7 Guiding principles of digital transformation for SMBs

Organizations everywhere, from traditional tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, to SMB and small startups, are wondering which industry will be disrupted next. Banking, insurance, marketing, and retail have been changed drastically by technology and continue to change.

News of the tens of millions being invested by Fortune 500 leaders in their company’s digital future is everywhere. Although digital transformation may look expensive and possibly unreachable for SMBs, in many ways digital transformation is easier for them. They can move faster, usually have fewer obstacles within the company, and many startups focus on making the latest technologies affordable and ready-to-use for smaller companies.

Going digital has lots of benefits for SMB (see research), but, as with any new approach, you need to plan your strategy first.

Here are 7 guiding principles that can help your company move faster and be more ready for inevitable disruption. Continue reading 7 Guiding principles of digital transformation for SMBs

Glossary for software development outsourcing

I believe our series of posts “How to find the right software development company” will help you find the right partner.

So far, we’ve covered different aspects of the process, shared useful tips and warned of the most common pitfalls.

Then I realized that if you don’t have previous experience with software development outsourcing some of the advice might sound more like a foreign language. So here are most commonly used keywords, acronyms, and terms related to software development outsourcing.

This glossary is going to be your go-to resource for understanding industry jargon. Keep it handy when looking for more information about IT outsourcing. Continue reading Glossary for software development outsourcing

How to choose the right software development company

Once you decide that outsourcing is right for your business how do you make sure you find the right partner?

We’ve prepared a step-by-step guide covering the most important milestones in the process of  choosing the best partner. As the old saying goes, ‘the devil’s in the details’, so consider this a checklist to help you cover all the details, along with practical tips for each step.

Using it will seriously increase the odds of finding exactly the right partner. There are thousands of outsource software vendors, but your goal is to find the one that can build your software. Continue reading How to choose the right software development company

Offshore software development: fears, risks and stereotypes

Risk is definitely a factor in all software development projects, not only in outsourced projects.

Let’s look at the different kinds of risk, what can go wrong, why some of these risks are more stereotype than reality, and how to manage and mitigate them.

The most dangerous risks are those you can’t predict. The good news is that most risks connected with software development outsourcing overseas are well known and you can eliminate or be ready to deal with them. Continue reading Offshore software development: fears, risks and stereotypes

F.A.Q on software development outsourcing

Software development outsourcing has long been accepted in the IT industry, but there is still no unified recipe on how to find the right partner.

While large enterprise has the benefit of outsourcing advisors, SMB companies and startups have many questions, especially when considering outsourcing overseas.

We’ve put the most common questions into a short, helpful guide. Continue reading F.A.Q on software development outsourcing

Freelancer vs. remote employee vs. custom software company. What is the best option when hiring for software development?

 

No matter the size of your company at some point as you grow you will need to  hire developers.

Finding good talent is where the problems usually begin. Hiring can be a long, complicated, often overwhelming process and hiring tech talent is usually at least 5x more difficult. Unless your company name is Google, Apple, Facebook or a unicorn, with salaries and perks to match, hiring developers is more like 10x as difficult.

If you are facing this dilemma, why not consider using remote workers? It’s a solution that not only gives you access to the best talent, regardless of where they live, but is also cost-effective. Continue reading Freelancer vs. remote employee vs. custom software company. What is the best option when hiring for software development?

The dark side of AI

 

There are two sides to everything, including innovation.

Take AI. It can be turned to good, as discussed last week, but it can just as easily be used by the dark side.

The dark side of AI holds consequences for the real world, both socially and personally.

Stuff like dating, which I, as a 22-year-old single woman, take very personally.

An article in Gizmodo describes the Future of Online Dating and that future is brutal. Human relations are usually based on games, emotions, negotiations, etc.

Online dating itself kills some of that; you know both you’re looking and the most of the play is lost from that moment: depending on the app, you know you’re both ready for sex and maybe more — spending time together and even a relationship — otherwise you would never open the app or site, but at lease they offer some space for the fun of maneuvering.

The future of online dating looks more like breed selection when you take 2 dogs of the same breed, with genetic desirability, compatible traits and they give you nice puppies.

How? The AI algorithm will take a look at your social media, reveal a lot of stuff about you (who you are, what you like, friends, family and more; check out article for detail, it’s terrifying and depressing) and give you the perfect match.

Thank you, AI, but I prefer to remain  a messy human, after all.

AI is a big player in enabling sites to addict us to increase their revenue. More and more, AI tells us what to buy (think Amazon suggestions) and, taking a page from game makers, helps online businesses and social media increase the addictiveness of their sites through profiling and data analysis. And Miki also wrote about the dark side in When What You See Ain’t What You Get.

Because my company builds AI software for drones that take on dangerous jobs, so humans don’t have to risk their life, I’ve been talking with many people about the two sides of new technology.  All of us, including the engineers, hope AI will only be used in positive ways.

But none of us are so naïve that we believe that will happen.

AI, what’s good you have for me

 

We never know where new inventions will lead us. We tend to overestimate it in short-term and underestimate the long. We also tend to see only the positive forgetting that most everything has a dark side, too.

So just keep that in mind when we’re talking about AI – there will definitely be no robots walking around the streets in the next few years, but you can’t even begin to imagine what the world will be for you // your children // grandchildren will find themselves in 50 years.

It is because the world is so full of mysteries and technology is so unpredictable that it fascinates me so.

Today I want to talk not about the future, but about today. I really enjoy tracking the tech news, especially AI, because, as you know, it’s what my company does, so I’m actually involved.

Today I want to share some of the exciting news on the positive side of AI development; these are my top four.

We’ve gotten used to hearing about the innovative stuff that happens in healthcare – NTR Lab once worked with a local university on a project for tumor image recognition — the results were fascinating.

While serious diagnostic and treatment breakthroughs are amazing, they aren’t the health problems most of us face in our everyday life.

However, mental health is something that, while often not discussed, most of us deal with to some degree, even if it’s just a down day. That’s why I find the suicide trends tracker so amazing.

The second one I’m undecided if it’s good or bad, so writing about it is a bit confusing. Take a look at article about facial recognition.

It’s about modern AI algorithms catching crimes in crowd. I find this both scary and encouraging at the same time. It’s obviously good for public safety — finding criminals or missing people (especially children). But thinking about being tracked wherever I go and it’s not so great anymore.

Third, the way history and sociology can really benefit from using AI and related technologies in their studies, such as modern 3D models. It’s probably too early, but the idea that AI could contribute something revolutionary to historical studies, such as this effort to recover lost languages, makes me feel good —  assuming, of course, that society pays attention to the results.

Finally, if technology can empower people by getting rid of social gaps, then it has the potential to make society more homogenous and, hopefully, friendly.

Tech, such as the wearables that allow blind runners to run independently, are the future.  Maybe once there really is no difference — and I don’t mean pity, toleration or politically correct stuff — between us and people who are not like us there will be more inclusion, collaboration and even a bit more peace.

All the result of technology filling the gap.

And I find that really cool.

The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions

 

I love working at NTR Lab, partly because of the people, but also because we have a huge number of AI-related projects and really a strong R&D department. It’s fun to connect what I read in the news with what is going on in my company.

I’ve written a lot about our drone team, AI, etc. But because I work with this kind of stuff I can’t avoid thinking about in a philosophical way, as I’m sure many of you do. That’s why I want to share an article from the MIT Technology Review called “The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions.” 

We’ve all heard about how robots will take our jobs in few years; I’ve written about this before. Because I am just 22, this is a major concern of mine and I like to keep eye on research and the thoughts in the field.

Sometimes surfing the Internet I see scary predictions about how robots take advantage of us — it sounds so sci-fi/non-realistic, with the terrifying predictions of the future for me and my kids and, of course, Terminator music playing in the background.

The MIT article has fresh point of view that I haven’t seen before and, for me, it really makes its point.

In short, the article says that predictions of a future full of robots are based on none-information, just dreams about the Singularity.

We believe in them in a non-logical way, because living with the speed of progress has made us believe everything that sounds more or less relatable.

The author describes seven reasons as to why people are making these kinds of predictions.

I really enjoyed the way he explains complicated philosophical theories and social differences between ages and technological eras.

While most of his theses are relatively simple and recognizable (if you are familiar with the tenets of philosophy) they are well-executed and extremely readable. And the illustrations are a nice addition.

It’s a short read and well worth your time.

‘Like’ it and let me know what you think.