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28th July 2021 Drupal Modules , Drupal
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on 28th July 2021 / by webmaster
Drupal is a very secure content management system and provides a lot of security for website owners out of the box. Drupal 8 and 9 comes with flood prevention capabilities that protects against brute force login attacks on your website. However if you want to go that extra mile and prevent access to the user/login page to anonymous users, you can use Disable Drupal Login Page module. The module prevents access to /user/login page when accessed without a secret key and value that the admin can configure. So all access to /user/login without the secret key-value pair will result in an access denied response. This will prevent all kind of bot access attempts in the website. Once you configure this module you can also decide to configure the web server to completely prevent access to /user/login when accessed without a querystring. That will ensure that these login attempts would not even bootstrap Drupal and remove that unnecessary load on the server as well.
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on 26th July 2021 / by Shikhar Negi
Considering the strategic value of your business information, where is the hierarchy among your key assets? Who handles what, and how is it sewn up? While businesses rely on the IT department, specifically the CIO and CTO, for technological matters, the CFO should be involved in key decisions related to developing an Information Management (IM) Strategy. While CMOs handle everything from branding to communication, if the marketing team needs technical assistance, they must seek assistance from the CIO, who will obtain the necessary software and ensure that it is fully compatible with the Company's existing infrastructure.  From the early 1980s to the early 1990s, office politics revolved around enterprise technology and were simple. Although practises and methods for any strategic information system are frequently considered the responsibility of the CIO, they have evolved to the point where they should be evaluated and implemented with the guidance of the CFO. This is despite the fact that the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 requires publicly traded companies to include the CFO in this activity.  It's fine if your company, like most, uses information technology for any technological purpose. However, from a fiduciary standpoint, the CFO must be involved in key decisions where he or she must drive a key role in developing an information management strategy.  How things have changed in these digital practices are now shaping up Marketing is now transformed into a technology-driven sector at nearly every touchpoint of the consumer journey, and as a result, in terms of CMO vs. CFO vs. CTO. CMO's think more strategically and are now spending more on IT, but their budgets are larger and growing faster than IT budgets.  With Marketing, Technology, and Information becoming more intertwined, traditional roles and responsibilities have become increasingly blurred around tech-led marketing initiatives such as content marketing strategy. Newer positions, such as CIO/CTO, are being added to the mix.  As demonstrated by Infotechlead[1], the CMOs in US will spend over $122Bn on investments in marketing technology (Martech) and services by 2022 from $90Bn today. The growth of marketing technology will Out-space that of technology services as marketers emphasize building customer experiences, automating more processes, investing in innovation and supporting more forms of mobile engagement.   The rise of Martech A growing no. of suppliers with constantly sophisticated services is predicted to welcome the marketing sector, which improve all areas of CRM-CMS marketing. (If you are already using CMS, consider Drupal). CMS, despite being traditionally led by the CIO, has made its way under the CMO's watch because it has become so simple to use and implement.  Martech spend rises to nearly one-third of budgets as marketers look to test, embed, and scale technology across the enterprise. According to the Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2018-19, marketing technology now accounts for a whopping 29% of total marketing expense budgets.  Rethink the role of CMO to CMO Collaborators   The shift from Brand to Customer Experience has changed the CMO remit   The CMO Collaborator must govern experiences across the entire organization  The CMO Collaborators can lead change and drive world-class experiences  By forming a partnership on marketing tech, decisions such as content marketing strategy, important business decisions receive input from the CMO with their in-depth knowledge of business strategy. The CFO with a focus to determine specifically what information is key to the success of a business. The CIO with their expertise in risk management and security, and the CTO who keeps the company ahead of the competition.  Reference [1] https://infotechlead.com/cio/cmo-or-cio-who-should-run-marketing-technology-budgets-54430
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22nd July 2021 Web Security
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on 22nd July 2021 / by webmaster
The Pegasus expose is a revelation that has taken the world by storm lately. Governments around the world were using the software to spy on journalists, activists, leaders of opposition, and other people in important constitutional roles. The scale of the spyware program is now laid bare, along with how client governments used the Israeli software. The Flying Horse Pegasus is spyware or malware created by the NSO group, an Israeli firm founded in 2010. The spyware is designed to access your device and collect any data that the spyware handler wants from your smartphone. Pegasus was first discovered when a UAE-based human rights activist received several suspicious texts tainted with malicious links, later confirmed by the cybersecurity firm Citizen Lab.[ii] The links infected his iOS device with malware, and the attack was a very precise spear-phishing attack. Pegasus is touted as the ultimate spyware that is effective on both iOS and Android devices, despite the claim that Apple devices provide the best possible data security. It does leave behind traces of its presence when a device is put under forensic investigation. The software uses zero-day vulnerabilities in the OS, which are often sold for millions on the dark web or in the cybersecurity market, and developers often rush to fix such vulnerabilities. However, there are still some that are either never brought to light or discovered too late by the developers. How to keep yourself SAFE Keep your device updated. OS developers ship continuous patches and security updates to patch up vulnerabilities and bugs. These vulnerabilities and bugs are used by spyware and malware to get access to your device and collect sensitive and private data. By continuously updating your device, you keep the probability of spyware exploiting a vulnerability close to zero. Be wary of phishing and spear-phishing attacks. While phishing attacks are generally recognizable because they are sent to a wider group of people and display some telltale signs, spear-phishing is much more targeted and personalized. Spear-phishing attacks are designed based on your preferences, work, and life and can seem like a regular text message, whether via SMS or any other text platform, and contain a link you might be expecting. Such links can be malicious and can lead to the infection of your device. Always vet a link you receive from an unknown or untrusted source and if possible, avoid them all. Switch to a different device. Once your device is infected it's not easy to get rid of it, so if possible, switch to a different SIM too. You can also use a cloned sim provided by your telecom service provider for your new device. A new device then gives you the possibility of keeping all your data and personal communication safe. Use third-party toolkits to check your device. These can be used to inspect whether its security has been breached or not. It is also important for users, antivirus companies, and OS as well as software creators to share information with each other regarding various bugs and vulnerabilities in the OS and apps that people use. Post-COVID19, conversations around what governments must do to prevent cybercrimes are gaining momentum. However when governments themselves are alleged to perpetrate such acts, one must be extra cautious. While NSO claims that it vets the needs of clients before selling them software, they admitted that their clients had used the software for "other purposes" as well.  While a regular person may not be susceptible to state-sponsored surveillance like Pegasus, we are vulnerable to malicious actors who use other, more malicious software to collect sensitive and personal data. This can be used to cause financial loss or theft of identity. Spyware can take control of your device and cause considerable damage without you even noticing, and as such, it is a smart choice to take all precautionary steps you can to defend against malware and spyware alike. References [i] https://thewire.in/government/project-pegasus-journalists-ministers-activists-phones-spying [ii] https://citizenlab.ca/2018/09/hide-and-seek-tracking-nso-groups-pegasus-spyware-to-operations-in-45-countries/     
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19th July 2021 Banking , AI
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on 19th July 2021 / by Shikhar Negi
The digital revolution has reached every walk of life, and every industry and sector is using some form of AI and automation to speed up processes and increase efficiency within their system. AI is extensively used by digital services providers to tailor customer experience and create a feedback-focused environment. Data collected is efficiently used to drive innovation and customer experience across industries. One of the biggest and core industries when it comes to economies around the world is the Banking industry, and it is worth noting that while banking is one of the most traditional industries in the way the banking process works, their operations have been affected by the technological innovations driven by AI and the change in consumer consciousness with regards to digital services are making day-to-day life more manageable. Customers are Driving Innovation The digital age has changed how customers view services. Digital services have made things so much easier and faster than legacy industries like banking are now having to innovate banking services to meet the requirements of the modern customer. Digital transactions are constantly going up in volume. With customer behavior becoming increasingly digital, it is easier for service providers to use data mining and analytics to understand customer psyche and provide more integrated and streamlined services that are geared towards providing a better customer experience. Digital platforms and digital services are now setting the standards for customer experience every day, and legacy institutions like banks are lagging other service industries in that regard. Traditional banking has come at odds with the demands of modern customers of a more streamlined, faster, and painless banking process wherein your banking needs are completed on the fly without having to wait for days or even weeks. The banking industry is increasingly being sidelined to the role of a utility rather than a service. Customers want immediate service, and traditional banking processes take a long time. It is impertinent that banks realize that consumer behavior is now driven by choices available to them in the form of digital service, and to stay relevant in the face of newer and innovative fintech businesses, they need to stay in touch with the changing times. One way banks can do that is, by offering financial management services as banks have all the necessary data to make that reality. The only problem lies in the lack of structural integration that fintech has. There is a lack of data flow within banks which has led to huge amounts of data going to waste. Even using just enough data to provide services that can create value for the customers can see a huge rise in customer satisfaction and business for banks. Relying solely on big companies and businesses to generate revenue is also losing feasibility as businesses are now operating on extremely tight schedules. Any delay in banking services now threatens business deals worth millions, and as such, client satisfaction and user experience have become the priority of the banking industry. Banking institutions need to learn from retail players on how to utilize the data better they must provide a complete and integrated banking experience and create value services for their customers. Data flow thus becomes an essential challenge for banks. Whether it is within the bank itself or from the customer to the bank, or customer to the merchant, a smooth and uniform digital experience is necessary. Not just to improve customer experience but also to remove inconsistencies in the digital experience of the customers. A disjointed system wherein there is no one platform or method of communicating with your customer can lead to a lot of confusion. Fraudsters use these inconsistencies to impersonate banks and defraud customers. This causes huge monetary loss and loss of confidence in the institution itself from the customers. What has led to digital innovation in banking? Banks have been following the traditional way for a long time and only incorporating digital technologies back in the 90s to ensure they do not fall behind in computation abilities. The status quo has remained stagnant for so long, and banks have no real motivation for doing any innovation apart from being threatened by fintech companies and the innovations they bring to the table. With how fast some fintech companies are growing, banks run the risk of losing market solutions when it comes to banking solutions and financial management. This has led to banks being aware of falling way behind others due to the legacy technology they use, which is neither scalable as per modern needs nor secure for the current digital age. Banking institutions are looking for ways to streamline their legacy technology and infrastructure and upgrade them to the modern benchmark. Banks really need to focus on creating services and processes that save time for the customers and create value out of those services. It is the expectations of the customers that are driving innovation as they are now benchmarked against other digital services like Amazon and Google in terms of ease of usage and faster delivery of services. Banks can investigate integration platforms where they can partner up with e-commerce platforms. This can help provide a more streamlined online experience to their customers. It is no longer about just transforming the banking system within the banks but transforming customer experience alongside it. Taking the Next Step It is difficult for banks to upgrade all their legacy architecture and software to modern technology, and it is impossible to provide the customer experience that users get from other digital services through legacy technology. It will be far easier for banks to create entirely new banks based on modern technology and infrastructure geared towards scalability, data security, and customer experience and then migrate their customers to the new bank. But even then, the right technology platform and architecture might not be enough to create a sustainable model. Traditional banks have relied on a sustainable model for generating revenue and keeping the industry going, and it is important that a sustainable model be implemented for the switch to modern technology and cater actively to customer experience. Is AI the answer? AI has been taking over industries and digital services because of its powerful automation process and excellence in analysis and data mining. While there is the scope of AI usage in the banking industry, there are conditions that affect its implementation.  Banking is not like other industries, and it directly affects the financial situation of an individual. What might be the logical step for an AI may not be what the customer wants. Even if banks were willing to use AI to analyze and find the most suitable investment or lending opportunities, the volatile nature of the market or a global disruption like the COVID-19 pandemic could throw all predictions out of the window. Customers feel more at ease when they get their banking needs met by actual humans and not automated processes where they do not have any say. On the other hand, customers and banks are willing to work with passive AI systems that require their authorization to take action. Treasure management systems that prompt the best course of action and yet leave it to the discretion of the banks are more in demand. AI has the capability of understanding customer behavior and suggests the best possible way of improving customer experience and services, and banks are more comfortable with using AI in this way. AI can also be used to create data flow and remove feedback inconsistencies within the bank. The various departments within the bank have communication gaps wherein data analyses and collected by one are not available or used by the others, and AI can overcome such limitations. So, while AI and automation are not actively required, they can be used for aiding decisions and mining data that can be analyzed to prompt suggestions and the best course of action. It can thus be concluded that it is the customer experience that is reshaping the banking industry as banks are trying to ensure customer satisfaction and faster banking services by using modern technology but using automation in banking services has implications that are not yet accepted by retail and commercial customers, and as such, the role of AI becomes passive.   References  https://www.intel.in/content/www/in/en/financial-services-it/article/banking-on-the-future.html  https://thefinancialbrand.com/105182/digital-transformation-personalization-omnichannel-digitization-qr-frictionless/  https://www.businessinsider.in/finance/news/the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-in-the-banking-sector-how-ai-is-being-used-in-2020/articleshow/72860899.cms  https://www.jrni.com/blog/innovation-in-banking
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16th July 2021
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on 16th July 2021 / by Shikhar Negi
The Open-Source Summit of 2021 was recently hosted by the SAINTGITS Open-Source Club in affiliation with FOSSASIA - the largest Open-Source software community in Asia. The event saw some of the industry leaders in free & open-source software development gather for a panel and talked about various aspects of the open-source software industry. The panel consisted of Amal Mathai, Technical Delivery Manager for training and certification at Redhat; Karan M.N., responsible for Developer Relations at GitHub; Sayan Chowdhury, Software Engineer at Microsoft; and Vimal Joseph, Digital Consultant at Zyxware Technologies with combined expertise of over 50 years in the open-source software industry. Thoughts on the Open-Source Industry The panelists shared an equal love for the open-source software sector and were incredibly open about their journey through the industry and how they came to know and love open-source software. As Mr. Mathai put it, “Open Source for me has been my life, and it is not just about the software, it is also about the way we live”, a thought that resonated with the entire panel. The discussion was kick-started by Mr. Vimal Joseph, who has experience of 20 years in working with free & open-source software. He gave an important insight into the importance of the developer community for open-source software. His experience had taught him that open-source software is a development and collaboration model and that when we talk about knowledge sharing and contributing back to society, it necessitates the term free software. He further explained the work his company has done with Drupal and how Drupal’s tagline accurately captured the essence of free & open-source software, “Come for Software, Stay for Community”. He pointed out the importance of being an active contributor to the free & open-source community and how the work culture at Zyxware was being developed by encouraging new employees to give back to the Drupal community by fixing bugs and developing Drupal by working on it in their free time. His experience with Drupal has shown him how contributing the modules they created for their clients, with permission from their clients, back to the community has helped their business. There are thousands of websites running modules created by Zyxware, which has, in turn, helped Zyxware get even more business. “On the industry front, we are 100% benefitting not by just using free and open-source software but contributing back to the community helps us establish a position within the community and help potential customers understand our competency and capability on Drupal.” Mr. Vimal elaborated. He has accurately grasped the importance of the developer community when it comes to the development of free & open-source software.  “Our understanding of how the community works and what will be the future direction of the platform helps us serve our customers better and improves the platform itself”.  Mr. Sayan Chowdhury, an industry expert with over ten years of experience with extensive dealings with Fedora OS talked us through his work with the Flatcar Container Linux, an open-source OS that has been gaining momentum. He talked about how he was focused on building a community for Flatcar from the ground up with monthly meetups and community calls. “The idea here is that at the end of the day, we are trying to build this community where we try to make the path of free & open-source contributor easy enough that they start contributing and be associated with.” Mr. Sayan was very particular about how without the contributors and community, the open-source software industry cannot survive. He talked about the importance of the whole community coming together to work on a project and how the knowledge belongs to the entire community, which in turn creates innovation. The discussion was then taken forward by Mr. Karan M.V. He told us how big enterprises and software giants, are all getting interested in open-source with many of them having their own program offices within their ecosystem, a practice he said was called Inner Source. These offices are integral in the practice of usage of free & open-source software within the company. He talked about enterprises are looking for collaborations by providing monetary support to open-source projects and developers. He further talked about how open-source software is more than just software but has a human element to them too. He gave an excellent example of the use of open-source software on the first purpose-built helicopter for Mars, Ingenuity, a milestone for humanity and free & open-source software in space exploration. He resonated with the idea of Mr. Vimal on how it is important to give back to the community. “We contribute upstream to a lot of the projects we use,” he said and emphasized how important it was that the community continuously shares knowledge in the public domain, ensuring exponential digital growth." Lastly, Mr. Amal talked about the culture of free & open-source software. By his own admission, he has always been fascinated by open-source software and that it was a culture of openness, transparency, collaboration, and inclusivity that drove the community, and it is these very elements that constitute the culture of open-source software. Licensing Open-Source Software Mr. Karan pointed out that when it comes to open-source software, software license can be a key issue. He further explained how when you buy a mobile phone or a laptop, you have the license to use the product but not to modify it and how similar concepts are applicable to software with open-source software not being the only one affected by it. It is the license that tells developers about what the software is intended to do and how it is supposed to be, and what creative and developmental freedom you have on the source code. Mr. Vimal then gave an insight into the licensing world.  “If you are trying to contribute to any FOSS, you should first check which license it has and whatever code that you contribute, whether you need to use that license and what is the purpose of your code”. Any software a developer writes is by default covered by copyright laws unless the developer has explicitly mentioned the nature of the license for the source code. He gave a brief introduction of reciprocal and permissive licenses and what freedoms they give to developers. Mr. Mathai gave his 2 cents on how and what led to the creation of open-source software and how “being open source will help innovation”. The panel then talked about the compatibility of different licenses and how coders and developers need to be wary about the open-source software they use as there is a great need of synergy between all the licenses you will be using to create your software. Mr. Sayan then wrapped up the discussion with his insight into how open-source software is not just about the code but an ideology that you follow and propagate. Conclusion At the turn of the century, free & open-source software projects were just coming into their own and not viable to be a replacement for proprietary software. Open-source software for the most part of the first decade of the 21st century was limited to computer enthusiasts and had created its own niche of users. With the rapid advancement in open-source software and its applications, businesses and enterprises have realized the advantages of an open-source platform. They are now actively using it for commercial as well as in-house applications. Today the one of the two most popular smartphone OS is open-source, and even NASA has used open-source for its Mars helicopter. The wide application, flexibility, and limitless development potential of open-source software-driven by millions of developers and its community are taking open-source software to greater heights than was thought possible.   References https://oss2021.saintgits.org/ https://fossasia.org/ https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html https://analyticsindiamag.com/6-reasons-why-developers-should-contribute-more-to-open-source/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianbridgwater/2019/09/07/the-impact-of-the-tech-giants-on-open-source/?sh=30fa18e0d277 https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/meet-the-open-source-software-powering-nasas-ingenuity-mars-helicopter https://www.whitesourcesoftware.com/resources/blog/open-source-licenses-explained/#Copyleft_and_Permissive_Two_Types_of_Open_Source_Licenses_Explained
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15th July 2021 CMS , Drupal
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on 15th July 2021 / by Shikhar Negi
What is CMS? CMS or Content Management System is software that is extensively used for the creation and management of digital content on a website. The most significant advantage of a CMS is that it allows website owners to manage their website and its content without needing any extensive technical knowledge in coding and website development. A CMS handles all the web infrastructure and back-end parts of the website. At the same time, you are only required to provide the content that needs to be published on the website, making website building faster and easier. A CMS takes care of updating your website as per your needs without needing you to meddle with the webserver or deal with the website code. It caters to website owners who are not adept at coding languages like PHP, CSS, etc., and helps them create a website suited to their needs and requirements.[i] A CMS software is built around two core parts that work together to maintain your website. The developers work with the Content Management Application, wherein they manage the content with the help of the tools and modules provided by the platform. The Content Delivery Application then takes this content, stores it into the database. It displays it on the website, taking care of modifying the source code of the website automatically, saving you time and effort, and increasing the efficiency of your website and digital content management.   Why is CMS Important? The most significant advantages that CMS software gives your business are efficiency and saving money and time. A CMS platform ensures that you can launch and modify your web pages and content with a few clicks of the mouse. There is no necessity for your website developers to deal with the core code. Greater Efficiency: Since your content developers are not needed to alter or deal with the actual code of the website and make the required changes in the CMS platform, it ensures that you are able to build and modify webpages in less than half the time it would take to do it from within the code. The CMS takes care of all the coding necessary to make the website look how you want it. It replaces the need for a highly-skilled coder who will cost more than the CMS and take much more time. CMS automates the process of content management, saving you time and money and greatly increasing your efficiency. Uniformity: A CMS software ensures that the entire website follows a set theme or template, and as such, there is no disparity when it comes to the functionality and looks of the website as a whole. A single developer working with the source code will take much more time to reach the same effect. The software is able to keep the website clean and clutter-free and respond as you intend it to without investing hundreds of person-hours to achieve the same result. Streamlining: The traditional method of web development requires constant communication between content creators and web developers to ensure that the content is published in a way the satisfies the requirements of the business and the content developers. On a CMS platform, the content creators can directly provide the content as input, design the web page in a way that it will look engaging without having to go through web developers and trying to negotiate a middle ground. SEO friendly: CMS software is SEO friendly which helps immensely with your website ranking on major search engines. Content creators can directly edit, manage and create SEO with the help of integrated SEO tools in the software for the desired effect. Saving time and money: CMS platforms take care of managing your web content. They provide custom themes and templates you can use for web page design, specialized tools to help you create your website and manage it. All of it takes a few clicks. You do not need a dedicated web developer with extensive coding knowledge to maintain your website saving overhead costs. The software automates the content management process and works with high efficiency taking much less time than a dedicated web developer. COVID-19 has accelerated the trend for businesses to switch to CMS platforms to save overhead costs, free up their workforce, automate website management and increase efficiency for web content management. Enterprises are focusing on creating user-friendly websites which can be modified immediately should any issue occur, and CMS software gives you that freedom. Ease of usage, increased efficiency, automation of back-end processes that reduce overhead costs, creation and management of consumer-friendly websites are some of the significant reasons that are accelerating the switch to CMS in a post-pandemic world where consumers are actively searching for digital service delivery platforms that are easy to use and engaging.   Current CMS leaders WordPress: The most popular CMS tool on the internet, WordPress started in life as a blogging platform but has expanded into CMS. The software is easy to use and is well suited for beginners who are starting their websites as it does not need any coding knowledge. You can find thousands of plugins to help you customize your website. Some of the most notable websites running on WordPress are the White House official website as well as the Playstation blog. [ii] WordPress allows extensive levels of customization thanks to its extensive library of plugins. Still, its popularity is also its Achilles heel as it is the favored target for hackers. Adding to it the fact that you will be responsible for managing data security and backup of the files as well as needing to set your domain name and web hosting, WordPress is mainly dependent on its plugins, and thus it can be extremely easy to get lost in a mountain of plugins not knowing what to use. Drupal: Drupal is a specialized CMS tool that is geared towards developers and offers high levels of customization. It gives you the flexibility to move away from standard templates and create your custom website. Drupal is best known for its modules and data security features and is the best when it comes to website security. Its taxonomy system provides excellent control over the content allowing you to filter and quickly find what you want on the website. Drupal is renowned for its scalability and security, and this is the very reason that NASA, Harvard University, Tesla, IIT Palakkad, and other notable industry leaders work with Drupal. Even the UN uses Drupal for its website needs. While Drupal offers great security and customization, it is not particularly user-friendly. It needs a dedicated web developer to work on it. It can be hard to manage Drupal unless the website manager has web development experience. Joomla: Joomla is another dedicated CMS platform that pops up in the debate for the best CMS platforms. Although the platform is not beginner-friendly like WordPress, it offers greater flexibility in website design, much like Drupal. The platform supports extensive usage of media and can be used for creating e-commerce websites. Joomla is used by RogerFederer.com as well as iTWire. Jumla is the supposed middle ground between WordPress and Drupal as it offers developer customization like Drupal but is also beginner-friendly like WordPress. One of the significant drawbacks is the lack of extensions when compared to WordPress and Drupal. It also falls behind Drupal in terms of website security. It requires you to have some web development experience to bring out its potential fully. Magento: Magento was conceived as a CMS for e-commerce platforms, and it is the best at what it does, manage e-commerce websites. Created by Adobe, the platform is highly customizable, with several extensions to choose from.[iii] Its customization ability means you can create a highly customized website for your e-commerce platform. Industry leaders like Nike, Ford, Coca-Cola, etc. use Magento for its scalability and Fintech integration capabilities. E-commerce players are relying heavily on Magento for their CMS needs because of its ability to handle a large amount of data with ease. Even INSEAD used Magento for publishing its research studies and implement a membership system. One thing that goes against Magento is that it be too much for a new e-commerce platform because of its complexity. You have to get the licensed version from Adobe to get support or hire a Magento developer to help you with your e-commerce website, which will not be free.   Conclusion All these CMS platforms have their target groups and offer unique options and functionalities. WordPress can’t be used for creating an e-commerce website, while you will need to hire a web developer to work with the other 3 CMS platforms. From a beginner to a big business enterprise, your choice should be dependent on the current and future needs of your business to account for scalability. Customization options can be critical in creating a unique website for your business while, at the same time, website and data security are issues that cannot be ignored. All in all, companies should carefully gauge their development plans and create a roadmap of the future of the business to decide upon the CMS platform of choice for their enterprise.   [i] https://www.hostinger.in/tutorials/best-cms [ii] https://websitesetup.org/cms-comparison-wordpress-vs-joomla-drupal/ [iii] https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-cms-platforms-compared/
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on 12th July 2021 / by Shikhar Negi
  Digital transformation is the defining feature of this era. If you want your business enterprise to establish its online presence and take full advantage of the latest digital technology you need Drupal for your web development needs. Drupal is a content management system that provides the back-end framework for 13% of top 10,000 websites worldwide and is extensively used by corporations, governments and businesses looking to ensure a fast and smooth user experience on their websites for an enhanced and integrated user engagement experience.   Transform your digital presence with Drupal Drupal is the go-to choice for corporations, educational institutes, governments, and many more entities looking to build their online presence. The ease of usage that is inherent to Drupal along with its remarkable CMS framework allows you to curate and manage all your content in one place while ensuring compatibility and accessibility to all platforms from mobile devices to information kiosks. Drupal allows for the integration of web properties with your company software allowing you to seamlessly transition your content between them. You can rely on Drupal to take care of your content management needs with its strong front-end website support that translates into a faster loading time for the landing page and gives users an integrated experience. Drupal 9, the latest version, has done away with deprecated code and hence made the website lightning fast with faster loading times for modules and third-party integrations creating a unique user experience for your site visitors resulting in users staying longer and thus increasing the chances of converting clicks to actual customers. Its multichannel capabilities allow you to control content over multiple platforms where once you have created content, it can be easily shared across platforms and with the compatibility of your website for various platforms, it creates a comprehensive digital experience for the users without comprising the performance of the website.   How does Drupal help you? Drupal has been designed keeping in mind the global nature of business enterprises today and as such provides multilingual support to allow users to visit your website in their native language increasing user engagement. Drupal enables you to host multiple copies of your website from a single code all of which have their own databases and related framework. This shared code makes it so that you can modify all the websites in one go by simply modifying the source code. This shared code multisite system allows for fast distribution and optimization of standardized features and modules across websites. You are able to manage multiple systems by signing in just once. Drupal reduces your costs as a single CMS allows you to author content for all your platforms thus reducing training costs. You have access to advanced media management and content hosting options that greatly improve the quality of your content and in turn, your website. You are able to change things immediately and manage your own sections with personalized content. Another capability offered by Drupal is how easy it is to share content on multiple channels and platforms. Your content is automatically made compatible with mobile devices, apps, different websites, and even information kiosks making your reach truly universal. The API helps you to pull external content for specially designed front-end apps that further improve user experience. One of the biggest advantages that Drupal has is the decoupled CMS that separates the front-end framework from the back-end framework. The front-end communicates with the back-end through and API and once any changes are made on the back-end the same is communicated through the API to the front-end. This results in much faster loading speeds and performance as instead of updating a “coupled” CMS wherein both the back-end and front-end are joint together the changes are only made to the back-end saving loading times. This approach is much more secure as the separation provides an added layer of security. This also allows for easier third-party integrations which are much less disruptive to web development.   Why should you prefer Drupal over other platforms? Drupal offers world-class web development options with continuous developer support, security patches, critical updates, and new modules that ensure that you always have the ability to improve user engagement on your website. The content management system is constantly evolving and providing you newer and better ways to manage and publish your content across multiple channels from a single platform. Some of the defining features of Drupal are listed below: Drupal is a Free and Open Source software which means there is no licensing cost. It also means developers all over the world are constantly fixing bugs, posting modules and providing easy third party integration to make your website as accessible and integrated as possible. The platform is vendor-neutral and as such, there is no one organization that completely controls it and therefore, the platform even in the future remains free and community-driven making it one of the most secure CMS platforms out there. You also get access to a large number of community-developed modules that add functionality to your website and you can keep adding as many modules as you need to ensure smooth performance of your website. Drupal receives regular security updates and patches that ensure that your website and its integration with your company software ecosystem is always secure. You can easily find modules that are cleared by the security team to be used for web development and content creation. Drupal provides easy scalability solutions for your business. You can build and maintain re-usable modules and other components and the available framework is highly scalable in nature Using Drupal for your websites will significantly bring down your overhead maintenance costs as a single source code can be used by your web developers to maintain and update all your websites.   Only the Best In case you are still sceptical of whether Drupal is truly what you are looking for and whether it will be able to satisfy your digital technology needs, here are some case studies to help you make a decision. Nestle Purina overhauled their entire web development and properties to Drupal 8. The Single Sign-On feature along with its e-Commerce integration capabilities has helped them integrate their web properties with their corporate software ecosystem. Warner Music Group, home to some of the biggest music artists in the world, relies on Drupal to host multi-sites and moderate standard content throughout all its platforms and sites INSEAD uses Drupal as their preferred platform for integrating web properties on their website and web portal and enhances the user experience for all its departments. The Government of Bhutan uses Drupal to create a multilingual and multisite platform that is used to create websites for its local bodies. The government is thus able to maintain all its multilingual websites as well as launch new ones without adding any maintenance costs.   In conclusion, Drupal has truly captured the modern needs of business enterprises, government bodies as well as corporations alike and provides digital technology features that can truly aid your digital transformation and make user engagement a much better experience.   Bibliography https://events.drupal.org/europe2020/news/how-your-organization-including-drupal-strategically-your-digital-transformation https://customerthink.com/how-drupal-8-is-leading-the-digital-transformation/ https://www.zyxware.com/articles/5979/on-to-drupal-9-for-your-digital-transformation-initiatives https://www.tadigital.com/insights/perspectives/why-decoupled-drupal-key-omnichannel-user-experiences https://medium.com/@drupaleurope/drupal-europe-2018-digital-transformation-and-enterprise-a3908e0ed2c2 https://medium.com/dataseries/leveraging-drupal-to-drive-digital-transformation-across-the-enterprise-6ba0dd70fb8d https://ixis.co.uk/drupal/development  
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09th July 2021 Open Source , Digital Transformation
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on 09th July 2021 / by Shikhar Negi
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses had a taste of what the future would look like. With platform-based services and related ecosystems taking over the world and our way of life, there has been little doubt about what business enterprises needed to do in order to keep up with the changing times. After the pandemic disrupted the normal way of life and businesses, organizations, educational institutions, and government departments alike had to look for digital solutions to carry on functioning, it became quite clear that we are already behind schedule on digital transformation. The fourth industrial revolution has changed the way the industrial sector functions. Automation of industrial processes has brought in increased efficiency, reduced costs while improving standards and speeding up industrial processes. This has made production cheaper and transformed the production sector all over the world. Digital transformation of the service sector aims to achieve similar results by automating as many business processes as possible while ensuring that there is no compromise on user experience. Digital Transformation is the need of the hour Business enterprises, corporations, educational institutions, government agencies, and departments alike have gone through some form of digital transformation within the organization. Organizations have brought in computers to replace filing systems, keep an employee registry, share files, and communicate across the organization, all of which have led to an immense increase in efficiency and cost savings. Business software is used to instantly log, analyze and visualize data for use, store and manage datasets in databases, communicate within the organization with an internal communication network as well as an e-mail system. All of this has helped organizations to transform their day-to-day functioning, exploring and pushing the potential of IT systems. Whether the organization is a financial institution, a private business, a government agency, or a service firm, technology has provided tailored digital solutions for every possible issue and is constantly finding new ways to innovate and provide services to users. But digital transformation cannot stop at transforming the back end of your business. It is equally important to transform how your organization interacts with your consumers and users. Digital platforms have exploded in popularity with there being a digital platform for almost every service a person uses in their day-to-day life. From online shopping through e-commerce platforms, to streaming content on streaming platforms, to hiring a cab, booking movie tickets, flight tickets, the entire service sector has moved online. A mobile app along with a website is a must-have for modern organizations providing any form of service to ensure accessibility and user engagement. Be it an educational institute or a financial institute, front-end digital transformation is the priority as users are spending more and more time on these platforms for getting their work done and it is important to ensure that the user interface ensures a smooth user engagement. Your website/platform has become just as important as a brick-and-mortar store for it is based on how well you treat your consumers that the online presence of your business will grow. Complete digital transformation of your enterprise will aid you in improving your communication and user engagement. Your service delivery platform is the face of your enterprise, and it should be able to provide the best possible user experience and allow the users to contribute to the platform ecosystem. Engaging users in your platform ecosystem through lowering the barriers of participation and ease of usage will transform the user experience of your platform. Why go Open Source? Digital transformation requires the necessary infrastructure, network architecture and developer support to ensure a smooth user experience as well as an efficient back end. Implementing digital transformation requires you to create SaaS-based SMAC platforms, upgrade legacy systems, bring your IT infrastructure up-to-date, and upskill your workforce to smoothly transition into the new digital age. Digital technology brings in a lot of new tools, applications, and programs that need to be maintained and kept up to date with patches, updates, and bug fixes. Open-source platforms provide the best circumstances that can ease and aid the digital transformation of your enterprise. Open-source technology is everywhere and that is large because of its cost benefits and data security capabilities. An open-source platform is open to all and is constantly being developed by developers around the world. A stable core source code allows developers to constantly innovate and create and find new applications for the code and modules to run on it, creating a thriving ecosystem of rapid tech development. One of the most famous examples of open-source is the Android OS which is itself based on an open-source OS for personal computing devices, Linux.  These open-source platforms are being constantly worked upon by developers around the world and as such receive a steady stream of upgrades in the form of security patches, quality of life upgrades, or even upgrades to the platform itself. Apart from being extremely secure as any potential security threat is resolved immediately by the community, open source is cost-effective as there is no licensing fee, and enterprises using the platform are allowed to innovate on their own if they keep their source code open. This drives innovation, keeps maintenance and development costs low, and provides prolonged utility to the platform as the platform stays relative as long as there are enough developers working on the platform. Governments around the world use open-source as the basis of their GaaP services. Open government platforms and even applications used by enterprises such as MySQL, Python, Java, Core JS, etc are all open-source software that provides reliability, performance, and data security. 4 Catalysts for Digital Transformation Although open source is essential for the digital transformation of your enterprise, you also need these 4 catalysts to ensure that the transformation takes place in the right direction. Data Analytics: Online platforms and services today collect a lot of public data but have little idea what to do with it. One of the keys to the digital transformation of your enterprise is to understand how you can use the data you collect to improve and expand your enterprise and consumer experience. Most of the data collected are never used to their full potential and as such you must be able to use data analytics to its full efficiency in your decision making. Invest in infrastructure: Your enterprise must invest in technology infrastructure and platform to ensure the longevity and sturdiness of the company's technology ecosystem. Integrating from top-down can help you eliminate redundancies, find innovative applications and as such a high priority investment in the technology of your enterprise is a must. The best talent: Digital transformation requires a specifically skilled workforce that knows what they are doing. To keep the best talent in your company you must create a culture that appreciates innovation and excellence while also cutting down on project times and empowers developer teams. The best ideas have often come from the bottom-up and a positive work culture that allows new and fresh ideas to float is necessary to create a positive reinforcement cycle. Operating model: The leadership must be clear on how to best implement and integrate digital technologies into the enterprise. Your operating model must provide opportunities for the digital innovation platforms to come and grow. Isolating digital progress can cause rapid development but at the cost of segregation. While adding digital technology everywhere can slow the whole process down. A sweet spot must be found that is the responsibility of the leadership to come up with a suitable operating model.
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30th June 2021 Digital Marketing , Web Security
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on 30th June 2021 / by Shikhar Negi
As a marketer, the primary task at hand is to undertake initiatives that increase the revenues of the organization. This involves a heavy dependency on digital technology, which if properly utilized can lead to huge gains. Unfortunately, even criminal elements are able to tap into the growing volume of data and transactions on the web, leading to an environment that is tricky to navigate through for continued business growth. A report from the Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) estimates that cybercrimes cost businesses $ 1 trillion worldwide in 2020 [1]. The need of the hour is thus, to save this amount, as the damages inflicted are increasing day by day. The most publicized example of this was US retailer Target's $18.5 million customer data breach [2]. Curiously enough, attacks such as this one and others as well, do not require a lot of strategies. Data is simply taken from a place and moved around. This doesn’t have to happen, especially when a plethora of preemptive measures abound now. Security could have prevented it by having a notification system that would have alerted when terabytes of data started leaving the servers.  Security-First Culture It is thus imperative to build a culture of security at your business to prevent events like these. Culture is not built in one day but is rather a result of continuous development approach. To build a truly Security-first culture, means going beyond compliance to assess risks. It is not about waiting for the end of a project to assess, rather taking security seriously from the very beginning. As an agile process, everyone involved must be  part of improving, watching out, and then automating. Some things that need to be considered are: Proactive & collaborative approach There are stakeholders apart from your team as well., both internal and external. They know their regulatory needs, so getting them actively involved is a good idea. Layered defense Apart from your Drupal site, all round protection is required as well. This means everything including the hosting environment, CDN, firewalls, and others in the development process.  Architecture reviews The overall information architecture should be subject to constant reviews for ensuring there is no data leakage from informational flows. Code reviews Similarly, code reviews are also needed to prevent substandard code from getting inside. This may pose a risk to the software development lifecycle. Automated testing Manual regression may not be efficient every time but if automated, critical functioning can trigger the testing process which can prevent damages. Continuous improvements This is necessary to make sure that changes made to code are auto deployed to test environment/final environment and enhance optimization. Security audits These can be basic or thorough, and the right tools can take care of any issues during the deployment stage Documentation Need not be overly verbose but rather in a way that is impactful and meaningful for the team to be able to want to read it The next step is to create a Security team, that should be charged with updating policies, making recommendations, sessing security releases for mitigations, and helping automate security processes.  Security Team Anything from actual security professionals, to developers, can be onboarded to make policies, recommendations, assessing systems, applications, websites, and helping to automate things in general.  While you build your own, the Drupal Security Team can be your point of reference. They are a very helpful bunch who are more engaging than some of the others in larger open source communities. Some of the items they cover and watch out for are : Resolve reported security issues in Security Advisories Provide assistance or contributed module maintainers in resolving security issues Provide documentation on how to write secure code Provide documentation on securing your site Help infrastructure to keep Drupal.org secure Once you have these covered, you are on your journey to create secure and efficient platforms for your business. Further on you will need a; Security Policy Checklist Creating a policy helps elevate priority among your team. There is not single solution that does it all, as security is a multilayered thing. Some of its essential components are: Code linting  This is a part of a continuous integration process. It is important to have readable code from a development standpoint. What it does is that it makes it hard to not let something slip into the process that could be rough, when it comes to having a security vulnerability.  Virus & malware scanning  Quite doable from a policy standpoint via computers, servers, and even drupal sites. It sets up scanning for file uploads, so if somebody uploads a file it's good to have virus malware scanning, to prevent even unintentional risks from being passed onto your server.  Code library & version checks Checking for code library version checks could be modules in Drupal, or plug-ins in WordPress. There are also PHP libraries, Javascript libraries, etc. Hence, making sure to check for versions that need updates is very important.         Passive and active scanning  One often hears about security scans and the number of commercial tools out there. An active one might check for some vulnerabilities like different forms of injection, or cross-site scripting. Those are checks that look for signals instead of vulnerabilities for actual issues, which is more effective. Application & infrastructure updates Not just the Drupal application but infrastructure should also be properly updated. Partnering with a hosting company that takes care of that is great. If you host your own, updating is a must for open source.  Incident response plan This is one of the processes, which has a form tied to this. For when something does happen, you don't want to wait to respond, and for that, it's essential to have a plan to see who to call, how to document, who to notify. This gets into internal policies but also relates to regulatory requirements.  This 3-factor security approach is key for ensuring that your business keeps up with the rising challenges of cybersecurity. Which one does your organization find the most relevant?   [1] https://www.csis.org/analysis/hidden-costs-cybercrime [2] https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/target-settles-2013-hacked-customer-data-breach-18-5-million-n764031
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29th June 2021
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on 29th June 2021 / by Rahat Mehra
Companies across industry segments are gradually embracing “digital innovation.” The growth of digital products, technologies, and platforms has launched a new phase of competition in the market. Industry predictions for the next decade are no longer indicative or relevant due to the pace and nature of changes. Although companies have recognized the need to be digital, the question of who will drive and participate in digital transformation remains. Read on to learn the transformation journey of an organization to embrace digital innovation to achieve its strategic objectives. Challenges The digital landscape at most organizations consists of an unstructured collaboration between different units and these units usually work in silos. The digital landscape consists of decentralized business units which define localised digital asset creation and management requirements. The IT unit enables each Business Unit separately with an external digital partner ecosystem. While the Business Unit leads digital Asset Management policy and implementation. More often than not, however, the collaboration is not structured between the following three units of an organization Business Unit IT  Digital Partners Moreover, units working in silos results in challenges to the organizations such as : Limitations in defining, understanding, and enabling a user’s journey using web 3.0 and digital technologies Lost opportunities for achieving cost savings through synergies between different platforms.  Underutilized capability to deliver in an agile way preventing IT to become the driver of digital Inefficient stacks as a result of disparate technologies by incongruent vendor ecosystems  The existing business approach and the limitations of the existing model for most of the organizations had difficulties in achieving the business objective. Approaching the issue In today’s digital world, growth and innovation are tough to accomplish without a strong collaboration between business and IT and there is a need to establish a robust engagement model to achieve the desired organizational objectives. This can be achieved by setting up a digital strategy office for a structured collaboration between different units.  Digital Strategy office will achieve the objective of easy access to information and engagement which can be achieved through personalized user journeys by: Creation of diverse experiences through innovation in organization and visualization Personalization of timing, visibility, and form of content to stage of a user’s journey and their purposes Enabling learning of impact evaluation methods by constructing relevant engagements Possible solution A partnership through the formation of a Digital Strategy office will enable a structured collaboration between IT, Business Units, and external Digital Partners - leading to fulfilling of the strategic objectives.                              The digital transformation office with defined Objectives & Strategy, Vision & Mission through Digital Competency, Centralized Digital Stack, User Journeys, Technology Implementation will lead to fulfillment of business objectives of the organization The Objective of the Digital Transformation Office is to redefine the core value proposition of the user by adding value through every user interaction, and  thus change the operating model to augment existing workflow without redefining the bottom line proposition. This will be achieved through: Enhancing existing value proposition with digital experience throughout the user journey Formulating a Digital Strategy and roadmap Implementing Digital technologies through an ecosystem of partners Personalized Engagement Learning from acquired information Integrating new digital means into the operating model Expected result: The approach of transformation of business model to create a Digital strategy office will lead to better coordination between the verticals of Business, IT and Digital partners leading to : High degree of agility in development and implementation of digital strategy  New simplified processes and an organizational structure that is lean, agile, and user-focused Comprehensive digital transformation via disruption of inefficient processes
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