Categories
SMEs

Top 5 SME Expert Financial Tips – Be Steps Ahead For 2020

Many small businesses go bankrupt in less than a year of operation because entrepreneurs never take planning seriously. Running a business is not a walk in the park. The problems would crop up one after another and can be overwhelming for a small business owner.

However, the best advice to be successful in any business is to be financially optimistic yet realistic at the same time. Yes, you can be ambitious and even outrageous but you have got to be realistic as well. You have to set goals and plan so you can execute them with precision.

 The financial side of the business can be very challenging especially if you do not have any accounting or economics background. Finding a financial advisor or mentor would definitely come handy in making business decisions.

You can’t be in the same place as last year – at least financially. You aim to expand or be better for this year onwards – that is the plan. Here are a few financial tips from the experts to help you move your business in the right direction this 2020.

Plan And Set A Budget

A lot of entrepreneurs would think than budget planning is just unnecessary paperwork or a mindless chore – but it isn’t. To be financially sound, you need to have a budget. In fact, a budget actually guides you with every business decision so you know where to appropriate funds without breaking the bank. This also helps you manage your spending while ensuring that your projected income for each phase of the business is realized.

Without a clear budget, your spending can go haywire. You can just spend without thinking of the risks or even checking on its profitability score. You would need to scale back or perhaps take out additional loans just because you have overspent and did not create or stick to a budget.

You need to set a budget and build on those numbers. Your business plan will be executed properly if you seriously consider jotting down and creating a budget plan for your business.

Keep Your Business Funds Separate From Personal Money

Well, this can be tricky especially if you get your personal and family expenses right from the business profits. Most small businesses fail in the first few months because they are tempted to overspend every time they make a profit which can be fun but eventually hurts the business cash flow.  

However, to create a balance and keep everything in financial order, you would need to live on an allowance or paycheck rather than spend lavishly from the business funds. To do this, you would need to allocate funds for a budget and stick to that.

Dedicate a separate bank account for your personal spending and another account for strictly business spending. This allows you to manage your profit and even have enough for expansion or for other investments.

Having separate bank accounts and records of your personal and business finances would also be very helpful when you deal with accounting and taxes.

Invest And Upgrade Your Technology

Investing in technology or applications and equipment that can enable smooth and seamless financial transactions is considered a solid and viable investment because you get to save or reduce costs over the long haul.

 Backed up by a financial or accounting software will enable speedy and accurate recording of transactions and also allow you to track money movements and manage your finances online and offline.

In terms of equipment, you can keep your expenses at a bare minimum when you opt to rent equipment rather than buy a new one. You can just upgrade or purchase new equipment as the business profits roll in and you expand.

Consider Outsourcing Your Staff

While having a physical business works for most industries, you must keep a tight rein on expanding your staff right away especially for startups. You cannot spend overboard especially during the first few months of business operations. It is recommended to outsource, either you subcontract freelancers from inside the country or internationally, which you can decide on depending on the costs and efficiency level.

With outsourcing your staff, you avoid having to pay for the overhead costs and equipment as well as a full-time salary because you can pay per task or by the hour. It’s practical and more cost-effective to outsource because you get to pay based on productivity or results and not just on hours spent in the office. This actually proves to be a win-win arrangement for both you and your staff.

Over time, you can choose to expand territories and acquire more staff to handle operations or sales. Spending too much at an early stage of the business can be very risky especially with limited capital so outsourcing your staff would definitely be a huge help to keep your business afloat without spending too much.

Set Up An Emergency Or Retirement Fund

You should set aside funds for emergencies or retirement. This should always be included in your business plans. Investing in your future or for emergencies will be very helpful especially in catastrophic financial situations. Sales aren’t the same month as there are peak months which generate a high and steady flow of profit while there are slow or off-peak months wherein sales would decline.

The best way to prepare for these financial emergencies and avoid bankruptcy is to set aside funds for retirement or emergency to serve as a buffer in times of financial crisis.

Pay Off Debt

Credit plays a very important role in startups or small businesses. This should be a top priority for a small business owner because you have to keep your debt at a minimum range so you can have more room to grow and expand.

 Limiting your credit and paying off your debt on time can help you gain profitability at the quickest possible time. A bad credit score of debts can also damage your financial reputation or credit rating. These debts should be paid off in full or cleared in the next year so you can start with a clean slate and also be in a strong financial position to attract more investors into your company.

Running your empire is a very challenging feat but it can be exciting, especially if you have a clear financial direction. Managing finances can be overwhelming because it would be very hard to achieve a balance between your profit and expenses plus also handling your debt but it can be done.

Having the right financial knowledge and skills would enable you to make smart financial decisions for your business. The first step would be to have financial goals set for yourself and the company. You should also have the right mindset and discipline to strictly use business funds for business and not for personal needs.

There is a lot that goes on with being financially agile in today’s fast-paced world. It can be extremely difficult to stick to your budget or focus on business operations and expansion with the right timing in place. However, the best way to gain that competitive advantage is to be financially intelligent in order to get your business in full throttle for 2020.

Categories
Robotics

Robotic Process Automation – Transforming Business For 2020

There is said to be a digital transformation that has been considered phenomenal because it integrates artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA). Anything involving robotic processes can be classified as sci-fi or happens just in the movies. However, it seems that for 2020 and beyond, this could be turning to reality.

Robotic Process Automation or RPA has been in the hot seat in the IT industry because it has piqued the interest and curiosity of the business circle. The interest has been increased and is seen to grow in a rapid fashion for 2020 as more businesses are able to grasp and absorb the power of machine learning and automation which can be very beneficial to any brand.

The reality is that not every process fits the use of RPA. While just by the sound of RPA, you might think of “The Terminator” or “I, Robot” movies, there really isn’t any robot involved in the process.

What Is Robotic Process Automation?

If you are imagining robots running wild or taking over humanity, then pause for a bit because RPA is far from that. The “robot” refers mainly to the robotic processes or software that runs on either a virtual or physical machine. This automates business processes by defining a set of algorithms or instructions that a bot ought to perform.

These RPA bots are able to mimic interactions between a human and computer and carry out tasks at an accelerated speed and absolutely error-free. These bots are capable of performing redundant or repetitive tasks in the work setting such as transferring files or copy-pasting documents.

This allows increased efficiency and boosts overall work performance because RPA is able to automate these mundane tasks and complete them at a faster rate than humans.

This basically makes us of automation of high-volume computer-based processes or manual tasks and the capacity to replicate these steps. This is able to completely run without any human triggers or intervention.

The software enables bots to sync into a rule-based workflow or system with patented applications and workflow.

Intelligent Automation Is In Vogue Now!

Intelligent automation refers to the combination of machine learning and cognitive automation which is said to be more advanced with that of RPA that just completes repetitive and rules-based tasks.

In 2020, there would be a convergence of these two automated processes which is a merging of the task-based automation with AI-powered type. This becomes known as intelligent or cognitive automation which increased operational strategy and performance.

Intelligent automation that works digitally when paired with a human workforce is said to be a powerful combination that can pivot efficiency in operations.

RPA Will Be Widely Adopted

There are many industries that require repetitive tasks from their workforce which can be sped up by RPA integration. The RPA software market is said to grow incredibly in billion dollars this 2021 as adoption increases. Many industries are quickly catching up to this new trend. Who wouldn’t want to gain a quick ROI and speed up processes with zero error? This is what RPA can provide for your brand.

Not Every Industry Fits With RPA

There are different approaches and processes which would require varied automation technologies. Not every company would find RPA helpful Computer-based tasks or processes fits RPA but there are industries that may perform better with other automation technologies.

RPA is basically dependent on configurations set by the person taking charge of its automation mechanism. In effect, once there are misconfigurations set, the workflow would be affected or the entire chain of tasks.

So, RPA actually is under the umbrella of AI but isn’t a smart or intelligent automation technology because it’s not capable of making smart decisions based on big data. RPA is mainly capable of mimicking different human-machine interactions following a set of instructions but AI has a complete mind of its own which can make intelligent decisions without any preset configurations whatsoever.

The Growing Pains Of RPA

RPA is innovative and exciting of course, but it can be very challenging to deploy and maintain. This isn’t a bullet-proof solution to take industries into a more accurate and speedy automation process and reduce slack or sluggishness in the human workforce because everything is still based on human configurations.

However, RPA together with other more intelligent automation technologies can really transform procedures and operations in different industries. This is a tactical type of automation that doesn’t work for every industry. This is said to be just pure hype and may not really scale that much in the coming years but can become a forceful automation tool when combined with smart automation technologies.

Job Losses With RPA Is A Myth

Blame it on the movies but people have anticipated the onset of RPA or smart automation to be a future run by robots and rampant loss of jobs. However, there wouldn’t be any takeover of sorts by robots or other more intelligent software as RPA is completely configured by humans.

Although there would be fewer people to manage by the HR if this happens, RPA taking over the workforce isn’t going to happen. There would be a few decreases in terms of headcount but never a complete takeover.

RPA is said to empower many industries for 20202 because its implementation will drive change and automation in many organizations. The collaboration that will happen between RPA bots and human workers would transform the digital workspace especially with the intervention of smart automation technologies.

This is said to be the key driver for the growth of many businesses especially when integrated into industrial applications. It allows complicated and repetitive functions to work smoothly.

 The mix of these technologies would definitely speed up productivity, efficiency, and ROI for many businesses. The call for automation has been very loud and clear and this is what RPA is all about. This is also an effective data security tool that can prevent any missteps in complex processes that could otherwise be prone to human error and judgment.

Categories
Security

Smart Pro Tips – How To Keep Your Business Data Secure

The advancements in technology also come with new threats to business data security. All organizations experience challenges when it comes to securing sensitive business information. Even the biggest or giant companies experience haywires when it comes to security – but this does not stop them from continuously adopting far better and more effective security measures.

All small- to medium-scale businesses would have to work on making sure that network security is optimized and uncompromised even with these new data security threats around. Network security can be complicated especially because hackers have also become smarter today more than ever. However, you can also become more aggressive in combating these attacks by creating a more robust and infallible network.

Business data that covers customer data protection should be put in place by many companies. Layers of security protection create safe storage for business and consumer data. There is no such thing as being overly protected because you should always keep sensitive company data secure in whatever ways possible.

Strengthen BYOD Security Protocol

Employees are now allowed to work using their own devices. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practice has become a trend for many offices. The setup allows employees to work or access important company files using their own smartphones and laptops right at the office.

 However, the risk of hacking or data being leaked out is increased with no data encryption on these personal devices. More so, an outdated version of an operating system may also precipitate data leakage and malware infestation.

This might be seen to increase productivity and also cost-efficient however company files are also threatened from unauthorized access because employees could be using multiple devices at different points in time. Software updates and installations must be strictly enforced as well as the proper configuration and troubleshooting in place to avoid threats to company data.

To avoid this, a strict security protocol or system must be put in place. Employees must be trained on network security so as to properly handle safe file transfers and handling of company data inside and outside of company premises. You should always have strict control of data access and transfers even when you allow your employees to use their own devices at work.

Get Your Company Data Organized

It is important for an organization to understand the sacredness of company data. In order to protect sensitive data from leakage or unauthorized access, you would need to get it organized in such a way that your employees would know how to handle company information.

Now, not all data is created equal, so it would need to be properly filed according to importance or order of sensitivity. The sensitive or private data must be segregated from the non-sensitive or public data. These private company data must be handled with extra precaution and maximum security. In effect, employees should be given limited access or as per-need-basis only to avoid mishandling of information.

Data Encryption Is A MUST

There are varied security measures being adopted by many organizations today. However, the best way to restrict access to sensitive data that moves from one application or device to the next is data encryption because it facilitates file transfers or movements in a secure data network.

With the BYOD system in place with many companies, you really have to get a tight hold or control over access or transfers happening from across all devices in your network. This could be challenging but it can be done with a main central point having autonomy on network access.

 Even if using your own device is permitted in the office, there should always a main or central point that manages all devices so it becomes in sync with the security framework of your company.

Keep Your Passwords Private And Secure

While there are now advanced security measures being practiced in companies, the basics still have to be strengthened such as having strong passwords that can be used to protect company data. It is very important to create passwords that aren’t predictable and difficult to guess even by people who know you well.

If you are fond of creating passwords with your nickname or birthday on it then it’s time to change that into something undecipherable even by the people closest to you. Choose strong passwords that combine symbols, numbers, and letters to better protect your device and network. It is also important not to share your passwords and keep it private.

Passwords are here to stay even with the integration of biometric systems such as face recognition and fingerprint ID because the classics remain to be the strongest ally to any network threat. Password management applications such as Sticky Password Premium or Dashline 4 are also very beneficial to enhancing the security of your passwords.

Apply Identity And Access Management (IAM)

The introduction of Identity and Access Management or IAM to many organizations has helped strengthen data security in all places and across all devices. This is usually integrated with Single Sign-On or SSO which helps with identity mapping. This authentication technology helps identify people who are accessing company data in real-time. This way, you would know who has accessed what file and at what particular time. Access rights are created and also restrictions can be implemented.

With IAM in place, there will be a fine-grained control over who can access sensitive company data. Everything can also be monitored or managed from a central point which keeps a secure pathway of information. This provides a minimum or restricted privileges to employees who are only given access to the data they would need within their line of work.

Surpass Data Breach

The security challenge in organizations is stronger now more than ever, especially because data breach has been rampant in many companies. The challenge today is creating an impenetrable network security structure to avoid compromising or leakage of sensitive data. Any company network is said to be prone to attacks as there is no perfect network structure. In the event that your company data has been hacked or leaked out, the best way to approach this is to change all passwords and then get in touch with affiliated financial institutions and credit bureaus to report the hacking incident.

These hacking incidents have been going on for many years now. However, with the modern advancements of technology, hackers are continuously finding better and more intuitive ways to attack your system to get into high-value data. Do not be prey to these modern cyber predators by securing your company data with every known security measures. Different or multiple layers of security on your company data is better than nothing.

Most malicious attacks are targeted towards high officials or members of an organization like company directors or CEOs who would always have primary access to sensitive company data. Most companies would usually give autonomy of access to a single or a few members of an organization which could pose more risks to data being leaked.

The best and recommended way to secure your business data is to plan and implement an equal security protocol for each member of the organization. Increased level of awareness and strict implementation of security protocol will help combat security threats like hacking or malware attacks from getting into your company’s networks.

Categories
AR/VR

AR: Blending Real And Virtual Worlds

In the pursuit of digital transformation, we see how augmented reality was invented. Augmented Reality is a technology that you can use to improve the significance of the real world by adding artificial vision to it. With the help of human senses, this process is furthermore enhanced as well. With its growth and development over time, AR has revolutionized visual arts, education, entertainment, tourism, marketing, military, and engineering sectors. 

For instance, there are AR-enabled apps that allow you to measure the dimensions of your furniture quite accurately. This way you won’t have to carry a measuring tape with you all the time, moreover, you easily create your own virtual fitting room with the help of AR tech. 

AR has also revolutionized the fashion industry as it allows any buyer to try on a dress without visiting the store at all. One can try on as many outfits as they like without any hassle. Similarly, the fashion industry has adopted this tech in order to allow its consumers to try on any makeup before they can purchase it. This is a really good way to increase the credibility of any business and thereby enhancing the growth of any business.

It is quite fascinating to use AR in real life, but there are several limitations and drawbacks to it as well.  Without any supervision, AR can be a threat to human life. One of the latest examples for this is VR games the promote its players to move around as they play the game. There are numerous cases of casualties as players lose the sense of their surroundings and hurt themselves as they play games. 

Moreover, there are some other issues with this tech as well, there is a risk of identity theft as it is quite easy for any hacker to get facial details of anyone using this tech. There is a potential threat of losing other confidential details such as: 

  • Social Networking IDs

  • Age 

  • Facial identity

  • Personal background

  • Sexual preferences

  • Criminal records

  • Marital status

Furthermore, people can cause discomfort as they use this technology excessively. Using it for long periods of time can also affect your mental state along with your eyes. Which is why one should make sensible use of this technology. 

As of now, there are minimal potential risks that are involved with the usage of this technology. With the advancement of AR technology, people are using this tech for entertainment and social interactions. There are advanced headsets such as Oculus virtual reality that allow you to watch 3D movies, play interactive games, and interact with virtual characters as well. It is just like going on a world tour without leaving the comfort of your couch. 

This technology is quite handy for engineers as well, they can program the software in such a way that it would help them with their inspection work without going to the actual site on a regular basis. There are products like Google X that are there in the market that are quite advanced and efficient for such complex works. There are many companies like GE, Boeing, and Volkswagen that uses this technology in order to improve and develop their products, productivity, and efficiency. 

AR has completely revolutionized the medical sector as well, with the help of virtual holograms and images student can learn more about the human body, surgeries, and other vital aspects without risking any life or practicing all this on a deceased person. Students get to study human anatomy with the help of 3D holograms as well. Moreover, with the help of AR, it is now possible to study complex parts of the human brain easily. There are simulations that medical students can experience as they practice surgery and operation that too without risking anyone’s life. It is just a matter of time as we explore more dimensions to the use of this technology. 

One of the most appealing features of this technology is its use in visual arts. As this technology is implemented in museums, it would be possible for owners to host shows and auctions without too much of a hassle. Everyone would be able to enjoy the artworks without any discomfort. 

Besides these benefits, there are some drawbacks to this technology as well. With the rise in its popularity teens are getting more and more addicted to the AR games. This is a grave threat to their mental and physical health as they tend to spend countless hours playing online games. 

This also affects their social life as they cut off themselves from the real world as well. This is also applicable to adults as they try to escape from their problems with the help of this virtual world. This addiction makes them submissive and can promote the tendency to avoid any human interaction. This is a big threat to the community which is why one should be careful about how they use this technology. 

As for the military application of this tech, it is quite a tricky decision. During a battle, there is no time for the soldiers to think about their plan and if there is any defect in their VR sets it can cost them their life. If anyone gets access to the network on which the military is operating it can be quite chaotic. There are several performances and battery issues with this technology as well, which is why there can be downtimes and a decrease in productivity and efficiency in that sector. 

AR is a technology with countless dimensions. But people should use it mindfully as well. 

Categories
Apps

Privacy Invasion: Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location

Tracking location is a handy and convenient thing that technology offers. But there are privacy issues with this as well, as your location can be easily tracked by the apps that you have on your Android or iOS device. 

There are several companies that track your location and then sell all this data to marketing firms. This is how you get relevant ads as you browse anything. With a few simple steps, you can make sure that any of the apps that you have on your device are not tracking your location. 

So How Can Tell If Any Of The Apps On Your Device Are Sharing Your Location?

It is really difficult to be sure that any of the location data companies are tracking your mobile phones. Most of the apps these days share your location data and share that with other companies as they mention that in their privacy policy which is completely ignored by most of the users. 

These long privacy policies have a dense and technical language that can confuse any average reader. Most of the apps that try to use data based on location often describe that this data will be used for market analysis only. 

There is no definite list that you can refer to, to find about such apps. However, apps related to weather, sports updates, travel, shopping deals, and dating are most likely to use location services. 

How You Can Stop Location Tracking In Different Apps? 

You may be aware of the fact that Google is tracking your location when you use Google Maps, but there are several android apps that also share you location data through these in-built apps. It is possible for you to stop apps from sharing your location but as you turn this feature it may affect some of the apps such as Uber, Google Maps, etc.

Is It Possible To Delete Your Location Data From These Databases?

As there is a limited number of rules and regulations that govern the location data industry it is quite difficult for users to delete their data or to get access to the data. Moreover, it is possible that all of your information is shared with other companies and there is no identification number that is associated with it. Also, the companies are under no obligation to delete your information or give you access. 

In order to prevent this from happening, people have the legal right to request a copy of all the data about them that is there in the company’s database. They can even ask the companies to delete that data as well. 

Stopping Google Tracking Through Your Android Device:

In order to disable your android device from feeding on your location data, you can go to “SETTINGS” opening your different accounts that are there on Google. There you can select the account name that you need to modify. As you click on “GOOGLE ACCOUNT” you will be directed on the next page where you need to find “MANAGE YOUR DATA AND PERSONALIZATION”. Under “ACTIVITY CONTROL” you can customize various activities and app preferences. This is where you easily delete all of your location-based data. 

Disabling Location Tracking On Your Android Device:

Similar to the above process, you can easily stop your Android device from recording or using you location without your permission. You just have to open “SETTING” in your device and locate “SECURITY AND LOCATION” there. All the apps that are using location-based data will appear there. You can easily turn off the “USE LOCATION” option there. 

In addition to this, you should click on the “ADVANCED” button to open 4 categories in Google’s location services that are :

  • Emergency Location Service.

  • Location Accuracy

  • Location History

  • Location Sharing

Disabling Google Tracking:

In order to stop Google and its services to track your location with the help of a browser. You just have to visit https://myactivity.google.com/ and there you go to the “ACTIVITY CONTROLS” that you will found on the left side of the menu. You can now select the services that you need and turn off those you do not. This may take a little while as there are a lot of services listed there and you might not be familiar with them all. You can do research on your part and select what is best for you. You can even delete your App and Web activities, device information, and location history from there. 

This is a way through which you can prevent Google from collecting your personal data. In order to delete the previously collected data, you just move to the “MY ACTIVITY” page and there you can tap on “DELETE ACTIVITY BY” that you will find in the menu that is there on the left side. One also gets the option to filter their data by keyword, date, and app.

In a similar way, you can disable location services from your browser and from popular social media platforms. If you are using an iOS device that you just have to open “SETTINGS” and turn off “LOCATION” from there.  

It is really important for all the users to make sure that any of the apps that they use are not misusing their personal data. There are many possible threats as these apps share location and browsing data of their users.

Categories
Gaming

How Cryptocurrency Is Shaping The World Of Gaming In 2020

Gaming has definitely evolved into more than just a hobby as it has become a full-time career for many esports professionals or gamers worldwide. Yes, it seems that a lot of people are not toying with the idea of gaming and are now taking it seriously.

Playing your favorite video games is now a sport and a full-time job or business even. You can say that this is a dream job for many casual gamers who used to play games for hours for free and are now paid for it.

Now, another hot topic in terms of technological advancements is the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain concepts. This has become incredibly popular especially for millennials who are actively engaged in cryptocurrency investments and trading.

Well, the generation Z happens to be both a fan of both cryptocurrencies and gaming – a great mix. In fact, a report from the Worldwide Asset Exchange states that around 75% of about 1,000 gamers express interest to use cryptocurrencies in gaming as this can also be used in wide platforms.

The Gaming Industry At Its Peak Levels

Gaming is dubbed to be on the highly profitable and scalable industries in the world. They have remained at a consistent pace for many years. In fact, the video games market is set to be a 90-billion dollar industry this 2020. The gaming industry has definitely come a long way from the black and white animated graphics to the cloud-based video games that many gamers are enjoying right now.

Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain concept is gradually being integrated into the esports or gaming industry as some blockchain-based companies like Play2Live have hosted esports tournaments with Level Up Coin (LUC) as a prize. Some other companies that offer tokens or cryptocurrencies as game assets or prize are Enjin, Big Bang, and Sgame Pro. This is said to be a game-changer and is transforming the face of gaming and cryptocurrency as a whole.

A decentralized or trusted network offered by a blockchain technology provides gamers security from data fraud. This provides a secure cryptographic system that takes accounts of transactions with game assets that are traded, sold, and bought in the game.

With the merger of cryptocurrency and gaming, gamers are now able to have full control of their game assets and enable easy exchange or trade of a variety of items in other platforms. Gamers who now play and earn with cryptocurrency can easily trade or exchange this into fiat money.

Cryptocurrency And Gaming Industry – An Uncanny Mix?

At a glance, cryptocurrency and gaming might be an uncanny mix. However, cryptocurrency and gaming now totally makes sense because of the convenience and security it provides gamers and investors alike as these game assets are convertible to fiat money or can be used to purchase anything from accessories, skins, and other items in the game.

Gaming is becoming a trend nowadays more than ever because it has trodden a different path or platform. You can now earn a full-time income or even surpass your day job pay while playing video games. Yes, you earn real-world money or cryptocurrency which provides not just sheer enjoyment for gamers but also a way to earn at the same time. It’s mostly a player-driven economy because of the integration of cryptocurrencies in the gaming industry. Gamers now get to call the shots in terms of their earnings.

Coins or tokens are easier and more secure to transfer as compared to fiat money which accounts for why many international gaming marketplaces are adopting blockchain technology and the use of cryptocurrencies. The transfer of value does not go through a central point or a third-party entity like a bank or any other financial institution out there.

What’s more, is that cryptocurrencies have the same value despite location, unlike fiat currency that changes per region or country. Trading now becomes very convenient even when gaming with international players. Users can now have their cryptocurrencies in any fiat currency desired whether it is in US dollars or Euro and any other currency in the world imaginable. The currency conversion fees can also be a pain and a mess which is what cryptocurrency is trying to revolutionize the gaming ecosphere.

The Takeover Is Real!

It’s definitely shaking boundaries. With cryptocurrency in the picture, in-game assets won’t need to be converted into US dollars or other currencies. This would then be the in-game currency which helps simplify and speed up valuation and transfer processes with zero or fewer scams when gaming. However, cryptocurrencies are also very volatile so its value changes every day. With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and others, there is no such thing as a fixed value but there is in-game value.

Is there a merger or takeover happening? Yes, there is and it’s bound to change the gaming industry for good and long-term. The Internet of Things has created a large impact and possibilities in the gaming arena as games have now transcended from consoles to other devices and even smartphones which enable more gamers to take their gaming while on the move. It has matched the very mobile generation today who happens to like gaming and are into cryptocurrency.

This has spurred excitement for many investors, users, and startups because gaming can now be blockchain-based which can be used to create games or gaming stores. There is never-ending potential to this merger of two worlds.  In fact, there are now game-focused coins or cryptocurrencies that have invaded the mainstream – DigiByte, and GameCredits – which are bound to automate the gaming industry and money transactions.

This may seem like a futuristic venture but it is happening now. Gaming is a very popular industry and is now being targeted by many blockchain-based companies. Gamers can now buy newly released games, accessories, or upgrades with digital currencies and even get paid with digital coins. The versatility and security of cryptocurrencies is an advantage in the blockchain system and it seems that this weird mix actually does work after all.

Categories
CRM

Choosing And Implementing The Right CRM System For Your Business

The task of finding the right – more than the best – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for your business is almost as risky and frustrating as establishing the business itself. It is such a major decision to make because you are going to have to invest a significant amount of valuable time and resources that may or may not turn out as expected. Fortunately, there are information readily available to help you in choosing and setting up a customer relationship management system. Below, we offer tips and a brief guide to make sure that the CRM system you invest in provides the ideal features and support your organization need and is implemented in a timely and cost-efficient way.

Proper selection and implementation are important to make sure that the CRM system you choose meets your organization’s specific needs. A CRM system may turn out to be an expensive waste of resources rather than an efficient management tool if not chosen and/or implemented properly. So to start on the right track, you have to have the right idea of what a CRM system is, what it does, and the ideal features it should have before anything else.

Choosing A CRM System

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a tool that helps in managing your business’ interactions with customers. It tracks and reports information about the people your business engages to helpin you make sound decisions toward specific goals. Anyone in the organization can use and benefit from a CRM platform. It is a common misconception that a CRM tool should be left for the tech department to take care of since it is under their field. In truth though, all players in the business hold significant roles in the success of a CRM system (more on that below).

An ideal CRM system should be capable of doing the following:

1. Manages Leads Better.

Right off the bat, an ideal CRM system should be able to generate and convert more leads. This rests on the fact that using a CRM system will help your business keep track of all its interaction with customers and categorize them into specific standards that will give you an idea of how to handle them better. With more useful information about customers, your business can maximize its efforts towards the right leads and convert leads that need extra care into loyal customers.

2. Boosts productivity.

The right CRM system should also boost your organization’s productivity. CRMs are designed to collect and simplify data in a faster and more accurate manner. With a better view of your customers, your business can directly answer your customers’ needs and do tasks efficiently.

3. Provides Better Customer Support

Since customer interaction records are systematically collected and filed, a CRM system should enable your business to provide better customer support. Customers today expect fast and personalized support in real-time. With an efficient CRM system, your business can provide the information they need and fill them up with high-quality support.

4. Improve Products And Services

One more benefit of a good CRM system is that it helps you improve your products and services. CRM systems provide useful information about the preferences of your customers, what they like and dislike, their purchasing behavior and what they are willing to pay for. Having these can help you streamline processes, improve quality, and serve your customers better.

The implementation of a CRM system is costly and would typically need significant amount of time. Having a good task list and plan about what needs to be done can make it less overwhelming and manageable. Here are some suggestions about what needs to be considered in implementing a CRM system.

1. Create An Effective Project Management Team And System.

The implementation of the CRM system in your business is everyone’s task. All departments within the organization hold an important role in providing insights and first-hand experience on customer activities. Each can also provide information about the gaps that a CRM system can possibly bridge. You have to appoint key persons like the project manager that will look after the whole project – from start to finish, the analyst responsible for data migration, the developer for system customization, the test engineer for checks and trials, and representatives from all using departments. This team can be augmented with additional persons that can help with the implementation of the CRM system.

2. Device A Change Implementation Plan

It is called a “change plan” because there will be multiple changes a CRM system can bring about and surprisingly, adapting to these changes tops the reasons why CRM systems initially fail. To avoid this, the project management team must plan on how to effectively introduce the CRM system in the existing environment and get every user familiar with the changes. These can be achieved through the following:

–Communication

Let all of the staff know why you are implementing a CRM system, why you’re letting them know, and what are the expectations that your business have once the system is completed. Your communication with them should also allow the flow of discussions and feedbacks and ultimately give them time to adjust.

–Training

Your plan must provide all the necessary trainings to get all the users inclined with the system. This can range from online brief courses to actual practicals.

3. Customize And Test your CRM System.

CRM systems are, at best, inclusive today with a lot of features but since business processes greatly vary, it is important to carefully identify the spots that need twitching and adjustments to make sure that your new CRM system will suit your business. Ultimately, testing the system and evaluating each result will help you formulate sound conclusions about what needs to be adjusted (if there is any).

Choosing and implementing a CRM system is a handful of task in itself. It requires not just the effort of the tasked team but also the cooperation of the whole organization. It is not a mere adoptation of a new technology. It is a change for a better mindset and a collective strategy to improve the way each one do business.

Categories
Big Data

Big Data: Here’s What It Offers

Let us start by understanding what Big data is all about!

Data is technically defined as a series of characters, symbols, or quantities on which any computer performs its operations. This data can be stored or sent in the form of electrical signals as well. Similarly, big data is the general form of data that is huge in size. This is a term that we use in order to define a huge group of data that is growing over time. Moreover, with its size, it is impossible to manage this data with any of the traditional management tools. 

There are several notable examples of big data such as:

  • NY Stock Exchange
    Nearly 1 TB of trade data is generated in the NY stock exchange per day. 
  • Social Media
    Social media platforms like facebook have about 500 TB of new data getting into their database every day. The data that is generated consists of comments, videos, posts, message exchange, etc. 
  • Airline Sector
    It is observed that a single jet engine is capable of generating almost 10 TB of data during a 30-minute flight. With thousands of aircraft flying on a daily basis, the data generated reaches up to Petabytes. 

Essentially there are three forms in which we can see BigData:

  • Structured 

Structured data is defined as the data that can be accessed, processed, and stored in a fixed format. With the advancement in technology, we have seen a rise of several capable tools that can be used in order to maintain and manage such data. However, with the ever-increasing size of data, it is quite a challenge to use structured data and manage it regularly. 

  • Unstructured

Any data with an unknown form or structure is known as unstructured data. Along with the issue of the huge size, it is quite difficult to manage unstructured data and derive any value out of it. A heterogeneous combination of text files, images, videos, etc. is a good example of this form of data. These days every company own tons of data but are unable to process it properly due to its raw form. Google’s output result is a really common example in this category.  

  • Semi-structured

As the name suggests, this is a combination of both structured and unstructured data. The data that we see in semi-structured databases is structured but we can not define it thereafter. The best example of semi-structured data is the data representation in an XML file. 

There Are 4 Basic Characteristics That We Can Observe In Bigdata:

  • Volume

As the name suggests with Bigdata we get files that are huge in size. The volume of a file is the first and the basic step through which we determine if it can be considered as Bigdata or not. The value of the data is also proportional to its volume as well. 

  • Variety 

Both structured and unstructured data consists of text files, images, videos, etc. This is why we see how difficult it is for analytical tools to analyze all the data correctly. Moreover, the addition of images and video files increases the file size that triggers the storage and mining issues as well. 

  • Velocity

The speed at which the data is transferred or received is known as its velocity. With Bigdata we observe that it deals with the data at the speed with which the data is received from its source such as business logs, application processes, social media sites, etc. The flow of data is quite massive and continuous as well. 

  • Variability 

Variability is referred to as the inconsistency that we observe with the data. This inconsistency create problems with the management and organization of the data. 

There are several benefits of using Bigdata processing such as:

  • With the help of Bigdata businesses can easily utilize the social data they get from search engines and social media platforms in order to scale their business. 
  • You can even improve your customer service with this as well. With the advancements, you get more natural language processing and better customer responses along with a much better operational facility. 
  • You get early detection if there are any risks with your product or service.

Lastly, let us start with the best strategies that we can follow in order to improve marketing through Bigdata. 

1. Use Predictive Analytics

It is really important that you use analytical tools in order to invest in really good web design. This should be your first step as you head out with the motive of digital marketing. A well-designed website is going to help you in the long run. Eventually, you will have longer visits on your website and thus more potential customers. With the help of predictive analytics you can create a clean and user-friendly website that you can optimize over time.

2. Machine Learning For SEO

As you use healthy SEO practices you can improve your Google ratings. As your customer search on Google, your name will appear on the top. This is how your potential customers would be able to find you easily. Although, the algorithms are continuously changing which is why you should opt for machine learning so that you can keep your website updated with the latest SEO practices 

3. Associate And Affiliate Program

These programs are really good as you start with your marketing campaign. These associates and affiliates will publish about your website on their respective pages that will boost traffic to your website. It is quite a handy way with which you can massively improve your results. 

4. Hire A Professional

If you ever feel like things are not going the way you planned you should not hesitate in hiring a professional. They will share their experience with you and thus you will be able to tacker other things. 

5. Email Marketing

It is not about spamming someone with loads of emails. You should prepare an email list with the content that is more relatable to each type of customer. When you try a more personalized approach you will surely get much better results. You should analyze their online behavior and prepare your content according to that only. 

6. Developing An Opt-in Email List

This is another great with which you can direct more traffic to your website. As visitors try to sign in they will get directed to your homepage. This way you can add more customers to your email list as well. 

7. Write Meaningful Content 

This can be seen as the soul of your website. You should try to create content that is relevant and appropriate to your target audience. This way you can engage them to your content and thus increasing the credibility of your website. 

8.Online Press Release

Time to time press releases is a good way for you to launch new products and services. If this is done with a well thought out plan including Bigdata factors you can dramatically improve your reach. 

9. Hold Promotions

In order to promote your content, you can host giveaways and contests for your clients. This way you increase customer interaction and improve the chances for more sales. 

10. Power Of Blog

You should never underestimate the power of a good blog. It will be quite handy for you to set up a really good blog with relevant and relatable themes. You can use the blogs in order to connect with your customers over time. 

Categories
Blockchain

The Importance Of Blockchain To World’s Economy In Near Future

You might have heard of the word “Blockchain”, but most of us are unaware of what this word means and how it can be helpful for our economy. So this article is your guide to learn about Blockchain and its effects on the world’s economy and businesses.

What Is A Blockchain?

For instance, you want to transfer some money from your account to your friend’s account. You will approach your bank for this. As the money is being transferred to your friend’s account the bank registers the transaction details onto its database. These details are thereafter updated on both receiver and sender’s account.

But the problem is, that all these details can be edited or manipulated really easily by the bank. The people who know about all this try to avoid these types of transactions. This problem can be tackled using Blockchain.

Blockchain is just like a spreadsheet that is shared among a network of PCs and every user gets a copy of that. The spreadsheet had all the relevant information of the transaction. This information can be accessed by anyone but no one can edit it.

So basically Blockchain works with blocks instead of rows and columns. A block is a collection of data which is further connected to other blocks in sequential order. This created a chain of blocks that are linked together and the first block is known as the Genesis Block. Blockchain is a “distributed ledger” that is shared over a network and all the users get a complete copy of the ledger.

These some key aspects which proves why Blockchain is more effective than the traditional system of information keeping:

  • Peer-to-peer

distribution of information increases the transparency of this system. All the partakers communicate directly with each other, which ensures that no central authority is there to manipulate the data. As the data is spread across the whole network, meddling with data is not possible.

  • Cryptographically Securing

the data makes it more secure and tamper-proof.

  • Addition Of Data

is the only way Blockchain system work. The data is added in chronological order as well. This implies that once the data block is added to the Blockchain, it is impossible to edit the data.

  • Consensus

is one of the most important and useful aspects of this system. This gives the Blockchain the power to update or edit the data via consensus. This is how the power is decentralized as no authority can take control of updating the blocks.

Blockchain has been there since the hype and evolution of bitcoins and the cynical market decided to keep all its effort toward bitcoins rather than the technology behind it. Everyone was trying to explore the endless possibilities that are there with Blockchain in private and public sectors. Several public and private sectors have already started to fully utilize Blockchain’s capabilities. They are trying to incorporate this into their day-to-day tasks as well.

Benefits Of Using Blockchain And How It Can Affect The Economy

There’s an army of offices that maintain our financial records and services, as users we even pay for these services to simplify all these processes. Still, we see how a large number of financial crimes occur every year. This is where Blockchain technology is going to help. With a decentralized ledger that too with several levels of cryptography security, which is available across the network with easy access to all users. This also eliminates the cost of mediators. Real-time verification and recording of transactions including equity, bonds, money and even contracts is a remarkable idea.

The only downside here is the displacement of all these office workers. But this is a cost that is reasonable and fair considers the benefits of using Blockchain.

Getting control of information away from the government is certainly a significant step. Identity thefts and such other incidents would be eliminated as well. In addition, this transparency would make it easier for people to evaluate the effectiveness of charities and taxes. This is a way you can prevent corruption as well. This increased trust would encourage people to help and support those in need.

Blockchain technology would also prevent the possibility of vote-rigging and every gray aspect in the voting process. In some developing countries, we see several news articles about how voters get intimidated or the polling booths get damaged by the government to control the outcome.

A decentralized ledger would enable voters to vote from their homes without any influence. The accuracy and anonymity of the votes will also be preserved. This is an excellent way to end corruption during elections.

Using this technology for banking services would be really helpful. It has been estimated that the banking industry would save around 16-20 billion dollars per year through this. Mediators will be eliminated completely.

Other than the financial sector, Blockchain technology can be helpful with several other sectors as well:

  • Supply Chains: This tech would enable the companies and users to track the products right from their original source.
  • Energy Sector: This would enable the user to share any excess of energy, this will help in ending the control of energy from utility companies.
  • Government: Government sectors are trying to use Blockchain for record-keeping. This will help in tracking all money-related transactions, eliminating corruption whatsoever.
  • Music Industry: Using Blockchain would enable the music industry to fight piracy issues. The right people will get paid.
  • Healthcare: With the level of transparency that this technology offers, leaking of patient details would be impossible. Medical data saved there can even be used for research purposes as well.

To conclude, blockchain can create a social impact through the use of crypto-currencies. This technology is going to affect the financial sector greatly. This will also prevent issues such as identity theft and financial fraud.

This technology will greatly increase the transparency for all financial processes, which can help in preventing corruption and manipulative governments. As tax-payers we will be able to track where your money went and who is getting the benefit of all this tax money. This will ensure that the government puts our money to good use as well.

These are the ways in which Blockchain technology is going to affect a country’s and the world’s economy.

Categories
Cloud

Dominating Future Through Cloud Computing

So What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is here and it is ready to dominate the IT sector. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services that include:

  • Storage
  • Servers
  • Database 
  • Networking
  • Software
  • Analytics

You get all these services over the internet. As you only pay for the services that you use, cloud computing is an effective way to reduce your operations cost and scale your business effectively.

Why Cloud Computing?

Here are the seven reasons why organizations are adopting cloud computing:

  • Speed

As most cloud-based computing services are provided on-demand and are self-services, a  huge amount of resources can be accessed within minutes. This provides a lot of flexibility to businesses.

  • Cost

As you only pay for the services that you use, you can save a lot on operations costs. Cloud computing also eliminates the need of buying expensive hardware and software as well.  

  • Global Scale

Cloud computing has the ability to scale elastically. This means that as a user you can get the required amount of computing resources on your fingertips. 

  • Productivity

As cloud computing eliminated the need for on-site database management services, the IT team can save a lot of their time and thus their productivity increases. 

  • Performance

As cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure datacentres. These centers are equipped with the latest hardware and software which is why cloud computing performs optimally.

  • Reliability

As the data get regularly back up at different sites, your data is always secured. Which is why cloud computing is much more reliable than on-site servers and databases.

  • Security

As cloud service providers offer a variety of policies, technologies, and controls, which enables you to increase your data security and even protects you from potential threats. 

Types of Cloud Computing Architectures

Not all clouds are the same and every user has different requirements, which is why it is important that you understand the difference between each type of cloud computing. Basically, there are 3 types of cloud computing architectures.

  • Public Cloud

Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers. They deliver their computing resources like servers and storage over the internet. You can use and manage these services over the internet.

  • Private Cloud

A private cloud refers to cloud computing services owned by a business. The datacentre could be located on the company’s premises. The infrastructure and services are maintained on a private network as well.

  • Hybrid Cloud

This is a combination of both public cloud and private cloud. As they get bound together through technology the exchange of data and applications is possible between them. Hybrid cloud gives your business more flexibility and helps in optimizing your current infrastructure and security.

Cloud Computing Models

Most cloud computing services fall into four categories:

  • Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)

This is the most common type of service in cloud computing. With it, you just rent out everything right from infrastructure to an operating system from a cloud provider. You just pay for the services that you use.

  • Platform As A Service (PaaS)

A supply of platform for testing, delivery and development and management of software applications is the basis of PaaS. This type of cloud system is suitable for developers as it enables them to recreate mobile and web apps.  

  • Serverless Computing

Serverless computing tries on developing application functionality without the continuous management of infrastructure and servers. The service provider handles all this stuff. These computing services are greatly expandable as they only use services when a certain function is triggered.

  • Software As A Service(SaaS)

This is a way to deliver software and application through the world wide web, mostly as a subscription plan. The cloud provider manages all the applications and infrastructure. Users connect with the application through their mobile phones and desktops easily.

Cloud Computing Trends to Witness in Future

Now that we know what cloud computing is and how we are using it, how the industry is adopting cloud technology for day-to-day tasks? Here is a list of all the possible trends that we are going to see in the future.

  • Storage Capacity

With the possibility of a vast amount of storage on the cloud, we can see an exponential growth in terms of cloud storage. According to CISCO, there is approximately 370 Exabyte data at cloud centers. This number is going to reach 1.1 Zettabyte soon.  

We can see how sharing through cloud-based platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive is now more than ever. 

  • Increase In Cloud-based Systems 

Cloud-based container systems offer developers to launch their applications easily and quickly. As the infrastructure is also secured, this allows new applications to work well without any lag. We are going to witness a lot of adoption of the cloud container system in the future.

  • Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning

As obvious as it may sound, cloud computing is currently run and maintained by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Companies like Google, Microsoft and, IBM are using this to scale their businesses. They are taking full advantage of cloud-based services.

  • Cloud Computing With Less Server

As updates of cloud services are automatic and simple. Users do not need to spend much effort and time in order to maintain these cloud services. As this technology is designed with fewer servers, the users can develop apps without any need to worry about any of the servers.

As this technology is developing every year every business and organization should adopt cloud-based computing for its safety and reliability.

  • Hybrid Cloud 

As mentioned earlier, hybrid cloud provides the benefit of both public and private cloud. As users, this gives us a great amount of flexibility to work with both these options. This is seen as a great way to save you cloud costs. You can save your critical data on your private cloud while all other data can be stored on the public cloud. 

Organizations take advantage of cloudbusting whenever they face increased demand for applications. Cloudbusting is an option where the apps run in a private cloud and can use public cloud resources as well. 

Businesses would only for the services they use rather than paying for the whole package. This is a great way of saving costs and lower the risk of business loss. Ass we see how cloud’s security keeps that data safe and secure all the time.

  • Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a way to increase the processing power of computers using quantum physics. With the help of cloud services, users will be able to access the quantum computer as well. These computers can be used to solve complex computations faster and more accurately. Quantum computers are powerful enough to perform these complex calculations easily. Which is going to save a lot of time and effort as well.

Moreover, these computers can break the code to encrypt electronic communications, which is going to reinvent cybersecurity. We see all the major companies are even trying to develop their businesses through quantum computing.

For financial services, quantum computing can help in increasing the rate and speed of transactions. As it stores data in qubits which is a simpler form of data, this allows the transactions to be faster and this even eliminates the need of hiring additional resources.

  • Automation

The automation process is going to reduce human efforts required to maintain and update the cloud services. This is going to increase human productivity and at the same time automation is going to increase the data security and resource strength.

It is going to allow developers to edit or change their websites that are located at the cloud without any error. Additionally, as the website goes live, if anything is not right with it, the user is directed to a previous version of the website. This ensures a smooth experience for the user.

As moving data to the cloud is a time-taking process, developers can use automation to automatically upload their data without any extra effort. This tool can be used for public, private and hybrid cloud.

  • Enhanced Internet Speed

With the help of the Internet of Things (IoT) the quality of the internet will be increased. We would be able to store data in the cloud to improve and enhance the performance even more.  

  • Modular Software

With modified software cloud computing is going to provide better security and facilities. The software is going to be more user-friendly and flexible in terms of usage. This is going to save the overall cost and time as well. 

Effect on the economy

As the concept of cloud computing evolves it would eliminate the need for setting up hardware and infrastructure. Most of the work will be done through cloud computing only which is going to save a lot of money and effort that was earlier used for setting up and maintaining hardware. Moreover, most of the data analysis will be done with the machines so no more human help will be required.

We are going to several more trends with cloud computing. There are endless possibilities with cloud computing that are yet to be discovered. Rest assured, cloud computing is going to dominate our IT industry with its remarkable features and easy usage.