While Artificial Intelligence transforms everything from transportation to cloud computing, more organizations are coming forward to use the technology’s potential to grow faster, having realized that it’s a safe bet that will positively influence almost every aspect of their business. But despite AI’s popularity and large scale adoption, there are many businesses that still don’t know many interesting things about the technology.

In this blog, we will take a look at a few facts about AI that might surprise you.

AI covers many different types of computer learning

The term AI is generally used to refer to computer systems with learning capabilities. But AI is so much more. It encompasses several designations like machine learning, deep learning etc. AI isn’t new. As a matter of fact, it has been around for a long while. It started gaining momentum only a few years back when people started seeing intelligent machines and devices becoming available. However, this eventually resulted in a wrong notion that AI is ‘programmed logic’. It isn’t. True AI is where the machine learns itself after parsing the data fed to it.

AI drives the $127 billion autonomous vehicle market

Self-driving cars are not a concept from a sci-fi flick anymore. They are real and they are expected to be worth an estimated $127 billion worldwide by 2027. Without AI, these cars wouldn’t have become a reality. The Drive PX Pegasus – an AI and GPU-powered computer manufactured by NVIDIA specifically for driverless cars had a lot of takers when it was announced last year. The project is considered a success, and the warm welcome it received emphasizes that companies are placing their bets on AI.

AI & the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already a buzzing trend with more people coming forward to invest in a ‘connected home’. In such an environment, various devices would be connected to each other in a private network to serve the home owners more conveniently. The trend was sparked by personal virtual assistants powered by AI namely the Amazon Echo Line and Google Home. AI evidently contributes to the growth of the smart speaker market.

Not all tech leaders approve of AI

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, Inc., has stated on multiple occasions that AI could be dangerous to people and humanity as a whole. He has also made it clear that there should be some regulations around the technology, and has also specifically recommended a ban on AI-powered autonomous weapons – which is also probably halfway to being a reality as some governments are reportedly working on weaponizing AI already.

The value of AI market keeps rising

A few years back, a PwC report estimated that Artificial Intelligence will contribute over $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Judging from the various AI-related advancements that are coming out, the value seems to be going up further. It’s a safe bet to assume that the AI market would, by 2030, would exceed $15 trillion.

End note

Because of the vast potential of AI and its many use cases, it will be quite challenging for investors to determine which aspect of AI can grant them maximum profit when leveraged. Still it seems only big companies are reaping the biggest profits from AI. We have seen a number of small businesses adopt AI this year. Hopefully this trend will keep up enough so AI becomes a standard regardless of a company’s size and scale.

At AOT, our expertise in AI when it comes to application development and machine learning is something that we are proud of. Give us a ring to see what else we can do with AI.

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The cloud kept evolving over the years, and ‘Multi Cloud’ is widely anticipated to be its next evolution. Public and hybrid clouds have become much more important in modern IT infrastructure owing to the rising prominence of Software-as-a-service (SaaS). Multi cloud is expected to fill more gaps in the coming years.

Multi cloud

It’s not to be confused with hybrid cloud, and is basically a combination of a number of cloud technologies from multiple public clouds to meet the changing needs of businesses in the modern age. Multi cloud typically is not specific to a single vendor. Hybrid cloud, on the other hand, is a cloud architecture that blends public and private clouds.

The rise of multi cloud began when enterprises tried to avoid dependence on a single public cloud provider, and instead choosing specific services from each public cloud provider.

Last year IDC predicted that over 85% of IT organizations will adopt multi-cloud architectures by 2018.

One of the biggest benefits of adopting a multi cloud approach is that it boosts innovation. The right combination of cloud technologies enable different departments in an IT organization to adopt cutting-edge applications both to balance workloads and to accelerate digital transformation. The cloud is known for the flexibility it grants an enterprise. When multiple cloud technologies are combined, the same flexibility would be present while offering optimal conditions for the best performance.

If it’s an eCommerce business, there can be a highly scalable cloud platform and a different cloud technology to balance as well as meet the large storage demands of a data-intensive workload.

Behind the multi cloud trend

Cloud computing, with each evolution, became more sophisticated as well. Back when it began, the vision for the technology was to place workloads on a single cloud be it private or public. Times have changed. Today, hybrid cloud architecture grants more flexibility and benefits to businesses in addition to many choices that augment how the business digitally operates in more ways than one.

There are many viable public cloud options now including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Tech corporates like Google and Oracle have joined the fray, presenting enterprises with many options. With so many options available, many enterprises started experimenting by combining various cloud technologies either through architectural processes or through ‘shadow IT’ where groups in an enterprise used public cloud services without explicit organizational approval. Regardless of the method adopted, many organizations today use multi cloud infrastructures.

However, managing multi cloud environments presents a lot of challenges and complexity that many organizations may struggle to tackle. With help from cloud service brokers or using cloud management tools, they can somewhat reduce the complexity though they will only be able to use a subset of features from each cloud instead.

Multi cloud management and deployment

Though multi cloud provides more flexibility, control, and security, the downside is that there would more to manage as well. The cloud may have grown out of its infancy, but multi-cloud is still relatively new. There’s so much more to explore which makes the management and deployment of multi-cloud environments a hassle despite its benefits.

Here are a few expert tips to keep in mind when adopting a multi cloud strategy for your enterprise.

  • Map the network to see where the multi cloud can fit – Different lines of businesses are best served by different cloud vendors. So it’s important to have a clear picture of your overall system and its management to figure out where the cloud can fit in and make things better.
  • Devise a flexible purchase process – To avoid cost impediments to using different cloud services from different vendors, it’s wise to come up with a purchase process that’s flexible as the cloud services that would be used. It’s also important to analyze whether each service is delivering value that’s worth its cost.
  • Use cloud management tools to keep track of costs – Cost optimization should have top priority when leveraging multi cloud for the enterprise. There are tools available that can perform accurate cost analysis of workloads when placed in different clouds.
  • Automate policy across your multi cloud ecosystem – When using multiple cloud services, especially from different vendors, an efficient approach is to have a single standard of policies. They should be applied automatically to each environment covering various areas including virtual servers, workloads, data storage, traffic etc. Such a configuration also makes it easier to apply updates so that they propagate seamlessly across the environments.

Conclusion

Public, private, hybrid, multi, pragmatic hybrid: the cloud comes in many forms today. And it’s not their names you should be focused on. The key is to understand what each offers, and learn how each benefits your enterprise. If you require help implementing the right kind of cloud strategy to your business, AoT offers our vast expertise. We can help your business get the best out of cloud computing with innovative, custom cloud solutions. Want to learn more? Give us a call.

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Organizations have already started migrating from their legacy infrastructure to the cloud on a grand scale to reduce TCO (total cost of ownership) and various other benefits. Gartner predicted that the global market for public cloud services would add up to over $245 billion by the end of 2017.

Though there is widescale adoption of the cloud, the journey is still not feasible for many organizations. Most of them rely on assistance from Cloud Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to build and manage cloud services that support their businesses while closing the service gaps.

MSPs have expertise in cloud computing, cloud storage and security, IT health monitoring, application stacks, testing, infrastructure migration, backup, recovery, and network operations. There are even ones that can develop software that significantly augments enterprise cloud services. Essentially, they ensure continuous delivery pipeline while eliminating risk factors that can delay the growth of the enterprise.

Choosing the right MSP would be the most challenging considering the fact that the task requires deep understanding of the cloud environment and the plethora of cloud optimization tools available today.

For starters, it’s wise to assess the following before on-boarding a cloud MSPs.

  • End-to-end cloud capabilities including migration, maintenance, and optimization
  • Industry-specific expertise
  • Cloud service providers in the MSP’s support ecosystem
  • Their tools and best practices

Nevertheless, on-boarding a cloud MSP to manage an enterprise cloud environment certainly provides many benefits that would nourish the organization in the long run.

Here are 5 ways how they can help an organization.

Performance Monitoring

Preventive maintenance initiatives can make all the difference in a cloud environment. For such initiatives to bear fruit, effective performance monitoring is vital. The technology may have advanced. But the cost of downtime only increased over the years. Even the advanced cloud of this age is not immune to outages. Corporate behemoths like Facebook and Amazon had experienced downtime due to various factors.

The bottomline is that effective performance monitoring can reduce such risks to a great extent. Experienced MSPs can implement proactive performance monitoring strategies which can not only reduce downtimes but also optimizes performance.

Enhanced Security

Security breaches not only cost a lot of money but also customers, not to mention defaming the brand and ruining its hard-earned reputation. With a broad, well-prepared cloud security management strategy, the organization can tackle risks and threats including outages, breaches, and data loss effectively. And doing that in-house requires hefty investments in time, money, and talents.

The smarter approach is to on-board an experienced MSP with a successful track record in developing, deploying, and managing cloud security controls. In addition, because they will be monitoring the environment, they would also be able to take the right preemptive countermeasures before the identified vulnerabilities become threats.

Disaster Management/Recovery

Even if preventing outage was a failure, the organization should have measures in place to ensure that the outage doesn’t impact business continuity. There are cloud MSPs that specialize in this particular sector. They can start by designing data centers as well as networks to be more resilient during disasters. This means minimal downtime, unruffled business continuity, and secure data.

Data Replication Management

One of the most commonly implemented cloud strategies is data replication. Data replication across multiple sites in the cloud results in optimal performance when it comes to load balancing and response time. The proactive approach also optimizes bandwidth consumption among other benefits.

However data replication is quite sophisticated. There’s a maintenance overhead involved making one more reason why executing replication management in-house is a bad idea. Outsourcing it to a capable cloud MSP can make sure data consistency is maintained during the replication process, while balancing workload and reducing latency.

Compliance

Many IT organizations are required to follow industry-specific rules and regulations for data privacy, information security and reporting. The Banking industry in particular is full of organizations riddled with a long, complex compliance checklist.

Experienced managed service providers have been in the field for a while, which makes them knowledgeable when it comes to industry-specific regulations. This means the in-house team of an organization won’t be burdened with handling compliance checks.

Conclusion

Most cloud managed services companies now provide round-the-clock reactive and proactive management services with 24/7 technical support when it comes to handling adverse circumstances. Enterprises get to choose any combination of the managed services or go for end-to-end services without taking on the liability and burden of managing cloud deployment, security or maintenance for that matter.

AoT has the technical expertise to help enterprises leverage the vast potential of the cloud, and manage the services to ensure continuous delivery pipeline and subsequently consistent growth. Drop us a message if you want to learn more about the cloud services that can augment your business.

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Most mission critical systems and processes in enterprises are now driven by software. As a matter of fact, powerful software now power mobile applications and various other digital touch points enhancing business efficiency and agility, streamlining operations, improving customer satisfaction, and presenting enterprises with new opportunities to grow.

Off-the-shelf solutions?

As soon as software started dominating, vendors popped up to cater to the trend by providing ready-made software solutions, from ERP suites to CRM applications and collaboration tools, covering pretty much all business processes. The rapid growth of cloud computing accelerated this further, giving more options for enterprises in the form pay-as-you-go cloud solutions with practically unlimited resources.

Despite being easy to set up and great performance, an off-the-shelf software is still restricted in terms of functionality and flexibility primarily due to the fact that it is designed specifically for certain scenarios to execute specific tasks. Essentially, in the present day dynamic business ecosystem, such software may leave critical gaps to core processes, leading to a counterproductive result that decelerates business growth.

Hence custom software…

A digital solution specifically tailored to cater to an enterprise, custom software are designed for specific functionalities as well, like their off-the-shelf counterparts. However, the difference is that they offer more benefits compared to the latter. Custom software is not meant for just a specific functionality. It accommodates the client’s preferences and meets their expectations required in the software.

Present day custom software development generally adopts Agile practices, build iteratively taking all hidden risks into account with an opening wide enough to add functionalities not stated in the software requirement specifications (if necessary).

Because every business is unique and runs in a fluid environment, custom software is seen as the ideal way to fit in to that uniqueness.

Custom software adoption and benefits

Enterprises, especially larger ones, use custom software for many functions including content management, human resource management, inventory management etc. Though larger enterprises adopt custom software more, it’s still a much preferred option for SMBs and startups.

Because for startups, seamless integration of the software across their critical systems, secure transactions, effective data capture for analysis etc. to name a few, are vital factors that influence their success while also facilitating proactive response to events and changing environments.

That said, to go full custom can often be quite daunting for startups. Nevertheless, the choice does bring about a number of benefits. Here are a few to take note of.

Better equipped to handle issues

For businesses, should any technical issue arise on a software they use, they’ll have to rely on ‘the IT guy’. This can be particularly challenging when they are using off-the-shelf software. If something goes wrong, they may need to seek help from experts, and then wait for the support to fix it at their convenience. This consumes funds.

When it’s a custom software they are using where they’ve taken part in the development, they would know how the software was designed to function. This means they’d be better equipped to handle problems effectively. And because it’s a custom software, the developers would be keen to respond faster so as to make sure that their product functions effectively.

Effective cost control

Off-the-shelf software come with a fixed price tag, and are generally not negotiable. There could be features in that software that a startup won’t need, but they will still have to pay for them. Or they may not get exactly what they need for that price.

However, when it comes to custom software, they pay only for what they need. The software development company can present a suitable software that fits within the budget. This amount of control over the budget also gives them the flexibility to chip in more money should they require more features or augment the ones they already get from the product.

Streamline critical processes

Even if the business cannot find an off-the-shelf software that can effectively streamline critical processes, they can have one custom made for that purpose. No matter what kind of process it is, they can have a custom software to streamline it without restrictions, and made the way exactly how they want it to be at a comparatively cheaper cost.

Update without limits

When relying on off-the-shelf software, a startup will have to wait till the vendor releases updates to sustain the software’s functionalities. This may not be the priority for the vendor as well. What if the vendor decides to stop supporting the software package out of the blue due to some reason? What if they don’t release updates when there are still bugs that need to be fixed?

This could be detrimental to a startup eyeing on rapid growth opportunities. Though there are rare exceptions to this scenario, it’s a fact that off-the-shelf software eventually ceases support.

With a custom software on the other hand, the startup itself would technically be the manufacturer. They just pay developers to craft a software they have in mind. As they won’t be relying on a specific manufacturer for updates and patches, they can continue to support the software themselves. Even if it requires hired help from tech experts, it’s still a better situation than having to rely on a single vendor who may have other priorities.

Conclusion

These are but just a few benefits of custom software for startups. A personalized software solution for startups is essentially an investment. Not a cost. It also provides startups with an easy approach to leveraging latest technologies to accelerate the growth of their business.

However, the true impact of custom software can only be realized if the developer or development company is experienced and reliable when it comes to crafting a software solution that meets enterprise requirements. Proper implementation of the software ensures the flexibility that startups require to utilize opportunities the right way.

Such a task is best outsourced to a professional development company for whom this is a core service. If you seek custom solutions that cater to your startup’s ambitions, AoT can help you out. Feel free to drop us your queries.

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AOT Technologies, Victoria BC, Canada (AOT) and Trenser Technology Solutions (P) Ltd., Trivandrum, India (Trenser) have signed a strategic partnership on 27th September 2017. This five-year agreement combines the strengths of both companies and is aimed to bring out a “one-stop solution” for software development needs of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada. This partnership offers best value to customers in Canada by providing custom business application development and product engineering capabilities together, with the help of talented engineers onsite in Canada and offshore in India.

“We have been operating in Canada for the past six years and we understand the technology needs and challenges of small and medium-sized businesses here. While we have our strengths in custom-built Enterprise Applications, this partnership adds Embedded and Software product engineering capabilities, making a more complete offering. We strongly believe this will benefit our customers in Canada”, Praveen Ramachandran, Director – Consulting Services at AOT said about this new partnership.

“We share a common vision to address the engineering needs of customers in small and medium-sized business segment. Combining our complementary skills enable us to offer services across application layers which is key to success in this era of IT and OT convergence. With Automation, IoT and, Deep Learning becomes mainstream, we are very excited about the opportunities in front of us.” said Anil Chandran, CTO of Trenser in his statement.

About AOT
AOT is an Enterprise Software services company helping organizations to rapidly scale up their software development capabilities by providing high quality distributed teams that work seamlessly with their own engineering team, to create exceptional products. AOT work with clients from vision, to deployment, operation and maintenance phases of product lifecycle.
AOT is strategically positioned as a software services company for small-to-medium size enterprises, Government Agencies as well as the vibrant startup community in Canada. AOT, a British Columbia incorporated company has its operations in British Columbia in Canada, Orlando in USA and Technopark, Trivandrum in India.

About Trenser
Trenser is a product engineering specialist company providing software development services to fulfil the technology needs of companies in the small and medium-size businesses segment. Trenser specializes in developing software products that require IoT, Device Analytics, Deep Learning, High Performance Computing and Cloud technologies. Company has its business focus in Healthcare, Industrial and Retail domains.
Operating from Technopark, Trivandrum, India, Trenser is a registered private limited company under Government of India. Company provides offshore engineering services for customers in North America and Europe.

Contacts
Trenser contact info: trenser@trenser.com
AOT contact info: info@aot-technologies.com