8 Key Trends in Digital Transformation

My Post (3).pngAs businesses try to adjust to the new normal, many will be looking to technology to help them move forward. Digital transformation can give enterprises a competitive advantage but investing wisely means keeping abreast of innovations and up-to-date with trends and developments. To help, here are some of the main digital transformation trends keeping boardrooms excited.

Analytics

Analytics has transformed the decision-making process, providing data and insights that help businesses identify problems, opportunities and solutions. The vast quantities of data available for analysis, including real-time data, means companies which don’t make use of it are at a serious disadvantage. It has applications in all areas of business: procurement, operations, logistics, marketing, communications, security, finance and HR; and with sophisticated analytics tools easily deployable in the cloud, it’s becoming much more widely used.

AI and machine Learning

AI and machine learning are the ideal partners for data analytics and enable businesses to do much more with their data. They speed up analysis, automate large scale processing in the scalable cloud and remove the bottleneck caused by human analysts. They also learn and adapt from previous analyses while providing results in user-friendly, easily digested, graphical interfaces that non-IT staff can make sense of.

5G

While the consumer generally sees 5G as a way to improve smartphone connections and speed up downloads, the deployment of 5G infrastructure will have a much wider impact that many businesses can benefit from. It will, for example, hasten the development of IoT infrastructures, such as smart cities, intelligent transport networks, smart vehicles and smart industry. At the same time, we’ll see a wider range of connected devices, making it easier for businesses to take advantage of the IoT and the valuable data it generates.

Wi-Fi 6

The next generation of wi-fi, known as both Wi-Fi 6 and AX Wi-Fi, provides up to three times faster processing and wireless connection speeds. Even better, it enables networks to handle far more connected devices, which is helpful considering the proliferation in wi-fi enabled gadgets being used in the workplace and the increasing amounts of data they send and receive.

Blockchain

Although it’s often associated with cryptocurrencies, blockchain has many valuable uses in businesses, such as tracking the origin and movement of goods in the supply chain and providing financial audit trails. It has applications in healthcare, real-estate, media, energy and local government and can be used for a wide range of purposes. – Read more

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7 Proven Ways to Boost Website Traffic

My Post (24)According to retail analyst, GlobalData, over 50% of UK consumers now shop online, with spending predicted to grow 30% by 2024. Indeed, by 2021, Statista forecasts 93% of internet users in the UK will be shopping online. While this is fantastic news for online businesses, it comes hand in hand with a growth in competition as more companies launch websites: 84% had them in 2018 compared to 70% in 2007. To be successful in such a competitive marketplace, companies will need to find ways of increasing website traffic and in this post, we’ll explain some of the main ways to achieve this.

1. Online advertising

For companies with new websites or those which struggle to get listed in search engine results, online advertising is often the chief method of attracting customers to your website. The main way to advertise is with Google and Bing, using paid search ads that appear in search results or display ads that appear on other websites. Alternatively, you can also advertise on social media sites. All of these options allow you to target specific audiences and track the progress of your campaign, helping to ensure your advertising budget is spent effectively. It can, however, be an expensive strategy.

2. Content marketing

Internet users aren’t always looking for products or services; quite often what they are seeking is information or ideas to help them solve problems. Providing content on your website which solves those problems can massively boost the number of people who visit as it can be found in search results and shared on social media. If that content subtly mentions and links to a product or service that you supply, it increases the chances of a sale. Take, for example, someone with a small garden looking for ideas to spruce it up. They find a blog article from a garden centre called ’10 ideas for revamping a small garden’ in which they find a picture of a table and chair set they like, together with a link to the product page. From this article, the visitor solves their problem and the garden centre makes a sale. This technique is widely used by businesses in all sectors.

3. Social media marketing

If businesses don’t want to pay for advertising on social media, they can always use these sites to promote their brand, their web content and their products or services. Social media is great for posting links to your website and with the ability to use eye-catching images and video, it can be a highly effective way to increase traffic, especially as other users can spread the word by liking and sharing your posts.

4. Improve SEO

Search engines are the main way consumers find the things they are looking for online, so optimising your website for them is vital if you want to improve the chances of your web pages ranking well in search results.

While the crucial factor in SEO is providing high-quality, fresh and relevant content on your pages, you must not overlook all the other key ingredients. These include having a well-structured, easily navigable website and placing relevant keywords in the titles, subheadings, meta descriptions and content.

5. A mobile-friendly website

A mobile-friendly or responsive website is a necessity in today’s online market. The main reason for this is the fact that users spend more time online on their phones than they do on laptops or other devices. Increasingly, users are also shopping more on mobiles too. According to Statista, at the end of 2018, smartphones generated the largest share of online retail revenue in the UK with many sources predicting the amount spent using mobile devices would double over the next few years to around £40 billion.

There are many reasons for this growth: there are more phone users, there is better internet access away from home, there are easier ways for people to pay using their phones and, importantly, more companies are providing mobile-friendly websites. For businesses, the last point is crucial, as without a mobile-friendly site, the growing market of smartphone shoppers won’t be able to fully access your store. That’s an issue which also makes search engines downrank sites which aren’t mobile-friendly.

6. Make use of email marketing

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing technique and is very inexpensive to implement. There are various ways to grow an email list, such as using a pop-up that offers an incentive to sign up (e.g. 10% off your first order) or asking customers to sign up during the checkout process (e.g. ‘Get updates of our new products and latest offers’).

Once visitors have signed up, you can send marketing emails to them for free with links to your website included. Today, many companies combine email marketing with the use of personalised product recommendation software which tracks what a visitor has been looking at on the website and sends out emails with links to relevant products. This personalised form of email marketing can significantly increase traffic to your site. – Read more

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5 Ways Cloud Will Develop in 2020

My Post - 2020-03-12T125543.750.pngCloud computing is set to continue its remarkable development this year with technologies like 5G, Kubernetes, AI and machine learning increasing the scope and scale of the operational uses it can be put to. In this post, we’ll look at these technologies and see how they will change the face of cloud computing and how businesses use it.

1. IoT boosted by 5G

The long wait for 5G is finally over and, with its introduction, we’re set to see it play a critical role in the connectivity of IoT devices, extending that connectivity way beyond the limitations of wi-fi and enabling the development of edge computing.

The exponential growth in the number of IoT devices is coupled with an equally gargantuan collection of data. As the value of that data for delivering rich insights prevents enterprises from deleting it, companies are left to find a way to store and process it all. They need massive data storage capacity and vast compute capabilities. At the same time, some of the new technologies being developed for IoT use, self-driving vehicles being a prime example, require network latency to be almost eradicated.

5G can help with all these issues. It can connect devices where wi-fi and cabled connections are not available and at exceptional speed, it enables storage and compute services to be installed at the edge of 5G networks, shrinking latency to less than a millisecond while reducing the type and volume of data being stored in datacentres.

2. More stringent security standards for public cloud

Security is a critical concern for all enterprises and one new area to consider is the issue around 5G as it becomes part of the cloud network. The UK’s decision to use Huawei technology for its 5G network has already become a political hot potato. This, together with other concerns, is likely to lead to more stringent security standards, particularly over endpoint security, for cloud providers.

It is expected that tighter regulations will be introduced for the architecture of hybrid clouds requiring full data separation between on-site and public cloud environments. Brexit will also play a part, as the UK goes its own way in implementing standards regarding data protection.

3. More users adopting hybrid cloud

While many companies have considered hybrid cloud, its technological challenges have led to most of them adopting a purely public cloud model. And while there are workloads which are better suited to a hybrid solution, the lack of flexibility to deploy both on-site and cloud infrastructures is a hurdle which many enterprises are not equipped to overcome.

In 2020 and beyond, we’ll start to see new tools that can overcome these management and migration challenges. These tools will split migration into two separate processes where companies can first become familiar with their new programming and management models on-site before finally moving their infrastructure to the cloud. This is particularly helpful for those organisations that want to move to the cloud but don’t want to abandon the investments they have made in their datacentres and hardware. – Read more

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