All posts by Admin

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Affecting a Business Sphere

The main topic at the beginning of 2020 was the new coronavirus infection COVID-19. The virus has put the global economy on the brink of crisis, and it may be the most serious in a century. 

Hopes for a quick recovery of the planet are melting every day, and the bill for treatment is growing up. The virus has already cost the world tens of billions of dollars, and this is just the beginning.

The impending economic downturn may prove more destructive for the well-being of the world’s population than the financial collapse of a decade ago because this time the problems are wider and deeper.

Businesses are already giving the alarm. It is clear because of the first cries for help that this is not only a loss of income. Millions of people will lose their jobs, thousands of companies will go bankrupt. 

The authorities are faced with a difficult choice: to support the business now or the unemployed later, and even in conditions when there is less and less money in the treasury due to a reduction in tax revenues.

The economic crisis is already near. Businesses are going to simply close, one after another. All who can, gradually switch to remote work. It becomes an important task for employers to leave only those people who do their job well and say goodbye to the rest. 

When there is a choice between leaving the team as a whole, in which not all employees 100 percent do their job or hiring new, but good specialists with the same salary, the choice is obvious.

Therefore, it’s time to show the effectiveness and value for the company, because you may be the one who will have to survive in these difficult times without work, and look for something new in a hasty manner. 

Adapt or die.

How to Choose the Right Billing System for Your SaaS Business

For a long time, billing systems have not only kept the customer balance and bill. They are deeply integrated into the business: they provide traffic control, manage the procedure for providing access to services, provide the client with a report on expenses in different sections – for a month, for a year, from the time of the last payment.

Today we’ll talk about how to manage the process of accepting money and what you need to pay attention to when choosing a billing system to avoid problems and possible losses.

Why a Billing System is Important for My Business

Billing systems can be very useful for your Saas business that conducts electronic business operations. This can make the billing process easier, which will help you increase your company’s revenue.

At the same time, you should very carefully choose the right billing system, because different products have both pros and cons. If you choose a billing system that is not very suitable for your business, you can lose time and money.

What Features Should The Right Billing System Have

Under its purpose, the billing system contains data the disclosure, loss or distortion of which could cause you irreparable damage or your customers. Therefore, the billing system should provide:

  • protection against access to data by unauthorized users
  • protection against intentional distortion or access to data by dishonest employees of the operator using low-level tools
  • logging of all “important” user actions performed using standard billing system tools. Moreover, “important” are all actions related to entering or changing data, as well as viewing certain types of data, for example, credit card numbers
  • built-in data integrity control
  • archiving and data recovery tools.

What Approaches to Choosing a Billing System

The first approach is that you develop the billing system yourself. The undoubted advantage of this method is the ability to achieve full compliance with their needs and deep integration with other information systems and technical means of the network. 

Unfortunately, world statistics show that the costs of such a solution (taking into account subsequent maintenance and modification) are 2.5 to 5 times higher than the costs of purchasing and implementing a replicated solution.

The second approach requires the purchase of an integrated business operational support system from a single supplier. Alas, in this case, there are certain problems. In its further development, the company becomes a hostage to the “main” provider of the information system, as the opportunity to use the best-in-class solutions is lost. Even in the case of local problems, the entire information system will have to be changed.

The third approach is to use the business component method to build an enterprise information system. This method is based on three main principles:

From our point of view, this method allows you to optimally combine the low cost of replicated systems and the need to meet the unique needs of individual operators through custom components. 

At the same time, the functions of the “assembly” can be performed by both its information technology division and the company, the system integrator.

Should My Billing System Have an Integrator?

Choose not only billing but also an integrator. Developed companies usually choose a new billing system to replace the old one. The transfer of long-term information, integration, restructuring of business processes and training will take months, and during this time, millions of customers should not notice the difference in service. 

The transition to a new system on their own is fraught with a failure to meet deadlines, panic and a series of mistakes that will have to be raked. Put this burden and responsibility for the project on the shoulders of the integrator.

If he already had an experience of such a transition, it remains only to adapt the already-debugged work scheme to your business. Thorough preparation for implementation is also a kind of billing platform, without which even an advanced program with a wide range of functions would be unsuitable for work.

What are the Fees For a Billing System 

For a billing system, fees come in several categories, all of which could have a large impact on your bottom line:

Conclusion

The choice of billing is an important stage in the life of any operator because this system will be a kind of the heart of the whole business. Therefore, the analysis of possible options should be approached responsibly. 

A variety of different aspects (not only cost) will affect your success with the chosen system, especially if your business scales over time.

How to Benefit from Microservices Architecture Implementation

The concept of ‘service-oriented architectures’ came into use in the IT sphere relatively recently – in the early 2010s. We can say that the notion of a microservice architecture appeared as a result of Agile product development methods becoming extremely popular, as well as DevOps specialists emerging globally.

The hypothetical breakdown of software into microservices was discussed in the global IT community back in the early 2000s. But developers started actually pushing this direction only in 2011, having announced the related solution at the Venice workshop. 

Currently, according to an independent survey, about 92% of respondents actively increase the number of microservices in their business solutions and about a third of respondents could see the direct benefits of such innovations in the first months of their implementation.

Along with that, however, about 50% of companies are still completely ignorant of what advantages this technological innovation can bring.

So let’s dive deeper into the topic of microservices architecture implementation, consider all the nuances and benefits of microservices as a whole, and figure out how to divide monolith into microservices

What is Microservices Architecture?

Microservice software architecture is based on many interconnected, but independently functioning software modules that can be easily replaced, removed, and reused in other projects. Each such module – a ‘microservice’ – has a specific, narrowly targeted task. At the same time, even if this module accesses the DBMS or server, it does it autonomously, without resorting to the help of third-party modules.

I.e., essentially, you can use small ‘bricks’, each of which has a unique purpose, to construct a bigger ‘building’ – the final software product.

Medium Microservices-Architectural Patterns

Such autonomous deployments are kind of ‘enhanced’ versions of the web service architecture that appeared somewhat earlier and where tasks for each of the services are more global. For example, email, calendar, translator, web search, etc. are web services governed by one large-scale piece of software – Google Chrome web browser. 

In turn, each of these web services can be further subdivided into microservices. And here the processor of user requests for authentication/authorization in the system is a typical example of a microservice.

Microservices Architecture Benefits

Generally speaking, the benefits of service-oriented architectures have become more tangible as the software itself becomes more complex. Thus, the microservice architecture allows you to:

  • add new components in the shortest possible time without digging into the source code of the entire software product;
  • easily solve the issue of fault tolerance in software products that are being upgraded or launched into the release;
  • create multipurpose components that can be used in multiple projects;
  • customize a software product without the risk of the entire system collapsing due to an error;
  • simplify the app architecture by making it symmetrical instead of hierarchical (which is typical for monolithic products) and forming peer-to-peer dependencies between components;
  • use any convenient for development tools, libraries, environments, and languages.

Why Use Microservices Architecture?

Given all of the above benefits, microservice architecture should seem like a kind of a utopian solution for any type of software. And yes, indeed, in view of the rather complicated structure of most modern applications, if you don’t divide it into separate modules, you may confuse both developers & users, waste human resources, and risk passing lots of errors. Basically, as such, software becomes easier to customize and scale with the cloud.

Nevertheless, there are cases when the abuse of breaking software into pieces results in performance issues, which makes many developers still settle for larger architectural services, the connections within which are built without involving network protocols.

Thus, since each of the blocks independently communicates with the server, if at some point users start to simultaneously interact with the software, they may simply collapse the server. In order to balance the positive and negative characteristics of microservices, in some cases, it makes sense to divide the software into larger components – web services that generate less stress load for the server.

It is also worth mentioning the lack of standardization for microservices: since developers no longer need to agree on formats, errors can occur when exchanging messages between any two microservices. This further complicates the debugging process and increases the risk of hard-to-fix bugs.

Microservices VS Monolithic software

Compared to monolithic software architecture, microservices almost always win. In the case of a ‘monoblock’ solution, all communications, data, and features exist in a tight connection with each other and work as one. And if you decide to upgrade your software, you will automatically change other components as well, which can be cumbersome in complex projects. For another thing, monolithic software isn’t really efficient in terms of fault tolerance because if some of the code blocks gets messed up, the whole system will crash.

On the other hand, not all initially monolithic software can be divided into microservices. There still may be components that, from a logical point of view, should function autonomously, but are interdependent in practice. In this case, weigh how much it will cost you to rewrite them from scratch.

How to split a Monolith into Microservices

And now, let’s talk about breaking a monolith into microservices. Each case of this matter is unique, but we can still give some basic recommendations.

Building software in microservices

Basically, you will have to focus on a single yet not so easy task – to eliminate dependencies between software components. For starters, simply write down what tasks your software performs, divide them into subtasks, and so on, until these subtasks become completely primitive so that they can fit into one simple if-else construct, loop or switch.

As a rule, the analysis of functionality begins on the front end. At the same time, you will need to think about how to divide the data so that access to it is not too frequent and it doesn’t slow down the performance. Here, your goal is to analyze and break up the subtasks ‘vertically’, separating the functionality from the data and redirecting everything related to the interface to the appropriate APIs. 

Additionally, you will have to highlight the software parts that will most likely be subject to change in the future – they will also need to be structured as detailed as possible so as not to “crush” the newly remade software in a new way each time.

All in all, get ready to do some serious code refactoring. In many cases, responsible developers who truly care about the outcome of their work suggest rewriting monolithic software from scratch, based on a prepared microservice architecture, making the process cheaper and faster.

Summary

As you can see, creating a microservices platform from scratch is significantly easier than fully redesigning a monolithic application. On the other hand, both options are quite feasible tasks, especially for professionals like us. 

Contact us to discuss the details of your project and experience the effectiveness of your business solution granted by true experts yourself.

How IoT Sensors Can Streamline Business Processes

In recent years, the Internet of Things allowed discovering new possibilities in different areas of business. New developments are changing work cycles of production, healthcare, sales, customer service, and communication within organizations. If the company management does not keep pace with the abrupt changes in the world of technology, they risk falling behind.

Experts say that IoT systems already have a serious impact on the business, regardless of the field of activity. Fortune Business Insights predicts that by 2026, the installed base of IoT devices will exceed 1 billion pieces. This market is developing at a tremendous speed and venture investors are paying lots of attention to IoT projects. Such devices are able to change the approaches to doing business globally; they facilitate many processes and therefore affect the entire production cycles.

Making Sense of IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of interacting devices, including simpler equipment, such as sensors and detectors that allows collecting various data. Such devices can collect, store, and analyze important information without direct human intervention. Further, this data can be processed and analyzed to discover certain trends and make predictions. IoT created a base for such concepts as smart manufacturing, smart home, and smart city.

The competitiveness of a business grows thanks to the employment of innovations. Using modern computer devices, not only can you reduce the cost of technical equipment and repairs but also control the consumption of resources. In particular, the commercial sector is quite interested in IoT solutions. For example, in agriculture, the introduction of IoT devices can improve the productivity of the land by up to 500 times. Is there any agricultural company that would ignore the possibility of such an achievement?

How IoT is changing businesses?

The idea of wireless data transmission is nothing new. For the last sixty years, satellites have been in Earth orbit, providing us with useful information from space. For the industrial sector, M2M interfaces were a huge breakthrough but it is already over 20 years old. 

The full implementation of IoT in the commercial sector has long been hindered by the lack of affordable storage data. However, in the last decades, this problem was overcome and powerful cloud platforms appeared that are able to store and process huge amounts of information.

Thus, every year, the Internet of Things becomes more and more accessible at several levels, to both ordinary consumers and large manufacturing companies. For instance, 90% of senior executives in telecom, media, and technology consider the growth of the IoT market to be crucial for their business.

Industries that use IoT the most actively

Manufacturing companies are the ones that seek IoT technologies the most. In this area, the application of innovation has yielded quick results in several directions:

  • Optimization of complex production processes;
  • Monitoring of technical equipment’s condition;
  • Control over the industrial machines’ usage correctness;
  • Management of workplace safety;
  • Energy-saving.

Large corporations always strive to increase productivity and reduce downtime. Sensors, built into various equipment and related software allow tracking usage details over longer time spans. It is very convenient in monitoring the reliability and quality of products. In particular, IoT’s innovative capabilities help to analyze the driving experience, which became a godsend for the transportation industry.

With the help of IoT, you can secure any institution. After all, the correct disposition of sensors devices over a compartment would allow predicting and eliminating most of the health and property damage risks. Companies have invested in corporate security for years. Now, most dangerous situations can be forecasted using technology. Whether it is a factory machine, a truck cabin or a doctor’s office – IoT sensors can improve workplace qualitatively.

Another notable sphere for IoT implementation in healthcare. Internet of Medical Things develops quickly. Medicine is particularly sensitive to technological breakthroughs. On the one hand, they greatly facilitate the work of personnel, and on the other, they bear an increased risk due to a direct relation to human health. Nevertheless, it is difficult to argue with the fact that innovative equipment significantly increases the working capacity of medical personnel. Indeed, today, experts have developed many diverse medical devices that measure pulse, heart rate, blood sugar, and allow responding quickly to tiniest changes in any indicators.

IoT Sensors Types

Modern equipment developers did a good job and today, with the help of sensors, almost any physical quantity can be measured. The market is saturated with a wide variety of sensors. There is single-component hardware, the most common example being a photosensitive diode, and there are more complex modules with integrated microcontrollers. The majority of measuring devices are installed in the workplace for safety. After all, any company is worried about not only a high level of productivity but also the protection of its employees. Using high-tech solutions, you can protect employees from unpleasant situations such as failure of a working tool or harmful chemical leak.

Sensors can determine the level of illumination, ambient temperature, noise, pressure, position in space, changes in height, distance, or speed, as well as the presence of gases in the air, etc.

Sensors capable of recognizing different objects, such as radars, image processing devices, sonars, photon or ultrasound measurers, are considered to be innovations of recent years. Developers in this field have achieved significant results and the choice of such devices indicates the high demand for the IoT industry.

Sensor type list

Besides digital components, there are also analog (mechanical) sensors. These are characterized by the highest possible accuracy and wide measuring ranges. In the digital IoT ecosystem, data from sensors of analog type is digitized before being submitted for further analysis. In turn, digital sensors are determined by two states – zero or one, on or off, the door is open or closed, etc.

How to Use Sensors in IoT

Sensors are the main elements of IoT that collect the necessary information in real-time. Measuring devices are installed at specific subjects, such as cars, machines, buildings, etc. Data from sensors is sent over the network to the processing device for collection and analysis. Thus, the handlers receive information about the context of the subject in dynamics, while modern analytic methods provide guidance for optimizing existing processes.

Turning Signals into Big Data

Sensors and other IoT equipment are connected to processing hardware – microcontrollers, servers – in order to assimilate the collected data and carry out the necessary analytics. There are devices that can be connected directly but most connect over gateways. Gateways allow connecting traffic from long-distance IoT networks to wide area networks with greater bandwidth.

IoT gateways are usually equipped with more potent power sources and more impressive computing resources than the mentioned end nodes. Gateway-based edge applications can even conduct some degree of preliminary analytics of data received from cloud and endpoint sensors. A typical node assumes long-term independent operation, usually thanks to powerful battery and/or solar panel.

The efficiency of traffic is increased by the presence of threshold triggers in gateways, during the transfer of collected information to central cloud servers. The diverse capabilities of wireless technologies provide high-quality interaction of gateways with cloud services and end nodes.

The market today presents a number of interesting radio interfaces with a variety of capabilities and technical specifications. So the consumer can easily match the delay time or bandwidth requirements of specific software.

IoT Business Security

The rapid development of the industrial Internet of Things in the manufacturing sector produced a lot of vulnerabilities. Frost & Sullivan’s security research of 2018 details a number of attack vectors and possible resulting losses.

Given the serious consequences of such misdeeds, experts have to take additional safety measures when creating IoT systems. According to surveys, 90% of developers believe that most modern IoT products are not equipped with sufficient security features.

Thus, at the end of 2018, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approached the issue of safety from the regulatory side and issued the standard ISO/TR 22100-4:2018 standard, “Safety of machinery – Relationship with ISO 12100 – Part 4: Guidance to machinery manufacturers for consideration of related IT-security (cyber security) aspects”. This document describes all the due considerations to software development, including firmware and apps for IoT hardware.

Conclusion

Today, the ability to control house appliances over the net is nothing new. Modern manufacture automation systems can predict the equipment faults and request maintenance in advance. In security systems, devices such as a motion sensor or a carbon monoxide indicator are quite customary.

All these technologies are designed to protect human life and make it more comfortable. If we talk about business, the leadership of large companies has long accepted the IoT technologies. Such industries as medicine, retail, agriculture, logistics, already have a high IoT adoption rate.

Business is changing, you need to constantly keep abreast and monitor innovations. After all, with the right approach, good organization, and attention to the security details, IoT technologies provide notable results.

Top JavaScript Frameworks in 2020: How to Make Your Choice

JavaScript is one of the most widely used programming languages ​​focused, among other things, on web development. On top of boasting dynamic typing, no need for pre-compilation, support of both prototype and object-oriented approaches, JS is versatile and great to study. 

That being said, new Javascript frameworks keep on appearing in the market from year to year. Surely, not all of them deserve our precious attention. That’s why we picked the five most advanced, practical, and convenient candidates for the proud title of the best JS framework in 2020.

Top Javascript Frameworks in 2020

The following 5 top Javascript frameworks are to be all the rage in 2020. That means you should try at least one of them if you are into the topic of JS development.

AngularJS

Probably the most renowned open-source JS framework, AngularJS is used for working on frontend and is based on the MVC architecture. It was created by the development team at mighty Google back in 2009 and is still actively used in some of their web services to this day.

We can safely say that AngularJS is a perfect solution for collaborative work in large teams. It allows you to separate DOM manipulations from business logic. Using two-way binding, this framework provides a one-to-one correspondence between components. This means that any changes to these components are instantly reflected in the View and vice versa. 

Also, AngularJS has everything you need to create classic web applications that interact with DBMS: form validation, routing, deep linking, component reuse, dependency injection, tools for interacting with the server (RESTful) data sources, tools for modular and end-to-end testing, etc.

On top of that, AngularJS has everything you need to create classic web applications that interact with DBMS, namely: form validation, routing, deep linking, component reuse, dependency injection, tools for interacting with the server (RESTful) data sources, tools for modular and end-to-end testing, etc.

On the flip side of things, Angular is pretty complex to learn. If you are planning to work with this coding language at all, you will have to a) master a specific extension of initial JS capabilities – TypeScript. It also delivers quite heavyweight end solutions – upon its creation, a new project packs up a load of system files by default.    

Ember.js

Ember.js is yet another relatively “young” JavaScript framework for developing client-side web applications. It is also based on the MVC architecture as well as on several advanced concepts that distinguish this one from the mass. 

Ember employs Babel (which is necessary for the support of ES2016), boasts compatibility with the advanced Testem and QTest testing environments, supports the Broccoli.js collector, deep links and the Handlebar template engine, provides interactive reloading of web pages, features two-way data binding and the Fastboot.js module (which provides fast rendering of the DOM on the server-side).

Ember.js is not hard to study, with tons of online tutorials and dedicated literature available online. In part due to its extensive accessibility, the framework was deemed a top solution in the niche in 2015, stamping out Angular and React (which we discuss below). Currently, Ember is employed by over 100 thousand websites. 

ReactJS

React is not a fully-featured framework, but a very popular open-source JavaScript library for developing user interfaces. React was created by the Facebook team in 2013 and today is actively being implemented in many projects of the company (for example, it lies in the core of the Instagram frontend). 

React, like its main rival Vue, is only a View component (which makes it lightweight) and is considered to be practically the best choice for creating interactive solutions as well as solutions with dynamically updated content.

By using a Virtual DOM instead of the “full-fledged” DOM, React allows creating very fast interfaces. All in all, the library is fun to learn, flexible due to featuring two-way data binding and pretty well integrated with other libraries and software tools.

Many developers consider React to be next to the most versatile web development tool out there. 

Vue.js

Vue.js is a relatively new JavaScript framework for app and website development created by Chinese developer Ewan Yu who had once worked on Angular but found it rather cumbersome eventually. The main idea here is that all the shortcomings inherent in the above framework were, if not eliminated, then at least minimized in Vue.

Thus, this framework has a simple, accessible interface, demonstrates excellent performance (which is largely due to the support of Virtual DOM), and is well-compatible with third-party libraries.

In essence, it is only a View component (not a “heavyweight” MVC framework like Angular), therefore, it requires additional tools to work on the UI, such as Redux.

Last but not least, we cannot but welcome the overall accessibility of mastering this tool. All you need are some JS, HTML, and CSS basics and you’re good to go with Vue.  

Previously, Vue.js was a bit frowned upon because of the absence of well-structured documentation. Up to date, however, this particular issue is not relevant. All in all, this sure is a great tool for working on small-scale projects. 

Meteor.js

Completing our top frameworks for web development Meteor is another popular JS framework that, in addition to creating a frontend, offers a bunch of tools for backend development, database management, and rendering business logic. Created back in 2012, it gradually turned into a full-stack platform for iOS Android and web development. Currently, it is based on more than 50 thousand sites around the world, and this number continues to grow rapidly.

Last but not least in our top list of frameworks for web development, Meteor is a JS framework in high demand that, apart from being good for frontend programming, offers numerous tools for backend development, database management, and business logic handling as well.

Created back in 2012, it has gradually turned into a full-stack platform for iOS Android and web development. Currently, more than 50 thousand websites are based on this framework and the number keeps growing. 

Meteor.js is a high-performance solution that covers all stages of the software development cycle and takes care of processes such as linking, file concatenation, etc. Moreover, it allows you to implement asynchronous server programming thanks to the built-in Fibers and is characterized by a perfectly designed abstraction for working with data through collections and calling server methods.

Developers mostly prefer this framework for convenient software deployment as well as ample opportunities for automatic optimization and recompilation of code.

Therefore, if you are looking for something universal and high-speed, you should take a look at this solution, which will allow you to create iOS, Android and web apps freely.

Which Framework Should You Choose?

It is kind of impossible to say straight which of the above frameworks for web development will be better for you. For example, Angular is suitable mainly for large projects, React provides unrivaled flexibility and compatibility while Vue is great for smaller teams working on simpler solutions and Ember can be compared with the old Angular that is easier to master.

Summary

To summarize our brief overview of tools for web development in 2020, as you can see, the choice of a particular framework will essentially depend on the scale of your project, the level of knowledge of programmers, as well as their requirements for flexibility and integration with third-party solutions. We hope that we helped you make the choice and see which particular frameworks promise to be the most useful for developers in 2020.

How to Get Your App (Software) HIPAA Certified

What is HIPAA in essence and how to make your software solution correspond with its regulations? Find out in the article.

Our world continues to be gradually consumed whole by digital technologies, with the mobile app development industry staying at its peak of demand. To achieve good client reach and more operational flexibility, every other company or business now gets a dedicated mobile application. And healthcare organizations aren’t an exception here. In order to operate with medical patient data, however, a set of requirements and legal regulations must be followed. 

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a regulatory document that defines the rules of exchanging and processing private data of medical nature. Its main purpose is to set the standards of patient medical data protection and govern the non-disclosure of privileged medical information as a whole. It was first introduced in 1996, in the USA with the goal of increasing the quality of portability and reporting in medical insurance. 

HIPAA regulations guarantee patients that all their personal info is treated in a proper manner. Types of such info include:

  • Data on a person’s state of health (both physical & mental);
  • History of visits to healthcare organizations & medical attendance as a whole;
  • Financial history related to medical affairs;
  • Patient’s personal data (documents, contact info, photos, any patient identifying info).

Ultimate HIPAA compliance allows providing crucial social norms – personal privacy and confidentiality. As such, the medical staff should be able to store private patient data in such a way that nobody can access it directly without the patient’s consent. The only exceptions in this case are an emergency situation, in which such data is required to save a human life, or a legal claim.    

What does HIPAA compliance mean for developers?

The field of medicine, like any other acting industry, calls for a thorough implementation of digital technologies. According to expert forecasts, the medical mobile app market’s total volume is expected to reach $11,2 million by 2025. Healthcare-oriented software development, however, has its nuances. The underlying aspect here is PHI or Protected Health Information. I.e., a special approach is required to protect any confidential info. 

There is a common conception that PHI governs strictly medical information, such as diagnosis, examination results, meds prescriptions, state of health readings, etc. The standard goes beyond that, however, requiring to protect patient photos, full name, email address, phone and insurance numbers, medical card number, and other similar data as well. Any app that collects and stores info of such kind falls under legal regulations. 

Data protection laws in the US

As it turned out, secret medical information may have a high demand among scammers. Thus, it may be used to acquire illegal meds or blackmail people. Based on the high risks of malicious use of private healthcare data, the US government introduced yet another protecting regulation – HITECH Act.  

Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act came into effect in 2003 with the intention of enhancing the HIPAA law’s efficiency. Gradually, these legal standards covered partner companies that get access to PHI on behalf of medical establishments as well (e.g., insurance companies need personal patient data when providing claim analysis services).  

The rapid development of IT technologies, however, set the stage for new HIPAA compliant software. It allowed many organizations to start collecting data with the help of online services and keep databases on cloud-based platforms. Thus, the Omnibus Rules appeared in January 2013. This is a special HIPAA appendix that slightly coined the basic meaning of the ‘business partner’ notion. Now, subcontractors of regular business partners are also considered full-fledged partners working on behalf of a med establishment.   

PHI & software development

With the introduction of the Omnibus Rules, the legal responsibility addressed medicine app developers, cloud service providers, and outsourcing companies. Any partner company that has even highly-restricted access to any confidential data falls under the HIPAA regulations. Such companies are obliged to keep the data utterly secure.  

In order to properly settle contradictions between business partners and subcontractors, Business Associate Agreements or BAA are made. BAA is a standard HIPAA-based document (essentially, an agreement) that governs sufficient PHI protection. American organizations have high security policy demands. According to the statistics for 2018 alone, 158 healthcare data hacking incidents took place. That’s why HIPAA requirements must be strictly met by development companies. 

How to Become HIPAA Compliant

Not all companies that provide software solutions for med organizations are obliged to go through special certification. Only those whose products imply the processing of personal data must comply with the HIPAA regulations. However, there is no governmental structure that would grant respective certificates. There are only companies that conduct audits, coaching sessions, and practical courses.  

They help service providers to study all the regulations and approve HIPAA software compliance off the books. Such companies give all the necessary theoretical documentation according to their client’s status and specialization. A certificate is only granted after the completion of a complex yet structured test. This is quite a beneficial approach to things.  

Even after passing the test, though, only a particular service provider and nobody else is responsible for their in-house compliance management system. As we already mentioned, most US establishments require to sign Business Associates deals, so any improper handling of patient data might result in significant losses. As the statistics indicate, 70% of companies experience at least one incident of incorrect PHI handling a year. Make sure you make your app HIPAA certified if you are working on one for a healthcare client. 

HIPAA Compliant Features

Companies striving to become HIPAA compliant will have to introduce several new procedures in their regular workflow. Data recording becomes crucial. All the documentation must be registered and managed with utter precision and accuracy. 

The whole set of HIPAA regulations is subdivided into three major sections:

  1. Privacy Rule
  2. Security Rule
  3. Breach Notification Rule

The Privacy Rule delineates the regulations of personal privacy. This standard grants free access to personal medical records for patients. In such a manner, patients get to manage all the processes involving their data via a specialized care app with HIPAA compliance. 

The Security Rule defines a number of private digital data security and protection regulations. This section is further subdivided into: Technical, Physical, and Administrative Safeguards. These are very important points to adhere to when one’s work should involve HIPAA compliant cloud storage.

Technical Safeguards include:

  • Access management;
  • Management audit;
  • Organization authentication;
  • Data transfer security;
  • Wholesomeness of data.

Physical Safeguards include:

  • Facility Access management;
  • Workstation Use;
  • Workstation Security;
  • Device & Media management.

Administrative Safeguards include:

  • Security Management processes;
  • Security Officer assignment;
  • Staff Security (including HIPAA compliant emails for staff workers);
  • Data Access management;
  • Security Education;
  • Incident Prevention procedures;
  • Emergency case plan of actions;
  • Administrative Assessment;
  • Business Partner Deals & other agreements (including HIPAA compliant texting).

The Breach Notification Rule collects regulations on data leaks. This section obliges companies that fall under the Privacy and Security Rule to timely notify the government about any personal med data leaks. Companies must follow a set order and form of notification. An HIPAA breach may result in a huge fine. 

Implementing procedures that limit the numbers of staff that have direct access to patient info is a complex but necessary task for any company that wishes to go along with the HIPAA regulations. 

HIPAA compliant app development cost

Organizations that seek partners for the development of HIPAA compliant mobile applications are looking at quite a wide range of candidates. Currently, many development companies note that proper handling of personal documents and data has its strong sides and costs of acquiring HIPAA compliance are reasonable. 

Talking about the financial side of the question, the development of HIPAA compliant apps with a humble functionality intended for small-scale medical establishments may ultimately cost $4,000 – $12.000. Larger projects must take care of the full spectrum of requirements, implementing risk analysis and management, security education, policy development, flaws’ scanning, etc. Such HIPAA compliant apps may start at $50,000.

Summary

Private data protection implies a whole complex of actions directed at granting client security. Companies that are well-established in this aspect have always been at least one step ahead of their competitors. If a mobile app development company operates in the US market, it is simply obliged to become HIPAA compliant. This is a legal foundation that is beneficial both to med organizations and their clients. 

Нow AI in Logistics Changes Business

Big Data and AI in the logistics industry can help you make wonders with your business and set things to a completely new level of performance. Learn how exactly in our new themed feature.

AI in ligistics continue making an increasing impact on practically all spheres of our life, considerably boosting our overall predictive capabilities and maintenance potential. The field of transportation isn’t an exception. Logistics automation allows for corporate carriers as well as affiliate shippers to make more business-efficient solutions. AI ultimately helps to ship agents figure out shipping situations on the go. The result is the dramatic economy of time, money, and other resources dedicated to your regular shipping. 

Нow Much Do Autonomous Vehicles Change Logistics?

It is predicted that the mass employment of AI in the logistics and chain supply markets would expand by 42,9% throughout the period of 2017-2023 and will have reached $6,5 billion in the global budget by 2023. This means that almost half of all existing establishments will be using AI in some way or another in their operation. That’s why transportation companies increasingly pay attention to AI-based software solutions and tools for logistics purposes.   

Roughly, software tools of such kind can be subdivided into two major groups. The first includes any pieces of software that are used directly in the process of shipping and are connected to the vehicles. The second group of solutions involves tools for the organization of shipping – in particular, automation of many related processes.

AI-Based Car Technologies

According to the Tractica company’s expert predictions, global supplies of storage and logistic robots will considerably accelerate in the following five years – from 194,000 units in 2018 to 938,000 units per year by 2022. Artificial Intelligence in cars is called for utterly securing the road traffic and facilitating the work of drivers, shipping agents, and dispatchers.

The AI niche as a whole gains a pretty rapid pace, with various logistics startups introduced here and there. In 2016, venture investments in American startups focused on AI-based systems grew from $26 billion to $39 billion. 

Pilotless cars

Autonomous cars can work 24/7, doing their routes without even requiring a live driver in the first place. Such cars are equipped with sets of indicators – distance gauges, stereovision systems, geolocation systems, and hydro stabilizers. As for software, it must consist of the neural network and computer vision-based AI.

Technologies

Pilotless vehicles operate based on the Bayesian mapping and localization method. In essence, the data collected from the car’s indicator is juxtaposed with the map indicators.

Pros & cons

Pilotless cars are quite efficient:

  • Decrease the road accident chances & don’t involve any human fatalities in the case of emergency
  • Reduce the cost of shipping by lowering driver salary expenses
  • Provide centralized management for the shipping traffic, allowing to build better routes more efficiently
  • Bypass the need in individual cars due to the novel carsharing services 
  • May allow making road strips narrower, which, in the long-term perspective, can increase the roads’ car passing capacity
  • Allow shifting former driver employees’ focus on other, more consistent tasks
  • Handle shipping stuff in hazardous areas & under rough weather conditions.

The cons in the matter, however, include:

  • Responsibility issues if any accidents 
  • Vulnerability to hacking attacks or unauthorized access
  • A decrease in working positions for drivers.

Automated monitoring technology

This technological solution is to provide a high level of shipping security. The vehicle’s interior is equipped with a special camera that tracks the driver’s state – his movements and such. 

Implementation of the computer vision-based AI

Such systems work similarly to face recognition solutions. Computer-vision AI solutions are based on neural networks. Special cameras are used to scan human faces while being online and capture the driver’s facial features that may tell about their exhaustion – the position of eyelids, gestures and mimics, frequent yawning, and such. The system can also help control the use of phone while driving to stay focused on the road. 

Notifications

If the employee gets distracted for some reason while driving, the exhaustion indication system makes a sound signal notification. A duty operator receives a notification as well, allowing them to anticipate and, perhaps, timely prevent a potential incident. In the worst-case scenario, the reason for an accident can be easily extracted from the camera recordings. 

GPS tracker

A GPS tracker is one of the first technologies to explicitly illustrate how AI helps in logistics. These are electronic devices to locate objects in space and you pretty much know how it works in essence if you’ve ever ridden a taxi cab. 

Types of trackers

There are several major kinds of GPS trackers used by modern shipping companies:

  • Personal devices that work with the battery or accumulator
  • Stationary is powered by the car’s lighter socket
  • Autonomous GPS trackers are mobile devices to use without additional charges for up to three years straight.

Additional GPS tracker features

Advanced modern car trackers may also include:

  • A built-in microphone
  • An accelerometer that marks the start & endpoint of the vehicle’s motion
  • A special SOS feature that notifies a user every five minutes about their car being compromised in the case of an accident
  • Record of all passing points
  • Remote door, engine or lights blocking can be enabled by sending an SMS
  • Additional indicators that control the amount of gas, temperature, moto hours, opening and closing of doors, etc. 

Automated storage systems

Automated storage systems are digitized systems that provide automated, centralized management of a storage area. 

Principle of work

Every other storage management system’s basic architecture can be subdivided into three major components: 

  • A client app for employees to input, change, and remove data, make requests and clarifications, etc.;
  • A database server. The client can request, add, change or remove data on it;
  • User-initiated data processing capabilities that return the processed information back to the database. 

Goal of implementation

A centralized storage management system will help you accelerate solving a significant number of routine tasks, reducing staff expenses dramatically and minimizing the chances of errors. The tasks for automation are:

  • Barcode printing & data correspondence check
  • Storage by the according cells
  • Orders & groups of orders management  
  • Goods admission & dispatch processes
  • Supply replenishment
  • Order sorting & packaging 
  • Goods shipment & accompanying papers
  • Scheduling
  • Supply management
  • Staff management
  • Distribution facility operation management
  • Container management
  • Goods storage management.

Shipping Processes Automation Tools

There is a huge number of various available software solutions that help managing shipments either on the local or international levels. First of all, you should pay attention to the tools for routing shipments and working with big data bulks. 

AI vehicle routing

Routing software can help solve numerous tasks on the agenda of both a full-blown transportation company and a small corporate autopark. 

Pros of logistics routing software

The specialized software tools that analyze and build optimal routes autonomously are good at:

  1. No downtime
  2. Accelerating order shipping;
  3. Minimizing losses due to senseless mileage
  4. Boosting customer loyalty thanks to the overall speed of performance.

Routing software functionality

Most solutions of such kind have the following set of features:

  • Optimized routing based on the type of cargo, vehicle, weather, shipping specifics & customer desires
  • Driver scheduler capabilities
  • Forming packaged & individual shipments
  • Building multi-chained routes
  • Journey sheet composition.

Big data processing planners

Big data in the logistics industry are useful for analyzing and coordinating major manufacture and management decisions.

The main types of logistics data can be grouped as follows:

  • Order processing-based data
  • Schedule & shipment or dispatch data, etc.

Which data is processed by Big Data solutions?

For the shipping company performance, most tools feature the following capabilities:

  • Statistics collection (a number of completed & canceled orders, refusals, a number of certain-type shipments, etc.). All the data can later help to more efficiently interact with clients & build working ad campaigns. 
  • Expense account to help plan expenses more thoroughly & build additional expenses statistics.
  • Storage operation management. Features that help to assess the business of the storage facility, defining peak workload hours & planning staff management more efficiently.
  • Scheduling. Storage performance control, shippings scheduling, & work time planning do wonder in this line of work. 
  • Punctuality. Automated systems help to minimize shipping delays. 
  • Driver data. The company can compose custom driver lists & extract the respective statistics by individuals.
  • Checklists with special customer requirements for particular orders. 

All in all, the employment of AI in logistics helps to significantly optimize time, finances, and resource expenses as well as the overall company performance. Specialized software tools help automate the shipping process – from storing to transporting the goods to a particular destination. Smart technologies are pretty fruitful for your business workflow of the logistics company of any scale and size. 

How to Make the Most of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

AI voice recognition is currently considered one of the most interesting modern technologies. According to estimates, 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are now a part of their daily routine, just like artificial intelligence in healthcare.

With new developments in the technology, it is becoming more and more popular. Let’s see why an artificial intelligence-powered medical assistant for clinicians is worth implementing.

Voice Recognition Software

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) system is a program that enables a convenient dialogue between the user and the machine. In a broad sense, the system makes it possible to convert audio to text through deep learning. The range of varieties of ASR extends from simple devices and children’s toys to super complex systems for recognizing medical terms etc, that’s why it can solve different problems in different areas. According to some estimates, the number of people who use a voice assistant monthly is 9.5% more in 2019 than last year.

For example, ASR is a convenient method of entering information when a person is busy to type. ASR allows people who need to do several things at the same time (doctors in hospitals, drivers, etc.), to use modern gadgets and easily receive or enter the necessary information.

The only problem of ASR is the difference in pronunciation of the same word by different people. But thanks to machine learning, nowadays the systems are resistant to noise and can recognize speech with an accent. 

AI healthcare forecasts

According to estimates, recognition accuracy has increased by 3% and the accuracy of modern speech recognition systems exceeds 90% compared to 2018.

How to Build Voice into Products

An ASR system allows the user to enter text and perform computer operations through voice. The voice technology for digital health recognizes users’ speech, converts it to text, and then displays the result on the screen. It seems complicated, so let’s see how it works in more detail.

The voice request activates the program that can hear no words but a sound signal without clear division. The task of the speech recognition system is to convert the signal into the words. 

The voice request is sent to the servers and noise is determined and deleted. Then the record is divided into small fragments (frames). For each sound, a complex statistical model is constructed that describes the pronunciation of this sound in speech. Next, the system determines the likely word order and, if necessary, restores unrecognized words according to their meaning based on the context and available statistics.

Then we receive the final result in the form of the most probable sequence of words.

Turning speech to text technology is a complicated process which is why it is important to rely on professionals who will make a custom program for you with all the necessary features you need. 

Advantages of Voice Recognition Software

The advantages of voice technology are evident, as they make remote management of devices easier. This is the most useful function because it allows to perform a certain number of tasks at once and quickly respond in any situation.

The benefits of artificial intelligence voice recognition software:

  • the ability to turn speech into text;
  • no need for an additional intermediary between you and the device;
  • high reaction speed;
  • maximum accuracy;
  • input is carried out by the simplest way – through the voice;
  • easy to perform several tasks at once;
  • remote control makes device management more convenient;
  • useful in extreme situations.

Why Interact With Devices Using Voice in Healthcare

Why should we use voice recognition in healthcare? The answer to this question is simple: most people speak faster than they type. A reasonably experienced operator can type a 300-word message in about six minutes. When using a speech recognition system, this time is reduced twice thanks to natural language processing.

Previously, it was believed that doctors could use speech recognition systems only to dictate text to a computer. However, modern systems can provide more significant assistance to any medical specialist. Such systems are used to write e-mail, work on gadgets, compile medical records, speed up the flow of information, and also protect medical workers from additional workload and stress. And a voice-activated virtual assistant can easily increase the productivity of any employee, i.g. about 40% of medical workers suffer burnouts. 

Nowadays most speech recognition systems in medicine allow the user to add new words to the dictionary and, thanks to machine learning, adapt the system to function in a particular medical department. In addition, some systems initially include dictionaries of medical terms such as the names of diseases, drugs and tests, which helps them to automatically recognize and edit epicrisis texts and recipes. 

Clinical Documentation Generated Through Voice Recognition

Nowadays, one of the most time-consuming aspects in healthcare is creating and maintaining medical records. For every hour spent with a patient, a clinician spends two hours documenting and developing a care plan. It is known that physicians especially need prompt and error-free documentation of their medical research. Over the years, different approaches have been used to simplify the process: from attracting operators to using special online forms where the data would be checked. But how can we use artificial intelligence to optimize note-taking?

Speech recognition systems are the solution that streamlines the maintenance of electronic medical records or any documentation. Thanks to it, the doctors are now able to increase work efficiency (there is no longer a need to fill out documents manually). 

It’s done in real-time: at an exam room, the doctor dictates information, which is instantly and automatically transferred to text. 

AI voice-controlled apps in healthcare

Care Angel, Suki, and Voiceitt interfaces

Advantages of using voice-enabled digital assistant for doctors are as follows:

  • Voice typing outperforms an experienced stenographer 1.5-2 times, which significantly saves the time. 
  • There is a revenue increase because of more patients examined daily.
  • Specialized dictionaries allow you to accurately recognize and correctly format medical terms.
  • There is software that recognizes voice with no Internet connection.
  • Due to the medical speech recognition, the improved quality of services allows doctors to spend more time with patients.

Data Security and HIPAA Compliance

New technologies, from human artificial intelligence devices to electronic medical records allow doctors to save lives. They help collect more information to study the patient’s history. These technologies constantly interact with big data, exchanging health information through complex systems, which increases the risks of information leak. Doctors are no longer the only carriers of sensitive health information. For example, database managers are also responsible for information safety.

Because of the vulnerability of health information, the U.S. government has passed the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These laws require organizations that deal with health information to take certain measures to ensure confidentiality and security, as well as inform patients if their personal data are at risk. 

Patient’s personal health information includes:

  • information about the patient’s health, both physical and psychological;
  • the history of their visits to medical institutions;
  • financial information about medical services;
  • personal data:  all contact details, photos, etc.

Nowadays the regulation provides the most stringent set of rules in the world as to the collection, usage, and storage of personal data. Therefore, anyone who develops healthcare applications needs to stick to these rules.

The regulation doesn’t contain any step-by-step instructions, it only establishes a number of general rules and principles that the developer must take into account. 

Developer’s responsibilities:

  • ensuring privacy during the entire development cycle of the system;
  • taking sufficient and necessary technical and organizational measures to ensure the integrity and security of the system;
  • taking into account the risks associated with the processing of personal data, including their accidental or intentional destruction, loss, modification, or unauthorized disclosure.

Summing up AI in healthcare

Artificial intelligence and voice recognition can become a life-saving tool in healthcare. However, it’s hard to design such software and there are plenty of nuances to be aware of when dealing with sensitive data. Whether it’s speech recognition integration or AI voice-controlled software development, make sure you follow regulations. 

Why Employee Training Software Works Magic for Your Business

Keeping your staff in the know and abreast of the latest developments in the sphere is among the crucial aspects of efficient management. Staff-upgrading efforts boost the efficiency of human resource management and make you – as an employer – more appealing to potential hires. Employee training software is the key.

  • Weak on-boarding tends to result in losing up to a quarter of newcomers during their first year.
  • New personnel who receive good training boost their self-efficiency by 50%.
  • The employee turnover can be reduced by 70% if you put enough thought and effort into improving qualifications of your company’s workforce.

According to the Gallup, Inc. institution data, almost 60% of people from generation Y (which starts to comprise a major part of available labor resources) consider in-house corporate training a workplace benefit. The tendency to motivate staff to constantly improve professional skills continues to grow globally. 

There is a strong tendency for companies on the rise to pay closer attention to the advantages of online education. This convenient method optimizes coaching and rental expenses, and saves the time of both mentors and mentees. 

Why integrate employee training software

The integration of educational software with the existing business system is a crucial aspect, defining the overall efficiency of business. Putting some good effort into it you can expect to ultimately improve:

  • onboarding routine
  • compliance management
  • process automation
  • level of staff interaction
  • quality & expert depth of reporting.

How to develop employee training & development tracking software

Common digital training methods are much less costly as opposed to the live business coaches. Profiled employee training software allows creating and updating educational modules, conveniently assessing progress in studies, and providing feedback. The key stages of developing and implementing such methods include task setting, needs defining, integration, assessment, and of course motivation. 

Task setting

Before getting to the implementation of a Learning Management System (LMS), it’s crucial to indicate major strategic goals it has to meet. This is a defining stage for the whole e-learning system, so the requirements of all departments to be involved in your training efforts should be considered. 

Large volumes of initial data and requirements make this stage the most extensive and time-consuming in the whole process of developing the employee training software.

Needs

Defining business needs is fundamental in establishing training courses. Improvement of technical, financial or sales skills calls for basically different models and schemes of delivering the educational materials. It’s crucial that an employee thoroughly understands the gist and structure of all such efforts. 

In 2014, Cisco launched a program consisting of over 46 personnel training courses. The system was so incomprehensible, however, that most people simply didn’t know where to begin. By subdividing all courses into three global levels of qualification and into numerous smaller sub-levels, the company managed to successfully finish over 46 thousand courses by 2018. This is an explicit effect of a properly structured learning strategy.

Contractors

Competent planning and analysis aren’t worth too much if a concept remains a concept. Thus, a responsible approach to finding contractors is important unless in-house personnel is competent enough to be in charge of outlining course syllabus, skill-building processes, progress assessing techniques, etc.  

For an advanced product, most companies bring in experienced professionals to cut down business expenses and involved employee time. A thorough review of a contractor’s portfolio and related feedback are the key to the success of building an efficient e-learning system.

After undergoing the training, employees must achieve the set business tasks as well as meet personal efficiency criteria. 

employee training and development

Integration

Proper integration of the training software with the existing system that manages human resources, analytics, and personal data allows to significantly reduce the data duplication rates. At the same time, the employee training tracking software allows to get more comprehensive and integral information about the quality of education as well as status of training, enabling focus on knowledge gaps and drawing attention to promising employees. 

Assessment

The development and implementation of the assessment scale is a key performance and relevance indicator in terms of the established strategy. It allows to both closely monitor the results of corporate efforts and define the potential of every employee. 

When developing corporate training tracking software for employees, it’s necessary for departments that personnel will be trained to follow development process and provide regular feedback on software intuitiveness and educational material clarity so that eventual monitoring capabilities are most efficiently implemented. 

Motivation

A technically well-executed solution wouldn’t lead to any worthy effect if an employee neglects training or undergoes it without enthusiasm. Acknowledging training achievements and factually increasing business productivity allow to boost employee performance and grow competence  as well.

Off-the-shelf platforms vs custom made software

Now the market of online educational services grows as rapidly as never before. According to the expert analyses, whose initial revenue estimations for 2015 were $107 bln and turned out to be true, by 2025 the e-learning revenue will grow to $325 bln. 

Unfortunately, not all companies by far can afford to invest the required funds into developing their own educational software solutions. And that’s where specialized readymade platforms come on the scene. 

What is an education platform?

There are lots of definitions, but in Aionys we consider education platform software a set of tools that combine theory, practice, and related content. Various additional applications can be integrated with the platforms. Let’s take a look at the main advantages of the platform-based training. 

The demand for developing staff has been clear to American business giants. Verizon, MasterCard and WalMart are already using virtual reality to improve soft skills of employees and provide multitude trainings, including crisis situations, store operations, etc. So far, 1 million of WalMart associates take VR training in the U.S. 

Updating

Maintenance and support of a software product within an organization calls for some significant systematic expenses. Otherwise, the moral aging of information will affect the whole training process most negatively. 

A learning management platform is a project that should necessarily contain relevant data, including the latest developments. It is dedicated experts’ responsibility to bring up to date readymade platforms. 

Training apps to empower your business

Multi-purposefulness

Common platforms are SaaS products in nature that are available in public or private cloud services. They don’t require time-consuming development and analysis, allowing to start training with the least budget and time losses. 

Updating custom training software is a responsibility of a company itself unless you hire an outsourced professional who has control of the updates.  

Top providers of e-learning services

When it comes to designing your own educational platform, it’s worth taking into account the features of widely known online platforms. 

Best online learning platforms

  1. Kitaboo Insight. A cloud-based platform with an accessible and adaptive interface that can be enriched with audio, video, image, hyperlink, rating, and simulation elements. Offline mode is available for mobile devices. Currently, it educates over 1 million students from 55 countries.
  2. Litmos. The customizable interface combines in-depth reporting with education monitoring. It can be integrated with WordPress, Shopify and other eCommerce platforms, which makes it a great educational tool both for learners and administrators.
  3. Docebo. An AI-powered employee learning platform makes it possible to create individualized interfaces as well as authentic themes and mockups. Plus, it not only supports online education but also helps to organize live training sessions.
  4. Bridge. This solution focuses on adjusting interaction between an employer and an employee. The materials can be taken either from the online library or from the course administrator, which stimulates engagement in the process for all involved.
  5. SkillShare. The e-learning platform boasts a huge number of courses on various topics. With over 24,000 lessons and 4,000,000 students, it provides complex educational and experience sharing options.
  6. Treehouse. A certified Microsoft, IBM, and Google Developers partner, this resource includes over 300 courses on coding. 
  7. LinkedIn Learning. The famous business platform counts over 1,000 courses on digital marketing, web development, and project management. 

Improvement & socialization

Cloud-based learning aids communication between the rookies outside of corporate walls. And when representatives of different companies are involved with platforms, one can better assess the real level of an employee’s knowledge by juxtaposing it with other experts’ skill levels in the same niche.

Drawbacks of platform-based learning management systems for employee training

With all the advantages considered, cloud-based training systems still have some significant drawbacks business owners have to take into account. 

Template nature

Despite the flexibility and ability to make adjustments, a public product remains public. It doesn’t adhere to the specifics of a certain business and can be seldomly used for narrow specialized and non-standard spheres. 

Compliance training software

Sharing any corporate data like development plans, regulations, and employee info always involves risks. Custom safety training software is a counter-measure of data leaks.

Integration capabilities

Software integration is an important requirement for e-learning tools. Despite numerous build-in options, businesses often choose tailored software development for better results. 

Aionys has a successful case of building in medical staff educational program at Medical Care platform.

The importance of professional development – summary

Employee training is one of the main driving forces in corporate development. It helps you save resources while boosting the efficiency of performance. In modern business conditions, many workers prefer the guarantee of professional growth over the size of compensation. 

Such tendencies push the growth of online courses market further, both with the help of individually designed apps and those based on complex platforms. Make your choice of employee training software to be in tune with niche developments. 

How to Benefit from Staff Management Software

Companies holding out for great outcomes have healthy workforce relations at the core of corporate policies and most of them use efficient staff management software. In turn, fair treatment of employees leads to stronger performance. The stats prove that the happier workers, the heftier profits. They actually report 31% higher productivity and 37% higher sales.

So what takes your employees to cloud nine? Speakap reports that it’s respect and fairness that comes first for 39% of respondents, while 23% note that trust and integrity are important as well. 

If you want to stimulate workforce engagement and make sure your company enjoy growth, staff management software is just what you need. All in all, it always pays off to put in your people.  

What is a staff management system?

Also known as an employee management system, it is human resource software aimed at simplifying workforce managerial processes. Generally, it consists of   

  • task distribution, scheduling, and reporting
  • appraisal management
  • payroll management
  • attendance and leave management, including shifts, clock-ins and clock-outs, leave requests, etc.

Dealing with personal, professional, and financial information, staff management systems ensure data security. What’s more, they optimize workload and streamline administrative tasks.

Why do you need staff management software? 

Bringing flexibility into workplaces and ensuring employee productivity are the challenges most growing businesses face. It’s a well-known fact that lack of managerial control leads to goofing off at work.  In turn, it brings about the downturn in customer services. As a result, the company suffers financial losses. The bigger the company is, the more serious managerial hurdles it has to tackle. 

building a staff management system is a leap forward

The basis of delegating tasks is control. Micromanagement takes too much time and effort so that’s when management systems come in handy. They tackle such everyday functions as scheduling and monitoring employee performance. In addition, they help you make operations more efficient and plan ahead, cut down costs and up staff productivity, eliminate human errors and boost communication.

It’s important for employers to keep track of performance – of the whole company and of each employee. Let’s put it simply, you as an employer want to monitor the time everyone starts and finishes work. What’s more important, you take into account the amount and difficulty of tasks everyone is responsible for. The bottom line is, the more efficient and productive your staff, the higher chances for your company to succeed.  

Employee management system by Aionys

Just like Henry Ford made an assembly line for manufacturing cars, Aionys developed a system that keeps track of how much time a person works and how many tasks get covered.

It keeps track of each activity, its start and end time, calculates the average duration as well as offers analytical tools to compare efficiency of different workers. The system of controlling low-level personnel is the alpha and omega of any company. It works everywhere and for every occupation – taxi-drivers, maids, cleaners, etc. 

For example, when launching our platform for hotel management we found out that the average time of cleaning a hotel room when a guest is still staying was 10-15 minutes, while for the checked-out standards maids needed 45 minutes and about an hour for suites and VIP rooms. Analyzing maid routine, the hotel manager defined staff who had higher productivity as well as pinpointed bottlenecks of both hotel rooms which had maintenance issues and guests who left serious mess behind.

Client feedback

When a staff management platform is developed for businesses dealing with clients, it is vital to use feedback to automate promotions and rewards for more efficient personnel. The businesses applying manual evaluations are likely to get biased results because humans are subjective. You know, it takes just a few smiles and small talks for personal preferences to rule decision-making. However, staff management programs operate on data only stimulating more diligent workers and pinpointing those who take their duties lightly.

It is both employers and employees who value feedback. Over 60% of personnel report that daily or weekly feedback is valuable, while 69% believe that effort recognition encourages harder work. 

When it comes to compensation, it should depend on efficiency and customer satisfaction. Employees working five times more efficiently and generating higher customer satisfaction just cannot get the same compensation as those doing the average amount of tasks with so-so feedback, can they?

Understanding the importance of feedback, Team A made a point of integrating it to create a fair working environment. According to stats, unfair performance reviews, lack of appreciation, and inadequate advancement opportunities are top reasons for job changes.  

Top features

Management systems should be tailored depending on the industry they are to be used in. There are a number of basic factors, though. They are about either task or time and of course work quality. As for work quality, it varies from business to business. In the hospitality industry, it can be customer satisfaction ratings, feedback, the number of served clients/cleaned rooms/cooked meals, etc. 

MaxiE is AI powered staff management system

So how did we create the system? For starters, Team A analyzed all the factors to later interweave them in the system. There can be different factors for various companies starting from primitive work start/end to more complex – the number of tasks/turndowns/faulty products, customer satisfaction rate, etc. On the factor basis, we made a platform with the feature of generating reports on the number of spent hours/carried out tasks/customer satisfaction, etc. It is you who determines the factors to consider. 

Another feature is recommending employees for perks and pay rise. Unlike financial instruments, there are also moral and ethical gains. Team A has experience in integrating a gamification model. For mentoring trainees, giving talks at conferences, improving soft skills and developing professionally, employees get cool gift certificates for climbing, motor racing, boxing, etc.   

Benefits of staff management software 

Workforce management tools are used for planning ahead, scheduling shifts, checking working routines, etc. Artificial intelligence analyzing data gathered with the tools can predict an optimal time needed for carrying out tasks in order to minimize downtime as well as choose the most suitable and best qualified candidate to do it

The main issues that staff management software tackles are  

  • control
  • progress and result tracking
  • transparency
  • efficiency ratio, etc.

They allow to track what task was carried out and how much time it took, what feedback it got, as well as generate reports on a regular basis to optimize processes and stimulate business growth. All in all, staff management platforms are great motivation tools to strengthen corporate competition and cooperation.