2016 has arrived, rife with opportunities, risks, and, of course, buzzwords. As cloud computing, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and 3D printing are rapidly becoming common terms, one buzzword just seems to get buzzier and buzzier: IoT, or Internet of Things. Coined in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, Internet of Things is clearly a concept that is ahead of its time, but 2016 may well be the year that it revolutionizes how public sector agencies serve their citizens.
The startup scene is booming in Ukraine. The country's $5 billion IT industry is home to a thriving economy of unique talent, innovative ideas, and investors willing to fund the next big thing in tech. Over 780 companies have their roots in Ukraine's startup sector, and many of these companies - such as job board Jooble and image recognition company Viewdle - have gone on to receive international success. With so much opportunity, it's easy to see why Ukraine is a hotbed for entrepreneurs. We'll look at some of the country's hottest tech startups and how their ideas are shaking global markets.
In 2013, Target announced that hackers breached 40 million card accounts, affecting more than 70 million customers. Ultimately, the retail mammoth would rack up $162 million in related expenses, including setting a $10 million class-action lawsuit for letting it happen.
2016 is quickly approaching, bringing with it new developments in outsourcing. The global IT outsourcing industry was already valued at $76 billion in 2014, with more than half of that value generated in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The UK alone spends more than £15 billion on outsourced contracts, and that number is expected to climb as more companies turn towards outsourcing to improve efficiency. As 2015 draws to a close, we'll look at ten best practices for preparing to outsource in the year ahead.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping the way we interact with the modern world. But there's another trend that's gaining traction just as quickly: contactless payments. As the name implies, contactless payments are a way for customers and merchants to make transactions with little to no physical interaction. Rather than having to slide a credit card into a point of sale (POS) terminal, the customer can simply bring their card (or other device) within a certain range of the terminal to process the transaction. Contactless payments are faster and offer a higher level of convenience than traditional card or cash-based payment systems.
With the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple has added a new dimension of interactivity to smartphones. 3D Touch is a pressure detection system that adds an extra layer of input to users and mobile app developers. By measuring varying amounts of force applied by the user's fingers, Apple has made it possible to design apps with intuitive multi-layered interfaces. This opens up the potential for games and apps that support full three-dimensional interfaces without the user having to lift a finger.
Ukraine is hard to ignore when it comes to IT, since it boasts no less than 75,000 skilled developers and over 2,000 startups. The Ukrainian IT industry passed the $1 Billion mark a couple of years ago – valued at $5 billion now - and has continued to thrive despite some hardship. The country's strong education system and on the job training are ranked slightly below Israel's. This factor, coupled with a sizeable IT outsourcing market, is why Ukraine will maintain strong growth potential in the years to come.
Hot off the heels of "the Cloud" is the tech world's next big buzzword: the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things promises to transform the way we live by connecting sensors, appliances, and other electronics to each other through local networks and the Internet at large. It's a way for individuals, businesses, and governments to automatically and seamlessly share and collect data on an unprecedented scale. For gaming operators, it's an opportunity to engage with players through a promising and highly-rewarding channel.
Financial services have undergone a huge shift in a relatively short time. Driven by the growth of the World Wide Web and high-speed computing, banks have been forced into leveraging modern software and the Internet to manage highly sensitive data between customers, investors, and employees. While almost all modern banks have implemented some form of back-end application, many of these systems are old or outdated, leaving the bank and its stakeholders vulnerable to data theft or fraud.
From Silicon Valley to Silicon Wadi, Startup companies have taken the world by storm in recent years. With the IT industry being at a global all-time high, there's no better place to be than in the midst of a nation that's just about to bloom into the world's next startup capital. Although industry experts are well aware of the talent and innovation coming out of Ukraine, the rest of the world may still be surprised when they hear the facts. Ukraine's IT industry is currently valued at well over $5 billion, and for a country involved in hybrid war, that's certainly impressive! The country also has over 2,000 startups and over 50,000 highly skilled engineers employed by local Ukrainian IT firms, not to mention the developers employed internationally.
Online gaming platforms have a wide variety of tasks, services, and business practices to keep track of. From promotional marketing to payment management, online casinos need a way to manage the diverse set of managerial and administrative responsibilities that drive their everyday business. With the use of a back office system, many of these tasks can be made more efficient, or even completely automated.
Over the last decade, payment gateways have become a growing industry for online retailers and service providers. An increasing number of users are demanding a safe, easy, and reliable way of transferring money, and companies like PayPal, Dwolla, Stripe, and WePay have surged in response. Unfortunately, these new businesses have drawn the eyes of attackers and criminals who see these platforms as an easy source of consumer and credit card data.
We are in the age of outsourcing. It is rare to find a small business, or any business for that matter, that does everything in-house with full-time employees. Everyone outsources to some degree no matter what they call it including subcontracting, freelancing, and virtual assistants. Businesses outsource to grow more rapidly and save costs, but costly mistakes can lead to business failure.