Technology Is Coming To Reshape Industries

Many industries have gone through, or are currently going through, a digital transformation. The rise of computers and the mobile industry have resulted in changes from the use of drones and computer generated images in cinematography to robots in manufacturing and serving of food and drinks. The three largest changes that are currently occurring include electric and autonomous vehicles, shifts in the retail department, and shifts in devices used.

Image from Shutterstock

Automotive

One of the largest industries that is currently changing is the automotive industry. Companies like Tesla and Faraday Future are making huge strides in their push for electric vehicles. Tesla recently announced their electric semi-trucks, which they claim to be faster and more convenient than their traditional gas powered counterparts. Companies such as UPS and PepsiCo have ordered a combined 225 trucks, a significant number for two large companies known for shipping products. Reuters suggests that the trend of the future of the trucking industry is turning towards electric vehicles in this article.

Furthermore, Google and Apple are competing with each other to get self driving vehicles on the road. Each company has teamed up with rental car companies Avis and Hertz, respectively. Such pairings could reshape transportation altogether, allowing for the creation of autonomous rental car services. According to Bloomberg, Apple’s focuses have shifted from designing their own cars to creating the software to make existing cars autonomous. This could then open the door for deals with major car companies to provide transportation services, as currently being utilized by Lyft and Uber.

Retail

Another major market being changed by technology is the retail market. Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world and has brought sweeping changes to retail that traditional stores have struggled to compete with. Amazon acquired Whole Foods and quickly cut prices for select food items, and added lockers for packages ordered through Amazon to be dropped off at select stores. Whole Foods products also became available to order through Amazon’s website to be delivered to a person’s home without them having to physically go to the store.

Target has acquired Shipt in a move to offer same day delivery of products to compete with Amazon, according to this Yahoo article. Business Insider has also said that Walmart has made pushes to improve its position in the realm of ecommerce to compete with Amazon, having the advantage of also having physical stores available. With these two large retailers, and the continuing rise of Amazon, online shopping and quick deliveries to the home will not be going away anytime soon.

Mobile

The biggest change to happen in recent times is the rise of mobile devices. All industries have some tie to either a mobile phone or a tablet. The phone is used to call for rides with Uber and Lyft, shop for products from Amazon, Target and Walmart, and communicate with people every hour of every day. The tablet has become more capable and is beginning to replace traditional laptops and desktop machines for getting work done since many of them have the versatility of having a keyboard for typing and a touchscreen for drawing or writing.

Tablets have also begun to be used in restaurants to replace waiters or to help waiters be more efficient at their jobs. Business Insider suggests in this article that the Ziosk tablets are being developed as viable tools, rather than gimmicks for drawing customers. These can be used to browse meal options, order food and pay for the meal in addition to playing games without needing to wait for the waiter to bring these items to you.

What Is Next?

Technology continues to improve and expand into new industries. These are the big changes today, but new industries will change in the next few years. This video offers an overview of other changes occurring to different industries today.

Hybrid Cloud – Key Benefits and Must Have Requirements

Hybrid Cloud

Gartner says by 2020, a corporate “No-Cloud” Policy will be as rare as a “No-Internet” policy is today as per this article and specifically the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market is projected to continue to grow more than 25 percent per year through 2019. This surge in cloud adoption also represents a huge shift in cloud spending by IT organizations, directly or indirectly affecting more than $1 trillion dollars in Cloud IT purchases by 2020, according to Gartner.

Hybrid Cloud
Image from Shutterstock

Of course, not every enterprise app and data bit will move fully to the cloud. To quote yet another study—this one by North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM Research—many of these deployments will be hybrid in nature. For enterprises and smaller organizations alike, it’s essential to build a cloud strategy that adopts public and private cloud resources, on-premise systems, containers, and more. Research confirms that more than half of enterprises will take this approach.

Increasing adoption of hybrid clouds makes it critical for technology leaders to strategically develop the ability to manage them, and implement cloud management capabilities to address business challenges.

Key Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud

1. The mix-and-match nature of hybrid IT solutions allow organizations to define and implement the right mix of technologies for them. Specifically deploying what they need and where they need it, is the primary benefit for this cloud model.

2. The control, familiarity and security that come with on-premise IT solutions is balanced with the flexibility, scalability and economies of scale that come with managed hosting, public cloud services. Instead of having to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, IT requirements can be delivered to exact specification and preference, by considering business size, structure, location and budget.

3. One of the key benefits of a hybrid cloud is provisioning at a lower cost and high speed (as and when required functionality of the public cloud component)

The ability to deploy to any infrastructure, of their choice, based on their needs and in an agile manner is of significance to the IT Manager. IT and DevOps especially emphasize on the ability to respond to changing business requirements by speeding up the delivery of core technology services with the flexibility to use a mix of multiple cloud models – private, hosted or public based on their security, compliance, scalability and performance needs.

Requirements from the Hybrid IT Managers

1. For operating a hybrid cloud model the underlying application, integrations and data architectures need to be revisited, sometimes tweaked, while other times overhauled. New tools for deployment, monitoring, and management are required. Managers in charge of maintaining the Hybrid IT environments, seek to ensure the availability of the complex set of skills, tools and processes needed to manage hybrid infrastructure on a consistent, global scale.

2. The management and optimization of a hybrid IT infrastructure is proving to be a challenge. While, IT teams must develop new skills to collaborate more closely, several of them would also like to leverage the skills of the experienced and expert managed technology services providers who can design and deliver optimized hybrid IT solutions at a quicker pace.

3. As enterprises adopt more and more cloud-based applications, they need to be able to provision and de-provision both apps and users fast enough to keep up with business requirements, while maintaining tight security and compliance through identity management. Managers aim to ensure data governance by restricting access to resources through RBAC mechanism where users and groups can be granted different roles and assign permissions to those roles.

4. Support for Authentication and access management methods are necessary to ensure users use their corporate accounts for Single Sign On (SSO) to enable increased visibility, auditing, and control over access to cloud resources. Whether it’s provisioning, meeting compliance requirements, or simply reducing the number of help desk calls, SSO plays an integral role in efficient enterprise IAM.

5. Regular users of infrastructure resources seek simplified orchestration and templates that allow operators to configure a server once and reuse that configuration reliable and repeatable to provision more servers. This avoids repetitive manual tasks when the DevOps staff could be adding value to the business and has the added benefit to restrict the service availability and resource types to what’s available in the stack.

6. Enterprises seek to place accountability and ownership on the cloud users by enforcing an abstract grouping mechanism like ‘Resource based Tagging’ that can be used to associate resources with a particular department or functional team.

7. Cloud resources can be spread among many cloud services making it hard to track and account. This problem is compounded with the fact that workers may engage cloud services without the IT department’s knowledge. Thus, Shadow IT is not just a risk but actual issue to deal with. The IT team should have tools to avoid shadow IT by having access to a centralized pane of glass that adheres to the first rule of data governance – to know what you have and where it is.

8. IT Managers rely on useful and timely data about the utilization statistics of cloud resources to make the decisions necessary to optimize cost and usage. They will use this information to optimize and find the “best execution venues” for cloud workloads by weighing factors like performance, reliability, cost and security and then matching appropriate solutions to enterprise priorities.

9. Enterprise seek automated policies, rules and schedulers to keep costs from spiraling up, by automatically shutting down QA and Dev servers outside of business hours or terminating un-used volumes to reduce costs, and automatically right sizing the VMs based on their monitored utilization. Automated alerts and notifications about authorization failures, budget overruns, cost spikes, un-tagged infrastructure result in increased visibility and accountability to the Enterprise stakeholders.

10. Stakeholder need to access Dashboards with real-time actionable data. The visibility gained into the cloud consumption patterns enables analysis in terms of the cost implications, usage trends, performance thresholds, and security implications. This provides managers with an opportunity to evaluate and optimize the infrastructure across multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

11. Finally, organizations require automated IT showback and chargeback capabilities that provide timely, accurate transparency into how your IT resources are being consumed, who’s consuming them, and at what cost – all rolled up into a single bill of IT.

If the above needs of the Hybrid IT are addressed, then Enterprises can realize not only IT cost savings and efficiencies, but also overall business growth objectives, and increased agility and innovation by leverage the flexible scalability of public clouds, along with the security and control of their own private infrastructure.

Top 6 Online Marketing Tips that Small Businesses can Leverage Today

Planning to implement digital marketing for the first time for a new business can be an overwhelming experience. This is because of the appealing nature of several diverse ways to do so. Today, there exists a multitude of strategies and even places to market your business. Considering the existence of a huge number of strategies and approaches, the chosen ones when coupled with other ideas take no time to proliferate out of control.

Image from Shutterstock

Above all, it can be challenging to pick up a marketing method, especially for a small business with limited resources including a petite budget. So, how these businesses can opt for an affordable yet effective online marketing campaign? Well, for them, here are some most effective tips that they can leverage today!

Beware of One-Sided Internet Marketing Tips

Those who have been going through several online marketing tips might have noticed a common inclination: Driving their ideas towards the upcoming great technique. For example, many posts would incline you towards social media marketing. Well, while it has its own important role to play in fulfilling the marketing goals, it is not the only technique to rely upon.

It is a universal fact to know and accept that no single technique can perform in the way to achieve what you want. In fact, you require SMART goals, a plan with rational steps, and cyclic methods all performing in coordination with each other.

Thus, do not get attracted towards just one such present or future technique. Consider finding a solid strategy, becoming acquainted with its individual components, and implementing them consistently.

Be In with Customer-centric Innovation

Why wait for those most awaited hits by sending an ad message to everyone? Why not attract the right people instead? Through inbound marketing, a small business can harness the power of interaction with those having strong referrals.

Whether old or new, customers expect value in advertising via content that can pull them in. The outcome is realized in the form of committed followers who then soon become leads without increasing the marketing cost.

Get Out of Futile Means

Several media of outbound marketing are now old and futile. Media such as TV ads, prints, and direct e-mails are becoming less effective as more people are turning towards digital sources. Subscriptions through newspapers are declining, TV viewers are skipping ads by changing channels, and direct e-mails directly go to trash.

This is because consumers now have full control of how they can obtain or view your marketing initiatives. Thus, it is better to customize these initiatives to fulfil their desires and requirements.

Go Digitally Social

This is perhaps the most affordable tip, as all social platforms are mostly free yet highly effective in pulling customers. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are great platforms for small businesses to form an appealing online presence.

According to Mike Volpe who is the Hubspot’s CMO, “if a small business is not using social media, it’s time to start. It produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing or direct mail.”

For getting started, consider selecting just one or two platforms through which you can best interact with the targeted market segments. Share-worthy items, which the platform users will feel like sharing them with their network members. Take the advantage of visual content such as infographics or photos with testimonials.

No Rewrite – Just Repurpose!

If customer is the market’s king, then the content is the marketing king. It simply gets better leads! A good post can be expanded to a how-to guide, packed with an e-book, shortened with infographics, and squeezed into a collection of videos. No matter which of these revamping ideas you choose, each of them gives a chance to reach new customers and form brand awareness.

Build Self Expertize

Consider becoming an expert by making yourself to learn to grow and compete with the big brands. This can seem somewhat overwhelming but there is always a scope of expanding your own knowledgebase and implement the same to build trust.

Internet is a great teacher! Just browse some marketing forums, blogs, and expert sites that tell you about the recent trends, dos and don’ts, strategies, and more. By offering useful content, freebies, webinars, and nicely searched e-books, it shall take no time for your business to be popular.

Original Source

Your CEO Dashboard: A 5-Point Sanity Check

CEO dashboard for business model

Hold all calls! Lock the office door! And if you can still find that link, open your CEO dashboard. Now let's take a 5-Point KPI Sanity Check

The most important dashboard in an organization is the one on the CEO’s mobile phone or desktop. Other dashboards may provide insight into critical issues: financial health, marketing spend, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and much more.

But the CEO’s dashboard tells the story of the company’s business model.

The key performance indicators here are vital signs that indicate how well the business model itself is functioning – and they provide predictive and actionable insights into future challenges and growth.

This article provides a five-point sanity check for your own CEO dashboard. Lock the door, hold your calls, and open up your current dashboard.

Let’s take a sober, 5-point inspection to see if the tool you are currently using truly gives you the necessary perspective on your business.

#1 Are Your Vital Signs Actually Vital?

No matter where you go in the world, a visit to the doctor starts with the same critical measurements: blood pressure, weight, sugar and oxygen levels, blood work. It is not even uncommon for a doctor to inquire about psychological well-being, if subtly. They know what to look for first.

Your dashboard should provide this same “vital sign” approach to your business model. It should show you where your organization is healthy and where it might be getting sick.

The KPIs on your dashboard should be so closely aligned to the structure of your business that they can be used to “prove” its health or wellness.

If the measurements on your dashboard are extraneous to this, they shouldn’t be there. If you measure too much, you measure nothing.

A useful exercise is to imagine your business going sideways. Mentally break it.

Explore a failing value proposition, channel breakdowns, employee dissatisfaction, angry partners, AR nightmares, and more. Would your current dashboard show you – in advance – that there’s something amiss?

Now imagine your business thriving. Mentally grow it.

What current indicators would show you – in advance of revenue impact – that you are both growing and healthy.

Are there KPIs on your dashboard that are extraneous to both failure and threat?

  1. Are your vital signs actually vital?
  2. Do you have KPIs that aren’t related to the function of the business model?
  3. Are there KPIs that wouldn’t budge with either success or failure?
  4. Would historical problems have been visible with your current dashboard?

CEO Dashboard Shows the Business Model

#2 Build KPIs on Causes, not Effects

On your CEO dashboard, focus on your business model. Too often there is an overkill on financials. Focus on causes not effects. You can only control the former.

Your business model embodies the mechanics of your value proposition. It describes the parts of your system that produce value and highlights the key relationships, activities and resources required to deliver that value.

A dashboard with the effects of your activity only shows you a story of the past. You can have great revenues and margins and still be sick. It’s necessary to have actionable insights into the levers of value creation and the causes of friction in relationships, costs, and more.

You work in a landscape of constant and ever-increasing disruption. Don’t busy your executive dashboard with instrumentation that doesn’t show you the one thing you own alone as CEO: the power and trade-offs of your business model.

  1. Does your dashboard provide you with predictive, actionable insight into your business model?
  2. Do you have KPIs that are solely focused on financial outcomes?
  3. Do you have measures that generate strong feelings – but provide no route to clear actions?

A Business Model Is as Healthy as the Value It Creates in Human Relationships

#3 Measure the Value and Friction in Your Business Model’s Relationships

A well-constructed business model conceptually describes how value is created for customers, employees, channel partners and, in some cases, vendors.

But a business model is only as healthy as the value it creates in human relationships. Customers leave. Employees leave. Partners get frustrated and quit. Sooner or later everyone votes with their feet.

And when there are people problems, there are business model problems.

Does your current dashboard give you insight into the health of your relationships?

Can you measure the inherent friction points in these relationships?

  1. Does your dashboard show the health of the relationships in your business model?
  2. Have you paid enough historical attention to relationships to have them included in your current dashboard?
  3. If not, why not? Haven’t relationship problems already impacted the health of your business?

#4 Align Your Value Proposition to Your Relationships

As CEO, you own the value propositions for customers, employees and partners.

In absence of a clearly defined value proposition for these relationships, a marketing department might invent something on your behalf.

Most company websites contain generic value proposition language around customers and employees. These descriptions are often barely recognizable to the parties involved. These generic descriptions obscure the real value in the relationships you do have.

But real relationships and true differentiating value come with trade-offs. Business models need to account for these trade-offs and the friction they generate.

Do your website descriptions of customer and employee value pass your own sniff test for accuracy?

Most importantly, do your customers, employees and partners agree with the value proposition you describe? Do they care about the problem you say you’re solving for them? Or do you provide some hidden value that you may not even be measuring?

The key point here is to identify relationship value and friction directly from the parties involved – and then monitor and maximize it.

And are you currently listening closely – and frequently – enough to measure your relationships on your current CEO dashboard?

  1. Do your KPIs speak to value from the point of view of your customer, your employee, your partner?
  2. Do your website descriptions of value pass the sniff test?
  3. Are you clear on the value you create – and don’t create in your organizational relationships?

Does your CEO dashboard provide you with predictive, actionable insights into your business model?

#5 Can You Explain Your Business Model to Your Rank and File

As the CEO, you own the entire business model: its structure, its tradeoffs, its innovations, its differentiated activities. 

It is your burden and, hopefully, delight to evangelize the value your model creates through relationships, processes and systems.

It is the story of your business.

When this story is told well – and often – even your rank and file employees can describe it back to you. Everyone “gets it.

Only when there is alignment on how the organization creates value (and friction) can there be alignment on the KPIs to measure it.

Without clarity on what really matters, every team member pulls in the direction of their immediate concerns. Which is why a CEO dashboard created by committee can be such a squandered opportunity.

So, here’s a final set of questions for you. For these you don’t even need to look at your current dashboard.

  1. Right now, if somebody asked, could you describe your business model on a single whiteboard?
  2. Similarly, if you asked your top managers to describe your business model, would you be satisfied with what you hear? Is it worth checking?
  3. Or do you need more time to help develop and tell your story?

In short, building actionable and effective executive dashboards has never been easy, but a strict focus on the function of the business model will help guide the process and ensure the data investment has a tangible return.

Other relevant SmartData Collective Business Model Articles:

Can You Create a New Business Model Based on Big Data?

BCG’s Value Creators Report Shows How Software Is Driving New Business Models

 

10 Biggest Cyber Attacks in History

Cyber attacks, also known as computer network attacks (CNA), are deliberate exploitations of your computer system or of an enterprise or network that’s dependent on technology. They use malicious code to disrupt your computer. This results in cyber crimes including compromised data and identity theft. There are three types – worms, viruses, and trojans.

Image from Shutterstock

Worms

Computer worms are standalone malware computer programs that replicate itself before spreading to other computers. They use computer networks to spread themselves when they find a security failure they can access. Throughout history, there have been two very well-known worms. These include:

1. The Morris Worm was launched on November 2, 1988. It was written by Robert Tappan, a graduate student at Cornell University. This is one of the first worms that was distributed online. It resulted in $96.5 million worth of damage.

2.  Cabir was the first mobile worm. Launched in 2004 in displayed the message “Caribe” on any phone it infected. It was disguised as a program that was meant to “protect” your phone. Known as the Caribe Security Manager, users had to install this special file themselves. The creator of this worm also tried infecting phones via their Bluetooth technology.

Trojans

Trojan horses, shortened and commonly called Trojans, are malware that’s disguised as legitimate software. Cyber thieves and hackers use these to gain access to a person’s computer. This person is typically tricked through some type of social engineering to load and execute the Trojan on their computer.

The most popular Trojan appeared in 2007. This is when Facebook users received several photo messages redirecting them to sites that were infected with the Zeus virus. It then intercepted a person’s registration data so they could steal money from customers who had accounts with some of the leading banks in Europe.

With Zeus trojan analysis you can detect this virus, which is beneficial to your business. This is good news since this is a nasty Trojan that botnet operators throughout the world still use in criminal operations today. In fact, this is the engine that drives Kneber, which recently made worldwide headlines.

What’s interesting about the Zeus infection is it never reaches their computer in a way that users recognize. In fact, most people don’t even know it’s there until law enforcement or vigilant service providers reach out and warn them about it. Nevertheless, Zeus is really persistent when it wants to get a hold of a server.

In fact, when Zeus doesn’t find the DNS name of the control server the bot will then rapidly ping all the servers nearby. Sometimes it generates more than a dozen requests within only a few seconds. So, this really is a persistent Trojan, unlike many of the other Trojans in existence today. This is why it’s so important to understand how this one works so you can arm yourself to fight it off and make sure your computer isn’t affected.

Viruses

Computer viruses are malicious software programs, shortened and more commonly called “malware.” When it’s executed it replicates itself and modifies other computer programs. Essentially, this means it inserts its own code into either data files or the hard drive’s “boot” sector. Some of the well-known viruses throughout history include:
1.  Chernobyl (also known as “Chih” or CIH) is the first malicious program that could damage a computer’s hardware. This epidemic first appeared in June 1998 and has continued ever since.

2.  In March 1999 the Melissa virus was the first malicious code spread by email. It disrupted the work of several large companies’ mail servers. The way the virus spread caused a lot of emails to become affected resulting in a major increase in the processing of messages. This meant that everything either slowed down or completely came to a halt. Ultimately, this resulted in about $80 million worth of damage.

3.  In 2000 the Mafiaboy virus began spreading throughout the Internet servers of many major companies. This was a full-scale, distributed denial of service (DdoS) attack that affected many well-known sites, including Yahoo, Amazon, Dell, eBay, and CNN. All of this resulted in about $1.2 billion of damage and it all started by a Canadian high school student.

4.  Originally, in 2010, StuxNet was used by the military as a cyber weapon to disarm Iran’s nuclear facilities. It attacked the industrial systems that controlled its production processes. Since it was able to physically destroy this infrastructure, about 20% of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges suffered.

5.  In 2014 the Lazarus virus was unleashed and created to a large-scale leak of Sony Pictures employees’ personal information, including emails and films they hadn’t released yet. This amounted to about $100 million in losses, $83 million of which were the result of movies the company was in the process of preparing for rental. Many people believe that this attack was caused by Lazarus – a cyber group that’s associated with North Korea’s government.

6.  In December 2016 the Industroyer virus was released in Kiev. It was specifically designed to attack energy companies and cause power failures. This virus used three legitimate communication protocol: power engineering, transport management, and water supply. Consequently, hackers don’t need to do a preliminary search for a network’s vulnerabilities.

7.  In May 2017 the famous virus-encryptor, WannaCry, was deployed in 150 countries worldwide. This led to an attack on 200,000 computers running the Windows operating system and about $1 billion in damage. It worked by encrypting a hard disk’s contents. Once this happened there was a demand made for $300 to decrypt the contents again.

Fortunately, British IT expert Marcus Hutchins neutralized this “extortion virus.” What’s interesting though is that two months afterward the police arrested and charged him with spreading a different virus, Kronos, through which many cyber-fraudsters were able to successfully steal bank card data.

It’s interesting to note how many different types of cyber attacks actually highlight history today. Knowing a little about them truly helps with your understanding of what a virus, Trojan, and worm are. Armed with this information, you’re better prepared to watch out for them. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with them invading your computer and causing you problems though.

6 Steps to Getting an App Made for Your Business

apps for business

Nowadays, every business needs to have an app. However, building your own app from scratch can be an intimidating prospect. To make the process simpler, follow the steps below.

apps for business
Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By everything possible

1. Figure Out Why Your Business Needs an App

The first step you should take when getting an app made for your business is to determine why your business needs an app. It could be for your business overall or a single project. Most of the time, businesses implement apps to track their employee’s timesheets and work, build an inventory, create expense reports, and organize service requests. You can progress to the next step of the process, which is identifying what kind of data you want to import into your app.

2. Figure Out What Kind of Data You Want the App to Collect

After you figure out what you want your business’s app to do, you need to then find out what kind of data it has to collect. For example, if you want to record spreadsheets, not that it has to import that kind of data to your developer.

3. Choose if You Want an In-House or Freelance Developer

It is often one of the hardest choices to make when getting an app made for your business. However, choosing whether you want an in-house app developer or remote-working freelance developer. Usually, It’s easier to hire an in-house developer, but freelancers are often cheaper. Also, if your business doesn’t have an office, having a developer that works remotely will be convenient for your situation. You also have the option to use rapid application development tools, which build the framework for your company’s app very quickly and easily.

4. Test Out Your App

For the lucky few that chose to go with an in-house developer, your app can be shared with a few people to collect both data and feedback to test and improve the app before it launches. It can also solve any bugs in the system before too many people get their hands on the new app. When testing out your app, you should make sure it is completely functional and doesn’t lack any features. Now is also a great time to make sure the app meets your criteria.

5. Make Your App Official

Now that your app is finally done, you can finally deploy it to your staff and make it official! You can send out an email or text links to your employees or put it on the iOS and Android app store. Make sure your developer puts security on the app to protect users from hacks and viruses. Also, your developer should be able to link the app to a cloud provider. Which can help you manage control of your business’s app.

6. Start Planning Your Next App Project

Just because your current app is finished and functional among your employees doesn’t mean that you or your developer’s work is done. There’s always room for improvement, so it’s time to start planning your next app model. This step usually involves meeting with your app developer or talking to them. If they’re working remotely to underline the benefits and flaws of the app and how to fix that. Fortunately, you can use your employees as app testers for new app models you share.

Creating an app for your business is a long, enduring process that takes time, money, and effort. Hopefully, with the help of our guide, we could simplify the process for you to help you get started on an app for your business. Even though it may sound complicated at first, once you define what kind of app you need and consult a developer, your app will be off the ground in no time!

American Tech Startups Are Flocking to These Cities

american tech-startups

Silicon Valley is no longer large enough to house all the promising technology startups that are being nurtured by entrepreneurs across the United States. The migration of tech startups away from Silicon Valley began in the early 21st century, right at the peak of the Dot-Com Bubble era on Wall Street, when internet companies set up offices in the Boston and New York metropolitan areas. In recent years, new tech firms extended the boundaries of Silicon Valley by moving to San Francisco, but this created a saturation problem that devolved into a very high cost of living.

Scientific and technological innovation does not have to be confined to Silicon Valley; in fact, tech entrepreneurs and venture capital investors are convinced that success can be found in burgeoning metropolitan areas that are home to research centers and skilled workforces. With the right mix of reasonable cost of living and quality of life, tech entrepreneurs are bound to follow. Here are five American cities where this trend is developing:

american tech-startups
Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Alexander Supertramp

Salt Lake City

According to a 2016 report published by Inc. magazine, venture capital activity in the Salt Lake City and Ogden metro area of Utah was estimated to have brought 16 deals for a total of $275 million; this works out to an average of $17.2 million per deal. In the Provo and Orem metro area, the average tech startup funding in 2016 was $51.3 million. Salt Lake City and Provo are now locked in a Beehive State battle to attract the biggest tech companies; Provo is home to Novell, but Salt Lake City is home to dozens of biotechnology startups.

South Florida

This large metropolitan region is sunny, diverse and a major tourist magnet, but its tech scene has somehow flown below the radar for many decades. In the ritzy city of Boca Raton, the first prototype of the IBM Personal Computer (PC) was designed in 1981; about ten years later in nearby Fort Lauderdale, virtual computing giant Citrix opened its first offices while Alienware, the renowned gaming hardware brand, operated from a warehouse in Miami. The South Florida advantage is its strong connection to Latin America and its multicultural workforce.

Austin

Financial news giant CNBC often mentions Austin as the best American city for tech entrepreneurs due to its extremely reasonable cost of living. Tech professionals looking for affordable rent payments and cheap insurance quotes should strongly consider moving to Austin, where hundreds of tech firms, many of them dedicated to health sciences, are constantly hiring.

The salaries in this city may not be as enticing as they are in San Francisco, but the quality of life and the low cost of settling down are very attractive. Entrepreneurs who need to hire skilled professionals should take into account that the University of Texas at Austin boasts impressive enrollment and graduation rates.

Los Angeles

Although Southern California may not be as affordable as Austin or Salt Lake City, the vast talent pool in this region keeps attracting tech firms, particularly those that are dedicated to video game development, internet security and computer graphics imaging. Los Angeles is also home to many venture capital firms that have connection to Asian investors, which means more opportunities for funding.

Chicago

The Windy City has always enjoyed solid employment levels in the industrial sector; over the last few years, however, the tech sector has considerably increased its hiring pace because the numerous financial services companies in Chicago are now investing in tech startups. As the headquarters of the Obama Foundation, Chicago is bound to see a lot of tech activity in the near future, particularly in the fields of e-learning and social development.

In the end, tech entrepreneurs should not feel as if moving to Silicon Valley is their only shot at success. The five tech hubs listed herein offer certain advantages over Silicon Valley that should not be ignored.