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COVID-19 Impact on Remote Working and will it pave the way for more Software Outsourcing engagements?

Welcome to 2020 where COVID-19 has forced many companies around the world to setup for remote working within a truly short period of time. Early this year many organizations started to setup their teams to be able to WFH (work from home) to make ongoing business operations sustainable for what they expected to be a short period for time, however business leaders soon realized this was going to be a long term need, or at least something that could be coming and going in waves for which quick fix was not going to be viable. Many businesses called upon internal and outsourced IT providers to establish cloud systems and cyber security solutions that would allow them to operate safely within WFH environments, indefinitely. In addition to this companies like Zoom and Slack saw their user bases grow exponentially as businesses scrambled to put together new ways for their now distributed teams to communicate.  Business travel moved online, sales meetings moved online, technology releases run through video platform, even after work drinks and team events have gone digital! Something many of us could have never fathomed.

Technology is of course the main reason that work from home has been possible. Had this pandemic happened several years earlier we may not have been as well equipped globally to handle such an urgent need for distributed teams and the complexities involved with such a thing, and we may have seen many business struggle to maintain successful operations. But, in this day and age we are fortunate enough to have all the tools we need and many software development companies have also risen to the occasion to quickly delivery tools and platforms to assist with our new working world even further.  What follow on effect does this sudden change bring? In this article we will look at the possible effects on software outsourcing.

Future of Remote Work

With this new norm it is believed that “work from home” may be adopted by many companies in future, in some certain sectors it is even believed it will increase productivity. What we also believe it is going to do is push companies more towards globally distributed teams. Whilst this has been something that we have seen plenty of over the years in Software development, with many offshore software projects and of course BPO (business process outsourcing), it is likely going to open the doors to distributed teams across many other departments and sectors. We are going to see a lot more companies hiring in countries where they have no office or presence. In fact, we are already seeing an increase this year in advertising on jobs boards in Australia from US and UK companies and vice versa. As these new ways of working are trialed and tested, we are likely going to see a lot of success and thus it will become common place in the business word.

Is Remote work Going to Stay?

According to many sources the change of corporate culture towards the work from home is going to change the corporate world. Without any doubt remote work is going to stay. According to Gartner’s CFO Survey  74% of companies plan to “Permanently Shift to More Remote Work Post COVID”.  The main reason is cost, with many companies now realizing they can operate remotely and reduce a significant percentage of overheads doing so. Many C levels also did not have confidence that their teams would operate at the same level when working from home, but the pandemic has taught them that for many, their output is better.

Will more businesses more towards outsourcing and cheaper resource solutions?

There has been an obvious shift in the way in which businesses operate in the Covid era, this has included heavy investment to setup fully integrated networks so teams can access all resources on cloud platforms, heavy IT security systems to protect all staff, business material and IP, and of course the introduction of companywide digital communications platforms and policies for dealing with any and all matters.  What this means for many companies, especially companies like software consultancies and software houses, is that they are now in a position where they can take advantage of more economical resources without the risk and limitations they had previously. They are secure and confident in their systems for remote working, and they are ready to onboard anyone digitally in a way which was for many not possible pre covid-19. They are also more open to multiple time zones, with many of their current local employees requesting to continue their WFH in new states or countries now that being in the office is not essential. As the dust of the pandemic settles in the future we will definitely see more companies taking advantage of outsourced teams, and of course not just for economic reasons but also the ability to quickly bring on more people for projects from almost anywhere. No longer will these businesses be confined to long recruitment processes whilst they search for “a needle in a haystack” as far as the skills available to them locally, they will be able to seek out where in the world the best people with the required skills are and secure offshore solutions.

Is Remote Work Going to Reduce Future Cost of Companies?

Whilst there are many cost advantages for companies choosing to adopt work from home as their new norm and continue with remote teams, many surveys have suggested business leaders still intend to keep office space and always have excellent quality work environments available for their employees should they ever want to come to the office to work. The areas where they are likely to save will be better access to lower cost offshore teams and reduced time and cost of recruitment by being able to source team members globally, and reduced business travel expenses, less office perks such as snacks and catering, and somewhat reduced energy bills. There is also of course a great benefit to employees, where they can now reduce their costs of daily commute, with some online articles even sighting a trend towards relocation to rural areas or outer suburbs offering cheaper rents and property prices now that the employees no longer need to travel regularly to a specific office location.

How Data Visualization Could Improve Customer Acquisition

Customers are the number one priority for almost all businesses. Maintaining existing customers and acquiring new customers are especially important parts of keeping a business profitable. To reach your revenue goals you always need to be looking for new customers and ensuring you can retain current customers, otherwise your business will not sustain.

In this technological era there are lots of ways to gain new customers for any businesses and data visualization is one of the great ways to understand your customers deeply. We know that there are huge amounts of data available globally and this data combined with your own applications data is becoming more valuable day by day.

Nowadays, you don’t have to hire database developers, ETL programmers and BI consultants to understand your data, as there are many different platforms available to help you integrate your datapoints directly, and even setup visualization that anyone in the business can understand. You can use your existing data to study your customer’s desire, who they are, where they came from, where they came to you, their requirements, their psychology as well as using data from others like google and Facebook data to understand age, location, habits of your potential users.

Benefits of Data Visualization

Below we’ve listed down several benefits of data visualization which will help you to develop effective marketing campaigns.

Making Decisions Easier

Undoubtedly data visualization helps you to make decisions around strategies and what to do next. Data visualization will provide you enough information so that you can make decisions based on market movements and user desires. If you have proper data from about your customers, then you can easily setup sales campaigns and remarketing events to make more profit and grow your acquisition rates.

Ideas On New Trends

Data visualization is an efficient way to get ideas about new trends and patterns of businesses. Knowing all the latest trends and patterns will enhance the sustainability of your business.

Provides Clear Insights

This is one of the great benefits of data visualization. Visualized data from a huge set of data can provide an excellent insight which will help you to understand the market as well as the behavior of customers. The insights you will get from data visualization will help you to choose from different data sets for understanding which one to pick.

How Data Visualization Will Help You to Get Customers

Specify The Subject

The very first thing you need to do in data visualization is to choose a subject that will be interesting to people. If you don’t specify or stick to one subject then you might not get the attention of your targeted audience. This way you can create excellent visualized data for further analysis.

Collect Proper Data

Without proper and solid data you won’t be able to gain customers. If the data you are using to get customers is not credible then you may lose the existing customers as well. So, you need to get the data from trusted sources, because data can easily be manipulated. Once you have credible and solid data it will be easier to reach to new customers for your business.

Analyze The Collected Data

Now, you need to properly analyze the data to learn more about the customer’s need, interest, and behavior. By analyzing data in a proper way you will be able to understand the need of your customer and you can build your own strategy to get customers.

Build Efficient Marketing Strategy

This is the most important part of data visualization. Now, with all the data you have collected and analyzed you need to put an efficient marketing campaign or strategy. This marketing strategy will help you to get new customers for your business.

Best Product Management Tools in 2020

Best Product Management Tools in 2020

Product management includes prototyping, road mapping, planning, designing, marketing, as well as deep analysis of analytics and user feedback to continually improve the features and functions of a software application. A product manager needs to constantly oversee the performance of the product using all the above activities to get the best results. To successfully handle all this there are many tools that will help a product manager perform those activities properly without working 20 hours a day to do it.

Before going for any particular product management tools or software you should give considerations to a few things such as your available budget, your company size, number of users/customers or expected number of users/customer, value of each user or customer acquisition, priorities of the product team or stakeholders.

Now, let’s start looking at the best product management tools we have seen in 2020:

  1. Prototyping tools

Prototyping visualizes the actual product and finds out if there is any issue in the product before it is confirmed for mass production. Methods such as MoSCoW stands for must have, should have, could have, and would have which aids in designing and smooth customer experiences. For prototyping in 2020, we suggest proto.io, InVision, Sketch, Axure, etc.

  1. User Tracking and Analysis Tools

These tools give you the knowledge and insight about how the user of your product is interacting with the product and whether they’re facing any issues as well as they’re satisfied with the product or not. In this era of E-commerce user tracking tools such as Amplitude and Pendo can give you real time data about the users and how you can upgrade the product or service.

  1. Road mapping Tools

Having a roadmapping software is mandatory tool for effective product management in 2020. Roadmapping helps to understand the direction, vision, and progress of the product by sharing these data to the team. ProductPlan software is our number one pick right now and comes as a blessing for visual roadmapping in a way that is easily shared with team members and can be understood by people in the business that aren’t involved in software application development teams, project management or product management.

  1. Task management

Task management tools are necessary for every management job but it’s more important for product management as the product manager has to keep track of the development and delivery of product features and also meet product targets. In such situation, JIRA is still the leading and best software to help you meet production targets on time, and get back on track through effective task management, especially for agile software teams.

  1. Survey tools for customers

Customer surveys are one of the most important aspects for modern businesses to success especially in the space of SaaS and similar types of applications. Even eCommerce sites are getting more and more customer focused to the point of running workshops and understanding their users in depth. Surveying customers gives deep insights about the customers pains, demands, and future demands which drastically helps to improve current products. There are many web-based survey tools such as Survey Cake, SurveyMonkey, Typeform, etc. which might be of great help but for us, we prefer to use HotJar because we can really understand the user and align their survey feedback with analytical data collected.

  1. Team messaging tools

It’s crucial to maintain constant communication with the product development team and to have recordings of all communications regarding the development of the product. Cloud based tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord are very helpful in facilitating easy communication and also recording of all communications. For flexibility and all of the available integration possibilities, we are going to say slack is our number one choice still for 2020 in team messaging.

Best Machine Learning Languages in 2020

Best Machine Learning Languages in 2020

Machine learning is a study of data and computing algorithms which can make decisions without being programmed. It is a part of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and we all know that AI has become an important part of our regular lives. We are using AI everywhere from Google search to businesses.

There are several programming languages for machine learning that’s why it is always difficult for newbies to choose one. Choosing programming languages for machine learning hugely depends on the type of project you are going to work on. But, don’t worry if you are confused about the best machine learning languages to learn, we are covering a few ML languages in here to help you out.

Programming Languages for Machine Learning

  1. Python

Python is the best machine learning language to learn in 2020. Almost 57% of developers are using this as a machine learning language. The main reason behind this adaptability of this language as a machine learning language is that it is easy to learn. Most of the data scientists also use this language. It has a wide range of libraries for different sectors which is also another great reason for the wide use of this language.

If you want to enter into the world of machine learning then you should start with Python. Python has a rich library that includes Keras, scikit-learn, Teano, SparkMLlib, MXNET, TensorFlow, and PyTorch which can be used for artificial intelligence, deep learning NLP, machine learning, and many more.

Almost all the machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms can be implemented using this language. The syntaxes of Python are the easiest syntaxes than any other programing language.

  1. Java

Almost everyone knows the name of this language, even the non-tech people may also have heard the name. Java has been in the market for a long time and it is still reigning over many other programming languages. After Python, it is the most used machine learning language. Whenever it comes to the cyber security related machine learning programs Java is more effective than Python.

Java is quite an easy language that comes with several features such as GUI, easy debugging procedure, organized, and simplicity during big projects. It is one of the most secured languages because it uses sandboxes and bytecode. Most of the machine learning algorithms, both early versions, and the more recent ones are coded with Java.

  1. R

R was developed by Robert Gentle man and Ross Ihaka in 1995 and it is now controlled by the Development Core Team of R. It is a graphical language that is used in the several sectors of machine learning such as analysis, visualizations, and statistical computing. Some tech giants such as Google and Facebook use this language for data analysis, and it is also very popular in the Bio space. R is making a name for itself in this space for research papers in particular that have the inclusion of artifacts.

  1. JavaScript

This is the most used language for web development, and it is also used in machine learning to implement the ML algorithms in web platforms.

JavaScript is a dynamic, object-oriented, and high-level programming language that is in the market for a long time. Using this language, machine learning can easily be implemented into a web browser. It is also used in mobile applications, gaming, and other sectors that require an interface to run.

Conclusion:

Python is by far the leader if your machine learning project is more than just a one-off and you intend to continue adding new features and functionality.

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