Development

The Most Important Skills Mobile App Developers Should Learn to Excel in Their Career

Mobile application development has now become a multimillion-dollar industry as almost all industries find mobile apps to be irreplaceable and an integral part of their business structures… Apart from their growth in high demand mobile apps continue to gain traction due to new technologies and innovations that continue to add and create more value for their users and businesses alike.

The vast and booming connected device landscape, which is continuously breaking new boundaries and creating new landmarks with user-focused features and capabilities, has contributed immensely to the innovation around mobile apps. Mobile apps have become so popular now that even the web is trying to appear as handy and engaging as the native mobile apps through the latest technologies like Progressive Web Apps(PWA). Moreover, mobile apps are increasingly bridging the generation and cultural gaps among people, and are contributing to the emergence of a new tech-savvy mobile audience that exists irrespective of age, gender, location, ethnicity, or other demographic attributes.

Because of these advancements, mobile app development companies now not only focus on building apps meeting the constraints and requirements of the iOS and Android platforms but also meeting the varied expectations across audiences of various types and categories. App developers should only focus on skills that help them become part of such development environments. Not only will these skills of mobile app developers, but the development projects also stay more competitive.  

Creative Problem Solving and Communication

First of all, developers need to have the necessary abilities like creative problem solving and excellent communication skills. A developer should have a comprehensive ability to communicate with their team members and clients both verbally and in writing. This is an uncompromising skill that any aspiring developer must-have, especially if they are taking on a leadership position within the group. The capability to give instructions and communicate easily are two essential qualities that will make any mobile app developer stand out in a crowd.

The second most important thing is the ability of the developer to think out of the box in terms of app conceptualization and making norms that can change the age-old cliches and bring fresh energy to the development process. This creative capability is particularly essential for nourishing problem-solving skills and troubleshooting capabilities.

Quality UI/UX Design

An excellent user interface is a must for the users to interact with an app without any friction or usability glitches. A rich user interface is capable of allowing smooth interaction and usability and is a must for continuous user engagement and business conversion. While backend capabilities are essential to maintain performance and scalability, the frontend elements like UI and UX are equally important as they can make or break user engagement, business conversion, and retention. 

The key aspects of mobile UI/UX design include a comprehensive color strategy based on color psychology, achieving a balance between visual appeal and distractions, faster loading time and responsive design, micro-interactions, and feedback mechanism with activity indicators, smooth and helpful user onboarding experience, etc.

For designing sophisticated and audience-validated UI/UX, design prototyping is an extremely important skill to possess. The UI/UX designers should have a solid command of design attributes to incorporate core usability features and elements.  

Knowledge of Agile Methodology

Agile Methodology is… A vast majority of app development projects now depend on agile methodology simply because constant iteration throughout the stages of development no longer remains a choice, but an obligation. Constant iteration helps the app clients stay updated on every change of development stages the app passes through. Besides enjoying the confidence of the clients, constant iteration also helps in reducing development errors and certain unavoidable shortcomings that could be avoided with iterations and testing way below the development spiral.

A developer now needs to have a solid knowledge about the way constant iteration and testing are incorporated into the projects. He should be completely versed in knowledge about constant development and constant deployment approaches that are part of agile methodology.

JavaScript and Few Core Languages

For a mobile app’s front-end developer, programming language skills in the most popular and widely used languages is a must. For example, JavaScript frameworks that are very popular for faster development of feature-rich apps cannot be left out as JavaScript frameworks such as React Native, Angular, Vue, and NodeJS have now become the most sought-after skill sets.  

Since JavaScript frameworks like React Native allow you to reuse components and code for multiple OS platforms, you can build apps for both iOS and Android in no time. The “Write once, run anywhere” development approach makes these JavaScript frameworks ideal for cross-platform development.

Apart from JavaScript, mobile app developers should have comprehensive knowledge and coding skills with Java and Kotlin languages used widely for Android platforms. For iOS, developers should have a solid command over Swift, C++, and Objective C languages.

MVP Development Approach

Lastly, development companies and clients increasingly prefer the MVP or Minimum Viable Development approach to develop audience-validated apps. With the MVP approach, an app can be developed with basic and minimum features, launched into the market, and later can be further developed with changes and value additions found by this testing. The mobile app developers of today should have a clear understanding of how the MVP approach works.

A developer team can just start preparing a strategy to build an app focusing on basic or elementary features that are crucial for the app to serve its key objective. Later on, after release as the user feedback comes in, new value additions and tweaks with the UI or UX can be incorporated. This approach has three distinct benefits as following: 

  • MVP approach will allow developers to build and release a lightweight app faster. 
  • MVP approach will help to build a simple app focusing on the basic feature and user experience. 
  • Lastly, it can always improve based on user validation or feedback over time. 

Gaining a Competitive Edge

In a nutshell, since mobile app development has now become a hugely competitive field – more than ever before – donning these must-have skills and having solid exposure is a crucial criterion for app developers in this modern market. 

Insights

The Importance Of Digital Marketing For A Small Business

In the past few decades, small entrepreneurs never got a chance to compete in the market. From budget limitations to the lack of resources – big businesses always had a monopoly. After all, the only way to grab audiences’ attention was by spending heaps of money on television commercials and billboards. Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t possible for small businesses, but things are changing in the 21st century – all thanks to technological advancements.

The emergence of digital media and smartphones is changing how people engage, interact, and shop. Social media forums are letting brands build business profiles, while search engines open doors to a whole new online advertisement world. Earlier, online marketing was a different way to promote products, but now it has become inevitable for businesses.

Digital marketing lays a foundation on which entrepreneurs build their presence. It establishes their position in communities and niches, creating brand awareness amongst audiences without costing a fortune. In short, it is an opportunity for small businesses to become a part of the industry and win their market share by breaking monopolies.

However, now digital marketing is beyond running ads or having a website. It is more about leveraging tech-savvy tools and analytics to conduct market research and gain an edge over competitors. And your failure to acknowledge its significance can drive you out of the competition. Let us look at the importance of digital marketing and why your small business needs it to grow and thrive.

1. BUILDS BRAND RECOGNITION

These days, it is quite impossible to attract customers by sending out pamphlets and business cards. Since people have a strong presence on online platforms, they expect the same from every small brick and mortar business. Therefore, focus on building brand recognition by exhibiting your presence across multiple marketing channels. Are you clueless about it? Have a look at this marketing guide and learn the ropes.

Firstly, create business profiles on the search engine, social media, and other digital tools. Use the power of content marketing to spread your brand message across. Consistent branding across multiple networks reflects a positive brand image. Remember, customers have a plethora of options in the online world. If they didn’t find your brand, it would take them two minutes to find a substitute and switch. Hence, utilize social media – Facebook, Instagram, etc. to build brand recognition amongst audiences.

2. TARGETS RIGHT AUDIENCES

When it comes to running a billboard campaign, brands have some target audience in mind. Unfortunately, you don’t have any control over whether that target audience would see the advertisement or not. Amongst the million benefits of digital marketing, targeting the right audience is likely to be the best one. It lets you break clusters into small and focused groups while allowing you to engage with them.

You can run a survey, start a conversation under the comment section, and offer customers solutions. For running advertisements, select demographics – age, gender, location, religion, and interests to connect with potential customers. If you have a women’s apparel brand, the target audience will be mostly women aging 18 to 45 years or above active online shoppers. It helps you reach out to people who have a keen interest in your product offerings, boosting sales and profits.

3. EASY TO SCALE & ADAPT

Every marketing campaign requires initial investment to get the traffic flowing, but surprisingly, this is not how digital marketing works. It doesn’t cost a dime to create a business profile on any social forum, nor you have to spend any money on forming community groups. Only social campaigns, advertisements, and sponsored posts cost you a few bucks. You can choose a daily budget, which can be as low as $1, and schedule the ad.

Similarly, if you see the ad doing well instead of renegotiating the deal, you can keep the ad running by increasing your budget. All these marketing campaigns provide instant results. From the number of people who clicked on your ad to possible conversions – you can analyze data and make informed decisions. The significance of digital marketing to small business becomes more prominent when you recognize how simple it is to grow business online.

4. LEARN FROM COMPETITION

Believe it or not, audiences turn to brands that offer discounts, initiate trends, and provide reliable customer service. Therefore, if you want to win an edge, adopt a different perspective towards your competitors. Instead of seeing them as someone you want to beat, look up to them as a learning opportunity. Are they using content marketing? What is their mode of communication with clients?

With the help of digital marketing, you can find answers to all these questions. Feel free to surf through their website, blogs, and social media pages to track their performance. It will make you apprehend how actively they respond to changing tastes while fostering interactions with customers. Remember, the aim is not to copy your competitors but to learn from their mistakes.

5. PROVIDES REAL-TIME CUSTOMER SERVICE

With utmost reliance on the digital world, customers need support at every step of their buying journey. Alongside providing contact details or email address, use savvy tools to provide real-time customer service. You can hire customer support representatives to assist your social media followers. They would collect responses, answer queries, and take feedback from customers. After all, customer satisfaction is a critical point in establishing an outright market presence.

Moreover, you can also leverage artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning to streamline customer support. It uses human intelligence to provide human-like responses for answering customer queries. It means bots will be catering to queries and helping people make purchase decisions. Although you can integrate AI with social profiles, consider adding live chat options on your website. It will help visitors find products while instantly getting answers to their questions, boosting sales.

6. ENGAGES CUSTOMERS

Unlike conventional practices, digital marketing offers two-way communication. Brands get to promote, and customers respond with comments and feedback. As a result, the online audience has a lot of power in their hands. In addition to promotions, small businesses have to focus on building relationships with clients. If you are wondering how? Have a look below.

i. Initiate conversations on social platforms. You can start a Q&A session through live video to learn more about your potential customers.

ii. If you are bringing a new product, use online polls to get an idea about what customers want.

iii. Run surveys to get honest feedback and reviews of your customers.

Iv. Create online quizzes to learn more about visitors.

Unsurprisingly, customers appreciate the attention and prompt replies. They are more willing to trust a business when they get honest answers to their questions. Thus, interact and engage with them on a personal level to establish brand loyalty.

7. OFFERS A PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE

Earlier marketing was more about trial and error. Marketers were devising campaigns by following their gut and instinct, but everything has a reason in this digital era. Customers are feeding businesses information round the clock by signing up for newsletters and filling questionnaires. As a result, they await brands to treat them as individuals. Fortunately, digital marketing lets businesses segment markets and offers a personalized experience to customers.

In addition to generating leads, you can use this as your unique selling proposition. If you use email marketing, personalize emails by adding the first name of every customer. Likewise, recognize customers on individual levels – understand their preference, check their purchase history, and customize ads for them. For instance, if a visitor has abandoned his cart, send an ‘email’ with a special discount offer, or remind them of their cart. You can also send SMS, but 72% of consumers prefer that businesses use emails to communicate.

8. EXPANDS CUSTOMER OUTREACH

Every business wishes to expand globally, but would that be possible with a store in one corner of the city. Your offerings and services should be for the people of that region and the people around the world. It can put your business on a global forum where people from all around the world can shop from your brand. After all, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon are all international forums accessible by everyone.

If expansion is on your bucket list, devise a digital globalization strategy. Before stepping overseas, concentrate on local expansion by making your products and services available nationwide. Similarly, use social media to set demographics of another country and start promoting. Join hands with a reputable logistics company and cherish your versatile customer base.

9. ENJOY HIGHER ROI

Digital marketing offers a higher return on investment (ROI) than any other type of marketing. It is an ideal opportunity for small businesses to make the most out of a limited marketing budget. Let us unwind the returns of every campaign one by one.

i. Email marketing offers the peak ROI since it works like a conversion machine. Build an email list with quality subscribers and deliver high-quality content.

ii. Content marketing generates three times more leads than television commercials or any other traditional marketing campaign. Alongside website traffic, it brings buyers to your website.

iii. Social media establishes brand image and turns leads into potential customers.

While operating a small business, you have to ensure budget-friendliness. Learn how to stretch every dollar as you grow your brand because each cent counts. Understand the costs and see whether it would provide you with a sufficient ROI.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As a small business holder, you would have multiple questions regarding the benefits of digital marketing. From increasing customer outreach, developing brand image, improving customer service to saving money – digital marketing provides a pathway to success. Hence, look for smaller ways to jump into it. Create a social media account, list your business on Google, develop a web page, and see its impact on your business. With all these overwhelming benefits, what is stopping you from marketing your business online?

AUTHOR BIO:

Danish Mehmood is a senior SEO strategist at a web development and digital marketing agency based in Orlando, FL. He is passionate about digital marketing and loves to analyze the SEO industry in his spare time and stay in touch with the latest happenings. Connect with him at @InboundDM on Twitter and on LinkedIn

Insights

Benefits Of Marketing Technology For Small Businesses

An increasing number of people are venturing into the business world. The idea of owning a small business is gaining acceptance. E-companies are replacing brick and mortar firms, and many people are taking benefits of technology and turning their ideas into reality. People running small businesses have their limitations as they do not have the liberty to spend a lot of money, and they need to be vigilant about their expenses. Moreover, businesses do not start churning out profit overnight, and entrepreneurs have to put in earnest efforts and long working hours before seeing fruitful results.

Marketing is a crucial element of running a company, and in this fierce competition of the business world, small companies have to fight tooth and nail to make a name for themselves. Today, people have excess options, and small businesses have to indulge in extensive marketing to make their presence known. Small companies cannot dedicate a large sum of money to marketing, as they have a limited budget. Marketing technology, commonly referred to as Martech, applies to all initiatives, channels, and tools that harness technology to achieve marketing objectives. Small businesses can use Martech and change the game for themselves.

The following are some of the benefits of marketing technology for small businesses:

  1. Higher Conversion Rates

Irrespective of your niche, every small business’s motive is to generate more sales and earn more revenue. Conversion rate tells you about the percentage of visitors that visited your website and took the desired action. Digital marketing enables a small business to achieve higher conversion rates in less duration. Marketing technology helps generate leads and get higher sales through a proper sales funnel.

Small business owners can be innovative with their strategies and try different digital marketing methods to boost conversion rates. Blogging is an effective way of luring customers into purchasing on your website. Unique and informative content on blogs can hike up conversion rates and make a small business successful. Companies can use online tools to view blogging stats, determine keywords and sites ranking high on SERPs, and develop content accordingly.

  • Increased Brand Visibility

Small businesses often struggle in establishing a strong brand identity as other big fish often dominate the space. Digital marketing can help to increase small businesses’ visibility online and enhance their reach. Making people aware that your brand exists is the first step that exposes them to your products and services. The effective use of Martech succeeds in igniting interest in the audience to check out your products. Increased brand visibility can put a small company parallel to big fish in the market by exposing them to the same target audience. Or even more, if you’re offering additional value.

  • Better Customer Experience

Strong customer bonds are the key to success, and Martech has helped companies give their customers enriching experiences. Martech has introduced multiple channels that enable companies to reach their customers and gain insights into their experiences. Customers can use channels like email, social media, or company websites to contact brands for their queries, and brands can use this as an opportunity to strengthen their bonds with them.

Good customer service turns customers into a marketing tool, as they recommend your brand in their social circle leading to widespread word-of-mouth marketing. And we all know that WoM and positive referrals are excellent!

  • Enhanced Business Relationships

Businesses can run on their own, but in the modern world, survival without taking other businesses’ support means an extra load of work. Today, entrepreneurs can have a computer and a robust Internet connection, and they can search for like-minded people for their companies. Martech supports small businesses in establishing strong business relationships, and they can also take advantage of technological tools to enhance existing bonds.

Supposedly, as a retailer, you can search for companies that provide coupon codes and collaborate with them. This way, you can give discounts to your customers. The win-win strategy has always benefitted businesses, and Martech provides business owners with multiple opportunities to devise a win-win plan.

  • Automated Marketing

One of the best advantages of applying marketing technology to a small business is automation. Small companies can now take a backseat and let technology handle their marketing. This includes collecting data and running highly targeted ad campaigns.

  • Easy Access

We live in a technologically advanced world. People prefer staying in their homes and browsing options without stepping out. Online shoppers make up a considerable percentage of today’s customer base, and through Martech, small businesses give them easy access to products online. Advanced technology makes small companies more accessible and helps them attract more people.  

  • Accurate Measurements

Business owners have to face difficulties in taking precise measurements of their marketing efforts, which primarily affects their budgets and marketing strategies. Marketing technology has enabled small business owners to integrate software and other tools, giving them accurate measurements of their marketing KPIs and strategy. Key matrices and other tools are significant in measuring effectiveness, and in the light of these measurements, small business owners can devise their different techniques. Besides, it helps business owners to stay aware of the outcomes of their marketing endeavors precisely.

Conclusion

Technology has become essential for small businesses to survive in today’s cut-throat competition. Marketing technology is robust, and small business owners can use advanced technical tools and channels to put their companies ahead of their competitors.

Uncategorized

Best VPNs for Playing CS GO Online in 2021

Game enthusiasts would know how miserable blocked game content can be. Being restricted to games that you want to play, and make most of those, online is unarguably challenging. Where most individuals are seeking various ways to successfully gain access to their favorite games, others find that a platform like VPN can be beneficial for all CS addicts.

So, here is the good news: In light of all the CS fans out there, we have derived the best VPN’s to play CS GO Online for the current year, 2021.

  • Fastest VPN
  • Circuit VPN
  • Express VPN
  • NordVPN
  • Surfshark
  • CyberGhost VPN

How does it work

As widely known, VPN works as a deep layer as your private network, for your personal system. As it eventually hides your IP Address, reaching out to your location is nearly impossible. This is why game users aspire to find excellent service that prevents throttling while you are indulged in your game.

With over 20 million monthly users who are actively inclined towards CS GO, the VPN service providers are growing simultaneously. It means you will encounter several VPN companies, promising you a guaranteed customer support system. In order to guide you righteously, let us drive you into the best VPN services for CS GO online, considering the contemporary times.

Fastest VPN

Making it to the top of the list, the Fastest VPN is your biggest partner in CS GO online. With its exceptional services, we are thrilled to come across opportunities that will let you be intrigued to avail these to the soonest. With its advanced features, it is compatible with several devices. Best for Xbox, PS4, and Kodi, the service tends to excel with ultimate protection.

Besides, with their smart tunneling option users can enable VPN even when the App is not in use for that particular time. Additionally, the service provides supreme speed that is highly responsive, and exactly what a game user would crave for.

Circuit VPN

Safe, and secure, the Circuit VPN is easily a user’s top choice when it comes to availing VPN services for their gaming zone. With its compelling features, the team at Circuit VPN provides products with a range of categories. If you are an active gamer, who spends all his time in the game domain, you are advised to opt for their Professional subscription.

What’s best about this service is that it can be smoothly run and function across multiple devices at one time. For instance, you are in the mood to play CS on your mobile, and then also activate it on TV, the benefits of availing this service are immense. You can use up to six devices, concurrently.

In addition, it allows game admires to do as they like in terms of content. If you are living in a geographic location where nobody else, or let’s say a vast majority is not captivated with the idea of CS GO online or any other category that comes under it, then you can connect to global servers. Having access to thi8s VPN will allow you to play as much as you want to.

Express VPN

Like the name suggests, it really provides service that is persuasive, and functions with a rapid pace. The best pointer about the service is that because Express VPN acquires the largest server, worldwide the users are more than exhilarated to utilize their time, and other monetary factors into this particular service. As this happens, the game fan would not be restricted to access to games that are available in certain areas of the world.

However, getting hands on any VPN service can be complicated to understand, and operate specially because you are using it for games. It is for this reason that the service provided by Express VPN is incorporated with a 24/7 customer service. So in case you get trapped anywhere during the game, you can always ask for help. This will not only clear disruptions, but mitigate issues in the future, letting you play your CS GO without interruptions.

NordVPN

Known, and opted for the fastest service, the VPN provided by NordVPN is widely available amounting to about 59 countries. These geographic locations comprise individuals who are genuine fans of the game.

The faster the service, the more a gamer can rejoice the game, and stay glued to the screen. This results in satisfying customers, and that is why several users opt for the NordVPN. Their services can be assisted through subscriptions, and other packages. So if you are someone who lives alone, and wishes to enjoy games all by yourself, you can grab the opportunity of benefiting from one of the best VPNs in the market.

Surfshark

There is certainly nothing better than gaining services at low rates. In light of the most affordable VPN for CS GO online for 2021, Surfshark is hands down, the best service you can purchase for the year. As much as it has intrigued users with its price criteria, the reliability of the service has no boundaries.

So if you are someone who likes to switch devices, to play the game you can ultimately opt for the company’s service without thinking twice.

The company is widespread with about 60 countries that already expands the purpose of purchase for you. The wider it is, chances for you to access your CS game magnify.

CyberGhost VPN

Playing CS GO is an interest that is solely developed by the individual. But one aspect to this is the safety, and security of a user’s data. With utmost encryption systems, the CyberGhost VPN is a fantastic option for gaming.

With an outstanding facility of 45-day money-back-guarantee, you can let yourself enjoy the perks, and then fully accept the terms of registering for the VPN. So even if you are at a public café, or at your friend’s place with access to this VPN, you can play games on local networks.

Through the defining list of best VPN for playing CS GO online, we assure you that by availing of any of these VPN services, your CS game will change on a whole new level.

Insights

8 Ways Manufacturers Can Reduce Industrial Energy Consumption

The industrial sector (manufacturing, agriculture, construction, mining, oil and gas industry and similar) is responsible for nearly one-third of all energy usage in the world. Only in the U.S., these facilities spend around $200 billion every year to stay powered, and they waste nearly 30% of all energy they require. All in all, they produce a lot of unnecessary energy waste. So how much energy is actually used for powering big plants? Much less than you think since a lot of energy escapes through leaky compressors, outdated equipment and other energy guzzlers. So how can manufacturers reduce their energy needs? 

Creating Energy Management Teams

One of the main reasons companies don’t achieve good energy saving is because they don’t know which sector is responsible for energy management. If a manufacturer decides to create an energy management team, they will monitor energy usage in an efficient way and implement ways to reduce waste. 

Conducting energy audits

Energy audits that employ professional help from energy specialists can quantify how much energy each department is consuming and identify peak consumption times from month to month. Audits also offer recommendations on best energy efficiency upgrades that provide users with the best ROI

Updating the equipment

The equipment also plays a big part in the energy efficiency puzzle. No matter how many computers and analysts a company has on its side, no industry can achieve necessary efficiency without investing in new-generation equipment. Every manufacturer should take note from oil and gas giants who have been working on energy consumption reduction by investing in efficient machines, tools and other equipment. Even small changes like more effective butterfly valves can result in the improvement of output and lower downtime, both of which can reduce energy consumption. 

Using AI

Every industry has certain key processes that can’t be changed. However, the way they are conducted and the waste they leave behind can be cut with the use of big analytics and AI-driven forecasting. This move can improve the efficiency of processes and improve machinery use from 60-70%m, which is something most equipment scores, to 100% as it should be. 

Automating important processes

Artificial intelligence can help with data analysis, but it can also take direct control of certain processes. Infrastructure laid out by the Internet of Things, in the combination with recent breakthroughs in the field, can soon bring us fully automated, safe and energy-efficient manufacturing processes. In some industries, humans will mostly be responsible for maintenance duties. 

Studying machinery energy consumption

The data collected by the Energy Management Teams and energy audits can tell the manufacturer with machinery uses the most energy to operate. If possible, companies can schedule operation of these machines outside of peak hours which can reduce costs and unburden the electric network.   

Switching to sustainable energy sources

Various production processes often require the use of heavy machines that use a lot of power to run. One of the easiest ways to reduce waste and make any industry more efficient and green is to find green ways to power these giants. Many industries and their biggest polluters already invested a lot of money into clean energy projects giving the entire world hope that we will one day be able to forget about nonrenewable sources.

Engaging in recycling

While recycling is still on the margins of many industries, it has the potential to change them from the core. For instance, the oil market is estimated to reach a waste amount of US$ 13,806.2 million by 2026. So, many of the big players are repurposing some of their infrastructure to recycling instead of extraction. In many cases, recycling requires less energy than the extraction of resources and production of new materials and products, plus it reduces overall output while keeping the industry viable thanks to a new source of revenue. 

Due to growing energy demand, diverse energy sources and diverse user needs, many industries are facing energy consumption challenges. Some challenges manufacturers face are also of the legislative nature, concerning regulatory and legislative activity intended to minimize environmental impact from energy use. Many countries are further exploring laws that aim to reduce pollution, energy waste and gas emission. Industries all over the world are asking their bigger consumers to provide energy consumption reports. Still, we have a long way to go to fix the damage we’ve caused to the environment due to our reckless energy consumption. But, hopefully, the future is bright and filled with responsible energy consumers. 

Development

To Outsource Or Not? Pros and Cons Of IT Outsourcing

Hearing a lot of success stories from businesses that have outsourced some of their activities to nearshore and offshore teams? We bet you do. From cost reduction, increased productivity, improved flexibility, and scalability, to growth and profit – businesses of all sizes and from around the globe are preaching about the amazing things outsourcing brought to them.  

According to the most recent report on Clutch, about 80% of small businesses have decided to invest in their near future in this fruitful business model. And why wouldn’t they – it seems like all it does is bring the good and help overcome ongoing challenges. 

Well, not really. Those who have tried their luck with outsourcing know just how many new challenges occur and how difficult it can be to master the art of collaborating with a remote IT team. 

So before you rush to hop on this train, we invite you to take a few moments of your time and first familiarize yourself with different types of outsourcing and then learn about the pros and cons that come with each. Hopefully, by the end, you will get a rough idea of whether it really would be a smart business move. 

THE GOOD

Increase in profit

Originally, a lowered cost of work was one of the primary attractions attributed to outsourcing, which is why it is so often the very first item on the list of pros. This business model allows you to hire teams from remote locations where the cost of labor is lower but the quality of services remains at a satisfactory level. As a result, you get the same (or even better) team of experts who will complete their work up to your standards and, in the end, cost you far less than a local team would.  

Greater hiring opportunities

By expanding your search for new team members to a global scale, you improve your chances of meeting talented experts who are just the right fit for your business. This approach allows you to look for candidates who tick off literally all points on your list of criteria. 

Forget about settling – continue your search until you get to meet the person who has the necessary skills and experience, and who fits within your company culture. 

Access to remote markets

By setting up remote offices across the globe, you actually build a foundation for potential expansion to that market. Think of your outsourced team as your first point of contact with local clients and customers. And not just that – think of them as a team of people who will help you get to know the target market in terms of demands, needs, and best ways to appeal to local clients.   

Higher productivity levels

Outsourcing is a tactic many businesses resort to when they wish to minimize the grunt work and relieve their in-house teams of wasting their time on repetitive tasks. Delegating them to a competent, remote team means your local personnel gets to focus on more important work. Furthermore, you are likely to see a spike in performance levels simply due to an increase in your in-house employees’ satisfaction. 

24/7 availability

A remote team that works in a different time zone enables you to remain available to your customers at all times. For this reason, the majority of businesses decide to relocate, for instance, their customer support, so that there would always be an on-call person ready to answer any urgent matters. 

THE BAD

Lack of transparency

Outsourcing a part of the business means having to trust that the remote team is performing its part of the deal as promised. Unfortunately, in some situations, it is near-impossible to oversee every step of the process they take which can, in turn, leave you with less than satisfactory outcomes. That is why choosing a reliable outsourcing partner cannot be stressed enough. 

Misunderstandings

Depending on the country you decide to outsource to, you are running the risk of creating a huge cultural and language gap between your in-house and remote teams. And if you think a translator will help you overcome the hurdles – you’re wrong. The cultural impact of one’s understanding of the task/project at hand, combined with their unique approach to an issue can cause misunderstandings and, ultimately, bad results.

Loss of control

The further you travel, the less you’ll feel in control of your team. In-person meetings will either be rare or eliminated since you will not be sitting at the next table or in the next room. To manage a remote team, you will need to employ practical video conferencing and project management tools which will allow you to communicate more clearly and gain insight into each person’s progress. 

27/7 availability

Yes, you read that right but this time, we mean that you need to be available 24/7. Because of all the above-listed cons of outsourcing, you will likely find yourself in a situation where you’ll have to oversee your people at all times. Additionally, making yourself available around the clock will be the only way to solve urgent problems and respond to questions that need immediate answers. 

Security risks

Outsourcing puts you in a position where you need to share sensitive data and thus fear potential breaches. Unfortunately, mishaps happened to others in the past, which is why we are seeing the rise in new cloud and other technologies which will allow us to make all data available to all employees without having to worry about unauthorized 3rd party access.

The pros are there to convince you of investing a part of your resources into testing the outsourcing model; the purpose of the cons is to warn you of hidden “costs” which, if not calculated properly, can prevent further growth of your business or worse – burn it to the ground.

The only question you need to ask yourself now is – are you equipped to cope?

Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business, and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.

Artificial Intelligence and Test Management Tools
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Artificial Intelligence and Test Management Tools

Artificial intelligence has changed software testing and it continues to improve the processes involved in the software development and testing lifecycle. The success of any product majorly relies on the customer and during the software development process, testers need to ensure their products earn customer satisfaction. Similarly, the use of AI bots in software testing is necessary. Software testing is essential in the software development lifecycle. It helps in identifying any issues in the software that could affect the business or the application of the software in the near future. 

Due to the new software technology that simplifies how large data is collected and analyzed, it is possible to mine software defect data from past releases and exploit the data to improve your organization’s software development testing practices and while using the test management tools. This approach employs artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, that allow teams to make better and more intelligent testing decisions right from the start. 

AI helps in the identification of complex areas of companies. Software testing is essential during the product development lifecycle. When developers lack the time and resources to ensure exhaustive testing of the software apps, QA aids in detecting areas within a QA process that requires attention. Generally, software testing is a time-consuming process, for this reason, AI aids in speeding up software testing as all the processes are automated. 

Another way AI is changing software testing and test management tools is that it does not require too many human efforts since AI is used to detect issues and defects, thus speeding up the QA process. It simplifies the software testing process. Software developers work with huge amounts of data and testing scripts. AI utilizes sophisticated algorithms that can analyze large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. It also improves the accuracy of the test management tools. AI eliminates the need for guesswork and developers can get a hang of what needs to be changed as the defects in the software app need to be detected and developers need to be provided with complete information on where testing is required and where they need to make a change. 

While conducting manual testing, AI will reduce the number of bugs. Although it is not an easy process, software testing is important to ensure they are detected and eliminated before the software reaches the QA stage. Typically, bugs enter the program undetected, but with the help of AI, software developers get to know when the bugs enter the program, how and where they came from. AI is also capable of testing for bugs and identifying errors that developers can use to improve the code. Testers can use the information AI generates to find out whether more coding is required to protect the program against the bugs. This way, bugs can be eliminated during the software development process.  

AI has given birth to automating the software testing processes. The lack of time during the software development process makes the developers push software apps to the market without testing them thoroughly at each stage. This is how the users end up with software that is full of errors and mistakes. The budget also becomes an issue in the software testing process. Since software testing is a repetitive process where each application needs to be evaluated at every phase, and repetitive manual testing is time-consuming. AI uses a set of algorithms to analyze software functions and identify errors through automated testing, thus minimizing the pain of repetitive testing tasks to improve accuracy. 

AI improves the test capabilities. As testing needs to be done at each stage of the development process, manual testers may find it challenging due to the stress associated with each test. When AI is combined with machine learning (ML) it helps in generating test data where testers can feed the data into an AI machine allowing it to perform different tests are each stage without the need for manual testing, thus improving reliability and the security of the software application. 

Conclusion 

Artificial intelligence is dominating each area of our daily lives. AI has found its way into the software development process. AI has changed software testing and it continues to improve the testing processes are still to adopt AI within their practices of software testing. There is no doubt that AI is here to stay. With the help of AI, QA teams can save time by using an optimized test list that provides a complete test suite with the necessary test management tools. 

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Best Wix influencer tools

OSI Wix Affiliate Software

The first one on our list is the OSI affiliate software that can help you with a lot of the stuff. If you are looking for affiliate marketing software that can help you manage the referral programs and help view with other promotions and marketing, this might be the one. It will help you with better promotions using the influences and make your brand more visible to the customers. That will help you find out the best products for the customers using the email server process, and it will also provide you with the landing page templates available. Isn’t it the best? We would recommend it to be one of the best Wix influencer tools that you can find because of its excellent services and features. It will help you with the basics and the complex promo code tracking features and for social media sharing as well.

Growth Hero

Growth hero is another one of the affiliate applications that is counted as the top-rated software. You must be wondering what it offers? Well, it will help you with affiliate marketing and with referral programs. Moreover, it will also provide your help with multi-level marketing on social media platforms and creating a network. The seamless setup and improving features of this affiliate software will make it an even better choice for businesses such as Drum Set Lab.

Advocately

Advocately, it will help you increase your sales and make the profit more effective and faster. This is the tool that will help the customers and especially the businesses to create more customers. Moreover, it will help you with collecting the reviews regarding the customer in no time. The tracking and responding process have become a lot easier with this software. It will also assist with the Search Engine Optimisation ranking that has tremendously helped Hunting Bow Lab gain a competitive advantage.

Bamboo referral program

This bamboo referral program is another application that is considered one of the best Wix influencer tools you can use. For better marketing and better influencer actions, you can get this tool. It will not only help you with networking and social media promotion, but it will also help you with the referral programs and cracking the promo codes available. All this application is an excellent choice for people who are looking to promote their website. It is an application that will help you with getting more referrals in no time.

Carro 

Need to get another one of the Wix influencer tools? Don’t worry because we have found another one of the excellent tools that you can use. It is not only exceptional because of its performance but also significant because of its features available. You can enjoy the referral marketing, and also you can get the best promotion and marketing on your business with this application.

Viral loops

The viral loop is the referral marketing platform that will help you with better marketing of your business. It is a simple process that provides you a referral solution. You can quickly launch your campaigns within a few minutes, and you can also find out the best customers. It is a double click sharing and inviting software that will help you with quick programming and marketing of your business. It is not only perfect for Wix, but it is also great for Shopify and other applications and platforms. It will offer you the newsletter referral, and it will also provide you the option of referring it to a friend. Some features are just perfect for your website. And the templates will help you even more.

ISORAW Reward done right 

ISORAW Reward, done right, is a platform that will help you to find out the influencers for your business in no time. It is a reward program that will help not only the influences but also your business. It is an easy platform that allows you to promote and market your business and connect to the brands and influencers in no time. It offers various features, including a reward program and influencer marketing. There is fantastic support available that will help you even more. With the account analyzer, you can get the best services. Moreover, a social calendar is available to help you better organize your events, and the gallery visit will help you showcase your pictures and posts on Instagram.

Affiliatify

Affiliatify is another one of the best tools that you can find for external links or better support. This is the software that will not only help you with better affiliate marketing, but it will also help you with other promotion and marketing features. It will help you link to the affiliate offers and the other external products that you can connect your website to. It is a quick and easy formula to generate earnings. Check this website for better earning and easier marketing and linking of affiliate products.

Mention me

The last option on the list is the Mention me; a platform is another one of the best tools that you will find on the internet to help you with Wix influencer marketing and earn more revenue. It is a platform that will maximize the customers and will help you with engaging the customers. It will help you with driving the referral and making your referral program even more robust. It is the award-winning Marketing software that can help you in a lot of various ways.

Above, we have compiled the 10 best Wix marketing tools that can work just correctly for you when looking for the best options available. Make sure you are making the right choice and finding out the best and the most appropriate option. However, we would recommend you to go for the OSI affiliate.

The Rise of Digital Nomads: Benefits of Remote Workers
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The Rise of Digital Nomads: Benefits of Remote Workers

Working remotely and being able to create your own schedule is something we’ve all heard about, but nobody could anticipate how common this idea would become in 2020. With so many people being quarantined and not being able to leave their homes, we’re all slowly turning into remote workers, whether we like it or not. However, those original digital nomads – i.e. the people who work while traveling around the world because they want to and not because they have to – are still everywhere around us, introducing changes into traditional business models and doing things their own way. So, whether you’re one of these remote workers or someone who’s thinking about hiring them, here are a few benefits of this concept you need to know.

Ultimate freedom

Instead of working from 9 to 5 and spending hours commuting every single day, working from home means you can create your own schedule and come up with the setup that works for you the most. If you want to, you can get up at noon, stay in your pyjamas, download the latest GTA 5 realistic car mod and play video games all day long – as long as you complete your projects on time, you can do basically whatever you want!

This kind of freedom is something people in the past knew nothing about, but creating your own schedule and doing things your own way can be more beneficial than you can imagine. You’ll feel relaxed and well-rested, and that’s the best way to boost your motivation and become more productive than you’ve ever been. In the end, feeling that way will help you do more work in less time, which is why so many people actually prefer working from home whenever they can.

No more expenses

It doesn’t matter where you work and how long it takes you to reach your office – doing this day after day means you have to spend tons of money just to get to your work in the morning and then return back home in the afternoon. And it doesn’t really matter how you’re doing that because every form of transportation costs quite a lot in this day and age – except if you’re using your bike.

But, if you work from home or work remotely, you won’t have to spend money on transportation. You’ll just have to work from your bedroom to your kitchen, your living room, your outdoor deck, or any other space you’ve converted into a home office. You’ll also save money on food and clothes because you won’t have to buy new work clothes anymore, and that’s always a great way to boost your monthly budget.

Explore the world

In case you decide to turn into a real digital nomad and work while traveling the world, find a way to make the most of this idea. Doing this isn’t easy, and it will take some getting used to, but once you adapt to this lifestyle, you’ll be able to make it work.

You can travel wherever you want to and have as many new adventures as you want, and still be the employee of the month. You just have to find a place to stay while traveling – for instance, a comfortable studio apartment that comes with all the amenities you may need is an awesome solution – and make sure you get some work done every single day.

Explore new careers

If you’re tired of your job and the people you’re working with, making a change is a must. And the best way to introduce a massive change into your life is to change your job and become a digital nomad. What’s great, though, is that a life as a digital nomad can give you more opportunities than you can anticipate, and finding a new career shouldn’t be too hard.

Depending on your preferences, skills, knowledge, and previous work experience, you can pick different industries and businesses, from IT and marketing to administration and software management. Doing something you’ve never done before might be challenging, but if you’re dedicated to your new job and exploring the life of a digital nomad, this might be the best decision of your life.

The best thing about this idea isn’t the number of people who are living as digital nomads at the moment, but the number of people who are going to become digital nomads in the future – ultimately, this is the biggest reason why you too should join this movement today!

Penetration Testing Improves Cybersecurity Defense
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Penetration Testing Improves Cybersecurity Defense

Penetration testing is a primary means for an organization to test its security stature and readiness to combat cyberattacks. So, when firms are looking for a cyber security solution that will protect their network, they should be prepared to respond to whatever these attacks target, thus it needs to test it rigorously. Penetration testing is a common part of deploying a new tool for cyber security and it helps in identifying weaknesses in a firm’s defense system. This holds true for AI-based cyber security solutions, as they have tremendously grown over the passage of time. Thus, businesses look for a penetration testing company to prevent future breaches by identifying weaknesses in their systems. 

The history of penetration testing or ethical hacking exists since the 1970s, where the U.S military and RAND Corp used tiger teams to test the ability of computer networks against attacks. However, penetration tests today, are available in the form of a standardized service, it includes discovery scans, vulnerability scans and limits the attempts to exploit the discovered vulnerabilities. Although the traditional techniques still continue to be available in the market, yet penetration testers are utilizing new and improved methods of testing defenses, including new attack techniques, capturing the flags, and bug bounty programs. 

5 Major Benefits of Performing Penetration Tests:

Following are a few major benefits that organizations can achieve by leveraging penetration testing efforts:

Identify High-risk Vulnerabilities:

With the help of penetration tests, organizations can identify high-risk vulnerabilities that are often left undetected with an automated network or app vulnerability scan. It is a type of test that allows a realistic approach to measuring the actual risks to their systems. Vulnerability scanning can help is spotting some weaknesses but ethical hackers have access to the networks and systems that might not be compatible with scanning and can use a manual process to verify the extent to which these weaknesses can be exploited. 

The Ability of the Defensive Tools:

Pen-test can help organizations in assessing their ability to detect and respond to attacks successfully. It is a technique to test and gauge the ability of defensive tools to respond to potential attacks. The efficiency of tools like antivirus, intrusion detection systems, and firewalls is defined when organizations are able to use them to stop malware and attacks.

Investment in Security Programs:

Testing is conducted to support investment in security program initiatives, technology, etc. So, firms hire a penetration testing company to perform pen tests and assess the effectiveness of these security investments. They perform an initial or complete evaluation of the defensive strength of a system, or if they should perform tests before the budget is being set for a new project. 

Prevention of Future Incidents:

Pen-tests also help organizations in preventing future incidents, by detecting weaknesses before they can be exploited by attackers. These tests help organizations prevent potential breaches. Vulnerability scans are not designed to uncover weaknesses beyond software vulnerabilities. Thus, can help them in improving their security posture and if a firm is ready for an attack, it is easier to remediate it. 

Compliance with Standards:

Penetration tests also allow organizations to meet compliance standards such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), HIPPA, 201 CMR 17.00, etc. 

Red Teams

Organizations that have more advanced techniques are using red teaming to simulate attacks on their cyber systems. A red team exercises a more in-depth penetration test. They are required to simulate cyber-attacks in more depth as compared to a pen-test, without a limited scope. 

Bug Bounty Programs 

Another way for organizations to test and strengthen their cyber-defenses is by using bug bounty programs. These programs are used to offer compensation to the white hat hackers for reporting bugs, exploits, or vulnerabilities on their systems. This helps an organization in patching them before they can be exploited by malicious attackers. 

Capturing the Flag 

Some organizations also make a choice to convert their pen-testing into a type of competition, by placing a flag in a secure location on their network. Pen testers are supposed to access this file or capture the flag, by any means. While, there is a Blue team, also known as the incident response team that is evaluated during a simulated attack, testing their ability to detect and respond to an attack. This allows penetration testers to their capabilities in a realistic manner, focusing on the protection of sensitive data rather than the entire network.