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Research Summary: “Delivering Large-Scale IT Projects On Time, On Budget, and On Value” By Michael Bloch, Sven Blumberg, & Jürgen Laartz, McKinsey & Company (2012)

Cost Overruns, Schedule Overruns, & Benefits Shortfalls, Oh My!

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At Issue: Large IT projects often cost much more money and take much more time than planned; failed projects can put whole organizations in jeopardy. To defy the odds, companies must both understand the underlying causes of project failure and master the key dimensions that align IT project value with business value.

Research Objective(s): The research team’s objective was to determine how companies can maximize the likelihood that IT projects deliver their expected value on time and within budget.

Scope: The research focus was on large IT projects, defined as those with initial cost estimates exceeding $15 million.

Approach: The McKinsey team, working with the BT Centre for Major Programme Management at the University of Oxford, analyzed more than 5,400 IT projects by comparing predicted budgets, schedules, and performance benefits with actual costs and results. The team also conducted a survey of IT executives to determine the most common underlying causes for a project’s success or failure.

Findings: Large IT projects, on average, run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted. The longer an IT project is scheduled to last, the more likely that it will run over time and over budget; every additional year spent on a project increases cost overruns by an average of 15 percent. Approximately 17 percent of IT projects go so badly that they threaten the very existence of the company. Project underperformance or failure is most commonly caused by: (a) a misguided or lack of focus; (b) highly technical project complexity or ever-changing project requirements; (c) a misaligned or unskilled team; and/or (d) unrealistic scheduling or reactive planning. The four most effective ways to enable a project’s success are (1) focus on managing the project’s strategy and stakeholders rather than concentrating exclusively on budget and scheduling; (2) master the technology and project content by securing critical internal and external IT talent; (3) build effective business teams by aligning their incentives and needs with the overall goals of project; and (4) excel at core project-management practices, such as adhering to short delivery cycles and conducting rigorous quality checks.

Notes: The full results of this study can be accessed at https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/delivering-large-scale-it-projects-on-time-on-budget-and-on-value.

Research Summary: “The Adoption of Digital Technology by Canadian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises” By Mark Buell, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (2014)

At Issue: Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada have been slow to incorporate internet technologies into their businesses. Canadian SMEs, by adopting even basic internet technologies, can better meet the needs of domestic consumers, access the global marketplace, and position themselves as candidates for foreign investment.

What are Canadians Doing Online?

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Research Objective(s): The study’s objectives were to (1) characterize the nature and make-up of Canadian SMEs and (2) gauge the extent to which Canadian SMEs that are already online are utilizing the internet for their businesses.

Scope: The study encompassed Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses. Small businesses comprise more than 98 percent of Canadian employers, and medium-sized businesses account for 1.6 per cent. More than 90 percent of employees in Canada, about 10 million people, work for a small- or medium-sized business.

Approach: The Canadian Internet Registration Authority worked with the Strategic Counsel to conduct a national survey in 2013.

Findings: While 87 percent of Canadian households are connected to the internet, only 45.5 percent of Canadian businesses have a website. Of Canadian small businesses, only 41.1 percent of have an online presence, while more than 91 percent of large businesses in Canada are online. The vast majority of Canada’s SMEs, 89 percent, do not sell their products or services online. Of Canadian SME owners who have incorporated the internet into their businesses, 21 percent spend more than thirty hours per month online. By comparison, 26 percent of “recreational” internet users in Canada spend at least 30 hours per month online. The primary online activities for SME owners are email (89 percent), banking (79 percent), and product research (73 percent). Notably, online shopping is not cited as a primary activity by any internet user group.

Notes: The full results of this study can be accessed at https://cira.ca/assets/Documents/Publications/Adoption-of-Digital-Technology.pdf. Visit the Canadian Internet Registration Authority at www.cira.ca.

Tips In Hiring The Right Software Development Company

The advancements in the field of technology have become instrumental in the success of different entrepreneurs all over the world. This is why you need to join the bandwagon of companies that are starting to embrace the power of technology. Whether you like it or not, it is essential for you to step up your game and be ahead of your competitors through the use of technology.

One of the best decisions that you need to make is to hire the right custom software developer for your company. In this article, we are going to provide you with some tips on how you can make this happen.

Know What You Want

Before getting in touch with a professional software development firm, you have to assess the needs of your own company first. This is where you will list down the day-to-day operations or transactions of the business. Identify the aspects that may require some improvements. Create a list of your needs so that it would become easy to hire the professionals who will be responsible for developing custom software. Knowing what you want is a good head start for your upcoming project with the said experts.

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Do Your Own Research

Take note that many companies are now engaged in providing application and software development services. Because of this, it can be challenging to find the ideal one for your business. As such, it is highly recommended to research first the top developers in your local community. Keep in mind that doing this is part of the due diligence process that you need to go through. You cannot just randomly hire a firm without knowing the credentials of their team members. At the same time, you can also check their company profiles.

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Ask For Referrals

Establishing strong and close ties with other businessmen is essential for your survival in the industry. For this reason, you are encouraged to network with other business owners who can provide you with some guidance or assistance. Once you have already achieved this, it will be easier on your part to seek referrals or recommendations from them. Feel free to inquire from these individuals if they can give you the name of the firm responsible for their custom software. Do not be ashamed to ask around.

Set Expectations Right

Never make the mistake of signing a contract with the custom software development company without discussing your expectations. Be sure to inform the professional developers about your needs ahead of time. Aside from this, you must also ask questions or clarifications. At this point, it is significant to emphasize the fact that it is necessary to create clear communication lines with your chosen business software or application developer. Make it a habit to be clear in providing instructions. Most importantly, never hesitate in discussing the timeline for the project. Set a reasonable deadline.

Be smart enough to hire the right company to help you with your custom software needs. Call us today.

Understanding Wi-Fi Security And How It Affects You

The latest advancements in the field of technology have improved the lives of many people all over the world. Nowadays, we can already take advantage of the availability of the Internet for our business transactions, entertainment needs, and even personal wants. Everyone can go online by directly connecting to a Wi-Fi network. While this technology provides unlimited benefits to different persons, it can also be dangerous especially when it exposes one to a cybersecurity threat.

Wi-Fi And Hackers

In a recent study conducted by IT experts, it was discovered that hackers were able to successfully crack the security layer that keeps Wi-Fi networks secure for various users. Unfortunately, this flaw in the WPA2 security protocol poses a significant danger to different people because hackers can now listen to communications made through the use of a gadget (tablet or smartphone) that is connected to a public Wi-Fi.

Because of this, you need to be extra careful when it comes to using your mobile devices while you are out in public. As much as possible, keep your Internet connection secured by using LTE or 3G mobile data.

How Hacking Happens

According to the same study, hackers found an effective way on how to manipulate, change or control the cryptographic elements behind the WPA2 security. These elements are made up of two combinations, namely a cryptographic key and an algorithm, which provides for the specific system to be followed in deciphering or encrypting data.

The moment you enter a password to access the Wi-Fi network, hackers are now given an opportunity to manipulate a specific process called key reinstallation attack (KRACK) that takes place on your phone. When this happens, they can start eavesdropping on your conversations or communications with other people.

best wifi security

Keeping Yourself Safe

Now that you are aware of the security risks that public Wi-Fi brings, then be sure to be careful in connecting to these free networks. Always keep in mind that this type of connection can compromise your online security. As such, it is crucial to follow some steps to keep you safe in this digital age:

  • Use VPN When Going Online. An excellent way of preventing others from gaining access to your device is by using a virtual private network (VPN). Through this, all your data can be encrypted, which can prevent unauthorized access to your mobile device.
  • Always Access Sites Using HTTPS. If you do not have a VPN installed on your private browsers, then the best thing to do is to use SSL connections. When checking a website, do not forget to type “https” in the URL.
  • Avoid FREE Wi-Fi Networks. As already mentioned above, you must learn how to control your Internet usage. Be sure to avoid connecting in public Wi-Fi networks, especially if the Internet is not a necessity at the moment.

Always keep in mind that hackers have diverse skills. There are those who have expertise in stealing information online by modifying WPA2 security protocols. Be smart enough to use private Internet connections to avoid being a victim of cybersecurity crimes. Neocode, a filemaker developer expert, develops applications that are always fully secure and cannot be hacked even if you are using the public-wifi.

 

 

How To Drive Value For Your Business

When it comes to doing business, one of the things that every entrepreneur must remember is the importance of investing in technology. Unfortunately, not all firms have sufficient resources to answer for this necessity. The reality is that there are still a lot of companies that are incapable of hiring the right developers to help them grow. This is why a lot of low-code platforms have been created to provide a solution to this problem.

The presence of these low-code platforms has proven to be beneficial for a lot of firms all over the world. In fact, experts predict that by the year 2020, the low-code tools will grow to around $15 billion. In this article, we are going to provide you with some tips on how you can drive value for your business through the use of these tools:

Always Start Small To Avoid Confusion

Keep in mind that low-code platforms are not easy to use, especially for the first-timers. For this reason, it is essential to start with those that are user-friendly. Take note that introducing these tools to your employees will be challenging, but it will start to become easier as long as you know how to do it the right way. Avoid overwhelming them with too much information about the tools. First, introduce the kinds of platforms that will be simple for them to familiarize.

Disseminate Information

Keeping employees in the loop is essential if you want them to embrace the new concept of using low-code tools. Tell everyone in the office about the availability of the platforms. Let them know beforehand that these tools may be complicated to use in the beginning, but they will get used to it. The goal here is to make the people in the workplace to become more active in the development process. It will give them a high sense of responsibility.

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Source: pexels.com

Focus On Training

At this point, it is essential to emphasize that training plays a vital role in the success of using low-code platforms for your business. As much as possible, do not skimp on training classes or seminars. Always see to it that you allot a budget as well as sufficient time to train the employers. Take note that they will not acquire the knowledge and skills in using the tools overnight. Be more patient in introducing the tools to your people.

Understand That Limits Exist

Remember that low-code platforms are not suitable for all cases. Each tool has a specific demand or needs that it responds to. You must learn when is the proper time to get in touch with the filemaker  consultant. No matter how much you try to avoid hiring one, there will come a time when you would need their knowledge and expertise to help you move forward with a project for the company. Low-code platforms may be helpful, but they are not the ultimate solution.

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