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                  In the midst of technological advancement and a drastically changing economy, even IT resources have been growing and expanding. Companies in need of business solutions are now provided with a lot of options available in the market. From traditional mechanisms and the use of desktop applications for business, the onset of the Internet has changed how businesses operate. 

One of these notable changes is the use of web-based applications and “Cloud Computing”. Corporations and even small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are now interested into systems and services launched via “the cloud”. But what’s with this cloud computing, anyway?

According to Vangie Beal (2016) cloud computing is a kind of Internet based-computing that involves sharing of resources rather than owning a local server or application.  This is anchored on what we normally call as “the cloud” which is a metaphor for the Internet. It run applications for storing data or delivering certain services online. (Webopedia,2016)

Undeniably, growing businesses like SMEs are slowly creating the shift to business cloud solutions. Here are some of the top reasons why cloud computing is perfect for SMEs.

  • Cost & Time-saver

              If you are an SME owner, cloud computing can be a best investment for it can help in cost reduction. In the long run as your business grows, business processes might be complex and the amount of your data would be increasing as well as your customers. Thus, it is wise to venture into cloud computing which can help you support our growing needs.

Yes, instead of buying a lot of hardware like servers, why not use “the cloud” which gives you a more flexible and justifiable cost?  This is far cheaper rather than purchasing a lot of hardware and software which also need manpower for installing and running the application on every computer. Take note, the maintenance cost would also increase since you need to update it every now then. Cloud computing providers can do the work for you, they can manage the license, update and support your needs.

  • Accessibility & Flexibility

                  Since cloud computing runs via the Internet, most of its applications can run smoothly on different devices.  For SMEs nowadays, most of the marketing strategies and even transactions are done online. With e-commerce launched on cloud computing, you can ensure that you always have your data and the list of your clients without the hassle of going back to your office just to run your business. It is accessible anytime and anywhere as long as you have Internet connection. This gives businesses an avenue to be flexible and productive since your data and business transactions are easy to access and always available.

  • Speed & Performance

           What makes cloud computing so great is the idea that in just a click, you can now easily access or do the transaction that you want. This elicits faster communication and performance for businesses. Email, web, e-commerce and other services have become easier and convenient via cloud computing. You also don’t need to worry about the upgrading of the application since it is launched with the latest computing hardware.

  • Storage and Back-up

           SME owners need not to worry about large amount of data.  Cloud computing is as reliable as it is. Back-up and recovery of files will always be secured via the multiple sites on the cloud’s provider network. This eliminates the hassle of using a hardware or data center which is tedious and timely to manage. Imagine migrating thousands of files and updating such via a local server. With the use of cloud, you can ensure that your data is replicated on a secured site which prevents total data loss.

  • Collaboration and Partnership         

          SMEs with business partners and growing branches can have a competitive advantage over cloud computing. The data and even office processes are now launched online which can forge better marketing strategies and collaboration online. You can work and access the data even if you are in a different branch or location. Employees can upload and share files instantly online.

  • Integration & Security Protocol

          Data integration is so much more organized and fun with the use of cloud computing. Start-up businesses can actually support their back-office operations with online applications or a centralized system launched via the cloud. You can also ensure that your data is protected since cloud computing adheres to strict and high levels of security.

 

        These are just some of the reasons why SMEs should definitely try cloud computing. This gives them the avenue to maximize their business potentials and reach their targets. With the availability of Internet, SMEs can easily launch their businesses easier without buying costly infrastructure and hiring a lot of people. If you want to try how cloud computing works, there are a lot of trials available online which can help you discover more about cloud computing.

Who knows? This might bring you more business success in the long run.

 

 

Reference: Vangie Beal (2016). Cloud Computing Retrieved from:http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/cloud_computing.html

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016 14:14

Should We Go for Desktop or Web-based Applications?

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                 Nowadays, millions of apps are being developed and launched worldwide. It can be anything under the sun from games, fashion, business down to the most compelling skill or office related applications available online or offline. Well, this is not surprising given the rapid advancement of technology and our modern society. People are given the privilege to immerse themselves into a lot of choices, available to support their lifestyle and even their businesses.

But in a myriad of co-existing apps, which is the best way to go? Which is convenient to use? Which is more feasible? Will it be the use of desktop apps or web-based applications?

Given these unceasing questions, let us try to strike a point of balance and analyze both of them.

Desktop and Web-Based Applications

Normally, people are more familiar with desktop applications. Name all of those from Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel up to the stand-alone software that you usually install in your laptop or desktop. These are the computer programs that can run locally on your personal computer. On the other hand, a web application can only run and delivered to a local device via the Internet. Emails and online retail applications are now within your reach with the use of certain web-based applications. Yahoo, Gmail and Skype are the conventional examples of web-based applications.

As years passed, the wonders of web-based applications have also urged developers to make an offline version of certain apps. This justifies the idea that the features of desktop apps are still preferred by some. No wonder why other people are still buying CD-ROM to install their favorite desktop program or game. In this way, they can enjoy its use without connectivity constraints.

Comparing Desktop and Web-based Applications

Choosing between the two kinds of apps is relatively dependent on your purpose and your personal preference. If you are a business owner, the decision will solely depend on your needs and objectives. But here are some important factors and parameters that can help you decide.

  • Usability and Accessibility- Relatively, both kinds of applications are easy to use especially now that we are in the digital age. However, desktop applications can only run on a specific desktop. It means that physical location is a main factor to consider. You can only use the certain application or program on the computer where you installed it. You can’t open it even on your mobile phone. In contrast, this is very different for web-based applications where you can use and access the app anytime and anywhere as long as there is a stable Internet connection. Most of the apps are delivered and run through a web-browser and is not mutually exclusive on a particular device.

 

  • Control and Security- In terms of control, desktop applications are reliable and safe since you have the control over the program or software. Since a desktop application is installed on a particular desktop the risks are smaller as compared to web-based applications where the risks are higher and outgoing threats may occur. In this kind of application, the owner may or may not have direct control over the information since it is run via the Internet.

 

  • Cost- In terms of cost, desktop applications are more on the “one-time payment” scheme. Buy the software and pay for it. Unlike, web-based applications, you have the option to use it for a certain period of time. You also have the chance to upgrade it just in case you still want an improved version of it. The cost and payment scheme is very flexible.

 

  • Maintenance- Web-based applications are preferred by many due to the fact that it eliminates the hassle of maintenance. If you want to upgrade it, you can easily subscribe and pay an additional amount for upgrade and the third party or company who developed it will do the hassle for you. Unlike desktop apps, the maintenance cost might be high which will cost you to buy another version of the software or program. It is highly dependent on hardware requirements so it is not that flexible as compared to web-based applications.

 

  • Audience-Reach and Scalability- Desktop applications are location bound and if you want to share this kind of application you have to install it several times to other computers. On the other hand, web-based applications are Internet-based so as long as you are connected, you can subscribe or install the app that you want online. If you want to share it, you can instantly and directly do it, so that others can see it and download it on their own. This is also the reason why businesses preferred web-based apps due to its wider reach and limitless scope.

These are just some of the parameters and standards that you can use to choose what will work best for you or your business. If you want an application that is exclusive for your use only and available offline, you might want to consider using a desktop application. Meanwhile, if you are more of updates and dynamic features plus convenience and accessibility, web-based apps will do the wonders for you.  Just always remember that the kind of app that you will use should always be anchored upon your personal and business needs. Just feel free to explore different kinds of apps and choose what would interest you at its finest.

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Tuesday, 08 November 2016 11:05

Attaining Efficiency Through Computerization

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         If there’s one thing that business operations seek nowadays, that would be one thing and only one thing… “efficiency”.  Yes, it is! In the vicious cycle of how a business works, efficiency has become the main determinant and driving force in achieving success.

After all, being efficient encapsulates everything!

In this fast-changing world, not only business operations should be fast but even employees are expected to be efficient in performing daily tasks. But what does it really mean to be efficient? Well, this entails doing a lot things over a short period of time, attaining certain business goals and objectives. For some, you are efficient if you’ve accomplished your goals and reached your targets faster and earlier as expected. How can you actually attain efficiency in business?

Actually, there are a lot of ways to attain efficiency in business operations. But one of the most proven and sought after way to do it is through “computerization”.  From the word itself, this entails the use of computers or software programs in controlling, processing or storing your data. It can also be through a computerized system which can facilitate the processing and delivery of your products and services.

Indeed, it is undeniable that “computerization” has been the latest trend in almost every institution and agency worldwide. Almost every business transaction can now be easily facilitated and managed through the use of computers. Here are some the reasons why computerization is the best way to go for your business.

  • Computerization helps in storing and protecting your data.

                 Computer programs, applications and systems can easily store as much information as you want. By using a computerized system, you can easily store information with user level access which can protect confidential information that you want to be secured. Unlike writing all the information manually on paper, this is much easier and convenient for any business enterprise. Formal records and confidential files are now easily and conveniently stored thought computerization.

  • Computerization yields a faster service through automation

                  Computerization yields a faster service as compared to the manual method of doing things. Instead of manually inputting your payroll or sales on a paper, why not have an automated machine which can store your data and can print the reports/receipts that you need.  Moreover, in the manual method, you need a lot of manpower to be able to accomplish a task while in computerization, a workload that a number of employees can do for 5 days can be done by an automated machine for 1 hour or so. Imagine how incredible and fast is that! After all, customers today preferred to avail the services of a business with faster service as compared to the others.

  • Computerization gives you the privilege to access your information anytime and anywhere.

                  One of the most important benefits of computerization is how it helps in accessing information about your business anytime and anywhere. With the use of a computerized system you can now view your data even on your mobile phone or with your laptop. You can also work remotely even if you are not in the office. Communication is much easier and access to information is not limited on your desktop computer alone. Having a computerized system allows you to monitor your data and back track the history of the transactions that transpired in your business even if you are not in the office.

  • Computerization saves more time and money.

                    Software programs or computerized system can help businesses to save more time and money. Instead of manually searching for the client’s records through the stacks of paper in your office why not use a system which can store your customer information? In just a click, you can have access to your data which saves more time. Instead of manually searching through the pile of folders, your employees or even you can do other things. This eliminates idle time on the part of your employees and save the cost of buying a lot papers for your office which may not stand the test of time. After all, having a system is a onetime big time investment that can benefit your business in many ways.  It can be on your operations, marketing, accounting or human resources.                   

  • Computerization allows you to customize, organize and manage your data for your future needs

                   Having a computerized system in your business gives you the avenue to customize it according to your business needs. A reputable software company can allow you to develop a system that will specifically stand for the operations of your business. It can help you to organize and manage your data. It is future proof because, even you- can actually edit the information and update what reports would you be needing in the future. Unlike the manual method, computerization allows you to customize the information and align it to your needs and operations.

  • Computerization gives a high sense of accuracy and reliability.

                    Businesses that deal with a lot of figures or numbers in terms of sales, stocks, taxes and other computations are more likely to rely on a computerized system. This is for the reason that, having a system yields more accurate results. Human errors and other risks can be reduced with the use of a system. It can also give you the report that you need in just a snap.

  • Computerization increases productivity

                   Using a computerized system or software increases the overall productivity of the business and even the employees. This is for the reason that computerization is self-sufficient, it means that it is very easy to use sometimes it can even function without or with minimal human intervention. Biometrics, Ordering System, Scheduling System are a few examples of computerized systems that are helpful for businesses. It can work and run your business even without having an actual person who will manually get and input the orders or schedule your customers. Thus, it also allows you to do other things while the system runs for itself, reaching a lot of customers given a certain period of time.  

 

             These are just some of the reasons justifying how a business can attain efficiency through computerization. After all, technology and computerization will materialize if used well, given the right purpose. Don’t be afraid to try and invest on something that will give your business pragmatic benefits in the long run. Computerization might be the lost key that will fill in the gaps to support your business operations.

 

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016 10:50

Off-the-Shelf Software Vs. Customized Software

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     Are you torn in between off-the-shelf software and customized software? Maybe, confused which of which is the best investment for your business? or Perhaps, what would be the wisest choice in simplifying and automating your business processes? Well, these are just some of the nerve-wracking questions that a business owner may come across with.

Nowadays, growing companies are moving a step forward to conquer far more greater heights in terms of expansion and reaching a wider market sector. This initiative is evident by using aggressive market strategies to equalize the playing field between modern competitors. Hence, given such need to improve and strengthen business operations, the use of IT systems has been the trend for addressing business needs and meeting customer demands and expectations.

Undeniably, the use of software system is prevalent in the market due to its promising and effective results. Thus, how can you necessarily know what is the best way to go for your business? Should you have an off-the-shelf “readymade” software (a kind of software that is already made for a specific need HR, Accounting etc.) or a customized or “tailored” one software to match your needs (a kind software specifically designed for you, to target your business needs)?

In this dilemma, we can look at 5 different pointers to help you in making the decision.

  • Scalability & Scoping

           Off-the-Shelf software are normally limited in terms of scoping and targeting business needs in the long run. For instance, you already have an Accounting Software or a SAP System to do everything for your business, but since it’s a “readymade” type of software, you can’t easily adjust it. It may take a lot of time and effort to build another system under such. Unlike customized software the scalability and use of the software is broader. The software will adjust to your needs and it can even accommodate business growth issues and needs in the long run. Off-the-shelf software features are somehow generic and limited in terms of performance and scope.

  • System Integration & Competitive Advantage

            In terms of this criteria, off-the-shelf software are normally available in the market. Thus, most of its content and features are not editable. Just like “Microsoft Word” you can’t easily change its features if you want it to have a “PowerPoint” like, presentation within it. Just like in SAP, you cannot just integrate a feature or add additional elements on your own. It is possible but it will take a lot of time, cost and effort. Unlike, customized software most of its items are editable and dependent on the set of requirements provided by the company so the reports, information and files can be updated and be changed over time. It is anchored on what the company wants.

In terms of competitive advantage, if you want to drive away from what’s already used by a lot of companies, the best way to go is the “customized software” wherein you are flexible to make the system/software work in line with your business goals. More likely, it will deliver more appropriate results since it is rooted on your needs.

  • Saving More Time and Money

              If we are going to weigh both kinds of software, it is clear that each one is an investment for a business. Off-the-Shelf software are normally paid because of its license which may keep on increasing overtime. One good example is SAP software wherein you need to pay millions just  to have it or a part of it. Unlike customized software, the cost is also high in the beginning but its being “future-proof” can justify the cost. Why? It is because 90-100%, this type of software can handle even your future business needs. Since it is customized, any business can ensure that the software is a perfect fit for their needs. It also helps to save time because even the owner can customize and edit the software system if they want. After production, the customized software and the codes used will be given to the company to whom it is designed for. They have the exclusive right for the ownership of the software.

  • Security

       One of the most alarming issues of today is security. Protection from business threats and hacking is always a priority even in software and systems. Thus, it is a must that if you will consider off-the shelf- software, please make sure that it is licensed. Most of the cheaper version of software available in the market seemed to have predictable features and content that even hackers are already familiar with. SAP and other higher priced software are much more reliable in terms of security. But if you want a unique and mutually exclusive software and content just for you, customized software is the best way to go.

  • Support and Maintenance

As time goes by, customized software is much more advantageous to use for its maintenance cost is decreasing. Once you already have it, customized software are easy to manage and maintain. Unlike, off-the shelf software sometimes you have to renew your license or what not. Some off-the-shelf software are also easy to use and install but may be hard to maintain for its limited features, add-ons might require an additional cost.

These are just some of the pointers that can help you to decide which will work best for you and your interests. If you are having a hard time to decide, which of which, you can also compromise in between.

Some IT companies can create a software system that contains both. It is somehow a mixture of commercial/readymade software which are modified to make it fit for the requirements of a company. What is important is to choose the right people to who will develop the software. I suggest that you can read our previous blog about choosing a good and reputable software company.

At the end of the day it is normally the prerogative of the business owner if they want to have an off-the-shelf software or a customized one. But in terms of profitability and future use, customized software would be a wise investment especially for growing companies or SMEs who might have different and changing needs in the long run. Off-the-shelf software is also good but may have limited features and recommended for multinational companies.

 

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         According to Rick Cook, “Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better-idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to build bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.”

Programming is indeed a breakthrough towards technological advancement. The marvelous works of computers, programs, applications and software have transformed the world. In this race of creating, developing, unfolding and transforming something extraordinary out of the ordinary, how can you actually win?

Well, for a programmer to win, he or she must overcome all the daily struggles of their job to achieve a certain set of goals. They need to embroil and submerge themselves into the nitty-gritty of everything. This includes the entire process of software development plus the agonizing struggles and challenges that may come along the way.

So, you better get ready and brace yourself! Here are some compelling reasons why the struggle is real for programmers.

1). Exhausting Relationship with Coding

                                                                                                   

A programmer must have a certain long-term relationship with coding. It is actually the backbone of any system so you need to to bear the agony of this process no matter how tiring it can be. You must be willing to code and code and code up to the point, wherein you can no longer open your eyes. Coding is never easy and it will consume a lot of your time. Sometimes it feels like its never-ending! It is truly wearisome not just physically but mentally.

2).  Enduring the Hassle of Debugging

 

                                                                        

  The process of debugging is actually the greatest struggle of a developer. This is much more difficult than coding because some bugs are not easy to find and fix. Thus, this is definitely a pain in the ass.

3). Updating and Refactoring Can Kill You Sometimes

    

                                                                                             

       As much as overthinking about the codes and functionalities may stress you out, sometimes updating and refactoring can kill and turn your work into a mess. Yes, imagine those moments wherein you’ve think of another way of doing something and you’ve changed and refactored and deployed it. But in the end, it doesn’t work? Thus, with full of regrets you just decided to start over again and delete everything. How awful and saddening, right?

4). Puzzling Moments of “Why and How” Codes Work

                                                                                               

 Who says that existential questions are not applicable to coding. Indeed, programmers are also faced with a lot of questions especially why a code is not working or how it functions? Maybe, how the problem started or where the error is coming from? You know, mind-boggling questions might actually sprout during the process of development and even testing. Thus, it is really a struggle for any programmer to have a clear grasp of designing and analyzing techniques.

5). Customizing Requires Additional Effort

                                                                                              

     Customizing requires a lot of effort from a programmer especially if you’ve already finished the system or the application itself. Thus, in the beginning of a project it is important to customize the system or program based on the needs of a client or establishment. Plan ahead for the features in need to be customized. Nonetheless, if will be a disaster.

6). Fixing Errors and Understanding Syntax Format

                 

                                                                                                         

     Fixing errors is also a struggle especially for the newbies. Thus, it is important that you are equipped with technical knowledge and skills. Familiarize yourself with basic programming languages and understand the format and syntax upon it. Remember syntax is very important and strict adherence to it must be observed!

7). Ensuring Compatibility of the Software

                                                                                                               

    Compatibility should always be a priority for a programmer or developer. From time to time, it is important to check if the software is compatible with a specific Internet browser or device. Imagine how tiring and time consuming it can be. Checking the security is also an additional factor to be considered.

These are just some of the daily struggles that a programmer of software developer might actually come across with. At the end of the day, nothing comes easy! Every day is a good fight and it is up to you if you’ll take the challenge.

For it is only through these daily struggles, where you can actually see what you are capable of as a programmer. Understanding your struggles might give you a hundred more reasons to love your job and strive harder. Keep on believing and never cease to grow. Now you can finally say that “The struggle is real!”.

 Image Sources:

Image 1 Link: http://giphy.com/search/programmer

Image 2 Link: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php/archive/tellafriend.php?comicid=673

Image 3 Link: http://www.streamoverlaypro.com/development-blog/

Image 4 Link: http://gifsec.com/funny/why-gifs-2/

Image 5 Link: http://giphy.com/search/hard-work

Image 6 Link: https://giphy.com/gifs/3o85xn8b6TuGGTnSOk

Image 7 Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/889302467

 

            

 

                                                                      

              New digital capabilities have changed the world and even how businesses run. Indeed, rapid advancement became an impetus to harness and utilize technology in business management and operations. Technology provided the leeway for companies to adapt and to choose from a sheer range of options available in the market. But with a lot of fishes in the sea or let us say a wide spectrum of software systems, how do you necessarily know what is the right software system for your business? or maybe, what type will actually help you to boost your company’s productivity and profitability?

Hence, there are a lot of mind-boggling questions that may come into your mind when you hear the word “software system.” A software system is just an aspect of an IT system. On a bigger scheme, an IT system is encapsulating not only the software but even the hardware aspect as well. A system includes the database, infrastructure, process, people and security.

But in this article, we will mainly talk about the software system alone. It has interconnected components working together to facilitate the flow of information and inter-process communication.

A software system is vital for business success. It helps in supporting the operations and standard procedures of an enterprise. Everything seems to be easy with the use of software system. Yes, as compared to the manual way of doing things, using an automated system is much more convenient, faster and maybe error-free. With the use of a software system, you can also plan and design a corporate and/or strategy that will coherently help you to achieve certain business goals. A software system is made up of different parts, procedures or modules which is specifically designed to address and target business problems. 

Big corporations or even Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) face a barrel of responsibilities due to the increasing number of clients and even products and services. Actually, this kind of problem is a “good” problem, because it is a testament that your business is growing and expanding! Thus, it is a must that you impose certain mechanisms on how you can deal with such changes and improve your business.

One of these mechanisms is by having a software system which can help you to make efficient operations without compromising the quality of your service and product. Voila! This is where a software system comes into play. But how can you know if it’s the right one for you?  Here are some suggestions.

  • The right software system for your business should always be anchored and customized based on your needs. Yes! your needs will define what kind of software system should you have. And your needs are very unique to your business which is different from what businesses with the similar business model have. You even have to identify the set of issues and problems that you want to address by using such.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Different kinds of software system can address your specific needs. For instance, if your problem is how to streamline your Human Resources and Payroll processes, you can go for a Human Resources Information System (HRIS). If your needs are more of managing customer inquiries and complaints, you can plan on having a Client Management Information System (CMIS). If your need is more of managing the content, you can go on having a Content Management System (CMS). If you want something that will manage your Sales funnel and the financial flow of your company, you may want to have a Sales Management System or Financial Management System. Other software systems are Inventory System, Operational System or an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System.
  • The right software system for your business should serve your purpose, interests and business goals. In other words, the software system should be purposive. It should solve your problems, address your business needs and help you achieve your corporate goals and objectives. For instance, one of your goals is to reduce the number of employees complaining about errors in their tax computation. Thus, as a solution you’ve think of acquiring a Payroll System which will yield accurate data and exhibit computing techniques to be able to achieve your goal. In this way, this can also promote productivity and time management for your employees.
  • The right software system for your business can help you in managing and documenting data. One of the special features of a software system is its capacity to store, process and manage information. Keeping track and monitoring your data is much easier with the use of a software system. Thus, the right one for your business should be able to have this feature to help you in dealing with data management problems and documentation.
  • The right software system for your business can boost your productivity and profit. Any business would want a system that would help them save more time in their operations. Yes, a software system that would complement with your business strategies is a must have. Sometimes business transactions will run smoother and faster with the use of a software system. Nowadays, even banks, offices and media establishments are using such to speed up and manage their company information. Thus, it helps in stimulating productivity and profit.
  • The right software system for your business will leverage your business towards growth. The right software system should be able to support your growth as a business. It should be able to function as tool for improving and supporting your internal and external procedures. Who knows? This software system can pave the way towards your advancement and future expansion.
  • The right software system for your business is a wise investment. If you want the right software system, you should also look for the right people who are capable of making things right for your business. You should also acquire the services of a good and reputable software company if you don’t have an in-house developer, or simply, your in-house developers are not sufficient to address your needs. For this part, our previous article located in the blog section can guide you. After all, deciding to venture with system development has always been an investment. Thus, it is important to look at the cost and the Return of Investment (ROI) that the software system can actually bring your business. It is like investing and sowing right now, then reaping the fruits in the long run. Make sure to make a wise decision, go for the best that will pay you off larger in the future.

These are just some suggestions on how you can find the right software system for your business. Even on your own you can keep on asking several business questions and unravel mechanisms on how to find the right software system for your business. Just remember that the urgency to address certain business needs is also a consideration might as well the cost of production. Go for a software system that will work best for your business!

Image Source: http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/brainstorming_949441.htm

 

Enduring the rigorous process of System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is never that easy and it will never be!  Why? It is because it doesn’t just stop there. As a matter of fact, after the testing phase, you are still one step away into having that dream system of yours.

Do you even know what’s the last phase? Well, it’s no other than the production phase where the real challenge begins!  This stage entails the actual creation or migration of of the system from testing and staging environments based on the standards and specifications identified during the previous stages.

Relatively, this is the real deal before reaping the fruits of your labor. But how can you be sure that you are now 100% prepared to launch that system for production? Have you seen the green light telling you to go on or have you seen that red light or the red flags waving you to stop?

Given such, it is important to remember and consider some things before putting a newly developed system in production environment. Doing such things might help you to avoid poor execution and project failure.

Thus, why not try to do these things before production?

  • Identify and review all the requirements, specifications, resources, people needed before production. 

It is important that all the requirements are clearly defined and the resources are allocated before production. Conducting the testing and staging phase might have given you the idea on what are the issues that may transpire during the actual production. It can give you the edge to review and to plan ahead.

  • Verify the approach to be used and if adheres with the standards, needs and goals of the project

In software development, the model and the approach used to create the project is very vital. Thus, during the testing, the team should be able to verify if they are using the right model and approach. This should be done to avoid huge errors and too much costs during production. Hence, it is wise to know during the testing part if the mechanisms used were efficient and in line with the needs and goals of the business. During the testing, the team can also evaluate if there is still the need to do other approaches if the previous ones which were used were not effective.

  • Conduct thorough testing

Before production, it is important to conduct thorough testing, as much as possible close to the production environment. Every system has its own procedures when it comes to this stage so better follow such and do this seriously and exhaustively. This will be done to prevent and predict issues and threats that may arise during the actual production phase.

  • Fix bugs efficiently 

In creating any system, bugs are also inevitable so the QA team should be able to find the bugs efficiently. Fix and solve it with minimal time and effort. You can also strategize and focus on bugs that needs urgency and may pose bigger threat with the system that you are going to create. Be efficient, focus on issues that are important.

  • Ensure server and system security and its performance

Security is very vital especially if you are using (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS or open source codes. Thus, before production it is important to impose security measures and evaluation on the server and the system itself. This is required especially if the system will be hosted by using the Cloud. Relatively, system performance should also be evaluated at all cost during the testing so that during the production you can assure that optimal performance can be achieved. Performance risks should also be identified.

  • Simulate the testing environment and the data used for the production environment

It is very crucial to produce the same environment that you’ve used during testing including the data or the information. The very purpose of testing is to copy the production environment in order to validate if all the elements work. But before production, it is also necessary to remember that since you’ve already conducted testing, the elements that were efficient during the testing, should be simulated and copied to the production phase. The same pipeline should be used for both phases. 

  • Review the processes for every element of the project and implement Quality Control procedures

The team should be accountable for reviewing and checking every element of the project/ system. They should review every step to ensure that everything is working and every element is compatible with each other. Make sure that you are following your timeline without compromising the quality of your output. You should not put the quality at stake so make realistic deadlines and put your best foot forward.

  • Validate the system/product by running a regression cycle

The process of regression cycle is also known as the final phase to stabilize the system/product. It is presented by using a hierarchy with several branches. Normally, this has components that will make the client/customer to understand the system/product on their own perspective. This gives the team the opportunity to validate and impose some changes if it is deemed necessary. If the system passes all the tests, you can now see that green light which tells you to “Go” and proceed to the production phase.

  • Test if the system works by running a sanity test

In order to test if everything works, a sanity test is conducted. The results matter for it also evaluates if the third-party system works. It can also say if there are compatibility issues. Project success should be seen at this phase.

  • Document, Document and Document

All changes and configurations made from the test environment to the production environment as well as changes to the programs, the databases and any auxiliiary applications should be properly documented.

  • Provide and assign the right people to do the tasks

Choosing and assigning the right people for the development team is integral to attain access. Having the right people with the right skills can help you to avoid pitfalls and failure in developing a system. Just make sure that their tasks are clearly defined and they are designated properly. Sometimes due to the current trends, much more are expected for developers and the QA team. More often than not, they have to break the traditional ways and learn the contemporary methods of software development. 

These are just some of the few considerations that you need to remember before you put that newly developed system in production. These might be some ordinary guidelines for you but you’ll never know, extraordinary results might come out of these!

 

References:

TechBeacon Online Website. (September 29,2016). Retrieved from http://techbeacon.com/10-best-practices-qa-teams-deliver-quality-software-fast

 Image Source: (Freepik Online Website) http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/businessman-in-front-of-a-choice_765208.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

          In this time of progression, it is evident that the innumerable forces of technology conquered and revolutionized how people think and act. This sector has been a prominent platform in terms of creating avenues for people to innovate and discover new solutions to make their lives easier.

Surprisingly, change has been an inherent aspect of technology. Every now and then, applications and gadgets are being renewed, updated, invented or some can also be outdated. Indeed, this has become a challenge for people to adapt to what the 21st century way of life calls for.

Innovation has transpired over the years and it paved way to the birth of new gadgets, applications, systems down to the tiniest details of microchips, cables and even new codes and programming languages!

Well, as astonishing as it may sound, even programming languages can be updated or changed just like your new mobile application or Iphone! Of course, learning the basics of programming will make any developer survive, but in order to meet the demands of the modern world, they must have also felt the need to innovate and leverage their knowledge and skills within the current trends.

After all, this boils the down to the question of, is it really crucial to know some of the new programming languages?

Actually, it can be a big “Yes!” or a hesitant “No!”.

The truth is, it is really the prerogative of the developer if he or she wants to immerse his or herself into this new world of coding. Hence, there are also circumstances that developers learn such either by force or due to the urgency of the need to update a new system. It won’t hurt actually because some the new programming languages are open-source all you have to do is to ransack online and understand how it works!

Here are also some of the new programming languages of 2016 and the reasons why it is crucial to learn some of them!

New Programming Languages of 2016

Source: (TechWorld, 2016)

  • Scala- is tagged as a functional and object oriented language that is highly scalable.
  • Google Go- is created in 2009 by 3 Google employees, this language is easy to use and dynamically efficient.
  • Hack- is a programming language released by Facebook, available as open source to replace the PHP language of the website.
  • Julia- is a popular high level performance kind of programming language.
  • Elixir- is known as a “general purpose” programming language that is used for creating embedded systems. It is also used in developing websites.

 Benefits of Knowing New Programming Languages

  • System & Application Integration

Knowing a new programming language is important in terms of integrating another system to a new system. In software or application development, a barrel of requirements should be considered and one of those is the programming language used. Sometimes compatibility with a certain language is an issue. Thus, knowing a lot of programming languages especially the new ones will make you more adaptable just in case you need to integrate an old system to a new one.

  • Security & Data Storage

Familiarizing yourself with the existence of new programming languages will give you heads up in terms of security and data storage. Remember, security nowadays is very important especially that new ways for hacking are also being discovered! Therefore, it is also important to learn these new programming languages so that you can choose what language can actually support and strengthen your data protection and storage.  

  • System Update & Improvement

More often than not, systems and applications need to be updated overtime. Further functionalities and customizations are now being incorporated upon it. Thus, those changes might require a developer to use new programming languages that can administer the needed functionality. Furthermore, knowing such can give you the competitive advantage to streamline old functionalities to the contemporary ones within the system.

  • Marketability and Flexibility

In today’s globally competitive setting, business operations are relying too much on technology when it comes to innovation. Digital transformation is still the best way to go to in terms of marketability and flexibility. Learning a new programming language can give a developer a chance to be marketable in the workplace considering that a lot of companies are searching for developers who are a “jack of all trades” or who someone who knows a lot of programming languages. Thus, this entails how flexible they are in terms of working with systems and applications. Businesses nowadays even have their own requirements and specifications when it comes to acquiring service so being able to know-it-all gives you an edge over the others.

  • Future-Proof Knowledge & Skills

Knowing a set of new programming languages will make a developer ready for the future. You’ll never know! What may be in today, might be obsolete in the future. A parcel of these new languages might teach you some skills that may come in handy in the future. No one can really tell but these languages are very promising in terms of knowledge and skill generation. Newbies are also encouraged to explore such to be able to familiarize and develop their skills in terms of coding.

There are a lot of programming languages that may come in the long run. These are just some of benefits why it is crucial to learn new programming languages. At the end of the day, the logic of every programming language is the same with the others. The only difference is the syntax that developers use for each one. Thus, why not give it a try, fresh ideas can actually make you grow and improver yourself Why not give it a try and go out of your comfort zone!

I think it is better to master the old and go in with the new!

 

Sources:

Image: Freepik.com Link: http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/businessman-explaining-a-scheme_764239.htm#term=programmer&page=1&position=13

Techworld Online Website. (September 26,2016). New Programming Languages. Retrieved from http://www.techworld.com/picture-gallery/apps/12-up-coming-programming-languages-for-developers-get-grips-with-3621455/

 

      

          

Thursday, 29 September 2016 14:48

A Software Is Not Just About The Software

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Most of us view a software just on a surface level. It may just be something that you install so you can perform an activity, but in the realms of software development, a software undergoes several stages prior to implementation, development or use. A software can just be an app running in your mobile device that does a specific purpose like navigation, social media or even games. But did it come into mind that that simple software undergoes extensive planning, business and systems analysis, coding and testing? Did it come into mind that probably that software is linked or interfaced to another software, database or infrastructure component? Probably not.

Software architecture (or software engineering) is designing a software or an application by planning what should go with it, how it could be linked to somewhere, what infrastructure components it requires and designs an application or software that is capable of future improvements or linkages to extend software shelflife or extend the actual software life. Software development requires extensive resources so that we enjoy the things that we have now, specially in the aspects of planning, analysis, design, development and testing. It is not just one hit and miss thing, for even the smallest of applications may take time to be rolled-out to what we can use. If such is a one-time thing, then we cannot enjoy it for quality and security can be questionable. There is also such thing called as software maintenance, where small improvements like logical and program bugs can be fixed while the software is being used. This is so as to improve the quality and runtime of the software itself and the interfaces like databases and linkages to other systems  can be fixed for small issues like security and outputs.

In the facet of both open source and commercial software, the same concept applies. Each software released via these markets both undergo with such processes. However, in commercial software, all of the processes are done by the software company’s internal software development team, while in open source software, software enthusiasts do it independenly as long as the concept of the software is directly linked to one another. To cite an example, the Linux Operating System can be composed of several software that are developed by thousands of Linux enthusiasts around the world, but we users, see it as Linux the operating system that has capabilities of doing browsing, office processing or even audio and video. For the Microsoft operating systems, it is composed of several programs or applications (also called as DLLs, or dynamic link libraries, that work hand in hand) so we can enjoy Microsoft Windows as a whole. Same goes for even the Microsoft Office suites.

The discipline of software architecture or software engineering is somewhat similar to building a house. Software architects build the foundation of the application, like what Civil Engineers do. And software architects put on the provisions for current and future use, just like what Civil Architects do. Each software relies on a robust and strong foundation that should be built with future plans in mind, not just for what is in store. If a building is constructed with the provision of additional floors in the future, then the building foundation should be prepared for it, with or without the expansion plans.

Software architecture or software engineering is making fundamental structural choices which are very expensive to change once implemented. Software architecture or enginerring choices include specific options from possibilities to what lies ahead in the design of the software.

 

This is the same concept applied to even small applications like mobile apps. What would be the future direction of these applications? Are they going to be interfaced with your social media accounts later on? Or the owners of the software are just contented of leaving the software it is and let it die a premature death causing expenses on the development cost? Or is the application supposed to be improved later on with the provisions of multiple online gamers that can play with each other or together?

So the next time we see a software, imagine the costs and activities that went through with its inception and development. A software is not just a software, a software is a piece of the puzzle that undergoes extensive planning, architecture so that it can be improved in the future and we users, could enjoy it more. The more we enjoy it, the longer we use it, and the longer we use it, the more justifiable the software’s life it is for us users.

 

 

Image Source: www.Freepik.com

http://www.freepik.com/free-photo/laptop-with-different-applications-installed_902746.htm#term=software&page=1&position=0 

 

 

 

In one of our previous blogs before, we’ve talked about SDLC or also known as “Software Development Life Cycle”.

Just to refresh our minds, SDLC is a model framework that describes the stages of project development. Speaking of these stages, one of the most notorious, challenging and mind-boggling is the “Analysis” stage.

This stage is very crucial for it allows you to set up the pace in defining the functional and non functional requirements for system development. This also gives you the leeway to scrutinize not only the business needs but also the system/program to be developed.

Did you know that in SDLC, you can actually conduct analysis in two ways? Yes, just like a coin with two sides, analysis can be done through what we call as “Business Analysis” or “System Analysis”. But, the million-dollar question would be, how do they differ from one another?

The Process

Business Analysis is known as a process of understanding and identifying business needs and problems. It puts prior on examining the overall business structure, resources, strategies or even the issues comprising the organization. It involves documentation and gathering of information to thoroughly examine what solution would be best to address the needs.

This is normally performed by a business analyst who ensures that the IT solution which is system development coincides with the goals and requirements of the business.

On the other hand, System Analysis is known as a process of identifying the solution given the problem. More often than not, basic system needs are verified. Thus, this process requires the system analyst to probe and identify the system requirements needed, the system design to be implemented, the programming language to be used for the project and other technical specifications related to the system.

Nowadays, we also have what we call as Business System Analyst which can do both roles.

The Responsibilities of a Business Analyst

  • Assessment of business needs and problems
  • Understanding the structure of the organization, issues and its inadequacies
  • Management of business requirements in coordination with the management, stakeholders and end-users
  • Documentation and gathering of information about the business process
  • Preparation of the recommended IT solutions for the business needs.
  • Participation within the whole SDLC process to ensure that the system/solutions provided will be compatible to the needs and goals of the business.

The Responsibilities of a System Analyst

  • Coordination with the business analyst or the management for the system requirements
  • Administration in creating the system, testing and checking the performance of the system.
  • Identification of the system design and the techniques to be used to make the system efficient for the users.
  • Discussion and coordination with the management and end-users to ensure that the system can address their needs when the system is already developed.
  • Creation of flowcharts and model to be used by the developers
  • Configuration and monitoring of the system creation.

 The Skillls

There you go! The two processes may require different set of skills, knowledge and expertise. More often than not, business analysts should have a good background when it comes to business and marketing while systems analysts are required to have higher technical skills.

Conclusion

      As you can see both of the two processes are different but they are complimentary. Don’t worry doing both of these process is definitely worthwhile.

Think of the analysis stage as a stone, which can hit two major goals 1) address certain business needs; 2) create a system to solve the needs and achieve further corporate targets (either maximizing productivity or increasing profit via the system)

At the end of the day, no matter how different they are what is important is how both processes complement and support each other to achieve a common goal!

 

Image Source: http://www.freepik.com/free-photo/web-design-concept-with-drawings_902906.htm#term=business analysis&page=1&position=3

 

References:

Business Analyst Learning Official Website. (September 21,2016). Duties of a Business Analyst. Retrieved from: http://businessanalystlearnings.com/business-analyst-career/2015/11/7/what-is-the-difference-between-business-analysis-and-systems-analysis

Villanoavu Online Website. (September 21,2016). Duties of a System Analyst. Retrieved from http://www.villanovau.com/resources/business-analysis/business-analyst-vs-system-analyst/#.V-IwJih97IU

 

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