Route Planning Plenty of the apps that we use today are location-aware. Instagram shows us where photos were taken, OpenTable offers nearby restaurants, Eventbrite invites you to gigs in your city. These features get users to stay longer in these apps, boosting their engagement rates.
But users still have to open another app to plan their routes to destinations. So here’s a way to take your engagement rates to another level — bring route planning to your web or mobile application. By adding route planning, you’ll also increase user loyalty and improve the user experience, which can eventually turn into more revenue for your company.
What apps can benefit from route planning?
There are plenty of industries that can benefit from route planning. We’ll skip navigation apps with GPS trackers and mapping where the route planning technology is vital. Instead, we’ll focus on apps whose functionality can be complemented by embedding route planning.
By allowing your users to plan tours and build travel routes right within your app, you can make their travel experience more engaging. All Trails, a website and an app for hiking and mountaineering, allows you to build routes of your walking tours, save them, share them, and view routes created by other users.
Say a user is going to a concert in another city or country. In this case, he or she might want to eat somewhere or even stay for the night. For situations like this, you can let users plan routes from events to nearby coffee shops or hotels, or even to city sites and exclusive exhibitions. Festicket, a major event platform, already offers a similar option — Festicket Trips. But users can’t edit these packages and routes. You could take it further and offer festival tours with customizable routes.
For logistics, delivery, and taxi companies, road trip planning is essential, especially when it comes to crowdsourced delivery of multiple parcels and food orders or picking up multiple passengers. At Yalantis, we’ve already developed a number of solutions for logistics and delivery companies with a focus on flawless route planning. Check out the transportation management system we built for one of our clients. Also, see our case studies about Brilliant Move and another delivery platform if you want to learn more about the logistics tracking software, delivery management software, dispatching software, fleet management systems, and transport monitoring systems we’ve built.
Real estate apps
Touring places to rent or buy can be daunting: people have to see lots of properties that can be far away from each other. Route building and route scheduling can truly simplify their lives. The same applies to agents who help tenants and homebuyers find properties, so agents will surely appreciate a tool for route planning too.
Zillow and Zumper, top American real estate apps, allow users to schedule live tours, but neither allows users and agents to create live tour routes. If you want more ideas on real estate app development, read our recent post on how to uberize the real estate industry.
Nurses and doctors often have to perform routine examinations at patients’ apartments or houses.You can help doctors and nurses organize their examination trips in your healthcare app.
For people driving to other cities and countries, planning a route to parking can be a great time and money saver. You can get inspired by parking apps like Parke, which allows users to find nearby parking spots and complements that functionality with customizable routes.
If your app is for one of the industries mentioned above — or if you’re planning to enter these industries with a top-notch user-friendly app — we’ve got great news! Below, we describe in detail what exactly an app should offer to let users build customizable routes.
Read More:- How to Create an App Design That Works
What route planning should offer to users
Route planning relies heavily on maps and the data they supply on distance, speed, traffic jams, alternative routes, travel times, and locations. To calculate routes in your app, you can use the Directions API by Google. But routes are only one piece of the puzzle.
Helping users prioritize stops
When choosing places to go, users may be more interested in some destinations than others. For instance, say a tenant is selecting an apartment to rent. They may like some alternatives more than others and want to visit them first. In this case, you can let users rate places to make sure they manage to visit their top choices. Users may also rely on ratings left by others to help them plan their routes.
To add ratings to your app, you can choose from a number of APIs like sellytics, Boltron, and ReviewPro. There are even industry-specific APIs that supply rating features, like Amadeus Hotel Ratings for travel apps and the Uber Driver API for taxi businesses. But judging from our experience, businesses prefer creating custom rating services for their apps to drive more flexibility and to easily maintain this functionality.
Helping users plan their time
Once users have prioritized a list of places to visit,they need to decide when to visit them and how much time to spend at each one. Therefore, users need an integrated calendar for planning. To add a calendar to your app, you can use the Google Calendar API or the Outlook Calendar REST API as well as plenty of other alternatives. Take a look at our guide on how to implement a calendar in your app for more information on this topic.
Helping users sync their tour plans
Users may not be alone when going on a planned route: tenants and homebuyers may need to agree on tours with agents, event-goers may travel with their friends or family, and doctors can visit patients along with nurses. That’s why users need a feature to share and approve their routes with others. From our experience, most app developers choose Google’s mobile and web Sharing APIs, though there are other solutions by Alligator.io and SalesForce.
In addition to a sharing feature, there should be a notification and approval mechanism to agree on routes. Say a tenant has built an itinerary for a live tour and sent it to their agent. In this case, you’ll need to send the agent a push notification about the itinerary and send a notification to the tenant to inform them whether the agent has approved the itinerary.
In case a user or agent is offline, you can consider sending an SMS instead of an in-app notification. For push notifications, there are various solutions, but the most popular among our clients is FireBase Cloud Messaging. And for SMS messages, there’s an API by Twilio.
One more way to sync tour plans is by implementing real-time chat in your app, where users can discuss routes. PubNub, Layer, Pusher, and plenty of other messaging services can help you implement this feature.
Helping users handle changes and risks
Even when everything is duly planned and prepared, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. A tenant may have to change the route if it turns out an apartment is no longer available, a client may cancel a delivery, or a hotel may temporarily close because of a storm. That’s why you need to let users edit, cancel, and postpone their tours. There aren’t ready-made solutions for this, so you’ll need to create your own custom functionality. Here’s an example of how the Komoot app allows users to build and edit hiking and biking tours:
Route planning software
In case you’re not ready to invest your time and money in route planning development, there’s an alternative for you: using existing route planning software. Let’s have a look at some of the top players on the market.
HERE is the biggest player in the route planning market today. The Routing API by HERE provides a route optimization solution, allows you to calculate routes for multiple waypoints, edit routes, update past routes, and calculate a matrix of routes, taking into consideration various destinations and starting points. In addition, this SaaS solution supplies Public Transport TimeTable Routing and Traffic Enabled Routing in its premium package. As you can see, you can use the HERE Routing API for any industry that requires route planning.
This SaaS product is made for delivery management and last-mile delivery. Onfleet supplies companies with an API that can be integrated into online ordering and parcel delivery apps. In addition to route planning, you can use Onfleet to automate your delivery routines, manage your inventory, and get delivery reports.
YaCu is another solution for routing and route optimization and focused on delivery management. It supplies delivery routine automation and offers extra services like delivery analytics and vehicle monitoring.
Route4Me is another route planner that provides its route planning API for free, but you’ll have to pay for extra services like in-app voice-guided navigation, scheduled customer notifications, delivery analytics, and a customer relationship management system. Route4Me is more customizable than other options and is used by businesses in the transportation, food delivery, healthcare, and construction industries.
Now that you know about route building SaaS tools, you may be wondering if you should use a SaaS product or build your route planning functionality from scratch. The answer depends on your budget and business goals. If you need to enrich your app’s functionality within a short period of time and with minimum upfront cost, SaaS will do. But no matter which SaaS option you choose, you’ll be tied to its tech stack and won’t be able to tailor the service to your needs. Also, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee for the service, so over time, you’ll spend quite a penny.
On the contrary, you can invest more time and money at the beginning and build the functionality you need from scratch. This will eventually bring you more flexibility for future app updates and allow you to add any new features you may come up with. And all of that without being limited to your SaaS provider’s services.
Implementing route planning in your app may seem quite a challenging task, as you’ll have to develop a sophisticated system for editing and sharing routes with scheduling, real-time chat, push notifications, a verification mechanism, and a support center. But the results will be an enhanced user experience and improved customer loyalty. Hopefully, this guide will help you achieve that!
App Design is essential to a project’s success. And designing an app involves more than one designer. If an entire team – including business owners – take an active part in the web and mobile application design process, there’s a better chance of creating a beautiful and useful product.
In our complete guide to a digital design that works, we’ll walk you through Yalantis’ approach to designing excellent products, providing helpful design tips and sharing our best practices accumulated over the years. So let’s ask some questions.
What is “design that works”?
Before we talk about how to make an app design that works, we need to know what a “working design” actually is. We all know there are two main design components for an app – the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). What do these things have in common? The answer is the user. Design works when users are happy. It’s as simple as that.
A working design is not only a good-looking design. A working design is rather invisible. Ideally, users should instantly understand a web or mobile app’s user interface patterns and components to achieve their goals with minimum difficulty. An intuitive experience satisfies your users and keeps them coming back for more, which essentially means more profit for your business.
How can I create a UX design?
Creating an intuitive, attractive, and user-friendly design requires understanding your users – their pains, emotions, motivations, and desires. And here’s where UX designers usually rely on user-centric design tactics.
Made popular by the Stanford d.school, Harvard, and MIT, and successfully adopted by Apple, Google, Samsung, and General Electric, Design Thinking is a design approach that seeks to understand an end-user and redefine their problems to identify and develop the most optimal solution to them. At its heart, Design Thinking has a deep interest in developing empathy with the target user for whom the product is being developed.
There are five stages of Design Thinking according to d.school:
- Empathize – Learn about your customers
- Define – Construct a point of view based on customer needs and insights
- Ideate – Brainstorm many possible solutions
- Prototype – Create several prototypes of your solutions
- Test – Put your prototypes in front of users to get feedback
Design Thinking looks more like a circle than a straight path. The design team continuously uses the results of their work to review, question, and improve their initial assumptions and analyze possible implications of their solutions for users and the industry in general.
Much like the Design Thinking approach, User-Centered Design (or Human-Centered Design) is an iterative design technique aimed at developing solutions to problems by approaching all steps in the problem-solving process from a human perspective
There are four stages of user-centered design as proposed by the Interactive Design Foundation:
- Understand the context of use – Try to understand the context in which your users will use your product.
- Specify requirements – Identify and elicit users’ requirements.
- Design a solution – Develop possible solutions.
- Evaluate the solution – Evaluate your solution against your users’ context and requirements, checking how closely it matches users’ specific needs.
That’s not the end, however. Your team then can perform further iterations of these four phases and continue until the results are satisfactory.
Lean UX is one more effective approach that’s widely used among design and development companies. This technique, born out of Toyota’s manufacturing model, works in alignment with Agile development methods. It aims to reduce waste and increase value.
Essentially, Lean UX combines the solution-based approach of Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design with iterative Agile development methods, streamlining the design process. It boils down to a simple formula: think, make, check. By mixing a lean, Agile approach with human-centered design techniques, you can establish a product development process that’s not only user-centric but also highly efficient from a business perspective.
These approaches look pretty similar, don’t they? There are lots of other similar schemes and algorithms that have been created by designers all over the world. Essentially, they all teach us to ask the right questions to better understand our users, generate as many ideas as possible, and, by testing them, find an ideal solution that not only fits users’ needs but is sustainable and can survive in a competitive environment.
What is Yalantis’ approach to UX design?
All of the approaches we’ve mentioned complement each other. Any UX design process comes down to four basic steps – Think, Create, Test, and, surprisingly, Repeat.
1. Think – Find out users’ needs to make them happy
Here are your tasks for the Think stage:
- Conduct UX research (qualitative and quantitative) to learn more about your target audience’s needs; analyze the market and competitors.
- Elicit customers’ requirements. Working closely with business analysts, define your business requirements and prepare technical specifications.
- Create personas and roles, or fictional characters that represent users of your product.
UX research helps app designers and developers better understand users’ behaviors, habits, and needs through different observational techniques and surveys, interviewing users, and watching how they complete different tasks. A designer’s job is to dig deep into the problem and brainstorm solutions to provide value for users.
Basically, UX research consists of two parts: gathering data and synthesizing it to improve your app’s usability.
Read also: Know About App Store Optimization (ASO)
Research techniques may include interviews with customers and stakeholders, study reviews, and interviews with subject matter experts. As a result of UX research, designers get buyer personas, user stories, use cases, and user flows, on the basis of which you can build your app’s information architecture.
In outsourcing companies like Yalantis, UX research can consist of the following steps:
- Study all project materials, whether there’s a bare business idea or a detailed specification with desired functionality, mind maps, users roles, and so on.
- Conduct a range of interviews with the client to elicit their requirements.
- Conduct market analysis. Study close competitors and reviews of their products, interview subject matter experts, and, sometimes, observe users.
- Prepare a presentation for the client that may include mind maps, moodboards, references, and a couple of initial app concepts.
In both product companies and outsourcing companies, after conducting initial UX research, the focus gradually shifts to usability and the users’ mood. Researchers can conduct usability tests, or A/B tests, as well as feedback sessions with users. Typically, developers test assumptions that will improve the design.
If you’re curious to find out more about our design approach and discover the cost of our design services, ask all of your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Create – Develop possible solutions based on users’ requirements
Once you’ve gathered the information you need, you can start creating first sketches. To do so, you need to start with drafting your information architecture and navigation:
- Create a mind map (site map) of your application that describes the app’s structure and logic.
- Create wireframes with textual content.
The first step is creating low-fidelity wireframes, which help an outsourcing firm clearly communicate visual ideas to their clients. Low-fidelity wireframes also help a business analyst understand the project and create detailed requirements.
Next, create detailed wireframes. To do so, you can use vector graphics editors such as Sketch, Figma, or Adobe Illustrator. These design tools also let you write comments for every screen to display the logic in as much detail as possible.
After the wireframes are ready, you can start building a prototype:
- Export all of your screens as separate images
- Use InVision (or any other tool you prefer) to build an interactive prototype with transitions
- Share your prototype
- Test your prototype (see the Test section below for details)
After your prototype has been tested and approved, start working on your visual design:
- Find an appropriate visual style using information from your research (design brief, moodboards, references)
- Don’t forget about developers: use Zeplin or Avocode for sharing specifications and assets
3. Test – Put your prototypes in front of users to get feedback
The earlier you start testing, the better. Once you have text wireframes, you can test them on real users. You should take advantage of every possible opportunity to get feedback. Ask your colleagues, parents, friends, and random people in your office building to accomplish certain tasks using your prototype. Then watch what happens.
Share your interactive prototype with everybody you know, including your stakeholders. Let them test it as well. Continue collecting feedback even when you feel like everything is perfect. After your product is released, start tracking analytics and collecting user feedback.
Finally, go all the way back to the beginning: gather information, think, and create a list of changes. Continue with wireframes, testing, design, testing, release, testing, and gathering information.
4. Repeat – Iterate until you get satisfactory results
How many iterations do you need to create an app design that truly works? All of them! There’s no such thing as a “final” design. There will always be something in your product that can be improved. Consider your product a living creature: it should develop and evolve, getting better with each generation. Don’t try to fix all your problems at once. Develop a minimum viable product first and try to fix major issues in the early version. Then test every change you make as soon as possible.
Your MVP product should have enough features to allow you to ship the product to its first users. Use it to test your assumptions, understand your users, and define the functionality that brings them real value
Web development broadly refers to the tasks associated with developing websites for hosting via intranet or internet. The web development process includes web design, web content development, client-side/server-side scripting and network security configuration, among other tasks.
If you wanna develop own business website you can see there.
A. Online Affiliate Websites
Affiliate business marketing is a commitment based marketing scheme in which a person is paid for advertising and/or trading the products/services of another company. so don’t worry, You can develop a website with share reviews, and suggestions about products on other websites also with provide a link to the product page on another website and get paid for each resolution you make for the e-commerce marketplace.
B. Develop a Fashion Brand
Another great idea for an online business development. That is you can build your own personal fashion brands with a fashion brand website development, and publish the brand products online through the website.
C. Domain Buying and Selling
You can develop a website with domain purchasing and sell then the user can start a business with help of website development.
D. Stock Development
If you have any matter and existence in stock and forex business trading, that you can get good money by beginning the service by your own website.
E. Advertisement Business
Google ads, Facebook ads, and many other advertising platform programs are just delivering for businesses like you to examine the earning possibilities.
F. Online Marketing
That is not a new marketing or business idea but it is also not historic. If you have good skills, you can start your own online business marketing business with a simplistic website idea.
G. App Development
All the gadgets, Smart phones are hither to stay, so are the mobile apps. You can earn good money by the marketing of your app developing skills through a website.
H. Develop A Company Website
If you have an own company which are based on any other work based on shopping, teaching, training institute then you can develop or create a company website for information purpose and query purpose.
I. Wedding Website Development
the wedding business is amazing thought for a present time that develops your business instantly. All the possibilities feature like decoration, customized photos and sweet wedding moments, arrangement and much more you can update your wedding website for business leadership.
Educational Websites Development
It is great thought about the education class provide an online platform which is possible with help of online class or school website development. So you can easily develop for your educational purposes.
A. Drawing and Painting Website
According to generation every child increase ownself in the technology field and do every work on online so you can develop a drawing and art website. that is a benefit for kids class (prep-5) student use easily.
B. Money Earning and Saving
At present time every youth want to earn money and save money along with studying in college. So, it is possible with an online earning platform which provides online money earning resources with smart money saving.
C. Tuition Help
The online tutor searching and academic problem question with a solution is the best business which you can develop or maintain online with a simple website development or support teams. Also, it is the best business development which increases your website marketing value.
D. Learning Language
Every person needs to improve own skills in a various language which are based on numerous country-based but no one learns more extra due to sources that you can develop a website for language based and make a successful business.
E-commerce website/Business ideas
At present time an online e-commerce platform is now easier to develop online business because every platform or source are connected with online platform Whether it is in educational, hospitality, cooking, shopping etc. so is there we provide you some ideas for online e-commerce website business ideas.
A. Handmade Products
Some countries like handmade products to home decor and wear the handmade dress but due to some issues, builder not to publish products online.So, You can create a website to sell these type of builder products like handmade wooden artwork, handmade color fabric design, curtain or other art things such as drawings, kites, painting and many more.
B. Fashion Rent Business
The youth generation and older people are using fashion accessories every time but due to fashion trading, every time its come in a new variety that’s why you can use a fashion on rent website that is provide the fashion thing on rent like dresses, shoes, wedding jewellery etc.
C. Second-Hand Products
You can develop a website to sell and buy second-hand products to start a business because sometimes a person needs an old item which is not found out easily.
Personal Services Websites
If you have a private business, you can publish your business online with the development of a personal business website. Are there some private business ideas here.
Everyone is busy with work whether office work or another work. That’s the reason they are not given the time to our baby and require a babysitter which are care of her children. so these facilities you can provide on the website to provide babysitter service.
B. Repairing Website
If your machine or any other products are bad and it is not working properly then you can look at the repaired website and correct it by treating it properly, which can be done through a repair website.
C. Cleaning Service
The service of cleaning is basic work for everyone but many more people need to cleaning service by servant or housekeeper. so these type of facility you can provide online which provides home cleaning, pool cleaning and many more.
D. Event Management
It is the best online website business which provides events management organize and tickets online because everyone like parties, events and much more in real life and it is take your events and business skill to a new level by developing these type of website online.
These websites are based on industry or niche such as medical, health, travel and many more. So, major thing is that you can create a website to your experience bases in a particular niche.
A. Price Comparison
The price comparison is the best idea to implement a website on globally so you can publish a website platform to compare and find the best value.
B. Job Search Website
You can develop an online platform for people to search for the job which provides best job offer for the user in specific areas.
C. Healthcare Consultant
You can develop a website that provides all healthcare facility like ambulance, medical consult, medical store, doctor address detail, hospital etc.
D. Online Question and Answer
Create or develop a website platform which provides you instantly question and answer result and also provide the best result to every field which user want.
Entertainment and Leisure Websites
In this industry, there are lots of options. If you have all thing to develop a website which manages a business successfully then you can easily develop an amazing website for business purpose.
A. Online Booking
Develop a website which provides much better services like online ticket booking, travel ticket booking, event ticket, sports match ticket and much more that provides much better services.
B. Sports Website
A complete website is based on a different platform which provides a complete result according to user wants. So, you can develop a sports website which provides update result of the matches.
C. Online Gaming
The game is the best source of time spending so simply you can develop an online gaming website that provides a free online game to play online apart from this you can fix your business in this field.
D. Gambling Website
Wow!! A Gambling is an amazing idea to develop a website that provides online gambling on a various platform which is globally available and the user can use gambling on your website. So, you also can develop or create a website in this field to fix our business on the online platform.
E. Movie Website
Lots of people have no time to go to watch a movie in the theater and many people are not familiar. So, many people go search online movie to watching and download but many time the online watching link and download link are not found easily that’s why you can develop a website that provides online movie download link included with online watching.
F. Online Book, Novel Website
Books, Novels are a great book that inspires people to improve themselves and motivate them. So, you can develop a website that provides a best books and novel for every user to inspiration, knowledge gain and motivates to do something special. Furthermore, these service is provide sharing books to each other.
It’s a fully decentralized cryptocurrency at present time that is increased day by day and developing cryptocurrency in the global market. so you can develop these type of service in cryptocurrency.
A. Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform
The Cryptocurrency exchange platform is the best idea to develop a website in the global market that is the provide cryptocurrency exchange one to another for example (Bitcoin to litecoin, litecoin to etheruem, bitcoin to ripple etc) but it’s not easier but you can do it with your effort.
B. Wallet Service
The wallet service is based on cryptocurrency development that offers various services including digital money transfers, payments, and trading with help of cryptocurrency and digital money wallet.
Blogging Website Development
Blogging, article writing, content writing and many more thing which are based on creativity thoughts about the technical, non-technical and mind creativity based. Is here I have defined some sources of blogging.
A. Personal Blogging
You can start your personal blogging which is based on poetry, thoughts, traveling thought, adventure thought, etc. These type of facility is provided to user read your blog.
B. How to Blog
If you have good skills to writing, You can start blog writing, in particular, one entire field which gives you lots of knowledge about it and you can provide, the show of in front of people that what is this in the blog writing.
C. Review Website
It is the best source for online business which is reliable in cheapest investment. The work of this website is showing the review option, comparison website that is very beneficial for the user to compare website and products review for users.
D. Travel and Photography Blog
Traveling and photography everyone like in present time. So you can start adventure palace with smart photography which attracts the user to the website. So start these type of website which depends on photography and traveling.
E. Development Blog
The development field is best for engineers that can use every time if you write specific and unique thoughts that are beneficial for development user am damn sure it will give you lots of earning in this field.
F. Dancing Blog
A wonderful dance step blog writing increase your blog ranking globally the step of the dancing blog provides you dancing step, dancing ideas and many more feature in the blogs. Also, you can start a dancing blog website worldwide.
G. Healthcare Tips
Someone is disappointed with his health, someone is happy with his health, anyone wants to lose weight, so someone wants to make bodybuilding these type of fitness success mantra you can update your own health tips blog website for business purpose.
H. Wedding Blog
That is very sweet business to share your thought about the marriage or wedding. lots of people are getting confused in the marriage and they forget some decoration, some things, and much more so you can write the tip of marriage arrangement and decoration also much more which is beneficial for the blog reader.
I. Fashion Blog
Fashion blog gives the thoughts about the fashion wear that how to wear, how to look attractive in front of the someone, how to choose the perfect match. these all thing you can provide on the blog which you make on the website and can take lots of earn with help of these blogs.
J. Politics Blog Website
Those who have no work, they like to go to politics and search the internet on how to make a leader. you can update politics blog website and write the things such as politics, election, government, minister, government rules and more.
K. Food Making and Review
If you are fond of eating and you are aware of the taste and taste of every delicious meal, then you can develop or create a website to write a blog with the review of the food along with them, which can earn you a lot of money on every single review.
L. Relationship Suggestion
Looking at the growing trend of the present day, every one of the world’s looks seems to be more serious or reluctant to have their relationship. The kind of these type problem you can resolve on the blog. In this, you can write every suggestion about the relationship and provide the best ideas about the relationship, dating, long distance and more.
M. Spiritual Blogging Website
Motivational, inspiration, spiritual blogs are always giving the best thought to everyone and inspired everyone or the human world that always do good and get good. You can develop a website based on spiritual.
You can start a website which is based on similar services, Here are some websites ideas that implement the best business in the market.
A. Gym Fitness and Training
Lots of people need the source of fitness, gym exercise, and training but sometimes they not ingested get any right idea. So you can develop a fitness & Gym training website that provides the source of fitness exercise. This type of website business provides you the best earn option.
B. Online Magazine
If you have talent or skill to write magazine then you can write it with help of online subscription business also with the third-party magazine.
C. Video and Audio Subscription
With help of some hosting server, you can develop or start a website which is based on hosting and server that provides an audio and video subscription.
D. Online Flower / Gift Subscription.
You can develop an online fresh flower website distribution website. Who deliver people to receive and send flowers, gifts, cakes and many other items at specific times.
E. Shopping Subscription
Shopping subscription is the best business in the online market, which facilitates contributing information about the upcoming new products. In exactly the same way, you can create a new website that provides information about the availability or contribution of shopping products.
These type of all ideas are based on the website development in various ideas which are beneficial for every start up business in the entire global market. You might consider all these ideas and guidelines as existing confinements, and in some ideas they are. You have to decide, however, to be independent when developing your website. SO use your creativity and develop the website
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) goes beyond proof of concept and into wider adoption and deployment across a whole host of industries. A survey by IIoT giant Microsoft found that 85% of companies have at least one IIoT use case project. This number will increase, as 94% of respondents said they will implement IIoT strategies by 2021.
In fact, IDC predicts that spending on IoT technology will reach a trillion US dollars by 2022. The largest sectors investing in the emerging technology include discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, transportation and utilities.
The growing applications and use cases of IIoT offer tremendous opportunities for global industries. As the technology matures this year, here are the three main trends that will reshape the industrial IoT landscape.
Efficiency IIoT trend: Wireless connectivity
IIoT refers to interconnected industrial assets and sensors over a wireless network. The lack of a catch-all networking solution remains the biggest challenge for its wide adoption. There are several recent innovations that are being implemented to drive the growth of viable IIoT cases and improve operational efficiency.
The adoption of 5G will revolutionize connectivity for IoT-enabled industries. This nascent connection technology is tailored for IoT’s connectivity needs and is expected to catalyze its productivity. Long-range low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technologies like NB-IoT, LTE-M, LoRa and Sigfox are also driving innovation for IIoT connectivity. LPWANs for IoT sensors allow low powered devices to stream packets of data wirelessly but with a wider area.
What does it mean in figures? A new low-power LoRaWAN sensor may work during one year without battery replacement, compared to the current one to two months, and transmit data with up to 3 km coverage.
French-licensed LPWAN giant Sigfox services use cases for logistics and fleet management industries to improve traceability. Sigfox offers a much cheaper and more efficient alternative to cellular networks. Despite carrying only 12-byte payloads, Sigfox can sufficiently transmit GPS data in regular intervals – enough for fleet tracking and health info management. IEEE is also developing a new Wi-Fi standard, called 802.11ax, which uses both 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz wireless frequencies. This gives IoT devices better access points with boosted capacity and bandwidth speeds as well as improved energy efficiency over previous Wi-Fi standards. Among the rising amount of new protocols and solutions, how to decide which one of the innovations you should go with?
Business IIoT trend: Predictive Analytics
Data remains the backbone of IoT software and applications. IoT devices and end-points are growing in size and form. This enables businesses to find new ways of enhancing the interoperability of processes, people, assets, and data.
IIoT Data Analytics
While data analytics isn’t anything particularly new, MIT Sloan found that IIoT analytics will be vastly different from current data management paradigms. As counterintuitive as it may seem, data sharing among competitors will be the best way to make sense of this immense amount of information. To give you a peek into the future, Maryville University forecasts that by 2025 over 180 trillion gigabytes of data will be created worldwide every year. A large portion of this will be generated by IIoT-enabled industries.
Similarly, remote data collection IoT platforms can wirelessly patch and update machinery in a timely manner through predictive maintenance. The intermittent access and quick response times this enables significantly decreases down time for machinery.
For example, deposits in heat exchangers are hard to detect and can clog the conduits. IoT devices that measure the temperature difference upstream and downstream, however, can issue warnings on anomalies that indicate potential blockages. Deploying predictive maintenance capabilities can reduce downtime by 20-50% and costs by 5-10%.
Tech IIoT trend: Edge computing
IIoT companies are now shifting implementation models towards edge computing. This technology allows data to be processed near the IoT devices, which reduces latency and the use of bandwidth. Edge computing enables the viability of everything-as-a-service business models and microservices—both of which rely on lightning speed computing capabilities and responsiveness. The OpenFog Consortium which includes CISCO is committed to push fog computing to overcome the current challenges in edge computing—device management, scalability, and cybersecurity. As opposed to edge, fog computing can still process data in conditions where bandwidth is unavailable.
This means manufacturing devices connected through the fog can process data locally while transmitting only pertinent data with very small power consumption. Collision warning technology is also very compatible to fog computing. Vehicles with fog computing devices can also communicate with each other more efficiently and faster. However, IEEE senior member and professor of cybersecurity at Ulster University Kevin Curran notes that fog computing introduces more cybersecurity risks to devices and virtual machines. Addressing these threats will be crucial for wider scale adoption.
Growing use cases
Industrial AI. Artificial intelligence programs built on the edge or on VMs enable predictive analytics. With the remote access capabilities of IoT and near-sensor machine learning combined, response rates and flexibility will reach unprecedented levels. Nakayama Iron Works is now reaping the benefits of their IoT-enabled and remotely accessed rock crushers and machineries.
By leveraging AI-powered IoT and the eWON Cosy connectivity, the company can anticipate and quickly troubleshoot problems remotely. It has greatly reduced their operational costs. The more the fourth industrial revolution continues to disrupt industries, the more IoT development companies will bring IIoT use cases to life. The maturing technology is poised to solve some of the most pertinent business problems today.
Use your software to keep pace with changing business needs
Software In the world of digital transformation, this question often comes up: How can IT quickly adopt new features and functionality without the process being complex and cumbersome? The answer is software. You love your hardware. We all do. But, if you marry your hardware network to software consumption models, you’ll put your entire network on steroids.
Traditional networks can’t keep up
As an IT professional, you are vital to the success of your business. You design, maintain, and support business initiatives with your network, but traditional networks can’t handle the many new challenges of rapidly evolving technology. How are you handling the explosion of mobile and IoT devices, cybersecurity threats, and multi-cloud adoption? You need a network that automates processes, provides built-in security, and delivers analytics and data insights. Cisco makes this possible through its Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA).
Cisco DNA software unlocks your network’s full potential
Cisco DNA takes a software-delivered approach to automating and assuring services across your WAN and your campus and branch networks. Cisco DNA software enables you to streamline operations and facilitate IT and business innovation.
Subscription software delivers ongoing innovation
It is easy to incorporate the benefits of Cisco DNA into your existing network and keep pace with ongoing innovation via software subscription licenses on your Cisco switches, access points, and routers. The benefits of the software subscription model include:
- Subscription provides ongoing access to innovation by freeing up the software refresh cycle from hardware.
- Subscription offers better license portability across deployment models – cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid model.
- Subscription shifts CapEx to OpEx, which gives more financial predictability and linearity with a lower initial investment.
Cisco DNA software subscriptions are available in three tiers depending upon the features and functionality you want. The three tiers are:
- Cisco DNA Essentials
- Cisco DNA Advantage
- Cisco DNA Premier
The tiers are nested, so if you choose Premier, you also receive the features and functionality of Essentials and Advantage. In Advantage, you receive all of the Essentials capabilities.
Choose the right software tier for each technology
Each tier activates a different set of features and functionality for routers versus switches versus wireless devices.
For SD-WAN and Routing, Cisco DNA Essentials offers simplified management and security protection for an overlay of 50 devices or less. Cisco DNA Advantage offers advanced SD-WAN with enhanced security for feature-rich and varied branch deployment models. The top tier, Cisco DNA Premier, offers advanced SD-WAN security that helps mitigate the most sophisticated threats to your business.
For Switching, Cisco DNA Essentials offers centralized management, base automation and monitoring. Cisco DNA Advantage offers SD-Access capabilities, advanced automation and monitoring, analytics, telemetry, and visibility. The top tier, Cisco DNA Premier, layers on additional security features and enables all Cisco DNA use cases, including SD-Access and ETA.
For Wireless, Cisco DNA Essentials offers base automation, basic assurance, telemetry, element management, and basic security. Cisco DNA Advantage offers policy-based automation with SD-Access capabilities, assurance with AI/ML analytics, and location engagement and insight (Cisco DNA Spaces). Cisco DNA Premier adds advanced security features and is SD-Access ready.
Look for more software details in our ongoing blog series
We’ll continue to bring you updates and explanations about Cisco DNA software in future blogs. Here’s a sneak preview of upcoming topics:
- Cisco Enterprise Agreement exclusive offers and benefits
- Cisco DNA software for Switching deep-dive
- Cisco DNA software for Wireless deep-dive
- Cisco DNA software for SD-WAN and Routing deep-dive
- Activating Cisco DNA software with Cisco DNA Center/VManage
According to an IDG 2018 Cloud Computing Study, it is estimated that 77% of organizations use cloud services with the average enterprise using up to almost 1,000 applications. While the process of achieving digital transformation and modernized IT infrastructure through the cloud seems like a no-brainer, the concept of cloud migration is not so simple.
Even the most prepared migration can bring unforeseen consequences that IT teams may not initially be aware of. In this blog, we’ll discuss some common cloud migration issues and best practices for security during this process.
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Cloud Migration Issues
No Clear Plan
Knowing why you want to migrate is half the battle. Organizations must define a clear cloud strategy, vision and management plan, while presenting the benefits of this move to their IT teams. Similarly, management must also be able to recognize which applications are better suited to stay on premise.
In the interest of saving time, organizations tend to migrate all applications at the same time, leading to unknown problems and increased costs due to downtime. A best practice approach calls for migrating applications in phases, usually starting with non-mission critical applications.
For most companies, cloud is billed using a pay-as-you-go model but these costs can increase based on a variety of factors. These include management changes, hidden fees and labor for the intensive amount of time it takes to migrate.
Data security regulations need to change once migration has occurred because every cloud has a different set of principles to follow. Being that the customer sets many of the cloud’s security features, it is important to make sure that data is locked down to avoid any vulnerabilities or leaks.
Best Practices around Data Security for your Migration
While the attraction to the benefits of cloud continues to grow, it’s been reported that 42% of organizations are still concerned about cloud security. While vulnerabilities are inevitable throughout businesses, taking a few security measures can help avoid such issues during your cloud migration.
First off, organization must verify devices, users and applications before granting access to any data. Secondly, remove the vulnerability of passwords and utilize multi-factor authentication. Lastly, understand how your employees operate and which devices they prefer. It is crucial to implement some type of unified endpoint management solution (UEM) that will encrypt devices while enforcing your most updated security practices.
If you’re looking for more information on cloud migration, we can help! At KeyInfo, we know that no two businesses are the same. We provide a consultative approach to cloud migration, achieving the best fit for your organization, on time, and at the right cost.
TECHNOLOGY Everyone experiences some level of stress, however, learning how to manage day-to-day stressors is essential in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. Although technology can sometimes create anxiety, it can just as easily be utilized to de-stress. In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, Computer Troubleshooters has compiled a list of the best ways to use technology to reduce stress.
HOW TO USE TECHNOLOGY TO DE-STRESS
While research suggests technology may cause anxiety, other studies argue technology could help manage everyday stresses. Continue reading to learn how to take advantage of today’s technology in order to relax.
DOWNLOAD STRESS-RELIEVING APPS
While using technology can make some feel stressed, others find relief in certain apps that are designed to help users unwind. According to Statista, there are about 2 million apps to choose from in the App Store. From mood tracking to squeezing a virtual rubber duck, there’s an app for almost any type of stress relief you’re searching for. Instead of scrolling through social media and creating more negative energy, utilize apps such as Personal Zen, which contains a series of games focused on reducing anxiety levels.
PRACTICE FITBIT AND APPLE WATCH BREATHING EXERCISES
Most of today’s technology has built-in stress-relieving features for our benefit. If you own a FitBit or Apple Watch, try the breathing exercise features to relieve stress. Wearable technology can track when you’re stressed so you can learn to anticipate negative emotions and use features such as breathing exercises to calm down. If you don’t own a wearable, search for apps in the App Store or watch videos on YouTube to simulate breathing exercises.
FOLLOW FITNESS VIDEOS
Exercise is a popular stress-reliever and is easier than ever to add to your routine due to the availability of virtual fitness classes. Working out releases endorphins, which lowers stress levels. Try following videos of fitness classes such as Zumba or yoga to find the perfect workout and let off some steam.
CREATE A SMART HOME
Building a smart home can reduce the time you spend worrying about chores and keeping up with daily tasks. Create a chore chart with Amazon Alexa to keep track of what’s already been done and what still needs to be done around the house. Smart devices are created to connect to other smart devices to make your life easier. From turning off the lights to helping you find your phone, creating a smart home can help eliminate everyday stress.
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STREAM RELAXING MUSIC
Listening to music is one of the most common ways to relieve stress since it requires minimal effort. Listen to your favorite songs to de-stress, or listen to the top 10 relaxing songs ranked by scientists if you’re in need of immediate relaxation. For some, silence increases anxiety levels, but for others, too much noise can create more stress. If a room filled with music causes chaos for you, try using a white noise machine or streaming white noise online. Using white noise to block out any unnecessary and loud noises can also increase productivity as well as reduce stress.
ENSURE YOUR DATA IS SECURE
While keeping your data secure may not be one of your main stressors, taking steps to ensure your personal information is safe can be reassuring. New viruses and threats emerge every day, so make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date on your computer and change your passwords to all of your online accounts at least once a year to avoid getting hacked. Keep stress at bay by taking steps to keep you and your family’s or business’ information safe.
If technology is causing you to stress instead of helping you de-stress, enlist the help of your local Computer Troubleshooters office! Our tech professionals are ready to help secure your network to ensure you won’t stress over technology.
The attorneys general of 48 states, plus those from United States territory Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have joined in an investigation into whether Google stifled online advertising and search competition. The only holdouts are the attorneys general of Alabama, where Google is building a US$600 million data Center and California, where Google has its headquarters. Legal experts from each participating state will coordinate with federal authorities.
“There is nothing wrong with a business becoming the biggest game in town if it does so through free market competition, but we have seen evidence that Google’s business practices may have undermined consumer choice, stifled innovation, violated users’ privacy, and put Google in control of the flow and dissemination of online information,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the investigation, said Monday.
The attorneys general already have requested information from Google.
Whether a lawsuit will follow the investigation will depend on what evidence is unearthed.
“Google’s dominance alone justifies an investigation just to ensure they aren’t mis-acting,” noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, “but the evidence they are is damning.”
The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into Google parent company Alphabet, which has said it will cooperate with the DoJ, and with federal and state regulators in the U.S. and around the world.
U.S. digital ad revenues hit a record $107 billion in 2018, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. That’s 22 percent more than 2017’s $88 billion.
Google will account for more than 37 percent of the U.S. digital ad market this year, worth $48 billion, as well as nearly 75 percent of spending on U.S. search ads and 33 percent of the mobile ad market, worth nearly $29 billion, eMarketer predicted.
Overall, Google will capture more than 20 percent of all U.S. ad spending this year, both online and offline, according to eMarketer’s projections. However, Amazon and Instagram have been growing digital ad market share at Google’s expense.
For example, 52 percent of more than 500 e-commerce and marketing leaders Yotpo surveyed earlier this year, representing direct-to-consumer brands worldwide, said their firms were increasing investment in Facebook ads. Eighteen percent planned to spend more on Amazon advertising. Facebook dominated the ad spend of the largest, most established brands.
The Dilemma for Google and Marketers
A survey of more than 3,000 consumers in the U.S., the UK and Canada, conducted by Harris Poll and RedPoint Global, found the following:
- 63 percent of respondents expected personalization;
- 52 percent said getting unique offers showed a brand recognized them as individuals;
- 54 percent expressed willingness to share personal information with companies if it would be used to create a personalized experience;
- 74 percent considered it very important or absolutely essential that they be told what information would be collected.
Google’s Checkered Past
Google’s tracking and collection of user data — which it needs to provide personalized results — rubs many consumers and government officials the wrong way.
Google and YouTube recently were fined $170 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for allegedly violating children’s privacy.
French regulators earlier this year fined Google about $57 million for data privacy violations.
The EU this year fined Google $1.7 billion for abusing the online advertising market. It imposed a $5 billion for Android antitrust violations last year; and $2.7 billion for manipulating search results in 2017.
Google “has proven that they are unwilling or incapable of providing users with mechanisms to protect themselves from covert tracking, data sharing, data breaches and compromising privacy,” remarked Colin Pape, founder of Presearch.
“With such massive reach and influence on individual lives, the political process and the economy, their service is too important and their growing power too dominant to be left unchecked,” Pape told the E-Commerce Times.
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A Creature of the Times
Google and its competitors emerged in a brave new world “where data is currency and the consumer is actually an equal participant in setting the exchange rate on a transaction,” noted Liz Miller, SVP of marketing at the CMO Council.
They “didn’t have a set of guidelines that helped both businesses and consumers navigate what opting in to navigation services meant,” she told the E-Commerce Times. “Innovators see ahead of the curve — and some may end up writing that story outside of lines that are being drawn as they are running.”
That said, old definitions and standards will not serve any inquiry, Miller noted. “Everyone involved in this new dynamic needs an update, Google included.”
The Possible Result of the Probe
If the attorneys generals find that Google’s dominance of sponsored search placements is unfair competition, it “may free search again and rebalance the SEO/SEM dynamic,” Miller suggested.
“It wouldn’t be shocking to learn about yet another shift in algorithm,” she said, but “I doubt it will shift how Google and other digital data-forward organizations target and engage with customers — especially those customers demanding more relevant and personalized experiences.”
If Google is forced to separate search from its other services, it would not be able to personalize search results to the degree it currently does, said Presearch’s Pape.
“Advertisers may end up with more transparency on their ad spend and also receive higher-quality traffic,” he noted. It also could make competitors’ offerings more attractive, “significantly improve trust in Google,” and reduce the company’s liability for housing and protecting massive amounts of integrated data.
“If Google follows typical practice, its executives won’t take this seriously enough until it’s too late to avoid a draconian outcome,” Enderle told the E-Commerce Times, noting that Google could be crippled by collective judgments levied by all 50 states participating in the investigation.