Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are increasing their presences in the business world on a seemingly daily basis. These technologies have the ability to automate repetitive tasks, identify trends in unstructured data, and even make predictions that can assist companies with critical decisions.
However, organizations can only take advantage of the technologies if they have a system to support it. For smaller companies, designing a proprietary machine learning platform may be out of reach. However, thanks to open source, that doesn’t mean they can’t create a functional solution based on their unique needs.
While using the open source approach may seem risky, particularly since you don’t have full ownership over your creation, when leveraged properly, it can actually be the ideal approach. If you are interested in building a machine learning platform, here’s how to make the most of the open source options available.
Explore Existing Offerings
When you want to use open source to craft your ideal solution, you don’t want to merely grab the first option you come across. Instead, explore each one to learn its strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to choose the best approach based on your existing systems, coding preferences, or overall goals.
Today, there are multiple open source options available, including many from leading technology companies. For example, Salesforce opened up their TransmogrifAI, the machine learning library used in the company’s Einstein AI platform, that works best with structured data. Oracle’s Graphpipe may be a better option for smartphone and IoT device-oriented machine learning models where cloud-based servers are in play. And, of course, there is also a significant amount of machine learning code available from Google.
By taking a close look at the open source options that are available, you can identify existing solutions that can help you craft your ideal platform based on your needs and goals. This can be a significant timesaver, ensuring you begin your project in the best position possible.
Embrace the Community
When you use an open source approach to creating your machine learning platform, you also gain an additional benefit beyond having access to reliable starting code; you can also leverage the community. Companies and developers on sites like GitHub are more than willing to look over your code, provide suggestions, make tweaks, or even help you find errors.
By embracing the community, businesses with small development teams can make progress more quickly, resulting in a more robust solution in a shorter timeframe. Plus, they can help your IT pros learn and grow in the machine learning development arena, allowing them to enhance their skills and knowledge along the way.
Ultimately, by leveraging open source, you can build your next machine learning platform quickly and efficiently. If you are interested in learning more about the power of open source, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our development expertise can benefit you.
As a means of securing the highest caliber of IT talent, more companies are embracing remote teams. Not only does this broaden their available talent pools, it also ensures a person’s physical location is largely irrelevant when it comes to hiring. As long as the employee has access to a reliable internet connection and the right tools, they can be just as productive from practically anywhere.
However, if you want to craft a truly remarkable IT team, then you need to manage them properly. Often, this requires company leaders to rethink how they operate, abandoning old paradigms that don’t always work when overseeing a remote workforce.
If you want your remote IT team to be as successful as possible, here are some tips that can help you manage them effectively.
With remote teams, how you delegate tasks is crucial to your success. Since your employees aren’t physically together, you need to assign activities based on who is most capable of providing the ideal result. This means concentrating more on the quality of the outputs and less on the methods used to achieve them, giving your remote workers the option to select the approach they prefer.
Additionally, it means putting a higher focus on accountability. The remote IT team member assigned to the task must take full responsibility for its completion and success, giving them a sense of ownership and potentially creating a source of motivation.
Focus on Trust
When you manage a remote team, trust is essential. After all, you don’t have the ability to peek in on their work by simply strolling over to their desk. Instead, you have to have faith they can use their expertise to deliver the desired results, even if they aren’t directly observed.
However, with remote teams, you don’t always have the opportunity to build trust before you empower them to take ownership of a task. Instead, you have to extend it first and give them a chance to rise to the occasion, believing they will live up to their end of the bargain practically from the beginning.
While this approach can seem odd, it’s a necessity. Micromanaging a remote team is nearly impossible, so attempting to do so will only breed frustration. But, if you empower them with trust, you give them a chance to thrive.
Make Success Collective
With remote teams, you are often their touchstone, acting as their primary connection to the larger organization. When your IT team achieves a victory, they may not receive accolades from other members of the leadership team simply because they aren’t in the same physical space.
This means you need to help fill that void. Acknowledge and even celebrate group victories often, and strive to show your appreciation for their contributions regularly. Without recognition, your remote IT pros may feel undervalued, and that can harm morale, productivity, and retention rates.
By recognizing everyone’s accomplishments, you demonstrate how valuable they are to you, their teammates, and the company, and that can go a long way when you want to craft a successful remote IT team.
If you are interested in learning more or are looking for IT pros to join your staff, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our services today and see how our workforce management expertise can benefit you.
When you want to make the most of your IT career, it isn’t uncommon to jump online and learn about high-paying opportunities in the field. However, this usually results in article after article discussing the highest-paying jobs in IT, and this isn’t always helpful to tech professionals who aren’t interested in switching specialties.
After all, it can take a significant amount of time and training to go from a focus on networking to concentrating on cybersecurity. Additionally, you may have to take a few steps down on the career ladder to make a transition like that viable, and that isn’t always a lucrative approach.
However, you can still enhance your earning potential without having to fully reshape your IT career. By acquiring specific high-paying skills, you can make yourself a more valuable employee, even within your current niche.
If you are wondering which skills are potentially worth pursuing, here are some of the highest-paying tech skills of today.
As companies continue to become more data-driven, having skilled professionals who can understand and enhance the complex relationships between systems, applications, and databases is a must. Additionally, they also need IT pros who can design and implement new storage and management systems, ensuring they have the ideal solution for their needs.
While data architecture may be managed by someone specifically in a data architect role, these duties may also be assigned to other professionals. For example, database administrators, application developers, project managers, and business analysts may benefit from this skill set, allowing them to earn more while remaining in their specialty.
Complex Event Processing (CEP)
While CEP has been around since the 1990s, it is particularly relevant in today’s business world. Big data, cybersecurity, and IoT have increased demand for this form of data processing, allowing data correlations based on information stored in multiple systems to be more easily identified.
CEP may be helpful for cybersecurity, IoT, data analytics, and a range of other IT professionals, making it a valuable skill to add to your repertoire.
A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning skills are increasingly valuable as more companies look to create systems that can improve how automated tasks are performed without the need to explicitly program them at each juncture. Additionally, machine learning is relevant to a range of IT specialties, including cybersecurity, data analytics, IoT, e-commerce, and more.
Since the technology has so many potential applications and is still relevantly new in the business world, adding machine learning skills to your arsenal can be particularly lucrative.
Another subset in the AI space with significance in multiple IT specialties, prescriptive analytics involves processing historical data, identifying trends, and locating patterns as a means of creating meaningful predictions about future events that are accompanied by actionable recommendations. The suggestions provided take this technology beyond predictive analytics, and it is likely to become more prevalent as companies learn to harness its power.
Since prescriptive analytics can be relevant in a number of specialties, including cybersecurity, data management, IT operations, and application development, it’s a skill that can provide value to a variety of IT professionals.
Ultimately, all of the skills above are some of the highest-paying ones in the IT world today. By adding them to your repertoire, you are empowering yourself to have a more lucrative career, even without having to change IT specialties.
If you are interested in learning more or are searching for new tech job opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced recruiters and see how our expertise can benefit your career today.
Augmented reality (AR), a technology that was once just a dream for sci-fi fans, has quickly become a valuable tool for business. The ability to layer information over real-world settings has a significant amount of potential, making certain errors easier to spot, information simpler to visualize, and three-dimensional planning more accurate.
Ultimately, AR has the ability to improve operations, enhance collaborative efforts, and even cut costs. While the potential of the technology is not yet fully realized, it is already starting to make waves in a range of industries.
If you are wondering how AR is impacting business in the real world, here’s what you need to know.
When an employee is troubleshooting a malfunctioning device or piece of equipment, shifting back and forth between a set of instructions and the object itself isn’t the most efficient approach. With smart glasses that use AR technology, instructional overlays can be displayed across the worker’s field of vision, helping them identify components, handle tricky steps, or otherwise manage the repair process with greater ease.
Not only could this be beneficial to repair-oriented professions, but it could also allow other employees to troubleshoot some issues on their own, or at least accurately assess the situation before requesting help from a skilled technician.
Architecture and engineering firms have long embraced AR’s capabilities, using the technology to render building projects to create functional, virtual walkthroughs. This can provide valuable real-world context for designs that were once limited to drawings on paper, making certain problems easier to spot before construction even begins.
Additionally, the technology can allow customers to experience their new home or building to ensure it meets their needs, giving designers the ability to make adjustments before they break ground. This can help bridge the gap for customers who don’t have much construction knowledge and may not understand how a plan will look as a finished building, ensuring they aren’t disappointed by the results.
The ability to create virtual prototypes is incredibly beneficial for manufacturing and production companies of all kinds. Being able to see how an object would look in the real-world can help companies better assess an item’s size and shape, a critical step when it comes to determining whether a product is reasonably easy to handle or if it will fit into a particular space.
AR systems could be invaluable when it comes to navigation. Whether it is guiding workers through large manufacturing or warehousing facilities or helping long-haul truck drivers manage unfamiliar routes, the ability to receive directions on smart glasses or heads-up displays allows employees to keep their eyes on the walkway or road. This could not only help them get where they are going but could prevent accidents and injuries as well, increasing efficiency and safety at the same time.
Ultimately, AR could become a powerful tool in the workplace, particularly as the technology becomes more robust and affordable over time. If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
If you’ve ever considered building an app, the platform you choose can have a big impact on your level of success, particularly if you aren’t a professional developer. Luckily, there are a variety of options that can help beginners get started with ease while allowing experts to speed up their development timelines.
If you are looking to build mobile apps, here are five platforms worth exploring.
One of the biggest benefits of using Appery is the fact that it is a cloud-based system. This means you can access the platform without having to download or install anything on your computer, which can help save valuable resources. Additionally, it allows you to get started fast, since you can begin using the system immediately.
Appery can be used for both iOS and Android apps, and features a visual editor for those who prefer a drag-and-drop approach to UI building. The platform autogenerates the applicable code for the UI, saving you time too.
Mobile Roadie is largely language agnostic, giving you the ability to pull in data using a range of popular formats, including PHP, HTML, and CSV. Additionally, the platform is highly visual, supporting a wide range of media types and making the build process relatively simple.
The app preview on Mobile Roadie is highly accurate, allowing you to see how the app would appear to users quickly and efficiently. The platform can also provide guidance regarding the App Store submission process, increasing the odds that your app will be accepted.
Good Barber provides users with the ability to create apps and optimized web applications without writing any code at all. The platform provides you with access to customizable design templates, allowing you to get started quickly. Plus, Good Barber includes a wide selection of icons and fonts to help you achieve an ideal final look.
The platform can support Android and iOS app development, though each requires a separate plan.
Another platform that embraces the drag-and-drop interface, AppMachine is an easy-to-use platform that can produce both iOS and Android apps. Users can design apps based on their own styling and with a wide range of features, including video or photos. The apps can also be easily linked to social media accounts or online stores, and fully tested before they are submitted to the App Store or Google Play.
Ideal for smaller businesses looking to create a mobile app, BiznessApps has a broad selection of features, including shopping carts, user review sections, messaging, ordering, analytics, and third-party integrations. The platform is very simple to use, letting a person design a functional app in mere minutes.
BiznessApps also helps it users succeed with the platform, offering weekly webinars to assist with app construction and hundreds of articles and tutorials to guide users along.
Any of the mobile app platforms above can be suitable for beginners and experts alike. If you are interested in finding out more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
Determining whether your company should redesign key systems to integrate real-time analytics into your processes can be challenging. For high transaction industries, like financial services or hospitality, being able to tracks information in real-time could be particularly valuable, potentially creating revenue increasing opportunities that may otherwise be missed. Similarly, manufacturing and productions environments may benefit from such analytics, particularly if IoT devices are used to manage operations and maintenance.
If you are wondering whether your company should be utilizing real-time analytics, here are some examples of why embracing the technology could be a wise idea.
Real-time analytics may create unique opportunities for service industry businesses where utilization is a key part of their success. For example, a hotel with empty rooms isn’t at full capacity, meaning there is an opportunity to increase revenue by finding additional guests to fill those vacancies.
If a hotel chain embraces real-time analytics, they can monitor reservations and vacancies at a specific moment. Then, they can create customized, spontaneous promotions designed to fill empty rooms, allowing more revenue to be generated.
Additionally, they can factor in points like demographic information and past usage patterns to help identify customers to target, which may impact the hotel’s odds of success.
Manufacturing environments can make the most o IoT devices when they partner the technology with real-time analytics. Production rates can be monitored to identify potential equipment issues, emerging bottlenecks, or similar activities that could hinder operations. Then, they can intervene immediately, ensuring things run as smoothly as possible.
How to Determine if Real-Time Analytics is Right for Your Company
Companies with high transaction volumes that want to maximize revenue can often benefit from real-time analytics. Similarly, manufacturing environments with IoT initiatives can improve operations by welcoming the technology.
However, it’s important to determine whether the potential gains are worth the cost, as real-time analytics can be expensive to implement.
Many companies don’t actually require real-time analytics to remain efficient and profitable. Instead, robust analytics reporting can provide enough information to help decision-makers reduce expenses or increase revenue, often for a fraction of the cost of real-time analytics.
Since real-time analytics is relatively new, many providers offer demonstrations of their technology. As an IT manager, it may be wise to evaluate a few systems to determine if the price is suitable based on the potential gains. Ideally, you want to coordinate with other organizational leaders to develop a set of metrics for the evaluation of a solution, then arrange a proof-of-concept trial to examine the option.
Some companies will discover that real-time analytics provides them with enough value to make the costs worthwhile, while others will find the opposite is true. Either way, it is wise to evaluate the potential of the technology, particularly since it may become more affordable as time goes on.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
Today, there may be more devices connected to the internet than there are people walking the planet. That means there are billions and billions of objects heading online each and every day, and every one of them could potentially represent a vulnerability.
Many consumers view devices like smart thermostats as innocuous. However, once they are in place, the ae connected to a network, creating a cybersecurity risk if the device isn’t properly managed.
As more companies embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices to improve their operations, neglecting to focus on device security means your business is also vulnerable. Instead of seeing these pieces of tech as harmless additions, the need to be considered potential points of entry into your network, ensuring you maintain the proper mindset to keep your systems and data safe.
If you haven’t focused on securing your devices, here are some tips for getting started.
Manage Your Device Updates
A surprising number of internet-connected devices require regular updates. However, these aren’t always performed automatically, leading many of them to remain in the original state for months or years on end.
For example, many vehicles that support internet connectivity may need updates to maintain optimal operations. Sensors, barcode scanners, thermostats, and a range of other devices are in similar positions.
Without proper update procedures, you won’t receive any patches that enhance the security of the device by closing known vulnerabilities. This means you could be at risk if an out of date device remains on your network, even if it doesn’t do anything but maintain a connection.
Automate Security Event Log Reviews
Many companies are inundated with security events. Every time an employee mistypes their password, the incident is logged for review. If a tablet shifts between access points in your workplace, that could result in an entry. And, if a smartphone suddenly seems to appear in a different country, that is another event.
Ultimately, not every event signals a problem, but, if your company gets thousands of events in a single day, having a person separate those that correlate with a genuine security incident from those that don’t may be cumbersome, if not impossible.
Luckily, if you embrace AI, you can use a machine to supplement the work of people. They can seek out specific kinds of incidents, flagging them for further review, or determine whether a device's movements or actions are expected or cause for concern.
Ultimately, by assuming a security mindset and supplementing with AI technology, you can manage your devices more effectively, ensuring your systems remain secure and your data stays safe.
If you are interested in learning more about managing device security or are seeking a skilled professional to join your IT security staff, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your security needs and goals with one of our experienced staff members today and see how our services can benefit you.
As technology becomes increasingly ingrained in companies operating in nearly every sector, IT departments are no longer just supply and troubleshoot various forms of equipment. Now, they are active players in selecting and crafting solutions that can improve operations in every business area, fundamentally changing the function of many tech roles.
The increasing levels of involvement and responsibility mean CIOs need their IT departments to be as productive as possible. At times, this requires a significant cultural shift, and that can be difficult to implement.
Luckily, there are things CIOs can do to boost productivity in IT. If you are ready to take on the challenge, here’s how to get started.
Make Change Part of Your Culture
Technology evolves at a rapid pace, but people aren’t always quick to embrace change. After all, change can be scary, even threatening, leading many IT professionals to resist implementing something new unless it is absolutely necessary.
However, this resistance to change can stymy productivity. It can cause unnecessary delays at critical junctures, slowing the progress of the team or the organization as a whole. Instead of allowing this attitude to permeate in your IT department, work to create a change-oriented culture.
Typically, this involves focusing not on the technology being added or adjusted, but the larger company goals. Discover what benefits the users and IT team will experience once the solution is identified and implemented, relate it to the business objectives, and use that to highlight the value of embracing that particular change.
Additionally, embrace the notion that IT can be a proactive part of the equation and not just a provider of requested technology. When a department requires a new solution, they may only have a general idea of what they genuinely need to be successful. Instead of allowing your tech pros to wait for others to define the desired technology, have them get involved in the conversation to help identify the requirements and locate viable solutions. This allows them to be a driving force behind beneficial change instead of a casual participant.
Locate the Right Candidates
When you need to add someone to your IT team, it’s wise to seek out those who are passionate about the field and excited about discovering new solutions. Then, give them opportunities to handle challenges, innovate solutions, or explore emerging technologies.
While you might not be able to make that the entirety of their job, by allowing them to explore the world of tech during projects, you help nurture their curious natures. This can make it easier for them to embrace change and to create a culture where introducing something new isn’t scary but invigorating.
Ultimately, by finding talented job seekers that aren’t afraid of change in the workplace, you can increase your odds of building a culture that supports the shifts that are necessary for your business to thrive. If you are looking for a skilled tech professional to join your staff, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you find the ideal candidate quickly and efficiently. Contact us to discuss your hiring goals today and see how our services can benefit you.
Whether you are a recent college graduate looking to take your first steps into the IT field or a seasoned professional interested in a career change, you likely possess some skills that an employer would find valuable. Certain soft skills transcend the boundaries that define specific industries and showcasing yours can help you stand out in the eyes of hiring managers.
By focusing on the right transferable skills, you can demonstrate why you could be successful in the role and an asset to a prospective employer. If you want to know which ones are worth featuring, here are a few that can set you apart from the competition.
Most tech jobs are analytical in nature. Whether you need to draw insights from data, troubleshoot problematic systems, or monitor traffic patterns, having an analytical mind is beneficial.
If you want to impress a hiring manager, consider what analytical tasks were associated with your previous jobs or educational experience. This can include data-oriented research, report generation, or even incidents where your problem-solving abilities were put to the test.
When you work in IT, juggling multiple tasks and assignments usually comes with the role. Most tech professionals have to review their workload and define priorities, ensuring the most important activities are completed first.
Prior experience in project management can directly relate to your ability to prioritize tasks. Similarly, taking on a leadership role at any level can also qualify. If you have experience with productivity tools, mention those as well, particularly if you were responsible for making assignments and identifying which activities were more critical than others.
Beyond simple problem-solving, innovation involves forging a new path to create a viable solution. This includes identifying more efficient approaches that were previously used as well as crafting something entirely new to tackle an issue that had not occurred before.
When you write your resume, highlight points where your ideas were implemented and led to a success. You can also discuss troubleshooting approaches that weren’t previously used in the organization that you discovered or created.
The vast majority of IT professionals function as part of a larger team. Group projects are commonplace, so showcasing your ability to work with others can help you stand out when you apply. Additionally, demonstrating your communication skills is also wise, especially since skilled communicators are typically more effective in group settings.
Mention any collaborative experience you have on your resume, focusing on those where the outcome was improved through effective teamwork. You can also list any communication tools you’ve used previously if they may be relevant to the role.
Ultimately, all of the skills listed above can be highly transferable, helping you stand out as a top candidate for a tech position even if you haven’t worked in the field previously. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new IT employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about job openings in the area and see how our services can benefit you.
IT managers are typically tasked with deciding whether certain websites should be blocked on the next work. Members of the leadership team usually favor the idea, asserting that restricting access to potential “timewasters” like social media sites ensures employees won’t be distracted by non-work activities.
However, many workers push back on the idea, insisting that these sites offer a source of enjoyment and can be beneficial to morale. Additionally, many managers and employees are fully aware that, even if you block a site, that doesn’t mean a worker won’t turn to their personal smartphone to access the websites anyway.
Considering that you can’t prevent an employee from wasting time entirely, can blocking websites actually boost productivity? If you are wondering the same thing, here’s what you need to know.
Does Blocking Sites Help Productivity?
According to a recent survey, blocking websites does have a positive impact on productivity. When a company restricts access to classic timewasters, such as social media, employees spend less time on sites that are unrelated to their jobs during the course of a standard workweek.
The reduction in such activity is actually fairly dramatic, too. In businesses that don’t block sites, 58 percent of workers admitted to spending a minimum of four hours a week on timewaster website. Over the course of a year, that means that more than half of the organization’s workforce wastes approximately 26 days every year on sites that don’t relate to their job.
When social media websites alone are restricted, only 30 percent of workers admit spending four or more hours each week on such timewaster sites.
What Sites Should Be Blocked?
Social media is often an obvious target when it comes to blocking sites, but there are a variety of other websites that should potentially be on the table. Anything illegal or unethical are obvious additions to the list, and dating sites are also timewasters that should be on the chopping block.
Personal instant messaging sites are also potential targets. Music and video streaming websites are also frequently blocked and just because they could potentially be distracting, but also because they can require a substantial amount of bandwidth.
When you are examining which sites to block, also consider if any websites pose a security risk. This can include sites that may contain malware as well as those that may allow business communications or data to be sent and stored outside of the organization (regardless of the presence of encryption) without the company’s knowledge or approval.
Ultimately, the decision regarding which sites should or shouldn’t be blocked usually lies in the hands of leadership and the IT team. However, it’s wise to create a robust policy regarding the use of business assets for personal activities and to make it clear that certain websites will be blocked as well as the general reasoning behind those decisions. This ensures your staff is well-informed regarding the choice, decreasing the odds that they’ll object.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.