Category Archives: Technology

3 Tech Trends that Will Make Waves in 2019

business people using a tablet

Technology continues to grow at lightning speed. Innovations in both software and hardware are popping up every day. We’re now using products that we never thought were useful 10 years ago. The years 2017 and 2018 saw the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now, AI assists the latest computers and phones.  With innovations like these applied to mainstream technology throughout just two years, it’s exciting to see what 2019 has to offer.

5G Connection

“Fifth Generation” or 5G connection is predicted to become mainstream this 2019. This upgrade is a big jump from its predecessor, the 4G LTE, with its much faster speed and improved connection quality. The fastest 4G LTE network back in 2018 was T-Mobile, boasting of average download speeds of 19.42 Mbps. 5G’s initial tests, on the other hand, show median speeds of about 1.4 Gbps – a huge leap from what we have today. All the more reason for IT practitioners to upgrade their knowledge and get network+ n10 007 certified.

5G also promises to reduce latency to as low as 1 millisecond, which is great for self-driving cars that need real-time updates over the internet. The fifth generation also boasts better-optimized connections, allowing more people to connect to a cell tower without any loss in speed. With this type of connection, the promise of being “always connected” will be a reality before we know it.

Better Digital Immersion

people using computers

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are popular for their gaming applications. We’ve seen AR’s capabilities in games like Pokemon Go, wherein a digital creature looks like it’s living in the real world. VR had immersive first-person perspective games like Skyrim, which transported the user to a fantastical reality.

Both experiences created an immersive digital reality which even the advertising and manufacturing industries are testing. Ikea, for example, created an AR app that users can use to check how furniture pieces would look like inside their house before they buy them. It’s interesting to see what would happen when AR and VR are combined and how this mix will support businesses.

The Rise of the Digital Twin

Digital Twins are 3D rendered replicas of real things. They can be simulated to perform the way the real physical object would work. This concept has been used for over 30 years now with computer-aided design (CAD) models. NASA has long been using this technology to run aircraft and spacecraft simulations.

Digital Twins can help mostly manufacturing companies because of their potential to predict problems within a product before the product is made. For example, a boat engine twin can be simulated to run in different types of currents to see the challenges it may face at sea. This ability to see possible issues and improve upon them will save companies a lot of time, effort, and money. Industry experts predict that 2019 will see more digital twins go mainstream, with blazing fast internet speeds and faster hardware being more accessible.

The trends of 2019 are leaning towards efficiency and accessibility. As current technologies advance, they also become more available for the public to consume and improve. It shows with VR, AR, and Digital Twins, which used to be exclusive only to governments, universities, and tech companies that have the computing power to sustain them. The rise of 5G only accelerates this by providing everyone with better connectivity, allowing better access to information and the operation of devices wirelessly. The future is now.

How Much is the Cost of a Speeding Ticket in the U.S.?

Speeding Ticket Cost in the U.S.Speeding tickets in the U.S. usually cost $150 on average, but violators in some states may even pay more than $2,400 in penalties aside from jail time.

The number of issued tickets also vary among states, although law enforcement in different parts of the country uses a high-tech police radar gun and other tools to catch speeding violators.

Expensive States

If you plan to drive cross-country, it pays to know the applicable fines and penalties for speeding drivers. In Nevada, for instance, violators could pay up to $1,000 on their first offense. Those in Georgia could also pay the same amount.

Repeated offenses could possibly result in jail time from six months to a year. However, note that some states such as Virginia are particularly strict on offenders that the law could easily place violators in jail even if it’s their first time. States with costly fines are usually where issuing speeding tickets are common. If you live in a place with expensive fines, remember that having a speed ticket could lead to higher insurance premiums.

Drivers’ Survey

Most drivers will complain about receiving a ticket, especially in a state where fines are steep, yet a survey showed that they recognize their mistake, according to a 2015 survey. The poll showed that 91% of the respondents admitted that police officers had a valid reason for pulling them over on the side of the road.

A traffic stop becomes legitimate among 95% of the respondents only if the police officer provides a reason. Otherwise, 37% of the respondents believe that there is no valid excuse for flagging them down.

Law enforcement groups should not just rely on hefty fines to deter motorists from going over the speed limit. Proper implementation of traffic laws requires special tools for a fair and reasonable judgment.

Making Technology Work for SMEs

Woman checking her phoneEntrepreneurs know that promoting your products and services is an investment. The more you let other people know about your business, the more chances you have at selling them.

With the development of mobile apps for IOS and android platforms, you have more options on marketing your products or services. Online sites like Amazon and Shopee provide a convenient way for consumers to buy products using your smartphone. Find what is right for your business and follow these marketing tips:

USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media has been a useful tool in the business world. Most entrepreneurs choose online marketing because it is more effective and affordable. You can reach a broader customer base from all over the world. Doing so could help you cut off expenses in rentals and some supplies.

Here are the most influential social media sites most entrepreneurs use:

1. Facebook – A Facebook page allows businesses to create followers and inform them of any sales, discounts, and events. Choose the right images, boost yout posts, and always engage your followers.

2. Twitter – This platform helps to keep your brand trending online. Use hashtags and unique posts to engage your followers and inform them of any important updates about your products.

3. YouTube – Creating a page would require you to put your videos online. You need content to be interesting to engage your audience and make it viral.

FOCUS ON YOUR MARKET

The significant part of the marketing plan is defining your target market.  You must do extensive research on consumer spending habits in your industry. What problems do they have that need a solution?  If there are competitors, you have to provide a solution that is accessible and easy to use. A mobile app that provides easy access to your services or brand puts you a step forward.

LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Get feedback from your audience and ask their opinion on what needs to improve or change. This way, you know the best way to develop your products and services to maintain your hold on the market.

Using the latest technology can help you maintain the connections with your prospects, customers, and colleagues. Engage them with constant updates, sale offers, and discounts so they will remain interested and invested in your business.

Is Your Internet Connection Lightning-Fast Yet Susceptible to Cyber Attacks?

Network cable for serversSingaporeans should not just use high-speed Internet without thinking about their online safety. Most users tend to consider fast connections, yet the reality is they are the weakest links in cybersecurity.

Very-small aperture terminal (VSAT) systems could be a solution to this. Satellite Internet secures your connection more efficiently whilst ensuring the availability of high-speed connections at the same time.

Convenient and Risky

Convenience serves as the primary cause for many users’ failure to adopt the ideal cybersecurity practices. For instance, people are more at risk of exposing themselves if they only use one password for all their bank, credit card, social media and email accounts. This makes it easier for hackers, as they prey on this common practice among unsuspecting individuals.

From a business standpoint, poor safety habits among end users likewise affect Singaporean companies. Hackers typically use email to gain unauthorised access to a computer system, so your corporate policy should only consider allowing text-only, HTML-disabled emails and domain name server lookups. That is because questionable emails often contain malicious links. All it takes is one unsuspecting employee’s click of the button to compromise your network.

National Security

Cybersecurity becomes more necessary when it involves national security as well. A report estimated that around 40,000 cases of cyber-attacks happened in Singapore between June 11 and 12 when U.S. President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Most of the attacks focused on VoIP phones and devices that use the Internet of Things (IoT), especially those that were vulnerable. That said, using a secure Internet connection becomes more relevant either on a corporate or government perspective.

Cyber-attacks become more complex each day, so it is important that you observe best practices on digital safety. While companies and other institutions are more at risk of online threats, it does not mean end users are not vulnerable.

Report: AI Technology in Construction to Reach $1.83B in 2023

Robotic hand accessing laptopArtificial technology will continue to have a larger footprint in the construction sector, as evidenced by more investments and projects in the next five years.

This would be one of the trends for 2018, when companies that explore the viability of AI technology will be rewarded in terms of better productivity and safety. Sustainability will also be another key trend, whether it involves the use of flat-rolled steel sheets or any other related material on an eco-friendly perspective.

A Bigger Role

A report by MarketsandMarkets showed that AI technology in construction would increase up to $1.83 billion by 2023, from the $407.2 million in this year. The residential segment will have the most exposure to AI growth during the forecast period due to an increasing demand for homes. Heavy construction and commercial projects are other industry sectors where AI will be beneficial.

Some benefits of using AI include shorter timelines for construction work and reduced expenses, which then improves the chances of gaining a higher return on investment. By region, the construction industry in North America will still account for the biggest investments in AI technology.

Construction Trends

Aside from AI, other forms of innovative technology include the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) with virtual and augmented reality. For instance, some companies have already invested in virtual simulations of work environments to train construction workers.

Technology that also looks out for the environment will continue to gain traction in 2018. From net-zero buildings to recycling construction waste, these ecological initiatives focus on conserving natural resources. In the U.S. alone, the spate of natural disasters led the industry to think of ways on how to improve structures with sustainability in mind.

Construction companies should explore the possibility of investing in AI technology to stay relevant and keep up with the competition. If sustainability is your focus this year, consider sourcing your products from processing and service centers that are mindful of their impact on the environment.

Digital Analytics and E-Commerce: The Perfect Partnership

e-commerce website with the word retail on a computer screenThe development of technology today has brought amazing breakthroughs in different parts of the business sector. Many industries have been using analytics to predict movie success, monitor the activity of the financial market, and create the perfect product based on customer insights and behaviors.

The e-commerce industry is one that’s been reaping most of the benefits of digital analytics as it uses customer behavior to offer products that best match a customer’s profile. Here’s a brief look at e-commerce and analytics and how they make the perfect partnership that aids consumerism.

E-commerce

You can consider any commercial transaction online part of e-commerce. The terms online shopping, electronic payments, and internet banking are all part of it. Just imagine a shopping mall, that’s cramped into your device – that’s it.

Digital Analytics

By definition, analytics is the computational systematic analysis of statistics and data. If you collect the data and statistics from websites and mobile apps, then it’s called digital analytics.

This data is gathered, measured, visualized, and interpreted to reach a specific goal and to improve the performance of website processes.

It helps online businesses improve customer experience through their websites and mobile apps and aids in their marketing efforts as well.

Their Marriage

When e-commerce businesses use digital analytics, it offers solutions to these three major areas.

  1. Revenue and Engagement – It improves how customers engage with the business resulting in an increase in revenue.
  2. Promotions – It helps run promotions that are targeted more for your customers.
  3. Pricing – It optimizes your pricing strategies to maximize your profits.

Digital analytics is crucial to the success of e-commerce today, and you should not neglect it. It may be a long process of collecting, measuring and analyzing data, but the results will always tell you what to improve in your process and help you get the ROI you’ve always dreamed of having.

SaaS Renewals: 3 Things to Remember to Become Successful

Saas on a laptopOne of the critical areas in managing software as a service (SaaS) for business-to-business (B2B) enterprises is making sure that clients will renew the services that you sold to them. Ideally, every renewal should be an engagement that you should work out and close in as if it were a new sale. It’s only by doing so that you begin to realize the effects of SaaS. It could help you experience rapid growth from a scale’s and traction to a stakeholders’ point of view.

You, however, should not be oblivious of the fact that customer acquisition demands massive investment in the right strategies. With that, you can tell how proper management of SaaS renewals is the key, especially since this is where most of your profit lies. Do you know what will it cost you to realize a successful SaaS renewal rate?

Map Out a Process

You probably have not considered it yet, but mapping a well-thought process is critical when it comes to managing every SaaS renewal. It can help you know when to contact customers and what to cover in that conversation.

Limit Sales Involvement

While sales are important, it’s also important if you limit your participation in sales. Instead, invest more in caring for existing customers on a daily basis.

CRM Integration

Integrate this process into your customer relationship management software for seamless and intelligent tracking of every SaaS renewal. SaaS management experts advise that you should not settle for a churn rate of less than 5%. Doing so will mean that you might lose about 46% of customers annually. That will be a loss of revenue as well as wasted capital in customer acquisition if you don’t take this seriously.

It’s understandable that managing SaaS renewals, especially for B2B products, can be challenging. With the help of an expert, however, you better keep a smart check with better training and enhanced user experience.

 

The Placebo Effect of Lift Buttons

Open elevator Have you ever pressed the up button on a lift, but it wasn’t coming fast enough, so you pressed the button a few more times in the hope that it sped up its arrival? Despite what your brain is telling you, pressing the call button over and over again to make the life come faster doesn’t work.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the lift is faulty. Professionally-made lifts like those from Vertrans Lift Surveys & Certification Ltd prioritises the safety of passengers over anything else, and the placebo effect of lift buttons can help ensure it.

The Truth about the Call and Door Close Button

Once you press the call button on the lift, the lift’s controllers register the command and proceed to go to your floor. If you press the call button again, however, it doesn’t trigger a mechanism to make the lift arrive faster.

The close door buttons inside the lifts do not always work, either. It can be due to different reasons: the doors could be set on a time delay to close after five seconds, broken, or disconnected.

Doors Must Stay Open Long Enough for Disabled Passengers

Lifts don’t have functioning close buttons to ensure the safety of disabled passengers. Doors must stay open long enough for anyone who uses a cane, a wheelchair or crutches to safely get on, after all.

The Illusion of Control has Therapeutic Effects

Experts agree that the minor sense of control people experience when they hit the buttons on lifts and cross walks that don’t have definite functions is mildly therapeutic. The Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer states that the perceived control is very important since it diminishes stress and promotes one’s mental well-being. The concept of a placebo is so effective that evidence shows that it still works even when you know you’re getting a placebo.

Buttons on lifts are not entirely useless; they just have to follow some guidelines to ensure the safety of all its passengers.

Advantages of Moving Your Business to the Cloud

Cloud Service ApplicationsMore and more businesses are reaping the benefits of moving their business to the clouds, meaning to the Cloud-based storage such as LoadSpring. If you are still using land-based storage systems for your business, here are some of the benefits you might be missing out on.

It helps your business recover faster from natural disasters

Every business needs to have a business continuity plan in cases of natural disasters such as floods, typhoons and more. In a 2015 report, companies in North America end up losing up to $700 billion annually due to IT outages.

This number already includes the 78 percent loss that stems from employee productivity. If your storage is up in the Cloud, an outsource team can quickly take over operations faster. This means minimizing company losses and limiting the effects on business operations.

It helps improve collaboration and productivity

If you have offices around the world, it makes sense to move your storage up in the Cloud to foster faster and easier collaboration among teams.

The ability to get information from anywhere in the world also improve productivity, especially nowadays when flexible work schedules are the most sought-after employee benefits people look for more than healthcare packages.

It helps improve your security

Companies end up losing more money because of lost laptops, not only because of the value of the equipment but because of the value of the files in notebooks as well as the temporary loss of employee productivity.

Most companies require a stringent process when employees lose a work laptop so it takes a while before they can get back to full capacity. But if the files are in the Cloud, companies are more at ease about the security of work documents.

Cloud computing also allows your IT team to wipe the data remotely on the lost laptop.

Consider these benefits and move your business storage in the Cloud. Keep your data safe and secured and help lower the risk of data theft with Cloud computing.

Smart UX Design: A Must-Use for Exemplary Browsing Experience

Website Accessibility on Laptop, Cellphone, and TabletIn the web design industry, it is possible for website owners to encounter acronyms they aren’t familiar with. For example, what does it mean when a user talks about the impressive ‘UX’ of a product? Knowing what the term stands for is important, especially before searching for web design services in Raleigh.

User experience design, or UX, is the process of creating a positive user experience for a company’s website or mobile app. Some if its key features include intuitive functionality, easy-to-use navigation, and compelling content presentation. While the discipline isn’t entirely new, it is becoming more and more important, what with the proliferation of smartphone web browsing.

A Customer-Centric Approach to Website Design

Nothing stays constant in the digital world, as users demand better devices and developers compete to present the latest innovation first. One way business owners can keep up with the changing needs of their clients is to employ a customer-centric approach, something that UX design focuses on.

Responsive UX design is unique because it merges the different features of a website for a better user experience: interface, graphical and industrial design, and navigation. In fact, smart UX design is beneficial on both ends as it provides website owners with several benefits:

  • An efficient design process – UX design encourages people to work together to deliver maximum and functional website features.
  • Increases customer loyalty – Users that are happy with their browsing experience are likely to become loyal customers who would recommend the brand to others.
  • Reduces costs and usability issues – Using the right set of features right from the start minimizes costly errors and mistakes that could occur in the future.

Giving Users Freedom over the Browsing Experience

Woman Doing Research on a WebsiteAn important facet of UX design is to give customers more freedom while surfing. When something unexpected appears on the screen, it takes away a user’s control and in turn, lowers their trust for the brand and affects conversion rates. Websites that automatically play videos and send out push notifications, for instance, would translate to a negative user experience. Using a sales approach won’t bring up rates, but an approach that makes users feel like they have freedom over their own choices will.

Taking Note of the F-Pattern when Browsing

A study by Nielsen reports that customers tend to browse pages in an F-Pattern: they notice the upper left corner of a page first and then scan horizontally until they find something interesting. Understanding the F-Pattern is essential for those seeking to improve website design, as it allows business owners and designers to place strong elements and the latest offers at the top of the web page.

Keep the Number of Options to a Minimum

Getting more visitors to stay on a web page relies on understanding how Hick’s Law works. The law states that increasing the number of options available also ramps up the time it makes for users to reach a decision. In the web design context, applying the law could work by limiting the links in the navigation bar.

Moreover, opting for a unique user journey may be an effective way to increase conversion rates. Try showing returning users a different version of the website by personalizing what appears on their screen, depending on their interests. Showing the best deals on products may also work in a website owner’s favor, instead of having everything on the page.

Smart UX design celebrates a minimalist approach to website design: cutting out the non-essentials and providing users with relevant, personalized content. The approach works best for customers and website owners alike as it keeps things precise and simple while packing a powerful punch.