Web accessibility is an important concept that every company should use to inform practice. Making sure your digital presence is accessible is an important part of doing social good, improving business outcomes, and engaging more deeply with a wider audience. Here’s a brief overview.
Leveraging the cloud for various computing needs of an organization such as memory, data storage, and processing offers numerous benefits to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Cloud-based integration adds flexibility, scalability, and efficiency to any company’s day to day business workings while reducing cost and risk.
At its core, the cloud integration process centers on configuring multiple application programs to share data in the cloud and connect. In a correctly integrated cloud set up, various cloud-based and on-site applications can communicate effectively either via third-party software or directly.
Properly integrating a robust cloud model into your specific business structure involves significant planning, proficiency and preparedness around the various options and functions available to enterprises. Before looking at the benefits of these platforms, let's understand how they differ from your standard APIs or connectors:
Integrated cloud platforms are far more easily programmable than regular connectors. The latter is more like plug-and-play integration that is compatible only with specific applications.
While the former includes pre-built connectors, they can also be used to create customized integrations for various in-house applications.
These platforms are incredibly useful if you have multiple apps that you need to connect to the cloud or vice-versa.
A typical customer utilizes cloud-integrated platforms to connect a minimum of 10 SaaS applications to the existing system.
Beyond standard integration, a cloud integration platform will enable you to create an integration process. It means you can build a unique process that outlines an entire series of tasks and activities based on conditions or rules.
Cloud integration platforms prove to be value propositions because they are straightforward to use, from development to deployment.
With widespread adoption, cloud integration technology is now becoming increasingly affordable, and this has boosted the trend of using it.
Before the current day cloud integration solutions came into existence, organizations that wanted to migrate to the cloud needed to follow a complicated and lengthy process. These issues caused several variations in a company's daily workings affecting their efficiency and productivity. What resulted was a chaotic and highly compartmentalized cloud solution that created chasms between various loosely coupled applications.
Today, integration has altered the cloud computing game, and businesses everywhere are taking advantage of it. Some of the notable benefits of modern-day cloud integration in the real world compared to traditional and outdated migration techniques are:
Individual users can easily access crucial personal data from various devices in real-time.
Users can access all of their data without the need for an Internet connection from any place.
Users can use a single login for multiple integrated application programs, which is a very convenient way to access needed information.
Individual users can also easily merge their personal data from external applications such as calendars and contacts.
An integrated cloud platform shares control and administrative messages among multiple applications.
Data conflict and redundancy are avoided.
Data security and integrity are maintained very well due to the avoidance of data silos.
Cloud-based integration gives you flexibility and you can expand it to accommodate future growth.
While companies can create in-house systems, functionality and scalability are often not on par with those from third-party providers. If you are considering adopting this technology, it’s advisable to contact professionals with experience in delivering cloud-based integration services.
Professionals can help you design and deploy a scalable and agile cloud platform that effectively supports complex application architectures. These providers will design a solution that allows disparate applications to effectively communicate with fully-integrated custom cloud solutions.As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call at 502-212-0978 and we can get the conversation started.
The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted every business in the world in one way or another other. While people practice social distancing, many businesses are encouraging or even making work-from-home mandatory for their employees. This has led to an exponential rise in the use of various digital systems and tools, including video conferencing for virtual meetings.
It may seem convenient to jump out of bed at 8:50a.m., and after hurriedly washing your face and brushing your hair, get onto that virtual meeting scheduled at 9:00a.m, However, you should refrain from doing so. Even if you are experienced with online meetings, giving yourself ample prep time to set up and log on sets you up for a much more productive meeting experience.
As a company that has engaged in virtual meetings for years, Number8 has picked up a few things along the way. Follow along for some helpful tips on how to get the most out of virtual meetings.
While preparation for a virtual meeting may vary depending on the context, here are some basic tips that can help you get the most out of the experience.
You can simply conference with one of your colleagues to make sure it's working as it should. Low volume and poor audio clarity can impact communications, especially if you are discussing something crucial. Speak clearly and slowly when you are on the call so that none of the participants miss anything you say.
Check if you have muted the microphone before delivering a monologue that no attendee will hear.
While this may be unlikely, if screen sharing is a possibility, you should make sure you are prepared. Shut down or hide other programs like email and unrelated browser tabs, and ensure your computer monitor is ready for sharing.
Virtual meetings are sometimes full of delays and frozen screens. It is advisable to do what you can to limit the type of distraction this creates. Set up your computer in the best location for connectivity, and limit your movement while on the call, as this can interfere with the quality of your connection.
While you aren’t necessarily expected to wear regular formal office attire while attending virtual meetings, you should always wear professional and clean clothing.
It can be extremely disconcerting to speak with someone that sits in a dark and poorly lit location. It's best to sit in a place with side lighting. Consider positioning yourself near an open window or switch on an overhead light to brighten up the space.
The surroundings should be clean and not cluttered or messy, even if you live alone. If you are sitting at your desk, ensure it isn't covered with trash, dishes, or coffee mugs.
Most programs send notifications as to who is talking, but conference line numbers do not. Therefore, it’s advisable to take the extra time to introduce yourself, depending on who is in the meeting and how well the participants know you and the sound of your voice.
It helps others on the video call feel like you're fully present and engaged.
Follow this even if you are alone in the room. Background noises can be an annoyance and distraction, and impact the meeting’s flow.
Strange camera angles can be unflattering and distracting during video conference calls. Set the camera at eye level and on your monitor before getting onto the call.
Do not do any other work while on the call. The rest of the participants can easily tell if you are distracted, and that is disrespectful and unprofessional.
Keeping these helpful tips in mind is an essential part of maintaining professionalism when you are participating in virtual meetings. You should plan ahead as much as you can. There are always unexpected interruptions that can challenge the quality of any meeting.As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call at 502-212-0978 and we can get the conversation started.
Many IT companies have started to allow employees to telecommute on a part-time or full-time basis. People can work from home, cafes, or even parks instead of commuting to work every day. While this has several advantages, it can also hamper a team’s productivity if it isn’t handled correctly. There are several ways to help teams be more productive when they are working off-site. Here are some tips that can help:
Technological challenges can hamper a team’s productivity and make working from off-site locations a frustrating experience. It is important to make things easier for employees by providing them with tools to keep things organized. Use efficient conferencing or messaging applications like Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts to ensure everyone can communicate without interruptions. Additionally, there are several project management and tracking applications available online, including Asana, Airtable, Trello and Todoist. These tools can help managers, teams, and temporary staff remain connected.
Check-in with your team on a regular basis to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This doesn't have to be a long or drawn-out process, but it can help people remain connected with team members. It can also help people switch to work-mode when they are at home and navigating household distractions. A simple call or a video conference that discusses daily priorities, tasks, goals, and targets will help people start on the right track. It is easier to maintain productivity when team members have a clear agenda at the start of the day.
Several applications allow managers to track just how much time employees spend working on a particular project. These applications give a very board view of an employee's working routine and help managers identify people who are falling back. For example, some employees work better during evenings or nights and may put in more hours during this time than during regular office time. If you track work, it is easy to see such a pattern and adjust their schedule accordingly. Off-site work can be very flexible and convenient if handled correctly.
Employees that work remotely are prone to occasional feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially if they don't maintain a proper work-life balance. That can lead to depression, burn-out, and a serious dip in productivity. Managers must help remote teams remain connected and offer some form of emotional support. In-office workers socialize, engage in conversations over coffee, joke around when there's no work to be done, and blow off steam. This helps them maintain emotional equilibrium and stay productive. Home, libraries and coffee shops don't offer this kind of social stimulation, which can take its toll over time. Encourage casual conversations and schedule video conferences dedicated solely for team members to reconnect with their coworkers.
Reward good work with positive feedback and praise. People working remotely can’t feel the general air of triumph that most on-site teams feel when a project is completed. That’s why it is important to reward good work with verbal praise regularly as it helps team members feel accomplished. A simple text or email with a few encouraging words about meeting targets and completing tasks on schedule can help.
Keep an eye on how much time team members spend on work. It is easy for work to take over life if there’s no separation between the job and personal life. It is important to establish a good work/life separation early on. Make sure your team works for a specific number of hours every day and limit all communications for specific times. Don’t call or message after hours unless there’s an emergency.
Teams that strike the right balance between flexibility and maintaining a proper schedule are most successful at off-site work scenarios, while maintaining high levels of productivity.As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call at 502-212-0978 and we can get the conversation started.
Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in recent years. Individuals involved attack healthcare systems and other installations that contain critical private information to get data that is valuable to their targets. According to recent reports, damages caused by ransomware attacks are increasing, totaling billions of dollars every year. For example, a Boardman, Ohio-based Urology practice paid thousands of dollars to hackers during a ransomware attack in order to get their data unlocked, as reported by Ciso Mag. These attacks take over established systems and only release them when the ransom is paid. Doctors and medical staff are locked out and can't access important patient files, which can place people at serious risk.
During the current coronavirus pandemic, businesses across the world have had to adapt in myriad ways as in-person services and office spaces have been disrupted. Some businesses have not found ways to adapt and remain closed, while others have been able to change on the fly and continue to operate. Remote work has become a new norm for many. But what does all of this mean for the future? In a post-pandemic world, will remote work infrastructure need to be available indefinitely to prepare for future disease spread? Will some workers simply stay remote? Let’s take a look at the future of remote work.
The agile software development lifecycle is often considered one of the best approaches by industry experts. Studies show that this approach ensures software development teams are 37% faster in delivering products and 16% more productive, which can benefit your company significantly.
Many software development teams follow the traditional waterfall approach, which is fairly straightforward while also being very rigid. With this approach, the design tends to happen all at once up front, with the final product being unveiled at completion.
Such an approach isn’t very suitable for modern markets, especially if you need to develop a complex, large-scale application. Follow along for some tips to help teams that are intimidated by the prospect of transitioning to an agile approach.
Agile relies on collaboration between different teams. it will only be successful after a comprehensive implementation involving all departments from executive and management levels to ground teams. That's why it is important to make sure everyone is on board and agrees to adopt the agile approach. Program sponsors must get management commitment in particular to ensure success. Make sure both business and IT sides of your company agree to get involved before working on the transition.
The Waterfall and V-Shaped software development approaches don’t require much formal training, but agile is different. It is a little more complex and flexible, which means training can help developers adopt it completely. A few training sessions will ensure your team is familiar with the system and knows how to use it well. It will also ensure your staff doesn’t feel confused or overwhelmed by agile’s more complex workflow. Making the transition easier for a development team ensures your end-product isn’t affected by the change.
Communication is an important aspect of Agile because different teams working on different phases of the product must remain on the same page. Communication is especially vital when you're transitioning from other systems like Waterfall or V-Shaped to agile.. Teams should work from the same location and report their progress on a consistent schedule to team leaders. This will help you notice any issues with adaption and clogs in the machine early on.
Agile places a lot of emphasis on collaboration during software development. Teams that were traditionally isolated from one another must communicate regularly to ensure they move through all phases smoothly. That can only be possible if you encourage a collaborative atmosphere. Agile requires team members to contribute their thoughts, opinions, and ideas to the project. It encourages people from different teams to identify mistakes and share them, which helps improve the quality of the end-product.
Experts recommend creating a plan and road-map for agile adoption. This ensures the process isn't as intimidating for your team. Developers transitioning from Waterfall or other methodologies are accustomed to a rigid, straightforward project structure. Agile is more flexible so creating a plan or road-map can help. This plan will change during the project if needed, but it will still provide some direction.
Shifting to the agile model abruptly will do more harm than good. A gradual transition gives your team and stakeholders some room to adjust and adapt their work habits accordingly. This also ensures team members don't develop bad habits that may hamper the quality of their work later.
It is a good idea to bring in an experienced agile coach to guide your team and establish a foundation for the system. This ensures you have a good plan in place and the transition is as smooth as it can be.At Number8, our philosophy is to empower our clients to produce better software, faster. We are experts in augmenting scrum teams with senior consultants that can help increase team velocity immediately. I f you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page.
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