IoT Initiative – Security: Things to Keep in Mind

by Shanthi Rajaram

In the mad rush organizations are making to take advantage of the vast potential and efficiencies that the Internet of Things provides, many organizations are forgetting about a crucial risk area: security. Hackers are well aware of this and know how to exploit your eagerness and vulnerability. Consider these alarming statistics:

Check Things Out Before You Hook Them Up

  • There will be more than 20 billion connected IoT devices by 2020.
  • 76% of risk professionals believe their IoT involvement will leave their organizations at risk.
  • The average time it takes for an IoT device to be connected to the Internet before it is attacked is 5 minutes.
IoT Initiative – Security: Things to Keep in Mind

*Source: www.securityboulevard.com

Be smart and be prepared!!

Here are some areas for which you should develop a strategy and to which you should devote resources as you commit to the Internet of Things:

SYSTEM-RELATED:

  • Invest in top-grade internet security software.
  • Set strict identification, authentication, and password integrity processes.
  • Ensure efficient data encryption is implemented.
  • Update to the latest versions of product/software for optimal performance and minimized vulnerabilities.
  • Deploy virtual private network to send and receive data across shared or public networks.
  • Educate frequently and educate all. You are only as strong as your weakest link.
  • Always have an up-to-date risk mitigation and recovery plan in place.

DEVICE-RELATED:

  • Stick to dependable, well-tested security certified brands.
  • Choose a flexible and scalable management platform that will support a broad range of IoT devices.
  • Ensure device capabilities and functionalities are understood and configured appropriately.
  • Audit, retire, and delink unused or out-of-date IoT devices in a timely manner.

Continue to review this list and update it on a regular basis to keep up with the ever-changing technology landscape and emerging information security threats.

Microsoft PowerApps: A Simple Platform to Build More Powerful, Customized Apps

by Nagarajan Anandan

In an effort to introduce a, quicker and easier, no-code development platform at a reduced cost (if not altogether free) Microsoft has introduced a powerful, agile, user-friendly, and incredibly helpful tool for both non-professionals and experienced coders: Microsoft PowerApps.

Microsoft has introduced a powerful, agile, user-friendly, and incredibly helpful tool for both non-professionals and experienced coders: Microsoft PowerApps.

It’s another way of making application development available in largely a drag-and-drop environment to those organizations that don’t have the manpower, budget, or resources to utilize the traditional application development model. It’s also a way professional developer can create apps quickly and with more flexibility. With Microsoft PowerApps, companies who don’t have a developer budget or even a developer at all can quickly build a customized app from scratch, which they can easily share with their team.

Consider these benefits:

Usability

In the past, app development was an endeavor that only a small number of professionals could accomplish. The skill level and experience needed for even the most basic business solution applications was too high. Companies could only code when someone who could code was available to code. That meant specialized personnel and increased cost. With PowerApps, new apps can be conceived, built, and distributed all within the group that needs them. There is still a level of expertise and skill needed to create a workable, useful app, but all the necessary parts and instructions are built into the PowerApps for anyone to use.

Speed

In today’s fast and furious pace of business, the lack of speed kills. Projects need to be completed yesterday and hesitation and slower-than-necessary practices can not only cost accounts but also an organization’s livelihood. That’s one of the greatest benefits of PowerApps: how little time it takes to create a functional, customized app. PowerApps eliminates many elements from the traditional app development process and it can prototype the app right in the interface. Speed is a virtue when it comes to customized business app development.

Agility and ease of use

Coding can be a much-involved, intimidating process for a non-programmer. PowerApps replaces that difficult coding with a process that is largely drag and drop-based. Whether it’s a mobile or in-house desktop app, PowerApps enables all the usual work associated with creating the app fit the organization’s environment. It deals with the issues of frameworks, dependencies, and libraries for you behind the scenes, so that you can concentrate on the who, what, where, and why; they’ll handle the how.

Integration

You’re probably asking the question, Is it too good to be true? It’s a great platform and all, but will it work for our organization to meet our purposes and goals with our infrastructure and systems? The fact that it’s a Microsoft product should put your mind to ease. They’re compatible with just about everything, right? Because of PowerApps integrates with Office 365, Microsoft Flow, and Microsoft BI, it’s easy to get data into and out of Sharepoint, Excel, or any of the other apps on which your business depends.

Mobility

And since so many people are using their phones as their go-to communication centers these days and some apps just don’t look or operate the same from a desktop to a mobile environment, it’s important that PowerApps is mobile friendly. PowerApps allows you to develop a phone form factor right in the same interface so you’ll always know that those accessing it on either a desktop or mobile will enjoy the same experience.

Empathetic Expectations

One of the greatest challenges to digital transformation success is the human factor of change. Few people like it. Information meetings and constant reminders that the change is not a threat but a necessary step toward improved performance is essential. How are you preparing your staff for change?

Cost

Last but certainly not least, and in some cases, the most attractive characteristic of PowerApps is the cost. Individual users can run applications for a specific business scenario with full PowerApps capabilities for around $10 per month or individuals can run an unlimited number of apps without any feature restrictions for $40 per month. PowerApps for Office 365 licenses are even included in many of the business-level Office 365 subscriptions—which means it’s free for basic apps using basic connectors. Chances are you may even have access to it now.

There are no more excuses anymore for developing that perfect app for your workgroup. You no longer need to hire or wait for the expertise and availability of a seasoned developer. With Microsoft PowerApps, the ability to create customized apps quicker is now possible through an easier process and interfaces, the cost is minimal if not nonexistent, and the up-side of having your own customized app for efficiency and improved productivity—and profitability—is just too great to pass by.

Digital Transformation Success: How to Ensure You Get It

by Prasad Thottekatil

According to Forbes,70% of all digital transformation initiatives fail.

Considering that we live in such a digital-centric age, one can imagine what this means to CEOs/CTOs who grapple with the constantly shifting sands of the digital world we live in. Digital transformation is a daunting task, given the multitude of factors one needs to keep in mind in order to get it right. Not just for the here and now, but to be future-ready. Getting it right makes a critical difference in staying competitive, relevant and successful.

One needs only to look at companies who were giants in their fields a few short years ago – invincible but inflexible – who failed to make the leap to digital and are now shadows of who they were – if they’re even still in business. You may have heard of a few of them: Kodak, Nokia, Xerox, Blockbuster, Yahoo, Blackberry, Commodore, Toys R Us, Circuit City, Netscape, Sears, Motorola, and JCPenney.

Effectively launching these much-needed but often complicated projects takes more than wishful thinking and good intentions. Here are several key factors that will ensure your digital transformation undertaking is a resounding success:

A Specific Objective

As with any business project, knowing the why is as important as the what, when, where, and how. Everyone in the enterprise needs to know the essential details and reasons for the mission and their responsibility in its execution. Does everyone know exactly what your objective is?

A Clear Strategy

Once you know the why, it’s important you have a clearly defined set of events, processes, and timetables on how to execute your objective. Many setbacks, delays, and complications can be avoided with a strong and well-defined plan of attack. The clearer the strategy, the more certain its success.

An Organized Organization

Transporting and transforming data is only as good as the quality, organization, and availability of that data to its intended users. The more organized the team in its assets and procedures, the easier and more effective your project will become. Do you have the proper assets in the proper places?

A Motivated Team

Just as important as the right data in the right place is having the right people with the right attitudes on your digital transformation team. Only enlist the most knowledgeable, motivated, and flexible staff and you’ll get an unstoppable team that gets the job done well. Who would best fit on your team?

The Top Tools

With all the priority of digital transformation projects today, there is a world of new technology and tools that are being developed to give you the solutions you’re looking for. Of all the latest and greatest options, there are plenty from which to choose. Do you know what all your possibilities are?

Empathetic Expectations

One of the greatest challenges to digital transformation success is the human factor of change. Few people like it. Information meetings and constant reminders that the change is not a threat but a necessary step toward improved performance is essential. How are you preparing your staff for change?

Constant and Quality Communication

None of these steps work unless your team communicates clearly, comprehensively, and consistently with each other throughout the process. Effective communication engages, includes, equips, and energizes. The lack of it results in confusion, chaos, and catastrophe. How well are you communicating?

When a client of ours decided to take his business digital, the technical expertise as well as the advisory and mentoring role that Amazech provided not only enabled him to expand his market but today, he says he has more time to focus on the more important things to grow his business. He does his part, we do ours, and everyone benefits—especially his clients.

With the evolving needs of a younger client base who are digital natives, the business case for digital transformation has never been stronger. To stay competitive and successful, the transition to going digital seems an inescapable reality. In fact, it’s a business imperative.  

Digital Transformation to the Rescue

Author: Shanthi Rajaram

I wrote a previous, cautionary blog — Digitization is Transforming Banking: Are You Ready? —about the vastly changing world of banking, one that has to keep pace with the speed and capability of technology as well as the increased customer demands for efficiency and customization. That’s a monumental challenge. Here’s the solution:

Digital transformation – the process where companies modernize legacy solutions and focus on securely automating the customer experience.

Banking today and in the future is about what companies can do to enhance the customer experience – not only what they can do but also how they do it – while being productive and profitable. This will include a widening array of personalized services – no more one-size-fits-all banking – and fundamental changes in how customers monitor, transact, and invest their dollars.

Customer Benefits

Here are several benefits customers will experience from digital transformation:

  • Personalization of the customer experience, focusing on their needs and desires.
  • More efficient and easily-managed services.
  • Self-service enablement for greater customer control.
  • Increased mobility so consumers to leverage capabilities anywhere and at any time.
  • Eco-friendliness. For example, mobile push notifications will replace paper statements.
  • Voice enabled interaction can be completed while driving, saving valuable time.

Bank Benefits

Here are some benefits banks will gain from digital transformation:

  • Operational savings through reduction in customer service calls and routine transactions.
  • Market penetration into areas outside the reach of a traditional branch.
  • Digital interaction enables data collection and analysis for optimized product offerings.
  • Continuity of experience increases customer engagement and potential added services.
  • Better customer analytics ensures more targeted marketing messages with greater success.
  • Increased automated processes like credit risk assessment and loan underwriting.
  • Social media integration enables understanding of consumer behavior, trends, and patterns.

Digital transformation offers the bank of today and the future a win-win situation: customers are happier and more in control and banks are more productive and profitable.

What does your business need to start the digital transformation process?

Digitalization is Transforming Banking: Are You Ready?

Author: Shanthi Rajaram

As with most businesses, banks have always faced the challenge of how to retain and add increasing value to existing clients while trying to attract new ones.

Combine those concerns with today’s lightning-fast speed of information and business operations along with the demands for increased online services, mobile capabilities, and cybersecurity and you’re looking at a banking world that is undergoing drastic changes. Consider these trends:

  • Only 30% of bank consumers 35 or younger chose their bank based on branch location, according to PWC’s 2019 Consumer Digital Banking Survey
  • 1 in 3 Gen Zers with a loan used an online lender — a 2.2X increase from 2018
  • Individuals 35 and younger are more than twice as likely to use an online lender, and they are entering their prime borrowing years

The New Normal

What our clients are telling us is that due to increased technological capabilities, their customers are demanding easier, faster, and better solutions. Quite simply, the banking mentality and methods of yesterday aren’t going to be attractive or viable for clients today and tomorrow. The new look of banking will be:

  • Personal. Customers want customization that seamlessly adapts to their worlds.
  • Faster. If customers have to wait too long, they go elsewhere for services.
  • Easier. Customers don’t want complicated processes or they’ll look for alternatives.  
  • Integrated. Services that work within a cohesive system are much more inviting.
  • Mobile. Customers want to do their banking from their phones. Period.
  • Innovative. The more options and tools available, the better the banking experience.
  • Enviro-friendly. Customers today care about the planet. Electronic over paper.

Are you ready?

The issue in banking today isn’t about if a digital revolution is coming. It’s already here and customers are expecting its availability. The real issue is if the organization is ready for it or not. Does it have the philosophy and mindset for the upcoming change? Does it have the tools and technology to meet customer demands? Does it have the staff and expertise to execute all that will be required?

What are your greatest personnel and system needs in this new world of banking?

Rightraq Will Help You Manage Your Projects Better

You can decide how you want to configure the custom fields, settings, task lists, projects and jobs.

You can also control what your workers can and cannot do with the mobile application anytime or anywhere via your iPad, Tablet or mobile device.

With Rightraq the possibilities are endless. Website and pricing will be made available soon. Stay tuned.

New Product Announcement: OMNIS Management Tool

Amazech and Jordan Ferguson, the founder of Virtousic Arts, launched the Omnis Management Tool. Jordan says that Omnis – The Online Management and Networking Interface System – “is a Dallas-based startup management software company [that is] inspired by personal experiences with teaching and my own studio business. free domains With the Omnis Tool, I’m able to track my studio, manage my students, and teach more. It has saved me time and money.”

The program is user-friendly because it is an online teaching portal powered by Skype. All you have to do is log in and the system will help you manage and build your music studio through practice portals and online sessions. Tasks such as registering students, scheduling music lessons and handling payments are now accessible with one click. In an interview with Jordan Ferguson For pricing and information, please visit the official Omnis website.

Building Company Spirit One T-shirt at A Time

At Amazech we strive to build a sound work environment that facilitates both success and fun. Most importantly, we attempt to foster a high level of employee satisfaction because our employee’s loyalty, attitude and passion are key factors that assist production levels.

The Amazech T-shirt Initiative was started as a means to facilitate enjoyable productivity. It allowed Amazech employees to build a community in the workplace and show their pride.

Amazech Team Restored Payir Website

Amazech helped Payir, a nonprofit organization, launch an improved version of their website.

Payir is a grassroots organization based out of India. The company’s mission strives to empower rural communities through holisticsustainability. Payir’s crucial programs – Sustainable Farming, Nutrition, Health and Sanitation, Education, Governance, and Skills and Livelihood – allow the Grassroots Team and Partners to address key challenges that stifle villages in Perambalur, India.

In regards to the impact of Payir the founder, Senthilkumar Gopalan, said, “Mid 2005, we started our work in earnest at Thenur village. Today, 11 years later, we have grown to be a part of life for the people of 18 villages. In this period, we have ventured into providing primary health care, strengthening elementary education, increasing nutrition levels of children, facilitating Government – People interaction both at community and individual level, creating public infrastructure, boot-strapping new income generation ventures, building new community sacred groves and fostering social solidarity.”

Click here to read more of Gopalan’s words and view the new website.

Kids Therapy by Design Site Revamped

Amazech helped Kids Therapy by Design launch an improved version of their website.
Kids Therapy by Design is company that is committed to providing a safe haven for special needs children. More specifically, the Therapists and Pathologists at the company offer a vast array of therapy services to children at their doorstep. Kids Therapy by Design was originally created to “enrich the lives of children and their families by providing special needs children with a voice through genuine love, care, and passion for service.” The company says their mission says:

[Our company revolves around the] commitment to providing excellent healthcare. Kids Therapy by Design is committed to providing notable therapist; who have been defined as having ethical professionalism, passion, and dedication to serving families throughout the DFW metroplex. We will continue to provide exceptional service, craftsmanship and dedication to all of our families and community. Kids Therapy by Design will remain committed to providing professional development, accountability, respect and support to each member of our team.

Click here to read the services provided and view the new website.