Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Security

4 Home Tech Innovations You Should Consider Getting Now

Your home is your castle, and naturally, you want your castle to be as convenient as possible. There are plenty of modern home tech innovations for your home that can turn your castle into an advanced fortress of security and convenience. Here are a few modern tech innovations you should consider for your own home.

Top 4 Home Tech Innovations For Your Home

4 Home Tech Innovations You Should Consider Getting Now

Heated Floors

Nobody likes getting up in the morning and walking onto the cold bathroom floor with bare feet—especially in the winter. With radiant heating installed on your floor, you’ll be able to step into the bathroom and be greeted with warm floors whenever you wake up or step out of the shower. Sure, they cost a bit more than standard flooring, but the benefits are extremely convenient, plus they will raise your home’s property value in the process.

Also, similar technology can also be used on your driveway to quickly and effortlessly melt any snow or ice away during the winter. This can come in handy if you don’t want to be burdened with the task of clearing the driveway or can’t due to age, a disability, or have recently been out of commission because of an injury or surgery, like the kind offered at Northwest Surgery Center.

Smart Doorbell Camera

Smart doorbell technology is definitely worth the cost. With the ability to know exactly who is at your door or who has been at your door, you’ll be able to stay safe and ensure that any packages you order are secure and accounted for. They’ve become much easier to install over the years, and if you live in the city or a spot where package theft is a problem, you definitely need to install a doorbell camera.

Smart Thermostat

If you’re tired of needing to adjust the thermostat during those in-between months where you’re not quite sure if you’re hot or cold or are just tired of wasting AC and heat, getting a smart thermostat might be a good option for you. These thermostats adjust to your specific needs depending on the time of day based on when parts of the house are actually occupied. This reduces the cost of using heating and cooling throughout the year and cuts your bill tremendously.

Home Security System

Want your home to be as safe as possible? Installing a home security system is the best defense against home invasions, robberies, and other unwanted intrusions. These systems can be controlled and monitored via your smartphone, and once they’ve been triggered you will get notified. If it triggers when you’re home, an alarm will immediately go off and hopefully scare away the intruder. This also sends out an automatic signal to the authorities if not deactivated within approximately thirty seconds to a minute. It’s the quickest way to ensure that you, your family, and your home are protected from break-ins.

The Best of Modern Homes

These innovative home technologies are each convenient in their own ways, whether it’s something as trivial as having warm floors for your bathroom or as vital as protecting your home from intruders. Interested? Consider getting these handy features for your home!

Categories
Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Information and Communication Technology (ICT) News

Application Security Testing Methods and How They Differ: SAST, DAST, and IAST

Application security testing (AST) can be of different kinds, and knowing which one to use may be difficult. In this blog post, we will discuss the three most common types of application security testing: static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), and interactive application security testing (IAST). We will explain the differences between these three types of testing, their pros, and cons, and help you decide which type is best for your needs.

Types of Application Security Testing Methods

Application Security Testing Methods and How They Differ SAST, DAST, and IAST
Application security testing (AST) can be of different kinds, and knowing which one to use may be difficult between SAST, DAST, and IAST.

SAST

This is a type of application security testing that analyzes source code for potential vulnerabilities. SAST tools examine the code itself, rather than how the code is executed. This makes SAST an ideal choice for applications that are in development or have not yet been released to the public. Static analysis can identify issues such as coding errors and insecure configurations, but it cannot detect issues that occur during runtime.

SAST Pros:

  • SAST tools can help you find flaws in your code as and when you’re working on it
  • Many SAST tools allow integrations with most coding platforms such as GitHub, Eclipse, etc.
  • It is more accurate and reports fewer false positives

SAST Cons:

  • Since it does not test applications during runtime, it can miss critical vulnerabilities
  • Doesn’t look for flaws after deployment

DAST

This is a type of application security testing that tests an application while it is running. DAST tools use automated scanners or manual testers to simulate attacks on the live application. This allows DAST to find vulnerabilities that may only be exploitable when the application is running. However, since dynamic application security testing (DAST) does not have access to the source code, it cannot identify issues that occur during compile time.

DAST Pros:

  • DAST can find vulnerabilities that only occur during runtime
  • It can test applications that are already deployed
  • It’s effective in finding high-level vulnerabilities

DAST Cons:

  • Can take up more time
  • May cause the application to crash during testing
  • Not as accurate as SAST as it may report quite a few false positives.
  • Since DAST tools do not have access to the source code, they cannot identify issues that occur during compile time.
  • It’s more challenging to employ on apps that need a lot of user input as it can be difficult to automate

IAST

This type of application security testing is much like DAST as it is performed on applications that are running. However, it goes a step further and “interacts” with the application while testing. This can include fuzzing, injecting code into the application, testing with different inputs, etc. IAST tends to be more accurate than DAST, as it detects flaws based on the application’s response to the inputs given. It’s also just as good as DAST in detecting issues that occur during runtime.

IAST Pros:

  • IAST is more accurate than DAST, as it detects flaws based on the application’s response to the inputs given.
  • It can detect issues that occur during runtime
  • IAST is just as good as DAST in detecting issues that occur during runtime

IAST Cons:

  • Can be more difficult to set up
  • Takes more time than SAST or DAST
  • May require more technical expertise than SAST or DAST

SAST vs. DAST vs. IAST:

In short, SAST tests an application’s source code while DAST tests an application while it is running/in its live environment. IAST tests applications by interacting with them with various inputs and analyzing the application’s response to them.

So, what’s the best type of Application Security Testing (AST) for your needs?

The answer to that depends on what type of application you’re testing, how much of it has been developed, and the goal of the test.

  • If you’re looking for a way to find coding errors and insecure configurations in your code, SAST is the best option for you.
  • If you’re looking for a way to find vulnerabilities that occur during runtime, DAST is the best option.
  • And if you’re looking for a more accurate and in-depth assessment of your application’s security, IAST is the best option.

However, keep in mind that no single type of application security testing can provide a complete view of an application’s security posture.

Conclusion

Application security testing is vital and crucial for ensuring safe and secure applications are put out in the world.

As a matter of fact, there are other two application testing methods that we omitted but are open to discussing in the future; Software Composition Analysis (SCA) which acts differently from the others, it monitors open-source, third-party libraries, for vulnerabilities in all types of mobile or web applications, and Penetration Testing (pen test) is the reliant on human agent to assess the application’s architecture, components, and code libraries by simulating an attack.

SAST, DAST, and IAST are three different types of application security testing methods with their own strengths and weaknesses. Choose the right type of AST for your needs or use all three in conjunction to get the most comprehensive view of your application’s security posture.

Author Bio-

Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead and Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing “engineering in marketing” to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than two years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks on top companies, early-age start-ups, and online events.

Categories
Designs & Invention Disruption Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

How to Have More Efficient Manufacturing Processes

It is very important to make sure that your business is working as efficiently as possible in the modern manufacturing world. By eliminating wastefulness and making sure that your products are delivered in the best manner you can achieve, your business is then sure to be a definite success. So, the question you might be asking yourself as a manufacturing owner is how to make sure that you have the right processes in place to be more efficient. Thankfully for you, you are in the right place as this guide has been created to ensure a few ways to allow your business to be successful. Read on now to learn all about having an efficient manufacturing processes. 

Use Automatic Mobile Robots

If you are looking to cut costs on workers and ensure a round-the-clock operation, then your business must invest in automatic mobile robots. They can be trained to memorize every part of the factory floor and then set off and do work quickly and efficiently. The types of robots that you should be interested in are lifts, pallet trucks, drones, and tractors, meaning that you will have a fleet to take on every part of the manufacturing process. Take a look now for AMR solutions that work for your business. 

Use Smart Management Systems 

Despite the rise of automation, which is projected to take more manufacturing jobs in the coming years, there will still be people at the heart of your manufacturing business. That’s why it is important to make sure that you have a smart management system to know who is coming in and working on any particular project. The days of clocking in with a slip of paper is definitely over — replace it with a smarter digital system, and your company’s productivity is sure to improve as a result. 

Have Clear Workstations

One way to ensure a poorly-run workplace is by having your employees waste time before they actually get started. This can easily be caused if your workstations are not properly signposted. That’s why it makes sense to have clear workstations that allow workers to quickly pick up their tools before getting on with work. It makes sense to complement this with clear signage that allows people to see where they need to go and what they need to do from when they walk into the factory. 

Use a Just-in-Time Manufacturing Principle 

Being efficient is not just about working as fast as possible, it’s also about making sure that you eliminate any kind of wastefulness. One way to do this is to adhere to a just-in-time manufacturing principle, as famously popularized by Toshiba in Japan. This means that you only have the number of materials you need to at any given time, allowing you to be far more agile and lean. Unfortunately, by having too much material on stock, you are basically paying more than you need to, thus causing losses eventually for your company. 

Pay Your Employees More

If there’s anything that kills manufacturing processes dead in the water, it’s unions and strikes. While it is the right of any business employee to form a union, especially when they believe that they are not being fairly compensated for their work, they can be very bad for business. This is why you should definitely try and put guardrails in place to prevent this from happening. Currently, due to a lack of demand for jobs thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, higher wages will be needed to lure workers in. So, make sure you have the budget to raise wages to ensure that you are attracting the top talent, who will be more efficient. 

Conclusion

Despite what some people might say on the internet, there is no magic single bullet that will help your business to be more efficient. Instead, it is recommended to take a look and implement every single one of the recommendations written above. Additionally, if you find yourself struggling in the near future, it might be worth revisiting this article to refresh yourself about the most efficient manufacturing processes around. 

Categories
Business Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Marketing

Is Digital Advertising a Boon or a Curse? Discover now!

Digital advertising is a trend with continued traction in today’s world. Since brands are taking advantage of the digital space to improve their communication with target customers and to reach out to a wider audience, digital advertising is seen as a process that makes this possible. However, there are limitations associated with digital marketing that brands operating on the online platform need to know about.

So, is digital advertising a boon or a curse?

Well, the positive effects of this type of advertising far much outweigh its negative effects. The fact that there are limitations associated with it doesn’t make it a curse. Similarly, the fact that there are great things about it doesn’t mean that brands don’t have to put certain things into consideration. Here are the positives and limitations of digital marketing:

The Positives of Digital Marketing; The boon!

Is Digital Advertising a Boon or a Curse
Digital advertising over the years has been established as a major building block for innovative businesses. The age of old format of advertising has long passed and the earlier business owners realize this, the better.

1. Ability to reach a wider audience

One of the positive aspects of digital advertising is that it gives you the ability to reach out to a larger audience. Given that the digital space is becoming more and more popular with both online retailers and customers, digital advertising helps to connect the two together. With the strength of social media, it’s possible for you to reach out to your target audience easier than conventional marketing strategies.

2. Direct Contact with Customers

Digital marketing allows you to have direct contact with your customers. It’s a huge plus for an online retailer to develop direct contact with their target audience. Through this, it’s possible to get feedback from your customers. This feedback goes a long way to help you deliver what your target customers want. In the end, you’ll continue to add value to your brand.

3. Online Presence

Instead of limiting your brand to a physical area, why not expand its potential by going online. There is great potential for your business to grow exponentially if you take advantage of digital advertising. With an online presence, your products will be visible to a wider audience. You’ll be able to take your product to where your target customers are. In turn, you’ll see an increased sales rate. Customers can only buy what they can see, thus you can take advantage of digital marketing to increase the visibility of your brand.

4. Easy to Measure

Compared to conventional ways of marketing, it is much easier to measure the success of digital advertising. Through the help of software, you can know how your strategies are performing. For example, you can know the emails delivered and those read in an email marketing campaign. Also, it’s possible to track the conversion rate of your campaign. This gives you the capacity to grow since you’re able to set goals and track the achievement of the same.

5. Continuous Engagement

The best thing you can do for your business is to keep your target audience engaged. Through this, they are able to remain connected to your brand. That’s why top brands are able to remain relevant for a long time. They use digital advertising strategies to remind them about their products and services. Normally, the moment customers fail to see what they want, they will look for it elsewhere. Therefore, digital advertising plays a huge role in ensuring that customers can see and feel what they want for a long time.

6. It is Easy to Share

Another advantage of digital advertising is that you can allow for the sharing of articles and campaigns. Since this marketing is happening online, it’s possible for sharing to take place across multiple channels and platforms. This creates the much-needed multiplier effect for higher conversion rates. Online marketers know that this is a great way of increasing sales incredibly.

READ THIS: Sentiment Analysis Vs Semantic Analysis: Everything You Need to Know?

The Limitations of Digital Marketing

1. The need for Experts

If you’re not experienced in digital advertising, you may need to use experts to do the work for you. Unfortunately, this will increase the cost of campaigns. Since you are competing with other businesses in your market, you’ll have to invest in experts who can give you a competitive advantage over your competitors. The level of technical ability required to run a successful digital advertising campaign is high. Traditional modes of advertising don’t call for the high technical ability that digital marketing demands. The only thing you need in a traditional marketing campaign is to attract potential buyers and convince them to buy your products and services. Without adequate technical knowledge, you can’t have a successful digital advertising campaign. You’ll have to hire B2B SEO experts to do the job for you.

2. It is Overwhelming for Businesses with Low Budgets

For businesses operating under tight budgets, it is not easy to implement digital advertising. While the returns are good, you need to set aside a good amount of money to fund your campaigns. Especially for startups that have not yet acquired enough experience in this area, the amount needed may be overwhelming. For you to get the best results, you have to invest, but if your budget is tight, you’ll get limited results.

3. Increased Competition

The fact that digital advertising is a popular mode of marketing implies that many brands are using it to bring their products and services closer to their customers. You’re not the only one using this marketing strategy in your market environment, therefore you’ll have to face a high rate of competition to push through. As you already know, you have to invest more resources and effort to beat the competition.

So, is digital advertising a boon or a curse? Clearly, digital advertising is a major building block in today’s business environment. Brands, whether big or small, are using it to increase their influence. Without a doubt, the positives of digital marketing are more than the negatives. You’ll be able to get more for your business if you set up and implement a marketing program in the digital space. Though there are limitations, there’s more to gain from by giving digital advertising a priority in your business. All you need to do is to learn how it works and the resources required, and you’ll be good to go.

Oftentimes, I get asked by different people if digital advertising is a boon or a cause in their bids to know my position on the subject. And I am certain that this article has done justice to that.

But if you have feedback to add to this topic, the comment section is right below for your input. Thanks

Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) IoT (Internet of Things)

The role of virtual reality in improving healthcare

Virtual reality and extended reality in general have been making their way to many industries at a steady pace for the last decade, with more and more applications every year. No longer is VR exclusive to entertainment – albeit the recent developments in that area are almost as exciting.

The healthcare industry in particular has been improved by virtual reality technology, introducing innovations in medical training and patient treatment, among others. There has been a major increase in the use of VR technology by medical and pharmaceutical companies.

What exactly is VR used for in the healthcare industry? Let’s find out!

Radical change of the medical training process

You might have heard of the popular VR video game Surgeon Simulator, where you perform surgeries on a virtual patient. Medical training with VR is similar in concept – although the simulation is infinitely more detailed and complex.

Virtual reality gives aspiring medical professionals an ability to experience the human body on another level, viewing areas which would otherwise be impossible to access. Instead of using a corpse to learn on, medical students can now train on a simulation of a fully detailed, live human body that reacts in a way you would expect a live organism to react.

Virtual reality in patient treatment and therapy

The use of VR in medicine isn’t exclusive to training – actual medical procedures are also provided with the help of virtual reality. Surgeons often perform using robotic appendages controlled from thousands of miles away, limiting the risk of complications during the surgery and increasing the accuracy of the procedure.

Virtual reality also provides innovative capabilities for mental healthcare. Patients with psychological trauma can experience a tailored VR scenario, created to help them overcome their issues. Therapists can also heal physical trauma in a more efficient way, shortening recovery time by allowing patients to exercise in VR. Physical therapy scenarios can have patients doing specifically prescribed movements disguised as a fun activity in a fully virtual world.

VR has tons of uses for healthcare professionals – it fosters their ability to learn and expands their actual medical capabilities. How is it all done in practice? With projects such as Mazer – a flexible extended reality platform for building customized virtual spaces. For more information about Mazer’s uses in improving healthcare, check out https://mazerspace.com/healthcare/.

Categories
Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Programming

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Code Obfuscation

Code obfuscation is the process of changing executable code such that it is no longer understandable, interpretable, or executable. The source code is obfuscated to the point where it is unreadable and impossible to understand, let alone execute, by a third party.

Obfuscation of code does not affect the application’s end-user interface or the code’s intended outcome. It’s only a preventative measure to make the code worthless for a possible hacker who gets their hands on an application’s executable code.

Why is it necessary to obfuscate code?

Obfuscation of code is especially important for open-source systems, which have a significant disadvantage in code hackability for personal gain. Obfuscation is especially important for source code that is distributed insecurely.

Developers ensure that their product’s intellectual property is protected against security threats, unauthorised access, and the discovery of application flaws by making a program challenging to reverse engineer. This procedure limits malicious access to source code and ensures varying levels of code protection depending on the type of obfuscation technique used.

If the code is obfuscated, the most critical deciding factor against carrying out a reverse-engineering assault increases significantly. Because the decompiled code is rendered unreadable, the time, cost, and resource factors all weigh in favor of discarding the code when it is obfuscated.

The advantages of code obfuscation

The security team performs code obfuscation in the apps, especially those hosted on open-source platforms, which has numerous benefits. In an untrustworthy environment, it is always preferable to deploy an obfuscated application, which makes it more difficult for attackers to inspect and analyze the code.

This procedure assures no loopholes for debugging, manipulating, or disseminating the fictitious application for illicit benefit. This layer of security is essential for apps that deal with business-critical consumer personal information.

Most obfuscators also clean up the code by deleting unnecessary metadata, dead codes, and duplicates. As a result of this minification, the compilation process is sped up, resulting in faster code execution and faster outputs, upping the ante on code performance.

Another significant benefit of code obfuscation is that it makes it difficult to reverse-engineer a program, meaning code distribution on open-source platforms is no longer a concern. If numerous levels of security are to be implemented, iterative code obfuscation is especially well-known.

The security team uses one or more obfuscation algorithms in this technique, with the output of the previous algorithm serving as an input to the next in line, and so on. As a result, the attacker may become confused about the program’s original goal and what is visible to them, resulting in deobfuscation attempts failing.

Because cracking an obfuscated code demands real effort, talent, money, and time, code obfuscation is a practical approach to dealing with threats and weeding out fun-attackers out of the way. Even if the hackers succeed, the deobfuscated code may not resemble the original code very closely. Though true effectiveness measures are difficult to come by, most companies obfuscate code for security and privacy reasons.

The negative effects of code obfuscation

All obfuscation techniques have some impact on code performance, even if it is minor. Depending on the amount of code obfuscated and the complexity of the methods obfuscated, deobfuscating the code may take a significant amount of time.

The majority of automatic obfuscators can decode an obfuscated program. Obfuscation slows down the process of reverse engineering; it does not prevent it. Some anti-virus software will warn users if they visit a website that uses obfuscated code, as obfuscation can be used to hide malicious code. This could prevent people from using genuine apps and drive them away from reputable businesses.

Conclusion

To tackle complicated security threats, all of this code obfuscation is insufficient. The availability of automated tools and hackers’ expertise make it harder to deobfuscate code, but it is not impossible to reverse-engineer.

As a result, code obfuscation is not a one-stop shop for all applicable security requirements. The development team could use various code obfuscation approaches to secure their code in an untrusted environment, depending on the security need, nature of the application, and performance benchmark.

These should be carried out while taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of each technique. Other AppSec initiatives, such as encryption, RASP, data retention policies, and so on, should be supported by this strategy. When combined with RASP solutions like AppSealing, it becomes a potent antidote to today’s security concerns.

Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) News

Interview Advice for Software Developers

For many people, having a job interview is a stressful experience. Apart from the pressure of being employed or not, there are a number of questions that must be answered both before and during the interview, such as what to wear, how to prepare, how much money to ask, and so on.

Although there are no set rules for a successful interview, there are several tactics you may learn to improve your chances of landing the job.

Simply unwind.

To begin with, being worried or stressed will not benefit you in any way, so you should learn to relax. A calm candidate, rather than an anxious one, seems more professional and self-assured. But how do you go about doing that?

There are a few fundamentals that can help you relax before the interview:

  • Prepare by doing some research on the role and the firm.
  • Arrive a little early to give yourself some breathing room.
  • Think positively and concentrate on your strong points.
  • Remember that an interview is simply a discussion.
  • Enter the interview with the knowledge that there are always other chances in the market (if things go wrong).
  • If the interview does not go well, use it as an opportunity to learn from your errors and improve your performance in the future.

You will be able to explain yourself better to your possible employer and enhance your chances of being hired if you remain cool.

Be yourself and grow as a person.

This rule is equally vital as the first. Allow your future employer to get a sense of who you are and what you know. Don’t behave as if you know something you don’t. Don’t make any false statements.

It’s fine if you don’t know everything.

During the interview, you will be asked a lot of questions. You won’t be able to know everything. It’s great that no one knows everything. What matters is that you understand the foundations of your field. 

So, if you’re asked a topic about which you don’t know much or anything, simply admit it, but also tell them that you’re eager to learn new things and that you’re willing to grow. You may also want to be aware of some potential react interview questions.

Keep learning in mind.

Your desire to learn new things is important. The software industry evolves at a quick pace. It is part of our work to always be learning. Furthermore, the more you know, the better you will be at your work, which will result in a higher salary.

Ask questions

Before attending an interview, you should conduct some preliminary research about the organization and position. “What do you know about our company?” is one of the things they could ask. It’s also beneficial for you to be aware of your possible new work.

Asking questions during the interview has two advantages:

  • To begin with, you demonstrate that you are serious about gaining the job. Because they will not hire you if they believe you are not serious about gaining the job.
  • Second, it is beneficial to your health. The more information you have about the firm and position, the better equipped you will be to decide whether or not to accept the position.

So, in addition to answering questions, feel free to ask them.

Demonstrate your coding abilities someplace ONLINE.

You will be asked whether you can demonstrate your coding abilities in some of the interviews. Everyone in today’s society has a social media profile. Why not, for example, have a Github account? It’s free, and you may post your own projects or help others with theirs..

It’s not required to use Github, but if you have at least 1–2 example projects there, you’ll have a far better chance of getting recruited.

It’s not required, however having a Github account with 1–2 project samples is highly RECOMMENDED.


Don’t complain about your former employers.

Another crucial aspect to remember is to speak openly about your previous employers/companies. We guarantee you’ll be asked anything along the lines of, ‘What are the reasons you wish to change jobs?’ or ‘What made you decide to quit XYZ?’

Whatever the cause, your future employer should not believe you are always moaning, and if you are hired, you would most likely do the same with their firm.

For example, suppose you’ve been waiting for a promotion for three years and don’t believe you’ll receive it. Instead of saying, “Hey, you know what? They’re liars; they promised me a promotion for three years and I haven’t received it…”

Try to say something like, “I’ve worked on several enjoyable projects with kind coworkers, but the promotion I’ve been anticipating for the past three years has yet to arrive, so I decided it’s time for a change.” is a far superior response you can provide.

So consider before you speak; offering more intelligent responses will improve your chances.


Expectations for Salary

On the application form, most companies will inquire about your wage aspirations. Make sure you’re familiar with the market range in your area so you know what to expect.

If the market ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 a year, and you seek $100,000, you’re not going to get the job unless you’re Bill Gates.

So, based on your expertise, determine what your local market range is and ask something in between.

Unless you’re starving, don’t accept really cheap offers.

Finally, it’s best to avoid discussing money unless they specifically want it.


What happens if something goes wrong?

Some of your interviews will not go as planned. Some of the following situations may occur:

  • Technical interview/assignment that is really difficult.
  • The company or position is not what the job description claims.
  • Offer of a very low income
  • Irrelevant or too many questions to be addressed
  • In cross-interrogation interviews, you are asked questions by a group of five individuals.
  • Interviewers/managers who are arrogant or too serious

In these conditions, it’s possible that you won’t be able to reach an agreement. You may become irritated or uninspired, but you will soon understand that this is unneeded.

Every job interview, good or poor, is a learning experience for you. There are always better possibilities and friendlier employers out there; you just have to keep seeking.

Last but not least, don’t forget to arrive on time! 🙂


In fact, the more interviews you conduct, the better. Everything revolves around encounters.

We hope that the advice we’ve given you will be useful in your next interviews. We wish you all the best of luck and a brighter future.

Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

3 Ways Technology Can Instantly Improve Your Small Business

If you want to carve out an authoritative reputation for your business in its niche field, it is absolutely imperative that you provide a cutting-edge level of service to your clients. At all conceivable points, you must go above and beyond to optimize the way in which you reach, engage, and serve your core consumer base. Should you fail to operate in this highly optimized fashion, your customers will soon start to question your ability to tend to their wants and needs. Before too long, this will result in them ditching your company in favor of your competitors. Unfortunately, this will then have a profound negative effect on your organization’s position in its market.

Quite simply, if you want to protect both your brand image and your profit turnover going forward, you need to provide a top-of-the-line service time and time again. With the right technological tools at your disposal, you will have the capacity to do just that.

Here are three ways technology can improve your business:

Live chat tools enhance customer service

The way in which you communicate with your clientele will have a profound impact on whether or not they choose to stick with your company going forward. Your product/service range may be unrivalled in their eyes, but they still will not feel comfortable bringing their custom to you if you fail to make them feel valued. It is for this reason that you must go qabove and beyond to provide your clients with a hyper-personalized and timely level of customer service.

With Windows live chat technology at your disposal, you will have the capacity to do just that. This cutting-edge tech tool will allow your consumers to communicate with your business in their own time. But they will not be chatting to an AI-powered chatbot that does not understand their unique human wants and needs… no, their queries will be answered by a real-life member of your customer service department. Ultimately, live chat technology will help you to strike the perfect balance between time-efficiency and individual client personalization.

Video content increases brand awareness

If you are to stand a chance at drawing a steady stream of consumers over a sustained period of time, you need to position your business as an expert, insightful, and authoritative figure in its market. To achieve this all-mighty reputation, you are going to need to increase the overall awareness of your brand image.

Your brand awareness plays a significant role in your ability to generate leads and, in turn, convert these leads into customers, which is why you must make an effort to enhance it. There are a whole host of routes that you can take to perform this crucial task, producing quality videos being one of the most effective. Once you start producing this type of online content, you will be sure to inject some much-needed personality into your marketing campaigns. This personal touch will be sure to resonate with your audience members and, ultimately, make them feel more compelled to bring you their custom.

When you decide to take on the challenge of coming up with a killer video content strategy, be sure to put the following advice into practice:

1. Understand your audience and adhere to their wants, needs, and specifications

2. Seek feedback from your audience members and respond to their pain points

3. Create video scripts… but do not be afraid to deviate from them depending on the emotive response that you garner from previous content uploads

4. Spotlight your company’s humanity by filming your human workforce (but be sure to ask for prior approval before filming any of your employees)

5. Aim to capture viewer attention within the first 8 seconds of your videos

6. Never outstay your welcome — choose a runtime that is sure to keep your target audience engaged throughout the entire course of each video that you upload

7. Set yourself a realistic budget that will cover both your pre- and post-production costs

Productivity apps… do a lot more than increase productivity!

As their name suggests, productivity apps are designed to increase the overall productivity levels found in your workplace. When used correctly, these powerful tools can help to keep your employees engaged and focused throughout the course of each working day.

Productivity apps go way beyond increasing workforce efficiency, though. With this type of tech at hand, you will be sure to reap the following benefits on a regular basis:

1. Instant collaboration

When they all have access to the same productivity platform, your employees will be able to check the status of their team projects with ease. With the click of a button, they will be able to check in with their co-workers to ensure that everything is going to plan with regard to their shared schedule.

2. Accessible analytics

Your employees are only human — they will make mistakes from time to time. Fortunately, thanks to the rise of productivity apps, they now have the capacity to learn from their previous errors in a timely and efficient fashion. These apps provide instant access to crucial performance analytics, which means that your staff members can now tweak the way in which they operate in real-time.

3. Enhanced morale

Productivity apps are designed to simplify and streamline a whole host of daily processes. Once they are afforded access to this comprehensive level of assistance, your employees will find it much easier to remain on top of their daily workloads. This will relieve the pressure that they face in your working environment, which in turn will be sure to greatly enhance their overall morale

When harnessed correctly, technology has the power to enhance your business in a plethora of different ways. Tech can be used to grow, develop, and scale your existing operations, and it can be used to integrate new cutting-edge processes into your service range.

Are you determined to catapult your business right to the very pinnacle of its field? If so, you need to start embracing the wonders of modern technology — pronto! 

Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Top 10 Digital Challenges and How To Overcome Them

With the ever-rising dependence of organizations on technology for performing daily tasks, primarily through the internet and cloud, digital transformation is no longer a choice but a vital need. For most organizations, the condition of the hour is “to go digital or die”.

Digital transformation is a process that necessitates investment in newer technologies, processes, people, and systems to transform how businesses function in the digital economy. It is, in fact, the transformation of the whole culture of the office where the process becomes more automated and digitalized and affects every unit of an organization.

Digital transformation, therefore, is not always an easy undertaking for organizations, irrespective of sizes – big or small. Businesses face several digital challenges as they attempt to change the way of doing business. This article identifies the top challenges faced by them, moreover the steps to resolve them.

1. Finding the Right Leadership

One of the biggest challenges that businesses are facing today revolves around finding effective leadership. Without an influential leader – whether that be a department or an individual – companies will struggle to complete even the most mundane tasks. This is especially true when considering digital transformation. Businesses attempting to embrace the new digital economy and the change that comes with it will quickly realize the importance of an experienced leader with good judgment and action-oriented values.

Above all, business leaders must be able to adopt a positive digital mindset. They must be able to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape and embrace new operating and business models. This is vital for constant engagement with investors, employees, customers, and suppliers via cross-channel connectivity. For an effective transformation process, a top executive in the organization tree needs to set the tone of what to be expected. The style employed will determine if it will go well or badly with the company’s growth.

2. Enhancing Customer Experience

Modern-day customers expect a lot from businesses. They demand responsiveness and a streamlined customer journey across touchpoints. Moreover, customers wish to receive help in real-time, i.e., exactly when they need it. If the customer can interact with a brand online and order products from home — nothing can be better. Standing in the long queues is a thing of the past as digitalization slowly and gradually takes over. 

Many businesses are not well-equipped to enhance the customer experience and provide the kind of service and attention that customers expect. This is because their core values and business practices are far way back the time, and they’re finding it difficult to innovate and catch up with the trends.

If the digital transformation is not embraced – if businesses do not begin to adapt their mindset and adjust their business practices to align with the shift – the gap between what customers want and what the company has to offer will keep growing. In today’s competitive economy, this could utterly destabilize an organization.

3. Engagement of Employees

Earlier, there have been a relatively well-defined set of groups within an organization. These units tended to interact within themselves and typically didn’t go out of their way to interact with others beyond the bare minimum required for completing projects. We can say the same about power hierarchy.

A few decades ago, it was more likely for the employees to communicate with their organization’s head personally. With particular groups, inter-communication throughout the organization, particularly a large one, was not a necessity.

Today, employees have access to a whole host of different tools for contacting their employers or coworkers. While it’s certainly true that not every employee has had personal conversations with their CEO, it is equally valid that the likelihood of such a conversation has increased exponentially with the dawn of the digital transformation.

4. Dealing with Competition

It is important to note that digital transformation is not restricted to a single country, demography, or particular generation. On the contrary, globalization seems to blend quite well with the demands of digital transformation. As this trend continues and each process begins to become popular, businesses with digital innovation will soon find themselves with increased competition from all over the world.

Consumers accustomed to the digital economy and the digital transformation and globalization processes can now purchase from almost anywhere in the world. With the increasingly advanced shipping methodologies, a user in North America could make an order for an item in Africa and receive it within a few days, provided, they are willing to pay for the privilege. This means brands are becoming progressively drawn to the idea of becoming a “super brand”.

Superbrands cover a large swath of the market by offering various services and products that span from cell phones to sporting gear. As these brands gain strength and become more prevalent, “regular” businesses might find themselves at a loss when attracting and keeping their target audience’s attention.

5. Handling the Talent Confrontation

As the business landscape continues to change and shift into something new and unprecedented, individuals will develop specific skills and experience, which are very important. Likely, there won’t be enough of these individuals initially to meet demands, which means that businesses will find themselves at war with one another in the fight for talent acquisition.

Possibly, businesses will aggressively pursue the individuals they believe can help transform their company for the digital era and do so at both the talent and managerial levels. It will become quite tricky to hang on to these employees until the supply increases to meet the demand – or until the demand shifts entirely.

 6. Changing the Company Culture

As has been discussed extensively throughout this paper, digital transformation will affect businesses on all levels. It includes sections like employee role and production, as well as inter-company communication and marketing strategy. Because the change must be so all-encompassing, the company culture must align with the new values dictated by the digital transformation and the digital economy.

Unfortunately, changing a company’s culture is not easy. It’s cited as one of the biggest challenges the digital transformation present-day businesses are facing. 

After all, that shouldn’t be surprising; company culture is deeply ingrained into every employee and helps a company feel united. The idea of changing that culture, then, becomes a daunting task full of new rules, new mission statements, new advertising campaigns and training methods, and much more.

It’s a big undertaking. However, it’s a vital one. Companies that don’t find a way to align their company culture with digital transformation will have a more challenging time adapting to new business models and new ideas about employees’ changing roles.

7. Ensuring Availability of Resources

While briefly touched upon above, the topic of resources and availability is an important one and warrants its section. As the digital transformation continues to change the way business is done, there will emerge areas of expertise required to thrive in the new business landscape. The skills and techniques that go along will quickly come into high demand as companies strive to adjust rapidly and thoroughly to the digital transformation and digital economy.

While individuals can always learn new skills to help fill the rising demand,

this takes time and money. All businesses will most likely pursue those who already possess the knowledge. Hiring one of them shall be a difficult task.

Likewise, as technology changes and continues to innovate the business landscape, businesses are likely to find themselves vying for the “latest and greatest” bit of technology available. Those resources shall be more functional than others – and due to high demand, they might not be available at all.

8. Employee Pushback

It’s possible of employees not liking the change, and a digital transformation will be a significant change. 

It is natural for employees to be wary of any substantial change. They might be concerned about potential job loss, additional work responsibilities, changes to their role, inability to keep up with the new processes etc. 

While planning to move forward with a digital transformation in a company, it must have solutions ready to help employees accept and even embrace this move.

Take time to evaluate and understand the goals necessary for adapting digital shift and inform how it might impact each organization’s section. The more informed the employees are, the less likely it is for them to push back.

9. Pace

Keeping up with the latest technology while still understanding and adapting to the digital shift is demanding. Rapid transformations are regularly occurring internally. Technology complements human work rather than simply replacing it, therefore rather than taking it as a challenge. One should look to utilize it as a tool to engage collaboration and smooth running of projects. Instead of displacing jobs, these new tools should pioneer a way to engage individuals and push further the collaboration with the technology. Investing in a digital strategy is very crucial to staying ahead of the growth curve because the challenge to maintain the pace is genuine.

10. Security

The transformation of security is important for a successful digital transformation. Some of the largest companies have fallen victim to cyber-attacks.

COVID-19 forced businesses, large and small, to finally shift all data and functioning to the cloud. Cloud migration takes application security to the next level, primarily when all of your software systems reside in a singular, unifying Digital Adoption Platform.  

Sometimes companies choose to delay strengthening their security systems, which might lead-heavy exploited vulnerabilities.

Rather than seeing digital security as a challenge, one should leverage it to accelerate digital transformation initiatives.

 However, there are things to stay ahead of the curve.

How Businesses Can Overcome These Challenges

Initially, this might seem like businesses face trouble with little hope of effective restructuring to meet the digital transformation’s growing needs. It is quite possible to embrace new company culture and create the kind of customer and employee experience that will serve the business well long into the future. It requires a little forethought and creative thinking, which isn’t hard to generate.

When looking at customer experience, it’s essential to keep in mind the issues of good leadership, company culture, and customer engagement. All of these issues are interrelated.

Suppose a business has a great leader who attempts to roll out innovative and practical ideas about improving customer experience but has employees who are not engaged and couldn’t care less about the company or its culture. In that case, the customer experience will likely remain subpar.

Likewise, if a company has poor leadership and culture, it doesn’t matter how skilled their employees are – their ability to ensure a great customer experience will be pretty limited.

However,  Companies can fix these issues more or less at the same time. Businesses should embrace their employees’ new role and use them as brand advocates who regularly interact with customers on social media and professional channels. This shall help create engaged employees and customers who have access to the attention and service they have come to expect of today’s businesses.

A great leader can help pull all of this together – and while it might take some time to locate the perfect candidate, they do exist. Businesses can make the search easier by clearly highlighting what their leader will need to do and what skills will be most important.

This will help them narrow down the applicants and close in on a leader who will fit their needs and their company. Additionally, a business with a good leader and engaged employees is likely to embrace a changing company culture much more readily than others.

This can further be smoothed over by allowing the leader to collaborate with coworkers to design a new set of values and mission statements to be distributed among company employees. Various training sessions and seminars can help more firmly entrench the idea of unique values in everyone who works.

 Effective Business Models

Throughout this paper, there have been discussions regarding the necessity for reconfiguring business methods and approaches, but not much about what kind of approach would work best to adapt to the digital transformation. The best thing that today’s businesses can do is change their business models to place a greater emphasis on digital technology trends, partner & customer collaboration and interaction.

This kind of model serves as a hybrid of sorts, branching the physical and digital to help a business provide excellent, focused service to all of its customers. It’s also one that can be further adapted in the future, making it an ideal choice for businesses that intend to ride out the digital transformation and see it through to the end.

Conclusion

When it comes to ensuring the availability of talent and technology, a bit of forethought is necessary. Businesses must consider where they believe the market is headed and keep an eye out for individuals who possess the required skills to succeed.

They should anticipate the need for new and evolving job positions and be selective in their hiring selection. This will help ensure they are not behind the curve when it comes to talent acquisition. The same can be said for technology. Businesses must consider what innovations are likely to change their fields and attempt to “future proof” their technology investments as much as possible.

Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

How Can You Choose the Right Home Phone Service?

If you are looking for a new phone service, you might be wondering where to begin your search. A simple Google search is going to return a wide variety of options. Even though they might look the same, there are several differences between them. If you know what you are looking for when you start this process, you will be able to find the right home phone service for you and your family. What are a few of the most important factors that you should keep in mind?

Always Consider the Quality of Your Network Coverage First

The first factor you need to consider if you are looking for a phone service is the quality of the network coverage. If you have ever had a call dropped, you know exactly how frustrating this can be. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a conversation only to hear it drop in the middle. Furthermore, if someone is trying to call you and you have poor phone service, you might not even realize that people are trying to reach you because your phone will not ring. Check the quality of the network coverage before you make a purchasing decision.

Check and See What Your Data Needs Might Be

Next, you should also take a look at your data usage. Do you use your phone service to handle emails? What about social media? Do you watch videos? These are all situations that may require data. You need to ensure that you have enough data to meet your needs. If you do not have enough data, you might find yourself dealing with a throttled connection. Or, you might end up with a phone bill that is sky high without any reason why. Ensure you have enough data with your phone service.

Do Not Overlook the Importance of Customer Service

Finally, always consider the quality of your customer service. You are going to have questions from time to time. Maybe there is an issue with your bill. Perhaps your phone is not working as well as it should. Is someone from the company going to be able to help you in a timely manner? Are they going to make you wait for hours just to ask a simple question? You want to go with a phone service that cares about its customers.

Find the Right Home Service To Meet Your Needs

These are just a few of the most important factors that you need to consider if you are looking for phone service. You might take your phone service for granted; however, this is actually very important because you will use your phone service constantly to communicate with friends, family members, and even your work colleagues. If you have reliable phone service, you can remove a significant amount of stress and anxiety from your life.