How To Develop A Successful Cloud Management Strategy

How To Develop A Successful Cloud Management Strategy

Cloud computing involves servers, databases, software and analytics, storage, and various intelligent solutions over the internet.

Cloud computing also provides quick innovation and flexible resources to scale up business productivity and economy. With the advent of technology, cloud computing has drawn a big shift from traditional business prerequisites and resources. Cloud computing management also eliminates the capital expenses of purchasing hardware or software setup and the team can easily manage the cloud infrastructure.

However, it takes lots of consideration and in-depth knowledge of the solutions to develop cloud management strategies. You have to be aware of market trends and the Cloud computing ecosystem. Follow this and learn about the same in detail.

Change your perception about the cloud management services

The only hurdle that limits small or medium-sized businesses from leveraging the advantages of cloud usually comes from the high-level business owners. Mostly it is seen that business leaders easily delegate the decisions based on cloud to their teams. However, it is important to understand that the decision to opt for a cloud is basically a business strategy but not an IT strategy. This is possibly the first step that you have to understand by auto start developing sound management strategies for your platform. You have to make some essential mental shifts that are:

  • Competitive benefit- If you are not using any sort of cloud integration services for your business then you are definitely behind your competition. also, it is an opportunity through which you can expand the productivity and profitability of your business.
  • Think differently- If you have the decision-making under your control then you have to equally think about the market share, productivity, profits, and efficiency of the platform. While The IT professional will only think in terms of all the technical specifications like bandwidth, software, gigaflops, users, etc. Basically it is your job to think about the requirements of a company, and IT professionals have to prioritize migrating to the cloud.
  • Cloud is absolutely a strategy- Cloud management is not just an option to store the data but its functionality is beyond that. Cloud services can provide faster, cheaper, and safer options for your business along with increasing the scalability in the best possible ways.

The perception towards cloud and big data solutions might seem trivial in the beginning but until you change your perception with the cloud technology, it is difficult to forward with management strategies to leverage its full potential.

How the organisations can leverage cloud services across their functionality 

At present, cloud integration services have become the ultimate foundation of every enterprise that is actively transforming and differentiating the instances. Many recognized platforms are emphasizing a cloud-first approach in order to turn the attention of advancing cloud services across their business. It is often stated that if you have not indulged in a cloud-first strategy for your business then your business is more likely to fall behind your competitors. While building, maturing, implementing the cloud management strategies it is important to have these steps in mind. Let’s walk you through them-

  1. DEVELOPING CLOUD FIRST AND MULTI CLOUD MANAGEMENT STRATEGY-Beyond the purview of IT companies, the cloud-first strategy for software development services or other tasks should be extended. The platforms also have to focus on essential technical steps that might be required while implementing this strategy. It is important to evangelize the benefits that can yield maximum profitability and a competitive edge. It is important to understand that the cloud-first approach does not always mean ‘cloud always’. Irrespective of the approach that is crucial to prioritize your investment so that you can advance the growth of your organization with the help of cloud services. 
  2. CONTINUOUS PRACTICE OF WORKLOAD PLACEMENT AND ANALYSIS- Various assessments have been undertaken to emphasize the feature comparison alternative because of the workload placement. As the cloud and big data solutions are emerging to be their best, it has possibly replaced the traditional on-premise data management practices. The continuous workload placement analysis conducts reassessing the workload at a regular cadence and then evaluates if their implementation and execution are meeting the requirements of the organization or not. It also involves analyzing the migration of alternative models and their value without accelerating the risk factors.
  3. CLOUD ADOPTION STRATEGY-You have to know that most of the cloud projects are usually complex but no matter how long it takes for the enterprises to develop the required skillset and functions, they must improve productivity and lead the organization to maturity. The benchmarks in the same, carefully plan essential effort in order to improvise their cloud production technology by focusing on video streams of work across the levels of maturity.
  4. ESTABLISHING MULTI CLOUD MANAGEMENT PRACTICES- It gets challenging to govern cloud computing services when a single provider is involved and it gets worse when the organization deliberately moves to a multi-cloud environment. Cloud services providers offer self-service and on-demand resources along with endless efficiencies to make it difficult for the organizations to have an insight with visibility and manage the resources. Hence, the organizations only have to monitor the consumption of cloud services by the provider and consumption across the cloud service providers. Without any visibility, it will become impossible to manage the cloud environment.
  1. DEVELOPING A MULTI CLOUD MANAGEMENT STRATEGY-The enterprises can easily develop a multi-cloud management tool and strategy by adopting and selecting essential management solutions. For this, you can develop a coherent cloud management strategy that requires a systematic approach or well-defined tools to meet objectives. Your only target should be to minimize the tool requirement for fulfilling all the cloud management services requirements. You can also try a combined solutions-based approach upon the requirement of cross-platform consistency or platform-specific functioning. In any case, you should prioritize using the native toolset of your cloud-based environment and deploy it accordingly. It is equally evident in sap custom development.
  2. EVALUATING MULTI CLOUD INTEGRATION REQUIREMENTS- By evaluating requirements, the platforms can present potential services for extending or integrating infrastructure-based solutions. The organizations can also get a potential return from their existing infrastructure (SaaS) services by shifting a few applications and integrating them rather than using other infrastructure that can cost them more. It is important to continuously evaluate the requirements and compare them with other solutions.

Things required to create a successful cloud management strategy

There are many practices considered by successful cloud computing services providers that guarantee a reliable marketplace for their solutions. This involves-

  • Anticipating market movements
  • Creating essential plans to move forward
  • Execute the plans accordingly 

In the big picture, it is extremely important to have the right tools in place if you are focusing on developing cloud management strategies to their best. Let’s follow through the below mentioned actionable strategies through which you can improve the competitiveness and profitability of the platform even if it is a non-technical business unit. 

  1. CHOOSING THE CLOUD DEPLOYMENT MODEL- In order to build an essential cloud management strategy, it is important to determine the deployment model (whether or not it is within the organization). In order to leverage cloud computing services, you have to carefully choose the cloud deployment models and the easiest way to get it done is to entail the systems and your requirements.
  • Public models are highly elastic and they are on-demand
  • Private models have the infrastructure more than build to suit
  • Hybrid models keep all the critical cloud workloads local
  • Community-based models have a resource pooling across the individual assets
  1. CHOOSING THE ACCURATE CLOUD SERVICE-Once you have decided the cloud deployment model that fits your organization requirements, now is the time to choose the reliable services. There are three options-
  • Information as a service (IaaS)- This service has direct control over all the application configurations
  • Platform as a service (PaaS)- This Cloud service has essential application development and testing strategies that can easily roll-out the cloud environment. Moreover, it also supports the agile programming iteration. It is equally evident across various software development services
  • Software as a service (SaaS)- The solutions can easily be updated by the vendor through automation
  1. ALIGN AND PRIORITISE THE CLOUD INITIATIVES- As soon as you understand the cloud deployment and service model, you have to prioritize its initiatives.
  2. IDENTIFYING TARGET DEPARTMENTS-Start identifying the essential departments of your platform, for example, sales, finance, marketing, HR, etc.
  1. OUTLINING THE SERVICES- For every department’s requirements, you have to break the IT services model that can support each one of them along with their business requirements efficiently. For example, customer relationship management, email, enterprise resource planning, websites, etc.
     
  2. HIGHLIGHTS- You have to understand the color-coding in order to indicate which services you have prioritized in advance. This can include cloud as well as sap software developmentThis will also help you identify critical business activities and separate them accordingly.
  3. ANALYZE YOUR NEXT MOVE- Now you have to select the essential IT services that can suit your cloud management strategies most.
  4. ASSESSING THE CLOUD SERVICES- You can evaluate the advantages of moving your solutions to the cloud. This can be done by various qualitative as well as quantitative criteria like improving operational efficiency, agility, cost savings, staff sourcing, and a lot more. 

For every identification, you can get another for the below-mentioned questions:

  • Does the service offer adequate opportunities for your organization to become operationally agile?
  • Is there any cost-saving opportunity that you can obtain from the cloud integration services?
  • What impact cloud adoption will have on your staff sourcing?
  • What will be the improvement status on your business efficiencies?

Understanding cloud strategy and determining the success of its elements 

Prior to beginning with Cloud migration or sap software development, it is important to determine if you are just following a herd or you have a valid justification for adopting cloud strategies. In today’s world, cloud services are the major driving force behind the technical innovations that users are demanding. it is crucial that the enterprises have a coherent strategy that can fulfill the business requirements, especially with speed and agility, along with balancing compliance framework with it. In the big picture, it eliminates the risk and exposure to all the vulnerabilities and ensures light governance with the solutions. 

Cloud management strategy is a tough place to define which ultimately means keeping up with the balance. The organizations are actively balancing user requirements along with cost security, compliance, faster delivery times, standard processes, etc. 

Be specific with your business objective from the beginning, especially with speed to market and business agility. As soon as we have determined your business objective, they are key aspects of building cloud management strategies. if you accomplish the below-mentioned strategies for your cloud deployment, then it will represent your platform as a whole. With the help of cloud-managed services and big data solutions, the enterprises can easily adopt a multi-cloud strategy and evaluate their platform requirements. A pragmatic sap custom development and cloud-based strategy always work at its best, especially in specific landscape and requirements. it is also important to have the right infrastructure and tools in place to keep your resources aligned. The essential attributes are mentioned below-

SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SaaS)

Most of the cloud solutions usually start with engaging the users more than any other solution. This is not because of the SaaS reference but it can also innovate faster and respond to the latest trends with absolute ease. Make sure you get adequate innovation cycles annually and your requirements to adopt the cloud are precise. The elimination of these cycles represents the complexity of solutions that cannot be managed efficiently.

PLATFORM AS A SERVICE (PaaS)

No application or software development services can perform better without a suitable strategy. In reference to cloud solutions, it is extremely crucial to have the essential tools in order to extend the configuration. It also facilitates multi-tenancy and overcomes the hurdles in adjacent segments in the cloud. It is essential to have an innovative solution that can enable your cloud ecosystem to adapt accordingly and create addons to develop new products.

INTEGRATION PROCESS

As the requirement of adopting cloud-based solutions increases it is also posing a risk for the organizations. it is also evident that not every platform can have the luxury of running semantic data architecture across various instances. Hence it is important to note that the notion of delivering cloud-integrated solutions can reduce the burden of the enterprises. The sap software development can also fulfill the requirement of a consistent approach for problem resolution.

Cloud integration involves an array of tasks like reporting, error handling, consistent diagnosis, error tracking, etc.

INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE (IaaS)

The cloud offerings must be based on a rock-solid cloud infrastructure and it should be capable of handling and supporting multiple cloud-based environments. IaaS enables cloud solutions and transfers the recent applications in cloud computing along with having a space of innovation.

ADDRESSING POTENTIAL RISK OF CLOUD

Now is the time to move into a technical face in order to build a successful account management strategy. If your enterprise lacks a dedicated IT team then it is important to find third party integration for vendors that will help you navigate through the technical barriers. 

You have to review the following areas:

  • Security and compliance- Data is indeed a critical resource and in cloud devices, it is entrusted with third party shares. Regulatory security compliance requires visibility in data storage and access.
  • Availability and reliability- You have to make sure that your cloud solutions are reliable and you can take into account their planning and ensuring process management.
  • Data integration- Data integration ensures that the infrastructure for applications maintains the connections with their interdependencies.

IMPLEMENTING CLOUD STRATEGY

The cloud strategies are mostly unique and their implementation can get really long if you are not aware of the details. The variation of the cloud is based on the organization size and number of services that are required to migrate to the cloud. You also have to explore the variables and implement a successful cloud-based strategy.

  • Transparent road map- You have to define the cloud migration milestones of your platform with proper timelines in order to fulfill each one of them
  • Competitive edge- It is essential to enhance the best practices along with accelerating the use of adoption and relieving pressure from your dedicated team.
  • IT support- Every sap software development and cloud-based service requires ongoing support and with the help of suitable technology, you can take advantage of your deployed solutions.

How Can You Successfully Grow Your Business Using Big Data?

How Can You Successfully Grow Your Business Using Big Data?

When it comes down to business development, it is essentially an ever-changing route.

Even though this has been quite evident, the different twists and turns of current times have easily baffled even the most intelligent and experienced entrepreneurs and marketers. From what every person can easily observe, one needs much more than mere creativity.

Basically, creativity yields ideas. However, they are merely stuck in quite a theoretical plan in case they aren’t executed properly. Hence, audience segmentation, artificial intelligence, multimedia-based audio and visual marketing and different other methods have captured almost all of the web development services

Irrespective of how impactful all of these trends are, basically, they are inseparably connected to a much larger concept of big data. Most of the prominent and influential companies actually base their own business model on the big data and use it in order to achieve the best possible results while employing minimum workforce, mistakes and finances. 

Here, we focus on the concept of big data and assist you in understanding the importance of it and we will be dissecting the term as well as analyse why it needs to be embedded deeper into your own business strategy.

Big Data

When it comes to defining big data, its most basic and literal form refers to a large amount of information. In order for information to be considered to be big data, it has to come from at least two or more separate sources. Anything can easily be big data and can readily come in different forms. Browsing history, satellite imaging, credit records, etc. all these things can easily be tracked and even stored. Owing to the recent controversies as well as data leakages, it might even seem scary. However, there is nothing to be afraid of. Collected big data can lead to creating mini behaviour profiles of the customers all over the Internet irrespective of the website. Essentially, the purpose of these profiles can easily be a wide range of things.

Also, improving customer support, better efficiency on websites and better ad placement along with more are all possible due to the current existence of the big data and big data solutions. In order to understand it completely, you need to know how can you easily gather this big data.

Data Gathering

Essentially, big data can easily be gathered in various ways. There are three ways to do so. They are:

  • Asking the users directly using a lead or opt-in form for permission.

Among the three ways used, this particular one is quite outdated. However, EU-imposed regulations have again imposed the businesses to include it in their own terms and conditions along with privacy policies.

  • Utilizing tracking software

At present, there are a multitude of apps as well as software which can track the smartphones and computers of the users. With it, companies can easily gather big data corresponding to users’ browsing habits as well as other details. Also, through tracking software, an e-commerce website can easily see that you have actually spent just 30 seconds browsing their own sneaker section. Cloud computing services should employ applications to track user behaviour.

  • Utilizing cookies

Utilizing cookie is most probably the most popular and familiar method to anyone. Owing to different breaches in recent times, EU countries have actually made their entire content-related laws a lot stricter. Due to this, a business that wishes to allow EU citizens to browse the pages need to notify the user about the usage of these cookies. Also, a notification can appear in different forms, generally through the classic “I Agree” button or a complicated and unconventional one.

In case you choose to use big data as an essential part of your own business plan, then you can easily incorporate all of the three wats of data gathering. Now, it is time to discuss in deep about the different methods of easily growing your business with big data.

Improvement of Customer Profiles through Big Data

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Among all of the methods of use, the improvement of existing customer information remains to be the most essential as well as the most straightforward one. Data analytics is the most crucial aspect of every business plan since it gives a basis to each and every action. Also, the more information you have, it is much less likely that you make a mistake and to focus your efforts on the wrong customer groups.

Essentially, a typical customer profile contains information such as name, location, emails sent and purchasing history. With the assistance of big data, you can easily find out much more. Addition of cookies to your website may even allow you to easily collect big data in a different form.

  • The device used by Customer

With this relevant information, you can easily adjust the page format for their smartphone or even tablet model. Also, adjusting for mobile is quite important, but not every OS and model are the same. A SaaS development company needs to make its application compatible for such adjustments.

  • Average time spent by a user on the page
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If you are posting videos or blogs, then big data can easily allow you to view where things can easily go wrong. Why did a particular customer just watch a few seconds of the videos? Why did the customers only spend a few seconds on a given page? Such questions can be great assistance of improving the entire customer experience if they are answered utilizing big data.

  • Browsing behaviour

Basically, big data allows you to find out the average browsing behaviour or habits of the customers. Also, a large section of experts suggests that browsing behaviours are the crucial piece of information that a marketer should know.

Whenever utilizing big data, you can easily pinpoint the actual time people spend online. Such a revelation can easily assist you to post the right things at the best time. Knowing this additional information about the customers can lead to much better and deeper analytics. 

Delve Deeper

Generally, big data is just considered as categorizing as well as collecting textual data, but basically, it is much more than it appears. Companies are now using big data to strengthen their own call centre’s functioning. Instead of settling on simple level information, they are now orienting themselves in the direction of sentiment analysis.Cloud infrastructure solutions need to incorporate this as their feature.

In the case of sentiment analysis, it is directly connected to AI or artificial intelligence. By means of collecting voice recordings of the conversations of employees with customers, these companies are now analysing the details of the voices of their customers. AI programs can easily harness vital information about emotions, voice pitch, as well as voice tone. In case you have a call centre for your business, you can easily use this heads-up information.

Achieving Success

Any business can be considered profitable in case it makes advances. Essentially a good advance as per people in the industry actually revolves around reducing the time as well as effort duly spent. But, a truly exceptional advance in case of business success is increasing the overall profit as well as the general success of the company. In this regard, big data can assist you in achieving that.

With the minimum amount of effort invested, you can easily watch the data getting collected. Whenever it is time to take any action, you will be duly ready.

Also, rolling out campaigns is performed much more smoothly with the assistance of big data. Knowing enough about your customers will assist you in focusing the marketing as well as the products. Also, the greatest changes can be seen in PPC campaigns.

Of course, the money is allocated efficiently through this without any major risk of wrong users clicking on the ads. Even when you manage to attract new customers, the big data can assist you in retaining them.

Attraction and Retention

Bu means of improving the marketing campaigns, and big data has reflected that it can easily attract new customers. A lot of business owners focus on this, while at the same time, they are basically losing customers by simply not listening to them. In this regard, big data can assist you in reading the online sentiment pertaining to your product as well as the brand. Most of the people have the habit of talking about the products and services they have essentially used. Knowing the public consensus will certainly aid you in better understanding of the customer.

The Internet can be a massive echo chamber, but big data can still help you explore and understand its mysteries. Having a better and clear insight into public opinion regarding your company is one of the ways to perform it. Essentially, the knowledge that you acquire will assist you in preventing problems before they appear or worsen. Also, you can easily highlight what works and even make different things easier for you, your team and business.Big data development services can assist you in this regard.

Efficiency

Disregarding the popular belief, an efficient system is quite important. Due to the overwhelming use of AI and different other programs in the world, this statement might not bode well for some. 

Big data actually highlights the importance of the system’s efficiency by doing most of the work for the team. Owing to large analytical data being collected, one doesn’t have to utilize valuable resources to estimate. Each decision will certainly take lesser time to be executed.

Utilizing big data allows you to focus on the different tasks which can’t be easily automated. Also, the creativity of you, as well as your team alike, can be allocated to different things which matter—improved energy allocation results in business growth.

IT strategy challenges of a growing business

IT strategy challenges of a growing business

A growing business is undoubtedly a great joy for your company and a huge envy for your competitors. However, there is the other side of the coin. When a business scales up, previously stated purposes and benchmarks become irrelevant. The components of the business strategy (including IT roadmap) need to be revised and changed to suit the new business situation.

There is no universal way to build a 100%-efficient IT plan, especially in a dynamic business environment, but there are several common aspects that growing companies should keep in mind when developing an IT strategy.

Short summary:

IT strategy for a growing enterprise

Progress brings challenges

Business processes rely on huge volumes of diverse data: communication with customers and business partners, financial records, employee details, internal documents, customers’ purchasing behavior and more. The more your business grows, the harder it is to ensure that corporate IT solutions work together and their functionality is sufficient to cover internal IT needs.

New locations

Spreading to new locations is a sound intention of any ambitious business. Today, globalization makes it much easier than it was decades ago. Yet, geographical expansion entails the necessity to revise and change a company’s internal operations, including those related to IT. New offices must be integrated with the corporate network. IT support is likely to become 24/7 if it’s not yet.

New products and services

Diversifying products and services is a serious step forward. Still, it inevitably drives the need to revise your IT strategy. For example, a company will need to modify internal databases, update the channels for customer interaction (add functionality to customer websites and apps) and resort to new effective IT tools for marketing and online sales, as well as diversify the methods for collecting information about customer tastes and preferences.

Mergers and acquisitions

Enterprises often buy other companies to enter a new market, get competitive advantages or broaden the range of products and services. Growing companies also merge to join forces. But joining organizations often use different IT solutions, which must be integrated and tuned to fit new common business objectives.

IT leaders’ stumbling blocks

When you know about potential difficulties connected to business growth, it may seem that IT strategy development is quite simple: a company outlines the goals for business development and implements appropriate IT solutions to support these goals. However, the real situation is more complicated due to a number of circumstances.

Lack of time to prepare for the changes

A strategy is developed in advance to achieve certain objectives. However, a growing business uncorks surprises at every step, and business leaders often have to modify their goals and priorities on the fly. The same is expected from IT leadership: they should react promptly and adapt to changes quickly. A serious hurdle: winning decisions are not always on the surface, and it takes time to get them and develop into digestible ideas.

Uncertainty

Potential and real changes always lead to a certain level of uncertainty (or, better to say, an uncertain level of uncertainty). You cannot predict how exactly new products will behave on the market, how the customer will react to them, and what your competitors will do. You can hardly avoid at least some degree of chaos. The purpose here is to identify it and minimize its influence on business processes if possible.

Resistance to change

An IT strategy for a growing business should be a bit ahead of the times. It supports the current state of affairs and at the same time allows IT leaders to look into the future to some degree. But it may be difficult for IT teams in non-IT industries to follow latest tendencies. Some leaders (both business and IT) are even eager to focus on current operations and get really stuck to their IT strategies.

There is some sense in this approach: why should I change anything if it works as is? Why invest additional effort and money in unpredictable things? This approach might work with a little luck. But following it, companies ignore the options of development and run the risk of floundering an outdated IT agenda. Growth and changes can be painful, but nothing is more painful than staying stuck to the agenda that doesn’t work anymore or gives you only a half of possible benefits and, to some extent, retains business growth.

Key areas for IT leaders

The role of IT leadership is to help the organization maximize its competitive advantage with an effective IT strategy that supports or even creates that advantage.

Focus on strong sides

A good strategy is based on your business strengths and those aspects where you can get the most benefits. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the strong sides of your business and give them additional digital support (instead of improving weaknesses).

Find new opportunities and threats

As your business grows, you are likely to uncover new opportunities. At the same time, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks that come with new activities and take necessary steps to protect your business.

Enterprises are getting overloaded with data from various sources: customer service points, operational & transactional systems, media and more. A growing company can employ big data analytics to get meaningful insights from these data: to monitor market tendencies, understand competitor strategies, identify early signs of potential problems and reduce risks.

You may get new valuable ideas with IT consulting services. Of course, you cannot completely rely on the opinion of IT consultants as they don’t know the full picture of your business. However, they can share their experience and prompt to find priceless solutions to your corporate pains.

Reduce entropy

In a fast-growing business, decisions may throw the company in different directions. Many ad hoc decisions are taken, many ideas appear to be not so profitable as it was expected and remain unsupported. All that leaves IT components in a chaotic state and reduces their effectiveness.

IT infrastructure never becomes organized without intervention. Entropy management aims at small corrections to keep IT components on track rather than letting things run on their own until there is a much larger breakdown or problem. Enterprise architecture should possess a certain degree of flexibility to be ready for the changes when they are needed.

Align IT and business

A good IT strategy is developed to support a business strategy. This approach assumes that business goals are stated before it comes to serious IT planning. However, in a growing enterprise, top management is likely to modify business goals to jump at new opportunities or abandon unproductive approaches.

When a business scales up, it’s important to be sure that the IT solutions keep up with business goals and modify the IT strategy if there are any discrepancies. Otherwise, there is a risk that IT leaves behind the business, and IT and business strategies become misaligned. It makes an IT roadmap less effective (if not harmful).

Be flexible in choosing vendors

A growing business may be interested in new IT solutions to effectively cover the increasing volume of internal operations (if legacy systems don’t cope with the task), provide digital support for new internal processes, enable better and faster services and more. Even if a company develops in-house or has an established chain of tried-and-true IT vendors, it can benefit a lot from new IT partnerships. The focus should be on selecting reliable software providers and minimizing the risks of new cooperation.

Collaboration with existing vendors may also change a lot when they offer new cooperation options, start doing more on their side or get integrated into the design process.

It’s important to evaluate what various vendors can offer and choose the best matches in terms of quality, time and costs of delivery.

Ecommerce Design Guide – Your Source of Web Design Inspiration

Ecommerce Design Guide – Your Source of Web Design Inspiration

Once you have a competitive product or service and sell it at a reasonable price, the next thing that matters to your ecommerce business success is the customer experience provided. Website design is its vital part as customers interact with your company via the website and often don’t set the two apart. Therefore, a digital experience designed on the website equals your company’s image in the minds of your customers.

More reasons why website design is worth taking seriously

The role of design goes far beyond the website look. Professionally designed, your online store obtains:

  • Branding strength. A website is your opportunity to tell customers how your company positions itself on the market and what values or social views it supports.
  • Enhanced website usability. Design always starts with the UX part to plan each type of customer interaction within the website. What you win is minimized user efforts whenever is possible and increased meaningful engagement with the site content.
  • Technical excellence. Modern websites are responsive to render well on different screen sizes and provide for convenient viewing and shopping experience across devices. Also, they are mostly designed with SEO purposes in mind to support your customer acquisition plans down the road.
  • Technology advances. When reasonable, your website design is planned with the latest technologies and approaches in mind (like AR or on-site personalization). Since not all are worth adopting for your business, you should have the ROI of each technology integration estimated to opt for the most rewarding ones.
  • Different conversion funnels planned. A classic conversion path leads customers from product discovery directly to online buy. But customers don’t always behave as you expect, so professional web designers plan and map on the website more complicated journeys with half-way conversion points such as:
    • Upsells and cross-sells.
    • Wish list.
    • Email subscription.
    • Promotional banners.
    • Downloads.

Design elements to add to core ecommerce pages

An ecommerce website may house any number of SKUs and generate any traffic volume – disregarding the size, it always has several typical page types to design.

Ecommerce website design

Homepage. As the most frequent landing page in ecommerce, the homepage pursues a fundamental goal – to entice customers to start a shopping journey. Hence, design elements must:

  • Establish a brand identity: brand message, mission statements, trust builders.
  • Provide for easy navigation: a properly organized product menu, shortcuts to products with the highest selling potential.
  • Trigger immediate interest: promotions and deals, customer service perks.

Catalog page. On a catalog page, you don’t only showcase your products – you start selling them. To prompt customers to product discovery, you should:

  • Help customers find the products of interest: product filtering.
  • Give a quick view possibility.
  • Instill product quality: a summarized product rating, a number of product reviews.
  • Offer alternatives of further actions: add to shopping cart or wish list, save for later.

Product page. Customers are already interested in your product. It’s high time to take the stress out of the decision-making process and:

  • Give comprehensive product information: product description, assembly tutorials, user guides.
  • Be illustrative: product images, videos, demos.
  • Help to select the right product configuration: a size chart, a size guide, product builders.
  • Enhance product credibility: product reviews, social media tags, product labels (‘bestseller’, ‘influencer’s choice’).
  • Advertise similar products: cross-sells.
  • Offer personal assistance with the product choice: live chat.

Shopping cart. This page is an intermediate step between a customer’s buying intention and an actual buy. Planning its design, remember to:

  • Give a summary of selected products: quantity, parameters, price.
  • Outline delivery options and costs.
  • Allow customers to edit the order.
  • Offer complementary products: upsells.

Checkout. The best practices in checkout design dictate to:

  • Ask for account registration and give an opportunity of guest checkout alike.
  • Simplify fill-in forms not to demand much of a customer’s time.
  • Offer several payment options.
  • Give estimated delivery time depending on the delivery option selected.
  • Inform customers about what happens next: you send an email with confirmation details, customers can track the order progress in their personal account.

Non-catalog content page. Your content marketing strategy may require diverse content types: a blog, lookbooks, tutorials, deep product dives, interviews, etc. Though designed differently, they all bring you customer engagement and even impulse conversions if you:

  • Softly sell your expertise or product value.
  • Openly advertise relevant products that fit the information you share.

Check the correlation between sales and website design

It often happens that an ecommerce company follows general design recommendations and invests a lot in customer acquisition marketing, but the conversion rate remains low. So, here is a very important question to answer before giving way to redesign hassle: ‘Does my design hinders sales?’

Given the abundance of interactions throughout a customer life cycle, ways to frustrate customers with poor experience are numerous too – from a consistent shortage of their favorite products to delays in order delivery. In both cases, customers will end up with a competing company. If you suspect design issues, there are several ways to confirm whether they directly impact your sales volume.

Investigate web analytics. If the analysis shows high traffic generated by your SEO efforts and marketing activities, yet a high bounce rate and short dwell time not ending with conversions at any of your planned points, the digital user experience is obviously flawed. Your website design doesn’t inspire trust, and its usability is begging for improvement.

Request an independent design audit. While UI design is largely a matter of subjective opinion, the UX part can be expertly assessed by designers. Upon audit completion, you get a report with UX flaws uncovered and can make a redesign decision deliberately.

Assess your website experience against web design trends. As for digital user experience and beyond, ecommerce has become truly customer-centric. In website design, trends demand enjoyable experience tailored and convenient for diverse customer groups. Your customers don’t lower their expectations and want from you the same design excellence.

Where to focus your redesign efforts

Even if you are not up for large investments into full website redesign now, you may apply improvements to certain aspects that won’t go unnoticed by your customers. Here are shortlisted best practices for ecommerce web design.

  • Use quality product images, zoom-in, videos, 360-degree views, 3D models.
  • Take after a real-life shopping experience with augmented reality.
  • Ensure elaborate navigation, filtering and search experience.
  • Go for clean and spacious UI with a light background, which resonates with a larger audience.
  • Add on-site personalization to serve customers relevant content, promotions and product recommendations.
  • Make the website responsive to various screen sizes.
  • Don’t break design consistency across the website.
  • Avoid visual clutter.

Ecommerce design examples for inspiration

Each product and service line in ecommerce bears its design specifics – some spark designers’ creativity while some demand for a minimalist approach.

LOQ – Fashion website design

Example of fashion ecommerce website design https://inifyetechnologies.com/

https://www.loq.us/

MatchaKari – Food & drinks website design

Example of food ecommerce website design https://inifyetechnologies.com/

https://matcha.com/

Olathe Health – Healthcare website design

Example of healthcare ecommerce website design https://inifyetechnologies.com/

https://www.olathehealth.org/

The Future Perfect – Furniture website design

Example of furniture ecommerce website design https://inifyetechnologies.com/

https://www.thefutureperfect.com/

LifeWise – Pet supplies website design

https://inifyetechnologies.com/

Design specifics for B2C and B2B ecommerce

Not only a product line, but your business model also impacts the digital experience to design on a website. Study the highlights of B2C and B2B website design rules below illustrated with interactive demos created by ScienceSoft’s team. Don’t miss to play them in the first place!

B2C website design – bet big on convenience and personalization

  • Personalize website content, promotions and recommended products for customer segments and individuals.
  • Encourage impulse buys with content marketing, upsells and cross-sells.
  • Facilitate a customer’s search across the website.
  • Offer guest checkout.
B2C ecommerce demo

B2B website design – bet big on trust and loyalty-building

  • Integrate custom pricing and automated discounting depending on order volume.
  • Add a possibility of shipment to multiple addresses.
  • Offer flexible payment options (including trade credit).
  • Design a comprehensive personal account with role-based management and a quick reorder possibility.
B2B ecommerce demo https://inifyetechnologies.com/
Microsoft Azure – Cloud Cradle for Your Small Business

Microsoft Azure – Cloud Cradle for Your Small Business

Moving your IT environment to the cloud is a sequence of decisive steps on your way to the IT infrastructure’s scalability and security. Once you migrate successfully, you cut down on your IT expenditures as opposed to maintaining an on-premises infrastructure. However, a small business on the edge of migration faces the initial challenge of the right choice of a cloud vendor. To help you make an informed decision, I share the advantages of Microsoft Azure, one of the leading cloud providers.

Easily managed data storage

Azure provides opportunities for scalable storage to meet the growing data and performance needs of a small business. Azure Blobs allows such scalable storing of unstructured data and can be powered with big data analytics capabilities when the need arises. And with another Azure Storage product, Azure Files, and the SMB protocol it supports, you can perform swift data migration to the cloud with no coding involved.

Seamless integration with Microsoft SaaS products

Azure-hosted apps can integrate with Microsoft’s SaaS tools to increase the productivity of your employees and provide advanced analytics. For example, you can embed SharePoint functionality in your Azure environment to build up task management or document processing workflows for your team or leverage the broad analytical capabilities of Power BI to get insights from your data stored in Azure.

Secure and backed-up email system

With Azure, small businesses can get a maintenance-free cloud-hosted email server (Microsoft Exchange Online) synced with Azure Active Directory for backup and access management. With Exchange Online, you do not need to update your email servers manually to get the up-to-date functionality. You have antispam and antimalware protection already included together with the support of mailboxes up to 50 GB each and access to the email service from mobile devices. Doubt Azure is the Most Feasible Choice?

Highly performing websites and web apps

Azure features the globally spread Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN), which routes data streams to/from the geographically closest Azure servers, thus reducing response latency of your web resources. The edge servers of Azure CDN automatically scale up to handle traffic surges. On top of that, Azure CDN includes advanced analytics features to monitor traffic and user engagement.

Backup and recovery

Azure Backup makes snapshots – images of your system’s actual state – to restore the data and operability of your cloud services and apps as of the snapshot timestamp. With Azure, you can schedule backups and ensure the security of backup data with data encryption and multifactor authentication.

Information security

You can secure your Azure environment with advanced access management via Azure Active Directory and firewall services. Also, there’s Azure Security Center, which carries out continuous security monitoring across your Azure environment (manually deployed Log Analytics agent supports hybrid environments) and alerts you about misconfigurations and threats as well as about how to remediate them. Besides, Azure-based infrastructures support HIPAA compliance, which means that Azure services are recognized suitable for secure storage and processing of protected health information.

Capabilities for fast migration and development

Azure offers free tools for lift-and-shift infrastructure migration and provides services (e.g., for IoT, AI, machine learning, and blockchain) for the facilitated rebuilding of your legacy apps for which such migration is inapplicable. Check our project of accounting software migration to Azure, to see how rebuilding legacy software with Azure services can ensure its smooth migration and enrich its functionality.

How to choose the best digital platform for your bank

How to choose the best digital platform for your bank

Dіgіtаl trаnsfоrmаtіоn fоr а rеtаіl bаnk may rеquіrе а new approach to providing customer service and managing the bank’s employees. Оf соursе, thіs approach wіll bе unіquе tо еасh bаnk, аnd dеfіnеd bу іts rаngе оf рrоduсts аnd sеrvісеs, соrе bаnkіng sуstеms, ІТ budgеt аnd the vіsіоn of а dіgіtаl futurе.

In this article, we discuss what options for going digital banks have and what challenges they can meet on the way to digitalization.

Digital transformation of banking

Challenges of mоvіng tо а dіgіtаl рlаtfоrm

1. Failures in upgrading outdated banking software

Fоr nеwеr dіrесt bаnks аnd fіntесhs thіs іs nоt аn іssuе, bесаusе thеу, in all probability, hаvе stаrtеd оut аs dіgіtаl-оnlу busіnеssеs. Ноwеvеr, еstаblіshеd multіnаtіоnаls аnd lаrgе bаnks wіth hundrеds оf brаnсhеs аrе fасеd wіth а mајоr сhаllеngе. Тhеу hаvе іnvеstеd іn hugе mоnоlіthіс bаnkіng sуstеms thаt аrе wау раst thеіr sеll-bу dаtе. Тhе соrе tеаms thаt іmрlеmеntеd аnd mаіntаіnеd thеsе sуstеms hаvе rеtіrеd, bееn rеtrеnсhеd оr lеft, аnd thе rеmаіnіng suрроrt hаs vеrу lіttlе knоwlеdgе оf hоw thе sуstеm асtuаllу wоrks.

Тhіs situation сrеаtеs hugе operational rіsks аnd possible sуstеm fаіlurеs, which may result in total loss in reputation. А саsе іn роіnt іs Rоуаl Ваnk оf Ѕсоtlаnd’s mаssіvе sуstеm fаіlurе іn 2012, fоr whісh thеу wеrе fіnеd £56 mіllіоn. Аt that tіmе, Сhіеf Аdmіnіstrаtive Offісеr Ѕіmоn МсΝаmаrа рlеdgеd thаt аnоthеr ІТ dіsаstеr thаt wоuld lеаvе mіllіоns оf сustоmеrs unаblе tо mаkе рауmеnts wаs ехtrеmеlу unlіkеlу, оnlу tо hаvе а sіmіlаr оutаgе 6 mоnths аftеr thе fіnе wаs lеvіеd іn 2014.

2. Failures in meeting compliance regulations

One of the biggest advantages of going digital, the ease with which their customers can get necessary services, poses serious challenges in terms of compliance. Thus, digital banks should develop a whole new strategy to meeting regulations as, for example, Know Your Customer (KYC) rules and the rules for tax reporting under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Аvаіlаblе орtіоns: Buіld, buу, acquire оr раrtnеr

Роssіblе орtіоns fоr а dіgіtаl mіgrаtіоn dереnd оn thе sіzе аnd the аbіlіtу оf a bаnk tо mаkе thе nесеssаrу сhаngе. Тhеrе іs аlsо а dесіsіоn tо bе mаdе оn whеthеr tо орt fоr а соmрrеhеnsіvе рlаtfоrm  оr dіgіtіzе оnlу оnе аsресt оf thе busіnеss аt а tіmе.

Вuіld уоur оwn рlаtfоrm

A custom solution is a good option for banks that hаvе thе rеquіrеd ІТ сарасіtу аnd thе budgеt tо develop their own digital platform. ВВVА banking group іs оnе оf thе bаnks thаt tооk thіs rоutе, јustіfуіng thіs аррrоасh bесаusе thеу wаntеd tо bоth hаvе thе рlаtfоrm thеу nееdеd аnd thе undеrstаndіng аnd соntrоl оvеr hоw іt works. Ѕmаllеr bаnks mау fіnd it а vіаblе орtіоn іf thеу саn fіnd suіtаblе раrtnеrs.

Вuу а ready-made solution

Buуіng а ready-made platform іs а gооd орtіоn in case you opt for speedy trаnsfоrmаtіоn. Although, there іs quіtе а lоt оf wоrk іnvоlvеd іn gеttіng уоur рurсhаsе tо ореrаtе аs rеquіrеd, whісh wіll need the help of professional соnsultаnts.

Аs оnе wоuld ехресt, mоst vеndоrs оf dіgіtаl bаnkіng рlаtfоrms hаvе bееn ореrаtіng іn thе bаnkіng ІТ sрасе fоr sоmе tіmе, еіthеr іn thеіr сurrеnt іnсаrnаtіоn, lіkе Оrасlе, ТСЅ, Іnfоsуs аnd ЅАР, оr vіа а sеrіеs оf асquіsіtіоns, lіkе Fіnаstrа, whісh hаs rесеntlу асquіrеd Міsуs аnd D&Н. Тhеrе аrе аlsо nеwеr соmреtіtоrs, lіkе Васkbаsе, whісh іs grоwіng rаріdlу оn thе strеngth оf іts рrоduсt. For example, АВΝ Аmrо іnvеstеd іn Васkbаsе’s оffеrіng, аs dіd sоmе оthеr lеаdіng bаnks.

Раrtnеr wіth а соmраnу buіlt оn а dіgіtаl рlаtfоrm

Ѕоmе bаnks hаvе сhоsеn thіs орtіоn, сrеаtіng а раrtnеrshір wіth а dіrесt bаnk оr а fіntесh. For example, Fіdоr Ваnkраrtnеrs wіth Сurrеnсуclоud, a glоbаl рауmеnts рrоvіdеr.

Acquire а bank with a digital рlаtfоrm

Тhіs іs the strategy that may work for large multinational banks: іf уоu саn’t bеаt thеm, buу thеm. Тhіs іs whаt Ѕсоtіаbаnk dіd whеn іt асquіrеd ІΝG Dіrесt online bank, nоw ореrаtіng аs Таngеrіnе. Аlthоugh Таngеrіnе hаs аutоnоmу іn іts ореrаtіоns, іt іs а whоllу оwnеd subsіdіаrу. Ѕіmіlаrlу, Frеnсh bаnk ВРСЕ hаs асquіrеd Gеrmаn dіrесt bаnk Fіdоr.

What is Digital Transformation?

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of rethinking one’s business model or business process in light of the availability and affordability of digital technology. It requires coordination across the entire organization since it applies new technologies to fundamentally change the way business is done. For many enterprises today, the driving motivation of digital transformation is the chance to gain competitive advantages by improving customer experience.

Technology Advances Created the Age of the Customer

More and more, exceptional customer experience is a key differentiator in digital business, and the process of digital transformation should be guided by a customer-centric digital strategy.

According to Forrester, technology advances in the past five years have created the “Age of the Customer”, in which consumers choose when and how they interact with businesses. Companies today can’t fully control the experience they want to deliver to customers; instead, customers encounter businesses across many touchpoints with high expectations of consistency, ease of use and personalization.

It is up to businesses to use new technological capabilities and organizational change to create experiences that adapt to these changing needs. More and more, exceptional customer experience is a key differentiator in digital business, and the process of digital transformation should be guided by a customer-centric digital strategy.

Key Elements of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is enabled by new technology, but successful transformation requires a reorientation that goes beyond the implementation of new technology to reach every part of the business.

MIT Sloan Management Review has identified three pillars of the transformation process for companies to focus on: customer experience, operational processes and business models. Companies also need to invest in and develop their digital capabilities, as this element enables digital transformation in each of the three main pillars.

Customer Experience

Advances in marketing software and data-gathering capabilities allow for better customer insight and greater personalization in digital experiences. Enterprises are pursuing transformation in the following ways:

  • Managing personalized experiences across channels that are easy and seamless for customers to use.
  • Developing digital products and services for new devices, such as smart watches.
  • Drawing in data at every touchpoint and using that to deliver more effective personalization.

Operational Processes

It can be tempting to think of front-end customer experience as the main focus of digital transformation, since that’s the most visible part of the process. However, using technology to redesign operational systems has just as much, if not more, impact on a company’s ability to successfully provide great experiences.

For example, a customer getting their package sooner means a more positive impression of the company, and having a representative already know what specific problems a customer is having, because the product sends diagnostic information over the internet, allows for shorter call times and faster solutions. Companies are successfully transforming operations by:

  • Breaking down departmental and data silos for better collaboration on digital projects, such as including both IT and Marketing on product teams so that both departments are fully informed during the process of design, strategy and development.
  • Automating processes through better software capabilities or with the creation of new tools, such as implementing automated purchase order systems in order to reduce paperwork and rejected orders.
  • Making strategic decisions based on data with increasing levels of detail. Instead of reusing or modifying a previous year’s distribution process, for instance, leaders are able to make changes based on real data, rather than assumptions.

Business Models

Often, startups are able to disrupt long-standing brands because they use innovative business models that take advantage of new technology, without being weighed down by legacy systems. Established brands should look to models that offer services that wouldn’t be possible without new technology. Examples of new business models are varied, but can generally include:

  • Expanding the scope of current business through digital services, such as a toy company that crowdsources designs online.
  • Evolving with changes in customer behavior due to new technologies. For instance, when customers see a product in store, they may do an online search order to check reviews and end up purchasing it at a lower price somewhere else. Some businesses have countered this by creating an app that allows customers to scan the product and read the reviews, ensuring that they stay within the business’s platform instead of purchasing elsewhere.
  • Rebuilding services to be digital-first, such as banks that create mobile apps for cashing checks, paying bills, applying for loans or other services.

Where to Start

A common misconception is that digital transformation begins and ends with technology. Companies shouldn’t define digital transformation as simply an increased investment in IT. Customer experience must drive the digital strategy behind transformation if companies are to see significant gains from customer insight and engagement.

To stay competitive in digital business, enterprises should look at where they are now and determine what core elements of digital transformation they need to focus on. Your enterprise may only be able to begin with one of the three pillars mentioned above; what’s important is that you start somewhere.

Though no one has a comprehensive roadmap for digital transformation, the following best practices have emerged over the past five years:

  • Vision + Investment – How far your business can go depends on the reach of your vision and the level of investment you commit to.
  • Digital Strategy – Have a strategy that accounts for the full scope of your vision, rather than the implementation of individual technologies.
  • Leadership – Because digital transformation requires in-depth organizational change and coordination, it is more effective when led from the top layer of the business.
  • Uniting Business and IT – Breaking down the barriers between Business and IT goes hand in hand with operational change. As digital business increases software needs, it will be important for Business and IT to merge their work so there are no conflicts in adapting technology.
  • Third-Party Solutions – Look for partners who have specific strengths in your areas of weakness. Structure relationships as partnerships, with an expectation of knowledge sharing and frequent communication. This mitigates the risk of creating siloed information across multiple vendors and becoming dependent on a vendor’s availability or timeline.
Marketing Automation Tools to Enhance Small Business

Marketing Automation Tools to Enhance Small Business

In today’s competitive global economy, digital promotion is a major contributing factor to a company’s growth and success. However, some small businesses are having a tough time adapting to the situation. Not only does digital marketing involve a host of repetitive, labor-intensive activities such as email communication, but it also compels you to get creative with your messaging if you want to stand a chance at cultivating a loyal customer base.

Enter marketing automation. Software-based marketing automation can improve process efficiency, increase revenue, and keep marketing costs down. Marketing and sales employees love automation because it reduces the need for repetitive manual labor, giving them more time to flex their creative muscles. According to researchers at MarketsAndMarkets, the marketing automation industry is expected to grow at a rate of about 8.55%, reaching $6.4 million in worth by 2024. Another study conducted by EmailMonday shows that an average of 51% of companies is already using marketing automation in some capacity. This shows that rather than being a simple tech trend, automation represents a fairly accurate picture of what the future of marketing will look like.

marketing automation for small business

The basics of marketing automation

Marketing automation refers to a number of technologies used for running marketing campaigns across multiple channels. By opting to use them, small businesses can interact with customers through automated messages via email, websites, social media, instant messaging apps, and other forms of online communication.

To automate a marketing-related task, you have to define a set of actions that your automation software will perform once certain conditions are met. You can create these instructions from scratch, or you can modify existing templates.

The main goal of marketing automation is to help your small business grow and succeed. And the results have been promising so far.

According to a study by eMarketer, companies using automation for tasks such as running email marketing campaigns have seen their conversion rate jump to almost 50%. Nuclear Research also found that companies that leverage automation observed a 6.9% increase in marketing staff productivity, and a 4% sales staff productivity respectively.Want to Find the Optimal Way to Automate Your Marketing Efforts?

Marketing automation benefits

marketing automation benefits for small business
  • Discover quality leads.

Thanks to its ability to monitor how users behave while interacting with your business online, marketing automation software plays a major role in helping your marketing department understand what the customers are interested in, and where they are in the conversion funnel. Follow-up interactions can then be customized around these insights.

  • Personalize customer journeys.

Marketing automation software will make it easier to align your content strategy with the needs of your customers. Instead of trying to figure out what your customers want manually, you can rely on data-driven algorithms to do all the hard work.

  • Make decisions based on data.

By providing a unified platform for data storage, management, and analytics and closed-loop reporting, marketing automation tools offer a complete solution for campaign management and audience analysis. This enables small businesses to make more rational, fact-based marketing decisions.

  • Keep marketing and sales in alignment.

Efficient collaboration between sales and marketing teams is essential for building a sustainable conversion pipeline. Marketing automation will help you work towards this goal by ensuring both teams have access to the same kind of data.

  • Obtain more detailed customer profiles.

The more you know about your existing, as well as potential customers, the better position you will be to sell to them. And since generating detailed user profiles is mandatory for running marketing automation, you will obtain more detailed customer profiles at no extra cost once you start using an automation tool.

Perks of integrating marketing automation and CRM

If you wish to achieve even better marketing results, you can integrate marketing automation with CRM. There are already CRM tools on the market that offer automation functionality from the get-go, and there are others that have to be paired up with specialized automation tools. Either way, the gains of combining the two can be substantial.

Marketing automation software will generate a high volume of data in the course of its operation, so you will gather a hefty amount of customer info on the side at no extra cost. This data is primarily used to score and segment leads. The best of these leads can then be transferred to your CRM platform so that your sales reps can focus on converting leads with the highest potential.

CRM and marketing automation also enable you to create more intimate relationships between leads and salespeople. When a sales rep has access to detailed behavior profiles for every lead in your database, they can tailor their approach to suit each lead.

Another area where you stand to benefit from integrating marketing automation with CRM is content creation. The data you gather via marketing automation tools will enable you to craft targeted content for each stage of the conversion process.

Finally, by combining CRM and marketing automation, you will have an easier time identifying marketing campaigns that work from those that don’t, allowing you to create better ones in the future.

A selection of noteworthy marketing automation tools

In practical terms, marketing automation boils down to using a variety of software tools. Marketing automation tools are usually specialized for one particular type of automation (i.e., email automation), but exceptions do exist.

I’ll cover the marketing automation tools by dividing them into two main categories. First, let’s talk about CRMs with marketing automation functionality, and then we’re going to covert more specialized marketing automation software.

CRMs with marketing automation functionality

1. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

This is a cloud-based marketing automation platform with the most powerful automation tools on the market, provided you have the skills to use it.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers numerous features that can help businesses streamline their sales and marketing workflows. It is connecting sales, commerce, and customer communities. With intuitive AI and drag-and-drop features, you can easily respond to customer intent and create personalized content for your emails and social media platforms. That makes this platform perfect for B2C and B2B businesses. However, many users are overwhelmed with the numerous features and find them complex. After all, this is the latest technology.

As for the pricing, the Basic plan starts with $400 org/month for B2C companies and $1,250/month for up to 10,000 contracts for B2B companies.

2. Dynamics 365 Marketing

Dynamics 365 is a CRM platform that offers a number of useful marketing automation features. It is aimed at small businesses looking to raise demand for their products and services, enchant customers with user-friendly experiences, and give their overall promotional efforts a major boost.

With the Dynamics 365 Marketing app, you can create and nurture leads, align sales and marketing, make informed decisions and personalize and extend your app’s capabilities.

In case you’re interested in purchasing a license, you’ll need to pay from $750 if you already have the Customer Engagement Plan, or from $1,500 if it’s your first Dynamics 365 app.

3. HubSpot

If you’re not comfortable with using multiple tools for marketing automation, Hubspot has got you covered. Their feature-rich, all-in-one marketing automation platform is ideally suited for small businesses.

Use it to automate essential marketing tasks such as running email marketing campaigns, designing landing pages, creating and running A/B tests, creating lead acquisition pipelines, publishing blog posts, and more. One of the most attractive features of this tool is the dynamic campaign builder. Use its convenient drag-and-drop interface to create automated marketing campaigns from scratch in no time.

The price for HubSpot Marketing Automation depends on which plan with varying features and add-ons you choose. You can opt for Free, Starter ($50/month), Professional ($400-$800/month), and Enterprise ($1,200-$3,200/month).

4. Really Simple Systems CRM

If you’re looking for a simpler CRM solution with built-in automation features, Really Simple Systems CRM has everything a small business needs to be effective at digital marketing.

In addition to standard CRM features such as tools for customer management, campaign monitoring, and customer service, Really Simple Systems CRM also comes with a slew of automation features. You can automate things like form-based lead capture, email marketing, contact sync, and more.

What makes Really Simple Systems CRM stand out is its price. The basic subscription is completely free, and even the most expensive package will only set you back €41 per user/month.

Specialized marketing automation tools

1. Marketo

This marketing automation platform helps organizations automate tasks and workflows and measure marketing engagement.

From nurturing qualified leads to discovering cross-selling and up-selling opportunities and executing personalized marketing campaigns across multiple digital channels, the job of every digital marketer gets much easier with Marketo.

Among the features that Marketo offers are bi-directional CRM synchronization, web activity tracking, lead management, email marketing automation, social media marketing automation, CRM data-based personalization, mobile marketing, and search engine optimization.

If you’re wondering about how much all of this costs, the first thing you should know is that the amount depends on the number of contacts. For up to 10,000 contacts, you’ll have to pay $895/month.

2. GetResponse

What makes GetResponse a highly suitable marketing automation platform for small businesses is the fact that it provides onboarding, quick setup and advice, post-purchase support and loyalty programs, all included in the cost. The tool itself has everything you need to create and run automatic marketing campaigns, including a simple drag-and-drop workflow editor, ecommerce support, data management, and analytics.

GetResponse’s pricing starts at $15/month for up to 1,000 subscribers (Email Plan). If this doesn’t satisfy your needs, you can always opt for a plan for 2,500 subscribers ($25 per month), or 10,000 ($65 per month).

Drop your thoughts in the comments

When you combine AI and IoT, you get AIoT: A Guide for AIoT

When you combine AI and IoT, you get AIoT: A Guide for AIoT

The Internet of Things has been a technology that has changed a lot of things in the world.

Everything, when connected to the Internet, became so useful. Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing but a technology to connect any kind of device to the Internet. For example, A smartphone is such a useful device but what makes it so useful? Internet connection. Most of the applications that people use worldwide require an Internet connection to run, if we think of the time when there were just normal cellular phones, things were pretty tough, now people can read books, watch a movie, do a video call, search for anything they like, buy their favorite stuff online and so many other things. IoT has changed the technical world in a very positive manner.

An IoT app development company have to make new changes every few months to be able to provide the users with the latest and best in class applications that might increase the usability of their devices. IoT is not just about smartphones, it is also about the microwaves, self-driving cars, fitness devices, etc.

Now, what is AI? AI is just as popular as the IoT and has been there for quite a while now, AI is a branch of Computer Science that deals with the development of machines that are capable of performing some tasks that are coded into it by the developers, the tasks are of a kind that will require human intelligence and that is why it has to be coded in the machine before so it can understand how it has to do something when it is asked or told to do it.

How AI is changing our lifestyle?

AI technology has changed the way machines were made, the machines have become very smart and are now getting even smarter as they developers have made them smart enough to learn on their own by observing the real world, all this has been possible because of the AI technology. An AI development company makes so many types of applications that help people nowadays so much, there are voice assistants that can hear what people say and respond to them, some of the devices like speaker AI assistants can even do the shopping for their users. The world is changing but the technology is changing even faster.

Most of the developments in the world have come because of the development in the technology sector, especially in computer science, the emergence of smartphone technology, the new type of applications, the new devices, all of them are helping into the overall development of the area they are in.

Combining AI with IoT

Now when AI and IoT both are useful, what if they can be combined, what if there was something like AIoT? Well, there is indeed something called AIoT, that is, a technology that combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). AIoT is Artificial Intelligence of Things, this technology helps people to achieve more efficient IoT operations, good human-device interaction, and to enhance the management and analytics of data. If the developers implement it properly, AI analytics can change the IoT data into very useful information so that better decisions can be made. Artificial Intelligence Solutions, when combined with the Internet of Things Solutions, can make the devices a very powerful tool.

There is so much scope for the Mobile Application Development companies if they use AIoT, the combination can do wonders in the market if used properly. AIoT is mutually helpful for both AI and IoT technologies, AI can add value to IoT technology through its machine learning capabilities and on the other hand AI can be benefitted by IoT through its power of connectivity, signaling, and exchange of data. There is a large amount of human-oriented and machine-generated unstructured data because the IoT network is spread around major industries. For this, AIoT can provide a solution, a solution or support for data analytics, it can help create value out of this data generated through the IoT industries.

With the help of the IoT technology, AI can be infused into the infrastructure components like programs, chipsets, and edge computing, all of it is interconnected with the IoT networks.

The concept of AIoT is very new in the market but the technology is very promising and can change it for the best. A Hybrid App Development Company can make use of this technology very efficiently. There are many verticals which will get affected by this technology, and affected in a positive way, verticals like enterprise, industrial, and consumer product and the service sector, these verticals will grow with the help of this technology. There are many operational problems that can be solved through AIoT, for example, the problems like solving the expense associated with effective human capital management (HCM) or even the complexity of supply chain and delivery models.

Scope of AIoT:

Most of the AIoT applications are as of now in retail product-oriented and most of the time it is focused on the implementation of cognitive computing in the field of consumer appliances. The smart home technology that has been launched in the market a while ago is also considered a part of AIoT as the smart appliances learn through human interaction with the help of AI and then they can respond.

If it is looked at from the data analytics point of view, AIoT technology can easily combine machine learning with IoT and the system in order to create data “learning machines”. This thing can be then applied to enterprise and industrial data use cases to capture IoT data. It can capture the data like the edge of networks, to automate tasks in a workplace that is connected. The key value of all the use cases and solutions of all AIoT is the real-time data.

One more important application of AIoT is that it can also be used with the social media and human-resource-related platforms to create an AI decision as a service function for the Human resource professionals.

Practical Examples of AIoT:

  • Smart Retail:

In the smart retail environment, a camera installed in the store can recognize the face of the customer who walks into the store by using the face recognition technology that is based on AI. The system can acquire much important information about the customers through this like the gender, preference of products while shopping, the flow of traffic, and many more. The system can then efficiently analyze the data that is collected to predict the behavior of the customers accurately.

The information after proper analysis can be used for the growth of the retail business, new strategies can be formulated, existing plans and strategies could be dropped or manipulated in order to gain maximum profit. It can also help the owners figure out a way to run the store smoothly by knowing all the problems that the customers face while they search for some products.

The system can analyze that most of the customers that walk into a specific retail store belong to the upper class, or the customers buy the specific types of products more than others and with that information, the retail store owner can formulate a plan to keep more products that the class of customers or group of customers wish to buy. They can advertise efficiently if they get to know which things are more popular in their store and which things they can offer to their target audience. This technology can also identify users who can steal things from the store so that the retail stores can take action and block them from entering the store in the future.

  • Drone and CCTV Traffic Monitoring:

Traffic monitoring has changed in the past few years, there are cameras installed on the traffic lights that can record various information about the vehicles like the speed at which it travels and the number of the vehicle, the model, and type. The technology has advanced to a level where if someone breaks a traffic law the notice is directly sent to their house with the receipt.

This happens in the following way, the camera records the information which is sent to the system for further analysis. In this way, the camera uses the IoT technology to connect the camera to a system to share the recorded data, then the recorded data with the help of AI algorithms analyses it and then it can find out things like the owner of the vehicle, the address of the person who owns the vehicle, the history of the person, and the amount that has to be entered on the receipt as per the law that has been broken by the individual. The AI development company has made it very easy to make the traffic system stronger than ever.

Now in some smart cities, the traffic monitoring has gone even a level higher, it is done through the drones. The traffic is monitored in real-time just the way the CCTV cameras do it, through it the system can make adjustments to the real-time traffic by adjusting the traffic signals, this way the congestion can be reduced and a smooth flow of traffic can be maintained. Drones can be used to monitor a large area with respect to the CCTV, they are not fixed and can move from one location to another capturing more details and more data.

This helps in calculating the speed limit of the vehicles when they are on the running road. It can maintain traffic by ensuring strict speed-related laws. The drones can monitor if the timings of the signals need to be changed without the involvement of a human, and make the traffic flow better. The drones can also detect the accidents happening in an area and with all the data recorded by them the systems can later figure out what are the main reasons of accidents in a particular area and with the help of that the traffic department can formulate policies to reduce the accidents by taking necessary measures.

The drone system can also detect illegal parking, there are people who illegally park their vehicles in the no parking areas that create congestion. With the help of the drone system, the traffic department can reduce such incidents.

  • Office Buildings:

This is one more area where the two technologies IoT and AI meet and help mankind. There are some enterprises that wish to install a network of smart environmental sensors in the buildings of their offices. The sensors can detect the people who are present in the building in the Real-Time. It can also record and adjust the temperature and lighting accordingly. This can save a lot of energy for the enterprises cutting down their cost to a great extent. One more important application of these sensors is to provide access to important and sensitive areas and information to only authorized people by authenticating them through either fingerprint identification or face recognition.

The combination of a camera and the AI system can help a lot here too. The videos and images taken in real-time can be used by the system to find out useful information after proper analysis. It can help the systems determine which people should be given access and which people should be restricted from some specific areas and records. AIoT works together to keep the operations of the company go on without any interruptions and also it keeps the records and the place safe from unwanted visitors and attacks.

The system will eliminate the need for a separate attendance system for the employees as the AIoT system will take care of it. The AIoT technology can give the enterprises freedom from handling many parts of the operations that will otherwise need a separate department or a separate system. It saves time and a lot of cost to the businesses.

  • Management of fleet and Autonomous Vehicles:

AIoT has is a savior, the technology helps in maintaining so many things for people. It can also be used for the management of a fleet, it can monitor the vehicles of a fleet. It can reduce the cost of the fuel for them by recording analyzing important data, it can track the vehicle’s maintenance.

It can also help in detecting unsafe driving behavior. There is the Internet of Things solutions in the form of devices like the GPS installed in vehicles and through them, the companies are able to manage their fleet and this is done when we combine this technology with the AI. So, IoT is a technology that has to be thanked for it.

One more place where AIoT has used in the autonomous vehicles like the Tesla’s autopilot systems, they use the radar technology, sonars, GPS, and some cameras to gather the data about the conditions of driving. After the data is collected by these IoT devices then AI technology is used to make the important decisions to help the autopilot system.

  • Autonomous Robots used for Delivery:

This area uses AIoT technology just how autonomous vehicles use it. The robots have sensors installed in them that help them to gather information important for their functioning. After the data is gathered the AI helps the robots to make decisions that help them in their work. Artificial Intelligence solutions have helped in developing this kind of technology.

An IoT app development company when collaborates with an Artificial intelligence company, makes a system that can help enterprises, institutions, the govt. Organizations in many ways. The trends are changing, be it the applications market or the security services market, or any other sector and that is why enterprises need to know about all the latest technologies that can help them in their growth. The Mobile Application Development companies have to try to break the stereotype of the development market and need to focus on new technology-based applications like AIoT applications. The best utilization of this technology can be done by a Hybrid App Development Company. They can integrate both the technologies with hybrid applications that can run on any device and help the target users in the best way possible.

Conclusion

AIoT technology has so many benefits and applications and no consequences. The businesses can use it to record and analyze important information to make efficient plans. The AIoT systems don’t need any human involvement to record and analyze the data of an enterprise. Other new technologies can also make use of it to make the product smart so that it can work on its own.

This is a time of smart machines and IoT is the best way to make the machines smart. Alone AI and IoT are limited but when they come together, the technology can do wonders. enterprises around the world need to know about this technology. They should implement it so they can ensure fast and proper growth. This new technology is going to the big thing in the market very soon. Although it is not so popular as of now, it is still one of the best and most important technologies that have been developed in recent times.

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The Ultimate Guide To Cryptocurrency

The Ultimate Guide To Cryptocurrency

Despite of the fact that cryptocurrency is the money of the future, it’s surprising how much people don’t know about it yet. If you are new to this concept, here’s a guide for you to understand what cryptocurrency is, what are the benefits of using it over traditional money and what is cryptocurrency mining. We also talk about the most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin. So stick around to learn in-depth about cryptocurrency!  

What is Cryptocurrency?

Starting with the basics, let’s define cryptocurrency first. In simple words, a cryptocurrency is a form of virtual or digital currency that is secured by the technology of cryptography. Cryptography is a security technique that involves coding and decoding of transmitted and stored data so that only sending and receiving parties are able to intercept it. So you can perceive cryptocurrency as an online currency exchange and storage system that’s secure and anonymous. Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Coinye are some examples of cryptocurrencies. 

What is Cryptocurrency Mining?

Cryptocurrency works on blockchain technology. A blockchain is like the master ledger or record keeper that keeps track of every transacted and owned unit of the cryptocurrency. The identical copies of the blockchain document is available across all the nodes of the software network, made up of decentralized server clusters, of the cryptocurrency. Each of these nodes is run by an individual or a group of people who are known as miners. These miners have powerful software and hardware capabilities at their disposal. The job of the miners is to tally the cryptocurrency transactions, update the blockchain document with the new transactions taking place and ensure the authenticity and security of the transactions.

How does this happen? All the cryptocurrency transactions that are taking place within a set period of time are added into a list called a block. The job of the miners would be to confirm this block of transactions and add it to the master shared ledger document Blockchain. When a particular block of transactions is complete, the block is processed by the miners. Using information from the block, a complex mathematical equation is solved to generate a code of numbers and letters, called hash. The block and the newly produced hash are stored at the end of the Blockchain document for that given point of time. Also, with each block, new units of the cryptocurrency are created or issued.

Cryptocurrency mining is a carefully controlled process that ensures that the value of the existing cryptocurrency units does not depreciate because of variations in demand and supply.

Top 5 Benefits of Using Cryptocurrencies

  • Decentralized​

Cryptocurrency is not controlled by any one centralized authority, as is the case with all physical currencies. It is a peer-to-peer cash system that is completely decentralized. It is free from the control of laws and regulations of any jurisdiction. This puts much of the power of using cryptocurrency in the hands of currency holders. 

  • Anonymous​ 

Tired of giving out your personal information everywhere, like during credit card payments? In cryptocurrency transactions, you don’t have to worry about divulging your personal details at any point of the transaction. You can keep your identity completely anonymous throughout the transaction. 

  • High Security 

Cryptocurrencies and their transactions are encrypted, which greatly reduces your vulnerability to security threats like fraud and currency theft. Everything takes place digitally under the security of cryptography. Chances of counterfeit are nearly negligible when it comes to cryptocurrencies, which is what makes them a great option for doing payments and other financial transactions. 

  • Universal Nature 

Exchanging physical currencies across countries can be a costly affair because of charges like exchange rates involved. On the other hand, with cryptocurrencies, there are no costs involved like exchange rates, interest rates or any other specific charges of a given location. Cryptocurrencies can freely move around the globe with no barriers. 

  • Low Costs 

Usually, you don’t have to pay any fees for cryptocurrency transactions and exchanges. However, it’s worthwhile to note that you’re likely to pay fees for engaging a third-party service for storing and maintaining the digital wallet for your cryptocurrency. 

What’s the Buzz About Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first and to date most popular cryptocurrency, that was introduced in 2009 by the mysterious person or group of persons under the identity Satoshi Nakamoto. This digital asset is open-source software, it’s not owned by any individual, corporate organization or government. Bitcoin miners are the ones who are responsible for enforcing the reliability of the whole bitcoin network. For their services rendered, bitcoin miners are given rewards in the form of newly issued bitcoins and transaction fees which is also paid in bitcoins.

Apart from mining, there are other ways too to acquire bitcoins. There are marketplaces known as bitcoin exchanges where you may sell or buy bitcoins using various currencies. People can transfer bitcoins to each other, just like how they would transfer digital cash. Bitcoins can be easily stored in digital wallet, a type of digital bank account that can be used by the user to send bitcoins, receive bitcoins, save bitcoins, make payments for goods or services using bitcoins, etc. This wallet can be either on the user’s computer or in the cloud.