Dynamic times, fast technological advancements and increasing competition require continuous adaption and increased flexibility from employees, teams, and organisations. At the same time, these fast-paced changes also require a high amount of creative discipline from all members for tasks to complete in a timely manner and for projects to succeed. Forward thinking organisations are making efforts to change and adapt their cultural practices in order to stay with the times.
If you are looking to bring about change not through standardization but through flexible, quick, swift and effective project management in your firm, investing in Agile is the next big move you need to make. From an IT perspective, Agile development is a method of project management whereby tasks are divided into short phases of work, reassessed based on demand and adapted as per the requirements. Under this method, cross-functional teams come together with customers and end users for effective software development. This development process is aligned with the concepts of the “Agile Manifesto” which was developed by a group of leading figures in the software development industry to indicate workable and non-workable approaches to software development. Continue reading Best of Agile
With each passing year, technology is taking a bigger and much more important place in the lives of individuals as well as businesses. Information Technology possibilities for businesses and companies are developing at a very rapid pace and bring with them several opportunities through increased operational efficiencies, cutting down costs, bringing transparency through advanced computers, tablet-sized gadgets, POS Systems, smartphones, cloud storage, and data backup possibilities. Growth of the internet, digital media, and social media in addition to simple yet effective and ever-advancing software make the future look full of possibilities.
Micro web-services is the new way for architecting software applications. These services are independent and autonomous and bring more scalability in the applications. As told by Martin Fawler in his book “micro services are used to compose complex applications by using small, independent (autonomous), replaceable processes that communicate by using lightweight APIs that do not depend on language.
Catering to the new shift in IT industry of reducing bench resources
Typically, as most persons are familiar, Just in time is an inventory management method for materials and goods to be available “On Demand” or be replenished as required in the production process.
The general perception is that this method is most suitable for companies and industries where repetitive manufacturing functions are involved and are beneficial when the tasks involved are on an assembly plant or a job floor. However, with the rise of Information Technology and the advent of service-based businesses in the last one and a half decades, this has become an established practice in the IT circles too.
With a growing industry but season based demand for example in case of service businesses, it is highly time-consuming to build, maintain and manage the turnover of developers inventory through the traditional candidate pipelines. Moreover, despite the time and efforts put in it is not always as value adding for either the firm or the client since many software developers remain as Bench Resources in wait for a project and are a preventable cost to the company.
“Benched Resources” by definition are software developers who are waiting to get the project(s) to work upon. While these are important assets for the firm, it is also crucial to note that Benched Resources do not bring in revenues till such time that they get a project and hence remain more of a cost to the company. On the one hand, in situations or seasons where there are no or limited projects with the firm, it considers trimming down resources on the bench and on the other, the fact that he/she is waiting on the bench and a trim-down possibility can be demoralizers for the resource. Bench Resources were considered as the key strength of the Indian IT industry for a long time. However, with the increasing popularity and relevance of Developers being available on demand for short and fixed-term contracts, the environment is different. Added to this is the rise in automation and all these factors have reduced the average bench strength from 8% to 4% in recent years.
“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great
How can IT companies then maximize the value for both the software developers as well as the company with appropriate planning and work allocation?
This is where Developers on-demand model comes into the picture. Traditionally, firms build and maintain candidate pipelines without an actual need but with developers on-demand model, IT companies are able to hire candidates that exactly match the needs or requirements of the project, at the time when they want them, in the appropriate number and at a mutually agreed cost or fees. Albeit, this does not provide the safety of the traditional candidate pipeline approach yet it is more targeted and rewarding. Also, with the advent of gig economy, business models where services are traded on the basis of access rather than ownership are picking up.
In some cases, many companies consider outsourcing projects for a specific duration when they want to focus on their core businesses. Many IT companies today send their benched resources to other companies for a project. In this way, the companies are able to leverage expertise from multiple talents for specific projects and also better utilize the available resources by sending them for specific projects outside.
Given below are some benefits of Developers On demand method.
- This is a pull system where the resource is pulled or utilized based on a need or demand. This permits IT companies to cover the staff requirement without having excess human inventory.
- Developer on Demand faster resource replenishment and lesser burden on the human resource department of the company.
- Developer on Demand model gives companies flexibility and convenience to get access to different talents which are existing across the industry. Moreover, since resources can be found quickly (usually within 24 hours) there is increased productivity and less slack time.
- This approach reduces the overall cost to the company, increases efficiency, productivity and saves on crucial organization time.
“The smartest business decision you can make is to hire qualified people. Bringing the right people on board saves you thousands, and your business will run smoothly and efficiently.” – Brian Tracy
With so many advantages on the table, still one cannot nullify the importance of having some benched resources in this industry. Resources which specialize in certain skills and are high on performance are contracted so that they can be called upon as needed
The Developers on-demand model is beneficial as it makes underused software developers, both tangible and intangible. If companies come together and start sharing their underused resources or services, this will decrease cost and also will make sure that every resource is rightly utilized.
– Team iView
A smart society is one that foresees the changing requirements of its people in every phase of their lives by taking into account new trends, technologies, resources, people and industries and provides the most effective solutions. In this fast developing world of technology, what seemed brand new just yesterday seems ordinary today and would eventually be outdated. Until recently, the world was raving about technology-based connectivity in lines of telephonic communication, real-time visual conversations and transferring of videos that are based on the Internet of things (IoT). Today the conversations are about Artificial Intelligence which will have a prevailing effect on all aspects of life that includes communication and staying connected. One of the biggest hurdles in staying connected is distance. Location, as said to be the heart of everything, is also the heart of doing things with a modern touch. Conquering locations in a faster, more accurate and efficient manner can become the focal point of a smarter society. Today the world has moved on to developing technology-based support systems along with the use of machines to not only stay connected but also to cover distances and geographies in a fast and accurate manner.
“If you think that the internet has changed your life, think again. The Internet of Things is about to change it all over again!” — Brendan O’Brien
Cloud capabilities have powered not only the location data, based on which we so confidently commute from one place to another, it has also brought millions of connected devices together, organized traffic information and accurately synchronized global maps right on to our mobile phones. Some call this the fourth industrial revolution of modern history. This technology is Cloud-based, AI-powered and can relate geographic contexts to business data to develop insights for multiple business purposes. Such tools draw on a variety of data sources, such as geographic information systems (GIS), aerial maps, demographic information and the database of the organization. Location intelligence is important for businesses across industries for their marketing, revenue and growth strategies. From the womb of the Internet of Things and with a partnership of cloud, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence has given birth to the Location of Things (LoT). Three things work in tandem here viz. cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Machines receive large amounts of data in a regular and increasing stream. They then recognize patterns, form deeper insights and are able to contextualize or in simple terms make sense of their surroundings. This data comes from millions of sensors and is, therefore, both real-time as well as meticulously detailed.
The question that still comes to a layman’s mind is – how does it work? Thousands of smartphone users are contributing to this database from a particular location at a given point in time and this data is continuously collected, sorted and analyzed to convert to accurate and precise information.
What benefits does this offer to both the business and the consumer?
From a consumer perspective, information on products, services, localities, and geographies can be found easier and faster. Comparison of timing, weather, and distance becomes possible. This makes both commute and connectivity simple.
From a business point of view, location intelligence can provide one’s firm with the information of the latest trending places, businesses and localities which would help them recommend and advice their customers. This is in general for both brick and mortar as well as brick and click businesses. In particular, location intelligence can help different industries in different ways. For example – Service firms such as travel companies can connect with reviewing platforms such as Trip Advisor whereas credit card companies find it easy to connect with their merchants. With this technology, a business can stay connected with its customers both online and offline as well as via mobile. This was all about connectivity, but how about the combination? When a business combines the location intelligence information with data such as customer profiles, interesting insights can be generated in areas such as which offers made a customer move to an offline store after viewing the options online and vice-versa! These possibilities can offer great opportunities for a business to target the right customer at the right time. Location-based customer engagement makes it possible for firms to measure customer activity as he moves from one location to another, identify key anchor points of contact with the customer and design communication or advertisements in such a manner that the customer would be most likely to avail the offer made to him. This technology also makes it possible to gather and monitor data from different websites, blogs, social media platforms and analyze this data based on various metrics such as time spent on the page, click through rate, content sharing, comments, and inputs, etc. These insights provide inputs on the positive and negative sentiments that the brand is generating online and this information can then be used for designing effective marketing strategies.
“The data fabric is the next middleware”–Todd Papaioannou
However, not everything is as smooth as silk. A few aspects need to be kept in mind when strategizing with the use of location intelligence. What is the probability that all customer data that we have available is accurate and updated? What is the possibility that a customer for whom a business has worked so hard in customizing the advertisement will certainly look at the advertisement and not choose “Skip Ad” option? With the amount of information overload that customers have today and options to install ad-blocking software, this is not a surprise. What should be done then? Critics say that while customization is the key, so is patience. There is no assurance that a perfectly planned advertisement is going to impress the already occupied mind of a busy customer.
“Consumer data will be the biggest differentiator in the next two to three years. Whoever unlocks the reams of data and uses it strategically will win.” – Angela Ahrendts
Geolocation data is useful if used efficiently along with other information and tools. It can’t be used in isolation and needs the right software and analyses as support. Both artificial intelligence and human intuition with logic become necessary for effective strategy design for business.
– Team iView