Best-practice models and recommendations for business-aligned IT

| December 12, 2017

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IT Strategy and Master Planning (SMP) is a key concept of enterprise architecture management. It consists of defining the strategic target architecture and developing a master plan—that is, a roadmap to get from the current situation to the desired target landscape. SMP is typically part of other overarching processes. For example, target architectures are derived from the business strategy process. Meanwhile, master plan development interacts strongly with project portfolio management and demand management. There are also strong relationships with application portfolio planning and technology road mapping.

Spotlight

Verrex

Since 1947 companies have leveraged Verrex’s extensive experience integrating and supporting audio visual systems with a superior approach to project execution that has clear advantages to clients. As an InfoComm APEx-certified integrator, Verrex’s design/build portfolio delivers best-in-class video conferencing, presentation, and collaboration solutions.

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URL tracking using UTM parameters: a simple explanation

Article | August 13, 2020

With Google Analytics, you can determine where the clicks to a certain website or webpage come from. However, this analysis isn’t the most precise method. For example, you can only find out whether traffic came from a specific source such as Twitter, but not whether the tweets from your own company were responsible for this linkage. In other words, you won’t be able to tell exactly which version of your call-to-action generated more clicks if both versions linked to the same URL. But there’s a solution: using UTM parameters.

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DIY: Hunting Azure Shadow Admins Like Never Before

Article | July 29, 2020

Cloud technologies are ubiquitous and most organizations rely on cloud vendors to provide them with critical services and computing workloads. This ecosystem makes organizations deeply dependent on their cloud infrastructure with the most popular cloud providers being AWS and Azure. In correlation to the increased importance of cloud environments, the opportunities for security threats in these environments have increased dramatically. For this reason, cloud security has become a crucial part of any organization’s security strategy.

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How to Mitigate Robotic Process Automation Implementation with Low-code Development

Article | April 22, 2020

Ease in doing business.” That is what every C-level execs strive to achieve in their business process and it is no secret that they’ve increasingly turned to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to streamline enterprise operations. The first digital computers were invented mostly to calculate tasks but as the technology progressed, we learnt to program hand-code automation through bespoke applications. What brought the RPA into existence was the slow and laborious hand-code automation. But, as we no longer need to keep our fingers glued to systems to enter data fields and value, there exists some brittleness to the robotic process automation. Table of Contents: - What is Robotic Process Automation? - What ails Robotic Process Automation? - What is Low-Code Development? - Why to program in a Low-Code Development environment? - How does Low-code development help in mitigating RPA implementation? - Concluding Thoughts What is Robotic Process Automation? Deloitte defines RPA as software that “automates repetitive, rules-based processes usually performed by people sitting in front of computers.” Picture your mouse automatically scanning your email for 70 new unread invoices, adding the data to a spreadsheet, and inputting information into your CRM, while sending two outliers to an employee for manual review – all within a fraction of the time it would take a person to do the same tasks and with far fewer errors. RPA workflows are established on logic-based inputs and tasks across applications for the bot to efficiently carry out manual, repetitive tasks with greater accuracy. Additionally, by separating the uniquely human skills like critical thinking, empathy, and decision making from the manual, repetitive tasks, corporations can provide a more fulfilling and rewarding career for their employees. Sounds great, right? Of course, it does. That’s why it’s the fastest-growing market in enterprise software, with 48% of companies saying they are planning to invest in RPA and is projected to be worth nearly USD 4B by 2025. Corporations across industries are buying in to streamline a wide variety of operational tasks, connect legacy systems, and drastically remove errors introduced by humans. Operations that can benefit from RPA technology include: Generic office tasks – gathering quarterly cross-department data into an excel sheet, automating CRM inputs, and inventory management. Back office processes – instead of five people checking for new orders and applying discounts, the tasks are reorganized so the employee is providing a human-level of validation to the order. Manufacturing – order fulfillment, purchase order processing, and transportation and inventory management. Retail – product categorization, automated checkout, and delivery tracking. Customer service – credit checks, account number assignment, and activation tasks can be allocated to bots and employees can speak to a customer and apply empathy and discernment to the situation at hand. What ails Robotic Process Automation? The raised fostering of RPA highlights the advantages of the modern technology, however the trip of automation is not without some bumps in advance. Presently, a bulk of RPA options deal with a typical weak point– a small adjustment to information layouts, service procedures, or application user interface can lead the whole software program to damage down. By style, RPA is durable software program however that likewise shows its frailty in adjustments. If anything changes, that can break the automation. - Jason Bloomberg, Leading IT market expert For instance, Bloomberg discussed, if an interface component like a switch relocates or transforms dimension, the automation may damage. Or probably the information style adjustments due to the fact that a person included a brand new area. “In other cases, the business requirement for the process logic changes, requiring a rework of the bot.” RPA functions best with older and also tradition applications powered by regular procedures that go through little adjustment and also secure information layouts. For companies looking to take advantage of the modern technology, the brittleness of RPA might lead to tightening alternatives and also applications in companies. Financial establishments, as an example, are typically wed to tradition systems and also applications, for which RPA is well matched to aid take care of. However, in a vibrant electronic age– which calls for service dexterity– RPA’s absence of versatility when incorporated can be restricting. What is Low-Code Development? Low-code software development could be compared to a car manufacturing assembly line. Both processes automate difficult and time-consuming tasks, in order to increase delivery speed and free up people to focus on high-level tasks. In technical terms, low-code is a set of tools that developers can use to build applications inside a drag-and-drop visual interface – including complete UI, integrations, data management, and logic. READ MORE: DISPELLING FIVE MYTHS OF LOW-CODE APP DEVELOPMENT Why to program in a Low-Code Development environment? In a quote to address the brittleness of RPA, the arising idea of low-code reveals appealing possibility. Its ability to faster way and also separate software program parts streamlines the design procedure. For RPA software program that calls for an upgrade, low-code offers the all set-to- code design to convenience the restructuring of systems. Low-code simplifies the work of developers, whether they be building applications or constructing bots. But even more importantly, low-code empowers developers and business stakeholders to work together more effectively to manage change in the behavior of the software. - Jason Bloomberg, Leading IT market expert In significance, low-code opens brand-new opportunities for designers to focus on establishing special software program systems that are matched for particular companies. READ MORE: BENEFITS OF LOW CODE DEVELOPMENT WITH REUSABLE COMPONENTS How does Low-code development help in mitigating RPA implementation? Here’s where low-code development can save the day. Low-code platforms enable cross-functional teams of professional developers, citizen developers, and functional staff to easily collaborate and connect multiple applications for end-to-end solutions. Because the platforms are built on open standards and are cloud-native, they can easily connect internal legacy and third-party applications in a bot-friendly interface and quickly establish bot workflows that model the real business processes. Enterprise RPA initiatives can get off the ground in a fraction of the time without bringing on additional staff and infrastructure. What does low-code and RPA implementation success look like in real life? Just ask Avertra and 2 Sisters Food Group. Avertra provides technology and consulting solutions for telecom and utility companies, including a modular digital customer experience framework built with the Mendix ecosystem and integrated via API with enterprise solutions like ERP systems, work management applications, and external data sources. Alongside their clients, Avertra establishes which processes to automate, builds user stories, and deploys bots which then follow workflows, transfer data between systems, select appropriate resolution paths, and follow through with documentation and compliance – all within a fraction of the time it takes an individual agent. Meanwhile, UK poultry supplier 2 Sisters used low-code to implement RPA across 11 accounting transactional processes, moving from 100% manual work to 97% automated within six weeks. They used Mendix to build a data-structuring application that extracts, parses and cleans the data. 2 Sisters was able to reduce their customer invoice verification process from 65% of invoices needing manual data verification to only 8%. Manual data entry was nearly eliminated, save for a few outliers identified by the bots, and employees have more time to analyze the data and costs. Low-code enables both technical and non-technical users to play an active role in implementing and maintaining RPA initiatives, taking the burden off of the IT team, operating securely within their infrastructure and parameters, and reducing the need for additional developers. Avertra empowered their client’s citizen developers to make workflow iterations in the Mendix platform based on data results and their internal business knowledge. With the assistance of Mendix partner AuraQ, 2 Sisters built 300 unique customer remittance templates in 3 months and over 3,000 have been created to date (and they’re still going). The beauty of low-code platforms is that applications can be easily adjusted as the business evolves, RPA technology improves, and new automation opportunities are identified, enabling companies to be more agile and competitive. Avertra’s clients have used data insights to produce new and revised resolution paths addressing outlying issues not caught by the RPA framework and 2 Sisters is now analyzing their data to identify their next digital transformation target. Their investments in RPA implementation and low-code development have quickly paid off and will continue to return dividends in the months and years to come. Concluding Thoughts: Low-Code Development is the simpler way to adjust and improve RPA as per the business demands. With the entry of IoT powered by high-speed 5G, low-code programing is touted to be the tool to speedy up RPA innovations. AI has become the most important trend in the low-code RPA market thus making implementation of RPA with low-code quick and agile. READ MORE: THREE SMART WAYS TO USE LOW-CODE DEVELOPMENT PLATFORMS

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Edge Computing Trends in 2021

Article | July 29, 2021

With significant numbers of cloud vendors implementing edge servers in local markets, market analysts predict an incredible growth in edge computing. Furthermore, the rise in the hottest edge computing trends will be supported by the complimentary 5G network offerings. The current demand for edge-driven business models is so intense that even the COVID-19 pandemic failed to alter these predictions. A study from IDC’s worldwide IT predictions claims that the impact of this global pandemic will be one of the biggest reasons behind the growth of around 80% of edge computing investments and platform changes across various industries in the coming years. But firstly, what exactly is this edge computing, and how does it matter to technology trends? The term ‘edge’ in this points at literal geographic distribution. In layman's terms, edge computing is a kind of computing performed at or near the data source. However, unlike cloud computing, it does not rely on cloud data sources to do all the work. This doesn't mean that the cloud will disappear with edge computing; instead, it will come to you. Edge computing, in most cases, uses a variety of functions that need service provisioning closer to users. The most common examples of such functions are telco network functions, machine learning, robotics, AR/VR, and IoT. Using such emerging use cases, edge computing assists in resolving critical challenges in data sovereignty, resiliency, latency, and bandwidth. Furthermore, migration of data resources, applications, and infra results in: Faster responses to business needs Improved business scaling Long-term resilience Improved flexibility Businesses rely on edge computing to define new cloud-based services and products that can exploit security, storage, and processing capabilities at the edge of the network. There will be a need for more distributed compute and data processing power post the COVID-19 pandemic because of new working ways. Moreover, edge devices will be in demand for their ability to fulfill this need without debilitating latency. Top Edge Computing Trends in 2021 Considering the increasing maturation of edge computing capabilities, market analysts predict the rise in investment in edge computing. As edge computing solutions come up as ever more essential to business operations, here are the top edge computing trends you will want to keep an eye on. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning will Shift to Edge Computing Although no edge computing strategy can completely substitute the applications of cloud resources, many businesses are trying to put more ML and AI capabilities closer to endpoint devices. In this way, they can achieve the required speed and reliability of such smart processes. Companies that need to bridge the digital and physical world in real-time will be the primary reason for this new trend in computing. Plus, edge computing has the power to replace machine learning models that are often trained at the data center. Instead, with specialized hardware, learning can occur at the edge. Considering the general nature of edge technologies, it will improve real-time predictions and, ultimately, operational reliability. Moreover, edge computing and data security are closely associated. Therefore, with more advancements in edge computing strategies, data security will steadily grow. Pandemic will Push Organizations to the Edge The current global pandemic has made us realize the actual effectiveness of several modern technologies, and it has changed the way we integrate and deploy them. In addition, the growth in the usage of consumer mobile devices, the increased consumption of virtual content, videos, and the increased demand for IoT devices (Internet of Things) has made the critical edge computing trends continue to flourish. Here’s what Jason Mann, the vice president of IoT at SAS, has to say, “From social distancing to thermal imaging, safety device assurance and operational changes such as daily cleaning and sanitation activities, computer vision is an essential technology to accelerate solutions that turn raw IoT data (from video/cameras) into actionable insights.” For example, retailers and shop owners can use edge computing solutions to know when people violate the store’s policies. Edge will Enhance the Connected Ecosystem Adoption Apart from enhancing IoT device usage, edge computing will ease the participation of organizations in the connected ecosystem. And, most importantly, there will be relatively lesser bandwidth and network latency issues. Organizations can quickly expand to several other profitable businesses without incurring hefty infrastructure costs by leveraging the scalability of edge computing. In addition, moving to more fast-streaming and profitable markets will be easy for enterprises because of easy data processing. IT and Operational Technology will Unite The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed several weaknesses of most organizations, and ‘resiliency’ is perhaps one of the most common weaknesses of most companies. IoT-driven devices and other connected equipment power the adoption of edge computing solutions where applications and infrastructure are within the facilities. According to the IDC report, the real-time inference with the help of digital twins and AI models can make this approach critical as they can detect the changes in operating conditions and eventually automate the remediation. With more convergence of IT and operational technology, the IDC report says that the number of operations deployed on edge computing infrastructure will grow from 20% to more than 90% in 2024. As a result, enterprises will prioritize integrating intelligence into different workflows and processes using edge computing capabilities. In 2021, mobile edge computing MEC) trends are expected to enable supply chain resilience. With data analytics at the edge, the ecosystem of supply chain enablers can integrate AI and ML to access near, live insights into data consumptions. Furthermore, it will also allow businesses to look into even the most unprocessed elements of highly composite demand and supply chains. Therefore, organizations need something that can enable 24/7 view across the complete supply chain. MEC-based solutions answer this as they can offer end-to-end monitoring from the point of service or manufacture. Private 5G Adoption will Increase As serious applications will begin to materialize, many businesses will take themselves to the edge. Undoubtedly, there's great potential in a private 5G network for fueling the edge computing trends in 2021 and beyond. The private 5G network is dedicated to specific infrastructures like factories and warehouses. Factory robots and machine tools require low-latency networks and local data processing. Edge computing and 5G can satisfy this need. The general nature of edge technologies and speed, low latency, enhanced coverage, and incredible responsiveness of the 5G network can serve these benefits. Edge will Improve Data Security Edge computing reduces data and internet costs and eventually improves data efficiency compared to the cloud. Plus, the edge offers an additional layer of security and enhances the overall user experience. Unlike the cloud, edge computing does not depend on a single point of storage or application. Instead, it distributes different processes across a variety of devices. Edge Computing in 2021 and Beyond The current and future edge computing trends will enable innovation across several industries such as medical, agricultural, worker safety, insurance, industry 4.0, retail, telecommunications, and more. As more and more companies collaborate to develop an open ecosystem and ultimately make it quick and easy for consumers to integrate as a part of their cloud strategies, edge computing trends will offer more value to organizations in the coming years. To summarize, edge computing trends will continue to redefine business operations by offering enhanced data security and controls, better connectivity even when disconnected from the network, and quick insights and actions. If you have any questions related to your upcoming project, we can help! You can go through our success stories here. Frequently Asked Questions How new is edge computing? The origin of edge computing traces back to the 90s, and it lies in content delivery networks. The primary job of these networks was to serve video and web content from edge servers that are deployed within the facility. What is edge computing used for? Edge computing is used for a wide variety of applications, services, and products. For example, Medical monitoring devices for real-time responses Self-driving cars for real-time reactions Video conferencing for decreasing lag and latency More efficient caching Is edge computing the future? Several researchers estimate that the edge computing trends are proliferating at around 30% of the compound annual growth rate. The edge computing industry is expected to reach more than $7 billion in the next five years. Many businesses have already begun to prepare for the technology change that will take place because of the current and future edge computing trends. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How new is edge computing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The origin of edge computing traces back to the 90s, and it lies in content delivery networks. The primary job of these networks was to serve video and web content from edge servers that are deployed within the facility." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is edge computing used for?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Edge computing is used for a wide variety of applications, services, and products. 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Spotlight

Verrex

Since 1947 companies have leveraged Verrex’s extensive experience integrating and supporting audio visual systems with a superior approach to project execution that has clear advantages to clients. As an InfoComm APEx-certified integrator, Verrex’s design/build portfolio delivers best-in-class video conferencing, presentation, and collaboration solutions.

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