BUSINESS GOALS

Australia’s Flinders University wanted to offer a superior digital experience to its 27,000 students and more than 5,000 staff. That required a modern,
cloud-first IT environment, part of an overarching 10-year strategy called Making a Difference: The 2025 Agenda.

This visionary initiative prepares graduates for success in a dynamic and unpredictable future of constant technological innovation and disruptive
change. Fundamental to the 2025 vision is a five year digital transformation strategy, which includes moving up to 90 percent of the organization’s
applications to the cloud.

By delivering a personalized student experience and meeting the high expectations of young, tech-savvy digital natives, Flinders can deepen engagement throughout the student lifecycle, from prospect and
graduate to alumnus.f you’d like to know more.

TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES

In assessing its ambitious plan, Flinders recognized the critical need for integration to connect new cloud applications and existing legacy systems. Yet its integration capabilities were immature, ad hoc, point-to-point and manual. Flinders’ deputy CIO Nicole Fishers realized that the university’s lack of sophisticated, scalable integration capabilities would delay implementation of its cloud-first roadmap. Flinders needed flexible and easy-to-use cloudnative integration to quickly connect a portfolio of
cloud and on-premise applications.

HOW BOOMI HELPED

Flinders found the answer to its integration challenges with Boomi’s low-code, cloud-native platform. Boomi, a Dell Technologies business,
addressed the university’s entire range of data and integration needs, including:

• Cloud-native integration
• Data governance
• Workflow automation
• API management

Boomi makes true digital transformation possible by easily and rapidly connecting applications, data and people. And, unlike other vendors Flinders considered, Boomi didn’t require a team of in-house developers with advanced technical skills. The university quickly ramped up a six-person integration team with no previous integration experience, which immediately began tackling a slew of integration projects.

RESULTS & BUSINESS OUTCOMES
In just a year, using Boomi, Flinders’ team migrated a large-scale student management system (SMS) and financial systems from on-premise to cloud
versions. The team reworked approximately 130 integrations
between these systems and other applications, including a learning management system, human resources, CRM and admissions system. With
Boomi, Flinders was able to:

• Reduce integration development time by at least 2X
• Support rapid deployment of integrations
• Streamline onboarding and lower administrative
overhead
• Serve as a foundation for a new integration
center of excellence

Building on its initial success, Flinders now uses
Boomi to enrich and streamline student experiences
by offering mobile-friendly, on-demand access
to educational resources and information across
multiple channels.

Introduction

The ideal of achieving a true passwordless operating environment is a universally accepted one. The benefits to both a better user experience and to improved security are clear. It comes as no surprise then that passwordless is taking centre stage in industry discussions and with vendor product focus alike.

However, the path to achieving complete password replacement is not trivial, and there’s no simple middle ground. It’s not possible to have a “mostly passwordless” outcome, to implement just a little bit here and a little bit there. True benefits are realised only when you’re all in, and passwords are eliminated in totality.

This means that you need to be well equipped to tackle passwordless with both the right approach, the right tools, and well supported projects. To help you come to grips with all the aspects you need to consider, I outline 12 key factors that are critical to a successful passwordless implementation.

1- True Passwordless or Password Masking?

Many “middle-ground” password elimination strategies simply swap in a convenience biometric, that unlocks a hidden password. This password is then used in the background and is not actually removed from play. These masked passwords can still be weaponised by fraudsters, as invariably there will be fallback processes that still rely on them. Further, from a convenience perspective, some biometrics have password/PIN equivalents by design. For example in iOS and Windows Hello, a failed convenience biometric falls back to a PIN / knowledge factor at the OS level – which can still unlock the secure element with an equivalent level of assurance.

In these cases, the inherence factor is readily bypassed, and so a true passwordless solution is still not achieved. This is an important concept to understand. Convenience biometrics have limited efficacy in a passwordless world.

2 – Support for numerous devices, platforms and operating systems

Most environments are heterogenous, and the mixed use of Windows, Mac, Unix, iOS and Android, are all very common. For this reason, passwordless capability must span all of these environments, as fallback to a password based solution in any one OS results in a generalised fallback for the entire enterprise.

If you have great passwordless support for Windows, but rely on passwords for Mac for example, then any resources available through this lowest common denominator is still at risk.

Passwordless means that you have to take stock of every OS in your organisation, and implement a replacement solution. This likely results in the need for multiple approaches, and to use multiple technologies. You should expect this, and architect for the necessary interplay that occurs between these technologies.

3 – Support for Offline

There continues to be many use cases where offline access is still very important (logging into a Windows machine on a flight is a common example). If you rely on push notifications, SMS, or a biometric from an external channel, what do you do when the network is unavailable?

In such cases, integrated OTP in offline generation mode is still a strong and viable technology, even though it is arguable that such methods are “outdated” and difficult to use. So the question is – how do you ensure your architecture is modernised, whilst still supporting these critical backup modes? And can your IAM systems recognise when you are offline, and provide the right credential capability automatically at the right time? These factors are important when it comes to seamless usability.

4 – Employees, Contractors, 3rd parties and BYOD

Organisations are rarely made up of internal staff alone. A workforce often includes contractors and third parties that are outside the firewall, and/or have a mix of devices that aren’t even to corporate standard.

Again, passwordless necessitates the elimination of passwords right across the enterprise, and so the same technologies must be relevant for third parties also. You will need to take stock of your external third party access points, understand your provisioning and credentials management processes, and cater for this often overlooked area.

Don’t allow a single lowest common denominator undermine all your good work. You have to be passwordless everywhere!

5 – Shared devices and kiosks

Where shared devices are utilised, a solid multi-user setup is critical. Shared devices also need to respond to push events that are user contextual.

Shared devices for staff are where FIDO based authenticators can work very well, for example U2F keys. Centralised biometrics are also useful, so that staff accessing devices for the first time are authenticating against a centralised system, rather than having to “enrol” against a new device every time.

6 – Integration to new authenticators

As authentication technologies evolve, the passwordless authentication processes used in lieu of knowledge factors must also evolve. New devices introduce new biometric readers, and these should be leveraged as quickly as they are pushed to market. Indeed, without passwords, new authenticators and devices are the very lifeblood of your passwordless solution.

And the reverse is also true, authenticators that become insecure must also be de-provisioned or disabled just as quickly. Because in a passwordless world, being able to fallback to a simple password is not an option, so what do you fallback to? Being able to manage any number of devices and credentials is an important underpinning of any passwordless solution. Options, secondary options, and fallback processes have never been more important.

7 – Integration into your existing applications

A quick Google search tells us that the “modern” computer password was invented 60 years ago, in 1960. This means that the use of passwords have had a lot of time to ingrain itself into just about every corner of computing and application design.

Going passwordless explicitly implies that your applications need to change, which on the face of it, is not great news. It is not uncommon for organisations to be maintaining literally hundreds or possibly thousands of legacy applications. Indeed this is a significant pointer to the way that applications should be built both now and in the future; to be divorced from driving the method of authentication in the first place. Security processes and policies should be linked to your application, and not baked in code.

The lesson here is that going passwordless means more than just implementing a password replacement technology. It means considering everything underneath in the application space too.

8 – New User Registration and device re-registration

When we use our devices to authenticate, how do we begin the process of authenticating to the device in the first place? Classically, this is through passwords to bootstrap the identity process, or through email links – which in itself, is secured with passwords.

Setting up a new device, or re-registering an account with an existing device, requires a rethink on the typical ways that devices are bootstrapped. And this is commonly a point of contention for organisations today, with call centres often utilised as the fallback of all fallbacks, which results in knowledge based Q&A being used to secure an account (what is your DOB? What was the last transaction on your savings account?). This is costly for the enterprise to run, and a favourite attack vector for fraudsters everywhere.

9 – Enhanced Authorisation Controls

With risk-based policy, the capacity to perform expanded and more meaningful authorisation is enhanced.

Older password based systems are often quite binary in nature, and simply being able to get into an application is all that is needed. In the age of passwordless and zero trust, we are dealing with more fine-grained checks on authenticity, and so the capacity to be able to utilise strong authorisation modelling is ripe. Why not use this paradigm shift to also up the ante in how you authorise events and transactions too.

10 – Risk and Trust

Passwordless relies on a new paradigm of risk and trust assessment, as it is founded on the concepts of a zero trust framework.

We have to assume all devices and intentions to be untrusted until proven otherwise, and this requires leverage of suitable risk and trust engines that continually examine the posture of an actor accessing a system.

By utilising strong risk analytics, additional supporting factors come into play rather than simple credential factors alone (e.g. I have a device and my thumb). This can include such things as specific device fingerprinting, location history, source network access details, transaction heat mapping and profiling etc. All of these things build a richer picture of digital intent. (e.g. I am using my work iPhone 8 Plus, on my office network, between the hours of 9AM and 5PM).

Certainly, as fallback authentication methods become fewer, noting that we can’t rely on a password anymore, additional knowledge and intel about what is being used, how it is being used, and when it is being used, becomes more important than ever before.

So the question is: Does your IAM solution support inbuilt risk and trust capability, and can it be used adequately within your digital stack? If this is still a bridge too far, you need to be aware that achieving passwordless is an unlikely outcome. You really need to bring this capability online and make it work.

11 – Rip And Replace Is Usually Not Feasible

As you look to implementing passwordless solutions, the approach of a total replatform might well be considered.

However, very few circumstances arise that allow for a rip and replace approach, and even then, you need to be sure that all facets of passwordless will be catered for in that replatforming, both now and in the future.

A better approach is to augment your architecture with technology that allows for vendor agnostic integration and orchestration, and in the areas needed.

12 – Reliance on a Single Vendor

When you look at the key underpinnings of zero-trust passwordless, there are quite a few concepts in play – and these areas are serviced by a myriad of vendors. Here’s a short-list of some of the technologies you’ll be executing against:

  • Application integration and frameworks
  • Device Management
  • Identity Management
  • Threat Detection
  • Risk Assessment
  • Authentication tools
  • Access Controls and Authorisation
  • Data centres, cloud, and multi-cloud

It is quite likely you’ll be working with various vendors to solve all these problems. Key then, is to be able to efficiently work with these numerous technologies, and architect your solution to avoid mixed vendor incompatibility and vendor lock in.

Conclusion

Implementing Passwordless is a major undertaking when you do it right, and it is hoped that this discussion has shed some light on the size and breadth of the problem space.

We’ve also seen that there is no single silver bullet or service that makes passwordless happen – you can’t buy a product off the shelf, unbox it, and achieve true passwordless across your enterprise. It takes careful assessment and uplift in many areas.

But there are technologies and strategies that are highly cognisant of, and suited to, the art of creating a Passwordless world. Transmit Security is a Zero Trust Passwordless enabler, not only through its capacity to supply key capabilities in all areas of passwordless design, but encourages a vendor agnostic integration methodology to enable you to more easily build your passwordless platform using the technologies you might already have.

Build your architecture according to abstracted security design. Utilise orchestration, credential equivalence and fallbacks, and integrated risk assessment to facilitate low friction authentication journeys and flows.

Passwordless can be more easily attained through the confluence of numerous IT Security and IAM concepts. These concepts are at the very core of the Transmit ethos. Reach out to me if you’d like to know more.

Technology is a great democratising force on Wall Street and is forcing management teams to rethink their sales and trading businesses. Automation, electronification and digitisation means the traditional advantages exploited by capital markets incumbents like capital and scale are no longer the key differentiators going forward. Consequently, technologists have made the transition from cost centre to front office and are now considered the key source of competitive advantage.

Automation has started to move into areas of sales & trading that would have seemed impossible only a few years ago. For example, Goldman Sachs recently announced they can price 20,000 bonds algorithmically, without a human trader. Salespeople and traders fear what this may bring.

But while a lot has been written about the tech wave on Wall Street, it is not yet as ubiquitous as it is made out to be. Yes, there are brilliant strats and developers working on creating the Bank of The Future. But they account for the minority of workers on a trading floor and there is a healthy tension between the old guard and the new.

The reality is, the workflow for most salespeople and traders today have not changed in 5, 10 and even 20 years. There is no question that exciting technology is being created all over Wall Street, but most front office professionals are removed from it.

I should know, I was one of them.

Allbirds rather than loafers

Today, there is an uneasy feeling among salespeople and traders. They feel like the world is moving on without them. They look around the trading floor and see an increasing number of people wearing Allbirds rather than loafers, who code rather than make calls. It seems there is an inevitable shift away from schmoozers and risk takers towards new businesses run by programmers and quants. As one of the salespeople at a major firm put it, “I feel like I work at the microwave department at GE.”

As a veteran salesman on a trading floor, I was worried too. After 13 years in finance, I had vague notions of what I needed to do to stay relevant in a rapidly changing Wall Street but formulating a plan was difficult. I knew I had to take steps to change my trajectory and position myself differently. But how?

One thing that was clear to me was that I needed to become fluent in the emerging technologies that will define winners and losers in the future. In finance speak, I needed to find ways to enhance the net present value (NPV) of my career by learning more about A.I. That took me on a path to online classes on data science, after-work visits to the library and coffees with anyone willing to share their perspective (with a notebook in hand).

Finally, after a period of immersing myself in A.I., I walked-the-talk and joined a fin-tech startup focused on bringing A.I. to Wall Street. In that decision, I left the first and only job I’ve ever had and dove deep into tech. “I’d rather try to be a disrupter than be disrupted,” I told myself.

Over the last year, I have lived and breathed the subject of digital transformation in capital markets. I have had the privilege of working with leaders, technologists, and innovation labs across Wall Street. And I want to share my thoughts with sales & trading professionals who may feel lost, marginalised or hopeless.

Machines will take care of the mundane

To all my friends and ex-colleagues performing “traditional” tasks in sales and trading, I assure you that your jobs are still important. They will remain important. The proliferation of A.I. means humans working in sales and trading become more important, not less.

The winners of tomorrow will not simply be the banks with the biggest technology budgets, but rather those that can get their current workforce to unlearn and relearn, to prioritise data over memory, and to navigate organisational resistance. Firms that thrive will be those that can encourage these behaviours and ease the tension between old and new. The most forward-thinking banks understand this and are implementing organisational change for the new world.

One of A.I.’s main applications on Wall Street today is its ability to create digital memory. Once data is accurately extracted and stored, a bank can digitize the institutional knowledge of its professionals. While that may sound scary, these tools help humans perform at a higher level and part with muscle memory and instinct. As one bank executive told me, “Traders in the past relied on memory and guts. That’s just not good enough anymore.” He’s right.

A.I. is here to make traders and salespeople better, not to entirely replace them. The Bank of the (near) Future, will have algorithms that find missed opportunities with clients, predict counter-parties for trades, and quantify customer relationships. You will be more productive at your job (and happier) by letting machines take care of the mundane.

No more swaggering jocks

One caveat is that the increasing use of A.I. will require you to approach your job differently. In trading, it is no longer about trying to time the market, but rather to find the other side more quickly. In sales, it is no longer about fancy dinners with clients, but rather analysing how response time correlates with execution or scrutinising hit ratios by client.

As a result, the skill sets required to be a successful trader or salesperson are changing. You must internalise that you are not limited by the scope of your current job. Make the effort to learn about the advancements that are being made around you. Connect with the strats and digital strategy teams on your trading floor. They need your input and domain expertise. And most importantly, visualise what your job will be like in 2 years and take concrete steps to acquire new skills.

OUT are the swaggering jocks that rely on gut feeling to take risk.OUT are the slick salespeople with seemingly unending charisma and expense accounts.

IN are the quants, strats, and programmers. IN are those that can marry experience and relationships with curiosity and an embracing attitude towards change. But most importantly, IN are the experienced professionals that can unlearn past ways and keep learning new ways.

The new Wall Street is for nerds … and it’s not too late to become one.

Junta Nakai is the Global Head of Business Development at Selerity, a financial technology firm that specialises in bringing A.I. to Wall Street. Prior to that, he spent 13 years at Goldman Sachs, most recently as Head of Asia Equities Sales in New York.

As a commercial property manager, it’s up to you to ensure your property always looks its best, in order to help attract and retain tenants, and painting is one of the most cost-effective methods of revitalising a space.

Some high-end property managers have even taken to providing regular repaints for clients without an obligation to do so, in order to keep good tenants happy and convince them to extend their lease.

Choosing the right building colour for your property, however, is no easy matter. With often thousands of commercial paint colours to choose from (Dulux, for example, provide more than 4600 options), how do you make sure you choose the best ones?

Here are 5 ways to help you choose the perfect commercial paint colour for your property.

Consider the architecture and building materials

An important consideration is the architectural style of the building– after all, a modern palette will look very out of place on a historical building, and vice versa.

In the port area of Medienhafen in Düsseldorf, Germany, for example, modern buildings stand side by side with historical buildings. Here, you can see how these are treated very differently in terms of colour schemes – older buildings favour neutrals and rich browns, while modern buildings experiment more with bolder colours, including orange, yellow and red.

Building materials will also have an effect on the appearance of the paint colour and the amount of time it will last – for example, wood requires a different painting technique than concrete, and the paint will chip faster on the wood because of its natural characteristics.

Consider the type of impression you’d like to make

The first impression a prospective tenant or client will have of your business is typically the appearance of the buildings you already manage, so think carefully about what you want the appearance to communicate.

If your property hosts businesses in law and finances, for example, you will likely want convey a sense of trust and responsibility, in which case you might opt for paining your building neutrals, blacks and browns colours. If, on the other hand, your clientele is in more creative industries, such as advertising and design, you may want to show more personality and modernity with whites contrasted with brighter hues.

It’s also worth factoring in any existing brand guidelines (though you don’t necessarily have to be dictated by them). If there is a particular colour scheme associated with your brand, you may want to reflect this in the building to create a strong and lasting impression for clients and customers.

Consider the features of the space you’re dealing with

Another important consideration is the type of space you’re dealing with – you want to highlight aspects that contribute to the type of atmosphere you’re looking for, while minimising any features that may be working against you.

If, for example, you have a smaller space that you would like to appear larger, light, cool and pale hues are a great way to achieve this effect. On the other hand, if you have a cavernous space, and you want to make it feel cosier and more inviting, then deeper, darker and warmer hues are the way to go.

Consider who will be using the building, and for what purposes

As well as considering the type of identity you want to project to the world, you should also think about those who will actually be using the property on a day-to-day basis, and how you can make the environment as palatable as possible for them. For example, while white might seem like a safe choice for offices, there’s been evidence to suggest that white walls can actually hinder workers’ effectiveness.

Think carefully about the type of activities that will be conducted within the building. If your commercial property is a child-care centre, for example, you may want to go with brighter colours, such as yellow and orange, outside and in play rooms, to help create a fun, jovial atmosphere, but more calming hues, such as blue, for areas of learning and rest.

Consider what combination of colours would work best

Once you’ve given considerable thought to the features of your building, and its primary use and occupants, you’ll no doubt have some idea about the types of building colour palettes you’re leaning towards. Use colour theory to help narrow down your choices, and help you choose combinations that would be most aesthetically pleasing.

As a general rule, no more than three colours should be used on the exterior of a building: one for the walls, one for the trimmings and one for accents. (This is also sometimes called the 60/30/10 rule).

When choosing colour combinations, an easy place to start is by considering whether you’d prefer complementary colours or analogous colours.

Complementary colours are colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel, such as red and green, blue and orange or purple and yellow. These create a visually striking effect, making a space more impactful.

Analogous colours, on the other hand, are colours that sit side by side on the colour wheel, such as orange and yellow, or green and blue. These create a subtler, more harmonious effect, making a space feel more casual. (For more colour palette inspiration, check out Dulux’s Inspiration section of their website.)

Dulux Online Inspiration

Image Source: Dulux 

These 5 tips will help you choose a colour palette that reflects your building’s personality, while still catering to its occupants, and being pleasing to look at. Before committing to anything, however, it is wise to get a professional colour consultation.

A contractor will be able to tell you not only what colours complement each other and what is currently on trend, but they’ll also be able to advise you on the more practical aspects of your paint (for instance, whether it is weatherproof, prone to UV yellowing, hard-wearing etc.).

Want to be sure you reap as much return on investment as possible from your building painting? Keep your paintwork looking fresher for longer with our Maintaining Your Painted Property guide. Download it now!

What does it take to be a really great manager? Surely time management, conflict resolution, vision, execution, and all the rest. But a great manager must first be great at relationships. They need to care about their employees. One way to do this is to start with great onboarding.

An article in HR Technologist says, “Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity, along with 50% greater new hire retention.” That’s because new employees want to see that their employers and managers are looking out for their well-being.

In the 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey, for example, one question asked this: “You mentioned earlier that you might leave your current employer within the next two years. What are the main reasons for this?” The top answers focused on opportunities to advance and learn, as well as not feeling appreciated.

At the end of the report, researchers offered ways managers can engage and prepare their younger employees. The main suggestion is something we are all capable of, something you can implement today:

Simply start a conversation.

That might sound like a difficult task to accomplish at scale, but experience-driven onboarding can help managers make this a reality.

Let’s look at 5 steps to make it happen.

Start by creating an open, welcoming culture.

When a new employee joins your team, it’s a whole new world for them.

The key to first impressions is to think about hospitality. Shortly after signing a contract, did someone greet them and introduce themselves (other than the recruiter or hiring manager)? New people need to feel like they’re welcome and respected, and that they have a real future here.

They also need to like your team too. Remember, from their perspective, they “hired” you too, since they have certain needs and hopes. In a tight labor market, the welcome experience will build your employer brand and pay dividends for years.

Get your new hires organized.

This might sound crazy, but remember last month when you were trying to find that file somewhere on your computer, and then you emailed a coworker who might know where it is? Disorganization like this costs your company money.

An article in Executive Secretary magazine puts it like this: “An Express Employment Professionals survey of more than 18,000 business leaders showed that 57% of respondents said they lose six work hours per week due to disorganization. The survey also found that disorganized employees who make $50,000 annually cost their companies about $11,000 per year in lost time due to their disorganization. You do not want to be one of these people!”

This isn’t a hard problem to solve. A modern onboarding platform ought to be able to provide all the checklists, nudges, notifications, and communication tools you need to get your new people up and running without a hitch.

Connect them to the right people.

However, checklists and tools only go so far. They need to learn from a whole team of people to show them the way, and you as the manager can show them only so many things, while software and automation can only do so much. Their peers need to step in and show them what’s important about working there that, to be frank, you may not be privy to.

Referring back to Deloitte’s research above, new hires need help finding people they can network with to start mapping out how to be successful at their new company. Call this a mentor, coach, or rock-star manager, the trick is just to integrate them into your team so they can start to form their own “team.”

Communicate to new hires more effectively.

Your business is like a fast-moving current with tons of inertia, history, and (probably) bureaucracy that keeps it heading in the right direction quick, fast, and in a hurry. The more effectively you can communicate and onboard your people, the faster they can get into the current and move with the rest of the crowd.

Yet poor communication slows your organization down and costs real money. An article in SHRM noted a survey in which companies with more than 100,000 employees “cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees.” Though you may not have that many employees, the business case remains the same: Great communication, especially to new hires, keeps your organization running smoothly.

SHRM recommends focusing on communication to retain new talent: “Recruiting, selecting, and retaining talent require effective communication. Applicants will often forego employment with a company whose recruiter was not able to compellingly communicate what the position involved and specifics about the company.”

This brings us to our last point.

Generate real business impact.

We know what we’re saying sounds difficult. We get it. But it doesn’t have to be. Advances in technology make this process straightforward and simple for you and and your new hires. It’s important we get this right for your sake, their sake, and the sake of your company. As we’ve learned, creating an experience-driven onboarding journey has tremendous impact on your business in real, tangible, show-it-on-a-dashboard results.

Using these principles for creating a truly great onboarding experience can help your new hires feel welcome, organized, and set up for long-term success. That way your whole team can be full of rock stars.

For an in-depth discussion on how HR can transform managers into staunch champions of EX in the workplace, join Enboarder at 2.50pm on 30 October at Employee Experience Summit Sydney.

Digital Transformation Success will be Essential as B2B Commerce Increasingly Shifts Online

Nearly half of survey respondents believe they need to invest more in artificial intelligence, further showing the pace at which the digital economy is growing.

Implementing personalized customer experiences and offering real-time dynamic pricing across channels will become increasingly critical as eCommerce becomes the primary channel for a majority of B2B businesses within the next five years, according to a recent survey from Hanover that PROS commissioned.

To gain a stronger perspective on B2B expectations and digital initiatives, 700 decision-makers at companies in numerous industries were interviewed, including those in process manufacturing, medical, automotive and industrial manufacturing, B2B services, and distribution. Respondents were also located in North America, France, Germany, and the UK.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they currently have a digital transformation underway, the study found, as demonstrated in the infographic. Additionally, 40 percent reported that they have a digital transformation planned for within the next 24 months.

The shift to eCommerce is also accelerating quickly. Currently, 20 percent of those surveyed said that more than half of their sales are derived from eCommerce. Sixty-two percent said that they are expecting the majority of their sales to be from eCommerce within the next five years.

Even with approximately three-quarters of respondents seeing eCommerce as an advantageous business opportunity, there are still critical pain points that must be addressed to put buyers’ minds at ease. Maintaining consistent customer experiences, coordinating pricing, and providing consistent product catalogs were all pain points sellers encountered in the shift to digital channels.

Furthermore, maintaining competitive pricing, protecting price attainment, and directing customers to the products they need were also listed as top eCommerce concerns. This is where organizations can benefit from offering dynamic pricing to their customers. When companies understand what their customers value, they can then optimize pricing to maximize the value exchange of each customer engagement.

The majority of organizations – 81 percent – have already invested in dynamic, real-time pricing, while 81 percent said they invested in guided selling technologies. Eighty percent reported that they have invested in personalized prices and promotions.

The survey also determined that artificial intelligence (AI) is set to play an increasingly important role in eCommerce. Seventy-three percent of respondents expect AI to be essential or a high priority for sales and marketing in two years, with 48 percent saying it is essential or high priority to stay competitive currently.

Improving customer service, meeting customer demands, increasing revenue, and achieving cost savings were all listed as top ways that AI can potentially help organizations, according to the study. Business efficiency can also benefit from AI, with respondents noting that AI can help them enhance operational efficiency and employee productivity.

Just under half of respondents – 48 percent – said they need to invest more in AI, with 36 percent reporting that they are currently investing the right amount. Nearly all of those surveyed also said that they feel AI will help them drive a competitive advantage.

AI has the potential to help sales people flourish, not replace them, as businesses continue on their digital journey. Whether an organization utilizes AI to find price recommendations or predict what a customer may need in the future, it can be greatly beneficial. Every business decision and customer interaction can be informed through organizations having myriad information and insight.

Buckle up, check your mirrors, and rev your digital engine – investing in new technologies will be critical to staying competitive on the road to the future of commerce.

By Classic Informatics

 

 

Whether you are a small scale startup or a large firm with multiple processes, finding dedicated developers for your tech needs can be quite a task.

 

Recruiting a developer can be a difficult job as you have to find someone who is not only great at his or her job, but also understands the job, the specific needs of your company, and is willing to make the necessary effort to do all that is needed to make it work.

 

Thankfully, modern technology has made remote working a viable possibility and it is time to make the best use of it. A team or a team member that’s sitting offshore, but is deeply connected to your process and organisation, virtually.

 

Think it’s a good option for you? The checklist below might help you solidify your decision to hire hiring remote developers!

 

  • You are unable to find a suitable talent in proximity: If you do not restrict your potential developers by geographical boundaries, there are higher chances of finding a good developer for your needs as your options of candidates that you can choose from expands exponentially. By not limiting talent by location, you have a higher likelihood of finding better candidates

 

  • You don’t have a hefty budget to accommodate several (or one) good developer onshore: It is cheaper to hire remote developers as you can simply pay them the salary, perks and increments as discussed without having to spend extra human resource expenses such as commute charges, office supplies and space that are incurred for employees working on location.

 

  • You want a self-managed team/individual so you can dedicate the time spent managing on other crucial stuff: Remote development model offers better flexibility to the company and developers as they can schedule their work as well as other aspects of their life accordingly as long as they live up to their deadlines. Moreover, hiring developers from different time zones can actually help your company processes run 24 hours a day, thereby increasing the company productivity exponentially.

 

  • You’re worried by productivity: It is often seen that working remotely makes employees more productive as, by eliminating commute, the workers are less tired at work and are happier as they can do their work and still be around family, pets etc. Risks of illness and injuries are also lowered, thereby reducing the chances of absenteeism.

 

 

Things to Keep in Mind While Onboarding a Remote Workforce

 

Onboarding a tech talent or an extended team for the first time does come with some doubts and questions as there is a lesser chance of supervision and control over the entire process of the developer’s working.

 

But, with a dedicated developer, this can actually be a good thing. Since your work is done remotely, there is one less thing you have to spend your time worrying about.

 

  • Communication is key
    The key to hiring dedicated developers who work remotely is to have a clear channel of communication between both parties. You must communicate your needs in no unclear terms. The more the information, the better the chances of you receiving perfect results in the first draft itself. At the same time, you need to be responsive to any questions, doubts, ideas or issues the developer might encounter during the process and end up needing your guidance on. Healthy communication will help in getting your job done quickly and efficiently, with less need for damage control or reviewing over and over again.

 

  • Make the best use of video conference
    In cases where the potential candidates are located farther from proximity and there is no chance of a face to face communication, a video conference is what you can make use of while hiring your remote developers, as well as for any future communication, assessment, assignment, and other needs. This will help you get a real feel of a face to face conversation and also helps in having better communication between the parties.

 

  • Collaborate on hiring
    If the developer you are hiring is supposed to work as a part of a team, it is a good idea to have the rest of the team collaborate in the entire process of hiring any new developer. They should be able to have a clear connection and communication with the rest of the team members if his job is to work with others.

 

  • Add an assessment period
    Finding a dedicated developer and working with them remotely definitely takes some time to adjust. It might take longer for both of you to be at the same place, especially if either or both are new to it, but once you get into a rhythm, the results will be quite extraordinary. But that doesn’t mean that you need to manage freelance developers till they get acquainted to the process. It is a smart idea to fix a test or assessment period for your new recruits to see if it works out well with them. This will save a lot of paperwork and hassle in case the arrangement does not work out.

 

Why is there a Shortage of Talented Developers?

 

While recruiting developers, finding talented and dedicated developers for a job might often seem too difficult to handle. It is true that aspiring developers often do not get enough exposure or practice in their field even though all this is extremely important for any recruiter.

 

Technology is rapidly changing and developers are required to stay updated with every new change, failing which they become incompetent and harder to recruit when every company wants fast-paced work and productivity.

 

In this scenario, hiring dedicated developers to work remotely seems like the smartest solution. Distance between workers is nothing to be afraid anymore as modern technology has made it easier to bridge the geographical distance. You have a higher chance of finding talented developers once you give up your reservations and go for remote employment.

 

Takeaway

  • Remote Developers can be cheaper and more productive for the company
  • Hiring Remote Developers opens up the possibilities for more success
  • You are likely to find a better quality of work if you do not restrict by location
  • Communication and collaboration can make Remote Developers do better
  • Embracing change is the smartest thing for both developers and companies.

 

When it comes to hiring a developer, if you are insistent on finding someone who can work from your office every day, you end up restricting the talent pool by setting a geographical boundary of proximity. Onboarding remote developers or a remote team opens up your options and helps you recruit the very best suited tech talent for your needs.

Written By Sean Pea, Head of Threat Analysis, APAC at Darktrace

 

Although Singapore was ranked as the safest country in the world based on a report by the World Justice Project in 2018, cyber security breaches are increasingly threatening the safety of our digital world.

A month ago, Singapore Red Cross announced that its website was hacked, resulting in the disclosure of personal data of over 4,290 individuals. Earlier this year,the medical records of 14,200 HIV positive patients and personal data of 180,000 blood donors were leaked when attackers struck, following the SingHealth cyber-attack last June,the worst cyber-attack in Singapore’s history.

For as long as people have sought to protect their assets from intrusion, they have safeguarded those assets behind ever more formidable walls, from castle walls to digital firewalls. Yet no matter how impenetrable such fortifications appear, motivated attackers will inevitably find a way to bypass them. Build a 50-foot fence, and the enemy will bring a 50-foot
ladder.

Perimeter security is part of good cyber hygiene, but has become inadequate as a primary mode of defence. The digital world – with all its applications, users and endpoints – is exponentially more difficult to wall off than the physical world.

A single vulnerability or oversight can spell disaster. Meanwhile cyber-attackers are getting more and more sophisticated at evading these locks and bolts. Today’s defence strategies must prepare for the threat that
gets in – or the insider turned bad. And crucially, it must constantly keep up with the attackers’changing tactics.

Artificial intelligence is now the fundamental ally to corporations and governments in the fight against the threats that no one can predict, the threat that gets through perimeter defence.

Cyber AI works by learning the ‘normal’ behaviours of a network and its users, allowing it to detect and contain the subtle anomalous activity that humans and traditional security controls miss. In defending against the unknown, AI also shines a light on companies’ common cyber hygiene issues which can lead to a breach. Five of these are examined below.

 

Issue #1: Lack of visibility

As the Internet of Things (IoT) explodes across Singaporean businesses, keeping an inventory of connected devices often proves unfeasible. Between app-controlled thermostats and smart refrigerators to connected cameras and Bluetooth sensors, few security teams can keep up with the true extent of their networks.

Yet attaining 100 per cent network visibility is a prerequisite to a mature security posture, as attacks could strike at any single point of connection. Attackers are increasingly targeting poorly secured IoT devices to bypass the perimeter at its weakest points, allowing them to gain access to the central network in order to compromise sensitive data and physical
systems. But by analysing all traffic from the entire digital enterprise, cyber AI technology provides comprehensive visibility for security teams in a unified view. And crucially, the AI works on behalf of human security teams to detect when new devices come online, and generate an autonomous response to threats as they emerge.

 

Issue #2: Data uploaded to cloud services

Cloud computing has rendered perimeter defences even more impotent. Nevertheless, there are a number of bad cyber hygiene habits that make bypassing the perimeter much easier, including employees who upload data to cloud storage providers that are not on an organisation’s approved list. Whether done maliciously or inadvertently, this decision prevents
organisations from gaining any visibility over that data being transferred across the globe.

While the cloud can be an essential conduit for digital transformation projects, it is critical to proactive cyber defence that businesses have a rich understanding of cloud environments and how they interact with the corporate network.

 

Issue #3: Using corporate devices for personal use

While the divide between corporate and private networks is a primary facet of cyber hygiene, few employees are immune to the temptation and convenience of using company devices for personal use. Whether it’s torrenting movies, using social media, or checking personal email
accounts during the workday, these activities all expose carefully guarded corporate environments to ones that are far less secure. At the same time, many organisations lack visibility over their own online traffic, preventing their security teams from catching such risky behaviour until it’s already too late.

Further compounding the challenge, employees have also been known to violate internal compliance policies by downloading unauthorised software for private purposes, which introduces serious security risks and opens the door for supply chain attacks. Cyber AI can identify when such policies are being broken in real time, and work with the employee in question to mitigate the compliance breach before it can escalate into a cyber-attack.

 

Issue #4: Insufficient education around targeted attacks

All organisations, no matter what the size, receive phishing emails. Phishing emails remain one of the most successful ways for cyber-criminals to target individuals or corporations. On average, four per cent of the targets of any phishing campaign will click the link. As these attacks become more and more targeted to individuals, it is becoming more difficult for employees to discern the difference between benign and malicious links. It’s thus crucial that businesses work with employees to understand proper protocol when it comes to handling suspicious emails.

Employee education is essential to lower the risk of organisations falling victim to phishing campaigns. Employees should always be wary of emails from unknown addresses, or with unexpected attachments or links, and should double check email domain names. But continuous AI monitoring will also be necessary for the highly sophisticated phishing attacks that fool even the best-trained people. Education and AI must work in tandem, for the next generation of spear-phishing campaigns.

 

Issue #5: Weak password usage and storage

Among the most common and most avoidable cyber-attacks are those that exploit systems with weak passwords, which can be easily breached by cyber-criminals – sometimes in mere minutes. Yet stronger, more complex passwords introduce another problem: because they are harder to remember, users tend to store these passwords in sometimes unsafe locations. Whereas passwords housed in encrypted mediums such as password managers are relatively secure, many users instead save them in clear text on Word Documents, for example. Several modern strains of malware possess the ability to comb through the network in search of
possible files which contains passwords, rendering this a critical vulnerability.

Written by McGrathNicol

 

 

Distraction, complacency and lack of visibility and leadership are just some of the reasons that Australian organisations are not doing the basics well, or even at all, when it comes to cyber risk management.

The Data Protection & Privacy Morning Briefing will be held on June 13 at Old Parliament House in Canberra and is attracting over 100 senior government representatives for a morning of strategic discussion.

McGrathNicol Advisory Partner, Shane Bell will be discussing the following areas with Professor David Lacey, Managing Director and founder of IDCARE:

  • the importance of protecting data;
  • the repercussions for not doing so; and
  • real life experiences of when things go wrong.

 

 

Written by Mark Purbrick, Managing Director, Peoplogica

 

 

I have not met anyone that has purposely employed someone so that they could fail …. and yet about one quarter of all new hires will not only be actively disengaged in the workplace, they will not meet minimum expectations.

 

But importantly, why does this happen?

 

Quite simply because some hiring managers are too obsessed with filling a seat and in reality they are just looking for someone they like; because if they like them they will be great … right? Unfortunately this is not always the case and in fact in the main, they will not be great!

 

They will certainly not be engaged, they will not provide discretionary effort and they will be very unhappy with the whole Employee Experience. Essentially what they were promised was not delivered. You promised them a job they would love, that they would excel in, but what they feel is disappointment and, in too many cases, workplace stress.

 

By creating High Performance Role Benchmarks based on the success attributes of your proven high performers, the selection process becomes fully aligned with a high level Employee Experience. The philosophy is quite simple:

  • Objectively identify and quantify the critical success attributes of each role using a validated psychometric assessment
  • Develop a Targeted Job Advertisement that includes the critical success attributes required to be successful and also answers the one fundamental question candidates want an answer to: “What’s in it for me?”
  • Measure candidate “fit” to the identified critical success attributes using a validated psychometric assessment
  • Select the successful candidate based on “fit” not “like”
  • Provide coaching, mentoring and training to the new employee that will attend to any potential barriers to success

 

By following the above highly effective process you will enjoy increased Employee Experience, increased employee engagement, increased employee productivity and up to a three-fold increase in the success rate of selecting a future high performer.

 

Implementing an advanced selection process that delivers increased EX is much easier than you would think, check out the online Hiring Manager Guide which provides everything you need:

  1. Role Benchmarks
  2. One-Page Position Descriptions
  3. Targeted Job Advertisements
  4. Job Applicant Screening
  5. First Interview Process & Questions
  6. Assessing Shortlisted Candidates
  7. Second Interview Process & Questions
  8. New Employee On-Boarding
  9. Employee Coaching & Mentoring
  10. Monthly One-On-One Direct Report Meetings

 

Start implementing the above today and you will be enjoying increased employee engagement and productivity levels within 60 days.