Why Should you Redesign your Website?

Your website redesign might be performing well and may have been doing a good job for the last however many years. The question should not be ‘Is the website doing okay?’ but rather ‘Could it be better?’ Let me ask you a question, Have you ever landed on a website belonging to another company and just been blown away by what you’ve seen?

Redesign

Some websites are just so well designed that you can’t help but be impressed and want to take some time to look around and explore the site. When well designed, these sites will offer perfect synergy between their design and the message that the company is trying to communicate – making you more likely to be interested in making a purchase or at least visiting the site again.

Why should you redesign/revamp your website?

Many of your prospective leads the first impression will be based on the look and feel of your website. We’ve compiled some compelling reasons as to why you must consider a website redesign.

1. Changing face of the internet

The thing to remember here is that the internet is constantly changing and new designs sensibilities are forever emerging that change the standards that we expect when we’re browsing websites.

In just the last few years, for instance, responsive website development has become an absolute must as more and more web users are now browsing using mobile devices.

Flash has essentially died its death and instead we now have HTML5. The resolution of the high-end monitor has gone from sub HD to 2K or even 4K, while fashions have also changed.

2. You still care

Redesigning your website tells your existing audience that you still care about your website and that you are still at the top of your game. It makes them stand up and take notice of you and it can even be advantageous from a marketing perspective – a redesign for a big website can actually be newsworthy meaning you might just get some media coverage.

3. Rebranding your business

A redesign can also be a good way to communicate a change of direction for your business. If you are re-branding yourself, if you are refocusing on other aspects of your business or if you’re trying to shake negative associations – then redesigning your site is often a great way to give yourself a fresh start and to hit that ‘reset’ button.

Of course, you might also choose website revamp services, because you want to make some changes. Perhaps you need to add a few pages to your site and this won’t really work with your existing layout and set-up. Or maybe you’ve seen a cool feature on another site that you want for yourself.

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4. Letting go of the old

Some companies and individuals can find themselves feeling sentimental when it comes to getting rid of their old site. Perhaps they think it’s a ‘waste’ of their previous work, or maybe they have just grown attached to the design they have.

While this is understandable, it’s a mistake to let that influence your decision making. Your old site design has done its job over the last few years and if you hang on to it then it will actually hurt you more than it will benefit you.

5. Include a better content strategy

70% of people would prefer to learn about a company through an article rather than an advertisement. Having excellent content improves everything from SEO to customer retention.

That said, if you’re planning to make some changes to your content strategy, a website redesign may be wise. That way, all the different types of content you plan to post from eBooks to blogs to case studies will be easily findable.

6. Your competitors have adapted to change

It is not wise to revamp your website every time your competitors change theirs. But if those changes help them to improve their search engine ranking and end up pushing you down the search results, then it’s time to make changes.

And, if you think that you can achieve your goals quickly on your competitor’s website rather than yours, it’s time for a change.

7. How often should you redesign or refresh your website?

According to Orbit Media Studios, The average website lifespan is 2 years 7 months. Actually, it was 2.66 years which is 2 years, 6 months and 27 days, but close enough.

Regardless of your industry, the shelf life of your website is relatively short. Look at how fast technology moves, five years ago, no one visited websites on mobile devices. Now almost half of your website traffic comes from smartphones. Not only mobile, from responsiveness to parallax, dozens of technologies and trends are in practice.

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8. Signs your website needs a redesign

So, irrespective of the age of your website, here are some questions you must ask yourself.

  • Is your website mobile friendly? Is it responsive? (if not, you need to
  • immediately get in touch with a website redesigning company
  • Does it look better than your competitors?
  • Are visitors complementing your website?
  • Does my website look modern?
  • Are you experiencing growth with your current website?

If your answer to the above questions is ‘no’, then you’re in desperate need of a new website. All of the above questions will give you an indication that your website is broken at some level and needs to be fixed.

9. How much does a website redesign cost?

The cost of a website redesign depends on two major things,

  • What are you looking to achieve through a website redesign?
  • What is the worth of your website?

Similar to a car, the more you expect from your website, the more your likely to spend. Therefore, it is difficult to define the cost of an average website redesign cost. We have tried to break down what it approximately costs.

10. How long does it take to redesign a website?

It depends.

Every website is unique and every redesign depends entirely on what you aim to get out of the final product. Do you want a redesign a simple template-based website or an e-commerce website with loads of customization? Your answer to questions like these will give you a rough idea on how long it’ll take to redesign websites.

Here is a rough amount of time that will take to redesign a website.

  • A simple website redesign will take 5 working days
  • A custom website redesign will take 15 working days
  • Advanced multi-functional website redesign will take 30 working days

This is just an approximate time frame, you’re requirement will play a major role in the time it takes to complete the redesign project.

How can ColorWhistle help with website redesign projects?

The whole point of this article was to educate you that updating a website just for the sake of updating will never work.

A lot of work has to be done during a website redesign, to get a better idea take a look at our website redesign checklist. Keep in mind that your job is not over once you redesign your website.  You must also maintain your website properly to get the expected results for a longer period of time.

Our highly experienced team at ColorWhistle has the expertise to redesign websites in order to make it worthy of your work and vision. Be it custom website designs, plugins, or digital marketing services.

How To Determine Your Software Development Cost?

The software development companies have many leading roles like Business Analyst, Solution Architect and Project Managers. These roles have the responsibility to develop software project estimates and also explain the logic behind the estimates. They also need to factor in a number of variables on which the estimate depends. If some factors remain unpredictable and unaccounted for them they can result in the escalation of the time horizon as well as the overall project cost.

Software

No matter what software development methodology you use – waterfall, Agile or a hybrid one – providing accurate project estimate is a challenge for the technology team and the leader and they need to deal with it carefully. An inaccurate forecast and estimate can create problems for the software development company. Everyone wants to know beforehand when the project will be done and how much it will cost. Hence so many vendors want to know how to determine software cost so that they can better serve their clients.

BELOW ARE SOME OF THE KEY THINGS THAT MAKE UP A SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COST

  • Total efforts that are spent by human resources to complete the project.
  • Tangible resources required for completing project related tasks.
  • Purchase and maintenance of equipment.
  • Purchase of required software and their maintenance.
  • Rent of the office, payment of various bills.
  • Overall risks related to the project.

Now let’s discuss in detail about the various factors that must be included while calculating the final cost of a software project.

FACTORS AFFECTING SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COST

Hence when looking for how much to charge for software development, you can take a look at the below key factors which affect the total software development cost

Size Of The Project

This factor can be easily accessed to calculate the cost of the project. More the number of screens or user interfaces you have, the more work will be performed before the release and the more the client have to pay for developing the application. If the number of screens in the app are about 10-20 then the app is considered to be small, if the number of screens are about 25-40 then the app is considered to be medium-sized while if the number of screens in the app are more than 40 then the app is a bigger one.

To understand the screen, you can think of what the user will see after launching the app, Clicking or tapping on any of the elements and more. Remember a screen view with the potential profile and a screen where the user is editing their details are two different screens.

Cost wise – a small app may cost about $10,000 – $15,000, a medium app may be about $15,000-25,0000 and big apps may start from $25,000 and can go even upto $100,000 and more.

Related:-Web Development: What is Staging?

Budget Of The Project

When you are looking at the ways to identify software development cost, understand that complexity of the project also affects the cost of the project. For example, type and extent of coding and testing, designing requirements, and whether there is any need to integrate the application with third party apps or systems.

If the app has many forms and involves processing of big blocks of data with lots of details, then it would require more time to develop such an app.

If it needs special designing with custom fonts, images and icons then it will need a separate designer to deal with all of these and we can assume that there will be several iterations and re-design attempts before coming to the final version.

If the app needs to be integrated with third-party apps or system and suppose you need to add payment gateways, then it will become a challenging task to build such an app.

Complexity also comprises data migration needs as you may need to write a simple script to transfer data from one system to another and it may involve lots of details.

Budget Of The Project

Most of the projects have a limited budget. Hence the project cost cannot exceed that in any case. If client wants to add a number of features in the project which cost much more than first they need to set the priorities or increase the budget.

You as a developer can make sure that the workflow is going with high productivity and that you are using the right choice of technology and solutions. But you have to know about the budget before the start of the new project.

You should also know if the project doesn’t finish on time or if it needs additional resources then whether the client is ready to pay additional payment or not.

Involve Business Stakeholders In The Software Estimation Process

When you are looking for how to calculate software project cost then there are many ways to estimate the cost and timeline of a software project but the research and past experience say that if the project can be broken into smaller chunks of work, and each chunk is estimated, then the estimates tend to be more accurate and near to reality.

So many organizations have used this approach on hundreds of projects and found it to be working in most of the cases. Here are some more insights on how to go for accurate software estimation.

Involve Business Stakeholders In The Software Estimation Process

It is always better to involve the business stakeholders in the software estimation process early on when you want to measure the software cost as it helps to define more accurately what is important in the software development lifecycle. This ultimately helps both the business leaders and the technology team to reach at a common, shared and mutually agreed development process of the software and it will help to hold everyone involved equally accountable to the initial software cost estimate.

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Understand Why Do So Many Software Estimate Projects Fail?

When you will try to understand why do so many of the software estimate projects fail then you will find that this happens mainly due to poor project requirements and weak business leaders who do not clearly understand what they want out of the project. The technology alone is mostly not the cause of project failure. Great technology and developers will fail without good requirements and great leadership. Hence beware of the business leaders who cannot explain the end goals of developing the business software during the estimating sessions with the project team.

Clearly developers can’t write the quality code if the requirements are not clear or well defined. Whenever the developers have some questions or they face some roadblocks then the business leader or the owner need to make quick decision and help in finding the answers to the questions. Otherwise, the project timeline and budget will go into jeopardy.

Break The Requirements To Increase The Accuracy In Software Estimation

When you go deeper into the software development cost estimation techniques then you will find that how much useful is the top-down approach. You just start by breaking the requirements down into smaller tasks so that each requirement can be built in a short time period by a single developer or a team of developers. If you find any requirements which cannot be broken down in smaller parts, then it cannot be well understood and well developed and therefore cannot be accurately estimated.

Understand Why To Create A Right Team

You have to create a right team with many other members than just developers as there is a need of good supporting members who understand very well all of the requirements of the project and are accountable for them. The project will be able to be valuable for the business only if the users will be able to use it effectively. Therefore, the project team must have good business analysts (BA) who can write good requirements to drive efficient and effective development. Other than developers and BA there is also an important role for designers. Designers play a key role in providing the amazing user experience through the software which is not only pleasant but also leads to meaningful user flow.

Understand The Importance Of Software Product Owner

Everyone related to the development of the project must understand that the software product owner is the most important person of the project. A well informed and intelligent product owner can focus on the project and make the important decisions. The product owner provides the requirements, clears the differences between the business and technology and prioritizes the work and allow/enable team to deliver business value as quickly as possible.

That Make Remote Work Successful For Your Next Project?

Over the decades, Remote with the changing technologies, working patterns of the businesses have also been changed. Today, if you are trying to deploy a mission-driven approach with useful technology and expecting the production from your in-house team, then you might be mistaken here. Remote

Today, remote work can be a perfect opportunity for employers and employees to create an accurate balance between your personal life goals and professional objectives. However, now the question is, how to build the right strategy to make the remote work successful?

According to Statistics, two-thirds of companies in the US have remote workers and providing the perfect talent to the business seeking to meet their professional goals at affordable prices without compromising the quality of work. 

Peter Druker Says, “Do what you do best, outsource the rest”.

The case study submitted by Global State of Remote Work, reveals that 24% of employees are likely to feel happy and productive in their roles with remote work. 

What exactly makes remote workers or offshore app development companies so curious about remote working, especially young professionals?

Well, remote working has its charm and benefits over the current working environment. While there are fewer distractions in remote working, workers are extremely focused and create a working environment that suits their needs better. For startups, it’s a great way to keep operating costs low with remote working.

LET’S HAVE A GLANCE OVER STATISTICS AND DATA RELATED TO REMOTE WORKING:

  • Almost 56% of companies around the world require employees to do work remotely, and in fact, 16% of companies are fully-remote work companies. 
  • According to studies, 52% of employees around the world work remotely at least once per week, and 68% work remotely at least once per month. 
  • As per the survey report, 62% of employees work remotely often, and 38% work on-site.

Hey, hold on! Things will not be as simple as it seems to you… Remote working has its unique challenges that you need to understand before getting started with the remote working. Instead, quickly Outsourcing software companies in India, it is worthwhile to understand a few basic things about remote working.

In this post, we’ll address some of the important concerns that make remote working successful… But before jumping to these strategies, I would like to put some focus on three basic questions “Why millions of employees are turning to remote workers? Why businesses are more interested in hiring remote workers to accomplish their business ambitions? What are you trying to achieve from remote work?

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LET’S GET STARTED WITH THE KEY STRATEGIES THAT HELP YOU GET THE REMOTE WORK RIGHTLY:

1. COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING

According to experts, effective communication is the way to build an influential culture and bring everyone on the same page. A healthy communication creates a feeling of a secure connection between team members and allows them to stay on task. Besides, if you want to visit in a remote environment, you need to focus on communication but don’t over communicate.

To eliminate the risk of miscommunication, you can use communication tools like Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype as most remote companies are heavily relying on these communication channels. Also, pay close attention to notifications and try to respond as soon as possible.

2. SPECIFY YOUR AVAILABILITY

If you are thinking that hiring iPhone app developer from an offshore company will help you get the 24*7 assistance, then you might be mistaken here.

The fact that employees working at remote sites are not readily available when the team needs them. It is good enough to allow for flexibility even while establishing clear virtual working hours for remote employees so your in-house workers know when they can get connected with their team via chat or over the telephone.

Being clear about your availability can help you build trust and consistency across the team of Mobile App Development Company. Your bright and real commitments give them all the confidence to businesses and let them know when their team can rely upon remote workers.

3. CHOOSE AN APPROPRIATE WORKSPACE AND TECHNOLOGY

While working as an offsite software development company, keep in mind that all your work in only depend upon the internet connection and the tools that help you proceed with the project. Make sure to find a workplace with flawless internet connection and have the right equipment to take calls without any interruption.

In case, if you are switching from location to location, make sure that you find some peaceful place with no signal problems, so you can easily avoid distractions.

Secondly, while counting upon equipment, the laptop is one that saves lots of files and its probably that your machine will start to work slowly.

If you don’t find a suitable workspace and equipment, then find our good coworking sets support excellent internet connection and provide equipment to manage your work flawlessly.

4. BE ALERT AND UPDATED

Web Development Companies look forward to hiring remote software developers, who are familiar with the reputation of the company before they get started with the initial conversation. That means reading company blogs or signing up for a test account to better understand their product and services.

Companies are more interested in “Doers” instead of “Thinkers”. Someone who proactively researches about web app development company prior scheduling an initial appointment is those traits that companies seek.

As nobody is looking over your shoulder in a remote work environment to judge what kind of management you have, therefore, your knowledge and initiative to get to know more about the company will let the company know how serious you are towards your work.

5. STAY CONNECTED WITH OUTSIDE WORLD

You can’t choose the one, to be a success as a remote employee, you need to stay connected with work as well as the outside world. With the help of technology, you can get collaborated with your colleagues.

And being leading iPhone App Development Company, we use Skype for our meetings and use Google docs, Join.me, etc. also transparent working. 

To be successful as a remote employee, also make some changes in your routine and surroundings occasionally to enhance productivity and increase the focus.

6. KEEP THE THINGS SIMPLE AND TRANSPARENT

Remote workers who don’t communicate, don’t exist in the market! To find out want opportunities you can adopt for better engagement and take advantage of them.

Take time to get to know about the remote employer as people instead just assuming them as a task manager. Your communication is the most reliable key to success. No matter whether you are managing things via chat, telephone, email or text leverage the best technology and simply manage things.

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7. CREATE A RIGHT WORK CULTURE

While working from home or remotely, it’s easier to mess up with things and your schedule.

Remote employees should create a perfect work culture and start the work after reading the documentation to understand the needs of the employers. To cut down the risk of having any lack of communication, you can schedule a call to chat with them for better understanding.

Ultimately your initiative of creating a positive work culture, encourage businesses to hire Android app developers or other dedicated developers without having any doubt on their mind.

8. STAY VISIBLE TO YOUR CLIENTS

You must hear this phrase “out of sight, out of mind“. It happens if you are keeping your status unavailable during your remote working hours and others are working at the same time.

You can keep yourself visible by taking advantage of video chats, collaborating often using your projects management systems, sharing pro-working tips and new information in your team portal using slack. Also, set up recurring meetings with core management to discuss the project details and providing a perfect output.

Right from having face-to-face online meetings to provide weekly updates, you can follow a system to ensure that you are heading in the right direction.

9. BE A GOOD WRITER

While working with any Android App Development Company remotely, a lot of your communication with teammates will be written, so focus on your writing skills. You can clear the issues to everyone better by being a good writer.

To be a successful remote worker, dedicate a lot of time on writing; hence you can convey the message in a clear and simple statements.

10. ORGANIZE THE WORK CAREFULLY

The first and foremost thing for being successful as a remote employee is to organize the task using an appropriate platform.

Today most reputed App Development Companies are using Asana as a task management platform. Everyone works on that platform knows what they need to work on now, what they will be working on next, and what has been completed already. Without clarity, it is difficult to operate smoothly remotely or even on-site.

5 Tips for Charities for Conversational AI

Charities can be smarter and use voice, chatbots and digital assistants to help their fundraising, brand building and audience engagement strategies.

Charities

1. IsItOK?

The IsItOK? campaign is a collaboration between the Charity Missing people, The NSPCC, Children In Need and Bradford/Waltham Forest districts. They are trialing a web based chat assistant to help young people at risk of exploitation to find the right support — to have a voice, know where they can get help and have a safe place to talk to someone.

One of the key aims is to use technology in the appropriate way to let teenagers know there is somewhere safe they can ask questions and get help. The chatbot is conversational and friendly, asking direct questions from the start to gather feedback.

It lets users know they are talking to an automated chatbot (this is important — in this situation, being very transparent about who/what the user is talking to could make a difference in trusting and using the bot again) and offer assurances about privacy and removing data.The assistant starts with asking what you like to be called with free text input, before moving on to a guided navigation tree structure where users can select input buttons and find out about the service and get more information. There is also an opportunity for a live chat handover to an appropriate operator if required — though this depend on availability.

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Key takeouts for charities thinking about Conversational AI initiatives

  • Keep an appropriate tone for the target audience — in this case they are likely well versed in YouTube, Instagram, TikTok etc, so it needs to feel relevant to them.
  • Conversational style, how questions are framed, look and feel are all important.
  • Being upfront about whether the service is a bot or a human from the start answers a key question ‘who am I talking to, can I trust them?’ make sure any live agent handover is flagged up clearly.
  • Don’t overcomplicate the bot. The key design principles of conversational AI should apply, the design should be invisible, helpful and relevant at all times.
  • Being rules based (no NLP) is fine, as long as the conversation answers the questions is needs to. The downside is that having no NLP elements can make the bot feel more ‘artificial’ or single track — this can limit re-engagement.
  • Make it clear how you can get support outside of office hours, and if using NLP do homework on trigger words and phrases, You can base these on existing call centre scripts, social media listening or customer service frequently asked/requested questions and answers.
  • Co-create with target service users if possible to ensure tone and the questions being asked are relevant and useful — ultimately leading to a better service and usage.
  • Personalisation can really help to up engagement. Sketching out user personas and matching flows to their needs is a part of this process.
  • Answer questions upfront about human/bot interface privacy questions.

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What to do next — 4 things we’d tackle

  • Well, as its on webchat only, all the CTAs are directed there, I’d look at extending to Facebook Messenger, SMSand possibly WhatsApp and drive users from there to the full experience.
  • Having more conversational interactions could work well, it currently a little restrictive to have just one free text input (what’s your name?) at the start perhaps remove the free text option after the brief onboarding for clarity.
  • It would be great to see a little more personality within the bot itself, it doesnt necessessarily need a name/persona, but would have been interesting to see how it might encourage longer conversations.
  • Make a little clearer personalisation and conversation tree flows — between users/worried friends. Giving each a richer flow of content can help to keep users coming back for more relevant content.

Obviously its a great initiative, and hopefully the trial produces useful feedback on data and usage to bring forward into the next version and other initiatives channels and enagement campaigns.

5 Quick Tips to Improve Your Website Design Accessibility

design Web development projects can be complex. They focus on many things –  content management systems (CMS) platforms branding, content, responsive design, and the way the page appears to visitors or visual web design. One feature that is often overlooked is accessibility, perhaps due to the misconception that websites designed for accessibility may not look aesthetically pleasing or may even seem disordered. Good website design, however takes into account visual as well as accessibility concerns.  It is extremely important that access to information can be available to everyone, regardless the individual abilities.

design

Websites that adhere to accessibility guidelines can improve website traffic, earn more revenue and add a layer of responsiveness and inclusiveness that appeals to all users. While final U.S. web accessibility regulations are slated to be implemented in 2018, International guidelines are already in place. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes that website access is a basic human right and suggests website conformance to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

When designing a new web development project or updating an existing design, we recommend that you keep accessibility in mind from the very beginning of the project. It should be part of the very fabric of the design to ensure any visitor, regardless of ability, is able to access, enjoy, and engage with your site.

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Tip #1 – Mind the colors

Make sure you always create contrast between the content and its background. It is worth considering that there are millions of users in the world who are not able to distinguish between colors and their various shades. Sharp color contrast assists those with color deficiencies.

Besides strengthening the brand recognition, colors can also be used to orientate, indicate or even direct the user through the website. If the website has been well designed, in general it may not cause any major problems to the users who can’t distinguish colors. However, in interactive elements or action calls this may become a problem. For example: a simple text link with only one highlighted color may end up being difficult to recognize as a link if it has not been underlined or if it has a highlighted darker background color. In order to better understand how many of your users may see your website, insert your URL in an online Colorblind Web Page Filter tool to check the different kinds of filters that simulate visual disabilities.

Tip #2 – Contextual Links, a Better Description

Users who use screen readers to navigate have the option to skip from link to link until they can find the content they are looking for. When a link is selected it is literally read by the browser of the screen reader. If the link only contains something like ‘click here’, the user won’t be able to learn what the url function is since there is no contextual information around it.

In order to provide better information and orientate the user, it’s important you have relevant link descriptions. For example: Instead of “Click here” use “Contact us here”. Instead of “See more” use “Browse more related topics here”.  The upside of using more relevant contextual links is that in addition to helping users, search engine optimization also gets a boost.

Tip #3 – Make More Alternative Content Available

There are some kinds of content that will never be accessible to certain types of users, such as audio contents by hearing-impaired individuals for example. Nevertheless it is possible in some cases to provide alternative content for these types of users to consume. For instance, if your website shares content in video format, you can also publish the written transcription of the video so that any user can read it their screen reader.

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Tip #4 – Guide The User Through the Tabindex

People who use a keyboard are familiar with the Tab key, that when pressed, moves them sequentially through a page to the next ‘field’. On a website, the Tabindex determines the order of the tab movement. Tab movement can be very important for visually impaired users who are moving through navigational menus or forms. Forms especially, can be a challenge. Sometimes they may contain small elements such as checkboxes or buttons which can be really hard to click on with a mouse. A well-defined tabindex can make navigation much simpler and provide a better user experience.

Tip #5 – Alt Text

Alt text, an abbreviation for alternative text, is a word or phrase that describes an image, video, graphic or any kind of media that typically would not have words associated with it. The alt text is inserted as an attribute to the HTML of a website page. Users can see it by hovering over the image, screen readers can ‘read’ it out loud to tell the user what is in the image/graphic location, and it describes or replaces the media if that media is not loading for any reason.

In search engine optimization (SEO), alt text provides information about a page for the search engines, because it does not have the ability to read the image contents. Descriptive and relevant alt text on a website improves accessibility, SEO and user experience.

 

The Most Common Misconceptions About Website Security

The hackers, the bad guys, the black hats are after your personal information, your clients’ personal information, and worse your identity. It can be a shock when it happens to you, because you’ve assumed that you were taking precautions. Unfortunately, you may have been living under the impression that some widely held myths about web security were true.Security

Here are some myths and misconceptions that could put your website at serious risk.

HACKERS AREN’T INTERESTED IN ME

Those are the words most hackers want to hear. They don’t care about anything except the vulnerability of your computer or website. If they can get in, they can disrupt anything, and that’s what they want to do. Banking credentials are just one of the targets in their sights. They can:

  • Infiltrate corporate account credentials
  • Gain access to the personal information of you, your clients, and your employees
  • Hack into your server to use for any number of dirty schemes
  • Or, simply ruin you.

They may even create a website that looks like yours, to send your visitors to a remote place where bad things happen.

It’s all done with bots, and they will find you. Like search engines, hackers send out millions of bots to search the web. Once the bot arrives it almost instantly knows all about your website. It knows which software, and even which versions were used. It knows when your site was last updated and all about your server. They report this information back or maybe, based on the information gathered, they decide whether to attempt to break in or report back so some other bot can be sent your way. Go to www.builtwith.com and put in your website URL. The information you get back is what a bot retrieves. Scary isn’t it?

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MY WEBSITE WAS BUILT A YEAR AGO AND IT WAS SECURE

Even though your website was built by professionals 365 days ago, and it was secure, it may not be today. The bad guys are always at work finding new ways to break in and do evil things. A good example of this is your PC. Security companies constantly update millions of PCs because what was safe yesterday isn’t safe today.

I UPDATED MY WEBSITE, SO I’M ALL SET

You may be up to date today, but how do you know they didn’t break in while you were vulnerable? Once they get in, they create ‘back doors’. Back doors are entry points where they can easily get in anytime they want. That way, if you update your website and eliminate the vulnerability, they have a way to get back in any time they want. The only way to find and eliminate back doors is to do a security scan and code audit. Your CMS code can be compared to original code to insure that they didn’t change things.

IF THEY BREAK IN, I WILL JUST HAVE MY WEBSITE FIXED

No, you may lose your whole investment, which might amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Hundreds of executives have called me over the years saying that their site has been hacked and their developer can’t fix it. In fact most of our clients came to us this way. If your website developer didn’t use a proper source repository and backup system, you probably lost your investment. Sometimes we can go in and solve the problem, but often there is so much damage it’s cheaper to start over. Make sure your web developer is using a source code repository like GIT or SVN and has daily, weekly, and monthly backups. You may have to roll back and use and older versions that haven’t been hacked.

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I DON’T STORE CUSTOMER DATA, SO IT WON’T AFFECT MY CUSTOMERS

This is not true. What if the bad guys take control of your site and you can’t get it back? What if they duplicate your site and send some of the traffic to something that looks like your website, but is a scam? What if they just decide to mess with your customers? Sharp college kids could send bots out, break in and have fun with your customer. They get a kick out of destroying your business.

SSL KEEPS ME SECURE

The Secure Socket Layer is a security protocol in place which encrypts information passing between a server and a browser. With limited time and motivation, this is perfectly adequate security as long as the server itself is secure. However, for the patient, determined villain, there are many instances of breaking through.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security. Use due diligence to check and recheck your security protocols. Secure your server from attack, identify any outdated and redundant security measures, and implement any repairs immediately. You need the following:

  • • Source Code repository and back ups
  • • Routine application maintenance where your CMS is updated with security enhancements
  • • Periodic security scans to test your website for vulnerabilities or ‘back doors’
  • • Periodic security audits where penetration testing is done.

Should You Upgrade and benefit to Drupal 8 Now?

Drupal 8 has a number of improvements, and this will upgrade is proven to be the last difficult upgrade. You will enjoy all the benefits of Drupal 8 which makes your business stronger, and looking to the future, you will have an upgrade path to Drupal 9 and beyond. You’re not going to gain anything by waiting to upgrade your website. In fact, you will be losing market share to those who are already moving forward.

Drupal 8

Drupal 8 has over 200 new features and improvements over the Drupal 7 release. Drupal 9 was built, from the ground up, to be backwards compatible with Drupal 8. In order to do this, you need to employ developers who really know the underpinnings to convert and clean out older deprecated code that will be removed in Drupal 9. Your upgrades going forward will be painless. Any work done in Drupal 7 will have to be rewritten when Drupal 7 code gets deprecated out. Which is one big reason why you should upgrade now!

The two biggest changes are the mobile first framework Symfony 4/5 and Twig 2.0 scripting for theming. Below outlines what they are and why an upgrade will benefit you now.

SYMFONY

Symfony has extensive libraries and offers a lot of functionality that Drupal needs. Symfony also works very well with Twig. This provides a mobile friendly framework that is Object Oriented making APIs to third party products better.

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TWIG

PHP-based Twig is a faster, simpler, more secure theming engine than PHPtemplate engine. Now you can use HTML/CSS and don’t have to know PHP to theme Drupal pages.

Some of the other best enhancements include:

MOBILE FIRST 

Drupal 8 seamlessly supports mobile, it is fully responsive and will automatically reshape elements to look good on any screen size. Drupal 8 Administrative themes are responsive, making administration easier on a mobile device.

PERFORMANCE

We all know that website performance is critical for your business and to rank well on the search engines. Drupal 8 delivers – utilizing Facebook’s BigPipe Technology to load content much faster through caching.

Entities are stored in cache and JavaScript loads upon demand, which dramatically increases the speed of your website. Caching is fully automatic and configurable. JavaScript computerized testing is automatic manner, making integration easier and more reliable.

LAYOUT BUILDER

Layout builder can create custom visual layouts arranging content on a page or across different content types using a drag and drop interface.

CONTENT CREATION 

The WYSIWYG editor is now integrated into its core, making it more user-friendly with the seamless creation and formatting of the content for nontechnical admins. Media handling is much easier.

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MULTILINGUAL

Drupal 8 has four core modules that allow the full translation of everything with dynamic, language-based displays, using multiple admin languages and translation workflows.

CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT

A system-based configuration management system (collection of admin settings that determine how the site default functions) improves the use of Git, by allowing the versioning of the configuration without production data.

VARBASE

Drupal 8 Varbase provides an easy to use backend with an excellent graphic user interface that provides: Fully Optimized On-page SEO, Responsive Previews & Mobile Ready, Easy Media Management, Landing Pages Creator, graphical admin dashboard, Social Media Tools, Multilingual Translation and Advanced Web-forms. We have deployed Drupal 8 website with Varbase and our customers absolutely love how functional and easy it makes website administration.

Drupal 7 End-Of-Life (EOL) 

Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 versions EOL is November 2021, which means no new features, no bug fixes, no Security Advisories and no vulnerabilities reported for core or contributed modules, themes. Now that Drupal 8 is stable and the contrib modules are all completed, it only makes sense to work in Drupal 8 going forward.

All of these capabilities are far above what is currently in Drupal 7 or Drupal 6, for that matter. Many times, our customers wait for the next release, which in case would be Drupal 9. However, the beauty of upgrading now is you can get those capabilities now which make your business more competitive and successful. So, what are you waiting for? Upgrade now!

How FinTech is Transforming The Insurance Industry

There are emerging mobile players in the insurance industry, and despite the industry’s complicated, firmly rooted environment, there is more opportunity than ever to introduce customer value with mobile solutions. Driven by the surfacing of FinTech and InsurTech startups, the insurance industry is amidst a systematic change in business operations, not unlike the transformation banking institutions are skillfully mastering now.Insurance

Insurers should look to banking institutions who have entered the FinTech space as an inspiration for digitization. Banks are partnering with FinTech enterprises to operate at lower costs and alleviate the reliance on legacy systems. As a result, banking institutions are able to retain clients, while FinTech companions improve customer experience with user-centric, mobile solutions.

The urgency for financial services to offer digital products has hit the world hard and is moving faster than originally anticipated. The insurance sector needs to view entering the InsurTech environment as an opportunity to create partnerships and build mobile strategies focused on providing value in this increasingly digitized financial ecosystem.

Customers Expectations for InsurTech

Mobile devices are a core element of everyday life; they have created massive waves of disruption in every area of business, and financial services are no exception. Customer demands are not the same. Customers are no longer seeking services, instead, they are looking for mobile insurance solutions which integrate several areas of assistance on a single platform.

Many insurance companies are aware of and embracing this shift in consumer demand. Rather than panicking at the potential threat of InsurTech and FinTech competition, insurers are looking at these startups as catalysts for innovation.

The Canadian FinTech market saw significant growth in the first half of 2018. KPMG’s Pulse of FinTech 2018 report cites that many large financial institutions recognize the pressing demand to invest in Fintech. These institutions are making substantial progress in investing and developing partnerships in the growing technology space. There has also been an increase in insurance companies working on all matter of proof-of-concept (POC) initiatives.

FinTech set the bar high for the insurance industry. Customers are expecting higher quality mobile experiences from all their financial services, similar to the experiences they receive from Apple, Google, Amazon, and other heavy-hitters.

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Providing Value to Younger Clientele

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, 75% of InsurTech business has primarily served retail clientele. The younger end of Gen X demographics and millennial customers favour mobile channels for financial transactions. As well, these segments tend to be less loyal to financial companies and more likely to swap financial services and insurance policies to fulfill changing needs. Younger age groups value convenience, remote transactions, and as little direct interaction with institutions as possible.

Winning young customers is lucrative for insurers. In many ways, business from a millennial is more beneficial than opening a new policy with a baby boomer because there is ample opportunity for long-term business, potentially lifelong business. Younger demographics are far more receptive to technological advancement. Providing these potential customers mobile solutions and optimizing with InsurTech is how to gain loyalty with younger policyholders.

Enhancing the Customer Experience with InsurTech

Financial service companies understand the demand for mobile. PwC’s recent FinTech Survey notes the significant growth in customers using mobile applications by 2020, and 75% of respondents say the most important impact FinTech will have is an increased focus on the customer.

Similar to FinTech, InsurTechs have many advantages insurance companies can leverage. These lean startups are free from legacy products and processes; they can use emerging technologies to build brand new systems; they can target specific value pools instead of offering lengthy end-to-end solutions that don’t meet everyone’s needs. Overall, InsurTech’s can go to market entirely different than traditional insurance companies. By partnering with InsurTech enterprises, insurers can offer:

Enriched Connectivity. Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can eliminate friction at several touch points in the customer journey. Chatbots will be able to understand and act on customer queries at any time. With deep learning, chatbot solutions can further interpret sentiment to identify when to introduce a human agent.

Personalized Product Offerings. Again, AI technologies help InsurTechs offer targeted products. Today, customers want the flexibility to purchase very specific insurance and they want the ability to decide when they can purchase and how often.

buzzvault is an InsurTech enterprise providing customers with a digitized inventory of their possessions data. By uploading home contents data, customers of buzzvault can create extremely personalized insurance policies with the flexibility of adding or removing items from their policy at any time.

Slice is another on-demand InsurTech venture that allows customers who are renting out their homes or cars to only pay for insurance to cover the time they are renting them.

End-to-end automation. The concept is simple. Customers are more than ready to leave manual claims processing behind. At the moment, apps like Claim Di’s Shake and Go allow users to report car insurance claims to their providers in real-time and leave the accident site immediately providing there is little damage to the vehicles.

In the very near future, enhanced data collection from cars, wearables, and smartphones will further enable claims automation. If accidents occur, diagnostics from these devices will automatically contact insurance providers, process claims immediately, and even withdraw payment from designated bank accounts.

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Eliminating Customer Pain Points

FinTech and InsurTech startups are successful mainly because they address the most pressing pain points customers have with banking companies and eliminate them. A key area moving forward will be an increased focus on raising customer interest and encouraging interaction.

Policyholder pooling is already a popular social engagement tool to lower insurance rates. Friendsurance, for example, launched the very first peer-to-peer insurance model. Essentially, Friendsurance is a social network for policyholders; individuals with the same insurance type connect, and if no claims are made within the group they are rewarded with cash-back.

Immediacy will also be a growing tactic for insurers looking to digitize addressing customer pain points. If customers can’t get information, advice, or make claims at any time, insurers run the risk of rapidly losing business.

How to Best Respond to InsurTech

There are a number of different strategies you can adopt to prepare for the quickly evolving InsurTech environment:

Gain an internal focus. It’s critical to have an understanding of the evolution of the InsurTech ecosystem. Participating in InsurTech accelerator programs, or hosting hackathons with InsurTechs are both helpful ways to become familiar with the value of entering the environment.

Engage with the community. Seek out inspiration and look for opportunities to collaborate. Different perspectives on the industry are tremendously helpful for identifying new ways to generate value. By establishing partnerships insurance companies can work with InsurTechs to develop POCs or launch incubator programs.

Take Action. Eventually, insurers will have to take action; whether that’s collaboration, investment, or changing the organizational culture.

The insurance industry is ready for transformation, to support new business operations, and to maximize efficiency. To make headway, insurance companies will have to look to InsurTechs for inspiration and partnerships. While InsurTech is rapidly transforming the industry, it does not aim to overtake traditional insurance, rather it is opening the doors for both counterparts to extend the value chain and increase mobility overall.

How to Improve Big Data Quality for Bigger Enterprise Insights

Enterprise We’re dealing with more data in the enterprise than ever before. Headlines blare that “data is valuable” but, that’s only true if the information you have got is of high quality. The question becomes, how do you know if you have high-quality data?

Enterprise

This post explores the concept of big data quality and why it is a challenge, why the enterprise needs big data quality, and what solution you can use to ensure the quality of big data.

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What is Big Data Quality?

Data quality refers to six dimensions of information:

  • Completeness: The information is comprehensive
  • Consistency: Representations of an item match across all data stores
  • Unique: A piece of information is one-of-a-kind
  • Valid: Information matches the rules specified for it
  • Timeliness: Information is up-to-date and ready for use
  • Accuracy: Information is correct

Not all of these dimensions will necessarily apply to your data. For example, you might not need data to be complete, yet you always need it to be accurate and timely.

“Big data quality,” then, refers to the data quality dimensions your big data possesses. Today, the importance of big data quality has risen because of big data’s prevalence.

Why Is Big Data Quality Important?

Big data quality matters because so many organizations use big data to make decisions. It can come from so many sources, in so many formats, with so many rules applied to it previously, it is not always trustworthy. In fact, only 35 percent of senior executives have a high level of trust in the accuracy of their big data analytics.

Imagine you are deciding whether to expand into a new market. You have garnered information about your potential customers, market conditions, regulations, etc. but you don’t know how old your data is. If it is out of date, you don’t know if you’re making the right decision or not. When you are sure of your big data quality, you can trust your decisions.

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Precisely’s Trillium Quality: Improving Your Big Data Quality 

Precisely’s Trillium Quality enables you to improve your big data quality. It provides data profiling and data quality at scale to meet big data management challenges. Trillium Quality quickly and natively connects to data sources to execute data profiling tasks, as well as visually create and test data quality processes that you can deploy and run directly within big data platforms (either on-premises or in the cloud).

This solution includes robust data profiling capabilities that allow users to select, connect, and run data profiling on big data sources in a few steps. You can also uncover defects, evaluate data relationships across sources (drilling down to any detail), and annotate findings.

Your success depends on good decision-making. Good decision-making, in turn, depends upon the right information. Big data quality, as well as the right big data management practices, make that a reality.

Digital Innovation for a Competitive Edge

You are pretty much aware of the digital life of this era, we all surrounded with the technology as well as use it, even we can’t think our life without technology. This article will help you know more about digital innovation.

Digital

What is digital innovation?

Digital innovation simply means the change in technology, enhancing the services, traditional models as well as principles of marketing, also to build the product and processes.

The innovation in the market also brings the changing in trends and build the market more and more gracefully. The digital platform is the easiest and user-friendly so that it can easily available and oriented to everyone.

We’re now living in the age of digital Darwinism, where you evolve or you become irrelevant. In fact, 5 out of 10 companies will be dead in 10 years if they fail to drive digital innovation.

In order to stay relevant, you need to deliver the right applications at the right time. It’s really important for the companies to launch new and some innovation in the market as well as its the trend to have something new and innovative.

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It focuses on the following 3 areas:

1. Customer, partner or supplier engagement –

The way information is accessed and transactions are processed. Remember, people want to engage wherever and whenever is convenient for them. There are some applications that support this goal include advisement tools, fact-finding assistance for employees, as well as customers.

2. Product and service innovation –

To enhancing existing products and services with digital components – or even creating net new products or services. Product, as well as service innovation, often involves new applications that enable mobile services, personalized product offerings, even new business models.

3. Internal systems processing, reporting, or access –

Digitize your back-office processes to improve efficiency, ultimately reducing the cost of service and support, while improving response times as well as also take care of customer satisfaction.

Meanwhile, also consider how you can automate complex internal workflows, enable faster reporting and decision making, and empower your workforce through new applications that enable better access to data as well as better mobility.

Above you read the solutions for the digital innovation for competitive edges as well as the main focus areas, where we take care because these areas are the most effective and market changing for any company.

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Speed up the digital market:

The innovation enhances the speed of marketing speed as well as the market value of the company which is the good source of the company to spread its brand name as well as the product of the company.

Increases in value of data:

The digital innovation grows the value of the company, as well as the position of it, ‘s product and the brand also. The data value of any company means a lot to it as well as it is quite difficult and challenging to face the growth rates of the companies, as it starts the competition between the companies.

Consumers like the digital platforms:

According to the surveys, it seems like the consumers or client love to use digital platforms more than the companies. As they get more and more offers and techniques to interact with the company through chatbot, which is the simplest way to connect with the company directly.

Enhance the social platform:

Digital innovation also enhances social platform which is the reason that enhances the market as well as the easy to publish the advertisement for the company because the internet is the big platform where you can spread any information about your company.

Change in traditional business:

The digital innovation brings a big change in tradition business. The innovation in technology affects the business process as well as marketing strategies. The business and the market both grow step by step and the digital innovations make it easier for the companies. As well as they can now easily connect with their clients and also build the business with new technology.