In traditional software development, enterprise teams tackle security of applications and mitigation of risks towards the end of the application development lifecycle. Due to this, security and compliance issues almost always lead to delayed product releases or worse, release of applications with some security weak points. Adopting cloud and data platforms further add new security complexities and the need for thorough infrastructure assessment. DevOps has changed the way we look at software development and has made us rethink security. It helps teams with faster application development and deployment while new features of cloud and data platforms now form the basis of DevOps. Reducing vulnerability and securing all cloud applications should be part of your DevOps best practices and strategy.

Security Essentials for Integrating DevOps with Cloud

Below are a few top strategies to help you integrate DevOps practices and computing features to improve security of D&A applications on cloud.

  1. Secure DevOps Development Practices

    DevOps principles with well-defined security criteria and design specifications help enterprises define a secure architectural framework for current and future applications or services. Multi-factor authentication (MFA), securing data in transit, and continuous threat monitoring are essential. Teams who implement threat modeling within DevOps are well equipped with insight into behaviors, actions, and situations that can cause security breaches. This helps to analyze potential threats in advance and plan for mitigation by creating a secure architecture. For security testing, teams can include vulnerabilities assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) as systems are created, as well as when they go live.

    With respect to DevOps, Infocepts’ best practices include the most up-to-date security features, security testing, and continuous threat and vulnerability monitoring. Exercising these practices, we’ve helped global clients transform their data infrastructure and security.

  2. Choose a Secure Cloud Infrastructure

    Secure deployment is crucial for enterprise data systems, pipelines, and performance indicators. Consulting with a data analytics and cloud specialist is important to help you select the right infrastructure. Your cloud platform and its architecture should include built-in security vulnerabilities and patch management to streamline team workflows. Post platform selection, the cloud infrastructure should be regularly analyzed to detect security threats and readiness criteria. Your DevOps strategy should include assessment of all cloud services and related security sections. Active security monitoring must assess programs or software before they are implemented.

    The Infocepts cloud migration solution has helped multiple clients implement cloud-native security and compliance for their technology stacks. We have helped them get full visibility into cloud misconfigurations, discover cloud resources and sensitive data, and to identify cloud threats.

  3. Go Serverless

    Large, serverless applications amount to a collection of smaller functions located in stores. As they are smaller and cloud based, risk from long-term security threats or attacks is reduced — as are network threats in yesterdays’ data centers, virtual servers, databases, and overall network configuration. Serverless computing development lets DevOps concentrate on code creation and deployment rather than taking care of security vulnerabilities within applications.

    Infocepts’ cloud migration solution has helped a US media company go serverless, thereby resulting in improved application security. Serverless cloud technology has provided our client with reduced operational, and infrastructure overhead costs coupled with overall improved performance.

There are other important factors and best practices which should be considered by DevOps teams for improving security of their applications and infrastructure. Secure application development delivers improved automation across the product delivery chain, prevents errors, minimizes risk and downtime, and enhances further security integration in the cloud environment. Cloud migration is essential to incorporating security protocols into day-to-day operations; thus companies become increasingly more secure by design. Infocepts’ solutions—embracing modern DevOps practices—can help you implement a robust cloud infrastructure.

Interested to Know More? Check our Advisory Note

Our advisory note helps DevOps and cloud professionals understand important things to consider while integrating DevOps practices with cloud features in order to improve overall security, cloud operations, process automation, auto-provisioning of cloud services and more.

Get your copy of key strategies for enterprises to ensure secure DevOps in the cloud.

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Post-pandemic, the increase in consumer demand presents once-in-a-generation opportunities to retail industry players. In 2021, retail sales1 increased 14.1%—the highest growth in the past two decades. US consumers spent more than $1 trillion on retail products as compared to 2020. And this increase seems to be continuing.

Capitalizing on Top Retail Trends – The D&A Scope

Leveraging post-pandemic changes in consumer behavior and expectations requires retailers to innovate data-powered product and processes. Here we present a roundup of retail industry trends and how data and analytics (D&A) initiatives can support them.

Invest in Retail AI Solutions to Improve your Digital Presence

A strong online presence is essential today, whether a business is service-based, brick-and-mortar, or strictly ecommerce. A 2020 eMarketer study2 reports that we spend nearly eight hours each day doing digital activities. Today out of the total retail sales, online retail and ecommerce accounts for about 19% while cutting-edge technology further accelerates online sales.

Retail AI solutions are redefining face-to-face communication and selling. The future for ecommerce looks increasingly more promising as multiple players enter the space and expand their global presence. And compared to traditional retail businesses, it’s easier for companies to scale online while realizing low associated costs.

From a consumer angle, 69% of new buyers came from Asia Pacific in 2020. One US fashion retailer sought to expand its business there, as well as in Europe and the Middle East. Infocepts helped it elevate eCommerce sales with a cloud-native, sales intelligence platform it then rolled out in 53 countries. Providing real-time insights to all its sales associates, the company’s new, data-driven solution helped it generate an additional revenue stream of $50 million plus.

Provide Omni-Channel Experience by Lowering Time-to-Insights

Customer behavior is changing, with their expectations being higher than ever. Easy access to information, multiple buying options, and rapid technological advancements provide them with more ways to shop online. An omni-channel approach focuses on improving the consumer experience while engaging them via more platform options. Infocepts has helped many companies worldwide to implement D&A solutions based on modern retail business, selling, and product strategies. These include:

  • BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store)
  • BOSS (buy online, ship to store)
  • View in your room (with the help of virtual reality apps)
  • Try before you buy

While consumers shop from the comfort of their homes, a unified, omnichannel experience can come as close as possible to that of a brick-and-mortar store. It all starts with your enterprise having a single source of data. Such coordinated handling of data, insights, and the market scenario enables it to quickly respond to changing customer behavior.

Wrestling with its legacy data system and lack of real-time analytics, one retailer was challenged while executing such a strategy. Upon engaging Infocepts, we rejuvenated its omnichannel operations with real-time data integration by way of our reusable Real-Time Data Streamer (RTDS) accelerator, which fast-tracks real-time intelligence for clients. Our solution quickly optimized inventory, shipping, order fulfilment, and workforce management for the client’s distribution center, reducing its costs by $3.6 million in three years.

Navigate Workforce Shortage Proactively with Best-in-Class Analytics

COVID-19 sent massive disruptions through global markets and workforces, with 87% of retailers reporting recruiting difficulties in 2021. The combination of rising customer expectations, heavier work demands on associates, and the new ways of working post-pandemic have changed how retailers are able to fulfill their staffing needs. Data and analytics can address such challenges by –

  1. Analyzing historical workforce data
  2. Predicting future needs to better match customer demand with real-time decisions

Another of our clients had issues with scheduling, staffing, and payroll management in its global retail locations due to limited visibility across workforce management data points. We helped the client improve efficiency and productivity by integrating its workforce management with store operations data. This helped optimize daily operations, and a variety of metrics and dashboards improved staffing, scheduling, and payroll management across its worldwide locations.

Optimise Inventory Planning with Real-Time Analytics

Post-pandemic, big retailers rushed to build up inventories amidst soaring consumer demand and supply chain bottlenecks—in some cases going so far as to rent their own cargo ships. Shortly thereafter companies tried selling off excess inventory. In the US, inventories rose $44.8 billion for companies on S&P consumer indexes; retailers were paying more for storage while prices of goods dropped.

Today, real-time, data-driven decisions enable companies to revamp their supply chain by achieving speed and accuracy in inventory management. During changing customer demand and other external trade factors, Infocepts helped another retailer exercise real-time decision making for inventory planning. Including multiple leading and lagging indicators, our solution integrated real-time data along with consumer behavior to predict demand.

Be Agile with Data-driven Intelligence at Every Step

Data-driven decision making is essential for growth and strategic planning in any organization. But simply using data is not enough. Agility—the ability to quickly react amidst constant change within your decision-making framework—is also critical for success.

For example, Amazon Go (still in beta), uses 3D camera technology and RFID3 to automatically detect which products customers are picking up, permitting them to leave the store without a formal checkout process.

The following technology innovations are already in use (or in beta):

  • Cameras and Wi-Fi measure the flow of instore traffic, thus helping retailers schedule their workforce.
  • Augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) coupled with eye tracking can predict how customers react to retail displays. This helps to position products better so as to increase sales.
  • AI for retail operations includes customer analysis, demand prediction, inventory optimization, and competitive research to help companies stay ahead through data-driven decision making.
  • Robots as sales assistants, drone deliveries, smart mirrors, devices with voice-based search, and digital beacons combine to provide cost savings while enhancing the shopping experience.

Armed with real-time data analytics, retailers will be able to act more quickly, test multiple concepts, and constantly improve sales and customer experience with agility.

Infocepts recently collaborated with Neumont College of Computer Science in Salt Lake City to implement Power BI reporting and its functionalities using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. It lets users see product data in the 3D HoloLens world. Read about it here: Rethink Retail Analytics with Real Time Data.

Promote Interoperability with Evolving Industry Standards

For systems to be interoperable, they must be able to exchange data and present it in a way that is easily understood by users. Data interoperability is extremely important for growth in retail. The fusion of multiple data points offers huge value in operational insights and the ability to create collaborative workflows to improve process efficiencies. Organizations that use data to accelerate growth realize a faster ROI from multiple investment areas within their business.

A well-known global research firm offers a comprehensive view of consumers and the market through analytics to hundreds of its client retailers and packaged-goods manufacturers. But due to multiple legacy and out-of-the-box reporting tools within its infrastructure, its challenge was to streamline insights to provide a consistent user experience. Infocepts helped it create a unified portal to access 200+ analytical insights across 30+ applications.

The centralized portal enhanced data interoperability to improve overall effectiveness of its analytics ecosystem. After just three months, the company realized 50% higher engagements and interactions with data insights.

To remain competitive and excel, today’s retailers require help from strategic D&A experts. Infocepts helps them establish data interoperability, resulting in a single source of truth for organizational decision making.

Take Advantage of New-Age Retail Trends

The post-pandemic retail surge and rush to find innovative ways to better manage customer expectations will continue for many more years. Retailers who use data assets to transform their products, services, and business model will thrive. In order to accomplish this, you must promote a culture of data-driven decision making, prioritize D&A investments, and closely monitor your ROI. Partnering with Infocepts—a specialized D&A consultant that is highly rated by industry leaders, has deep technological expertise, and comes with a broad spectrum of reusable solutions—can prepare you to address your today’s challenges while preparing you for tomorrow’s.

Want to learn more? Talk to us to accelerate your retail transformation with a data-driven strategy and cutting edge solutions to improve your business outcomes and customer experience.

References:

  1. https://nrf.com/blog/4-things-retailers-need-to-know-inflation
  2. https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/us-adults-added-1-hour-of-digital-time-2020
  3. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/how-amazon-go-probably-makes-just-walk-out-groceries-a-reality/
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Data is a valuable asset in this hyperconnected digital age; the world is producing more of it than ever before. Each day, 2.5 quadrillion bytes of data is generated by internet users alone. Data-driven intelligent automation is essential in making sense of this enormous amount of information. It helps enterprises transform data analytics and unlock new growth opportunities to stay ahead. And it helps you draw more value from your data to make profitable decisions.

If used correctly, data-driven intelligent automation enables enterprises to achieve unprecedented efficiency, speed, and results. It also enables businesses to accelerate ROI from their data and analytics investments.

What is data-driven intelligent automation?

Data-driven automation differs from process-driven automation. The latter directs automation such that it can’t veer from a predetermined direction. Humans need to intervene whenever an exception (an assigned task that doesn’t fit the established pathway) is detected.

Often described as being an initial digital transformation step, a process-driven system is limited to automating repetitive tasks. Being easy to implement and manage, it lets organizations automate simple processes within a few weeks, such that they quickly realize time and cost savings, improvements in accuracy, and efficiency gains. Thus it is widely used in delivering physical products, streamlining customer services, and managing financial resources. But process-driven automation has significant limitations.

Evolving from process-driven systems, data-driven technology is a more complex form of intelligent automation. It’s more powerful in handling intricate processes because it’s guided by both data and context.

A data-driven system combines robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that includes deep learning (DL), natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), decision-making engines, and deductive and prescriptive analytics. High-quality data is central to data-driven automation because the AI learns from it to enhance processes.

A data-driven approach automates processes much quicker and more precisely than process-driven systems. It can also span multiple systems and data silos. Unlike process-driven automation, advanced AI empowers it to process unstructured data and engage neurological judgement which uses human-like, judgment-based interactions.

More importantly, a data-driven approach can automate non-repetitive processes, thus increasing the scope of automatable processes across an enterprise. It can automate tasks that previously had to be performed by humans. And it makes RPA smarter, enabling it to engage in processes that don’t follow prearranged pathways.

Why should organizations embrace data-driven automation?

Adopting data-driven intelligent automation can help businesses accelerate their ROI from data and analytics investments. It can:

  • Reduce the incidence of manual errors
  • Cut down on human resource spending
  • Increase analytics speed
  • Improve big data analysis
  • Allow data scientists to generate new insights to guide business decisions

The data-driven approach simplifies and speeds up insight generation by automatically analyzing massive volumes of streaming data and quickly identifying patterns. It accelerates the data preparation process, automates report generation, and empowers users to make data-driven decisions.

Additionally, it makes it easier to share findings with multiple stakeholders across the organization. Quick access to reliable insights ensures key users can ultimately drive transformation projects and the business.

Data-driven intelligent automation offers high-value and unique use cases—from predictive analytics and customer engagement to product optimization. What follows are a few key benefits derived from its adoption.

Faster insights yields profitable decisions – Speed is a crucial differentiator in any competitive market. Real-time insights are essential for successfully launching new products or improving services. Data-driven intelligent automation can make sense of large amounts of variables and metrics pulled from multiple sources. Because the full data value chain is automated, users can access meaningful insights from raw data as it arrives, thus helping teams to take timely and profitable actions. For example, it’s particularly useful in managing marketing campaigns, insurance and financial contracts, fraud management, healthcare processes, and more.

Boost productivity – From data preparation to visualization, it can take a lot of time to manage data lifecycles. Automation can significantly reduce this effort, freeing up your data science teams to concentrate on vital issues and core business areas. It eliminates complexities related to monitoring ever-changing variables. And it makes it much easier for users to interpret data, find hidden patterns, spot minute anomalies, and uncover complex insights often missed by manual approaches.

Reduce costs – Because it reduces time spent on data preparation, analysis, and modeling, data-driven automation results in significant savings. SaaS-based platforms enable businesses to quickly scale data analytics without having to make large investments in building and managing AI capabilities in-house.

Intelligent automation by Infocepts

Data-driven systems are better at empowering businesses to take full advantage of intelligent automation. Hence new-age companies use data-driven automation to elevate customer experiences, improve processes, prevent waste and fraud in the industry.

While other modernization endeavors are ongoing, many organizations find it challenging to embrace data-driven intelligent automation within the limitations of their IT ecosystem. Infocepts can help. We design intelligent services to automate complex use cases and deliver autonomous insights to users having an immediate need. It leverages cutting-edge technologies—including AI, NLP, ML, natural language generation, computer vision, RPA, hyper automation, and low code—to deliver intelligent services that work perfectly un concert with user-driven demands.

Learn more about Infocepts data-driven intelligent automation solution and how it helps organizations reimagine their operating models and service delivery using AI and ML.

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As seen on PRWEB

MCLEAN, VA. (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 04, 2022

Infocepts, a global leader in end-to-end data & analytics solutions, today announced that it has been awarded the prestigious ISO/IEC 27001 2013 certification to its state-of-the-art centres in US, India, Singapore, and Canada. The company-wide ISO 27001 certification affirms that Infocepts has the right information security approach to effectively manage sensitive organizational and client information.

ISO 27001 is an information security management standard, published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that defines the requirements for ISMS (Information Security Management System) and provides guidelines to organizations for effectively managing the security of assets.

Being certified on this global standard shows Infocepts’ commitment to information security and its significant investments in infrastructure and processes to ensure security of all assets. Infocepts has implemented modern technical and organizational safeguards to manage and mitigate information security risks, ensure stable operations, and protect information assets. Infocepts obtained this certification after a series of audits and rigorous checks.

“At Infocepts, information security is serious business and considered a corporate value. In an era of rampant data breaches, unauthorized access, and other disruptive data security threats, a technology business cannot fail to have proper security controls in place to deliver trustworthy products and services”, said Rajendra Jodhpurkar, Chief Information Officer at Infocepts “We have invested considerable efforts in transforming our 3 pillars i.e., people, process, and technology to enhance our long-term data security goals. Modernizing security infrastructure, business processes and increasing awareness amongst our associates helps us strengthen enterprise data security, meet regulations, promote data privacy culture, and enable our clients to achieve business goals faster and risk-free”, he added.

Jodhpurkar further said, “The ISO 27001 certification helps establish credibility and trust amongst our clients and partners. The accreditation helps us focus on improving our services and to deliver the highest levels of security and data protection standards that meet or exceed the needs and expectations of our clients. Our drive for information security makes Infocepts not only a great place but also a safe place to work.”

About Infocepts

Infocepts is a global leader in end-to-end data and analytics that enables customers to become data-driven and stay modern. We bring people, processes, and technologies together the Infocepts way to deliver predictable outcomes with guaranteed ROI. Working in partnership with you, we help businesses modernize data platforms, advance data-driven capabilities, support systems, and build augmented business applications and data products.

Founded in 2004, Infocepts is headquartered in Tysons Corner, VA, with offices throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Every day more than 250,000 users use solutions powered by Infocepts to make smarter decisions and businesses achieve better outcomes. For more information, please visit https://www.infocepts.com or follow @Infocepts on Twitter.