ERP, which stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, is a system that allows companies to efficiently manage daily operations by creating a centralized data depository of activities that can be distributed and accessed uniformly across the organization. This streamlining of enterprise data, regarding company divisions like accounting, human resources, project management, and manufacturing, that is utilized by employees to make informed actions has several key benefits.
First, the risk of making uninformed decisions based on inaccurate data reduces. Information gathering from multiple sources ensures that data is correct and up-to-date. Confidence in data integrity increases. Secondly, ERP systems enhance operational efficiency by activating collaboration, improving data visibility, and eliminating data duplication. Having a platform where business data is organized and accumulated helps to facilitate data flow between departments, and thus allows issues to be efficiently addressed, capital resources to be effectively spent, and conclusively for bottom-line savings.
Today's industry trends in ERP systems involve cloud computing. Too often, small to medium business cannot afford the cost of implementing ERP systems because installing on-site hardware and software is expensive and require custom coding, hiring additional IT staff, training, and consulting. Yet the benefits of incorporating ERP systems are universal for all businesses. There in market demand lies the rise of cloud ERP systems. Clouding means that information is no longer located onsite at the company's headquarters but instead on a network of remote servers. This way, systems are more quickly implemented, companies don't have to support costly infrastructure and information can be updated in real-time. These benefits present an affordable alternative for small businesses that want to have an ERP system to support their operations. Other popular additional features in ERP systems are currently social tools, mobile-friendly interface, and IoT(Internet of Things) functions.
Because costs to install ERP systems are decreasing, its application is also diversifying. Software solutions companies like Syspro Inc is planning to provide ERP software to Charter Medical, a global manufacturer of products for regenerative medicine, blood transfusion, and bio processing industry, so that their organizational information is streamlined, reported in real-time and easily accessible. Besides from medical industries, another example of ERP systems implementation involves the mining industry. It's been reported that Pronto Solutions Alliance (PSA), a Canadian firm, has developed an ERP software system that helps mining companies lower operation time and costs by generating full business intelligence reports. These reports will work to lower the barrier of entry for early-stage mining companies, who are cash-strapped but still seek to achieve corporate efficiency.
Overall, ERP systems are effective software solutions that bring operational efficiency to your business, especially if your business deals frequently with massive circulation of data.
Developing your own website is becoming easier and easier with standardized web development platforms like Wix and Shopify gaining ground. However, this also means that the web is being flooded with more idle websites that don't attract enough traffic or generate sales. Having a website is simply not enough these days. Companies must create original content to pull viewers to the website. Also, an extensive marketing/ outreach campaign has to coincide with the website in order to get a full utilization out of the site.
Customized web design means customized content, which means your company will present original material that stand out amongst competitors. Having the ability to customize content has a number of key advantages. First, a strong content marketing strategy will boost your website's Search Engine Result Page ranking (SERP) and produce increased traffic to the site in the long run. Quality creative content will lead to an increased likelihood of sharing of the site's contents by users, which results in more back links to the site. Because web listings on the first page of Google search account for 92% of all traffic, getting your website to land on the first page is critical to capturing web traffic. In order to do so, websites need to be equipped with SEO-friendly content and mobile-optimized features. As of May 2015, Google search volumes on mobile phones surpassed those on desktops, therefore, mobile-friendliness of websites now partly determine website's SEO rankings.
The second benefit to customized web design is running a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, which entails an active social media presence and viewer engagement on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Because of the sheer number and variety of social networking tools available these days, companies fail to deliver a uniform and effective branding message to its audience, who follow them across different media platforms. That's why more and more companies are hiring web agencies to manage their marketing efforts for them. It's important that all of the company's presence on the web, including instagram, facebook, and website, be integrated and present a singular brand story. Having instagram show one thing, and facebook another is inconsistent branding and carry the potential to confuse viewers. 61% of high traffic sites on GoDaddy had an attached Facebook page, which goes to show what an important role social media can play. But even on Facebook, securing an organic reach to target audiences is becoming more difficult. Therefore, integrating these various platforms and customizing a brand message can be a useful and cost-effective communication tool in this age. Check out our SNS management services.
Using third party software to build websites can be less expensive, but it comes with its limitations. The website can seem impersonal, formulaic, and frustrating to work with in terms of its lack of flexibility and control. Check out our customized design portfolio.
At a time when search engines run mobile-first indexes, web designers are implementing AMP or PWA methods to optimize their responsive web designs. In this blog, we'll go through what AMP and PWA are and what they do for your websites. Data shows that 50% of local-mobile searches are for looking up information regarding local businesses whether its the address, operating hours, or cell phone number. Therefore, web agencies often include responsive web design(RWD) as a part of their contracts. However, just having an RWD is proving to fall short of satisfying web users, who want quick and easy access to information online. RWD is a cost effective solution for small businesses who wish to have mobile friendly websites, but it has slow loading speeds with an average of 10 seconds to fully load all its content. This is unfortunate because studies illustrate that 53% of web visits are abandoned after 3 seconds of loading time. In order to hasten this process, web designers are incorporating AMP (accelerated mobile pages) and PWA (progressive web applications) to their RWD.
AMP is a part of Google's effort to speed up web pages by simplifying their features. It's been highly successful at cutting down loading times with the average duration decreasing to 1 second. 900,000 domains with over 2 billion pages have adopted AMP, and 80% have seen higher traffic, which is a critical improvement in drawing ads to the site. It's no wonder Google has prioritized AMP web pages for their mobile platform, and other giant corporations such as Johnson & Johnson and eBay have adopted it for their websites. However, there are limitations that discourage some web designers. First, visitor activity is difficult to track since their clicks are not actually happening on the site. This hinders possible customer engagement opportunities and as a result affects improving UX (user experience) and conversion rates. Second, reduction in graphical and UI (user interface) elements for the sake of speed make AMP pages ideal for blog posts and news updates but not for e-commerce purposes.
Another high speed configuration is PWA, which is an app-like interface that works offline and provides universal access to the site on all devices and browsers. It promotes web visitor engagement through enabling features that bookmark and link the web page as well as send push notifications. PWA also offers better security assurances from viruses, and faster transactions between web pages. A downside of PWA is that it's expensive and difficult implement therefore only bigger businesses can afford to integrate it.
Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. But with 70% of mobile web pages taking an average of 7 seconds to load visual content, the implementation of AMP and PWA or other advanced iterations of them will continue to thrive in the future. Some companies, rather than utilizing AMP or PWA, choose to opt for creating standalone mobile websites. However, this has been proven as an ineffective solution for its high costs, low SEO scoring, and difficult maintenance. Instead, companies achieve the benchmarks of a successful website such as generated leads, conversion rates, and bounce rates by combining AMP and PWA. This way, web designers can draw from the best of both worlds, AMP for its speed and search visibility, and PWA for its UX and UI capabilities. Check out our responsive design services.
At a time when cyber security is as important as it's ever been, businesses are finding out ways to secure their data. The most basic of such cyber security systems is equipping your company's website with SSL, or TLS as they are called now. So exactly what is SSL or TLS? And how does it affect my website?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layers. It plays a critical role in providing web security for your site. To put it simply, SSL protocols protect connections that are made between websites and networks. These networks like the internet should be understood as being insecure, which means that without a proper SSL certificate, any computer existing in between the site and the network can view all of your inputed information. SSL offers a way to prevent this by creating an encrypted link between the network and the site. This link keeps all the data exchanges between the site and the network private by making them indecipherable to third parties. It has become the standard security technology solution for web agencies to use, especially on e-commerce websites where sensitive information such as credit card numbers and login passwords frequents.
One way to tell if your company's site incorporates this computer networking protocol is by looking at the URL. A site that's encrypted with an SSL certificate has https at the beginning of its URL. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTP Secure) and it combines Hypertext Transfer Protocol with TLS to implement secure communication on the network and its applications. Having SSL certificates is crucial to protecting your business, its data, and client's private information on the web. Without it, websites face possible penalization from search engines for not being able to provide security assurances to its users. A key advantage in custom web design is the ability to build a stronger security apparatus around your website.
SSL certificates are tiny data files that digitally bond cryptographic keys to an organization's information so that once it is activated on a server, it acts as a padlock to prevent third parties from viewing sensitive details. When first setting up a secure connection, a browser attempts to connect with a secured website with https and asks the site to identify itself by sending a copy of its SSL certificate. The server sends over the requested identification, which includes the certificate's public key to the encryption, to the browser. The browser then checks the validity of the certificate by exchanging messages with the server. The exchange acknowledges that the server wants to start an SSL encrypted session with the browser in which case protected data begins to be shared between the browser and the server.
Having such protection for transmitted data is a must for e-commerce servers as they receive confidential details, but other servers can choose to install SSL protocols on pages they wish to keep secure over the internet. A downside to having too many levels of encryption is that it can slow down your site. A customized security solution will be able to pick and choose which pages need special encryption.
Since SSL connections on the web require an SSL certificate, websites must have their own dedicated IP address in order to obtain an SSL certificate. Once you have your own dedicated IP address, you can buy and activate the certificate to install it on the server. After installing it, you can update your website and begin using HTTPS to offer secure encrypted communication.
Simply put, TLS is a successor to SSL. TLS stands for Transport Layer Security and just like SSL, it is a cryptographic protocol that secure communications over computer networks. Utilization of TLS has taken off ever since SSL was banned by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and subsequently by major search engines for its risks of security exposure. Website Innovator uses SSL for all e-Commerce projects.