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Information Technology, Uncategorized

Solve Your Resource Management Woes with As-Needed Services

The IT industry landscape is constantly changing, and with that comes increasing expectations and demands. Due to a range of obstacles — including economic downturn recovery and resource mismanagement — IT department personnel are experiencing resource strains, forcing them to cut costs in vital areas while also maintaining high innovation standards. Today’s IT environment has stretched teams thin, creating expectations that these professionals must do more with less. In many cases, these “minimalist operations” cause productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction to plummet.

As a result, one major challenge IT leaders face is efficiently allocating resources. To accomplish this, more IT leaders are turning to “as-needed” or shared service providers to better augment their in-house IT services with a diverse pool of resources available as they need. Skill augmentation is a major advantage: By utilizing shared services, company leaders are able to outsource specialized business functions and harness new technology without having to hire full-time employees. In other words, IT leaders can obtain the support they need when they need it.

Different models for different needs

The breadth and versatility of shared services makes it a difficult concept to summarize. Many shared services models entail a wide range of engagement options designed to fit specific business or industry needs. For example, some offer models for clients who require resources only when they need them. In fact, a Time and Material model features no down payment and makes services available as necessary while Block Support models typically require small down payments and include discounts for blocks of hours as well as support available for a specified period after contract receipt. Look for options that complement these services such as customized support teams, regular communication, and flexible plans to fit any budget.

Although the full potential of shared services is still emerging, many benefits are already clear. Information management (IM) shared services, when implemented as needed, can bolster company leaders’ abilities to make decisions by improving organizational responsiveness and identifying healthy business opportunities. When accompanied by well-coordinated IT services, such as infrastructure management and quality assurance, these shared services may help business leaders solve many of the aforementioned resource management problems they face.

Align solutions to your strategies

Be sure any shared service solutions you’re considering align with your overall business strategy. This requires managerial support as well as regular communication with supervisors and clients to help ensure employees are using assets responsibly, feel confident and clear in their roles, and are executing projects on time and as planned. Throughout the process, request clear and frequent reporting, quality assurance checkpoints, and ongoing resource management surveys to smooth integrations between shared and existing IT services.

Some company leaders have encountered pitfalls when organizing their shared service implementation plans — pitfalls which often mirror the very problems they aimed to solve. They may underfund teams in charge of shared services, making expectations difficult to meet. In other cases, they might underprepare for change management challenges associated with adjusting to shared services.

Others respond to IT challenges by outsourcing services entirely. The cloud revolution has disrupted traditional outsourcing practices, enabling cooperation and collaboration among outsourced IT workers and as-needed service providers. Service level agreements (SLAs) between IT providers and their clients define which services providers offer when clients need them. No matter your approach, implementing shared services can be beneficial when you have the guidance of an IT solutions provider with expertise in flexible as-needed services.

In short, the key to implementing shared services is to allocate time and resources responsibly and ensure that all team members involved are adequately prepared for processes changes. Balanced, careful approaches to shared services will likely result in greater rewards for business leaders than hasty approaches. By providing services as needed and offering on-demand project assistance, company leaders can save on staffing costs, increase efficiencies, and improve client satisfaction.

At Value Global, we offer customized IT solutions for a variety of clients and projects, including as-needed IT services. Visit Value Global online to learn more.

Are You Ready for Cloud Application Migration?

As more company decision-makers understand the benefits of implementing cloud technologies, many are beginning to shift more of their on-premises business systems to the cloud. In fact, many are consolidating or even eliminating antiquated on-premises systems by migrating whole applications and services to the cloud. Although cloud application migration has its share of benefits, preparation can seem daunting. To best prepare for successful migrations, it’s important to assess and cultivate cloud application readiness.

Every business leader should consider three fundamental questions:

  1. Why is cloud application migration important?
  2. How can it benefit my business?
  3. What does it entail?

Cloud application migration can offer cost- and time-savings, quick deployment, and scalability — all of which serve to bolster and, in many cases, streamline business operations. Clouds are often decentralized and feature elastic architectures, which are useful for apps and businesses with irregular use patterns. Most important, however, cloud computing is a transformative field that helps company leaders improve customer engagement, build healthy partnerships, and drive competitive advantages.

Assessing cloud application readiness

Of course, reaping the rewards is easier said than done; without well-crafted migration strategies, business professionals moving to the cloud may feel overwhelmed. Your first step should be to identify and assess potential cloud providers such as Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS) — but what comes next? It’s important to assess potential hiccups, especially those related to cloud service providers (CSPs), which can provide services and offer you skills your team may not possess. Assessing cloud application migration readiness may help you identify roadblocks, especially those related to cloud architecture and security. Furthermore, it may aid you in developing your step-by-step migration strategy. The Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) report includes a series of basic steps to take in this process.

  1. Assess apps and workloads. Determine which apps and data you can and cannot migrate. Start with lower-risk or non-critical apps, including those that utilize minimal sensitive data. Also consider the complexities, architectures, maintenance and setup requirements, as well as ease of integration regarding specific apps and data. Do your applications stand alone or will they require connections once they’re in the cloud?
  2. Build a business strategy. Determine cloud service and application benefits and address potential problems you may encounter. Considerations should include: ongoing cost analysis, comparative service levels, as well as overall impact on revenue, customer service, and user experience. Use governance guidelines to ensure you have processes in place for migration.
  3. Develop a technical approach. Consider both platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) during migration as well as staff expertise, especially as it relates to data security, integration, and scalability. What skills are necessary for best managing cloud services? Validate your base platform capabilities before moving forward on any integration.
  4. Adopt flexible integration. Think of cloud migration not in terms of integration but re-integration. Consider what you’ll be integrating and connecting, such as processes, data, and presentation types. Be flexible, consider a standardized approach, and prepare for future migrations and cloud technology changes.
  5. Address security concerns. A major challenge facing IT professionals is ensuring your and your users’ data privacy and safety. How will you handle a security breach? What consequences will arise if you don’t prevent attacks? Many consider cloud application migration to increase security as CSPs often have more resources at their disposal than their clients. Furthermore, the decentralized nature of the cloud can make it more difficult for attackers to strike.
  6. Manage your migration thoroughly. As with any other project plan, you should track tasks, duties, and their durations as well as assess resources, costs, and the risks you’ll undertake when migrating apps to the cloud. You may require a consultation with an IT or CSP professional to execute your strategy effectively.

File transfer

Cloud application migration is rapidly becoming an industry norm as more company leaders untether their services and databases from physical server limitations. The challenges you and your employees may face in this process are essential considerations and may present roadblocks if you are not prepared. Therefore, an IT provider with cloud expertise and the skills necessary to integrate your existing infrastructure with the cloud can help you mitigate risks and maximize results.

The right IT provider will have a clear understanding of both your legacy systems and the cloud platform. This is crucial for understanding which on-premises applications you can and should migrate, any potential challenges you should be aware of, and how to manage your integrated systems moving forward. An IT partner will also move you beyond assessment: From planning to implementation and application management, they can help turn your insights into actions.

An IT partner with cloud-specific process knowledge and skills can help create and manage a hybrid infrastructure, allowing your team to get the most out of your applications and systems. To learn more, contact the experts at Value Global.
Information Technology, Uncategorized

Value Global Managing Principals Talk Company History and Passion

Value Global is known for enterprise services and custom, client-centric IT solutions. Founded on a consulting background, experts continue to offer innovative approaches to client services. Those at Value Global balance clients large and small on a variety of projects. Their solutions encompass managed and support services to keep users operating efficiently and business leaders seeing greater returns on their investments.

An interview with two Value Global Managing Principals, Kumar Nadar and Shree Sannabhadti, pulled back the curtain on the company’s history and the industry as a whole in the last decade.

Shree Sannabhadti founded Value Global in mid-2006 with the goal of solving issues he perceived in enterprise resource planning (ERP).

“What bothered me was that ERP was the same for over 20 years with no progress,” Sannabhadti said, “but we could see the world move from phones to smartphones and laptops.”

A customer-centric history then, now, and moving forward

Kumar Nadar

Kumar Nadar, Managing Principal

“We were very focused on providing solutions to customers from a consulting background,” said Nadar, who joined the company in early 2007.

As Value Global and the services its people provide continue to grow, adapting to a decade-plus of change, Sannabhadti and Nadar remain committed to working on the customer side. Today, they’re working to optimize client solutions that offer coverage to all aspects of business — not just tech. They note the cloud revolution’s impact on those not only within Value Global but also across the entire industry. The cloud allows for more optimized solutions and services; thus, using the cloud can shrink project time to completion in a timely manner.

“What we’re seeing are changes across the board,” Sannabhadti said of cloud-based services. “We can do a lot of things very quickly that were impossible before.”

Shreedhar Sannabhadti

Shreedhar Sannabhadti, Managing Principal

“The biggest change has been how business functions as a service,” Nadar added. “Most IT functions used to be all in-house, but now companies are able utilize additional resources from outside providers as-needed … eventually what will happen is you’ll see IT — and everything else — become a service. We differentiate ourselves in that we can leverage [services] and enable you to access the service as required.”

To date, cloud integration and resulting cloud solutions are perhaps the biggest changes Sannabhadti and Nadar have seen in terms of service expansion and offerings. However, the principals plan to incorporate other tools like machine learning, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and more technology surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT). Although — Sannabhadti admitted — there’s still work to be done, they’re proud of the innovative, highly focused ways they map out solutions for their customers.

“Other companies rarely try to understand their customers — and their customers’ customers,” he said. “With data analytics, we are able to support our customers with actionable insights into their customers’ patterns and preferences as well as other valuable market information.”

Driven by innovation and passion

The Value Global name is built on its employees’ commitments to reliable and customer-centric solutions, and the managing principals ensure their passion for their work shines through. Nadar enjoys being client-focused, learning about challenges with customers, and working together to find solutions. His drive, he said, is based on getting to know different groups of people and areas of business, then creating customized solutions to meet their current and long-term needs.

“I like supporting customers by helping them scale their businesses from start-up modes to successful companies,” Nadar said.

“To me, the key thing is to ‘wow’ customers,” Sannabhadti said. “Not just happy, but to say ‘wow, these guys have done something out of the ordinary.’ The end goal is to give them what they want … and to take them to the next level.”

He attributes much of Value Global’s success to employees’ client-centered focus and relationship-building efforts. Most customers have worked with Value Global experts for nearly a decade, which he says helps them leverage their business as a team.

“There are different aspects of the work that I love, so to pick a favorite project is like asking which kid you love the most,” Sannabhadti said.

When reflecting on a particular client he said, “They had to build an application to handle near-misses; we took some data and by the second week had a solution. Their eyes lit up … some of these solutions feel like giving eyes to the blind and, to me, that is very satisfying.”

In the end, Nadar and Sannabhadti agree that Value Global is first and foremost about building and nurturing good relationships while staying innovative. It’s clear these two, along with others at Value Global, are not only dedicated but also passionate about helping their clients and providing innovative solutions. From their early days of consulting to providing their own highly innovative range of tech and business solutions, those at Value Global look forward to continuing their growth for years to come.

Throughout the company’s entire history, those at Value Global have been committed to innovation, collaboration, and customization. Today, they help businesses by applying industry expertise to develop client-centric solutions across a range of technologies. Visit Value Global online to learn more.
Information Technology, Uncategorized

Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Are Leveraging eCommerce to Their Advantage

In the not-so-distant past many believed brick-and-mortar stores were on their way out and the rise of eCommerce would enable online-only stores to dominate the retail industry. There is no denying the explosive growth, popularity, or benefits of online shopping: Consumers can shop from nearly anywhere, quickly search for products while comparing prices and reviews, and use simple, secure checkout features. With countless options and information online, it was looking as though brick-and-mortar stores couldn’t compete. However, savvy retailers are finding ways to level the playing field against their cyber competition. And one strategy that offers leverage by using a multichannel user experience is omnichannel retailing.

The omnichannel approach

Omnichannel retailing uses both brick-and-mortar stores and online tools to sell products. This approach combines all available retail channel assets and capabilities into a contiguous customer experience. It allows consumers to choose which channels they prefer, whether it’s shopping online, in stores, or a hybrid of both. And to not only stay afloat but also remain competitive, retailers “need to fully embrace a one brand, many channels strategy.” This has the added benefit of providing different points at which retailers can interact, offer incentives, improve user experiences, and customize tools according to ever-changing needs.

The key is to employ a data-driven strategy. Many customers do not shop through a single medium, and omnichannel retailing gives traditional retailers an edge that most online-only stores lack or cannot compete with — a personalized in-store shopping experience for every shopper. Through tactfully collecting and analyzing data, omnichannel retailers can employ highly strategic retailing efforts. Which types of products do customers tend to browse online but buy in stores? Which offers result in the highest conversion rates and through which medium? Those who are 10 steps ahead know what their customers want to buy and where. They understand consumer behaviors and spending patterns. And most importantly, they act on this knowledge.

As growth in online-only sales begins to taper off, brick-and-mortar business owners also have opportunities to capitalize through mobile influencers on social media platforms. Consumers help drive others’ decisions through building brand awareness, offering peer recommendations and reviews, sharing pictures or additional information, among other factors. Through strategic data tracking, retailers can also stay up to date on trends which, in turn, can allow companies to better anticipate and plan for sales efforts in the future. Strategic tactics, though, require constant attention.

Implementation and support

So how can retailers implement this strategy? The key is putting unified systems in place that share the same data while also providing unified customer experiences across all channels. This requires having the right tools and technology in place. Which platforms should they use? What applications support cloud-based point-of-sale systems, manage inventory, track customer preferences, and deliver company messages and offerings? By finding and utilizing the right services provider, retailers can have a better understanding of which platforms to use and what types of support they can — and should — expect.

When partnered with an experienced service provider, company leaders have access to analysts who can help you architect and implement a data-driven omnichannel strategy, ongoing maintenance, and management support. With the right provider, brick-and-mortar retailers can not only be sure they have the right tools in place but can also be assured they are functioning optimally and being properly managed. Brick-and-mortar retail isn’t dead — it’s being disrupted, and those who incorporate a multichannel user experience with a data-driven customized experience for their customers will likely gain an edge.

Value Global offers services for application design, implementation, and data analytics, with channel marketing support to help put you on the fast-track towards improved customer engagement and revenue realization. To learn more about omnichannel support and other services to support your business needs, contact a Value Global expert or visit us online.


Non-functional Testing Affects Your Bottom Line

Is there anything more frustrating than an app that crashes or a website that just wont load? Companies are well aware of how quickly a user will dismiss a product that doesn’t work, and so employ Quality Assurance and Testing procedures to guard against failure. Non-functional testing plays an important role in today’s software development, because it emphasizes not only on the essential functional capabilities of the application but also on other parameters such as performance, security, and usability. Non-functional testing demonstrates how well the product behaves.

The ISO 9126 international standard lists six quality attributes for Software Systems, which are then broken down to further sub-attributes:

  • Functionality
    • Interoperability
    • Security
  • Reliability – Availability-Recoverability (Dependability)
  • Maintainability
  • Usability
  • Efficiency – Performance
  • Portability – Installability

Performance testing:

Performance testing is an important measure taken before moving the application to production: People today are not willing to tolerate the downtime or slow performance of sites. In fact, Google reports that 40% of customers will leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.

On April 1, 2016, Instagram users became frantic as the pages would not load. That same year, Salesforce experienced an online outage that Business Insider estimated would cost the company a whopping US $20 million. With an extensive number of users and rapid growth, these companies had the technology infrastructure to handle vast amounts of traffic; however, they still fell victim to crashes.

Often, on a regular day, there is probably no question about the performance of your application. But any unexpected spike in traffic, any unexpected combination of searches, or just an unproven combination of multiple actions by a sizable number of users can possibly make your site behave erratically. And, if you have not planned for this use case, a crash may be inevitable.

Loading times affect your conversions. Below are some key findings, for more click here.

  • 73% of mobile internet users say that theyve encountered a website that was too slow to load.
  • 51% of mobile internet users say that theyve encountered a website that crashed, froze or received an error.
  • 38% of mobile internet users say that theyve encountered a website that wasnt available.
  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a one-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

Security testing

Software TestingA recent worldwide cyberattack, WannaCry, affected more than 200,000 organizations in 150 countries. This attack has rapidly become the nastiest digital disaster to strike the internet, crippling transportation and hospitals globally.

A comprehensive security testing process is a must to keep pace with vulnerabilities and potential threats. This helps developers fortify their products, identify loopholes, and remedy issues to protect individuals and organizations from cyberattacks.

A study conducted by NIST shows that software vulnerabilities cost the US economy $59.5 billion annually. Better management of software testing and quality assurance can avoid such risks. Its no surprise, then, that money being invested in security testing is increasing exponentially. In fact, a MarketsandMarkets report suggests that security testing market will be worth 7.61 billion by 2021, up from $2.47 billion in 2014.

The most vulnerable segments for cybercrime include: healthcare, financial, legal, and retail industries. And while cybercrimes against large banks, retailers, and federal agencies become news, small and midsize businesses are not immune to it. Microsoft estimates that 20% of small and midsized businesses have been cybercrime targets.

Usability testing

Usability testing is a major part of non-functional testing. End users are more satisfied when a system offers relevant services that match their needs and expectations. One study indicates that a user-centered approach can raise customer satisfaction by 40%. It is common knowledge that online customers spend most of their time on sites with high usability, which helps companies generate greater customer satisfaction, and ultimately, greater bottom lines.

The budget a company allocates towards software testing is increasing year over year. Today, approximately 25 to 43% of total project budgets are allocated towards software testing, much of which goes towards non-functional testing.

Building systems with only functional requirements is relatively easy, but ultimately pointless. No one wants a slow, unreliable system that costs a fortune to modify. In order to build efficient applications, it is best to analyze the non-functional requirements in addition to the functional aspects of an application from the very start of the project.

At Value Global we understand the importance of non-functional testing, which helps streamline our clients businesses. If you would like to learn more, visit us online or contact us today!
Business people waiting for job interview in office

The Right Staff For the Right Company — How Do You Choose the Right Hire?

Employee replacement is expensive. Not only is your staff’s work not getting done, but neither is yours as you focus instead on hiring and onboarding oversight. By some estimates, replacing an employee costs approximately one-fifth of that worker’s annual salary. Keep in mind, although you cannot please every individual, a professional that feels appreciated, challenged, and well compensated is a loyal employee. A stable workforce saves your company money and maintains business continuity. Your enterprise can reap significant economic benefits over time by carefully hiring, training, and supporting your employees.

Recruitment: the first frontier

Recruitment tools enumerate two critical steps in the hiring process: defining what the job entails, and identifying the most qualified candidate to fill the position.

  • The job description can both attract and deter the best candidates. Recent studies
    indicate job descriptions that describe the anticipated worker experience will attract better applicants than descriptions that simply list job duties.
  • Post the position where it will find likely candidates that you want. Social media channels attract different types of job seekers; LinkedIn might have a wider pool of corporate-type workers, while Facebook may reach more relaxed potential employees.
  • Additionally, thinking outside the box and exploring job boards and blog sites as well as networking meet-ups and job fairs specifically targeting Information Technology professionals will increase your chances of finding passive candidates.

Comprehensive hiring practices lay a foundation for success

Each person in the candidate pool offers different talents and abilities. Interviews provide the first glimpse into what each candidate has to offer. Some hiring managers look for these attributes:

A ‘career’ focus

People looking to advance their careers bring a strong personal drive to succeed in your organization. Not only will they work hard, but your goals will become theirs and their success will ultimately drive your own. They will also enjoy adding another bullet about their capable work capacity to their resume.


Some people bring negative attitudes from their last job to their new job. While interviewing, ask how the candidate manages challenging people — co-workers, bosses, or clients — to measure resiliency in the face of adversity. Also, ask the candidates about their interests in general. Being conversational during the interview process will give you a better idea of who your candidates are and how they will be able to contribute to the growth and success of your organization. Moreover, you want to make sure you are hiring individuals who will mesh well with the company culture and other employees. Finding ideal candidates who seem like the “right fit” rather than an able body simply filling a position is a big step toward creating greater employee retention.

Create the right environment

WorkplaceThe investments made in recruitment and top candidate hires pay off when the employee makes a long-term commitment to the company. A positive workplace environment is often instrumental in encouraging commitment. Here are some key tactics to keep in mind:

  • Transparency in expectations, concerns, and accolades keeps workers engaged in their activities and trusting their superiors.
  • Acknowledging the office and life balance offers respect for the worker’s family circumstances, and can reap just as much, if not more, loyalty to the company’s fortunes.

Each employee represents both an asset to and an investment in the company. Those resources should be respected throughout the worker’s time with the organization. When you look at your workforce through that perspective, you can see why keeping your employees happy can be the foundation for your corporate success.

Value Global is proud to be recognized as a minority-owned business enterprise by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. We strive to meet the business needs of our partners and clients, as well as offer our services to new industries and technologies. Contact us to learn more about our innovative employee retention strategies, services and solutions.

Predictive Analytics Redefine Data Utility

Ensuring a healthy future depends on understanding the past: That’s the fundamental premise of predictive analytics.

Data scientists collect and analyze raw data to find patterns and connections. They study whether past activities worked in unison and help decision-makers gather information to improve future operations. Predictive analytics could change how the world does business — and how you do business, too.

Predict demand

data analysis analytics mining database systemAs early as 1958, when FICO founders first used predictive modeling to assess credit risks, industry analysts recognized the benefits of using past information to formulate future strategies. Today, the internet generates massive data quantities for that work.

For example, Microsoft analysts aggregated anonymous web search data for auto sales forecasters and parsed it out according to store locations. The result was a future sales forecast that supported streamlined inventory controls for each site. The forecast relied on each dealership’s past performance and relevant online consumer activity to predict future inventory demand.

As witnessed in the 2008-2009 financial crisis, predictive analytics can both, help and hurt those effected when the data does not follow the “norm.”

Royal Dutch Shell analysts use data they gather at each drilling site from probing into the earth. They use their tools to register whether the wave patterns tectonic plates make are distorted, indicating that they’re passing through oil or gas. They transfer this data to private sector analysts who compare the data to that from thousands of other sites and project which sites would be best for drilling.

Projecting where the most efficient drilling locations are has helped increase the bottom line for companies such as BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil. Similarly, predictive analytic technologies can help major and midsize Oil and Gas increase their efficiency and allow them to remain competitive in a challenging time for the industry.

Save money

Analytics can reveal where business leaders lose money as much as they offer insights into where decision-makers may gain more revenue. Tracking economic metrics over time can give those in leadership roles the necessary data to make decisions based on facts. The auto dealerships mentioned above saw significant savings because they didn’t assume unnecessary overstocked, underperforming locations’ inventory costs.

This same case study also reveals how predictive analytics can generate localized supply and demand metrics to inform executive decision-making. The data Microsoft gathered included not just site-specific information but also consumer data, including online purchasing, browsing, and price-searching activities. The analytics team told leadership members what consumers wanted in their cars, and management directed operations to tailor purchasing and allocation decisions to reflect the research findings.

Often, predictive analytics reveal opportunities otherwise hidden deep in the “business as usual” model. Perhaps the biggest boon predictive analytics offers is its capacity to anticipate machine part failures before complete shutdowns are necessary. This technology is valuable for those in the oil and gas industry, including those companies handling oil field service and maintenance. Knowing when these failures are likely to occur reduces both safety threats and the bigger emergency expenses.

Predictive analytics will likely continue to compel leading companies forward, leaving the less technically savvy behind. Value Global professionals can help you structure your predictive analytics programming to save company money, improve products and productivity, as well as establish your organization as the leader in your field. Contact us to learn more about our innovative services and solutions!

5 Key Components to Consider when Choosing Software Solutions

Business owners often believe that purchasing off-the-shelf or pre-built software solutions will be cheaper and easier. However, that’s often a misconception: Finding a ready-made software solution that meets unique needs isn’t always as easy as clicking “buy.” Some products may meet some needs while another meets others — but chances are there isn’t a single perfect solution. So, how can company leaders prioritize and figure out what’s most important in potential software products?

As you research available out-of-the-box software solutions, cloud offerings, and hosted options to deploy in your environment, we suggest you consider these five factors for your company before you make your decision.

  1. Integration — For a new software solution to work well for your needs, it must integrate well with your existing systems. According to Gartner research, this means a product will help “create a consistent and coherent set of information across enterprise applications.” If you’re thinking about a cloud or hybrid solution, you also need to consider integration between the legacy apps within your environment and cloud applications as cloud vendors provide services to push and pull data from their apps to your legacy apps. Your decision should ultimately successfully add to existing systems and help improve overall businesses operation. If it can’t, it may not be the right solution.
  2. Data — According to an Inc. article, “data is essential for companies.” With the huge amounts of data today’s devices produce — big data — owners of companies big and small are missing out if they’re not harnessing its power and using it to benefit their businesses. On top of that, you must consider data migration and security when working with cloud or hybrid solution options. If the proposed ready-made software solution you’re considering isn’t capable of adequately capturing and utilizing big data, it likely isn’t a good fit.
  3. Functionality — According to an Entrepreneur article, you should “stick to the absolute minimum you need to get the job done.” If the off-the-shelf product can meet your business operation needs, great. If not, it’s best to find something that will. Another consideration when comparing software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers is adapting to the functionality other platform users are employing, which could limit your ability to customize the solutions to your requirements.
  4. Efficiency — Business leaders need to operate efficiently to increase production and reduce expenses; technology should add to this efficiency. If the software solution in question won’t add efficiency to your processes and assist employees’ effectiveness while improving workflows, if might not be a worthwhile solution. Consider cloud, hosted, or hybrid options, but don’t forget about software maintenance needs and costs over the application life cycle when choosing.
  5. Scalability — According to a SmallBizDaily article, “it’s important to make sure its technology solutions can easily adjust to support the new demands of the organization.” If the new solution can’t grow and be flexible as your business changes over time, it may not fit your company for very long. This may be a good opportunity to consider cloud, hosted, or hybrid services.

Still don’t know which way to go on your software solution decision? An IT expert can help you find a new system that can integrate with your functioning software so you not only make the most of what you have now but also see a strong return on investment.

As you begin to make these important determinations for your business, the professionals at Value Global can help you determine which technologies will best optimize your business operations, integrate your processes, and streamline your workflows, allowing you to improve standards while reducing application maintenance costs. Contact us today to get started.

Get Your Head in the Cloud and Save!

Company leaders around the world are migrating to online cloud management solutions for good reasons: Not only has the cloud proven to be safer and more disaster resistant but it can also save business owners significantly over time. Additionally, Cloud giants such as Amazon, Azure, and Google have ramped up their market offerings, allowing greater customizations and options for consumers.

According to a PC Magazine article, the cloud essentially means “storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.” The cloud offers many benefits, including flexibility, disaster protection, data backup, and cost savings.

For owners of large and small businesses alike, the last benefit is particularly enticing. Across industries, the cloud can provide significant cost savings in:

  • Capital expensesCapital expenses in tax lingo refers to any cost incurred to purchase or enhance a long-term asset. These can include computers, servers, and any other hardware business leaders purchase to secure company data. By migrating to the cloud, company decision-makers can save on these on-site expenditures by letting their cloud service providers handle the costs.
  • Operating costs — By moving data and operations to the cloud, company leaders may see savings by outsourcing costs associated with support and maintenance services as well as save internal time employees would otherwise spend on data protection.
  • Indirect savings — When business owners move their companies to the cloud, they’re also likely to notice smaller amounts of indirect savings. For example, while company leaders must invest in backup storage and equipment that leads to redundancy expenses to secure their own data, they may also notice reductions in setup time and delays that would otherwise deter sales and operations.

Over time, these savings can significantly impact companies’ bottom lines. Furthermore — depending on business size and necessary cloud services — some realize additional cloud savings. Although these savings can sound enticing, you should also be mindful of the challenges they pose if you’re considering a move.

  • Pay as you go — Many cloud providers offer pay-as-you-go or -use services, meaning customers only pay for what they use. How much will you use? If there are set limits, what happens if you go over a certain amount? Can you transition all your data to the cloud in one step? As more leaders take their businesses to the cloud, cost containment will likely continue to be an important infrastructure concern.
  • Scalability — Cloud computing services make it much easier for business owners to scale and adapt more quickly to changing business demands. How will that balance out with the additional IT staff expenses or training time necessary for in-house employees to manage cloud apps, services, and users? It’s important for business leaders to be knowledgeable in IT and burgeoning technologies as well as to know where to store and how to secure backup data, whether through public, private, or hybrid cloud services.
  • Shared resources and data security — When partnering with a cloud service provider, the technology, hardware, software, operations, and support resources are all shared rather than owned, meaning users share the costs of these features as well. Will you have to switch to a new cloud service provider if yours doesn’t update these offerings quickly enough? How can you be sure your data is protected when using shared services? Will your costs go up when your provider introduces new resources — even if you don’t use them? Security and costs will continue to be major concerns as more users share these resources.
  • Containers — According to the CIO article, “Containers enable developers to manage software code, particularly software developed for cloud apps.” Although they allow more flexibility, it’ll be important for business leaders to hire skilled IT talent to develop these containers and map their contents to ensure business continuity as they move applications to the cloud. In addition, security plays another strong role here. Open platforms, such as  Docker, allow Devops teams to to build, ship, and run distributed applications efficiently.

Keep in mind, technology is never “one size fits all.” You may have to factor in some additional cloud needs and uses when determining whether migration makes sense for your business. For example, some cloud computing service providers charge fees for shifting data storage back to on-premise models, so the cloud may not be the best choice for all business leaders. Your best option? Work with a professional to determine the tools to best fit your company.

If you’re beginning to access your company needs and deciding whether or not migrating to the cloud makes sense for your operations, contact the professionals at Value Global. We provide high-value software to our clients by creating innovative, client-centric solutions across a broad range of technologies that ensure optimal business efficiency, including cloud computing implementation. We can help owners of businesses large and small determine whether cloud-based solutions make sense and will ultimately provide cost savings.

Oil and Gas Industry Leaders Leverage New Tech

Terms like “the cloud,” “big data,” “analytics,” and “the Internet of Things (IoT)” are making news, and insiders mention we’re in a new digital revolution. Why? Simply put, advanced technology developments are giving company leaders new levels of visibility, access, and efficiencies with their businesses and customers — and many are taking full advantage.

Big data describes the huge amount of information to which business leaders have access. The cloud is a means to store data in off-site servers, and analytics refers to the studying and using of the collected data. The Internet of Things (IoT), in its simplest form, refers to how computers and other machines connect and communicate with one another and allow for predictive real-time information transmission. This information and computing power is extremely valuable and has far-reaching application across industries as diverse as finance, manufacturing, and health care.

Data analytic software can take granular information and find substantial cost savings. Well-known manufacturer Caterpillar Corporation turned to IoT to dramatically increase return on investment by analyzing big data to save time, money, and — ultimately — equipment. For example, instead of running a few generators at capacity, Caterpillar employees discovered that running more generators at a lower power level saved them over half a million dollars annually. The Caterpillar Asset Intelligence platform integrates data and analytics to provide customers with fuel savings and preventive maintenance suggestions that add up to significant savings over time.

Although Caterpillar largely operates within the manufacturing and construction space, its strategy can be directly applied to the oil and gas industry, where information gathered from large, complex equipment is absolutely critical to exploration and production operations. Employing a monitoring strategy anchored in IoT, for example, would improve the integrity and efficiency of  performance data and help avoid costly shutdowns. But preventive maintenance isn’t the only way those in the oil industry can get at cost savings through data analysis.

It’s no secret oil and gas has seen a downturn in recent years. The addition of an improved, more innovative tech strategy has helped those in the business streamline processes and improve cash flow. Big data strategies in particular have been extremely effective for bottom lines, ultimately increasing profitability and helping companies to remain viable in a difficult market. In fact, Shell is already using big data to lower the cost of drilling as well as ensure machine efficiency through a “data-driven oilfield.”

Oil and gas may have been a little later to the game, but the reality is that oil and gas company leaders already overwhelmingly believe these new tech initiatives are valuable for the long-term, and most will continue to invest in big data, cloud, analytics, and the IoT to inevitably drive this industry in the near future.

Value Global experts have been immersed in the oil and gas industry for over 20 years. Our support and experience can help you leverage big data, the cloud, and the IoT to increase your efficiency and profits. We provide comprehensive oil and gas functionality in business intelligence, operations accounting, and land management fields. Contact us today so we can begin collaborating on your project.
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