Global businesses today recognize it is critical to establish and maintain a competitive IT strategy. Disruptive change and business transformation have impacted market developments, become key factors in business sustainability and overall competitive landscape, and affected entire industries – and these transformations are often driven by technology.
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Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet.
SaaS removes the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers or in their own data centers. This eliminates the expense of hardware acquisition, provisioning and maintenance, as well as software licensing, installation and support. Other benefits of the SaaS model include:
Flexible payments: Rather than purchasing software to install, or additional hardware to support it, customers subscribe to a SaaS offering. Generally, they pay for this service on a monthly basis using a pay-as-you-go model. Transitioning costs to a recurring operating expense allows many businesses to exercise better and more predictable budgeting. Users can also terminate SaaS offerings at any time to stop those recurring costs.
Scalable usage: Cloud services like SaaS offer high vertical scalability, which gives customers the option to access more, or fewer, services or features on-demand.
Automatic updates: Rather than purchasing new software, customers can rely on a SaaS provider to automatically perform updates and patch management. This further reduces the burden on in-house IT staff.
Accessibility and persistence: Since SaaS applications are delivered over the Internet, users can access them from any Internet-enabled device and location.
Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that's often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.
A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional web hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic -- a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access).
Significant innovations in virtualization and distributed computing, as well as improved access to high-speed Internet, have accelerated interest in cloud computing.
A cloud can be private or public. A public cloud sells services to anyone on the Internet. (Currently, Amazon Web Services is the largest public cloud provider.) A private cloud is a proprietary network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. Private or public, the goal of cloud computing is to provide easy, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.
Cloud computing characteristics and benefits
Cloud computing boasts several attractive benefits for businesses and end users. Five of the main benefits of cloud computing are:
Self-service provisioning: End users can spin up compute resources for almost any type of workload on demand. This eliminates the traditional need for IT administrators to provision and manage compute resources.
Elasticity: Companies can scale up as computing needs increase and scale down again as demands decrease. This eliminates the need for massive investments in local infrastructure, which may or may not remain active.
Pay per use: Compute resources are measured at a granular level, enabling users to pay only for the resources and workloads they use.
Workload resilience: Cloud service providers often implement redundant resources to ensure resilient storage and to keep users' important workloads running -- often across multiple global regions.
Migration flexibility: Organizations can move certain workloads to or from the cloud -- or to different cloud platforms -- as desired or automatically for better cost savings or to use new services as they emerge.
Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible or intangible.
How does blockchain work?
• As each transaction occurs – and the parties agree to its details – it’s encoded into a block of digital data and uniquely signed or identified.
• Each block is connected to the one before and after it — creating an irreversible, immutable chain.
• Blocks are chained together, preventing any block from being altered or a block being inserted between two existing blocks.
What makes blockchain for business better for business?
Blockchain creates a shared system of record among business network members, eliminating the need to reconcile disparate ledgers.
•Each member of the network must have access privileges. Information is shared only on a need-to-know basis.
•Consensus is required from all members and all validated transactions are permanently recorded. Even a system administrator can’t delete a transaction.
How is blockchain being used right now?
• Making our food supply safer and smarter
• Helping small and medium sized businesses grow
• Finding new ways to work together
The term "open source" refers to something people can modify and share because its design is publicly accessible.
Open source software is becoming increasingly popular. Since its inception, the open source movement has provided software users with more choices, lower software acquisition cost, flexible software customization, and some highly popular software products. The success of open source can be partly attributed to the unique development process.
Some of the unique characteristics of the open source development model include
• Bottom up development
• Small, Incremental changes
• Release early, release often
• Peer Review
• Continuous quality improvement
Mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular among businesses and service providers. From e-commerce stores and payment banks to food delivery and healthcare, there is almost no industry where mobile applications haven’t proved their marketing value or established itself fundamental for effective communication with target customers.
The top functional and marketing benefits of business mobile applications are as follows:
• Direct Communication And Geo-Targeting Marketing
• Increased Recognition Builds Customer Loyalty
• Website Creates Awareness And The App Makes The Sale
• A Great Tool For Customer Engagement
• Helps You Stand Out From The Crowd
• Boosts Brand Recognition
• Improved visibility
In the last few years, there has been a great shift in how people look for products and services. Where once word-of-mouth recommendations and website browsing was the go-to solution, people now prefer to look up stuff on their smartphones while travelling, waiting for an appointment and even during their leisure time. Apps are a great marketing tool to make the most of this development. It grabs the attention of the target audience and improves the overall visibility of your business.
Anyone who owns an online business knows how competitive the internet arena is and how challenging it can be to promote their business well enough in
order to get good conversions and better sales.
Web development as a whole is an essential component for e-commerce success, as without a website the world would never know about a business' products or services. When it comes to promoting your business brand these days, web application development is steadily becoming the trend for e-commerce companies around the globe.
Conventional software based applications and systems remain installed on users’ desktops platforms while Web applications use a website as the central portal for access.
There are a number of benefits for businesses who are using web development applications, such as:
• Easy Maintenance
• Cross-Platform Capabilities
• Saves Money
• Accommodates Expandability With Ease
Web application development is becoming more popular among businesses who have an avid interest in enhancing user experience and bringing about efficiency and effectiveness to their systems and processes. Web applications will continue to play an important role in the overall success of today’s online businesses.
How well does your business know its customers? The answer may depend on your CRM-ERP integration.
Together, these systems track all of the critical touch-points along the customer journey.
CRM deals with front-end information, such as recording customer interactions, sales tracking, pipeline management, prospecting, and managing marketing campaigns. ERP software handles critical backend processes, including purchase history, billing and shipping details, accounting information, financial data, and supply chain management details.
A seamless real-time CRM-ERP integration provides accurate relevant data when it’s needed most, for all customer facing employees resulting in improved customer service. Employee productivity and job satisfaction is increased while ensuring stronger user adoption of applications. In addition, IT investments are protected by enabling the free flow of data from legacy back office systems.
Here are some additional benefits that contribute directly to the bottom line.
• More sales opportunities
• More accurate proposals
• Quicker approvals
• More qualified sales
• Customers billed quicker
• Quicker product deliveries
• More accurate product forecasting
There are many benefits of integration beyond improved IT efficiency, the elimination of duplicate data entry and improved development times. The business has even more to gain—CRM-ERP integrations add up to increased revenues and customer satisfaction.