and only display a “PAGE NOT FOUND – 404 ERROR” message; all these will also cause your company’s SEO ranking to take a big hit.

  • Damages to Company Reputation

When a business is hacked, its reputation also takes a huge hit, either temporarily or permanently. A large percentage of a hacked company’s customers may choose to switch over to their more secure competitor.

According to a 2019 study published on BitSight, nearly two out of five (38%) enterprises admit that they have lost business due to either a real or perceived lack of security performance within their organization. Nearly half of all executives surveyed in that same report admit that their ability to attract new customers was harmed following a security incident.

  • Business Failure

Many businesses, especially small ones or those in their early stage, operate on low margins and may not withstand the significant financial loss resulting from data breaches.

Depending on the severity of such attacks, how stolen data is used, or the damage caused, your business might not be able to withstand the financial implications. It may be forced to close all operations and shut down.

How Enterprises Can Protect Themselves

Data breaches due to bad passwords are bound to happen when you ask employees to create and manage their passwords without providing them with the proper tools to do so.

There are limits to how many passwords your employees can remember and how complex they can be; this, coupled with the ever-growing number of online accounts, makes it easy for your employees to settle for poor password habits and security shortcuts put your company at risk of a data breach.

Employees often create passwords that are easy to remember and very predictable, as creating and storing different complex passwords is a burden.

Hence, employers and enterprises need to sensitize their employees to keep good password behavior with some of the solutions below.

A. Password Managers

Password managers are secure software applications designed to store and manage your online credentials. They make your accounts more secure by freeing you from generating and remembering sufficiently complex passwords, thus allowing for single-purpose passwords that meet a much higher security level.

From auto-filling to encrypting passwords, password managers ensure that credentials stored with them are kept secure.

B. Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication makes use of newer improvements to authentication by combining two out of the three types of authentication; what you know (password, pin), what you have (bank card, sim card), and who you are (fingerprint, facial recognition).

Two-factor authentication is far more secure than passwords alone because it considers two forms of authentication rather than one. Other methods of two-factor authentication include using an authenticator app like Google authenticator or Microsoft authenticator, SMS Codes, and biometrics alongside your password for more secure verification.

C. Passwordless Authentication

One major shortcoming of both password managers and two-factor authentication that is commonly overlooked is the fact that they don’t completely eliminate the burden that is passwords’; this is where passwordless authentication comes in. This provides enterprises the ability to deploy desktop MFA and strong customer authentication.

The passwordless authentication technology removes hackers’ most popular target by completely replacing passwords, forcing them to attack all devices individually. This provides enterprises with increased security and a more secure means of authentication.

In Conclusion

It is becoming clearer that passwords are more of a burden or headache than they are a security tool. As a business owner, protecting your personal and customer data and ensuring your website’s security has to be one of your top daily priorities.

Hackers will always try to attack your employees, the weakest link in your security infrastructure.

The best way to strengthen your entire security system is to make sure both your employees and IT admins are aware of their responsibility to maintain good password security and that necessary steps are taken to provide employees with the necessary tools to fulfill this responsibility.

The post Passwords and Their Ability to Bring Down Even the Largest of Enterprises appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
AI ai in business Artifical intelligence business

6 Ways to Improve your Business with Artificial Intelligence

ai

Artificial Intelligence is the technology that bestowed us with a fairytale-like functionality in our homes and offices. Have you seen the “ Beauty and the Beast� movie? In that movie, the beauty was in the beast’s castle, and there was no other living creature there. She was all alone, except she had a talking and moving clock, a candelabra, a teapot, and a teacup. Here are six ways to improve your business with artificial intelligence.

Science didn’t make the magic happen at the Beast’s Castle — but science has developed something close to it for us.

The wonderful technology that can make our lives easier is known as Artificial Intelligence — and you can talk to it, too.

The simplest example of artificial intelligence is Alexa and Siri. Imagine calling someone when Siri was not there. You have to find their name in the contacts, and then you have to dial them up. Now, you can simply say, “ Hey Siri, call XYZ,� and Siri will call them.

Business AI

Artificial Intelligence for Business

As technology is increasing, the demands of users are also increasing. It is becoming hard for businesses to keep up with those demands. If a business wants to grow, they have to come online. Having a business app or website is that you cannot just launch a website/app and not have online support. You have to track who visits your website/app, and you have to do something to convert that potential client into a real client.

But the thing here is that you or your support guy cannot be online 24*7. If a user comes midnight to shop or have an inquiry and message you, you have to reply within a minute or at most in 5 minutes, or else they will leave your site/app. This is a task that is not possible, but deep down, you know that this is a matter that does need to be solved.

In this case, conversational AI can be used that can trigger a reply once they come across a keyword. If they encounter something unknown, they can simply answer that please provide your email address or phone number, and the team will contact you as soon as possible. At least some reply is better than nothing.

Moreover, if you add enough keywords, the conversational AI can talk like a support person. Dish Network has tested this thing, and in their observation, customers rate interactions with virtual agents the same, and sometimes even better, in comparison to the human support staff.

When a machine does work, it is error-free. Moreover, if you let the machine do the job, you will get more time to do tasks that require human interaction. This way, you will enable yourself to do more important tasks and work productively. As a startup or a small business, this can be the competitive gain that you were looking for.

Let’s have a look at how you can improve your business with Artificial Intelligence.

6 Ways to Improve your Business with Artificial Intelligence

1. Effectively target your market

We have so many marketing ideas, but the main reason why many of them don’t work is that we cannot target the right audience. As a content writer, I was writing a blog about cloud computing, and from that day, Google started showing me ads for cloud computing. I am not a buyer here, but as I searched for the same, Google thinks I am interested in buying the same.

This particularly shows that the wrong person was targeted. It is possible they had an awesome offer, but cloud computing is something which I think I never have to buy. The company paid for that to be shown to the right audience, and that didn’t happen.

AI can release you from the stress of targeting the right audience. It’ll target the right audience for you, and there are minimum possibilities of AI to go wrong. This is the feature that most of us need, as finding the right audience is a great challenge.

2. AI helps shopping

Take the phones of two different persons and go to the Amazon or Flipkart app, and you will see the difference.

Different products would be shown on their main page, and this is how people want to experience online shopping. They offer lakhs of products, and no one wants to see what they are not interested in. This is where AI stores what they like and thus show them the related products.

Now, AI is completely changing how people shop online. One of the reasons that people prefer traditional shopping was that they were able to try the clothes at the shop and they were able to see if it suits them or not. Thanks to Augmented Reality, people can now take the trail online.

People can now take a trail of the clothes that they want to buy, and thus this is making their experience more pleasant.

3. Personalized experience

AI is centralized towards creating an awesome customer experience. This helps companies to earn more as customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. A simple example is that we pay more when we go to a salon for a haircut, and we pay less to a local barber, and then we even ask for discounts. The willingness to pay is dependent on the experience.

Therefore you should try to create a pleasant customer experience as you can. According to a report by American Express: “ Customers who have a positive customer experience spend 74% more�.

4. Content generation and curation

This feature is one that threatens my job. AI can even write content that is plagiarism-free and filled with the right keywords, and thus they can rank on the google pages.

AI can create eye-catching content. But it is hard to create content that does not contain any plagiarism as facts and studies will remain the same, and if someone uses these facts in their content, this will lead to plagiarism. This gave birth to automated journalism. In this, robots will write the content.

The best example is Heliograf of Washington Post, which has written various articles on the Olympics and politics and has also won awards in Artificial Intelligence.

5. Image recognition

Product tagging and visual search have started taking digital marketing with an impact. Google first founded this, and it was a wow feature. You just have to start your camera and point it to something, and then you can know what it is.

This means that if someone is looking at your product and don’t know what it is, they can just start their camera, and they can know the name and the price of the product. Thus, if someone likes your product and wants to buy it, they are just a camera search away.

This makes it easy for people to find your product and your business.

6. Voice SEO

Technology has become so advanced that phones can identify human voices and address their command. This is not unknown to people due to Siri and Alexa, but still, people cannot use it to their advantage.

Whenever I scroll through Instagram, I do come across some post with an amazing song or beat, but I don’t know the name of, but I liked the song, and I want to listen to it, but how can I do that?

The simple answer is to use Shazam or ask Siri to identify the song. It is no longer limited to mobiles. You can also use your speaker to do so.

You should understand that voice search is very different from traditional search. SEO for voice search requires a different approach. Here, long-tail keywords can help your SEO.

With the help of AI and good advertisement knowledge, ads can be personalized according to the targeted customer.

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence can help in business by doing your work in an error-free way. It can help you in cutting down your expenses, and it can perform the work faster. You can use Artificial intelligence as the ultimate weapon that you need for competitive gain.

The post 6 Ways to Improve your Business with Artificial Intelligence appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
business hackers ReadWrite website security

Neglecting the Right Website Tool and Security for Your Business is Equivalent to 39 Seconds of Getting Hacked

getting hacked

Do you know that web-hackers can successfully hack your business website in just 39 seconds? The time counts; 39 seconds, then another 39 seconds besides, and finally, they were successful to “hack the website.”

As a business owner, there’s nothing more terrifying than the thought of seeing all of your work altered or entirely wiped out by a nefarious hacker. Your website is one of your most important business assets, which is why you need to avoid being the next victim to cry over spilled milk. The very threatening slice, over 30,000 websites get hack everyday. Twitter, among the top 10  social media platforms, once falls a victim. How?

For about a decade now, business owners have consistently been worried about web-hackers exploiting almost every software-built defenselessness, but curiosity still keeps killing many business owners. More than 71 percent of business organizations are not ready and are still open to become a victim.

The question about hacking is — Are you the next? Are you part of the organizations that are not ready?

With today’s interest-driven culture, most current and future customers use websites to learn more about any company and solutions they provide. While many business owners have realized the importance of having a web presence, many have neglected website security.

Cyberattacks cause costly clean-up, damage your business reputation, and discourage visitors from coming back. However, breaking down these cyber-based threats that exist today and analyzing their impacts can be a very daunting task. Fortunately, you can prevent it all with effective website security. This is an application taken to ensure that website data is not exposed to cybercriminals and prevents websites’ exploitation.

Securing your website; You’ve worked hard on your website (and your brand) – so it’s important to take the time to protect it with these basic hacker protection tips.

Settling for a Sheltered Web Hosting 

Many businesses have become hackers prey due to the hosting service they choose. The myth of a great web hosting boils down to 3’S: speed, support, and security.

With dozens of reputable and viable web hosting services available globally, most offer a similar basic set of web hosting services, while some specialize in less crowded, and potentially more lucrative, niche markets. As such,  the natural kind of web hosting service business owners should plump for require on-guard research and careful consideration.

Web Hosting

Web hosting basically is made storage of your website and other features such as email and CGI scripts, etc. on a web server. Meanwhile, the web-server is a computer host configured and connected to the internet, for serving web pages on request. Information on public servers can be accessed by people anywhere on the internet. Since web-server are open to public access, they can be subjected to hackers’ attempts to compromise the server.

Hackers can deface websites and steal valuable data from systems. Hacking in this way, can translate into a significant loss of revenue for any organization that falls a victim. Incorporate, and government systems, loss of important data may actually mean the launch of information espionage.

Besides data loss or data theft, a web defacement incident can cause significant damage to your organization’s image. Common security threats to a public webs server can be classified as the following;

  • Unauthorized access:
    • Defacement
    • Content Theft
    • Data Manipulation
  • Improper Usage:
    • LaunchPad for external attacks
    • Hosting improper
  • Dental of service
  • Physical Threats

Hackers take advantage of different security flaws in a web hosting infrastructure. They exploit the vulnerability to compromise the system. Business owners should review hosting services based on real-time performance to identify the appropriate for better security.

Common security flaws that can lead t a compromise cab ve categorized as;

  • Insufficient network boundary security control
  • Flaws or bugs in web hosting software
  • Weak password
  • Lack of operational control

Defense In-Depth 

Defense-in-depth and layered security feel like terms from a much simpler era in information security. It was not too long ago when these concepts seemed more applicable during the dawn of the Internet age. Firewalls, demilitarized zones (DMZs), and other network security techniques attempted to keep attackers out.

Securing your server comprises implementing defense in depth using various security at network architecture, operating system, and application level.

Defense in depth is the practice of laying defenses to provide added protection. The defense-in-depth architecture place multiple barriers between an attacker and business-critical information resources.

Your network architecture.

The network architecture should be designed to create different security zones for your web server. The web server should be placed in the secure  Server Security Segment isolated from the public network and the organization’s internal network. The network architecture can be designed as a single layer or multi-layer, as per the organization’s requirement.

Firewall

A firewall is used to restrict traffic between the public and web servers and between the web and internal networks.  Severs providing supporting services should be placed on subnet isolated from the public and internal networks.

DMZ is no man’s land between the internet and the internal network. This zone is not on the internal network and is not directly open on the internet. A firewall usually protects this zone, the zone where the servers for public access are placed.

Security Dispute Consideration

  • SQL Injection. 

    Many web pages accept parameters from a web server and generate SQL queries to the database. SQL injection is a trick to inject SQL script as an input through the web front-end. To avoid SQL injection, filter out characters like quotes, double quotes, slash, black-slash, semicolon, an extended character like NULL, carry return, newline, and Reserved SQL keywords like Select, Delete, Union in all strings from:

    • Input from users
    • Parameters from URL
    • Values form cookie
  • Cross-Site Scripting. 

    Cross-site scripting (commonly referred to as XSS) is an attack technique that forces a website to echo attacker-supplied executed code, which loads in the users browser.According to WHSR, a tool that reveals a website’s infrastructure and web technology information; when attackers get users’ browsers to execute their code, the browser will run the code. The attacker gets the ability to read modify and transmit any sensitive data accessible by the browser. However, cross-site scripting attackers essentially comprise the trust relationship between a user and the website.

  • Information Leakage. 

    Information leakage occurs when websites reveal sensitive data such as developer comments or error messages, which may help an attacker exploit the system. Sensitive information may be present within HTML comments, error messages, or source code left in the server.

Logging and Backup

Logging is a crucial component of the security of a web server. Monitoring and analyzing logs are critical activities as log files are often the best and only records of suspicious behavior.

In setting up logging and backup mechanisms, the following should be considered.

Logging

  • Use  centralized Syslog server
  • Alert your mechanism to alert the administrator in case of any malicious activity detected in logs
  • Use the combines Log Format for storing transfer Log
  • Ensure log files are regularly archived and analyzed

Backup

  • A proper backup policy should be enforced, and regular files
  • Maintain the latest copy of webs site content on a secure host  or media
  • Maintain integrity check of all important files in the system

Security audit and Penetration Testing

A security audit compares current security practices against a set of defined standards. Vulnerability assessment is a study to locate security vulnerabilities and identify corrective actions.

A penetration test is a real-life test of an organization’s exposure to security threats that business owners should incorporate and perform to uncover a system’s security weakness. The web servers should be scanned periodically for vulnerabilities — (see handbooks on vulnerabilities-scanning for purchase here.)

Several automated tools specifically scan for Operating System and application server for vulnerabilities.

The post Neglecting the Right Website Tool and Security for Your Business is Equivalent to 39 Seconds of Getting Hacked appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
business IoT Productivity reopen business Tech

5 Reasons Why You Need to Reopen Your Business With IoT

reopen business with iot

Coronavirus made us all come up with new solutions. We have figured out distance learning, zoom meetings, social distancing, and not going insane while sitting at home all day. We did a pretty decent job. However, now we have to learn how to go back to life before the pandemic hit.

It is not as easy as it seems, and it is hard to say whether things can go back to what they have used to be. Some aspects of our routines will definitely change, and we still have to be very careful. Covid-19 is still an issue, we do not have a vaccine yet.

Businesses started to reopen, though. We can not sit at home forever. Considering everything that was said before, businesses have to develop strategies that ensure employees` safety. Otherwise, you will either shut the whole thing down after a week, or no one will agree on coming back to the office. In fact, 93% are willing to continue their remote working journey. So if you want to make them go offline, you have to convince them to do so. 

5 Benefits of Reopening the Business with IoT

The ones who have already reopened report using more IoT than they have ever done before. “IoT is extremely beneficial at times like this: you need fewer employees, and you don’t have to control safety measures on your own,â€� – PR expert from Essay Tigers explains. 

IoT is needed when you reopen your business. You will want IoT’s fine-tuned help implemented into your business life.

Image Source: pexels

#1 Distance Monitoring

Now that schools have started to reopen, many parents get concerned about how teachers will manage to teach their children without getting too close to them. Also, how can a teacher monitor how close students get to each other? The adult distance monitoring is applicable, too, especially as adults seem prone to harsher consequences of the COVID virus.

Research has shown it’s harder to keep the distance between adults. 47% of adults report feeling much lonelier than they have done before the coronavirus outbreak. This stat is not surprising since a lot of people live alone. During the worst part of the virus, we could not meet our friends.

Sitting at home for weeks did not contribute to our feeling of happiness and being content with life. People lacked socialization, and now they starve for human interactions. You can only imagine what will happen in the office as soon as employees see their colleagues after months of being apart. There is so much tea to be spilled.

Even if your employees do not get very excited about meeting each other, during the re=entry to work, one can get easily distracted from the real world. When you are absorbed in tasks, you tend to forget that you have to keep your distance — you just want everything to be done efficiently.

Discussing serious matters while being 1,5 meters apart does not seem as productive as the quick interactions at an employee’s desk in the past. Now, something private requires going to a separate room and then the requisite cleaning instead of quick low-voice, close interactions.

Companies have started to develop different strategies to make sure that coworkers keep the distance and not get everyone infected.

Many of these companies now track the mobile phones of their employees, and it is wrong. The question of privacy was acute a long time ago, and it is getting even worse now. If you have access to people’s phone, it means that you track them 24/7. Workers would rather not be tracked outside of the office. 

IoT can help you monitor the required distances with your employees. You can give out bands at the beginning of the workday and get them back by its end. Every time two devices get too close to each other, owners will get notifications, and as a manager, you will get one also. It will remind people of social distancing without you having to watch them on the camera or track their phones.

You can also find out who doesn’t care about safety measures, and educate them on why it is essential for everyone to follow the rules to keep your business open and their paychecks coming.

#2 Temperature Monitoring

As we know, having a temperature is not a good sign. It may mean that the person has gotten a virus and can share it with everyone. 

It seems reasonable to measure (or take) each employees temperature at the beginning of the day. If an employee has a temperature at the door, you merely send that person home before they even enter the office or a store. Yet, one can have no fever in the morning and end up with a fever later in the day. 

Do you have to measure temperature repeatedly throughout the day? It seems like a lot of effort, and it takes quite some time if you have a lot of employees. Taking temperature readings will slow down the working process; workers will get distracted and get out of their productivity streak. 

IoT has come up with a solution to this exact problem. You can install sensors that do automatically take temperature screenings. As soon as a fever is detected on someone, you can quickly take notice of that person, isolate them from the group, and send them home. 

#3 Know How Many People There Are

All the businesses know the rule that it is allowed to have only a certain number of customers and workers inside the buildings, based on how big and airy they are (buildings, not people). When there are many employees or your shop is quite big, and many clients can come in, it becomes complicated to count them. 

You may have seen security near the entrance with a notebook and a pencil who tries to count and not let more people in that it is recommended. Still, it is tough to keep the focus on both countings constantly, writing numbers down, and securing the door. If more than 50 people in the store, it is nearly impossible for a human to keep the situation under control.

IoT is there once again to help you. There are exceptional cameras that can count how many people are inside. So make the job of security people easier, get exact data in a matter of seconds, and spare yourself from the stress that you will not have to pay tons of money if someone checks your shop/office, and there are more people than it is allowed.

#4 Facial Recognition Is a Way to Go

In times like this, all businesses try to engage a bare minimum of employees so offices aren’t too crowded. It’s simple if you have a lot of staff and not that many rooms. With the help of IoT, you can minimize the number of security workers. 

You see, when people go through a security check, they interact with the same person. If the first person to come into the office was infected, he could infect security personnel. Consequently, all the people to enter after the person are at a high risk of getting the virus too. 

It can also help with employees who continually forget their badges or credentials. One can barely leave their face at home. You will no longer get irritated by such employees, and they need not stress about whether they have all the required documentation with them.

#5 Track Interactions Between Your Employees and Clients

In the worst possible case, when someone gets Coronavirus, owners usually panic and send everyone home again. Employees panic because of the employer’s panic, and don’t leave their home offices after two weeks: they are only scared, and it’s understandable. What if you could not shut everything down by sending home only those who had contact with the infected person?

While using IoT, you can track down the information about who interacted with who. Due to social distancing, it is unlikely that people meet as many coworkers as they had before the pandemic. Basically, you can see who is potentially sick, send them home, and continue working.

It might be risky though. Sometimes it’s better to double-check everything or, in that case, send everyone home so they can properly isolate themselves.

Conclusion

Coronavirus is changing our lives and makes us work in order to come up with new solutions and tricks. IoT managed to ensure your employees` and customers` safety. You can control social distancing, check the temperature, count people effortlessly, reduce the number of workers, and define the potentially infected staff. 

We highly recommend using these technologies so that you can promise safety to your employees and make them leave their homes. Moreover, you will not be forced to close everything down again in no time. 

Still, it is better to seriously think about whether it is actually reasonable to reopen. A home office is the safest idea, after all.

The post 5 Reasons Why You Need to Reopen Your Business With IoT appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
business ecommerce eCommerce businesses ReadWrite

6 Smart Insights You Can Use to Guide Your eCommerce

ecommerce

When eCommerce revenue hit $700 billion in 2017, statistics confirmed how rapid and constantly it will grow by 23 percent year over year. Meanwhile, this has always been the hope for eCommerce owners. Amazon is a prominent example; this company has confirmed how fast the shopping world is going.

Amazon first launched back in 1994, selling books online. But today, the company doesn’t necessarily have one clear-cut specialty as they sell everything with $232 billion in net sales annually.

However, if you’ve chosen to become an eCommerce entrepreneur, thriving top among nearly 24 million e-commerce stores across the globe requires a foundation that will help stand even if the environment seems stormy. How to focus is one thing; what to consider is another. The critical analysis is to improve future success; to match a must-win attitude actualizing your goals of domination. However, be smart.

Hauling your eCommerce store to a successful destination might have been tugging at you; as such, consider the following for your success in the eCommerce business, to be smart is a sneaky way to get top fast surreptitiously. 

1. The Layout of Your Store

You must have an option to choose regarding the layout of your store; however, only those reviewing your store would know what the option is about- Good, Very-Good, Excellent, or Worst. A store layout doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do something that has never been done before. In fact, by implementing a store layout ideas that have been used in the past, you can make your store more comfortable.

E-Commerce doesn’t only depend on price and product selection. Although these factors are critical to getting customers into your store. To convince them to make a purchase takes more than just price and product selection. You need to attractively and conveniently display products in an appealing and presentable way. A poor store layout can have a crushing effect on sales and conversion rates. 

When it comes to product layout, it’s best to stick to convention and follow what market leaders are already doing. Customers can be very fickle. Customers, in return, want the shopping process to be easy and satisfying. They prefer a pleasant shopping environment, the merchandise is easy to find, and there are sufficient items.

 However, when you implement the right store layout, it shows you understand your customers, creating customer flow that makes your eCommerce business successful.

2. High-Quality Products

The world is changing at pace with so many intellects coming day after day trying to improve past products. Likewise, users always want to be satisfied at any cost to make them free from any deficiencies. High-quality products mean a lot to customers, as it is believed that they come with unique features. 

Choosing a product for your eCommerce store to sell may very well be the most critical and difficult decision you will need to make if you’re aspiring to become successful. It is essential, you update and fill your store with high-quality products.

A good brand is an indicator of good quality, and people are brand conscious. It’s easy for customers to rely on buying products from trusted brands with a good quality feature as people are making smarter purchase decisions and the trends are slowly changing. However, you must behave rationally and tend to look at the positive elements of having a good product there in your store.

3. Bring to Being Marketing Strategy 

Customer demand for online shopping may be underestimated if you haven�t researched it. The heart of a smart owner tends to insight a marketing strategy that can attract more positive attention, interaction, and sustainable conversions. 

When it comes to marketing, you’re focusing on customer relationships more than just endlessly and exclusively promoting your own products. No matter which marketing solution you choose, you must get the right to ensure that this eCommerce marketing strategy will work for you.

There are many different types of marketing strategies. But how many of them will actually work for your eCommerce business? What kinds of marketing strategies should you choose to pursue, and why?

  • SEO Sooner, Rather Than Later: Search Engine Optimization is an essential part of marketing, and you want to make sure that both your business site and all of your individual product pages are fully optimized for the exact keywords your audience is searching for.
  • Content Marketing: Content making is a very powerful tool that pledges after SEO. Most times, people call it blogging but far beholds. It allows you to communicate your industry to customers in the simplest reading method and market personally. One big reason content marketing works so well for eCommerce is that Google is infatuated with content. Meanwhile, content is one of the three most significant ranking factors.
  • Email Marketing: At its very core, email marketing is simply sending promotional emails. Email marketing has been found to have an ROI of 3800 percent. The average order value of email marketing is three times higher than social media. To reach your audience most effectively, provide useful content within your emails. However, you have to be very careful about the content within your emails and who is included in your outreach.

4. Ads Investment For a Worthwhile Bunce

Tracking customers while they’re browsing the internet is a smart way to get them back to your store. This is a very powerful technique, if not all, successful eCommerce leaders used and are still using. 

Marketing, on the other hand, is based around product, place, price, and promotions. It’s the sum of all the steps you take to get your store product to market while generating attention and interest in what you’re selling. The best advertiser is often discovered through pure experimentation and how habituated to advertisements.

Over 65 percent of Instagram users look for online shopping inspiration while also looking to discover new brands. These are users who are looking for stores like yours to purchase from. However, investing a token to yield promotion might be worth it to increase your awareness so people start purchasing from your store.

Besides that, powerful Facebook ads can be. A mattress company, Purple, has generated 75 million dollars in sales just by running Facebook ads. Although, many social media pay this attribute. However, this only goes to show how powerful investing in Ads can be for you and your eCommerce store. This opens up your existing product lines to a vast new audience without having to launch any new products and establishes a forward-thinking that is aligned with changing societal values.

5. Customer Retention

Growing your eCommerce, you need a collection of activities so as to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of each existing customer. 

A study from Harvard Business School showed that an increase in customer retention of  5 percent could increase profits by 25–95 percent. Many eCommerce is now shifting and focusing, so that customer retention is something they work towards from the start, rather than thinking about it later.

Without a doubt, when you’ve just started your store, there is one thing you should be focused on: getting customers. However, once there is an acquisition, you should introduce retention elements to encourage each customer that you have acquired to buy more.

According to Marketing Metrics, the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent, and the same figure for new customers is 5-20 percent. Therefore, retention marketing is recommended to be done earlier. It’s a major shift in focus that recognizes the value of marketing to your existing customer base rather than constantly trying to grow it.

Regardless of what your store is made of, the fact remains: customer retention is essential to your long-term success. If your eCommerce has a healthy flow of new customers each month, then leveraging those customers with a solid retention strategy is one of the best things you can do to safeguard and maintain an increase in your profitability.

6. Analytics and Go-Over-Again; Free tool to use is Google Analytics  

To improve growth strategies,  eCommerce owners need to monitor their progress. These analytics serve as a staple component of your marketing strategy that will allow you to monitor and grow online conversions.  Analytics are coupled with customer surveys, customer experience reviews, and heatmaps are very powerful tools and give you great insight into potential areas of improvement. 

Based on the actions that your visitors take, such as visiting the product detail page but not adding anything to the cart or making a purchase, you can create segments and retarget these visitors accurately. If you work actively with this type of data and reports, it can be used as valuable input for efforts to improve merchandising efforts, conversion rates, and revenue.

Now You Know

With rapidity growth occurring, eCommerce owned the portion of the customer journey covering all of the steps necessary for a customer to find, understand, and choose a product. As such, you should work closely in the initial phases.

The post 6 Smart Insights You Can Use to Guide Your eCommerce appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
agile Agile Development business company growth enterprise Lifestyle Startups tips

How to Use an Agile Workflow to Grow Your Business

agile workflow

Agile was born as an iterative approach to software development. Since then, it grew beyond the IT field. Now companies apply Agile workflow across industries for everything from marketing to developing hardware and aerospace engineering.

And the reasons for that are entirely obvious. They include an impending economic crisis, an unstable business environment, increased competition, market transformation, shift to customer focus culture, and many more. All of them force companies to seek a more flexible approach to running a business.

If you are no stranger to these challenges, it’s the right time to consider Agile values and principles as a new direction in uncertain times.

I’ve been practicing Agile for around six years. First, as a software development methodology, and later for other processes in the company – marketing, human resources, etc. From my own trial and error experience, the shift to an Agile mindset is full of challenges.

It took us a great deal of time until we worked out an Agile adoption strategy that perfectly fits our company goals. As a result, we managed to improve workflows, increase business performance,  get higher revenues, reduce time to market, and satisfy customers.

That is why I’ve packed what I learned into six simple steps. They’ll help you reform business processes with Agile thinking within a much shorter time frame.

A Six-Step Guide to Make Adoption of Agile Workflow a Success Story

Step 1: Explore the Agile Concept up and down

Most businesses start shifting to Agile without a clear understanding of the concept.

There are two reasons why you need to dive deeper.

Firstly, it is expectations. You need to understand how this set of rules works to define a clear-cut intended outcome.

For instance, even in software development, we start a new project by acquainting our clients with the basics of Agile terminology and workflows. For this purpose, we wrote a step-by-step guide (mindk dot com) in other words, an Agile tutorial. It helps people understand what to expect from the process and determine areas of responsibility.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Agile, its main idea, as a software development methodology, is to split the project into small parts (called iterations). Each of the iterations focuses on releasing a small valuable piece of the product as quickly as possible and learning from the feedback. Besides, this feedback is used for further improvements.

Secondly, you need to define your ability to apply Agile workflow or adjust it to the needs of your organization.

One of the authors of Agile Manifesto, Dave Thomas, says that to improve the agility of the whole organization, you should follow a cycle of simple actions, namely:

  • find out where you are at the moment;
  • take small steps to your goal;
  • adapt your understanding given what you’ve learned; and
  • repeat.

Сonsequently, business agility is all about taking baby steps and continuously checking whether you are moving in the right direction.

Short Success Story: PepsiCo and Agile mindset

Here is a case in point.

In 2017, global food and beverage leader PepsiCo suffered a decrease in growth rate. Searching for a way to boost top-line growth, the company came to an Agile mindset.

By adjusting its principles to their internal needs, the company balanced the adoption of new technologies with a focus on clients and staff. For PepsiCo, agility meant a less formal, less rule-based, and more fruitful way of working. Hence, this venture led to a completely new company culture, better growth rate, stoked innovation and increased employee satisfaction.

Step 2: Check out Precautions and Challenges

Although Agile can bring huge business value, it is more successful in certain situations than in others.

As far as the whole Agile software development life cycle relies on flexibility, teamwork, and transparency, it’s adoption in large organizations may present certain challenges. As it means applying changes across the entire corporate chain, starting from processes to operation, culture, and behavior.

The most critical thing Agile workflow demands is a shift in behavior.

Thus, large organizations need to understand that embracing Agile at scale may reveal certain problems. Some of them may not be evident when embracing Agile for individual projects or within small and medium-sized companies.

Additionally, there are certain types of projects when full Agile adoption is questionable. They are mostly long term projects with a stable set of requirements where mistakes may be catastrophic for the whole company.

On the contrary, Agile suits well for projects where the problem is complex, solutions are still unknown, changes are possible during the process, and the team works in close collaboration.

Such conditions are common for several processes like product development, marketing campaigns, supply-chain operations, sales activities, recruiting, allocation of resources, etc. While for others, like accounting, legal branches, or other types of strictly regulated units, using Agile may be challenging.

However, challenging doesn’t mean impossible.

The best way is to analyze the operational model of departments in your company and decide which activities are better suited for Agile. That is, where you can break a complex problem into parts and hand it to a multifunctional transparent team.

In this way, you are proceeding to the next significant step.

Step 3: Draft a Kick-off Plan

Starting has never been easy, so start small.

For a start, identify the part or parts of the company you want to transform and how. After this, decide what Agile practices you will use, taking into account all the elements like processes, people, technology, etc.

Do not forget about Agile enthusiasts that will drive the adoption inside the units and defining time frames needed for such a transformation. This is how Agile adoption happened in one of the leading enterprises in winemaking, Mission Bell Winery.

The company decided to use Scrum (one of the most popular Agile frameworks) to meet the criteria of Safe Quality Food Level 2 certification. They introduced Scrum training, set a goal, and appointed Agile pilots in each department.

After they noticed its positive impact, the company continued implementing Agile and increased the yearly finished goods inventory process by 90%.

Step 4: Build a Shared Vision

Business results are a collective effort. Moreover, employees feel a personal and emotional commitment to their work when they work towards a common goal. This rule works perfectly in the Agile transformation process, too.

Thus, a clearly stated vision is more than a values statement or a mission. It is what guides your company through changing environments. It presupposes that all team members should base their work on the same list of priorities.

A shared vision during the Agile adoption will help you measure the progress and success, as well as make major decisions.

For example, CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, states that one of the pillars of their success is explicit and transparent purpose statements on all the organizational levels. The whole company is operating like a city, where decentralized decision-makers are united by common values.

Step 5: Adopt Experimentation and Continuous Learning at All Levels

Innovations are intimately related to Agile. In general, we can define innovation as an effective application of creativity that focuses on building a solution to cover people’s problems most cost-effectively and flexibly.

This is exactly what Agile does.

The process relies on experimenting, testing, and learning from mistakes.

This is great for startups, but other organizations can benefit from Agile workflow, too. Just think about how your company works toward developing business strategies, or guidelines to senior executives, or product launch strategies.

As a rule, these processes involve too much guessing and assumptions. In the end, you might even find out that you followed the wrong plan.

Instead, try to involve the stakeholders during the whole process, keep yourself up to date, thus ensuring your team focuses on what really matters. Testing, creating “safe to fail� tryouts, and learning from mistakes gives you a great opportunity to respond quickly to changes.

This is the heart of Agile experimentation.

This is how micro failures you can afford to prevent you from macro failures you can’t endure.

Embracing the iterative agile lifecycle to building machines helped the farm equipment company John Deere to shorten the innovation project cycle up to 75%.

Previously, they required about nine months to identify a new market opportunity and five to ten years to develop the product and bring it to market. With the Agile approach, they can go from idea to a working prototype in just eight months.

Step 6: Shift from Authority to Partnership

The organizational structure of traditional companies is synonymous with hierarchy – relationships between superiors and subordinates.

Agile organizations reject authority. Instead, they opt for autonomous cross-disciplinary teams. This requires partnership based on freedom, trust, mutual respect, and managing by agreement. Without this critical shift, Agile is a waste of breath.

Besides, leaders in agile companies are not inspectors. They focus their efforts on supporting rather than micromanaging. They are creating environments where each employee is welcome to contribute to the process, take part in problem-solving, and take over the responsibility for the results. The seniority in such teams rests on the depth of knowledge and behavior.

Massive two-year research by Google found out that one of the common characteristics of high-performing teams is a sense of psychological safety. It makes employees feel comfortable, talk openly, suggests ideas, and be comfortable enough to admit they don’t know something or disagree.

Introducing Agile workflow to the legal team of the largest travel guides publisher Lonely Planet helped to improve productivity by 25%. Previously, the team suffered from exhaustive daily demands, lack of transparency in priorities, and unrealistic deadlines.

Business Agility: Key Takeaways

Implementing Agile thinking throughout the firmly established company is no easy thing.

However, these steps are the pivot point in Agile adoption, and they focus on changing the mindset of the business. Sure, it is only a start, and much more work should be done further.

But a correctly applied iterative approach will enable companies to move faster than before, drive innovations, and adapt to the changing environment of here and now.

Remember that any attempts to implement Agile practices independently may fail until they are combined with an Agile mindset!

The post How to Use an Agile Workflow to Grow Your Business appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
business digital transformation Digital Transformation in Banking Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs Startups Tech

The Digital Era and Global Lockdown: See How These Industries Evolved

digital era global lockdown

The recent turbulence of Coronavirus made all of us rethink business life. Many industries have started incorporating profound transformation to overcome the recession. The metamorphosis includes day-to-day operations to the business processes of vital importance. Businesses have even started closing new deals with clients at online meetings. Companies have been forced to turn all of these lockdown challenges into a complex change. 

EVEN DURING LOCKDOWN — SUCCESS

All industries are now interrelated. Small businesses, medium-sized ventures, and international enterprises in different niches are actively rethinking operateions and how to address customer needs during the Coronavirus recession.

Companies exchange business survival tips and digital transformation practices across all the industries not to let their businesses fade away during this period but to give them a boost to innovate and enter the new digital economy.

How has the business world evolved throughout the Coronavirus challenges?

Every industry has experienced the change in its own particular way, and we are all watching the global process under the magnifying glass. 

Digital Transformation in Banking

Photo by @morningbrew; Unsplash

The Coronavirus has exposed banking to many challenges of digital transformation. Banks all over the globe have started incorporating digital banking and motivating their customers to switch all of their operations to the online mode.

While mobile banking has been just a competitive advantage for commercial banks before, it has become the ultimate survival requirement today.

In the context of COVID-19, banks try to keep their customers safe, educating them on how to make contactless payments, use remote channels, and leverage digital tools to manage their finances and complete transactions.

Even though mobile banking apps, web portals, and budget tracking tools might seem to be common to many customers in the modern world, a significant part of them has remained unfamiliar with them. 

So, in the new normal, banks have become counterparts performing the role of digital educators for their customers and raising the overall tech literacy and acceptance of the digital economy. 

“If global leadership is able to rise to the occasion, then this pandemic offers a great opportunity to digitally transform our societies and economies. After all, how many physical meetings do you really need when digital connectivity is accessible and reliable?” – Dr. Wei Kiong Tan, CEO of TechTIQ Solutions, an IT and digital consulting company.

On the other hand, banks try to give their customers psychological relief by promoting full transparency and clarity in financial processes. They also play a significant role in easing distress by offering loyalty programs, extending credits, and providing more personalized recommendations via virtual assistants.

Addressing New Customer Needs in the Food and Beverage Industry

Photo by Xavi Cabrera; Unsplash

The lockdown has created extreme conditions for the food and beverage industry. Food brands have met many challenges related to closed production utilities, reduced labor forces, and fewer product sales in the markets across the globe.

Businesses have also faced a drastic change of customer needs from health-conscious shopping to a stay-at-home and preparation mindset.

The essential requirements for food brands and restaurants have changed along with customer eating habits and the rising demand for delivery services.

All these factors have dictated the new market rules for food and beverage companies. To stay competitive, they have had to build a robust online presence; that’s why we have witnessed the decreasing demand for website development. But the mobile app development services have exploded, as more people are using apps under quarantine.

Food ordering and delivery apps have become particularly popular today.

In response to COVID-19, food brands have started providing new services and offerings for customers, including free delivery, discounts, sales, and even online cooking workshops.

Many brands have also rethought their marketing by switching it from offline to an online mode, humanizing their messaging by adding more empathy and cheering customers up with the fun content on social media. 

Building Resilience in Healthcare 

Photo by @impulseq; Unsplash

COVID-19 has become one of the most powerful accelerators of digital transformation in different industries. Healthcare is not an exception.

Due to the long queues of people who think they may have the COVID-19, healthcare facilities have started accepting digital innovations to automate plenty of processes and move part of the patient care into an online mode. 

Telehealth has become the first step to healthcare digitalization.

It is the answer for most of the doctors’ concerns about remote patient monitoring, instructing patients on how to conduct self-assessment, screening patients with symptoms of the Coronavirus, managing patients’ data, and staying in touch with other hospitals.

We can also notice the increasing demand for branded healthcare apps, medical online platforms, cloud-based patient data management systems, ERPs, and innovative online tools for more automated healthcare services.

Digital transformation has knocked on the doors of many hospitals to help them to cope with huge volumes of data, manage patient queues, provide full patient engagement, and educate them on how to conduct self-service.

The challenging times make us accelerate digital transformation to overcome today’s challenges. However, they also help us build a better healthcare future for everyone’s benefit.

Navigating the Impact on Retail

Photo by Arturo Rey; Unsplash

Retail has been significantly affected by the Coronavirus situation too. According to Digital Commerce 360, 36% of retailers said they adjusted their marketplace strategy as a result of COVID-19.

Nearly a quarter of sellers, altered advertising, customer acquisition and marketing strategies since the COVID-19 crisis began

Although many retail brands have already had their own eCommerce versions, many of them have been forced to adjust to the lockdown and create their online presence for the first time.

A website has become an obligatory part of a businesses presence in the new normal.

A functioning website has become the medium between the brand and its customers, letting them keep the sales running and allowing them to engage customers, gain their loyalty, and keep them informed about the latest updates. 

Understanding your target audience has been crucial before and it is becoming even more critical in current conditions.

A website allows the brand to collect data and learn more about their customers, while it also allows customers to learn more about the brand and interact with it at a more personal level.

Learning and understanding intelligent website analytics tools have become even more popular. Analytics allow analyzing the traffic sources, the web visitor’s online behavior, interests, preferences, and getting even more incredible insights about a target audience.

Analytical information gives retail brands a competitive advantage letting them set better-targeted digital advertising, adjust marketing messages, and deliver the desired customer experiences.

We can also see the increasing popularity of m-Commerce apps.

Today, customers become even more “mobile” and can manage even the most important issues on the go, directly from their mobile phones.

The growing interest in m-Commerce applications hasn’t been surprising, especially during the lockdown.

Retail brands have started investing in e-Commerce mobile app development to be combat-ready for the upcoming recession and new needs of tech-savvy customers who spend almost all their time online in the current conditions.

Rapid Response in Aerospace and Defense

Photo by Ethan Hu; Unsplash

While the aerospace and defense industry has seemed to be entirely embraced by the digital transformation, there still are areas that need even a closer touch of digital innovations to deliver safe and more convenient customer experience.

According to Accenture, 84% of aerospace and defense executives agree that technology has become an inextricable part of the human experience.

Aerospace and defense companies have already been providing immersive and co-created experiences to improve aircraft design and increase the satisfaction of the flight experience.

However, forward-thinking businesses should work even more closely with their customers to create technology-driven experiences of the future. They will let customers participate in the aircraft design process, prioritizing comfort, hygiene, safety, and passenger experience.

Robotics’ potential is transformative for the industry.

Manufacturing automation, reducing hardware costs, and the upcoming 5G expand the possibilities of robotics, improving how aerospace and defense enterprises design, manufacture, and roll-out their products and services.

Closing Thoughts

These are the five key sectors and how they have changed during the lockdown. The post-Coronavirus world is now experiencing a complex change affecting all the industries and verticals.

From the daily operations to large-scale processes, the business world has already transformed a lot, and it is still evolving today. 

Although the COVID-19 challenge has shaken the whole world and exposed everyone to danger and stress — it also has given us a tough boost to innovate and move into the future faster than we’ve been doing it before.

Industries that have seemed to be able to live without digital disruptions have faced them today as the ultimate requirements for business survival. It motivated them to join the global process of entering the new digital economy. 

Top Image Credit: robert bye; unsplash

The post The Digital Era and Global Lockdown: See How These Industries Evolved appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
business cybersecurity Data and Security Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs hiring Hiring Process IoT Tech

Tips to Hire and Retain the Right Cybersecurity Professionals

cybersecurity professionals

You must have heard the major issue the industry is facing right now? – a significant shortage of talented, skilled cybersecurity professionals. And it’s likely on pace to get worse with more than 1.8 million hit by 2022.

Have you ever thought that your business could be the next victim of a cyberattack? The worse is that an estimated 60 percent of small businesses will close for up to six months after a major cyberattack.

For over 25 years, the information security landscape seems to evolve at a faster clip each year. In fact, cybersecurity came in a long way and Info-Security World has been there through it all.

Although, an unprecedented demand for well-trained cybersecurity workers continues to grow. But, several companies have built traditionally direct traffic from one destination to another, passing judgment about the content; shortage of qualified personnel.

To develop the right cyber workforce, the tide of opinion is to make a change.

Cybersecurity is the act of protecting computer systems, networks, and programs from all forms of cyberattacks. However, the flaw will always be an advantage once you adopt to hire the wrong personnel. But once you understand the basics of having the right cybersecurity workers then the deeds are well to be safe.

Below, therefore, are tips for hiring and retaining the right cybersecurity professionals.

1. Don’t Rely on Experience and Certification, But Ability and Motivation to Learn

Having one or more certifications sounds pretty sensible in today’s world, doesn’t it? And many business owners are always interested in those with the best. But what is certification when workers lack the ability and motivation to learn?

No wonder Google, Apple, and other companies give less attention to certificates or degrees.

Yea, many individuals holding a well-graded certificate and have achieved the experience might be the best to pick out of the options.

Don’t get this wrongly, the point here is to cybersecurity. Cybersecurity has to do with technology, however, technology evolves quickly, and knowledge that’s relevant today will seem hopelessly outdated sooner than you think.

For instance, say you needed a certificate to develop iOS apps; you employee a shiny certificate that would probably be outdated every year or two, as Apple rolls out new versions of the software.

You’re now only recruiting iOS 7-certified developers with Swift certificates, you agree to the qualifications, and by the end of next quarter, that requirement will change to Swift 2021 certificates only.�

Yes, this is an exaggeration for effect, but the principle holds: the evolution of technology makes many certificates obsolete pretty quickly.

Afterall cyber attackers won’t stop learning how to get into businesses, so throw this question on the list while interviewing:

Do you have the ability to learn? And Are you motivated to learn? If the answer is yes then that might be who is needed to be at the position to hold tight to your business cybersecurity.

2. Drop Default Requirements For College Degrees

Education requirements are a standard part of any job description. And a bachelor’s or an advanced degree is often a hard and fast requirement in the business world.

Though two-thirds will graduate with a degree even if 70 percent of Americans will study at a four-year college, you might still want to inflate the value of a college degree.

Relevant Skills and experience are primarily what you’re looking for when hiring. You want to make sure anyone who joins your team knows their job and it’s easy to assume a college graduate learned their craft in school.

Smart employers seek candidates with relevant certifications and who keep up with the latest trends in the space.

So in the case of a college degree, placing a default requirement can be a good idea to look for the major candidates and focus more on their supplemental education – especially for roles that are continuously evolving. Some big companies like Apple and Google already did that.

3. Offer Better Compensation and Perks

What are employee benefits? What benefits and perks can you render when you’ve found the talented cybersecurity professional? How valuable are these compensations and perks to them?

According to Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey, 79 percent of cybersecurity professionals would prefer new or additional benefits to a pay increase. Specifically, more women 82 percent than men 76 percent prefer compensations or perks to a pay raise.

Google checked in at the top one. (Surprised? I didn’t think so.) The tech sector, in general, dominates the list, accounting for nearly half of the ranked companies.

As a business owner, you may wonder about your rights and obligations as well as popular trends when it comes to offering perks. Well, you can offer it and many companies in your size are doing the same.

It simple, offering flexible times, vacations, e.t.c. All you did was giving the chance to your employees to be out of the office and focus on their personal lives while still receiving a paycheck.

Guess what! This makes them respect you as the boss and they will not for once take the job position for granted, trying to avoid mistakes and make perfection all the time.

4. Ask For Skills that go Beyond Technical Certifications and Technical Abilities.

There are good skills for any business, which means they should be top-of-mind for every employer. And they’re good skills for any resume, so qualified candidates should be including these skills in their resumes.

How would it be when you employ one who has no skill in decision making or someone who lacks time management or analytical and problem-solving skill. Just imagine how your position would be exposed to cyber attackers.

Business moves at a much quicker pace today, and employees are expected to be appreciated and to move up in the companies with a very kind of strategy. As a business owner, you need workers who can do the job today with an eye toward what they might do in the near future.

However, the employees should have some skills that have always been in demand for perfection in modern business.

5. Develop Training Programs to Increase the Perception of Potentiality

In the business world, developing programs to enlighten employees is an extensive process that plays a crucial role in the company’s overall operations.

When a new employee starts, they’re a sponge, ready to absorb information about your company, your policies and procedures, and their role and responsibilities.

Existing employees also need ongoing training to learn new skills, improve existing ones, and continue to grow over time.

6. Use Job Sharing and Rotation Programs to Broaden their Skills

There are many reasons for job rotation programs when it comes to cybersecurity in your business. Employees, particularly millennials, want more opportunities to learn, grow, and advance their careers. In fact, job development is so important that 87 percent of millennials want it.

Today’s cybersecurity professionals are dedicated to advance their professional development, however, some can be hard to hold onto. Why? Because one way to support employees’ desire to learn and grow is with job rotation programs.

Job rotation is a strategy where employees rotate between jobs in the same business. Employees take on new tasks at a different job for a period of time before rotating back to their original position. With a job rotation system, employees gain experience and skills by taking on new responsibilities.

Job rotations are meant to promote flexibility, employee engagement, and retention. Employees don’t always have to change companies to get the development they want. However, implementing a job rotation strategy will help you retain the talent you really need in your organization.

The post Tips to Hire and Retain the Right Cybersecurity Professionals appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
business China coronavirus covid-19 emerging industry emerging markets Entrepreneurs online Startups

Business Ideas Emerging in China During COVID 19

china during covid

The COVID-19 outbreak has dealt a huge economic blow to China. The country’s supply chains are collapsing, many manufacturing firms have closed down. There is minimal human interaction, and consumer behavior has changed in unprecedented ways. However, as in all known crises, a lot of new business ideas and opportunities have come out of the prevailing crisis. Online-to-offline commerce (O2O) is on the rise, the demand for 5G has increased, and the need for online education has skyrocketed.

New shopping preferences have necessitated mass changes in China’s labor market.

Employers need to hire locals with extraordinary skills and talents; workers with the needed muscle to withstand the harsh realities of the ongoing lockdown and social distancing.

Note that these talents are needed within days, not weeks if the companies are to continue providing their services seamlessly. Foreign companies cannot pull this off without the help of an international PEO (Professional Employer Organization). That is why PEOs are playing a key role in shaping current employment trends in China.

With proper workforce management strategies, mostly through international PEO, the following business ideas are thriving across china:

  1. Online entertainment

As a result of China being under lockdown, event venues and cinemas remain closed. The consequence of this is almost 600 million short online videos being recorded, shared on social media, and streamed live on different video streaming sites. More and more artists are performing virtually and online movie premiering is quickly becoming a trend.

  1. Grocery delivery apps

Chinese consumers are wary of person-to-person COVID-19 infections and as a result, they are reluctant to go to offline grocery stores. Online grocery shopping is picking pace fast and with it, downloads for grocery delivery apps have skyrocketed. Traders who were reluctant to take their grocery stores online are now struggling for survival.

  1. Online games and live webcast

With more people staying indoors now, the demand for online games and live webcast has increased by over 500%. The online gaming industry in China is now a billion-dollar industry, up from about $218 million.

  1. Increased demand for cloud service

Remote working was not very popular in China before COVID-19 turned everything upside down. Most Chinese companies are setting up new remote teams for the first time, which explains the upsurge in demand for cloud service.

  1. Online education

Educational institutions across China have now shifted to online learning. That has precipitated a sudden upsurge in online content demand within the country’s education industry, with the download rate of educational apps increasing by nearly 300% in the first quarter of 2020.

That stat compared to the last quarter of 2019. It is safe to say that the future of education is e-learning, and it has come sooner than initially projected. App developers must move with speed to leverage this new-found market.

  1. Remote healthcare

Healthcare professionals are offering their services through digital platforms. While this has been motivated by the need for self-isolation, branded online healthcare apps are likely to stay beyond the COVID-19. Remote healthcare will not end- it will only get more advanced with time.

  1. Online food services

The restaurant industry was hit hard by the government’s ban on eating in public places. Many food businesses have since created ways to limit human interaction, such as online food services. Customers are placing their orders online and delivery guys are delivering the food safely and affordably using bikes.

Another solution that has become popular is the “contactless� self-served food cabinets. Customers are ordering food via mobile apps, the food is prepared and placed on a cabinet, and then the customer picks it up from the cabinet without interacting with other humans.

  1. Online fitness & wellness

With offline gyms banned, Chinese fitness enthusiasts are increasingly embracing digital workout programs. These programs have been helping people to exercise from home for a long time now, but their demand has never been as high as it is now. Online training apps, yoga apps, and meditation app developers are in for a windfall over the coming months.

Conclusion

China is still grappling to find solutions to the many challenges that COVID-19 spread is presenting every day. Nobody can predict for sure what will happen in the future. What is apparent, however, is that the social interactions will not be the same again even after COVID-19 is contained. Business leaders must start figuring out ways of surviving in a “contactless� economy.

The post Business Ideas Emerging in China During COVID 19 appeared first on ReadWrite.