The service model is the in-thing in enterprise IT. Just about anything the enterprise requires, from storage to security, and from applications to hosting, is now available on the cloud, as a service. Such services offer enterprises the unprecedented convenience of paying for such resources as neatly packed line items on a monthly statement, a big jump from the often messy derivation of costs from various inputs and sources. In tune with the trend, moves are afoot to deliver IoT in a service model. It matters little that IoT is yet to be entrenched, and the dust has hardly settled on IoT standardization. When even highly architecturally complex applications can be delivered in a simple service based model, why should the Internet of Things (IoT) be any different?   Commoditized Hardware The latest trend in hardware is the increasing preference of open, modular hardware over custom or application-specific hardware design. Specialized custom-built hardware is ...

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As mobility soars in popularity, apps are fast becoming indispensable in the enterprise landscape. However, after being sold on the benefits comes the hard consideration of costs. Having a realistic estimate of the costs involved in rolling out apps is indefensible to justify the cost-effectiveness of an app. An app may bring about several benefits to the enterprise, but it may still not be worth its while for the enterprise to pursue it if the cost to develop the app cannot be justified vis-à-vis the perceived benefits.   Ballpark Estimates Nowadays, with several no-code solutions on offer, it is even possible to roll out apps without spending a dime. However, such apps are generic in nature, severely limited in functionality, and would most likely be riddled with ads. A decent mobile app, customized for the enterprise, would require some investment. There are many ways to go around developing a native enterprise app. Just as ...

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Today’s highly competitive business environment demand business leaders lead from the front, with a proactive, hands-on approach. However, what often ties their hands are complex disjointed systems, non-integrated tools, and an overall lack of flexibility. Such stumbling blocks takes considerable energy, time and attention to resolve, which could be better spent on the core competency or revenue generating facets of the business. The obvious need of the hour is simple and flexible systems that automate or executes routine tasks seamlessly without a hitch, in double-quick time. This, however, is easier said than done. The best-laid intentions to devise and implement such systems often fall flat on the face. The solution is to elevate IT as a strategic partner, rather than a mere provider of infrastructure. While the basic role of IT is to provide the technical backbone that power the enterprise, today’s dynamic enterprises require these resources be set up and configured ...

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There are over two billion smartphone users in the world, and an average US adult spends about 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on mobile apps alone. The spread of the BYOD culture has led to smartphones permeate the enterprise in a big way as well. The huge surge in adoption and popularity of enterprise mobility is not just owing to the unmatched convenience it offers, but also owing to its potential to unleash innovation that transforms enterprises and enable it to remain competitive in a highly challenging environment.   Unlocking New Possibilities The direct impact of mobility is the ability to transform a static enterprise, limited by geography, to a dynamic enterprise transcending geographical limitations. A bigger benefit is, however, the ability to leverage mobility to realize opportunities and satisfy customers. IBM Institute for Business Value reports 84% of CIOs rating mobile solutions as a critical investment to get closer to ...

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In today’s tech-neutral age, talent is the key differentiator between companies, with employees a key source of competitive advantage. Top app developers are in high demand to ride the mobility wave, and enterprises scramble to retain developers from being poached. Developers are by and large content with their current jobs, but three out of four developers are open to new opportunities, and would readily change to a job that offers them better working conditions. Even developers not actively seeking out jobs do spend around an hour per week checking on potential jobs. This is in addition to the time they spend with other developers and potential recruits on communities such as Stack Overflow.  In such a state of affairs, employers need to remain on their toes always, to retain developers. Here are some tips to retain top talent in your enterprise, without allowing competitors to lure them away.   Provide Opportunities to Grow Most ...

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Big data has come a long way in 2016, but there is scope for much more. Here are the top big data trends, or how enterprises would leverage big data in new and innovative ways, going forward.   1. Dominance of the Cloud The spread of the cloud notwithstanding, many small and medium enterprises still rely on on-premises data centers. As such legacy data centers reach their end of life, and as the benefits of the cloud become too tempting to ignore, there will be an increased migration to the cloud. The future of big data for the enterprise is in the cloud, considering the infinite power and flexibility on offer. The cloud enables enterprises to tap into the required resources with a few mouse clicks, without having to take the trouble for provisioning, or seek talent to run in-house Hadoop clusters and processing. The migration to the cloud also cut costs in ...

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Augmented Reality is a hot emerging technology that modifies a real-world plain-sight view by superimposing a real-time computer-generated sensory image, sound, video, GPS data, or graphics, in a semantic context. Through such superimposition, Augmented Reality offers a composite view of the environment and an enhanced perception of reality. Augmented Reality is riding high on a wave of expectations, and many experts tip the technology to transform many walks of life, including the workspace, like never before. Augmented Reality blurs the line between the physical and digital realms. It brings computer-generated graphics to life, making what the employee actually sees interactive and manipulative. The potential applications are endless, limited only by imagination.   Better Management of Work Augmented Reality tool such as HoloLens allows supervisors and managers to remain in better control of the situation, as they are fed with real-time information in the actual context. Instead of taking time out to analyze the situation ...

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Smartphone malware rose by 400% in 2016, and touched an all-time high, with an estimated 8.5 million malicious installation packages in existence! With mobility in the middle of a golden boom, it is no secret smartphones are in the crosshairs of cyber criminals. By October 2016, 1.35% of all mobile devices across the world had already succumbed to malware attacks, up from 1.06% in April 2016. With restricting mobile devices now no longer an option, here are some tips to keep your business safe, amidst the rising malware threat. 1. Monitor Usage An enterprising cyber-attacker could exploit latent vulnerabilities in an app to take control of the device, and use it as a bot. The ready example is the Mirai botnet and the associated DDoS attacks, the most devastating attacks in 2016. Mirai turned computer systems into remotely controlled "bots," primarily targeting devices such as remote cameras and home routers, and in the ...

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Data visualization, in its simplest form, is the representation of information in charts, diagrams, pictures, and other two or three dimensional images. The concept has assumed critical dimensions in today’s information-heavy age, where businesses increasingly rely on actionable insights derived from big data. Today, powerful tools that crunch raw data and deliver it in the required form, makes the task of data visualization easy. However, even the best of tools are not sacrosanct. Each tool comes with its own set of strong points and limitations. Here is a rundown of the top data visualization tools, used by business managers and other stakeholders to make informed decisions.   Tableau The Tableau data visualization tool offers some powerful features, including the ability to merge any kind of data with the existing data set, taking analysis to whole new levels. The tool offers an intuitive drag-and-drop feature, making the task of visualization in the required format a ...

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In today’s highly interconnected world, marked by the dominance of the social media, a poor app is a virtual death sentence for the brand. With several options readily available, users are more likely to abandon transactions and even delete the app altogether when they encounter glitches and obstacles, or if they encounter poor mobile app design. Getting quantifiable insights into the extent to which a user is satisfied or dissatisfied with the app, and identifying the pain points that cause dissatisfaction is of critical importance in the wider scheme of things. A survey by HP in Europe and North America reveals 53% of mobile app users delete an app if it crashes, freezes or produces errors, 49% of users no longer use an app with response times longer than two seconds, and 36% of users shun apps that are battery hogs. UX is the name of the game in developing highly intuitive ...

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