Archive for the ‘Placement’ category

12 Creative Ways to Repurpose a Successful Marketing Campaign

April 18th, 2019

Marketing campaigns require extensive preparation and guided execution. Not only does the process involve brainstorming and innovative content creation, but it also entails tailoring the idea to the specific audience and finding the best channels to reach them. After all that work, it would be a shame not to make the fullest use of the carefully crafted resources for the company’s best advantage—especially if the campaign was strong and well-received.

In fact, after a successful effort, agencies may be tempted to reuse the concept and/or content in other marketing outreaches—and why shouldn’t they? We asked 12 experts from Forbes Communications Council to share tips for breathing fresh life into a proven marketing campaign.

Members of Forbes Communications Council share methods for repurposing a marketing campaign that’s been successful in one venue for another.

  1. Take A Multi-Channel Approach

When you have a compelling piece of content that is showing signs of success, look to see if there are ways that you can repurpose that content across channels. What is successful via email could show additional value on social, display or even direct advertising channels. Understanding how to maximize your content across the channels can multiply success. – Alyssa Kleinman, CipherHealth

  1. Never Let The Sun Set On A Good Message

In today’s oversaturated world, effective marketing messages are hard to come by. We recommend taking a “create it once, use it many” approach for messages that speak to your core audience. With digital tools, elements can be mixed and matched into all types of multi-touch campaigns. The first thing to do when starting a new campaign is to pick a few elements from the previous top performers. – Ryan George, 1st Global

  1. Use Display as a Testing Ground

Display advertising is a great testing ground for different campaigns. Trying different messaging and offers is typically easy to do. Once you find a successful campaign in display, repurpose it to pay-per-click, Facebook or LinkedIn to target your ideal buyer. Since those are generally higher costs, you are limiting your exposure by going with an already vetted idea. – Jessica Hennessey, Resonate Online, LLC

  1. Increase ROI through ABM

In the business-to-business world, we take successful campaigns and package them into accounts-based marketing (ABM) opportunities. This allows us to tailor successful campaigns to a specific account and run engagement, such as a workshop or other mini-event, leveraging the campaign materials. We’ve seen great success with this strategy, and we’re not alone—85% of B2B marketers say they see increased return on investment from ABM. – Jennifer Kyriakakis, MATRIXX Software

  1. Apply Audience Insights Cross-Channel

Leverage insights from a successful campaign to inform efforts beyond that channel. We see clients leveraging offline insights from their digital campaigns to increase performance in search and social—from which times consumers were most receptive to the ads to how many exposures it took to convert, what days/times customers are visiting and what other brands they have an affinity for. – Valentina Marastoni-Bieser, Cuebiq

  1. Maximize Your Efforts, Expand Your Reach

Take a high-performing display ad to new channels within a similar context. If you have a message and creative that worked well on a big media website, look for similar websites that can provide opportunities to tap into new audiences. Maximize your efforts and expand your target audience’s awareness of your company and its offerings. – Dana Córdova

  1. Reuse Channel Combinations That Work

We’ve had success replicating campaigns with similar elements from year to year. For example, the past few years we’ve run a nurturing campaign on accounts that have a direct mail element along with automated emails with content assets and personal follow-up from sales reps. From year to year, we change the direct mail piece and offer new content, but the elements/channels are the same. – Amanda Sullivan, TEAM Software

  1. Design with Multiple Uses in Mind

The most effective way to use a marketing campaign in multiple venues—and via multiple channels—is to design it that way to begin with. The messages and themes you use at an event can appear in email, banner ads and social media. You can have more content on Web pages, with videos and written pieces to add to it. Even if you can’t implement everything at once, consider it all as you plan. – Erica Vener, RedSeal

  1. Go the Extra Mile via Video

One of your digital campaigns got a lot of engagement—that’s great! What is that telling you? Your audience wants more. Try taking the topic to the already existing audience and new audiences by creating a YouTube show, where you dive deeper into the topic that got great attention. Give the experts at your company some face time and consistently put out video content that can gain a following. – Ashton Belk, Agile For All, LLC

  1. Test Ideas on Social Media

Social media can be the engagement testing ground before you invest more money in a full marketing campaign. Social media can help you determine your clients’ interests, attract them to engage more and teach you what doesn’t work with your audience. Once a solid social campaign has been established, carry over the messaging and design into your print or digital campaign for even greater success. – Kara Cowie, SkillPath

  1. Turn an Article into an Infographic

An effective way to repurpose a blog post that received a lot of engagement is to turn it into info graphic. This works best with listicle-style blogs (e.g., “Top 5 Ways to Increase Email Open Rates”). Condense the information into digestible points, and then design it into an info graphic that can be shared on your social channels. – Antoine Bonicalzi, Cyber impact

  1. Repurpose Your Video Content

Video is hot for marketing these days. Repurposing video is easy and often effective. Create a video that you love, and then post it on multiple social sites. Each site will get different results as they each have a different audience. You can also live stream, then upload it to YouTube. When repurposing it, add subtitles, because many people watch videos on silent mode while in public. – Ellicia Romo, Peoples Mortgage Company

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes Communications Council.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/04/10/12-creative-ways-to-repurpose-a-successful-marketing-campaign/#9a5a4875b38d

 

4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Help You Be More Strategic, Dynamic and Productive

April 11th, 2019

Widespread job loss, autonomous robots, humanity being rendered virtually useless as people are thrown into the depths of poverty.

This isn’t the description of some post-apocalyptic film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger or Will Smith. These are the very real fears of many workers across the world as automation and artificial intelligence (A.I.) grow in prominence across all industries and companies — including burger flipping — in what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

According to a study done by the University of Oxford, researchers estimate that in the next 20 years, nearly 47% of U.S. jobs will be impacted by automation. Additionally, a 2014 Breugel analysis reported that nearly 54% of E.U. jobs were at risk of computerization.

When looking at these numbers, people are understandably concerned about the future of work.

But the future of work isn’t as bleak as these statistics claim. In fact, it’s pretty bright.

Yes, automation and A.I. have disrupted the job market. And yes, they have both changed the ways we define and do work. However, in doing so, both technologies have allowed humans to tap into cognitive skills that many haven’t explored before. And let’s face it, there are certain cognitive abilities and capacities that we possess that are, and will probably remain to be for some time, better than that of our robot counterparts.

Beyond that, automation and A.I. can help us work more effectively and efficiently. Just like the ways we collaborate on a team and have team members bring different valuable skills to the table, so can A.I. and automation. Both technologies are already enabling machines to assist humans with complex tasks like forecasting and have taken over dangerous tasks like stocking the shelves of a warehouse.

But the perks of A.I. and automation aren’t limited to industrial warehouses. They can also be used to make the life of the everyday professional easier. In the same vein of using A.I. to take on tedious tasks like inventory replenishing, these technologies can help the modern worker simplify their workload and help them focus on the bigger picture instead of the little things.

And it doesn’t stop there.

By taking on these functions, they’ve given human workers a chance to explore new growth opportunities and to update their skillset — basically upgrading ourselves like an iPhone to the latest iOS. And even though our personal upgrade won’t give us new emojis (as fun as they are), it’ll ultimately make us more decisive, collaborative, and efficient.

Here are four ways A.I. can help you upgrade your workflow to be more strategic, dynamic, and productive.

Scheduling

A lot of people complain about the amount of time they spend in meetings (virtual and in-person) but scheduling them can be just as much of a pain. A.I. can help break the scheduling shackles by not only finding free time on your and your team’s calendars but also managing attendee responses and feedback. Thus, freeing up your time and inbox so you can give your attention to things and to-do’s that matter.

Being on top of your schedule is essential for team leaders. Regular one-on-one meetings between managers and employees can boost team morale as well as provide full transparency between all team members, which will build trust between all people involved.

Routine one-on-ones don’t just lead to more engagement, but more productivity.

Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, a human touch is sometimes needed. In other cases, not so much. This is where the chatbot comes in. Teams and companies can use a chatbot to handle basic customer service issues and inquiries like simple how-to’s or troubleshooting an issue.

Many chatbots are programmed with natural language capabilities to either directly respond customer requests or to route the client to a human representative if needed. Incorporating chatbots into your team eliminates the mundane issues that usually make up most customer requests for representatives, while simultaneously streamlining the process for clients. That way, customer service representatives can spend their time and energy on high-priority tickets and concerns.

E-mails

Drafting and sending e-mails can be a drag — especially when the content in each message remains more or less the same with a few tweaks here and there. This is especially true for marketing and sales teams, where following up on leads and speaking with customers sometimes follows more of a template than a natural conversation. With A.I., the banality of e-mail is nearly banished from everyday tasks.

A.I. features like predictive personalization for e-mail recipients; smart segmentation, optimized e-mail subject lines, e-mail automation workflow, and more can help increase open rates and click-through rates. With these techniques you can spend less time in front of a blank e-mail message trying to figure out what to write and how to write it.

Your Own Personal Assistant

If you consider Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa one of your BFF’s, then you’re quite familiar with the concept behind A.I.-powered personal assistants. From recipe directions to telling you what the weather is in Berlin, A.I. personal assistants have been built to make your life easier. This same notion can be applied to aspects of your workday as well, with A.I. assistants taking over your calendar, setting reminders for your to-do list, and sending meeting requests on your behalf.

It’s time to work smarter, not harder.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Florian Frey, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer of Ruum by SAP.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2019/04/10/4-ways-artificial-intelligence-can-help-you-be-more-strategic-dynamic-and-productive/#6c99b3c7d06e

 

Why It’s Critical To Sales To Periodically Re-Evaluate and Update Your Website

April 4th, 2019

It’s very easy to overlook the “clutter” created on your website because it’s in the digital space. Like the old saying goes: out of site, out of mind.

Think of it this way, if you had a brick-and-mortar business and the backroom or sales floor was overflowing with old catalogs, sale product, empty boxes, and other clutter, you would address it immediately. Your website has to be treated the same way.

Customers give you about 90 seconds before they make up their mind about your product. For your website, assume you have less than a tenth of that time to get a user to click through. Most of the product’s initial impact is based on color and design, but there are other factors. If your page takes longer than three seconds to load, for example, you’ve already lost 53% of your mobile users.

Having a website that’s up to date is vital for continuous sales. But day-to-day operations are demanding, and often leave little room for tinkering with the website. Let’s look at five crucial aspects of your website that should be addressed periodically to keep your website in good operating order.

Give That Old Design Work a Makeover

If you’re using an old logo that needs some new life, or you want a more impactful brand look to improve your bounce rate, you can crowd source your design work with crowd spring. You’ll get work submitted from 50 to 150 designers, and you buy the work you like. Using generic templates like Canva may be a good solution if you have no budget, but canned design work says nothing about your identity and will hurt you in the long run.

DIY visual design is usually not recommended. Professionals exist for a reason. But if you just want to add some fresh photos to your site and you’re not familiar with the nuances of Photoshop, you can try online photo editors like piZap or PicMonkey. And for video, there are options such as PowToon to make snappy custom animations.

Review WebPages with Low Traffic

One look over your Google analytics and you can identify which pages of your site are highly trafficked and which ones aren’t.

For the pages that don’t have enough traffic, you should invest some time in doing keyword research and once you have long tail keywords that you want to optimize for, rewrite the copy for low performing pages incorporating the new keywords. This will bring more traffic to those pages over time.

Hire Hackers to Test Your Website for Weaknesses

A stale, outdated website may deter customers, but it’s very attractive to hackers. You don’t have to do much to avoid being a target, just make sure all your security patches, firewalls, and other security features are up to date. Find a good, inexpensive SSL/TLS provider if you don’t already have one. And brush up on best practices (or mistakes to avoid) for managing your public key infrastructure.

When your security is intact, enlist a penetration testing client such as Metasploit to assess your website for any vulnerabilities. The company evaluates your site from a hacker’s point of view, and equips you to stay a step ahead of current hacking technology. They offer an open source version as well as a commercial one, with online support for the learning curve.

Design a Website that’s Easy to Update In Real-Time

Running a website is difficult, and if you can’t be bothered with another task or an expensive web developer, considers a different way of managing your site and driving traffic. Having an updated website is crucial because majority of consumers are searching for local information online before making a buying decision. Millennials are more likely than any other generations to start with research, and whether they begin on social media or go directly to the local business website, up-to-date information is crucial.

Consider alternatives to a traditional small business website with apps like Go Nation. A free local business page on the platform does pretty much everything a small business website does. One key benefit, aside from ease of use, is a feature that can transform an outdated static website into a fully mobile website, while maintaining full control over your digital footprint. With two taps on your phone, you can add events, make product or menu updates, add photos, and update your business hours and more. Updated information shows up instantly on your website and is pushed out to other major platforms where your data lives, such as social media and community websites, saving business owners time.

“The goal of Go Nation is to make local business information relevant across the internet and not to complicate its purpose anymore, which is to quickly and accurately educate the consumer,” says Chaz Tanase, Go Nation’s CEO “Go Nation is designed to be the solution for both sides.”

Keep Your Web Copy Clean

If you’re writing or editing your own web copy, make sure you’re using a plugin like Grammarly. Small grammar or spelling mistakes are easy to make and look unprofessional. Grammarly is a free extension for Chrome, but requires a signup to unlock all the features. As with visual design, it’s always a good idea to work with professionals.

Now that your visuals are touched up, your security is tight, you’re connecting to locals and your copy is clean, you can start to measure the positive sales impact on your e-commerce business.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Jia Wertz.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2019/03/31/why-its-critical-to-sales-to-periodically-re-evaluate-and-update-your-website/#21a18d465223

 

Creating a Diverse Workplace: 12 Strategies to Ensure Broader Hiring Practices

March 28th, 2019

Diversity is a key part of the modern workplace. Without diversity, teams’ perspectives and creativity can be very limited, which impacts the environment, production, and even product quality. Diverse thoughts and backgrounds can create more well-rounded workspaces, as well as help products and services reach a wider customer base.

So, how can tech teams ensure diversity in order to create a better working atmosphere and end product? We asked members from Forbes Technology Council to share their best fix for encouraging broader hiring, along with how it can be most effectively implemented. Here is what they advise:

  1. Remove Gender, Race and Ethnicity From Resumes

We make a conscious effort to remove candidates’ gender, race and ethnicity from resumes in the early screening process. We also have a policy that we will transfer sponsorship of a candidate’s H1-B visa if needed. In meetings, we explicitly request that all participants speak and are heard. We allow working parent’s time to take care of family obligations and support working from home. – Richard Petersen, JetStream Software

  1. Be Open to Different Life Paths

Be open to taking the less-traveled path. There are many talented developers in rural communities who graduated from coding bootcamps. Similarly, vets or women rejoining the workforce often find a boot camp is a better fit in terms of time and cost and they are willing to work very hard to achieve career success. They will measurably increase the nimbleness, creativity and dedication of your team. – Michael Choi, Coding Dojo

  1. Make It a Priority

Diversity is a core value at our company. We are a women- and minority-owned business with 45 employees that represent 12 countries. The easiest way to bring diversity is to make it a priority from the start. Reflect the priority by reviewing the language of the job postings, eliminate college degree requirements and encourage inclusion with minority empowerment in decision making. – Veronica Buitron, TangoCode

  1. Encourage Referrals

While HR teams can be given specific direction regarding diversity goals, often a shift toward diversity within the office can be self-perpetuating once the foundations are set. A large percentage of new employees are referred by current employees, and encouraging this behavior with the right incentives can help a proper diverse workplace blossom. – Ryan Collins, Senior Flexonics

  1. Talk about Biases

We believe that to innovate and win in ever more competitive markets, you need both great ideas and the ability to execute, and the best ideas and most creative and effective teams have proven to be diverse. To encourage diversity, it’s important to be aware of and talk about our own biases to ensure that the team looks for ways to expand their thinking and their hiring. – Mike Fong, Privoro

  1. Partner with Local Universities

Diversity can be achieved from multiple aspects including cultural, gender, socio-economic, experience and technical skills. One of the best ways to achieve diversity with technology teams is to ensure outreach is happening in more than one venue and method. Partnerships with local universities and STEM schools can help bring in new and different ideas. – Michael Britton, Alliance Data

  1. Hire From Across Different Backgrounds

Hire people with different cultural backgrounds and give them the same chances to grow with the team. Make sure to follow an agile team structure and encourage inter-team cooperation. – Carsten Giese, Nexthink

  1. Cast a Wide Net

We seek out employees with a diverse set of academic, work and life experiences. We cast a wide net leveraging inbound, outbound and recruiting activity to source candidates. We evaluate these candidates through the lens of diverse stakeholders and implement a common process to limit bias. And, as we’ve built a diverse team, those efforts have become self-sustaining and reinforcing. – Jeff Wilkins, Motili

  1. Include Technical and Non-Technical In The Leadership

We try to keep a balanced management team in the company and have both technologists and non-technical personnel leading the company and respective strategic decisions. A good example would be the company founders: One is highly technical and the other isn’t. – Adam Efrima, Blox

  1. Hire Diversely Then Invest In Training

Greater diversity brings a broader set of perspectives and when people interact in a positive and constructive way within an environment like that, it typically results in a better experience for customers. That’s why the best tech firms don’t just seek to hire diverse teams but invest in the training programs that will allow those teams to grow and prosper. – Sid Yenamandra, Entreda

  1. Boost Exposure

The implementation of diversity starts with exposure. If our educational system isn’t exposing people of diversity to technology, they will never come forth. The solution to this is to allow more diverse demographics the exposure to technology and the education of it. This starts with reforming our educational system. Without that there is no scalable solution. – Daniel Nyaggah, RASTACLAT

  1. Search at STEM Commuter Campuses

Look at STEM commuter campuses with kids whose parents are not college grads. Sign them up as interns and give them a chance to try real tech work, not busy work. Look for the ones with tenacity and work ethic; they are anxious to prove themselves. – Steve Roemerman, Lone Star Analysis

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/03/04/creating-a-diverse-workplace-12-strategies-to-ensure-broader-hiring-practices/#35997e6a7d84

Stuck In Start-up: 11 Ways to Overcome Budgetary ‘Analysis Paralysis’

March 21st, 2019

For a company just starting out, the balance sheet can be both a motivator and a fear factor. Since the budget is almost always the dominant consideration for a new business, it can be easy for an entrepreneur to get locked in “analysis paralysis” while reviewing financial statements.

How can a new business owner balance budgetary caution with realistic action and expenditure to get out of “analysis paralysis”? To help, we asked 11 members of Forbes Coaches Council to offer their best advice for avoiding excessive anxiety about money, even when it seems to be constantly in short supply.

Members of Forbes Coaches Council share advice for new business owners to help them worry less about money when it always seems to be in short supply.

  1. Make Giving a Part of Your Budget

What we’re going to suggest is probably one of the last things you’re considering. Give. Make giving a “budgetary” priority. Choose a cause or charity you believe in, and know that the financial support it receives from your business helps to make its mission possible. This commitment will encourage you to create ways to increase revenue instead of seeing your money in short supply. – Dr. Shanequa Fleming, Perfect Solutions Consulting Group, Inc.

  1. Create an End State Statement

When money is tight, setting financial stretch goals isn’t enough; you need to create an End State Statement—a vivid, verbal snapshot of what your business looks like when it’s successful at a definite future date. Identify qualitative and quantitative metrics and add in descriptions of successful interactions with customers, employees and vendors. Paint that picture and focus on it constantly. – Gregg Ward, The Gregg Ward Group

  1. Stop Thinking about Worst-Case Scenarios

Money is a mindset, and we become what we think about! So we simply need to think more about what we do want than we think about what we don’t want. Imagining the worst-case scenario is only “worry” if that is the only scenario we imagine. If we invest equal time in imagining the best-case and the most likely scenarios, we have gone from “worry thinking” to “strategic thinking.” – Jeff Klubeck, Get A Klu, Inc.

  1. Think Investment, Not Expense

You can view money in a new business one of two ways: as an expense or as an investment. The best way to look at money is not transactionally, as a daily expense, but rather as a long-term investment. By keeping the long-term picture in mind, the money that you outlay in the beginning can, and usually will, be made up in the long run. Begin with the end in mind, not only focused on the now. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience

  1. Follow Your Budget Process

Avoid over analysis by setting up a well-defined budget process—and then follow the process. Coordinate budget input from your management team early in the year. Next, have your CFO provide you with a quarterly review of the budget to actuals. Use quarterly reviews to validate assumptions and mitigate risks going forward. Focus on the process, and spend the rest of your time delighting your customers. – Cheryl Amyx, 4CEO, Inc.

  1. Work onYour Business, Not InYour Business

People spend time working on their business instead of running it. When you run your business, you need to generate sales and positive cash flow to cover expenses. Quit working on your spreadsheets and pull yourself out of employee mode to see the big picture. The more you focus on the right activities to generate revenue, the more your business will grow. Your focus and mindset equal results. – Drew Aversa, MBA & RYT, Aversa Strategies

  1. Plan Early and Exercise Discipline

Much like everything else in business, planning helps eliminate a lot of uncertainty, including the angst in financials and budgeting. Combine early preparation with appropriate expert advice and virtually all doubts will be removed. From there on it is a simple matter of discipline to stick with the prepared budget and overcome the temptation to make decisions that would interfere with the budget. – Kamyar Shah, World Consulting Group

  1. Leverage Expertise

For many business owners, the financial side of the business is daunting. That’s when leveraging a finance expert can help you to understand where the business stands financially, the break-even threshold and the profit margin you’re dealing with. Having a finance-oriented partner to help navigate these complex waters can take the fear out of finance and help focus your efforts in the right direction. – Tracey Grove, Pure Symmetry Coaching and Consulting

  1. Give Your Business Oxygen

Cash flow is king, and managing money is essential for any new business. Focus on revenue—the oxygen for your business—and your business will survive. Sales is water, and operations is food. Too many focus on operations and expenses when they should focus on sales and revenue management. Create the time and space necessary to thrive by concentrating on what’s essential—oxygen. – Jim Vaselopulos, Rafti Advisors, LLC

  1. Do Your Research and Trust Yourself

As a new business owner, spending any kind of money can be scary, but it is vital to growing your business. When it comes to making investments, do a little research on the expenditure and learn to trust yourself. Not every decision you make in the beginning will be the right decision, but it will always lead to the right ones. Either way, you and your business are growing in the process. – Jennifer Armstrong, So Simple – Life & Business Coaching

  1. Focus on Your Vision

The sole purpose of financials is to inform decisions regarding the path to your vision. If you keep looking down to decide where to put your next foot, you will lose sight of where you are going. Yes, look at your financials. Use the information they provide. Then look up and reconnect with your vision. That is where you need to focus. – Brian Gorman, TransformingLives.Coach

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/03/11/stuck-in-startup-11-ways-to-overcome-budgetary-analysis-paralysis/#2a2ea38b2d2f

 

3 Trends That Define the Next Phase Of Cloud Computing

March 5th, 2019

In its second decade, cloud computing has become a mature and reliable technology, but we still have only scratched the surface of the cloud’s full potential as an enabler of digital business transformation.

With access to core business applications, analytics and collaboration tools, cloud computing is a reliable path for business innovation. It provides organizations the agility to scale and adapt their business model to market conditions and opportunities. Cloud computing has created the foundation for a flexible innovation infrastructure for companies’ growth strategies.

According to Gartner’s 2018 Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing the technology has reached the ‘slope of enlightenment’.

Now cloud computing is going through a growth spurt of its own. The next wave of intelligent technologies that build onto the cloud is emerging, including the Internet of things (IoT), machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Combined with intelligent technologies and digital business services, cloud computing can catapult companies into a new dimension of competitiveness.

Here are three trends that will define the next phase of cloud computing as a business innovation force.

From Emerging to Mainstream Adoption across Industries
While cloud computing is certainly innovative, it has outgrown its classification as an emerging technology. According to Gartner’s 2018 Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing the technology has reached the ‘slope of enlightenment’. Gartner uses its Hype Cycle to track the promise and potential of emerging technologies within the context of their industry and individual appetite for risk.
In 2019, as a technology in the ‘slope of enlightenment’ phase, cloud computing is broadly understood across industries and geographies and is heading towards mainstream adoption next.
In fact, Gartner predicts that the fastest growing IT spending category will be cloud computing infrastructure and applications, out of an overall $3.77 trillion global information technology spend this year. While cloud computing growth varies by region, the key growth driver remains the same across geographies and industries: the need for digital transformation. 72 percent of companies globally across industries will adopt cloud computing by 2022 based on latest Future of Jobs Survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Achieving a New Customer Experience Dimension
The next frontier for cloud computing will be the creation of a new level of customer experience. Companies will apply intelligent technologies in conjunction with the cloud to upgrade their experience management for customers. With B2B and B2C companies built on the quality of the experience that customers have with their brand, experience management not only provides immediate feedback about how people perceive a company’s brand and products, it also impacts employee and customer satisfaction.
Combined with IoT, analytics, machine learning and AI, cloud computing cannot only change the way organizations operate, it can also innovate the way customers interact with companies, and vice versa. For example, with cloud computing companies have the ability to collect and process large quantities of data in real-time. They can train and execute algorithms at the large scale necessary for AI.
Overall, they have the ability to analyze different types and dimensions of data, including operational data and customer experience data. The deeper understanding of the company’s operations and customers can be used to build new products and services, or create a better experience for customers and partners.
The cloud plays a critical role in achieving the transformative potential of combining experience data with operational data to help organizations create breakthrough customer experiences and results.

Continuous Innovation as a Service
One of the most difficult challenges for companies is that innovation is perpetual. Innovation does not have a clear-cut end, it is a continuous endeavour. But that does not mean innovation and transformation cannot be measured. On the contrary, digital business transformation can be measured at every step of the way. One of the most important key performance indicators for digital business transformation is speed.
In this next phase of cloud computing we are already seeing the rise of digital business services that go beyond support and maintenance and help companies to accelerate their business transformation. Companies are moving towards a circular innovation process, an innovation environment that provides the tools and services for continuous business innovation facilitated by the cloud. Innovation is becoming part of a company’s corporate culture.
In a world that can change in the speed of a Tweet, it is not enough to tackle current market changes with innovation. Companies need to prepare for the future and transform themselves into an intelligent enterprise that can thrive on change. Remaining one step ahead of the competition is a key characteristic of an intelligent enterprise. Early adopters of the next generation of cloud technology and services will be today’s and tomorrow’s winners.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor SAP.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2019/03/05/3-trends-that-define-the-next-phase-of-cloud-computing/#7d4fdeaa537f

10 Smart Ways to Secure Your Smart Devices against Hacks

February 28th, 2019

“Smart” devices are beginning to dominate the market due to their ease of use, intuitive designs and scale of application. Many homes today are filled with interconnected devices, from phones and tablets to security systems and kitchen appliances. With so much ease of connectivity, though, also comes vulnerability.

So what should consumers know about Internet of Things (IoT) cyber security to help protect their devices from being hacked? How can they proactively prevent potential hacking? To help answer those questions, 10 members of Forbes Technology Council share their best methods for protecting smart devices.

  1. Connect IoT Devices to a Guest Network

Many consumer Wi-Fi access points support separate guest networks. Keep your desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones, network-attached storage and printer on your private network. Then, connect all of your IoT devices to your guest network to isolate them from your private network. This action also provides a single chokepoint on which to disable internet access should any devices get hacked. – Steve Pao, Hillwork, LLC

  1. Limit the Information You Provide

Consumers don’t realize that in the fine print of many “I agree” consents is the ability for those services to sell or give away information to third parties. Of course, we want the benefits of smart devices, but only give the bare minimum of information and have secure passwords to limit vulnerability. A form may ask for your address and date of birth, but if not asterisked, it is not needed. – Arnie Gordon, Arlyn Scales

  1. Don’t Ignore Updates

New IoT device vulnerabilities are uncovered literally every day. However, most of us ignore seemingly bothersome update prompts from our devices: it often feels easier to just click the “remind me later” option. Nevertheless, updates are important to get the latest vulnerability patches. Known vulnerabilities are easy targets for hackers, so make sure to take updates as soon as they are available. – Paul Lipman, BullGuard

  1. Use Multiple Authentication Layers

Use multiple authentication layers on the main network hub for the devices as well as for each device. It’s important to put up as many barriers as possible so hackers will look elsewhere. – Jon Bradshaw, Calendar

  1. Don’t Use Default Settings

Security is a critical factor in today’s information technology environment. One of the key components in making at-home IoT devices secure is to change any default usernames and passwords on the router in conjunction with a guest network setup. The router is the first line of defense and must not contain any default settings, as this leaves the door open for opportunistic hackers. – Maria Clemens, Management and Network Services, LLC

  1. Turn off Vampire Features

IoT devices in your home often come with a wide variety of optional “vampire” features sucking resources and increasing risk. In many cases, these features are turned on by default and you might not know it. Not only can these features have a negative impact on bandwidth, but they can potentially lead to security and privacy risks. Turn off what you don’t need. Harden your IoT devices. – Brian Contos, Verodin Inc.

  1. Secure the Perimeter

Most IoT devices do not have embedded security. Security is not a priority for device manufacturers. As a consumer, the best thing you can do is secure the perimeter of your home network. You can reduce your risk by securing and encrypting your wireless network, removing guest account access on your router and using strong passwords. Also consider creating a separate network to isolate IoT devices. – Frank Palermo, Virtusa

  1. Do Your Research

It’s important to take basic precautions such as keeping your passwords private, changing them often and using tool sets that enable you to choose a strong password. Make sure that the devices you’re purchasing are secured by the manufacturer. Before buying, do quick research to see if devices have gone through security testing or if there are stories about how easy the devices are to hack. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

  1. Treat Security as A Process

The IoT asks that consumers be as vigilant in protecting their devices and data as their most diligent corporate counterparts. Put bluntly, don’t do stupid stuff. In cyber security terms, don’t leave your doors unlocked. Select tough passwords and change them often. Don’t poach your neighbor’s Wi-Fi network. Read the manual (seriously). Treat security as a process, not an event. – Adam Stern, Infinitely Virtual

  1. Don’t Let Convenience Make You Forget Security

We worked on both sides of the story: in a security software company and in a company creating a wearable/IoT device for consumers. In the personal experience and through watching friends and family using IoT devices we saw one concerning pattern repeating itself over and over again: Convenience won over security—as soon as a device provided a lot of value, security got forgotten. – Eric Trabold, Nexkey, Inc.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes technology Council.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/02/25/10-smart-ways-to-secure-your-smart-devices-against-hacks/#4327187466e3

 

Eight Methods to Prioritize Your Project Slate and Boost Productivity

February 22nd, 2019

Entrepreneurs wear many hats as they deal with not only the expected projects, but also the unexpected challenges that arise every day at their budding companies. As a company evolves and grows, so too do the demands on an entrepreneur to oversee all of the moving pieces, making sure the entire company is moving toward a cohesive goal. The demands on an entrepreneur’s time all too often result in the feeling of being pulled in a million different directions at once—sometimes paralyzing progress as one wonders what to tackle first.

To remain productive and find success, entrepreneurs must find a method to focus and prioritize tasks. These methods can differ from company to company and person to person depending on what the business demands and each entrepreneur’s unique style. It’s important to explore options to find the one that works best for you.  To help, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their own surefire methods to prioritize projects and boost productivity.

  1. Apply the ‘First Fruits’ Method

You will make 35,000 decisions each day. Some are conscious, and many are unconscious. The idea of “first fruits” is that we give our best, not our leftovers, to what is the most important to us. Navigating 35,000+ decisions each day is overwhelming, and our main priorities are lost. To remain focused, start with fixing the first two hours of your day. Devote the most uninterrupted, focused time to the most important objectives and key results you are working toward. During this time remove all distractions, including phones, emails and media. Be intentional about your environment, including light and even aspects such as sound or music. Remember, this is your best time and no one else’s. The fruit from planting seeds consistently during this time will grow success in all areas of your life. – Caroline Beckman, Nouri Life

  1. Do the Hard Stuff First

We’ve found that if we are not careful, the time is spent putting out small fires and handling mini-tasks that could either be done more efficiently or done by someone else. Then the important, difficult tasks wind up getting pushed off indefinitely—after all, there are always small tasks to take care of. However, if we block off an hour or two in the morning to dive into the bigger project that we’ve been dreading, we are able to get into a rhythm. The project can then be divided into smaller tasks and completed as needed. And because it’s still the morning, there’s plenty of time in the afternoon to take care of the small chores and deal with anything urgent that came up over the course of the day. – Jacob Drucker, Supply Clinic

  1. Embrace the Kanban Method

If you have teams working for you, then the Kanban method could be for you. Kanban is a Japanese term for “visual signal.” It has been used in the manufacturing process at companies like Toyota. Kanban works by visualizing the flow of work, tapping into the fact we process images 60,000 times faster than words. For example, you could use a “card” or “token” for each task and place them with the relevant team. As the task progresses, it moves through the different stages. It holds everyone accountable, increases efficiency and gets things done. There are tools out there that offer this approach, like Trello or Atlassian. – Ismael Wrixen, FE International

  1. Understand Severity and Priority

A concept well known in quality assurance may effectively be applied in entrepreneurship. Software defects are qualified with two labels: “severity” and “priority.” Severity is related to the overall impact and risk of the bug. Priority is the consecutive queue for executing ongoing tasks. Severity and priority appear as intertwined, but they are not necessarily. A low-severity problem may be raised to top priority in case of additional opportunities or hidden risks. This is a managerial decision and often involves multiple layers of command, including legal, accounting and the board of directors. Entrepreneurs should apply a quantifiable decision-making matrix that ranks severity and priority for seamless execution. Adopting this model speeds up iterations and effectively maximizes the outcome. – Mario Peshev, DevriX

  1. Focus On Revenue-Generating Activities

The focus has always been on identifying what’s going to generate the revenue and prioritizing it over anything else. Of course, many would say, “How do you find work-life balance with that method?” You can if you focus on revenue-generating activities for a few days a week, while the rest of the week can be for leisure or family time. For example, Monday through Thursday, the biggest focus is on how to save the company money and increase the bottom line. We try to understand the value each and every person is bringing to us and how we can make them more productive. Instead of focusing a lot on public relations, which is a long-term play, we are more focused on learning about our customers through a survey process. This will help us win loyalty, which is more important than acquisition in the long run. – Sweta Patel, Startup Growth Mode

  1. Be ‘Ruthless’ and Delegate

We subscribe to Sheryl Sandberg’s idea of ruthless prioritization. As a business owner, it’s critical that we make the tough calls. Look at what’s on your plate and decide which projects you will devote your time and attention to. Once you’ve done so, trust your team to carry out the rest. Make sure that top priorities and individual responsibilities are clearly communicated, and then trust your employees to make decisions accordingly. Trusting your employees and giving them the power to call some shots is highly motivating and generally leads to employee growth and increased accountability. If you’re hiring the right people, you should be able to delegate responsibility and decision-making authority to them. – Stephen Beach, Craft Impact Marketing

  1. Use the 80/20 Principle

In the long run, the most important thing is executing and accomplishing the big goals you set for yourself and your company. As such, you should be devoting most of your time to making serious progress on these projects. However, to do that effectively and run the company as a whole, there will be smaller, less critical but still highly important day-to-day tasks that will need your attention. We find the sweet spot to be devoting 80% of the time to accomplishing the long-term, big project goals through the highest leverage activities possible and 20% to the important day-to-day tasks that are needed to keep things running smoothly. Everything else should ideally get automated, systematized or handed off to someone else on your team to follow through on so you can stay in the genius zone. – Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

  1. Leverage Task Management Software

It’s easy to become flustered as a manager when there are all kinds of issues that only you can handle. When your employees are coming at you from every direction with ideas, complaints and feedback, it’s also easy to forget what you have to do to keep your business running smoothly. Prioritizing certain tasks over others becomes imperative, but without a clear idea of what’s on your plate, this all becomes much harder to accomplish. Task management software like Asana should be used to organize your tasks however you see fit. Asana offers powerful team collaboration features like accessible calendars, assigning tasks and subtasks to employees with due dates, adding followers, and much more. This makes it easier for you to delegate tasks and for employees to see when you’re swamped. – Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Young Entrepreneur Council.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2019/02/15/eight-methods-to-prioritize-your-project-slate-and-boost-productivity/#205a2a7651f4

 

 

 

 

13 Common Business Tech Investments That May Soon Be Obsolete

February 13th, 2019

Every year, new technologies are released, many of which have the potential to completely change the way in which businesses operate. Yet, not all new technologies are a fit for your company, and some new tech may actually be obsolete before the investment can pay off.

Which business tech, whether upcoming or currently on the market, may be obsolete before it pays for itself? To gain insider advice, we asked members of Forbes Technology Council to share their thoughts.

  1. On-Premise Hosting and Data Centers

Investment in technology related to on-premise infrastructure or self-hosted data center compute that is not directly leading you to migrating these to the cloud is probably money wasted. With cloud solutions getting cheaper, faster, and more nimble and secure than self-managed and self-hosted ones, investment should be heavily focused on migrating older infrastructure to the cloud in order to reduce technical debt. – Ian Amit, Cimpress

  1. The Security Hamster Wheel

Security owns a strange place in IT operations and investment. Off-the-shelf security products are invariably immediately out-of-date yet still required to mitigate, or at least minimize, a volume of the threats facing organizations today. As such, organizations must continue to reassess and reinvest in security processes, tools and talent to navigate today’s ever-changing threat landscape. – Chris Rommel, VDC Research

  1. Black Box Testing

Some enterprises use annual disaster recovery drills as a way of validating their resilience strategy. These drills require a lot of preparation, investment and technology, but they typically fail, because such “Black Box Testing” cannot tolerate today’s high levels of ongoing change. You need to invest in a proactive approach that can detect the risks before they cascade into an outage. – Gil Hecht, Continuity Software

  1. Intranet Platforms

We see many organizations looking to develop in-house intranets as social portals or communication platforms. These efforts are derailed by too many priorities, and employees ultimately gravitate to more contemporary productivity tools. Having a well-curated ecosystem of third-party point solutions around collaboration, workplace culture and communications is a quicker and more productive approach. – Doug Claffey, Energage

  1. Blockchain Technology

Many companies have been trying to add blockchain to their tech infrastructure when it’s not needed. The last few years of blockchain hype have led people to ignore actual technological necessity: Many tasks that companies are solving today with complex blockchain solutions could be solved with more conventional approaches and a faster return on investment. – Artem Petrov, Reinvently

  1. Data Lakes

There has been a massive wave of investment in “data lakes”—large data warehouses that collect all of a business’ data into one place. However, cloud technology is accelerating so quickly that a data lake created today will be obsolete in a year as faster, better data storage platforms become available. The large investment now will become a liability in the future. – Sean Byrnes, Outlier AI

  1. Enterprise Resource Planning

The promise of ERP implementations: lower cost, increased business coordination and agility driven through the roof! The actuality of ERP implementations: increased licensing costs over time, a diminishing pool of vendors and data islands. Is this a factor of the software or the org and culture? I would venture to guess a bit of both A and B. Instead, focus on atomic business processes and tools. – David Espinosa, ITS Logistics

  1. Scaled Agile Framework

Investing in Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) can be part of a continuous improvement and delivery system, but ROI may not be worthwhile. Incomplete tasks get reprioritized during backlog grooming, which delays functionality. Then add the expense of agile software, SAFe training and cross-functional support. Ultimately, a non-agile approach might yield the same results. – Brian Patrick, GREENLIGHT Inc.

  1. AI (Or What We Think Is ‘AI’)

AI is evolving fast. AI was the rage in 2018 and will continue to hold everyone’s fascination in 2019. Companies are making hasty and heavy investments to acquire AI startups, technology platforms and new talent to “check the AI box and mark it done.” The myopic approach to AI is reminiscent of the dot-com days when almost everyone got e-commerce wrong and those left standing had to start over. – Apurva “Apu” Kumar, LotaData, Inc.

  1. 4G Technology

Companies that are releasing mobility solutions that are optimized for 4G and LTE experiences are at grave risk of not seeing an appropriate ROI. These solutions aren’t being future-proofed for the opportunities that the rollout of 5G hyperspeed data connectivity is going to bring to industries of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds and will be perceived as archaic by the consumer. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

  1. Small To Midsize Routers

The reason that most routers are unnecessary is that Layer 3 switches have come down so much in price that you can replace a few switches at the top of the stack and achieve all of the routing capability needed, as well as improve throughput dramatically in the network. This is true if your compute systems are on premises or in the cloud. There still needs to be connectivity internally and externally. – Michael Meyer, MRS BPO, LLC

  1. Desktop Phones, Call Centers

Today we only have phones in conference rooms, and nobody has complained in two years. Call centers are being replaced by chat bots. Supply chain logistics are better done at scale by third parties right now. Webex and even Skype are archaic and a waste of money. Better, cheaper solutions are available. – Kamal Ahluwalia, Eightfold AI, Inc.

  1. Hardware Devices

Most companies still purchase too many hardware devices when in reality they don’t need them. Expensive networking equipment and even servers are not always necessary. Most equipment nowadays can be replaced by migrating to the cloud. Plus, expensive hardware will definitely be obsolete sooner than later. – Ivailо Nikolov, SiteGround

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/02/11/13-common-business-tech-investments-that-may-soon-be-obsolete/#5826f3074bf4

 

 

 

 

Encourage Your Team to Install Software Updates with These 10 Tactics

January 31st, 2019

Software updates fix bugs, increase security and improve performance. However, even knowing this, many employees delay the dreaded update, thereby putting your organization at risk.

No matter how busy staff members are or how inconvenient installing updates might seem, you should ensure your company’s team members don’t put it off for too long. To that end, we asked Forbes Technology Council members how to ensure that all of your company’s employees routinely update their software. Here are their tips.

  1. Revoke Access until They Patch

You can show stats, share tales of woe and conduct awareness training, but for most, keeping systems patched doesn’t top the to-do list. Consider network access control (NAC). NAC can require systems to be at certain patch levels to access company assets. Simply put, if they need to be patched to do their jobs, they will be more likely to patch. – Brian Contos, Verodin Inc.

  1. Send Regular Reminders

At QArea any important software update is accompanied by a companywide email to prompt employees to install the update. Furthermore, to remove resistance, we ensure that time is allocated to install these updates, usually during the last hour of the workday. – Maxim Garkavtsev, QArea Software Development Company

  1. Use Penetration Testing To Prove the Need for Updates

Nothing does as good a job in teaching a security lesson as pen-testing. By performing a penetration test (with written permission) of software, you demonstrate the need to keep software up to date. Reputable vendors will provide software updates and new software versions to improve the security and performance of the application, but this is only good if your company stays up to date. – Michael Hoyt, Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.

  1. Hold Employees Accountable For Security Issues

While this is “stick” and not “carrot,” people need to be held accountable for security violations if they are responsible for patching and updating their own laptop or software platforms used for business. Sadly, for this type of negligence, I rarely see action taken. – Bret Piatt, Jungle Disk

  1. Educate Your Team

Educate your companywide team so that they are aware of the risks involved when not updating software for security purposes. Start with the executives and have them manage those working under them. This should be a top priority for all businesses, because one link can bring down the whole system. Making your team aware of the issues is an informative way for your team to take action. – Alexandro Pando, Xyrupt Technologies

  1. Assign a Risk Score to Each Department

At a previous employer, we had issues where business units did not want to update their enterprise applications. To address this we conducted a full risk assessment on each department, which included a list of their apps, current vulnerabilities and required remediation steps. We then put a letter grade to each assessment and shared them business wide so each department knew where they stood. – Gary Hayslip, Webroot Inc.

  1. Encourage Updating At Lunch Time

Let’s face it: Software updates are boring. One practical way to make it work is to remind users when they are about to leave for lunch. Remind them about the patches to be run at the time when they don’t have to be staring at their screens. Check out when the user is passive (not difficult) and remind them at that time. They are already passive and won’t mind the time it takes to patch. – Ashwin Ramasamy, PipeCandy

  1. Automate the Process

Desktop management software can automatically install the latest software updates, security patches and antivirus software on desktops, laptops and mobile devices—and keep track of your “fleet.” All of our Macs are configured with a standard set of apps and Jamf, a management tool that automates the software on these devices. There are similar tools available for Windows PCs as well. – Vinay Pai, Bill.com

  1. Create an Internal Security Chat Room

Internally we maintain a security Slack channel. Since several of us learn about security issues before they are generally available, we post when we know a patch will be forthcoming, without breaking an embargo. People like to anticipate problems. With their attention fixed on that channel, they eagerly react when they need to update their machines. – Sandra Carrico, Glynt.AI, a business unit of WattzOn

  1. Make Security Part of Your Culture

When security and data protection become a part of the culture, process adherence becomes a part of everyday life. Start by defining and documenting the policies and processes, and then make sure they are communicated effectively. Stress very clearly why they are important to the business and what would happen if a breach occurred. Provide ongoing communication and training to support the program. – Brent Yax, Awecomm Technologies

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/01/30/encourage-your-team-to-install-software-updates-with-these-10-tactics/#37991852a354