BizTech

Business and Technology News from NUS

Month: December 2018

Technology Continues to Strengthen Online Security Significantly

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We live in an increasingly digitally-enhanced world. This is a fact, driven by our sense of unyielding necessity for constant progression. There is a constant state of ying and yang that tends to play out in our increased fondness of certain aspects of modern life. We crave convenience and efficiency more than ever, and the global connectivity network that we know and rely on provides both these ideals on a shining silver platter. As our online activity surges, so do the concerns surrounding online security. This is a natural inevitability. When we become more familiar with something, we tend to make use of it more often. It is the way we are conditioned.

The result of this is that we often do not think of the consequences that subsequently go hand in hand with that increased utilisation. In the case of online usability, the security and privacy complications and risks that arise are not always brought to our immediate attention. This obviously creates a somewhat disconcerting domino effect in that, if we are not aware of the issues, they tend to pile up, creating issue on top of issue that all come together. The ultimate result is a chaotic, messy entanglement of issues that never seem to completely disappear. Until now.

The online community is an intriguing one. The vast network of connectivity and human connection has a stigma attached that suggests that online activity sets us all up for certain security disruption. But there is good news. For every security risk, there is an active tech community of experts that are ready and willing to help find viable solutions and carry those solutions out. The rise of the online landscape has been met with steadfast technological measures, platforms, and processes that are designed to protect individuals’ digital finger prints and their online activity.

Thanks to feats of security technology and online privacy advancement strategies, our online presence is becoming increasingly safer to ensure. This is especially true when one considers the impact that security systems can now be installed on any technical device. Most of the time, these digital security systems run in the background, quietly but effectively doing their job without being front and centre, always reminding users of the risks and security disruptions that are taking place as they use their devices.

Our increased use of digital devices and technology has resulted in the rising focus on digital privacy and security. This is not exactly surprising, but it is something that has become unexpectedly present so rapidly. Thanks to specialised technological security systems and digital privacy measures, online security is becoming increasingly ironclad. Considering the exceedingly quick pace that the world is moving towards rapid technological dependency, this can only be a positive notion.

We have never been so honest and open, but that honesty also makes us more vulnerable than ever to the ups and downs of technological presence. Thankfully, there are various tech security and digital privacy systems, platforms, and processes at play to ensure our security online, now and in the future.

One Step at a Time – Starting a Business Feels like a Big Leap

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Making the decision to start a business is never something that should be rushed. There are so many moving pieces to owning and operating a business successfully, and some of them are even miscellaneous pieces (meaning that they are the unexpected surprises and bumps in the road). When considering kick-starting a business, it pays to take a step back and consider the specifics of what your business is going to need going forward. Some businesses require commercial vehicle rentals to transport their equipment safely and efficiently, while others need company computers to ensure their newfound venture runs as smoothly as possible.

Now more than ever, there is an increasing number of individuals leaving their steady jobs to start their own business. The perks are obvious: setting your own schedule, working for yourself, having a job you love, having complete control over the workplace. But there are also a lot of factors that are important to consider and to tackle in the initial stages of the business – having a structured business plan in motion is the key to having a happy, healthy business life (not to mention a thriving business).

No matter which kind of business you want to start, it is important not to take one big leap, but instead small steps, to secure that business’ financial and fruitful future. Rushing business plans and skipping goals only does one thing: set businesses back. The appeal of starting one’s own business is more present than perhaps ever before, so taking heed of advice about how to go about one’s new business idea is the only way to go.

With so many steps involved in starting and running a successful business, it is not at all uncommon for entrepreneurs to go through stages of complete bewilderment and overwhelming tendencies. It literally pays to know what you are talking about, what you want your business to embody, and what you expect and want for the future of said business. Having the knowledge and understanding of all the moving pieces of business ownership can make all the difference between a fleeting success and a long-lived avenue.

Not only are there the legal and financial processes involved with getting a business off its feet, but the business owner is solely responsible for all aspects of the business, including any relevant and necessary licensing, paying any employees, paying rent, and investing in any furniture or equipment the business may need. Additionally, there is the topic of insurance; all businesses should invest in sound insurance, as emergencies and accidents unfortunately do occur and it is better to be covered than lost and vulnerable.

Starting your own business takes a lot of work, dedication, and time, but ultimately the right kind of businesses attract the perfect kind of business owners. Some of them think of the business themselves, while others adopt a franchise to extend a recognised brand and work for themselves. No matter the reasoning or the rhyme, having one’s own business can be incredibly fulfilling and entirely exciting. There has never been a better time to start your own business – just be smart about it.

Realities of Technology, Markets and Human Life: The World on a Spin of Change

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Technology is one of the driving factors of change in today’s world – not a day passes without a new invention or innovation making some part of our lives more convenient, efficient or productive. Managers now rely on time-tracking software to identify and address workload issues, schools integrate cloud-based tools into the classrooms to promote student collaboration, and the automotive industry makes use of driver navigation technology to optimise fleet efficiency. The ways our careers have changed since the introduction of technology and process innovations goes to show how technology has become such an integral part of our daily lives. On the verge of a total transformation, today’s society needs to discover new and better ways of understanding technology in order to maximise the benefit from its offerings while minimising its adverse effects.

Data is the new frontier in the internet age and the capability to store it makes a huge difference for businesses. The introduction of network-attached storage (NAS) devices have made it easier for such businesses to calculate costs, transfer, share and store data, while cloud access enabled effective collaboration between different teams in any organisation. The online backup model operates on synchronization of data at different periodic intervals involving a multitude of connected devices, while allowing access to the stored files only for selected individuals and devices. By creating different versions of such files, the NAS technology allows easy monitoring and regulating of access and alteration. Installing these systems is also relatively easy and cheap, leading businesses to rely on them for fast and secure data transactions. With an annual fee of approximately $76.04, companies enjoy being able to create vast information networks with varying capabilities of storage. Services such as G Suite and Office 365 are free of such fees and use the same cloud storage system to operate, making them quite attractive for businesses struggling with finances.

Self-driving cars are becoming more popular each passing day and so far, Tesla’s dominance over the market has not yet been challenged by any significant corporate, but things are destined to change for sure. Ford recently announced their plans to develop self-driving cars with Chinese Internet giant Baidu, a collaboration project that makes full use of “Baidu’s technological know-how and understanding of China together with Ford’s vehicle expertise.” Although Google’s parent company ‘Alphabet’ and Mercedes-Benz have both announced similar interests in entering the Chinese market with self-driving cars, Ford and Baidu’s collaboration will be the first to test self-driving cars in the country beginning with a pilot-project that will last for two years in Beijing. As an extension of the project, Ford and Baidu will also be researching into artificial intelligence and smart cars as part of the collaboration. Project ‘Apollo’ has already attracted the attention of automobile giants such as Honda, Hyundai and BMW, revealing the huge interest in the self-driving cars market in China. While Ford’s interest in the project was attributed largely to the 40% decline in the company’s sales in China last September, Baidu’s decision to be the first Chinese company to join a US-led alliance has been well received by the international business community.     

Brands Elevating Customer Service Efforts via Technological Advancement

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Everywhere we look, technology has found its way into the system. There is not an industry around today that has not felt the disruption of technology, in one way or another. The simple fact is that there is no aspect of modern society that is the same as it was even fifty years ago. Technological advancement has brought with it an innate sense of evolution that has changed practically everything. In this modern era, digitalisation is the aim of the game, and everyone is jumping on the band wagon and readying themselves for the next inevitable wave to arise.

Every industry, from healthcare and science, to education and business, has been revolutionised by some form of technology (some have even been touched by multiple forms). For example, technological advancement and digitalisation are revitalising the modern consumer experience in more ways than one. The consumer experience is one that has been forced to go through many an evolution, as the modern consumer continues to evolve and change direction and expectation. More than ever, consumers expect fast, seamless experiences with the brands and businesses that they give their business to.

It is not very surprising. After all, the modern consumer is increasingly becoming the millennial generation, and this is an entire generation that has grown into their adult selves surrounded by technology. Of course they expect everything – including customer service – to be at least partially influenced by the ease of technology. Consumer experience now includes advanced technological innovations, such as Help Desk software and round-the-clock care from brands, businesses, and whole industries. There are three [seemingly] simple technologies that have had – and continue to have – the biggest impact on the modern consumer experience.

Chatbot technology

Consumers these days do not often have the time (or the patience) to rush around during their lunch breaks or race into businesses after their work day when they have an issue with an order, a product, or a service. The modern individual is busier than ever, and consumer experience has adapted to meet the modern consumer’s needs. Chat bot technology is a brilliant yet subtle tech innovation in consumer technology. Consumers can simply go to the website, open the live chat tab, and communicate through chat bot services to find answers to their questions.

Mobile access

Every important consumer experience technology today centres around convenience and efficiency. Having active, reliable mobile access as part of the modern business model is no longer an added bonus but an essential feature. Mobile access allows consumers to have a seamless user experience, which in turn makes them happier customers who are far more likely to continue to give their business to brands and companies.

Social media activation

Modern consumers spend a lot of their time on their devices browsing through their social media. Businesses have taken notice of this, and now social media marketing is arguably the most efficient marketing strategy available to businesses today. Social media activation allows consumers to ask questions and get real-time answers from brands. As well as being incredibly efficient, social media activation gives consumers a true sense of connection, trust, and loyalty to the brands they use.

Link Building Is One of Seo’s Most Powerful Technological Drivers for Business Exposure

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It goes without saying that we are responsible for some of the most radical, unnatural evolutions in Earth’s history. We have built entire cities, and transport systems that allow us to travel between those cities easily and quickly. We have developed vaccines, treatments, and cures for diseases. Our very presence has wiped out entire species (though we have finally begun the process to prevent more species meeting the same fat at our hands). Without technology, much of the (if not the whole) world would still be operating on long-dead methods and models.

Everything from medicine and science, to business and marketing, has been subject to dramatic shifts and evolutions. For as long as there has been technology, there has been various twists and turns that, when applied, have strengthened the industries they affect tenfold. One such industry is the marketing industry. Technology has introduced modern marketing tactics like search engine optimisation (SEO) that are designed to assist brands to make the most of their efforts. Within SEO, there are various digitally-driven principles and methods, including link building.

From the utilisation of a CDP platform to protect and back up data, to the platforms that businesses opt for to market their brand, technology has been at the forefront for practically every recent marketing power shift. Thanks to technology and digitalisation, SEO was possible. And within SEO, link building is one of the best and most effective solutions possible – when it is used properly.

Unfortunately, many businesses approach link building the wrong way. Some businesses make the mistake of inserting links into every site they can find that is willing to host. This strategy may have worked years ago, but the evolution of marketing and of brand maturity online today ensures that it will not. The result is often that even strong businesses lost their footing, as their strategy comes off spammy and incomplete.

Today, successful link building refers to high quality strategies, not easy-to-implement actions that do not procure real, lasting results. Some of these strategies in question centre around the content. Having well-researched, well-written content is highly valuable, and consumers respond well to that. If a link is inserted into an online post organically, and the post itself harbours enough interesting content, readers are more likely to click on the link to find out more.

The obvious benefit to this is referral traffic. The more valuable your content is, the more clicks you will receive. The content can be on your own website or on trusted, well-ranked websites that allow you to link back to your own site through content contribution. Either way, the result is ultimately increased brand visibility, and increased potential for organic traffic.

When utilised properly, link building takes a lot of effort and time. It also is one of the most valuable digital marketing strategies you could possibly implement. If the aim is increasing traffic to your website, then link building is one of the horses pulling the carriage forward toward the main goals.

The US Mass Shooting Epidemic Hits Shocking Highs

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It is no secret that the United States has a harrowing history of constant mass shootings. That might seem like an exaggeration, but it truly is not. Each year, it seems the lack of adequate gun laws in America results in more gun-related fatalities and injuries. The statistics climb drastically on an annual basis, and the outcry from not only other countries, but the citizens of America speaks volumes about the epidemic that has hit catastrophic proportions. Injury or death at the hands of a person armed with a gun of any kind is sad, but the increasingly severe rates of mass shootings on US soil continue to cause more concern than ever.

A seemingly simple solution would be for the arrest records of previous offenders to be made public so that individuals with a history of gun violence are unable to purchase fire arms or ammunition. The same can be said for those with mental illnesses. Another, more obvious solution would be to enforce gun laws similar to those that Australia enforced after the Port Arthur massacre so many years ago. While there are seemingly obvious solutions, the laws surrounding gun violence in the United States continue to remain slack and virtually unchanged.

For example, in 2018 alone, there have been so far 307 mass shootings in the US. There are 365 days in a year. What this means is that, for nearly every day of the year, there has been a violent incident involving fire arms that has been so widespread, so impactful, it has been given the name ‘mass’ shooting. This harrowing number only accounts for the incidents that are considered mass shootings, and there are many, many more gun-related deaths that are not represented in that statistic.

Among the mass shootings in the past year in America there have been school shootings and incidents at festivals and concert events. The US has the worst history and consistent statistics of gun-related violence in the western world, and yet the laws are still essentially allowing for anyone to buy a gun and ammunition with little to no barriers stopping them from doing so – even background checks. The statistics speak for themselves. The American authorities simply must do better.

When even the citizens are calling for action and the government continues to ignore their pleas, there is a serious miscarriage of justice and the dangerous evolution of ignorance to the active decision to do nothing. The American legal system is one of the best in the world, but this clear gap in the law system is one that constantly causes significant and often irrepairable damage to not only the lives of those directly and secondly affected, but the whole country.

The gun laws in the US must change. There is no doubt about that fact. It is foolish to act as though these gun laws are not directly affecting the lives of the very people the American government is trusted to protect. The call for change has been heard (for years), and now the call for action must be answered. The time has more than come.

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