Archive for March, 2019

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.

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.


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.