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Amazing Workz Studios Your Technology partner Mon, 01 Oct 2018 08:22:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Amazing Workz Studios 32 32 React16 blessings in disguise for React developers Mon, 17 Sep 2018 06:26:38 +0000 Continue reading React16 blessings in disguise for React developers ]]> Just like how people are excited about updating their mobile apps and OS, developers should also be excited to update their frameworks. The new version of the different frameworks come with new features and tricks out of the box.

Below are some of the good features you should consider when migrating your existing app to React 16 from React 15.

Time to say Goodbye React15 👋

Error Handling

Error Handling be like 🙂

React 16 introduces the new concept of an error boundary.

Error boundaries are React components that catch JavaScript errors anywhere in their child component tree. They log those errors, and display a fallback UI instead of the crashed component tree. Error boundaries catch errors during rendering, in lifecycle methods, and in constructors of the whole tree below them.

A class component becomes an error boundary if it defines a new lifecycle method called componentDidCatch(error, info):

Then you can use it as a regular component.

   <MyWidget />

The componentDidCatch() method works like a JavaScript catch {} block, but for components. Only class components can be error boundaries. In practice, most of the time you’ll want to declare an error boundary component once. Then you’ll use it throughout your application.

Note that error boundaries only catch errors in the components below them in the tree. An error boundary can’t catch an error within itself. If an error boundary fails trying to render the error message, the error will propagate to the closest error boundary above it. This, too, is similar to how catch {} block works in JavaScript.

For more information on error handling, head here.

New render return types: fragments and strings

Get rid of wrapping the component in a div while rendering.

You can now return an array of elements from a component’s render method. Like with other arrays, you’ll need to add a key to each element to avoid the key warning:

render() {
  // No need to wrap list items in an extra element!
  return [
    // Don't forget the keys 🙂
    <li key="A">First item</li>,
    <li key="B">Second item</li>,
    <li key="C">Third item</li>,

Starting with React 16.2.0, it has support for a special fragment syntax to JSX that doesn’t require keys.

Support for returning strings :

render() {
  return 'Look ma, no spans!';


Portals provide a first-class way to render children into a DOM node that exists outside the DOM hierarchy of the parent component.

ReactDOM.createPortal(child, container)

The first argument (child) is any renderable React child, such as an element, string, or fragment. The second argument (container) is a DOM element.

How to use it

When you return an element from a component’s render method, it’s mounted into the DOM as a child of the nearest parent node:

render() {
  // React mounts a new div and renders the children into it
  return (

Sometimes it’s useful to insert a child into a different location in the DOM:

render() {
  // React does *not* create a new div. It renders the children into `domNode`.
  // `domNode` is any valid DOM node, regardless of its location in the DOM.
  return ReactDOM.createPortal(

A typical use case for portals is when a parent component has an overflow: hidden or z-index style, but you need the child to visually “break out” of its container. For example, dialogs, hovercards, and tooltips.

Custom DOM Attribute

React15 used to ignore any unknown DOM attributes. It would just skip them since React didn’t recognize it.

// Your code:
<div mycustomattribute="something" />

Would render an empty div to the DOM with React 15:

// React 15 output:
<div />

In React16, the output will be the following (custom attributes will be shown and not be ignored at all):

// React 16 output:
<div mycustomattribute="something" />

Avoid Re-render with setting NULL in state

With React16 you can prevent state updates and re-renders right from setState(). You just need to have your function return null.

const MAX_PIZZAS = 20;

function addAnotherPizza(state, props) {
  // Stop updates and re-renders if I've had enough pizzas.
  if ( === MAX_PIZZAS) {
    return null;

  // If not, keep the pizzas coming! 😀
  return {
    pizza: + 1,


Read more here.

Creating Refs

Creating refs with React16 is now much easier. Why you need to use refs:

  • Managing focus, text selection, or media playback.
  • Triggering imperative animations.
  • Integrating with third-party DOM libraries.

Refs are created using React.createRef() and are attached to React elements via the refattribute. Refs are commonly assigned to an instance property when a component is constructed so they can be referenced throughout the component.

class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    this.myRef = React.createRef();
  render() {
    return <div ref={this.myRef} />;

Accessing Refs

When a ref is passed to an element in render, a reference to the node becomes accessible at the current attribute of the ref.

const node = this.myRef.current;

The value of the ref differs depending on the type of the node:

  • When the ref attribute is used on an HTML element, the ref created in the constructor with React.createRef() receives the underlying DOM element as its current property.
  • When the ref attribute is used on a custom class component, the refobject receives the mounted instance of the component as its current.
  • You may not use the ref attribute on functional components because they don’t have instances.

Context API

Context provides a way to pass data through the component tree without having to pass props down manually at every level.


const {Provider, Consumer} = React.createContext(defaultValue);

Creates a { Provider, Consumer } pair. When React renders a context Consumer, it will read the current context value from the closest matching Provider above it in the tree.

The defaultValue argument is only used by a Consumer when it does not have a matching Provider above it in the tree. This can be helpful for testing components in isolation without wrapping them. Note: passing undefined as a Provider value does not cause Consumers to use defaultValue.


<Provider value={/* some value */}>

A React component that allows Consumers to subscribe to context changes.

Accepts a value prop to be passed to Consumers that are descendants of this Provider. One Provider can be connected to many Consumers. Providers can be nested to override values deeper within the tree.


  {value => /* render something based on the context value */}

A React component that subscribes to context changes.

Requires a function as a child. The function receives the current context value and returns a React node. The value argument passed to the function will be equal to the value prop of the closest Provider for this context above in the tree. If there is no Provider for this context above, the value argument will be equal to the defaultValue that was passed to createContext().

static getDerivedStateFromProps()

getDerivedStateFromProps is invoked right before calling the render method. Both on the initial mount and on subsequent updates. It should return an object to update the state, or null to update nothing.

This method exists for rare use cases where the state depends on changes in props over time. For example, it might be handy for implementing a <Transition> component that compares its previous and next children to decide which of them to animate in and out.

Deriving state leads to verbose code and makes your components difficult to think about.

Make sure you’re familiar with simpler alternatives:

This method doesn’t have access to the component instance. If you’d like, you can reuse some code between getDerivedStateFromProps() and the other class methods by extracting pure functions of the component props and state outside the class definition.

Note that this method is fired on every render, regardless of the cause. This is in contrast to UNSAFE_componentWillReceiveProps. It only fires when the parent causes a re-render and not as a result of a local setState.

We compare nextProps.someValue with this.props.someValue. If both are different then we perform some operation, setState

static getDerivedStateFromProps(nextProps, prevState){   if(nextProps.someValue!==prevState.someValue){     
   return { someState: nextProps.someValue};  
} else return null;}

It receives two params nextProps and prevState. As mentioned previously, you cannot access this inside this method. You’ll have to store the props in the state to compare the nextProps with previous props. In above code nextProps and prevState are compared. If both are different then an object will be returned to update the state. Otherwise null will be returned indicating state update not required. If state changes then componentDidUpdate is called where we can perform the desired operations as we did in componentWillReceiveProps.

Bonus: React Lifecycle events

Well these are some of the features that you should definitely try while working with React16!

Happy coding 💻 😀

Originally posted at: Medium

Post by : Harsh Makadia


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Software as a Service – SaaS Wed, 01 Aug 2018 17:47:36 +0000 Continue reading Software as a Service – SaaS ]]> Cloud application services, or Software as a Service (SaaS), represent the largest cloud market and are still growing quickly. SaaS uses the web to deliver applications that are managed by a third-party vendor and whose interface is accessed on the clients’ side. Most SaaS applications can be run directly from a web browser without any downloads or installations required, although some require plugins.

Because of the web delivery model, SaaS eliminates the need to install and run applications on individual computers. With SaaS, it’s easy for enterprises to streamline their maintenance and support, because everything can be managed by vendors: applications, runtime, data, middleware, OSes, virtualization, servers, storage and networking.

There are a few major characteristics that apply to most SaaS vendors:

  • Updates are applied automatically without customer intervention
  • The service is purchased on a subscription basis
  • No hardware is required to be installed by the customer

SaaS is also known as hosted software or on-demand software.

SaaS is a natural evolution of software. The old model of getting physical DVDs and installing on local servers was the only realistic solution for many years. In fact, the client-server model is still required for many scenarios. That said, in recent years a number of developments have allowed SaaS to become mainstream. One factor is bandwidth; the internet is simply faster than it was a decade ago. Other major factors include the evolution of both virtualization and tools in big data. All these advances have made it much easier for providers to scale and manage their own infrastructure and thus provide SaaS solutions.

SaaS is used in a number of common business areas, including customer relationship management (CRM), document management, accounting, human resource (HR) management, service desk management, content management and collaboration. There are literally thousands of SaaS vendors, but is perhaps the best known example, as it is one of the first vendors to significantly disrupt a traditional software vertical.

SaaS is closely related to platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It falls under the umbrella of the larger category of cloud computing, although many people view the terms as synonymous.

Popular SaaS offering types include email and collaboration, customer relationship management, and healthcare-related applications. Some large enterprises that are not traditionally thought of as software vendors have started building SaaS as an additional source of revenue in order to gain a competitive advantage.

SaaS Examples: Google Apps, Salesforce, Workday, Concur, Citrix GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx
Common SaaS Use-Case: Replaces traditional on-device software

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Platform as a Service – PaaS Wed, 01 Aug 2018 17:44:14 +0000 Continue reading Platform as a Service – PaaS ]]> PaaS: Platform as a Service

Cloud platform services, or Platform as a Service (PaaS), are used for applications, and other development, while providing cloud components to software. What developers gain with PaaS is a framework they can build upon to develop or customize applications. PaaS makes the development, testing, and deployment of applications quick, simple, and cost-effective. With this technology, enterprise operations, or a third-party provider, can manage OSes, virtualization, servers, storage, networking, and the PaaS software itself. Developers, however, manage the applications.

Enterprise PaaS provides line-of-business software developers a self-service portal for managing computing infrastructure from centralized IT operations and the platforms that are installed on top of the hardware. The enterprise PaaS can be delivered through a hybrid model that uses both public IaaS and on-premise infrastructure or as a pure private PaaS that only uses the latter.

PaaS evolved from software as a service (SaaS), which uses the Internet to host software applications. PaaS is the center of the five layers of cloud computing. The two layers above PaaS are the client (hardware and software) and application (including SaaS) layers. Below the PaaS are the infrastructure – including infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – and server (hardware and software) layers.

The PaaS service delivery model allows a customer to rent virtualized servers and associated services used to run existing applications, or to design, develop, test, deploy and host applications.

PaaS offerings include a variety of services and service combinations spanning the application development lifecycle. Typical service features include source code control and tracking, versioning, testing and build process management tools.

Similar to the way in which you might create macros in Excel, PaaS allows you to create applications using software components that are built into the PaaS (middleware). Applications using PaaS inherit cloud characteristic such as scalability, high-availability, multi-tenancy, SaaS enablement, and more. Enterprises benefit from PaaS because it reduces the amount of coding necessary, automates business policy, and helps migrate apps to hybrid model. For the needs of enterprises and other organizations, Apprenda is one provider of a private cloud PaaS for .NET and Java.

Enterprise PaaS Examples: Apprenda
Common PaaS Use-Case: Increases developer productivity and utilization rates while also decreasing an application’s time-to-market

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Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS Wed, 01 Aug 2018 17:38:00 +0000 Continue reading Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS ]]> IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service

Cloud infrastructure services, known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), are self-service models for accessing, monitoring, and managing remote datacenter infrastructures, such as compute (virtualized or bare metal), storage, networking, and networking services (e.g. firewalls). Instead of having to purchase hardware outright, users can purchase IaaS based on consumption, similar to electricity or other utility billing.


An IaaS provider provides policy-based services and is responsible for housing, operating and maintaining the equipment it provides for a client. Clients usually pay on a per-use or utility computing basis.

Characteristics of IaaS include:

  • Automated administrative tasks
  • Dynamic scaling
  • Platform virtualization
  • Internet connectivity

IaaS is also described as one of three main categories of cloud computing service.

Compared to SaaS and PaaS, IaaS users are responsible for managing applications, data, runtime, middleware, and OSes. Providers still manage virtualization, servers, hard drives, storage, and networking. Many IaaS providers now offer databases, messaging queues, and other services above the virtualization layer as well. Some tech analysts draw a distinction here and use the IaaS+ moniker for these other options. What users gain with IaaS is infrastructure on top of which they can install any required platform. Users are responsible for updating these if new versions are released.

IaaS Examples: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco Metapod, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Joyent
Common IaaS Use-Case: Extends current data center infrastructure for temporary workloads (e.g. increased Christmas holiday site traffic)

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Increase productivity and efficiency through Cloud Wed, 01 Aug 2018 17:25:11 +0000 Continue reading Increase productivity and efficiency through Cloud ]]> Cloud computing is becoming a bona fide business strategy for all kinds of small and large scale businesses. This phase of business strategy can be a tough way for setting a concept, defining the big picture and measuring success.

It is a very cost-effective option for enterprises across the world, as the workforce productivity is increasing. After the invention of cloud computing techniques, things are becoming faster, more responsive and precise. The impact of clouds on business agility is not measurable.

The new internet business model is becoming the new trend of businesses. It is being used in various industries like IT, employee scheduling and time tracking, and to run and store data like images and applications. Cloud storage service providers have made it possible for employees to spend less time waiting and more time working.

Cloud-based applications are typically available through a web browser and can be operated anywhere and anytime through an internet connection. It can be learned quickly and easily, which is great news for companies that rely on traveling or remote workers.

Let’s discuss in detail how cloud computing is increasing business productivity and profits.

1. Flexibility, Functionality, and Efficiency

In the ever-changing business landscape, there are certain business aspects that are difficult to adapt to. With cloud computing, we have witnessed companies adapting to market conditions with the kind of flexibility that is not possible when using on-site physical solutions.

This is a virtual solution to internal demands that will integrate with the tools that you already use in your business. Cloud services are used to meet the demands, and their use can then be easily decreased as the demand drops. Thus, there is no problem of overloading IT systems.

2. More Efficient Collaboration

Cloud computing makes team collaboration a bit simpler and allows work to be done anytime, anywhere. For many small businesses, it has become possible to share information seamlessly and work on projects on the same page and transform the way things get done.

From across the globe, your employees can collaborate and have a detailed overview of the progress on different projects in real time. This was not possible before the advent of cloud computing as the employees are becoming far more productive now, managing work processes and demonstrating products and services to clients.

3. Less IT Infrastructure and Maintenance Work

It takes more energy, time and money to maintain a huge IT infrastructure on your own. Computing has become a utility service and it reduces bottlenecks. It has allowed teams to get what they need without the headache of maintenance.

You get business savings each month and you won’t have to bother with high storage hard disks, DVDs, pen drives, original software, data management, high server cost and hardware maintenance tools, etc. Using cloud computing also gives you new opportunities to reduce the cost of running your business, increasing your company’s profits. Team members can work remotely on safe data and find all the features they need.

4. A More Efficient Workforce

Over the last few years, there has been a large demand for bring your own device (BYOD) and this trend is unstoppable. With added cloud services, it creates a higher chance of increasing productivity as well. It empowers the modern employees, as they can work from their remote location on their personal devices.

How cool is that! It is making workforce efficient and desirable. Also, due to the comfort of working from their home, employees put in a bit of extra effort and thus experience increased productivity. Providing access on their own devices is made possible with cloud computing and it brings in a new technology that is ever-evolving.

Finally, with a greater in-house focus, we get more productivity on the core of the business. With IT in the cloud, you will be better able to focus on what you do and do it better.

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Lower risks and secured data on Cloud Wed, 01 Aug 2018 16:50:19 +0000 Continue reading Lower risks and secured data on Cloud ]]> Cloud services are here to stay, and they are taking over more enterprise functions every year. Where once cloud services were limited to simple storage or contact management, core functions like ERP have now moved to the cloud. And with a broad array of essential services increasingly shifting to the cloud, IT leaders must keep an eye on the risks inherent in today’s cloud environment and take preventative steps to mitigate them.

Here’s a look at what your organization should do to assess and mitigate the risks of cloud computing.

Assess your appetite for risk in the cloud

In the banking industry, it is common to set a risk appetite to guide organizational decisions. For example, a conservative risk appetite would lead one to decline lucrative but highly uncertain loans. A more “bleeding edge” risk appetite may deliver higher returns during booms. The downside? Your bank may take massive hits during the next crisis.

From an IT management perspective, your risk appetite will inform your due diligence, ongoing monitoring and willingness to invest in reducing risk. For example, you may set up a tiered approach to risk mitigation to make the best use of your limited resources. The risk of a “Tier 1” cloud service failing may be reduced through staffing (e.g., having a dedicated relationship manager), regular testing and paying for top-tier vendor support.
Revisit your cloud usage culture

Cloud providers like to emphasize ease of use and flexibility. And once organizations experience the ease of the cloud, few have the desire to go back to maintaining their own legacy infrastructure. But a casual attitude toward cloud services may lead employees to take foolish risks.

“Cloud services often encourage ‘casual use’ of data; I can collect, search and store anything just about anywhere” is the hook, says John Hodges, vice president of product strategy for AvePoint. “We often see this in systems like Box, DropBox or OneDrive, where there is a real mixed-use danger in how content is stored and shared.” The simple solution? Prohibit services where mixed-use is likely to be a problem.

Banning higher-risk cloud services helps, but it does not eliminate the problem entirely. “With corporate-provided accounts such as Slack channels or Microsoft Teams or other systems, users always take the route that is most convenient for sharing data. That behavior may not align with records retention policies or restrictions on data sharing,” explains Hodges. Inconsistent application of record retention policies may cause headaches if your company is subject to litigation or a similar investigation.
Use zero trust models to reduce risk

Zero trust is an IT security strategy wherein an organization requires every user, system or device inside or outside its perimeter to be verified and validated before connecting to its systems. How can you use a zero trust model to mitigate cloud risk? For Insurity, an organization that specializes in property and casualty insurance services and software, a zero trust approach means restricting access tightly.

“We provide logical access to the minimum set of users with a minimum set of rights and privileges in line with job function requirements. This control is audited internally by our Enterprise Security team and externally as part of our annual SOC audit,” says Jonathan Victor, CIO of Insurity.

Regularly examine user access levels and ask yourself whether they make sense. Do you need dozens of users with administrative access? Each super user adds additional risk.
Learn from IT failures in the news

Taking time to study industry news for cloud-related failures will help you mitigate your cloud risk. The complex and evolving nature of cloud use in today’s enterprise means there’s always something to learn from high-profile incidents gone wrong.

“Our focus is on the loss of data, so we see important lessons in incidents like the Meraki data loss in August of 2017, when on-premises systems failed to back up data to the cloud service as it was designed to do,” says Rich Petersen, co-founder and president of JetStream Software.

Cisco admitted that cloud configuration error caused data loss and lost productivity. As The Register reported, “the incident is a huge mess for Cisco, because Meraki’s sold on the basis that its supporting cloud service removes much of the grunt work required to run networks and voice systems. That Meraki’s team made such a substantial mistake — and seemingly lacked data protection tools to cover such an eventuality — is a very big black mark on its reputation.”
Rethink your mix of manual vs. automated cloud management strategies

Automation, virtual assistants and data crunching can help companies not only sell more products but manage their cloud services as well. For Barracuda Networks, the scale of manual security work has come down significantly since it began automating processes for the cloud.

“We have abandoned performing manual security checks and moving to automated scans because increasing and continuous threats require 24x7x365 vigilance to ensure system integrity, data protection and compliance control requirements,” says Greg Arnette, director of data protection platform strategy at Barracuda Networks.

The drive to automate has significant limits, however, when it comes to mitigating cloud risks. After all, you can’t automate a risk assessment of a cloud provider. But if you use more automated tools to detect problems and standardize configuration in the cloud, you can focus more staff time on complex issues such as training and managing your relationships with cloud providers.
Push for audit rights for your most sensitive suppliers

Whether you have the right to audit your cloud suppliers is a hot topic. If your contracts and agreements lack this provision, your hands may be tied if there is an incident. On the other hand, large cloud providers are pushing back on these requirements.

“Regarding audits, many cloud companies are pushing back on organizations and not allowing them audit rights to audit their data centers and their processes, procedures and security measures,” says Ted Rogers, project execution advisory practice leader at UpperEdge. “Why? They are hesitant to have a third party show up and conduct an audit. Instead, the vendor says that they are compliant, or they say not to be worried about it because if they do not do it, they will be in trouble for other reasons under the contract such as a breach event.”

One solution is to critically assess the audit methodology developed by the cloud provider. Rogers suggests the following alternative: “Get access to the cloud provider’s audit documentation. Specifically, look for if they have made updates in light of Facebook’s difficulties with data privacy. Some of these cloud providers say they are just a data processor. They claim they do not touch the data and don’t give it away.” That just begs the question: how do know whether the provider is following their word?

If a cloud provider is resistant to giving your company audit rights, there are still ways to mitigate this risk. You can request more robust reporting and emphasize leading risk indicators. You can also ask your internal audit department to provide input during contract discussions.
Rethink avoidance as a risk mitigation strategy

Lastly, hacking and security are not the only risks to consider. There is also the risk of being left behind.

“A significant business risk for some of our less mature clients is not pursuing cloud transformation and services aggressively enough. The cloud is not just a new technology — it has changed the business and operating paradigm for many industries. It is about transforming the business to become more agile and competitive,” says Tony Buffomante, U.S. Leader of KPMG’s Cyber Security Services.

Moreover, few organizations have the budget or inclination to build data centers and develop all their software and infrastructure on premises. In fact, companies with a smaller IT capability may benefit from the risk management capabilities of large cloud providers.

“In our experience, the ability for large-scale cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft and Google to provide secure IT environments dwarfs that of on-premises or custom data center configurations. We believe strongly that shunning the cloud would introduce significant risk to our business,” says Keith Cerny, chief technology officer at ACL. “Our direct experience has been that a well-architected cloud environment addresses our security, privacy and availability requirements at a level we could not achieve through any other means. In 2016 when we moved our headquarters to a new location, we realized the major benefit of experiencing no business downtime. Our employees were able to work remotely using our cloud services, making it a seamless transition.”

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Cloud technology to leverage your services/product offerings Wed, 01 Aug 2018 16:33:42 +0000 Continue reading Cloud technology to leverage your services/product offerings ]]> Cloud computing has been around for approximately two decades and despite the data pointing to the business efficiencies, cost benefits and competitive advantages it holds over the old way of business, a large portion of the business community continues to operate the old way.; According to a study by the International Data Group, 69 percent of businesses are already using cloud technology in one capacity or another, and 18 percent say they plan to implement cloud-computing solutions at some point. At the same time, Dell reports that companies that invest in big data, cloud, mobility, and security enjoy up to 53 percent faster revenue growth than their competitors. As this data clearly shows, an increasing number of tech-savvy businesses and industry leaders are recognizing the many benefits of the cloud computing trend. But more than that, they are using this technology to more efficiently run their organizations, better serve their customers, and dramatically increase their overall profit margins.

All this seems to indicate that given the apparent direction in which the industry is moving, there’s never been a better time to get your head in the cloud.

Cloud computing is a term that has gained widespread use over the last few years. With the exponential increase in data use that has accompanied society’s transition into the digital 21st century, it is becoming more and more difficult for individuals and organizations to keep all of their vital information, programs, and systems up and running on in-house computer servers. The solution to this problem is one that has been around for nearly as long as the internet, but that has only recently gained widespread application for businesses.

Cloud computing operates on a similar principle as web-based email clients, allowing users to access all of the features and files of the system without having to keep the bulk of that system on their own computers. In fact, most people already use a variety of cloud computing services without even realizing it’Gmail, Google Drive, TurboTax, and even Facebook and Instagram are all cloud-based applications. For all of these services, users are sending their personal data to a cloud-hosted server that stores the information for later access. And as useful as these applications are for personal use, they’re even more valuable for businesses that need to be able to access large amounts of data over a secure, online network connection.

For example, employees can access customer information via cloud-based CRM software like Salesforce from their smartphone or tablet at home or while traveling, and can quickly share that information with other authorized parties anywhere in the world.

Still, there are those leaders that are remaining hesitant about committing to cloud computing solutions for their organizations. So, we’d like to take a few minutes, and share 12 business advantages of cloud computing.

Cost savings: If you are worried about the price tag that would come with making the switch over to cloud computing, you aren’t alone; 20 percent of organizations are concerned about the initial cost of implementing a cloud-based server. But those who are attempting to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud need to consider more factors than just initial price; they need to consider ROI.

Once you’re on the cloud, easy access to your company’s data will save time and money in project start-ups. And, for those who are worried that they’ll end up paying for features that they neither need nor want, most cloud computing services are pay-as-you-go. This means that if you don’t take advantage of what the cloud has to offer, then at least you won’t have to be dropping money on it.

The pay-as-you-go system also applies to the data storage space needed to service your stakeholders and clients, which means that you’ll get exactly as much space as you need, and not be charged for any space that you don’t. Taken together, these factors result in lower costs and higher returns. Half of all CIOs and IT leaders surveyed by Bitglass reported cost savings in 2015 as a result of using cloud-based applications.
Security: One major hang up that many organizations have when it comes to adopting a cloud computing solution is the issue of security. After all, when files, programs, and other data aren’t kept securely on site, how can you know that they are being protected? If you can remote access your data, then what’s stopping some cyber criminal from doing the same thing? Well, quite a bit, actually.

For one thing, a cloud host’s full-time job is to carefully monitor security, which is significantly more efficient than a conventional in-house system, where an organization must divide its efforts between a myriad of IT concerns, with security being only one of them. And while most businesses don’t like to openly consider the possibility of internal data theft, the truth is that a staggeringly high percentage of data thefts occur internally and are perpetrated by employees. When this is the case, it can actually be much safer to keep sensitive information off-site. Of course, this is all very abstract, so let’s consider some solid statistics.

RapidScale claims that 94 percent of businesses saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud, and 91 percent said the cloud makes it easier to meet government compliance requirements. The key to this amped-up security is the encryption of data being transmitted over networks and stored in databases. By using encryption, information is less accessible by hackers or anyone not authorized to view your data. As an added security measure, with most cloud-based services, different security settings can be set based on the user.

While 20% of cloud user claim disaster recovery in 4 hours or less, only 9% of cloud users could claim the same.

Flexibility: Your business has only a finite amount of focus to divide between all of its responsibilities. If your current IT solutions are forcing you to commit too much of your attention to computer and data-storage issue, then you aren’t going to be able to concentrate on reaching business goals and satisfying customers. On the other hand, by relying on an outside organization to take care of all IT hosting and infrastructure, you’ll have more time to devote towards the aspects of your business that directly affect your bottom line.

The cloud offers businesses more flexibility overall versus hosting on a local server. And, if you need extra bandwidth, a cloud-based service can meet that demand instantly, rather than undergoing a complex (and expensive) update to your IT infrastructure. This improved freedom and flexibility can make a significant difference to the overall efficiency of your organization. A 65% majority of respondents to an InformationWeek survey said ‘the ability to quickly meet business demands’ was one of the most important reasons a business should move to a cloud environment.

Mobility: Cloud computing allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and devices, which, considering over 2.6 billion smartphones are being used globally today, is a great way to ensure that no one is ever left out of the loop. Staff with busy schedules, or who live a long way away from the corporate office, can use this feature to keep instantly up-to-date with clients and coworkers.

Through the cloud, you can offer conveniently accessible information to sales staff who travel, freelance employees, or remote employees, for better work-life balance. Therefore, it’s not surprising to see that organizations with employee satisfaction listed as a priority are up to 24 percent more likely to expand cloud usage.
Insight: As we move ever further into the digital age, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the old adage ‘Knowledge is power’ has taken on the more modern and accurate form: ‘Data is money.’ Hidden within the millions of bits of data that surround your customer transactions and business process are nuggets of invaluable, actionable information just waiting to be identified and acted upon. Of course, sifting through that data to find these kernels can be very difficult’unless you have access to the right cloud computing solutions.

Many cloud-based storage solutions offer integrated cloud analytics for a bird’s-eye view of your data. With your information stored in the cloud, you can easily implement tracking mechanisms and build customized reports to analyze information organization-wide. From those insights, you can increase efficiencies and build action plans to meet organizational goals. For example, the beverage company Sunny Delight was able to increase profits by about $2 million a year and cut $195,000 in staffing coststhrough cloud-based business insights.
Increased collaboration: If your business has two employees or more, then you should be making collaboration a top priority. After all, there isn’t much point to having a team if it is unable to work like a team. Cloud computing makes collaboration a simple process. Team members can view and share information easily and securely across a cloud-based platform. Some cloud-based services even provide collaborative social spaces to connect employees across your organization, therefore increasing interest and engagement. Collaboration may be possible without a cloud computing solution, but it will never be as easy, nor as effective.
Quality control: There are few things as detrimental to the success of a business as poor-quality, inconsistent reporting. In a cloud-based system, all documents are stored in one place and in a single format. With everyone accessing the same information, you can maintain consistency in data, avoid human error, and have a clear record of any revisions or updates. Conversely, managing information in silos can lead to employees accidentally saving different versions of documents, which leads to confusion and diluted data.
Disaster recovery: One of the factors that contributes to the success of a business is control. Unfortunately, no matter how in control your organization may be when it comes to its own processes, there will always be things that are completely out of your control, and in today’s market, even a small amount of unproductive downtime can have a resoundingly negative effect. Downtime in your services leads to lost productivity, revenue, and brand reputation.

But while there may be no way for you to prevent or even anticipate the disasters that could potentially harm your organization, there is something you can do to help speed your recovery. Cloud-based services provide quick data recovery for all kinds of emergency scenarios’from natural disasters to power outages. While 20 percent of cloud users claim disaster recovery in four hours or less, only 9 percent of non-cloud users could claim the same. In a recent survey, 43 percent of IT executives said they plan to invest in or improve cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.

Benefits of the Cloud

Loss prevention: If your organization isn’t investing in a cloud-computing solution, then all of your valuable data is inseparably tied to the office computers it resides in. This may not seem like a problem, but the reality is that if your local hardware experiences a problem, you might end up permanently losing your data. This is a more common problem than you might realize; computers can malfunction for many reasons, from viral infections, to age-related hardware deterioration, to simple user error. Or, despite the best of intentions, they can be misplaced or stolen (over 10,000 laptops are reported lost every week at major airports).

If you aren’t on the cloud, you’re at risk of losing all the information you had saved locally. With a cloud-based server, however, all the information you’ve uploaded to the cloud remains safe and easily accessible from any computer with an internet connection, even if the computer you regularly use isn’t working.
Automatic software updates: For those who have a lot to get done, there isn’t anything more irritating than having to wait for system update to be installed. Cloud-based applications automatically refresh and update themselves, instead of forcing an IT department to perform a manual organization-wide update. This saves valuable IT staff time and money spent on outside IT consultation. PCWorld lists that 50 percent of cloud adopters cited requiring fewer internal IT resources as a cloud benefit.
Competitive edge: While cloud computing is increasing in popularity, there are still those who prefer to keep everything local. That’s their choice, but doing so places them at a distinct disadvantage when competing with those who have the benefits of the cloud at their fingertips. If you implement a cloud-based solution before your competitors, you’ll be farther along the learning curve by the time they catch up. A recent Verizon study showed that 77 percent of businesses feel cloud technology gives them a competitive advantage, and 16 percent believe this advantage is ‘significant.’
Sustainability: Given the current state of the environment, it’s no longer enough for organizations to place a recycling bin in the breakroom and claim that they’re doing their part to help the planet. Real sustainability requires solutions that address wastefulness at every level of a business. Hosting on the cloud is more environmentally-friendly, and results in less of a carbon footprint.

Cloud infrastructures support environmental proactivity, powering virtual services rather than physical products and hardware, and cutting down on paper waste, improving energy efficiency, and (given that it allows employees access from anywhere with an internet connection) reducing commuter-related emissions. A Pike Research report predicted data center energy consumption will drop by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020 based on the adoption of cloud computing and other virtual data options.

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Easiest ways to reduce your IT infrastructure cost and improve efficiency Wed, 01 Aug 2018 16:11:36 +0000 Continue reading Easiest ways to reduce your IT infrastructure cost and improve efficiency ]]> For today’s enterprise, costs associated with maintaining IT infrastructure can be a serious concern. Whether it’s outside business concerns that are squeezing the company’s IT budget to its limits or whether it’s simply a desire to move to the most advanced technologies while guaranteeing cost effectiveness, enterprise IT leaders are looking for the smartest way to reduce the costs associated with their physical infrastructure.

Below are six ways that enterprises can do just that:

1. Software-Defined and Integrated Infrastructures – Today, software-defined infrastructure just makes sense. Made up of software-defined data centers and integrated systems, or converted infrastructures (CI), SDI allows flexibility and efficiency to be realized by trusting software to provision and manage existing resources. It also successfully eliminates traditional silos of IT and forces businesses to re-think server, network, and storage administration with a more holistic approach. Click here to read more about the benefits of SDN for data centers.

2. Server Modernization – Aging servers aren’t doing your organization any favors, and they certainly aren’t getting any faster, safer, or smarter. The same can’t be said for updated and consolidated servers powered by virtual machines (VMs). Colocating in one of our top notch data center facilities is one smart way to ensure you have the physical space, security, and scalability you need.

3. Network Negotiations – Many organizations are looking at the long term and setting a goal of reducing telecom expenses by 20%. This means more frequent issuing of RFPs for LAN, WAN, voice expenses, and running costs. If you’re looking to reduce infrastructure costs long-term, give yourself a leg up by negotiating early and often on the services you buy. Some companies may seek to outsource as much of their IT as possible to reduce infrastructure cost.

4. Assess Client Device Management – With more local PCs to handle, costs will increase. If organizations can lower the total number of endpoints and reduce the total device count, resources will be better used. To the degree that you are able, assess the management of devices on the client side to determine if costs can be reduced.

5. Self-Service Help Desk – When it comes to conserving resources, a self-service help desk can make life easier on both your side and the client side. Make sure you design it with the end user in mind. It could help the company save time and money.

6. Deploy Cloud Computing – If you’re trying to cut IT costs without losing insights and you haven’t ventured into the cloud yet, what are you waiting for? Now that Digital Realty has launched The Connected Campus, meeting all of your critical IT needs has never been easier, or more flexible or affordable. Still not sure? A recent report by research firm Gartner lays out in multiple ways just how critical the cloud will be for businesses in the coming years.

If your enterprise is looking for ways to reduce IT costs, exploring the above six ways would be a great start. If you are still unsure of how to manage these or need professional help, do drop us an email or contact us at this link.

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Ola partners with Azure instead of AWS for its cloud services Sun, 15 Jul 2018 17:39:06 +0000 Continue reading Ola partners with Azure instead of AWS for its cloud services ]]> Microsoft is looking at partnerships with India’s large new-age technology companies as a way to grow its cloud biz
Ride-hailing service Ola and US technology giant Microsoft are understood to be taking their partnership to the next level with the Indian company migrating its entire technology stack from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.
The deal will help Ola save as much as 30-40 per cent on its bill for cloud computing services, which stands at around $20 million (Rs 1.4 billion), a source said.
This comes at a time when Ola is cutting expenses as it looks to become profitable by the end of the year or early next year.
Microsoft, on the other hand, will win yet another multi-million dollar customer. In November, the firms had struck a deal for Ola’s connected car platform.
Talks between the two progressed from there leading to Azure becoming Ola’s preferred cloud provider for its entire stack, the source said.

Microsoft has struck similar deals with Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace, and with digital ads network InMobi. In the case of Flipkart, Microsoft followed up by participating in a $1.4-billion investment in the firm along with investors Tencent and eBay in April last year.
While there is no word on whether the partnership will translate into Microsoft making an investment in Ola, some of the early investors in the Indian firm are looking for a suitable exit. Sources close to the company say that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek is in talks with the company to make an investment through secondary route.
While Ola declined to comment, an email sent to Microsoft did not elicit any response. An AWS spokesperson said: “While the vast majority of AWS customers choose to work with one infrastructure provider for the many benefits that delivers, some customers choose to run part of their workloads with a second provider, to expand their experience, and for comparison purposes.”
Industry watchers point out that Microsoft is looking at partnerships with India’s large new-age technology companies as a way to grow its cloud business. The Redmond-headquartered firm is even willing to pick up stakes in these firms to ensure that it builds long-lasting relationships.
India’s market for cloud computing is estimated to be worth $2 billion already, and is expected to double in the next two to three years.
While AWS continues to lead the market, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba and even Tencent are making massive investments to grab a piece of the market. Each of these players have made massive investments in setting up data centres to cater to local customers, with India tightening its laws on data localisation and privacy.
Sudarshan P N, Partner at Deloitte, said: “Adoption of cloud was initially propelled by technology need in the mid-market and government-related services, but now we see that large institutions are also taking it up. However, despite the pickup in number of larger deals in this space, I believe that the demand from mid-market will continue to drive the growth.”

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Best way to use images for websites Tue, 05 Jun 2018 10:34:35 +0000 Continue reading Best way to use images for websites ]]> Many people think like this — it’s good to have images on a website. They make a website look good, fill up the white space and add more colour to the website. Are these the only purposes of having images on a website? Are images just for decoration? If you think so, you need to read on — images can do so much more!

Images make explanation easier to understand

The screenshots below are showing the visitors how to shop on a website, which one do you prefer, the first one or the second one?

process images 1
process images

I am sure most people would prefer the second screenshot. Both screenshots contain the same information but the second one is easier to understand and it takes less time to know how to shop on the website. The first one just has too much text. As I mentioned in one of my previous articles — visitors do not read the text on your website, they scan. That’s why it is much better to use images to illustrate how the shopping process works in the above example. I came across a number of online retailers’ FAQs section, most of them use plain text, as if the FAQs are the terms & conditions. Most of the time, I found what I was looking for but it’s just very time consuming to read all the text, a paragraph after a paragraph.

Images can evoke emotions

images example 5

The dummy page above is about asking people to take responsibility for their pet, pets also got feelings and their owner should not ditch them whenever they want. I used an image with a sad looking puppy in a setting that looks like a forest. How do you feel when you look at the above dummy page? Do you want to give the puppy a big hug and perhaps take it home? If you just use plain text or a random dog image, it would not have the same effect:

images example 4

Images are powerful, they speak more than thousand words.

Let images talk to your audience

Do you know the demographics of your audience? Depending on the nature of your website, the demographics could vary in a great deal. If most of them are female, you may want to use images that have some feminine colours, for instance, pink and purple. Likewise, if your audience is male, you may want to use images that have a darker tone: navy blue and black.

images example 3
Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Apart from gender, you may also want to take the age group, interests, professions and so on into consideration as all of these affect how your audience reacts to your images.

Avoid stock images

It is very tempting to use stock images for your website. Stock images have good quality, they are low cost or even free. However, it is very hard to find a series of images that is consistent in term of quality, exposure, composition and so on that reflect your brand personality. For example, I was trying to find food images on Unsplash for a dummy menu I created. Here is what I got:

images example 1

All images look professional BUT they do not look consistent. Unfortunately there is no easy workaround. To get high quality, professional, consistent images, you will need to hire a photographer. He or she would work with you so that the images would convey your messages, show your brand personality and style.

Avoid unnecessary decorative images

As you may know, page speed becomes more and more important when it comes to user experience and SEO (actually they go hand in hand as Google treats user experience as a priority). If your website is slow to load, your visitors would lose their patience and leave your website. According to a research by Google, 53% of mobile site visitors would leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. So what makes a website slow to load? There are a number of reasons but images play a role. Try to think about this: You have 20 images on a webpage, only one of them is necessary and the rest are just for making the page look good. They do not help in the actual conversion but they do help slow down your webpage.
In the screenshot below, is it better to replace the image with a map that shows the office location?

images example 2

Use the right image file formats

There are different image file formats, for example, PNG, JPEG and GIF. Different formats have their own advantages. If you use the right file format, you can greatly improve the user experience as well as the image quality on your website. Below is a brief introduction to PNG, JPEG and GIF.
PNG is best for logos as this format supports transparent background and if your images are complex, this format retains the quality when compressed. However, it comes with a cost — the file size is bigger compared to JPEG.
JPEG can handle complex colours but the more you reduce the file size, the lower image quality would become.
GIF supports transparent background, just like PNG and it also supports animation. However, it has a limit of 256 colours.
If all the images on your website are in PNG, you may want to consider switching some of them to JPEG to reduce the file size and optimise the page speed. For instance, decorative images do not need to have high quality, those images could be saved as JPEG with smaller file size.
A final tip about choosing the right image file format — use the Save for Web feature in Photoshop. This feature helps you save your images in a better way in terms of file size and quality. As the name suggests, the images that are saved for web have a smaller file size but retain a decent quality for web browsing.


Images have a bigger impact than you think. They are the first things that your visitors would see when they come to your website. Most web designers spend lots of time on layouts, colour palette and typeface selection, etc. but forget about images. Including images selection in the web design process would make the entire website more cohesive, consistent and professional. Finally, don’t forget to choose the right image file formats to make your images shine.

Article by: Ainsley Yeung

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