Credits : Business2community


My husband and I recently purchased a 1927 craftsman home, and we’re embarking on a major renovation project. It’s an exciting endeavor, but no matter how much preparation and planning we do, I know there will be challenges along the way. Even though we’re in the early stages, I continue to be reminded of how similar this process is to a website redesign. Here are four tips I can offer from my own home renovation experience that you can apply to your next website construction project.

1. Hire Qualified Experts

I’ll admit, as we started talking to architects and design-build firms for our home renovation, the estimates for their services were not cheap, and we briefly asked ourselves, “Do we really have to use an architect?” The answer is a definite “yes.”

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Although ads for do-it-yourself website platforms make it seem easy and your nephew built a site for his college organization, don’t entrust your web redesign project to amateurs. Your website is arguably the most critical marketing tool for your business. Your website redesign is not an area to cut corners to save money.


A qualified UX (user experience) strategist can offer insights and plans early on that can prevent future headaches. Companies typically redesign their sites every three to four years, but proper UX planning can add longevity to your site and make future updates less significant. If your site is built on a solid foundation of persona research and information architecture, you won’t need to redesign so soon, ultimately saving thousands of dollars. Your UX strategist can work with you to understand the goals of your website and translate that into informed decisions regarding your site’s architecture.

When comparing web design companies, ask about their UX planning process. Find out if they create custom wireframes or if they merely modify templates. Check their credentials and ask for references. Don’t be enamored with how their previous sites look—find out how the sites perform. Good design begins long before selecting colors and images.

2. Don’t Ignore Functionality

Once we selected our experts for the remodeling project, they had us complete a lengthy form with questions that focused less on personal taste and more on function. Who does the cooking? Are they left or right handed? Do you like to entertain? Do you frequently have overnight guests? The answers to these questions will ensure the home not only looks great but also functions well for our needs.

Unfortunately, many clients and web design companies focus on how the site looks on a desktop computer, while mobile or tablet design is an afterthought. According to We Are Social’s Digital in 2018 report, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide is now generated through mobile phones. Though it all depends on how your buyer personas will be viewing your site, it’s most likely true that mobile can’t be an afterthought.

Think strategically not only on how the site looks on a mobile device, but most importantly, on how it functions. Many times, the navigation has to change, content must be trimmed, or functional components have to be rethought. Strong UX and web design experts will address mobile adaptivity early in the conversation and ensure your site will function well for your audience.


3. Brand Consistency Is Key

We’ve already started creating a library of images to help make selections like tile, cabinet color, and countertops. Although it’s okay to collect all of these photos for consideration when we look at them as a collection, we realize they don’t all go together. We’ll have to take the era of the house into consideration and narrow our selections so there is a sense of consistency throughout the home.

This is where a robust visual brand identity comes in. Many companies have logo guidelines, and because of that, mistakenly think they have a brand style guide. Your logo is undoubtedly a critical component, but it’s important to also establish standards for your

  • color palette
  • typography
  • image selection
  • use of iconography
  • messaging tone and voice
  • and several other factors

If these guidelines have not yet been determined for your business, the beginning of a website redesign is the perfect time to establish them. A simplified version of these standards can be organized in the form of a mood board. Not only will they help set your website apart, but the guidelines can also be used to ensure that all subsequent marketing communications are consistent with your brand.

4. Invest in Quality

When it comes time for us to make final selections for the home, I suspect we may be tempted to go with cheaper products to save some money up front. But in reality, when it comes to resale, potential buyers will recognize quality materials and the investment will pay off. With your website, this is particularly true with the imagery you use.

If you have a unique product, location, or service, invest in a quality photoshoot with a respected photographer. I have seen many beautifully designed websites ruined by poor product photography. If your line of business is less tangible and doesn’t justify a custom shoot, be sure to use high-quality stock photography that feels genuine and natural. If you’re including staff or leadership team photos on your site, invest in a talented portrait photographer to capture the images in a unique way. It may be a little more expensive up front, but your audience and customers will notice.

Your website redesign is a significant investment, and it’s essential it is done right so you can reap the benefits for years to come. If you seek the help of specialists and experts, invest in planning and quality, and stay true to your brand, your website construction process is sure to provide the return you are seeking.


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Credits : Techcrunch

After raising $55 million in October at a $500 million valuation, business software marketplace G2 Crowd is making its first-ever acquisition to bring more features to its platform. It is acquiring Siftery, a startup that has built its own database of business software not on user reviews, but by providing a service to businesses where it identifies what is actually getting used and when across their networks.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, G2 Crowd’s  CEO and founder Godard Abel said in an interview. Siftery  had been around for a couple of years and had raised a seed round of $4.1 million from a group of notable investors, including Founders Fund, Felicis and Venrock. All 20 employees, including co-founders CEO Vamshi Mokshagundam and CTO Ayan Barua, are joining G2 Crowd.

G2 Crowd has been building a name for itself as a place where IT buyers can discover and buy software and services for solving specific issues; and if they already are already using or considering a product, a place where they can read other’s reviews and compare it against competitors.

There are some 550,000 reviews on the site today across nearly 60,000 products in 1,200 categories (those reviews are up by 50,000 in the last two months). Around 2 million business professionals visit and use the site each month, which they may go to because they are repeat users, or because G2 Crowd happens to have a very strong SEO game, with its links turning up at the top of the list when you do a search for a specific product or product category.

That economy of scale makes G2 Crowd a pretty logical home for Siftery, which had also provided a database of software for businesses, but at a much smaller scale and before it had been truly commercialised. Abel said that the startup had only around 1,500 customers, with most of them on a free version of the product.

“They were just getting to the point where there was a fork in the road,” he added. “What they hadn’t done yet is monetise and build a business, and we are product people at G2 Crowd.”

This also seems to be the stated logic for Siftery, too. “We’re excited to join the G2 Crowd team so we can more quickly realize our joint vision,” said Vamshi Mokshagundam, co-founder and CEO of Siftery, in a statement. “By becoming part of the G2 family, Siftery’s technology can reach millions more people, continue to develop rapidly, and have a bigger impact around the world in helping to eliminate wasted and inefficient software spend.”

Siftery’s additional functionality is interesting in terms of how G2 Crowd will develop going forward.

The smaller startup engaged with customers and their networks and provided insight into how much each product or service is actually getting used (not just enthused). That makes a handy way to determine whether money was being wasted on licenses for certain apps; or conversely whether companies are suffering from “shadow IT”: overpaying by not consolidating their purchasing and bargaining power. All that data subsequently also helped to provide insight to people searching its database to discover software.

The problem of overspending on software and apps happens to be a big one. G2 Crowd cites data from Netskope which estimates that the average enterprise now runs 1,246 cloud services, a figure that is growing over 10% each year. At the small business end, Siftery estimates that the average organization had 55 SaaS tools, more than doubling over the last three years.

And the challenge is still growing: across the range of company sizes, 35 percent more software gets trialled each year, with software budgets growing by 50 percent year-on-year for the past four. Some $1.4 trillion was spent on software and services last year, with waste in the UK and US collectively estimated at $34 billion, G2 Crowd said.

Abel said that for now the idea will be to keep Siftery’s product separate while it gets gradually integrated into G2 Crowd. There, it will potentially give the company another string in its bow in terms of the services it offers to businesses coming to its platform — and opting for paid usage tiers.

Interestingly, while G2 Crowd will likely continue to be popular as a marketplace to search for apps and services, this deal underscores how the company hopes to develop going forward. It has the opportunity to build a platform where organizations can manage their software, and potentially provide further tools to optimise how it is used, plan more deployments connected to it, and so on.

Abel has a long history building and selling startups focused around software productivity (most recently to Salesforce, but also to Oracle and before that CA), and that appears to be the direction he’s taking G2 Crowd, too. (Indeed, it seems to be part of a mini-wave of tech startups rethinking how businesses interact with software. Just earlier today, Nexthink out of Switzerland raised $85 million for its solution that helps enterprises monitor, triage and assist employees who encounter annoying software issues.)

Abel said that the engineering talent at Siftery was also a big attraction, and that could help shape other acquisitions going forward.

“I think we will look opportunistically,” he said. “It depends on finding a strong product and team.”


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Credits : Knowtechie


The use of the Java programming language is present in virtually all types of businesses today. In part, this popularity is driven by numerous versions that continually feature enhanced capabilities. While version 8 is the standard in most devices, it’s expected that version 9 will take over most of them, which offers even more features that are robust.

Straight off the bat, business owners may not really be interested in the programming enhancements available in Java. Instead, they are more likely interested in why use Java and what it can do to help them fulfill their business requirements. Below is a short breakdown of some of the details.


For many years, portability has been a Java mantra, and it’s probably the biggest feature of the programming language – also called “write once, use anywhere.” When a business owner contracts a Java programmer for a program, the application can be used on virtually any device and operating system.

The Java application is, essentially, its own self-contained unit capable of running on any operating system and into any business hardware. In fact, as a business owner, you don’t have to worry about changing operating systems or hardware, and dealing with incompatible software. This is the biggest benefit over .Net, as the latter only runs on Windows-based devices.

Efficient Memory Management

While this sounds like a technical subject, it is easy to understand how Java is capable of handling memory. Briefly, Java objects reside in a heap that is created once an application starts, increasing or decreasing during runtime. Once the heap is full, garbage in the heap is ready for collecting and removal.

In this case, the garbage includes objects that are no longer in use during the application’s lifetime. New objects are then added to the empty space. Another aspect of how this works is the “nursery,” which contains new objects and a special space for older objects coming from app nursery before being removed.

The process creates an automatic system that helps manage available memory resources. In turn, this helps in increasing the applications speed as well as efficacy.

Better Multithreading Capabilities

Java applications are capable of managing themselves in case of several users using them at the same time, creating separate threads for each user within the program. This is in place of running multiple copies of the program in a single hardware device. Each of these threads is tracked until the task is completed.

For a business owner, the process means that you attain better performance since the program makes optimal use of available CPU and cache storage resources. Even in instances where thousands of users are interacting with your application, it runs smoothly and without glitches. In addition, your users benefit from faster response times as commands are executed in seconds.

It also means that your application will not think for a long time before taking the next step; instead, it executes operations simultaneously. Furthermore, you will also realize better economic use of your resources. Multithreading also means that you will see fewer glitches raised and sent by extensions like Java Logback using HTTP/S, no matter how long some of these processes have been running!


At the moment, Java is the darling in the world of business application development for these reasons. The language offers such versatility with its robust customized solutions that cater for just any type of business niche you can think of. This is the current position that is showing no signs of declining any time in the future, especially with the impending release of new features in Java 9 in the near future.


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Credits : Technotification


When it comes to programming, there are two main broad categories of languages. We have programming language and scripting language. The two types are different in several aspects. One of the languages that are commonly used is Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP). So, under which category does it belong to? Is PHP a programming language or a scripting language?

Being a server side language, many people assume that PHP is a purely programming language. The ability of this language to perform some complex tasks cements the position of PHP as a programming language.

However, the truth of the matter is PHP is a powerful scripting language for web programming. It is the language that you can use to allow a seamless interaction between web pages and the servers.

So, why should we classify PHP as a scripting language and not a programming language? Well, here are some of the reasons:

PHP Is An Interpreter Based Language

This is one of the factors that differentiate programming and scripting languages. While programming languages are compiler based, scripting languages are interpreter based. This simply means that PHP doesn’t have to be compiled before interpreted. The compilation process entails translating a high-level language into a machine language.

As a scripting language, PHP doesn’t have to be compiled. Instead, the interpreter executes the instructions directly without first converting them into machine instructions. This is different from programming languages as they first have to be compiled into machine language before being interpreted.

However, the truth of the matter is PHP is a powerful scripting language for web programming. It is the language that you can use to allow a seamless interaction between web pages and the servers.

So, why should we classify PHP as a scripting language and not a programming language? Well, here are some of the reasons:

PHP Is An Interpreter Based Language

This is one of the factors that differentiate programming and scripting languages. While programming languages are compiler based, scripting languages are interpreter based. This simply means that PHP doesn’t have to be compiled before interpreted. The compilation process entails translating a high-level language into a machine language.

As a scripting language, PHP doesn’t have to be compiled. Instead, the interpreter executes the instructions directly without first converting them into machine instructions. This is different from programming languages as they first have to be compiled into machine language before being interpreted.


Another reason that makes PHP be a purely scripting language is the usage. Can you list any applications that have been built from scratch using PHP language only? Obviously, you won’t be able to do so. This is because PHP must be combined with other languages and components in order to come up with a complete system.

This is a typical characteristic of most scripting languages. They cannot fully depend on themselves to build an application. They must be blended with other applications. For example, PHP should be blended with HTML and JavaScript.


By temperament, am referring to the levels of difficulty of a programming language. It is too hard or can it be easily coded. Scripting languages are very easy to code. You simply need to type only a few lines of code. This is another reason why PHP can be easily categorized as a scripting language.

On the other hand, programming languages will force you to write several lines of codes just to implement a single function. You won’t get away with some short lines codes.

Creation of files

When it comes to a programming language, they create files that can be stored and even transferred from one device to another. The files are usually in the .exe format. On the other hand, PHP does not create the .exe file.


Another distinct feature of scripting languages is they run inside another program. They don’t run independently. In our case, PHP can only run in a web server or browser. On the other hand, programming languages can run independently without depending on the parent programs.


On the other hand, programming languages can be used to build a complete application from scratch. Take for example C language. It is capable of building a standalone application from nothing.


As a scripting language, PHP is interpreted within another language such as HTML before being interpreted again by the browser. This is different from programming languages which are compiled into a compact form and don’t have to be interpreted by another program.

In conclusion, you can easily assume that PHP is a programming language. This is because it has lots of features of a typical PL. Otherwise, the article elaborates well why PHP is a scripting language.


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Credits : Linuxjournal


Microsoft was founded in 1975—that’s 43 years ago and a ton of history. Up until the last decade, the company led a campaign against the Open Source and Free Software movements, and although it may have slowed the opposition, it did not bring it to an end. In fact, it emboldened its supporters to push the open-source agenda even harder. Fast-forward to the present, and open-source technologies run nearly everything—mobile devices, cloud services, televisions and more.

It wasn’t until Satya Nadella took the helm (2014) that the large ship was steered around. Almost overnight, Microsoft embraced everything Linux and open source. It eventually joined The Linux Foundation and, more recently, the Open Initiative Network. At first, it seemed too good to be true, but here we are, a few years after these events, and Microsoft continues to support the Open Source community and adopt many of its philosophies. But why?

I wanted to find out and ended up reaching out to Microsoft. John Gossman, a lead architect working on Azure, spent a bit of time with me to share both his thoughts and experiences as they relate to open source.

Petros Koutoupis: Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

John Gossman: I’m a long-time developer with 30 years of industry experience. I have been with Microsoft for 18 of those years. At Microsoft, I have had the opportunity to touch a little bit of everything—from Windows to other graphical applications, and more recently, that is, for the last 6 years, I have worked on Azure. My primary focus is on developer experience. I know this area very well and much of it comes from the Open Source world. I spend a lot of time looking at Linux workloads while also working very closely with Linux vendors. More recently (at least two years now), I stepped into a very interesting role as a member on the board of The Linux Foundation.

PK: Microsoft hasn’t always had the best of relationships with anything open-source software (OSS)-related&mddash;that is, until Satya Nadella stepped to his current role as CEO. Why the change? Why has Microsoft changed its position?

JG: I have spent a lot of time thinking about this very question. Now, I cannot speak for the entire company, but I believe it all goes back to the fact that Microsoft was and still is a company focused on software developers. Remember, when Microsoft first started, it built and sold a BASIC interpreter. Later on, the company delivered Visual Studio and many more products. The core mission in the Microsoft culture always has been to enable software developers.

For a while, Windows and Office overshadowed the developer frameworks, losing touch with those core developers, but with the introduction of Azure, the focus has since been reverted back to software developers, and those same developers love open source.

Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to hire developers, and nowadays, these developers are looking at open-source software, and they see the advantages. Customers also have been using more Linux and Java among other open-source projects. Satya saw the advantages to this as well. The push toward open source came from the top and from management. The business culture started to change fast, and none of it was forced. This push continues, and recently, Microsoft even joined the Open Initiative Network (OIN).

PK: What did it take to transition? And what were the challenges (for example, development lifecycle, mindset and environment)?

JG: Much like human nature, in developer nature, developers are typically set in their ways. But sometimes, they also want to use the latest technologies or the new “hot thing”. Certain folks jumped immediately onto it (open-source technologies), and others moved more slowly or weren’t interested.

One of the most difficult parts of switching to an entirely different ecosystem is figuring out if your tools work with it or if you need to resolve certain dependencies to be productive again. This process puts a natural friction in the entire experience.

Some groups were very excited about this transition and were early to jump in. The very first thing we open-sourced was ASP.NET. This was about eight years ago. It allowed us to learn some stuff that led to us eventually open-sourcing the rest of .NET. The process [of open-sourcing] itself has been going on for nearly a decade and is far from complete. We are still learning how to do some of these things both individually and as a company. We are still on a journey and learning through community collaboration to innovate faster.

It’s worth mentioning that almost immediately we realized that it was bad practice in open source to open-source something and just assume folks will fix your bugs. The community eventually came and contributed, but it did not happen overnight or magically.

PK: And, how does all of this relate to Azure?

JG: To put it simply, Azure is a service, and we need to serve all of our customers. That means we shouldn’t restrict them and the tools they use or their practices. The cloud tends to be a mix of many things. There are many moving parts. Our customers come from Red Hat environments or use Java and Python in Ubuntu while running alongside Windows. Sometimes, all of this is running in a single department. To best serve all of these varying workloads, you need to support all of those different things.

For example, about three or four years ago, I flew out to Massachusetts to meet with the folks over at Red Hat for a day. They were once our competitors, but now, we are working together to solve the same problems. We are continuing to work with Red Hat in our partnership on OpenShift, using SQL in Linux, and to leverage other technologies, such as Chef and Puppet. This is what our customers want to use on Azure. We are going where our customers are asking for us to be, and we need to make sure we can run their workloads.

PK: What open-source components make up Azure?

JG: Our angle always has been on data. And, it is a great story to tell. Microsoft has SQL server. It is a great database, but our customers are using other databases. Early on, we adopted and integrated Oracle’s DB2 and PostgreSQL into Azure. Today, we run PostgreSQL and MySQL services. We even have a partnership with Mongo to get that offering into Azure. There are so many open-source offerings that we run on Azure, and it is these offerings that are most valuable to our cloud customers. There are also many more features in the pipeline. Not only do these customers rely on these open-source products but they also come to Azure for its fault tolerance, reliability, resiliency, security and so on.

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Credits : Siliconindia


Various web design and development companies have been continuously working on the website accessibility and the improvement of the accessibility. The website accessibility would define whether or not a particular website is going to shine in the race for the first place in the consumers’ heart. Thus, every website ownerneeds to work on the website accessibility. There are secret tricks to make a website accessible and successful in the vicious competition.


The foremost question that comes from the developers and designers is which is the best time to think about the accessibility during the website development? Is it the coding part? “Well, you can always consider the accessibility while coding but the accessibility can be achieved without even writing a single line of code!”, told by the marketing head of Intlum Technology Private Limited, a leading website design company in Kolkata.


There are certain design elements which cause a website’s accessibility. If these design elementsare successfully improved, any website can become immensely accessible as well as productive in today’s date. So, let’s check out the top 3 essential design elements which can enhance the accessibility of a website by a huge margin.


Top 3 Design Elements to Enhance Your Website’s Accessibility


Below are the elements which need to be highlighted in order to receive an applause from the users roaming around the internet to avail specific services or buy particular products from a website. So, let’s begin without further ado.


Refine the UI/UX


The whole accessibility part depends a lot on how a website is structured and laid out (which is the UI part) and how a website is interactive with the visitors (which is the UX part). These two factors are equally important and responsible for bringing any website the right amount of accessibility that it deserves. Certain differences are there between the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) but both are vital for website accessibility despite the differences, according to various leading names in the sector of website design and development.


With a good UI/UX, a website is able to provide the users with a proficient amount of reliability and relaxation. The visually impaired users or theusers with reading disorders or the screen readers (In a nutshell, the people with disabilities) will definitely be benefitted by the nurtured UI/UX.


UI/UX Guidelines for Designers to Achieve Accessibility



    • Plan the headers and page layout in a way that it suits the visitors using mouse-keyboard or the touchscreen devices.


    • The obvious focus indicators should be smartly used in order to depict the users where they are on a web page.


    • Make use of whitespace to create a clutter-free design which will eliminate confusions for the users.


    • Important elements of a website should always be put at the top or the bottom of a web page which brings the best visibility to the vital components.


    • Complex words should never be used for showcasing excellence or expertise. The use of simple yet engaging words willmake the readers stick to a site.



Typography is the New Trend


The choice of fonts and typefaces can make a huge difference in a website’s accessibility. Nobody likes to see the boring and tedious fonts used in thousands of words on a website. In that case, using a good typography will always help achieve the goal of engaging the potential clients.On the other hand, an obscure font on a website can always lead to the downfall as thelack of clarity in the font will always make the users annoyed and they will simply leave the site after a certain period of time.


Typography can single-handedly make or break a website. The users with learning, reading and attention disabilities such as ADHD, dyslexia, users with low vision along with the users with English as a Second Language (ESL)will find it difficult to stay on a site if the typography is not accessible enough.


Considering and implementing all the above aspects together itself is overwhelming and a matter of dilemma. Working on the font variation, tracking, serif/sans-serif, and kerning are some of the matters you need to handle. The job is tough but can be achieved by following the guidelines below.


Typography Guidelines for Designers to Achieve Accessibility



    • Select a font that is considered accessible from the beginning. This font can be used for the main body.


    • Put a restriction on the number of font families used on a website as well as provide alternative fonts.


    • Make the base font size adequate – a minimum of 14px. It will be much better if the font size isspecified by percentage or any relative value for trouble-free resizing in future.


    • Put restrictions on the use of font styling. Italics, Bold, and capitalized words should only be used where needed. On the other hand, make use of underlines only when a linked text is involved.


    • Golden Ratio Typography Calculator can be a viable solution when you are in doubt regarding the font size, line height and width, and the CPL (Character Per Line).



Color and Contrast


Color and Contrast is the hub of every successful design. Whether it is a website or an app, only a good color contrast can take the venture to the top. In fact, several studies have also stated that the brand perception is often tied to the use of colors. One study even conveys that 90% of all the snap judgments depend only on the color and contrast! So, let’s take a close look at the guidelines which can enhance the skills in improving the accessibility of color and contrast on a website.


Color and Contrast Guidelines for Designers to Achieve Accessibility



    • Use colors located on the opposite ends of the color spectrum. Try to avoid the yellow/blue and green/red combination.


    • Make a cautious and clever use of the light shades since they are difficult to view for the individuals with low vision.


    • Not only depend on the colors to convey the subject matters to the website users. Make use of underlines or other significances for links and other important aspects of a website.


    • Make sure that a website has solid backgrounds since the cluttered backgrounds make the texts more difficult to read, especially, when the color contrast is not good enough.



So, these are the top three ways to make any website design more accessible to the users. The result of considering these designing strategies are quite significant and fruitful. A relationship advising blog called Wisledge is a live example of successful implementation of the three designing strategies mentioned above. Reportedly, they have nurtureda great improvement in terms of traffic and engagement after implementing these strategies to their website and post details pages.


In order to bring a website into the limelight, the design has to be accessible. If the potential clients face difficulty in understanding a design or browsing awebsite, the site will stay behind in the race.


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Credits : Forbes


Outsourcing software development has emerged as a global trend in today’s digital world. Gone are the days when outsourcing was considered purely for budgetary reasons. As the demand for technology talent increases, the pool within some geographic areas appears to be shrinking fast. Companies are finding themselves in need of good talent that isn’t always available internally.

I’ve been involved with software development outsourcing for well over a decade. My company outsources software development to engineers in the U.S. and also in other parts of the world such as Pakistan, the Philippines and India. I’ve found that as globalization has picked up steam, so has the race to get the best software developers around the world. Many big-name companies are now hiring outside firms to develop their software and handle other technological needs. Some of them outsource their software development to what we call “on-site companies,” where they actually rely on outside firms to staff their technology teams and complete projects on-site. Some do otherwise and hire firms or individuals for off-site work.

Here are some of the pros and cons of outsourcing software development, plus some tips for how to do so successfully.

The Benefits Of Outsourcing

There are many benefits to outsourcing software development. Not only can outsourcing deliver monetary benefits to small and medium enterprises, but it also can provide them with customized expertise to attain short- and long-term relief for their software development needs. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, the top motivations for enterprises to outsource include cost-cutting and the abilities to focus on core business functions and solve capability issues.

In my experience, outsourcing software development can offer companies an increased return on investment as well as a competitive edge thanks to articulated team management using renowned technology and communication tools and practicable infrastructure.

The Challenges Of Outsourcing

While outsourcing software development can offer many benefits for a company, there are challenges as well, such as confidentiality and security risks. Maintaining privacy sometimes becomes a troubleshooting experience for enterprises.

The misunderstanding of organizational structure can be another challenge for companies working with outside developers to overcome. It can take time for software developers to understand a company’s working methodologies. In some cases, the productivity level of a software developer can be affected due to a difference in time zones, culture or native language. Due to a difference in culture or language, for example, it is quite possible for software developers to misunderstand messages. The culture/language barrier issue can be multiplied by the misunderstanding of organizational structure.

Tips For Outsourcing Software Development

Despite the challenges, there are many tools at your disposal to help make the process of outsourcing software development smoother. Cybersecurity tools can help firms avoid security risks, for example, while video conferences can help companies overcome some of the communication barriers.

Below are more tips for how companies can successfully outsource software development.

Implement agile methodologies.

Agile methodologies allow firms to keep a check on production and swiftly work during a project’s life cycle. They allow a product’s owner sitting at one end and a software developer at the other end to work together. The product can then be assembled in weekly cycles called sprints by keeping in mind all the technical and business revenue aspects. Through agile, a product owner and the software development team members can fully understand the nature of the project, the target assigned and the goals to be achieved.

Use project management tools.

There are many digital applications available to remind software developers of the list of tasks assigned to them. When there are vast numbers of tasks linked to a project, the nature of it can become complex. Project management applications like Asana, Basecamp and Trello can help software developers manage project tasks, calendars and conversation threads.

Focus on user experience design.

User experience (UX) design can play a key role in the process of outsourcing software development. UX design formulates a client’s requirement into a real-time image. The UX interface is not about just design but also about the functionality of the software. Ask your software development consultant whether they provide UX designers. A UX designer can create a mock-up of a workflow for you, and once it’s approved, then it can be given to software engineers to start developing according to design criteria.

While on one hand, outsourcing software development can allow firms to save money on the cost of creating software and give them access to technological capabilities they don’t have in-house, there also are the challenges such as security risks and communication barriers to consider. When selecting a software developer to outsource a project to, ask about how they handle such challenges. A software developer should be a critical thinker and have flexibility in solving problems. Also ask about their technical expertise, work experience and background. Conduct detailed interviews and coding exercises, if possible, to ensure that the developer is capable of performing the needed tasks.

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Credits : Digitalcommerce360


Few factors affect an online retailer’s e-commerce sales more than the design of its retail website 61% of consumers will leave a retail site and go to a competitor if they have problems using a particular website, according to an exclusive Internet Retailer survey of 562 online shoppers conducted in October.

As technology improves, so do customer expectations. That means retailers’ web designs have to constantly evolve. For instance, Gap Inc., No. 20 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500, is in the midst of a multiyear effort to offer more personalized and streamlined shopping on its e-commerce websites. The project doesn’t have an end date, says Greg Schuler, the retailer’s head of user experience design, because  it will always face pressure to use new capabilities to make e-commerce more satisfying—and faster—for customers. An emphasis on speed is especially important now, he says, as online shopping shifts increasingly to smartphones.

The 2018 holiday season will be the first in which shoppers will place more orders from their phones than computers or tablets, according to survey results from customer relationship management software company Inc. Smartphones will account for 46% of all orders, edging out computers (44%) and far outpacing tablets (9%).

Consumers’ growing use of mobile devices to shop online has enormous implications for web design. Not only do retailers have to think hard about how their websites look and function on small screens, they also must account for less-than-reliable mobile networks and look for ways to make checkout easy to accomplish on mobile devices. Gap, for instance, recently re-worked its checkout process to eliminate up top 50% of the clicks required in the previous version.

Mobile shopping is just one of the big trends influencing e-commerce web design. Beyond being mobile-friendly, consumers also expect the navigation and search functions of retail websites to help them find the products they want to buy quickly and effortlessly. Online shoppers also expect retail websites they visit often to recognize and remember them and serve up personalized content.

Based on exclusive research by Internet Retailer, the just-released 2019 State of Web Design Report details the very latest website features and design elements that are helping online merchants reduce abandoned carts and increase conversion rates.

The 53-page report includes:

  • A list of the top 50 retail websites ranked on the basis of 22 quantitative and qualitative criteria
  • An analysis of which website features impact site conversion rates the most
  • An analysis, based on exclusive consumer surveys of what shoppers are looking for in retail websites and what prevents them from converting
  • The 20 website features used most by the Internet Retailer Top 1000
  • A deep-dive into mobile web design and site personalization
  • Examples of well-designed retail home and product pages
  • A closer look at four top e-retailers that recently redesigned their websites, including Gap Inc.
  • More than 20 charts and tables revealing the results of Internet Retailer’s exclusive consumer and retailer surveys on web design

This report, along with 20 other research reports, is immediately available to Digital Commerce 360 Platinum and Gold members. Single copy sales are also available for $299.

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Credits : Insurancejournal


U.S.-based data analytics firm Verisk has agreed to acquire Rulebook, a provider of business intelligence and software for the London Insurance Market.

The purchase price is $87 million in cash, which Verisk said will be funded through cash on hand and existing bank facilities, subject to typical closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to be accretive to 2019 adjusted EPS. In addition, Verisk expects the acquisition to generate an attractive return in excess of Verisk’s cost of capital.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Rulebook’s proprietary pricing engine can be used for internal pricing and underwriting as well as external distribution for the specialty insurance market through its Rulebook hub platform. Rulebook, which was started in 2002, also offers data analytics on historical, current and predictive views of business operations.

Rulebook’s pricing engine is used by carriers in the London specialty insurance market to build underwriting rules for complex specialty insurance products through a simple, easy-to-use web-based platform.

Mark Anquillare, chief operating officer of Verisk, called Rulebook “a Verisk-like business.”

“The acquisition will expand Verisk’s existing offerings to the specialty insurance market by adding Rulebook’s proprietary pricing and management information engines to Sequel’s specialized software suite,” said Ian Summers, CEO of Sequel, another London insurance software firm acquired by Verisk in 2017. “These enhanced offerings will provide our customers with more efficient methods of distribution and significantly improved data analytics capabilities.”

Verisk, headquartered in Jersey City, N.J., operates in 30 countries.

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Credits : Thehindu


The Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom (DAKF) has urged the government to drop its move to secure Windows-10 Microsoft software in violation of the policy to use free software.

A DAKF release said here on Sunday that the IT Department had issued an order on November 29 for purchasing the software under the cover of the centralised purchase system. This was aimed at according a red carpet welcome to Microsoft and also render a blow to the gains acquired by using free software in e-governance, education and other sectors.

The move comes at a time when a circular that restricts the acquisition of such proprietorial software for use in government was in force. Scores of computers were functioning on free software without any hitch in general education sector, Government Secretariat and other departments. Even the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software under the IT Department is using free software extensively used for research, development and campaign purposes.

Vested interests

Hence, the DAKF urged the IT Department to give up the move, which it said, has been initiated under the interest of some officials.

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