Technology services

Five reasons why software outsourcing is still alive

Software outsourcing is still alive and even more relevant today than ever before. Competition has increased and customers demand better goods and services to be supplied faster and cheaper, a primary factor contributing to the same. Strategically then, it makes sense to do what you do best and take the services of those who can do the other functions better than you. This is especially the case with software development.

Another key causation is that outsourcing gives you more options and allows you to compare between service providers to identify the one that is best suited to partner with you. Having a wide range of options allows your organization to have the upper hand while negotiating for your specific requirements.

The third one would be development is a time consuming and complex process which can eat into your time and bottom-line, if not properly managed. There are companies that have become highly efficient in the process and can achieve results at a fraction of the costs you may require. Partnering with them can ensure that you remain profitable.

The fourth reason is that expertise is hard to find and increasingly unaffordable in many parts of the developed world. This is why top companies seek out partners in countries like India or Philippines where obtaining and managing human resources is affordable. This is evident from the statistics within the last decade. 57% of companies increased the use of outsourcing. 46% of companies have cited their top reason for outsourcing to be the need to reduce operating costs with 12% desiring to access world class capabilities. It is also estimated that 300,000 positions are outsourced annually.

Now, the final causation is the achievability of overall objectives. Software development once outsourced, frees up organizational resources which then can be focused on ensuring effectiveness in the other areas of goal fulfilment.

How ERP is a Technical Aid to the Seafood Industry

The sea food industry can attract quite a few benefits if it has a right approach to the needful technology. The advantages of adopting ERP software application in the sea food production sector extends to both traceability and cost curtailing.

The implementation of software system in the industry can make the entire procedure of sea food processing more reliable and effective. Each phase of sea-food processing, from catching fishes from the water bodies to its distribution, customized ERP solutions, can help keep track of the exact quantity, quality and all other necessary details. Unlike the past, the storage of sea-food products, its primary grading and similar aspects go through several accountable procedures with the help of software applications. The application can also help notify the next required step to be taken like cutting, cleaning or preserving till the ultimate delivery of the products.

The long run needs of the seafood industry can be sorted with customized ERP software. Each department within the company, when linked to the application, provides consistency and traceability. For instance, as the vendor managing department updates the status of the primary and secondary products in real time, product tracking is made easier and therefore reduces wastage.

Another key feature that ERP solution offers is the optimal use of resources and progressing sales and marketing procedures in the industry. It also keeps an account of all the articles and books related to revenue and sales. The ERP solution simplifies the production management in seafood companies as it replaces the disorganized paper works with a well-organized application, making it cost-effective as it depends less on resources.

SBL bespoke solutions offers an ERP architecture that can be customized according to the industrial needs. ERP solutions help in refining the quality and utility of the resources involved, assuring to reduce production cost. It improvises the work efficacy, hence augmenting profits for the industry.

Offshoring to India-a reality check!

Offshoring is an excellent way to lower operating expense and boost productivity levels. But there are certain challenges that need to be addressed before jumping on the off shoring bandwagon. The first question to ask is, whether the cost savings projected are based on reality or is it just a myth? While operating costs can certainly be lesser else where, you need to look at quality and feasibility. In India the labor costs are 30-50% lesser for software services as compared to US and Europe. The cost savings does not affect the quality of work as expected in usual off shoring scenarios. In fact, there are numerous offshore software development companies that are CMMI level 5 certified and ISO 9001 certified. Combine this with the continuously improving infrastructure along with top notch connectivity capabilities and you have the recipe for a successful offshore partnership.

Offshore software development and IT services is one of the fastest growing sectors here. The primary reason for this is the availability of a large pool of qualified professionals who have exposure to the international work ethic. In terms of project management too, the customer satisfaction levels with projects and its overall management is higher for ones executed in India. Whether it be the quality of delivery or the meeting of delivery commitments, Indian companies show a greater success ratio. One of the reasons could be that better project management models like Agile, XPM etc. is actively utilized for project management. India also boasts of an ecosystem of service providers who can handle mega projects as well as domain specific niche services. The plethora of benefits offered by India is currently unmatched and will remain so for the coming years.

Why IT enabled Automation is on track?

With businesses becoming more complex , the IT staff is subjected to increasing management challenges. Technology vendors offer a proficient method as an effective way to solve this problem through automation.
Unlike the initial method that demands human effort, this alternative enables all the mundane and repetitive tasks to be done with the use of control processors. It consequently cuts down the operational staff cost as it eliminates human intervention.

For instance, manually updating security tools of every single machine in the organization was a periodic tiresome work done by IT admins before the invention of automation. The burden on IT admins reduced significantly as the updates can now be automated. The possibility of errors to occur has also reduced because the automated actions are performed identically, leaving no room for mistakes. This method assures reliable and predictable results and is coupled with the advantage of saving time.

One of the additional benefit of automation is job scheduling. Once the work is scheduled, automation executes it meticulously in the correct sequence, parallel to any other work that’s currently being done. This procedure of multitasking will expedite business processes and hence increase productivity of the organization. Automation plays a key role in implementing superior strategy as the key metrics can be recorded, based on which long-term development plans can be made. Adding to the competitive advantages, IT enabled automation offers well-grounded services and gains customer satisfaction.

When IT enabled automation is tailored according to the organization’s need, it ends up saving time on management processes assuring a reliable, productive and impeccable end results.

Security in IOT

IOT is definitely the grand future of technology. The fantasy of having your appliances and devices connected making them ‘smart’ has now become a reality. But at what cost? Imagine your appliances and devices, all constantly receiving and sending data and connected to the worldwide web. Doesn’t that also open them up to security infringements and hacks to anyone in the cyber world? Human faults and laxity can be misused by a skilled infiltrator to gain access to the networks and do as they please. We humans are usually careless and ignore the need for constant vigilance in the monitoring of networks. For a skilled infiltrator, it is quite easy to crack passwords, use network sniffers to analyze network traffic and even launch methods like man–in the middle (MITM) to attacks, Address resolution Protocol (ARP) manipulations etc. A weak module anywhere within the network can throw the network wide open for access for anyone from anywhere.

IOT poses a greater challenge than traditional networks as there are umpteen number of communication protocols and standards as well as varying device capabilities. The continued evolution of IOT will create increasing complexity of the networks as the security systems and standards need time to mature to cope with the expansion. At SBL, we are constantly improving our solutions to match the changing technology demands. The increased convenience provided by IOT should not blind us to the necessity of building capabilities in protecting our networks from hackers and attackers looking to infiltrate and access sensitive data.

Importance of content management system for businesses

Regardless of the size or sector of any business, managing the content has always been an organisation’s priority. However, a manual approach to this has proven to be incompetent as it’s time consuming and expensive.

Alternatively, implementing a content management system (CMS) can expedite business processes and simultaneously reduce staff costs as it doesn’t need programmers or web designers to customize or configure the site. In a CMS, publishing and editing contents doesn’t demand coding effort. It can be done by multiple authorised users, contingently saving time and increasing efficiency. It enhances the search engine ranking of the company as it helps site publishers keep the content fresh and relevant by offering dynamic content extensions like forums, remarks, polls etc. In addition, CMS simplifies the management as it gives an overview of the status of all the contents on its website- whether it’s saved as draft, being reviewed or published. Workflow is one of the core features of the CMS. It ensures that the business supervises the entire content that is going up on its website.

Furthermore, it gains visitor satisfaction as they can instantly find the required content more easily through search engines. CMS indexes the new content from the engines automatically as the URLs created by CMS are both, search engine and web-user friendly. Simultaneously, it reduces cross-selling efforts as it learns user behavioral and preferences to personalise your site. CMS website is dynamic and database driven, making it an appropriate solution for a business model that generates large amount of data in a short period.

Amazon Web Services: Multiple features and benefits

Moving to the cloud is one of the most logical and sensible migrations for any organization, given the innumerable benefits it offers. From increased efficiency, improved cash flow, flexible bandwidth, zero hardware costs with pay as you go option, automatic software updates, mobile working style, security and leaving no carbon footprints are just a few of the cloud computing advantages.

Amazon, almost a pioneer in the pack introduced its first AWS service and has continuously innovated to offer a comprehensive suite of services and solutions for the cloud.

Storage Services: Cloud storage is integral to cloud computing, holding key information used by applications. Elastic Block Storage (EBS) ensures applications are matched with the right storage capacity, performance and cost. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is a scalable, high-speed, low-cost, web-based cloud storage service. AWS storage services are a great choice and allow organizations to focus on business problems rather than on hardware and storage.

Database Services: AWS offers full suite of database services to fit application requirements. Amazon Relational Database web service provides an easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. Dynamo DB is NOSQL DB which allows storing and retrieving large amounts of data. While the ElastiCache is also a simple option to deploy, operate, and scale an in-memory cache in the cloud that improves performance of web applications.

AWS offers a plethora of compute products that enables organizations to deploy, run and scale their applications as virtual servers, containers or code. EC2 web service provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. Applications can be uploaded and Elastic Beanstalk takes care of capacity provisioning, load balancing, scaling, and application health monitoring. Lambda is a service that is used to run codes for applications without any need to manage a server.

Artificial Intelligence: Provides high quality, high accuracy AI capabilities that include Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Visual Search and Image Recognition, Text-To-Speech (TTS), and Machine Learning (ML) technologies.  

Mobile Services: There is a spectrum of services that AWS offers to develop mobile apps that can scale to cater to large number of users.

Increasingly, both small and big organizations are embracing AWS owing to compelling features such as, pricing, performance, speed, security and flexibility. At SBL, we have integrated different AWS services for British Army Ancestors project and have sufficient expertise in performing such migrations.

Minimize Risk and Maximize Resources through Staff Augmentation

The success and growth of an organization fully depends on quality and timely delivery that matches the client specifications. However, not always do organizations have the necessary skilled resources to cater to client needs. And to hire and train specifically for such client requirements proves to be an expensive and uncertain option. This is when organizations turn to staff augmentation companies which prove to be a flexible and dependable solution to ramp up and down the resources based on project needs.

Some of the tangible benefits organizations experience through the staff augmentation services is: It allows them to monitor resources and track progress of a project regularly and it is also much easier to align resources to existing business processes. Importantly, two key aspects of the IT staff augmentation services is that the ready availability to skilled resources in niche technologies, and the doing away with the cost involved in skill development of existing resources.

These employees are unbiased and task centric, and the employer has the option of cancelling the contract as soon as the client deliverables are met with. Also, the employer is worry free, as no longer do they need to be recruiting employees and providing training for them in client specific technologies.

Staffing solutions are ideally suited for both short and long term and on and off site projects. SBL offers proven staff augmentation solutions that address all areas of a project development lifecycle. We reduce the cost by 50% and hiring time by 30%

Progressive Web App: Bridging the gap between Mobile Apps and Websites

With its effortless ease of development and seamless user experience the Progressive Web App (PWA) is winning hearts world over. PWA promises the functionalities and delivers a superior performance than its popular siblings – Web and Mobile Apps. The importance of PWA lies in the cost effectiveness of the development of the app and its updates.  However, the user acceptance factor remains uncertain as most of the common apps are still traditional.

Businesses benefit significantly due to PWA’s ability to provide improved visitor engagement, customer retention and of course higher conversion rates. PWA decreases page load times, bounce rate and thereby tackles customer churn which organizations worry about constantly.

Users who pay for Internet based on data usage leverage the offline functionality to their benefit. PWA’s familiar look and feel of an app gets them started easily with simultaneous access to complete web functionalities. They are able access PWAs through URLs with search engine retrieval.

Developers stand to gain as they bypass the cumbersome process of Appstore submission process and not bother about device compatibility and screen sizes, as PWA is browser compatible and responsive. Availability to cache and push API aids developers to create web apps on home screen, receive push notifications and work offline.

SBL’s smartCONF is a comprehensive event and conference management progressive web application. With smartCONF users can manage tasks and activities related to the event, host event presentations to delegates and also search and find events related information.

With the power of modern web, PWAs will be the gamechanger in the new mobile environment and will be the answer to the next generation of users.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of things (IOT) & Automation: Transforming Lives

Three of the most startling technological advancements are transforming our lives in more ways than one. Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things are converging to impact every aspect of our lives sending out clear signals to change the way we think and operate. If liberalization and computerization was the rage just a few decades back, these technology trends of today are driving sweeping changes across industries.

Automation driven by Artificial Intelligence has replaced some of the routine tasks much more efficiently than human beings. It is ready to take up more jobs in the future forcing people to rethink their career prospects. Yes, robots are here to stay. It is evident that automation has raised standards of living, increased literacy rates, lengthened life span and reduces crime rates. Software automation is another interesting dimension which heralds new technology related jobs as well.

Internet of Things (IoT) produces hordes of data, not just volumes, but useful data that can perform a range of activities. From saving cities from disasters and crimes, creating smart homes with connected appliances, offering key medical insights to medical practitioners and enabling communication between self-driving cars the scope of IoT is burgeoning.

Retailers are also getting onto the bandwagon of these three techno shifts to increase sales and attract consumers. They are moving away from traditional brick and mortar stores to online ways of selling and e-commerce platforms.  

While these trends have been around for a while they have never been so powerful or as ubiquitous as now. Interesting dimensions and possibilities are bound to increase in the days to come and impact our lives for the better.