9 Warning Signs of Bad IT Architecture

A sound IT architecture keeps your company’s technology strategy humming. From kludges to manual re-keying to redundant apps, these are the telltale indicators of an IT environment on the brink of collapse.

Chances are someone at some point spent countless brain cycles planning your organization’s IT architecture before handing the grand plan off to someone else to build it out, and then to someone else to maintain it as your computing environment inevitably grew. And, chances also are, somewhere along the line, best intentions faded in the face of expediency, departmental politics, and general mismanagement, eroding what was once a coherent architecture management strategy into an ongoing series of independent, case-by-base decisions about each technical component.

How do you know if your organization has strayed from the path? Here are nine warning signs that bad IT architecture has taken hold of your organization.

Manual re-keying

Manual re-keying might not be the biggest cost companies pay from bad architecture, but it’s certainly the most obvious one. Hiring human beings to serve as the interface engine connecting incompatible applications isn’t just expensive; it’s de-humanizing.

Architectural impact: Keying errors result in inconsistent data.

Direct business impact: Manual re-keying drains business resources away from value-creating activity.

Collection of point solutions

Everyone wants their work supported by a “best of breed” solution. Define “their work” too narrowly, though, and everyone has to visit so many applications to get their work done that there isn’t enough time to get their work done.

Meanwhile, unless IT spends a lot of time building interfaces to connect all of these point solutions, you’re back to re-keying again.

Architectural impact: Point solutions drive need for system interfaces and the number of platforms that must be supported. Collections of point solutions also often creates need for manual re-keying.

Direct business impact: Collections of point solutions slow down business processes and drive up training costs – in addition to re-keying issues.

Redundant applications

Every business application solves business problems. Solving business problems is good, so solving them more than once must be even better, right?

Of course not, and yet a lot of companies keep lots of redundant applications around, either because they overlap but still have a few unique areas they support, or because they’ve grown through mergers and acquisitions but aren’t very good at integrating everyone into one business after the papers have been signed.

Either way, the money spent to support all of this redundancy is pure waste.

Architectural impact: Redundant applications drive need for system interfaces and the number of platforms that must be supported.

Direct business impact: Redundant applications drain IT resources away from value-creating activity and waste money on software licenses that don’t deliver new functionality to the business – and they often create the need for manual re-keying.

Redundant data

Very often, different applications need the same information to get their jobs done. You have two choices: Point them all to the same underlying database, which isn’t always possible, or synchronize their separate databases, which is often pretty messy.

Or there’s always that manual re-keying option….

Architectural impact: Redundant data drives need for system interface and often creates need for manual re-keying.

Direct business impact: Maintaining data synchronization across multiple databases is difficult, leading to effort wasted in reconciliation activities and getting wrong answers depending on which database is queried.

Too many interfaces

When you have redundant data and you decide to keep it synchronized, you need to build an interface. Even if you don’t, you often have to feed one system with results from a different one.

Either way, the more systems and databases you have, the more interfaces you end up building. It’s better than not having them, but as they accumulate, your architecture becomes more and more fragile, and you spend more and more time managing the interfaces instead of building new functionality.

Architectural impact: The more interfaces you have, the more fragile your system, and the harder that system is to maintain.

Direct business impact: Building interface after interface drains IT resources away from value-creating activity.

Faux-elegant integration

So you decide to solve your interface dilemma with an elegant enterprise application integration system, or a services bus, or some other form of middleware-plus-metadata that keeps everything clean.

And then, your developers figure two things out: (1) what your cool new system does is make solving the easy problems even easier; and (2) it doesn’t solve the hard problems at all. So instead of arguing with you, they rebuild the same old spiderweb of interfaces, but hide it inside the EAI system so you don’t know about it.

Architectural impact: Faux-elegant integration is just as fragile and difficult to maintain as interface glut.

Direct business impact: Faux-elegant integration still drains IT resources away from value-creating activity – and it’s expensive, too.

Kludges and workarounds

Maybe you were competing with an outside developer who lowballed a project. Maybe the business sponsor insisted on too short a deadline. Or maybe building a solution well would have ruined the business case for the project.

Whatever the reason, you wake up one day to discover a lot of your systems are held together with Band-Aids, chewing gum, and duct tape.

If you’re lucky, nobody will notice until after you leave or retire.

Architectural impact: Kludges solve immediate problems by creating fragile systems.

Direct business impact: Your cost of maintenance increases with each unnecessary solution, as does downtime, the cost of staff training, and the complexity of every subsequent project.

Obsolete technology

It’s mission-critical! It satisfies the business need perfectly! What do you mean you have to spend money to maintain it?

When you’ve built something on a version of Visual Basic that Microsoft hasn’t supported in a decade, that can’t read and write from any version of SQL Server that isn’t at least seven years old, and the only versions of Windows they’ll run on don’t have drivers for any of the printers you have in production – that’s what you mean. You have to spend money to maintain it.

Architectural impact: The more obsolete technology you have the harder it is to maintain and interface with new systems and equipment.

Direct business impact: Obsolete technology leads to increased cost of maintenance, while increasing your inability to adapt systems to new and changing business requirements.

White papers

You see a bunch of warning signs. You organize an enterprise technical architecture management group. You hire an expert or two. And their productivity is enormous.

Enormous, that is, if you measure productivity in terms of the number of white papers they publish. Changing how work gets done in IT? Of course they’ll change it. So long, that is, as everyone reads their white papers, admires their business, and follows their instructions.

Architectural impact: None. Everyone ignores the architecture group.

Direct business impact: The cost of wasted salaries, paper and toner – and even more employee cynicism about yet one more management fad.

Career in Digital Marketing

Who has time in today’s world to spend more and earn less ! Your time is valuable. Your money is valuable.

There are 4 key rules to give a thought for before you set out to start a career:

  1. Well planned investments (both time and money) are topmost priority.
  2. Your interest and strength areas matters.
  3. Your hard work gets you there.
  4. Luck may play but do not be blindfolded.

Digital marketing has created a buzz across the globe. Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. Until 2010, businesses did not take digital marketing seriously. But the wave associated with this industry is so powerful that it is undoubtedly the most favorable time to be a part of this booming industry. How does it’s wave become so strong?

Basic Skills required for Successful Digital Marketing career

Communication Skills:

Shy to talk to your peers? Next time you feel that you are shy, just practice to be outspoken. It will really enhance your communication skills which are a basic necessity for digital marketing.

Analytical Ability:

Ah! Math again? Dude, you better have an analytical mind or your measurability as a digital marketer may hamper your success.

Multitasking:

On a start of your career, you must be willing to work and work. Which means, you must have 10 hands and 10 minds all coordinated at a single point in time. It really helps to meet deadlines bang on time.

Networking:

Are you a socialite? Aha! Yes, you are in the right spot because any sort of marketing demands large networks.

Creativity:

The humongous amount of content and conversations on digital medium creates a challenge in terms of creativity. You definitely need to think out of the box, every time you land in the market.

Willingness to experimentation:

Beware! Only enter if you are willing to experiment. This digital marketing field is a newbie and it still is in the experimentation phase.

Comfort with technology:

I may not need to tell you about this. Obviously, you need to be a tech pro to start your digital marketing career.

You’ve got all of these basic skill set. Your next step is to learn the next skill set to be a digital marketer. You need to play each and every role for at least 5 years to become a pro in digital marketing. You must be a:

a content writer and generator,

a graphic designer,

a keyword planner,

an SEO specialist,

an SMM specialist,

a copy writer,

a conversion rate optimizer.

Conclusion

That’s a play of careers in digital marketing. You name it and you have to be a pro in it. But I may assure you, it is really an interesting stage. You need to perform your best. It has got it all-name, fame and game.

If you wish to have an in-depth knowledge of what digital marketing is, you may refer to my other blog “Simple theory of complex Digital Marketing.”

Toodles. Make it count. Signing out. Leave your comments below.

Science’s Take on Why Print Advertising is Effective

We, humans are keen on getting in the depth everything that surrounds us and we tend to keep on experimenting until we get answers. This curiosity leads us to take the path guided by science. We often come across articles talking about the competency of print media but then the same question arises why to use print advertising in this digitizing world? When past decade has seen this digital evolution everywhere, especially in the marketing world, Glossy brochures, fliers, pamphlets and many other printed items have been substituted by a combination of web content, email, and on-demand electronic files.

Digital marketing has its certain place and role in the marketing world but according to neuroscience print media still and will always have the upper hand because of its emotional win in advertising.We aren’t talking about any massive switch back to paper contents. But those marketing gurus who have been looking forward for the printing content to be gone entirely may be thrilled by the neuroscience research. As this article will proceed we will stress on how Print advertising is more effective.

We have seen ourselves, how we get attracted to large format Printing (Billboards) and even government uses these as huge signs to convey messages regarding various things like traffic and to decrease the frequency of accident in accident prone areas.

What made researchers state something which changed the whole approach of marketers?

-A 2009 study done by Bangor University and branding agency Millward Brown used fMRI to study the different effects of paper and digital media. Stated many points like “Physical piece involves more emotional processing which in course helps in registering brands on consumer’s mind.” and “Physical materials produces more brain responses connected with internal feelings, resulting in manifestation of advertisements”

-A research conducted by The Association of Magazine Media, The white paper quotes a 2011 Ackerman/Goldsmith study which had tested the ability of college students to apprehend the difficult texts through both print and screen. Students reading the text on paper scored, on an average of 10 points higher the pupil read from the screen. According to the research, “The paper-based readers applied better metacognitive strategies to regulate their comprehension of the material, and they had a surer sense of the degree to which they had understood what they were reading.”

There are many such research conducted proving the competency of print advertising.

What does Science say?

1.Brain Tends to Pay More Attention to Print Media: As The white paper had said that “The screen-based reading is more superficial and the paper-based reading is more deliberate and seeks much more attention”. Moreover, studies have stated that in the case of screen-based reading we tend to skim through on the other hand in print-based reading we read more actively.

2.Print-based readers focus more and have fewer distractions: The reason of using the services of great designers for getting the best business card printed. As it seeks the attention of the person whom it is provided and will register the information on his/her brain.

3.It triggers our sensory organs: As we tend to grasp information by multiple sensory organs, So print media triggers all those sensory organs and makes print media much more successful.

4. Better and Long remembrance: The white paper also kept front a Millward Brown study that stated “Stronger memory encoding among those who encountered the physical format pieces, compared to the digital format subjects. Their data suggested that the paper format stimulates a strong emotional response that, in turn, makes the materials more memorable.”

So, What makes print advertising so special? People adore the tangibility of holding a brochure or a flier which seeks people’s attention. In general, marketers are realizing that print advertising is the key to breaking through the noise online and to reach the audiences directly that they are looking for.

Throughout the article, we have come across the scientific reasons that why print advertising always have the upper hand in the advertising world. Print advertising works well in conjunction with other marketing initiatives and in fact boosts brand consideration and purchasing intent.

Email-a Must be Sent to E-commerce

Before sending an e-mail, the customer will continue while browsing your website and see the ideas of your choice. Depending on the user’s activity, you can send e-mails immediately or you can save it as a project to submit in the near future.

There are 5 types of emails activated each e-commerce store must send to earn the maximum amount of turnover.

1.Welcome: When the customer makes the first purchase of your online store is the ideal time and ideal to leave a good email client in place. Write the email in a way and enjoy your business, services, and gifts offered to try.

2. Customers Update: At the time of purchase, tell the customer what you ordered. With the help of e-mail has informed the user when to send your order and the expected delivery date. The customer is very committed to their brand. Attentive, you can also offer discount coupons for the next purchase.

3.Cross-Sale: Cross-selling items in your store are a necessity for the continuous growth of the company glue. First, recognize what period of time “to go on sale” with an example. Suppose a customer comes to your store and buy a shirt. Then you can send an e-mail client compatible with the image of another brand shirt or pants. It is known as cross-selling. Send an email to the cross-selling, you can fascinate the user to visit your online store again.

4. Behavior Navigation: When a visitor visits your site and lands on a specific product or page, you can probably assume that the visitor wishes to purchase an item from it. Based on browsing behavior, you can send an e-mail with photos of different products, prices and make a comparison with the prices of other online stores. This marketing system will definitely help you get a good success rate for your email campaign.

4. Negative feedback works: Getting negative feedback client makes you feel bad and intimidating. But, consider this as a golden opportunity to learn something for their own improvement. Check the ratings assigned by the client and take appropriate steps to improve their particular section of low metric measurements. To impress customers, you can also refund the amount or give a special discount in the form of remuneration to the customer.

5. Great appearance: –

An e-mail should always be presentable with an email template design. A good look makes your Ecommerce Email Campaign more attractive and works better