Vacancy: Senior Java/JEE Developers

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Project Manager

Location:  Remote

Role type:  Contract – 12 months

About the Role

We are looking for an exceptional Senior Java/JEE Developers to build Java integration services and applications using an existing framework with an enthusiasm for solving interesting technical challenges in a business environment. Be involved in all aspects of development playing a critical role in design, planning, development, and deployment. The ideal candidate will not just be an outstanding Java developer but will bring a mindset of creativity, innovation and balanced leading-edge technology development with a relentless pursuit of timely product engineering delivery. The role requires ownership, logical thinking, estimation of your own work, coding, unit testing, troubleshooting and performance optimizations. The candidate will work in an Agile (SCRUM) environment and will be allocated and co-located to a small agile development team (squad) – Tribe and Chapter Model. The candidate will collaborate with team members to understand the problem & define, design, and ship new features through the development lifecycle. This includes brainstorming, contributing to new ideas, conceiving innovative strategies, and implementing solutions to difficult problems.

Must be able to work independently, effectively, and efficiently in a collaborative agile environment with scrum masters, solution engineers, designers, and developers. 

What you will do:

  • Strong technical/ software engineering background (‘hands-on’)
  • Strong application/software development or programming background in Java
  • Good experience in system, application architecture, design, development, implementation and deployment (end-to-end).
  • Ability to work on different tiers of the application
  • Object-oriented Design and MVC-pattern
  • Experience in web technologies (Web Development JavaScript Frameworks – preferably Angular 4, JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, Etc.)
  • Solid experience on J2EE (Servlet, JSP, JDBC, JMS, EJB), Spring Framework, JPA, Hibernate, Open-Source Frameworks
  • Solid experience with SOA-Architecture with the related integration protocols (e.g. Web Services (SOAP/XML), REST & JSON, and MQ), as well as the related SOA-security requirements/models.
  • Solid application database management practices in a high-volume Java environment (SQL, DB2, and NoSQL – Cassandra/MongoDB).
  • Solid JEE/WebSphere Foundation experience, especially on WebSphere Application Server, JBoss, Linux, Virtualisation technologies and Caching technologies.
  • Design, build and run of IBM WebSphere Application Server Infrastructure Solutions
  • Migration from proprietary Application Servers to WAS
  • Performance and troubleshooting of WAS Infrastructure
  • Good experience with integrated system environments
  • Practical experience in a high-volume banking environment. (E.g., application clustering, scaling, multi-threading, session management, )
  • Experience with re-use and standardisation, security considerations, deployment architecture like automated application builds, software configuration management & tools, etc.
  • Experience with Application Integration challenges in a big corporate environment with ESB e.g., WebSphere Message Broker, DataPower, MQ-Series, and API-Connect.
  • Proven ability as a problem-solver
  • Self-driven, self-starter, technology leader, and able to work independently.
  • Must have working experience on the following tools/IDEs
    • Eclipse
    • IntelliJ
    • Git
    • Maven
    • Jenkins
    • SonarQube
    • Nexus
  • Debugging & troubleshooting.
  • Write well documented and maintainable code.
  • Passion for software excellence and be quality driven.
  • You must be prepared to bring new ideas to the workplace, but also to accept how things have been done and the reasons for doing things this way.

Top 5 Benefits of Workflow Automation

Electronic signatures and electronic forms offer many benefits.
Modern businesses that embrace the Digital Age require workflow automation, and that is where Conclude steps in.
Workflow automation is the way of the future, but what are the specific benefits that make it so desirable?

Centralised Information

Using automation services like electronic documents and electronic signatures means that information is centralised and accessible. For example, documents are easily retrieved, the data remains secure in the digital format thanks to secure encryption, and the human error is vastly decreased. Additionally, centralised information means that documents can easily be retrieved by customers and employees alike.

Automated workflows are also straightforward to use with the right provider, making it simple to integrate automation into a company’s workflow process. Automation is also not overly complicated. Often it is the most straightforward step for a company to take to centralise information and reap many benefits.

Smooth Collaborations

Team collaborations can be a nightmare when there are multiple copies of documents. Human error, redundancy, and lack of productivity all cease to be issues when automated workflows are used. With the information in a single place, it is easy to collaborate, increase productivity, and optimise the actionable data that is required to create a smooth workflow between the relevant parties.

Improved Productivity

Workflow automation dramatically increases productivity. This happens by reducing the time employees and customers need to interact with important documents.

This increased productivity saves costs because the information is processed fast and efficiently. More work can be done in a shorter time frame, increasing company profits and customer satisfaction. Large amounts of data must be processed in the digital age, and with an excellent workflow automation process, this is done seamlessly.

Reduce Redundancy

Workflow automation leads to better communication, gives real-time information and feedback, and makes strategic planning smooth and more efficient.

Errors in information and cataloguing are less likely to happen, and information can be easily obtained across platforms. Choosing a digital solution to optimise workflow significantly
reduces redundancy in a company, meaning the relevant information can flow quickly.

Lower Carbon Footprint

Reducing the environmental footprint should be an important consideration for any company. Using automation like electronic signatures and electronic forms creates a digital platform that reduces, if not eliminates, the need for any paper to be used to conduct business.

Cutting out paper is one of the easiest and simplest ways for a company to reduce its environmental footprint. Automation can increase a company’s green-friendly credentials, elevating a business in customers’ eyes amongst other benefits.

Conclusion

Automating workflows with electronic forms and signatures offers a wealth of benefits that increase productivity, save time and money, reduce redundancy, and provide green solutions.

In the Digital Age where content moves fast and people expect instantaneous results, workflow automation is not only an excellent choice to make; it is entirely necessary.

 

 

Who is Wacom?

Wacom is the global leader and premium manufacturer of pen displays and illustrative tablets for creative users. As a technology company, Wacom provides cutting-edge digital ink solutions for a wide range of partners. Their technologies have been incorporated into smartphones, tablets, and digital stationery. Wacom utilises its technologies to facilitate the best digital ink and pen experiences for its customers. Throughout their lives and across all facets of their life.

Digital pens and digital ink are at the forefront of all our activities. Ink is the medium that humans have been using for millennia to record, express and preserve information and communication. Whilst creatives use it to visualise their inspirations, most of us use ink to capture thoughts, to communicate, to authorise and validate. The signature or the act of “leaving one’s mark” on a page has been a tried and tested means of concluding agreements and providing consent across all sectors and industries, a key focus for Wacom.

Wacom develops and advances a range of digital pen and ink technologies for their Wacom branded products and solutions for their partners.

Wacom Signature Pads

Firstly, there are 2 very popular signature pads that are widely used across South Africa, Africa, and the rest of the world. These include the STU 400 series and the STU 500 Series.

The latest generation of each model is STU-430 and STU-540. Both of which have seen many advancements over the past decade. Most importantly, improved aspects of security, functionality enhancements and even durability. Making the devices rugged for those more precarious working environments such as construction and mining.

The main difference between these signature pads is the 430 has a monochrome display, while the 540 is a colour display.

Chances are you’ve seen these devices in your local bank, as well as your popular retailers.

Both units utilise state-of-the-art RSA/AES encryption to ensure safe transactions with electronic signatures, while their cordless, battery-free pens – with 1024 pressure sensitivity levels enable biometric capturing of digital signatures. A biometric signature in this case will refer to not only the act of graphically reproducing one’s signature on a screen but gathering biometric information as well. Biometric information includes variables such as: pressure, angle, tilt, speed, and flow. These can then be used to validate one’s signature for authenticity purposes. A real game-changer in the fraud department.

Wacom Display Tablets

Secondly, Wacom also offers a range of larger display tablets. Two to mention are the DTK-1660E and the DTU-1031AX.

The main difference between these two display tablets is their size. The DTK sports a 15.6” display, which makes it ideal for contracts or large documents that need to be read in its entirety, replicating a full-scale version of an A4 page. The DTU in comparison, has a 10.1” display, making it good for displaying information that needs to be ticked off or signed off, as a scaled A5 page.

These tablets have been extremely well received in countries such as Europe, America and the United Arab Emirates. The user experience is vastly improved. Particularly when the user and the presenter can both see the same document across different devices simultaneously. As if they were working on the same piece of paper.

 

 

 

 

 

How does Conclude fit in?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclude is a premium partner and regional partner for Wacom in Sub-Saharan Africa. Conclude has assisted multiple companies across 13 countries in Africa, helping find solutions to their digital challenges.

Transitioning from paper to digital can be a cumbersome process, especially when one changes the way to capture that “mark”. Together, Conclude’s skills and expertise in software development, consulting, and brilliant minds at the forefront of this technology, with Wacom’s RSA/AES encryption and pressure sensitivity across their devices, this partnership makes for a perfect recipe for success. Therefore, apart from just the technology, this partnership ensures that compliance is maintained according to the governing legislature. Requirements are met through the level of security and biometric data needed to satisfy such requirements, as set out in the Electronic and Communications and Transactions Act, 2002. (ECT Act).

Finally, Wacom’s products and combined solutions are widely used. For instance – in the FinTech, legal, parastatal, telecoms, mining, medical, real estate and automotive industries. However, they can be used anywhere really, where the strategy has been embarked upon for a document to be signed digitally, legally, and securely.

Conclusion

Conclude is the regional partner for South Africa and the African continent. From creative to business, Wacom provides solutions to bring the digital world to life. State-of-the-art displays, security, and biometrics allow Conclude to deliver our premium Electronic Signature solutions to our clients.

 

Contact Conclude today, to find a solution that works for you!

How to Improve Workflow with Electronic Forms and Signatures

Workflow Electronic Forms and Signatures

Thanks to the digital age, there are almost endless benefits. You are able to improve business processes and streamline workflows like never before. And with electronic forms, you can reap some of these benefits, to save both time and money.

Below we’ll be going through some points on how Conclude can help you improve your workflows through the use of electronic form solutions.

Automate

With electronic forms, you can automate workflows. A lot of the time documents need to go through multiple stages to be approved, obtain the necessary information, and be stored.

Electronic forms allow you to automate these processes. Once the form is completed at one stage it will go to the next, and so on, and when the document is complete it can be set to be stored in a central location that is easy to access.

Centralise

Electronic forms and documents eliminate the need for expensive filing cabinets, endless paper and printing routines, and missing documents.

Having a centralised, digital way to store and access your electronic forms and documents. This means you can easily retrieve documents you need, and access them from anywhere.

Without the need for paper-based forms and mundane administrative tasks, you are on track to save a lot of time and money that revolves around them.

Access

Being able to access your forms at any time from anywhere, should be seen as a benefit in and of itself. But couple that with the ability to easily retrieve any document or documents with a simple search query, and you have a winner.

Electronic forms eliminate the need to search through piles and piles of documents looking for the one you need. Instead, you can just search your database for the relevant information and get your workflows moving along quickly.

Lastly, all your forms and documents can be securely stored in one place.

Ease of Use

Both the business and customers are able to access, complete and submit electronic forms with little to no interference. This means you can get your business processes going quickly and easily.

Electronic forms also allow for predetermined data types for entries. This reduces the number of potential errors when completing the forms. Making it easier to interpret and submit.

Conclusion

Considering all the above benefits that electronic forms can have on your workflow, it’s easy to see why they are becoming so popular. Every business wants to save time and money, and electronic forms give you just that.

No more paper and printing, no more excessive admin work and no more delays in workflow.

Contact Conclude, and we will assist you in setting your business up with electronic forms and signatures, to make the most out of your business

Contact us for more info!

Securing Electronic Documents

Tips on Securing Your Electronic Documents

Remote work, digital communication, electronic forms and electronic documents, in general, have become such a staple in the last couple of years. With that in mind, it is important to ensure you are doing what you can to protect valuable information and secure your electronic documents. To avoid them from being used maliciously.

Since 2020, there have been record-breaking amounts of cyberattacks, and by the end of 2021 was expected to cost the world around $6 trillion, according to Cybercrime Magazine.

In this post Conclude hopes to educate you on how to avoid data breaches, leaks and prepare your business against cyber criminals.

Encrypt Your Data

Encrypting your data and communications is vital. It ensures that the data can only be seen by those who are meant to see them. You can utilise encryption methods where the data is decrypted with the use of passwords or pin codes.

The best thing is to get an SSL/TLS certificate to identify the server identity and ensure an encrypted connection.

Audits

You need to ensure that your electronic document system allows you to view audit trails. This means that you can see who and when someone has accessed, edited or shared any
files. If something does go wrong, you will then have the ability to track the potential source. It will also help auditors see how and where documents are moving through the business.

Security audits are just as important. You need to review your storage systems and keep your systems up to date. Make sure you identify any potential security risks and mitigate outdated software from updated attacks.

Custom Permissions

Another good practice is to set up custom permissions for employees. Having everyone
have access to everything is never a good idea. Even if you feel they are all trustworthy. A simple mistake or negligence can lead to serious problems.

Setting up restricted access or redactions to certain documents, information or data can
save you a lot of headaches in the future. Allow employees to only have access to the
resources they need to do their jobs, and nothing more. This will minimise the risk of
potential leaks and/or breaches.

 

Manage Data

You need to manage your data appropriately. Saving data to computer hard drives is bad practice. Secured cloud storage or network drive storage is the way to go. They allow for only authorised access, remote access, and already offer encryption protocols to data.

Keep your data and filing system tidy and make sure it stays consistent. This will help to
avoid losing data or documents, and keep you in control of what’s going on.

Lastly, back-up your files and data regularly, to a secondary storage. And remove any
unnecessary data from your storage, particularly if they contain sensitive information – if it’s not needed, destroy it.

Train and Test

Employee negligence or ignorance can render any security protocols you have useless. Train employees thoroughly on every aspect of handling, sharing and storing data. They must also be trained to use and update any software they use, to avoid any mishaps.

Once employees are trained and all your protocols are in place, test. Do internal tests of the software and protocols you have to ensure they are up to standard and have no holes. These tests should be done regularly.

Conclusion

Electronic documents are part of any modern business, and it is important to keep sensitive and valuable information secure. Not only for the benefit of your customers but also for the benefit of your business.

Cyberattacks are on the rise, as more things move to digital format. And Conclude hopes to help you stay ahead of these cybercriminals. Get in touch with Conclude to assist you with
your Digital Transformation and electronic document needs, and we will help you implement the right software and procedures to operate without any worries.

Contact Us NOW

What are NFTs?

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Non-Fungible means that an item or asset has unique properties that cannot be changed or replaced. Essentially making it one-of-a-kind.

What are NFTs?

While NFTs have been around since 2014, they have only recently made it into popularity and mainstream media. With around $174 million being spent on NFTs since 2017. Forbes has stated that: ‘…many NFTs, at least in these early days, have been digital creations that already exist in some form elsewhere, like iconic video clips from NBA games or securitized versions of digital art that’s already floating around on Instagram.”

They are digital tokens that are normally bought using Cryptocurrencies. They use the same technology as crypto, such as the Ethereum blockchain, in order to secure the tokens. These digital tokens provide proof of ownership for digital or even physical assets.

But just like many digital things, they can be freely viewed online, so why are people spending millions on them? Because it’s the proof of ownership, of the original, that’s so valuable. Think of the Mona Lisa – anyone can have a photograph or replica, but there is only 1 original, and it is priceless.

How do NFTs work?

At their highest level, NFTs exist on the Ethereum Blockchain, but other blockchains can have their own versions of NFTs, and some already do.

NFTs can be “tokenised” to create digital certificates of ownership, and those are the things that are bought and sold.

Some examples of NFTs, provided by Ethereum.org:

  • Digital Art:
    • GIFs
    • Collectables
    • Music
    • Videos
    •  
  • Real-World Items:
    • Deeds to a car
    • Tickets to a real-world event
    • Tokenized invoices
    • Legal documents
    • Signatures
  • Lots and lots more options to get creative with!

 

NFTs can only have one owner at any given time. “When someone creates or mints an NFT, they execute code stored in smart contracts that conform to different standards, such as ERC-721.”

Artists can also sign their artwork by including their signature in an NFT’s metadata.

What are NFTs used for?

NFTs can be a way for digital artists and creators to monetise their content. They can be used for digital content, gaming items, domain names, physical items, investments and collateral.

Can’t I just “right-click, save”?

Theoretically, yes. There’s nothing stopping you from screen capturing, downloading, or saving a copy of an NFT artwork. The problem with that is, you still don’t own the token. And it’s the token that has the actual value.

The authenticity and the certification that you own the original piece is what NFTs are all about. Look back to the Mona Lisa analogy.

And in all fairness, the more a piece is copied, shared and wanted, the higher the value of the NFT is likely to grow.

Conclusion

NFTs are busy waking waves in popular culture and have seen massive amounts of investments over recent months. Owning digital assets could be the thing of the future, as we are slowly moving towards a more virtual world. And NFTs can even be a more secure means of confirming ownership of physical assets, as they’re secured with the same technology as cryptocurrencies.

And while it may be simple to copy a digital asset, all you’re achieving in doing so, is creating more value for the actual token.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency or “crypto” is a decentralized digital or virtual currency. It can be used to buy normal goods or services, provided that the vendor accepts cryptocurrency. However, this isn’t how crypto is mainly used nowadays.

Due to the nature of anything digital, and the presence of cybercriminals, cryptocurrencies used advanced cryptography and digital signatures to secure and record any and all transactions in Decentralized Ledger Technology, like the Blockchain.

What is Cryptocurrency?

How many Cryptocurrencies are there?

You may already be familiar with the most popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. But there are thousands upon thousands of different cryptocurrencies to purchase, trade or mine.

Below is a table showing some of the top cryptocurrencies and their market cap. Provided by nerdwallet.

Nerdwallet has also stated that as of 3 December 2021, the total value of all cryptocurrencies are at $2.6 trillion.

How are cryptocurrencies used?

Cryptocurrencies can be used just like any other normal currency, to buy goods and services. However, as stated above, this isn’t their main use. Currently, cryptocurrencies are mainly used for trading, much like stocks and precious metals.

Cryptocurrencies can be obtained in a number of ways. Firstly, you can purchase them with normal physical money, but in order to do so, you will need a digital “wallet”. Secondly, you can trade them with other cryptocurrencies or normal currency on an exchange. And lastly, you can use advanced computers that run programs to “mine” the cryptocurrency of your choice.

Investopedia has done a post on the process of Bitcoin Mining.

Should you look at getting into Crypto?

While cryptocurrencies gain popularity with each passing day, you may want to hop onto the train. However, before doing so, there may be a few things you want to consider first.

Firstly, when investing and trading in cryptocurrencies, you need to understand that they are incredibly volatile. Meaning that their prices and values change significantly, in a short amount of time. It may be a wiser choice to invest in stocks and currency exchanges, as they are far more established and secure. On the other hand, the volatility of cryptocurrencies can be a blessing, you could invest a low amount, and see exponential growth. High risk can mean a high reward.

Secondly, if you want to get into mining crypto rather than investing, it could cost you quite a bit to get started. There are 2 different ways to mine crypto, one is Proof of Work and the other is Proof of Stake. To read more on these different types of mining, check out Forbes’post on the topic. Proof of Work mining requires a lot of special (expensive) equipment and a huge amount of electricity to validate transactions by solving complex puzzles. Proof of Stake limits your transaction validations based on how much crypto you are willing to “stake”. While this uses less computing power and electricity to complete, you do need cryptocurrency before you can even begin mining, and the more you stake, the more likely you are to be chosen to verify a transaction and mine the cryptocurrency.

Conclusion

Many say cryptocurrencies are the currency of the future. And due to their security and their ability to remain outside government control, this may be the fact. But at the moment, their volatility makes them difficult to circulate for normal daily transactions. They are growing in popularity, but you need to ensure you understand the risks and costs involved in starting a crypto journey.

What is Blockchain?

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a relatively new technology that has seen a rise in popularity, since the introduction of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. The purpose of it is as a system of recording and storing information, in such a way that it cannot be changed, reversed, hacked or cheated.

What can Blockchain be used for?

The main use of Blockchain technology is as a ledger for transactions performed with cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or Ethereum. However, there are many different ways in which you can use blockchain, as it is a very secure way of storing information and performing transactions.

This technology can be used for physical things, like houses, cars, land, etc, or intangible things like cryptocurrency, intellectual property, copyright, etc. Below are some of the use cases where IBM has implemented blockchain technology.

  • Tracing fresh seafood from the moment it’s caught
  • Improving cryptocurrency security in financial services
  • Transforming healthcare outcomes
  • AI and IoT for supply chains
  • Fueling Innovation in the oil and gas industry
  • Increasing trust in retailer-supplier relationships

How does Blockchain work?

Blockchain maintains a decentralized record of transactions. This means that when a transaction is performed, a record is made of it, duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computers on the blockchain. This decentralised database, which is managed by many users is also known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) – below is an image showing the properties of a DLT, from Euromoney Learning.

The way that Blockchain collects and stores information, is different from standard databases. It collects the information together in groups, known as “blocks”, which have limited capacity. Once a block reaches its capacity, it is closed and linked to the previous block – hence the “chain”. Blockchain is secured through the use of cryptographic digital signatures and secure timestamps, for each transaction and every block.

Pros and cons of Blockchain

lockchain technology has its pros and cons, just like any other technology. Providing a secure and immutable ledger of transactions and a decentralized database of information and the biggest perks. But, with that security and power come some cost implications, as well as a means to do the “not so legal”. Below is a good comparison of some of the pros and cons of blockchain, done by Investopedia.

 

Pros Cons
Improved accuracy by removing human involvement in verification Significant technology cost associated with mining bitcoin
Cost reductions by eliminating third-party verification Low transactions per second
Decentralization makes it harder to tamper with History of use in illicit activities such as on the Dark Web
Transactions are secure, private, and efficient Regulation varies by jurisdiction and remains uncertain
Transparent technology Data storage limitations
Provides a banking alternative and way to secure personal information for citizens of countries with unstable or underdeveloped governments  

SSL/TLS: Know the Differences

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL was developed by Netscape in the mid-1990s, as a means to secure the online connection between a client and the server. SSL version 1.0 was never released, and SSL 2.0 and 3.0 were released in 1996 and 2008 respectively. However, SSL has had its flaws and vulnerabilities since the start, and as a result – TLS was released as SSL’s successor.

SSL/TLS Differences

 

 

What is TLS?

TLS stands for Transport Layer Security. TLS was developed as the successor for SSL, providing higher levels of security for client/server communications. TLS effectively replaced SSL in 2015. SSL and TLS work similarly, as they encrypt data sent between the client and the server, to ensure the information isn’t accessible to hackers. TLS is commonly used for instant messaging, VOIP and web browsers.

What are the differences?

While SSL and TLS are often used interchangeably, they are different. Modern internet connections use TLS as a means of secure communication. But are often referred to as “SSL Certificates” due to the fact that SSL is the most commonly known name.

It is also important to remember that while they are different, their premises are the same – establish secure/encrypted communication between client and server, to protect personal information from cybercriminals.

Below is an informative table from Sectigo Store, outlining the differences between SSL and TLS.

SSL

TLS

SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layer.”

TLS stands for “Transport Layer Security.”

Netscape developed the first version of SSL in 1995.

The first version of TLS was developed by the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) in 1999.

SSL is a cryptographic protocol that uses explicit connections to establish secure communication between web server and client.

TLS is also a cryptographic protocol that provides secure communication between web server and client via implicit connections. It’s the successor of SSL protocol.

Three versions of SSL have been released: SSL 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

Four versions of TLS have been released: TLS 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3.

All versions of SSL have been found vulnerable, and they all have been deprecated.

TLS 1.0 and 1.1 have been “broken” and are deprecated as of March 2020. TLS 1.2 is the most widely deployed protocol version.

Why do you need an SSL or TLS certificate?

If you are a business with an online presence (website, e-commerce, etc) it is vital to have an SSL/TLS certificate. This is because users are more likely to trust your website, interact with it, and provide personal information if they know that the information is protected. SSL/TLS certificates also help in confirming the validity of the website they are visiting.

It is also important to note that it doesn’t matter whether it’s an “SSL” or “TLS” certificate, as the certificate itself isn’t what offers the protection. Instead, it’s the actual protocol used by the server – which is currently TLS protocol, across the board.

 

The below image from DigiCert shows some common use cases and recommended certificate types.

Conclusion

SSL and TLS are terms used interchangeably, as security and encryption methods used online, to protect information between users and websites. They are essentially the same thing, however, TLS offers more protection and is currently the most widely used protocol for online communications and transactions.

In order for your business’s website to be trusted by the public, it is important to have an in-tact SSL/TLS certificate, to ensure your visitors that your website is safe, and they can browse or transact safely.

Contact us for more info!

Secure Timestamps in Digital Signatures

Secure Timestamps in Digital Signatures

What is a Timestamp?

A timestamp is a reliable and secure way to prove the exact time that an entry or signature was made on an electronic form document. This can be an important factor when there is a dispute on when a document was digitally signed.

However, the timestamp that you use for a digital signature must be a trusted one. You cannot rely on a “local” timestamp, as users can manipulate the date/time on their computers to create fraudulent timestamps. Instead, a trusted timestamping authority must be used, which timestamps the document according to a Coordinated Universal Time source.

As with most things used in digital signatures, the timestamp is also secured with Public Key Infrastructure to ensure that it remains untampered and valid.

How does Timestamping Work?

To start with, when the document is signed, it will send a hash function to the trusted timestamp authority. They will then apply the exact time – from the Coordinated Universal Time source – to the hash and secure it with the TSA’s private key to prevent tampering. The time-stamped document is then returned and stored.

If a situation arises where you need to validate the timestamp, you will create a hash function from the document and compare it to the one embedded in the timestamp. If they match, the timestamp is considered valid, if they do not match, then there may be evidence of tampering and the document/timestamp cannot be trusted.

Risks of Not Using Secure Timestamps

It is highly important to ensure you use secure timestamps for your electronic forms and digital signatures. The reason is – if your timestamps are not secure, you are going to run into a lot of problems. 

Firstly, you won’t be able to trust the data in your electronic form. And it will cost you quite a lot in order to back it up another way.

Secondly, if users can sign a document without a timestamp you cannot prove when that document was signed. And if a user has access to an expired key, you cannot prove if the digital signature was made before or after its expiry.

Lastly, as mentioned before, if a timestamp uses a local clock, users will easily be able to manipulate the timestamp.

All of this will result in legal and compliance issues. Which will create further problems, should there be a dispute or the document/signature needs to stand in court.

 

Conclusion

At Conclude all of our Electronic, Digital and Advanced Electronic signatures all come with secure embedded timestamps. To ensure that signatures remain valid for as long as possible, and provide an audit trail from start to finish of a workflow. Our solutions also offer full compliance under the ECT act.

So if you are in need of electronic form, or digital signature solutions get in contact with Conclude today, and we will assist you to the best of our ability.

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Digital / Electronic Signature FAQs

Digital / Electronic Signature

What is an Electronic Signature?

 

An electronic signature is a means to electronically sign a document. This can be achieved with a symbol, picture or “signing” on a device, to apply the signature to an electronic document or form.

What is a Digital Signature?

A digital signature is a means to electronically sign a document. This can be achieved with a symbol, picture or “signing” on a device, to apply the signature to an electronic document or form. Digital also has the benefit of taking extra steps in order to verify the identity of the signer and secure the trail of the electronic form.

 

 

What’s the difference between Electronic and Digital signatures?

The biggest difference between electronic and digital signatures comes from their security, user authentication and legal validity. Electronic signatures are very simple and offer no way of authenticating the user that has signed the document. Whereas a digital signature comes with added steps (such as 2 Factor Authentication) to further validate the identity of the signer. The added steps in digital signatures also increase their ability to stand in a court of
law.

 

Are digital signatures legal?

In South Africa, digital signatures are legally binding for certain documents. In accordance with the ECT Act, digital signatures can stand in a court of law, as they make use of cryptographic digital certification. This means the signer’s identity and intent can be proven to a certain extent.

How secure are digital signatures? 

Digital signatures are highly secured. They make use of Public Key Infrastructure, which is an asymmetrical cryptographic encryption method. This PKI ensures that the data is encrypted and decrypted as intended. This PKI is used to validate the identity of any signers, as their signatures are embedded with a unique key that links their signature to their identity.

 

How do I electronically sign documents?

Electronically signing a document is quite simple. Once you receive the electronic form that requires the signature, you can click or press on the signature box. Once you’ve done that a prompt will appear for you to simply sign with your name, upload an image of your signature, or draw your signature using a mouse/stylus/your finger.

 

Conclusion

With how simple and effective digital signatures are, as well as their security and legality, it is easy to see why digital signatures are becoming more popular by the day.

At Conclude, we can assist you with all of your digital signature needs, answer any questions you may have, and even assist you with the digital transformation steps needed to implement digital signatures into your business.

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Different Digital Signatures Use Cases

There is almost an endless number of ways one can incorporate digital signatures into your business. From frontend to backend processes, and everything in between. Allowing you to cut the costs surrounding paper-based forms and document signing, as well as streamlining your workflow processes. Digital signatures are a good step into a digital transformation strategy.

However, you may still be unaware of where or how to incorporate digital signatures for you.

In this post, we’ll be highlighting some of the different use cases that digital signatures have.

 

 

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Different Digital Signatures

Education Sector

The education sector sees a lot of different documents that need to be completed every year. Whether it’s student registration, reregistration, indemnity forms, extracurriculars or just internal documents that need to be signed off.

Digital signature and electronic form solutions allow these processes to be completed and filed with little to no hassle.

Conclude’s solutions allow schools to create electronic forms, have them sent, completed and digitally signed, before being returned. The process is completely secure and trackable each step of the way, and fully compliant with regulations.

 

FinTech Industry

Financial service providers are always looking for enhanced customer experiences, as well as secure and compliant ways to handle all the documents between them and their customers.

FSPs deal with a lot of contracts, credit agreements, new client onboarding and customer relations. All of these documents and processes require signatures, and these signatures need to be able to stand a court of law.

With Conclude we provide completely secure, legal and compliant digital signing solutions, that is fully auditable and digital signing hardware to create a seamless customer experience.

B-BBEE Verification Agencies 

There are a plethora of documents that move between the different parties involved in a business B-BBEE verification process. Documents from companies, consultants and the
verification agencies require strict adherence to protocols and processes.

With that in mind Conclude’s digital signatures solutions enable any organisation to optimise how they create and quickly, share, review, approve and securely sign important business documents.

 

Others…

There are also a number of other uses for digital signatures. These can include Purchase Orders, invoices, sales contracts, HR documents and employee onboarding. The possibilities are endless.

 

Conclusion

The best way forward for you and your business is to find out which processes require forms to be filled out or which documents require signatures. And with the different digital signature options available, you can choose the one best suited to your needs. Automating workflows, having a secure and reliable audit trail, and remaining compliant with POPIA and the ECT Act.

 

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How to Avoid Digital Signature Pitfalls

With digital signatures growing in popularity and use by the day, it’s easy to only see sunshine and roses. However, there are certain things to be on the lookout for, to ensure your digital signature solution works for you.

In this week’s post, we’ll be advising you on some pitfalls to digital signatures, and how to avoid them.

 

Avoid Digital Signature Pitfalls

Picking The Right Solution

Firstly, you need to be sure of what you will be using a digital signature solution for. This is important because there are different solutions that can be used for different things. The main impact of the different solutions come from their affordability, their compliance, and how simple they are to use.

There are solutions for simple in-house documents or invoicing, legally binding documents or documents that require high levels of security and auditability.

At Conclude, our signing solutions are able to assist you with everything. From standard electronic signatures to advanced electronic signatures, as well as hardware and workflow automation.

 

Ease of Use:
Secondly, ensure you find a digital signing solution that is simple to use. There has to be a simple and easy to understand UI for both you and your customers.

It doesn’t help when you are struggling to create or sign your electronic forms, and have to send your customer jumping over hurdles to complete a document.

Ease of use should also not interfere with a feature-rich solution. You need to be able to do everything you need to do, if not more. And still be able to navigate it without difficulty.

The right solution will also be able to integrate with most, if not all of the software your business is currently using. This just allows for seamless adoption of a digital signature solution.

 

Laws and Regulations

When choosing a digital signature solution, you need to keep in mind what laws and regulationsneed to be followed. The reason for this is because certain documents require specific levels of security, validity and identification.

In order for a document to be legally binding/stand in a court of law – you need to be able to confirm who signed it, that they knew what they were signing and that they signed of their own free will. Which can be difficult with a standard electronic signature.

You also need to keep in mind any international standards and regulations, specifically when a document is created or needs to be signed by someone outside of your country or jurisdiction.

Conclude’s digital signing solutions work hand-in-hand with the only private Certificate Authority in South Africa, to ensure all laws are followed.

 

Security

Security is of the utmost importance when dealing with anything digitally. Especially when there is sensitive, personal or confidential information being shared through electronic forms.

This is because there are a significant number of cybercriminals who are aiming to use such information with malicious intent.

Choosing the right digital signature solution must ensure that both you and your customer’s information is safe, secure, cannot be tampered with, and takes steps to confirm the identities of any and all signers, with a clear audit trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Conclusion
There are many digital signing solutions to choose from. However, they aren’t always the best. It is important to know what you are getting from your solution, to ensure you don’t succumb to these pitfalls.
Conclude offers South Africa’s industry standard, when it comes to digital signature and electronic form solutions. Working closely with South Africa’s Certificate Authority, to provide our clients with secure, easy-to-use, feature rich, and fully compliant digital signature solutions.

How to Deal With Change Fatigue from Digital Transformation

What is Change Fatigue?

How to Deal With Change Fatigue from Digital Transformation

Change fatigue is a term often used when a business goes through big or many changes in a short time. This “fatigue” happens as employees cling to the old ways of doing things, or fear what the change may bring and cause.

These changes can cause stress, confusion, apathy, or a fear of job security within your employees. And handling the change fatigue can be the thing that causes the success or failure of a digital transformation strategy.

Since digital transformation is a business-wide endeavour, change fatigue is almost certain. In this post we’ll be going through some of the steps you can take to lower change fatigue and increase your chances of success.

 

Initiate

Digital Transformation can be a big project to undertake (although necessary). And with so many different changes taking place at the same time, it can invite change fatigue quite quickly. 

That is why it is important to have a good plan at hand when initiating a digital transformation. It’s best to have a bottom-up approach, including as many people as possible in the change initiatives. By including employees, as well as leaders and managers, can result in a more accepting environment to the changes.

Lead

Having good leadership during big changes is vital to employee morale, and combating change fatigue. You need to have good leaders in place, with the right set of skills, to empower employees to change that are or will be happening.

Leaders must have an open-door policy when digital transformation is imminent. Allowing employees to discuss the changes, and provide feedback, whether good or bad. This allows employees to feel more involved and heard, and leaders can effectively monitor how the changes are doing. 

Implement

Once you’ve started implementing your digital transformation, you need to have goals in mind. By having clear goals, communicating them to your teams, and establishing the benefits of the changes, everyone will become more accepting. This also allows you to maintain control over the changes and measure the success or failure of each one.

It is also important to remember that even the smallest of changes in one area of the business, can impact others. The changes you are implementing need to be positive and must interfere with current operations as little as possible. If employees can see and experience the benefits, without the added stress of interruptions, you can mitigate change fatigue effectively.

How Digital Transformation can improve Customer Experience

In last week’s blog, we went through some of the many benefits that Digital Transformation can have for your business.

This week we will be looking more directly, into how Digital Transformation can improve customer experience, specifically, a good customer experience, as it can be the make or break point for any business. That is why it is an important factor to consider when implementing a Digital Transformation strategy.

How Digital Transformation can improve Customer Experience

Data Utilisation

First of all, customers of today are almost always connected. Whether it’s on a computer or via their mobile device, they are always browsing online. This means that there is an ocean of valuable customer data that is available. And with the digital tools at your disposal, you are able to utilise that data to your benefit.

Customers nowadays enjoy a personalised experience. Utilising the customer data means you are able to see their browsing habits, spending habits, and so on. This means you can provide personalised recommendations, communications and services to each customer. 

After all, the more relevant something is to a customer, the more likely they are to commit to it.

Automation

Secondly, automation is invaluable in the digital age. Not only does it streamline internal processes, to deliver a faster customer journey. But it also allows for front-facing 24/7 customer service.

Having things like chatbots and automated e-commerce, your digital customer’s need for instant gratification can be fulfilled. Customers want their needs met – where and when they need them.

The modern customer prefers to interact with computer-based applications, over humans. According to Accenture, the availability, efficiency and politeness of computer-based applications, improved their overall satisfaction.

Omnichannel Availability

Lastly, since customers are always connected and have to have their needs met almost immediately, it’s a good approach to provide an omnichannel experience.

Your customers will want to have a seamless and accessible experience when dealing with your business. Allowing them to have the same experience no matter what platform they have access to, will ensure consistency and reliability, and much higher customer retention.

Internal omnichannel experience is also just as important for your customer’s journey. Allowing teams and departments to quickly correspond and solve customer queries and issues will go a long way in keeping your customers happy.

Conclusion

While Digital Transformation is an enterprise-wide approach, putting a little extra attention to the customer experience is advised. Customers are able to provide feedback and/or criticism instantaneously. With that in mind, keeping your customers happy is vital.

Your customers are the driving force of your business. AS stated earlier, your customer experience can make or break a successful business.

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Benefits of Implementing Digital Transformation

But why? Why is Digital Transformation so vital? Below we’re going to be looking at some of the benefits of implementing Digital Transformation can have for your business.

As we all know by now, Digital Transformation is a vital step that any modern business needs to undertake.

Efficiency

In a digital world, efficiency is key. And implementing digital transformation into your business can help you achieve the efficiency necessary.

Utilising the digital tools at your disposal, you can streamline workflows and business processes from start to finish. By connecting and consolidating departments, resources and databases, as well as automating mundane tasks, your business can run optimally.

Digital Transformation is able to improve communication, ensure a continuous flow of information and provide a more consistent experience – both to the business and to customers.

Customer Experience

Without customers, any business would fail. This is why creating the best possible customer experience is so important.

With digital transformation, you can improve the quality and utilisation of the data you collect. This means you can better anticipate and deliver according to your customers’ needs.

Technology is also able to assist with customer engagement. You can get real-time feedback, while also providing real-time solutions and answers to customer queries.

Collaboration

Allowing employees, teams, departments and management to collaborate with one another seamlessly, is another big advantage to digital transformation.

Easy collaboration methods make everyone’s job easier and less stressful. Reducing the chances for errors, streamlining workflows and allowing for work to continue, even out of office.

Flexibility

If the last 2 years have taught us anything, it’s that a business needs to be flexible. Not knowing what may happen tomorrow, your business needs to be able to adapt on a whim.

Technology has given us the tools we need to truly be flexible. Whether it be cloud services to centralize data, information and resources, or online meeting tools for collaborative work no matter where you are. It is evident that digital transformation can help you to adapt and overcome.

Costs and Profits

After looking at all the benefits above, we can dive into – arguably – the most important one; reducing costs and increasing profits.

Implementing digital transformation in a digital age is the best way to ensure your business can keep up with competitors. Remaining innovative and being able to grow as quickly as technology does.

Efficient workflows and reducing manpower needed for mundane tasks, is going to reduce costs on overheads significantly.

Ensuring customers are happy and delivering the best and simplest experience is a sure way to drive up profits.

While collaboration and flexibility ensure your business remains operational no matter what. And without as little interruptions or downtime as possible.

Benefits of Implementing Digital Transformation

How to Overcome some of Digital Transformation Hurdles

Digital Transformation Hurdles and how to Overcome some.

Digital Transformation Hurdles and how to Overcome some fo them you might wonder? Digital Transformation can be an intimidating task to undertake. Mostly due to some of the hurdles that most businesses need to overcome to make the digital transformation successful. Below we’ll be going through some of these hurdles, to bring them to light and offer some solutions. Hopefully, this will alleviate some of the intimidation, and help you achieve successful digital transformation

Strategy

When it comes to implementing digital transformation into your business, it is vital to have a good strategy in place. 

While digital transformation is a business-wide endeavour, it helps to start small. Trying to change everything all at once, is a quick way to burn out and fail your attempt. Starting small ensures that you don’t hinder your current business processes to deter employees.

Focus more on one goal or department at a time – for obvious reasons – focus on the most important ones first. Implementing one part at a time, helps you maintain control over changes and reduce the stress on the overall business.

Lastly, make sure to communicate your strategy with all employees. It does not help to have management onboard when employees don’t know what’s going on. Keeping all employees in the loop helps keep them engaged and produce results.

 

Employee Reluctance

As with anything, change can be scary. This fear will come in the form of pushback from both employees and management. Mainly because they are stuck in their ways and even fear for their jobs.

The saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and while there is some truth to that, it doesn’t say don’t improve it. And that is what digital transformation is all about.

Legacy methods are tried and true, but digital transformation is here to better inefficient work
and business processes.

Combatting the reluctance also comes down to communication. Letting the employees know how these changes will improve the quality of their work, and easing their minds by keeping them involved during these changes.

Customer Experience

Customer Experience is one of – if not the most – important factors to consider when implementing digital transformation. Due to the impact customer feedback and reviews have on a business.

Having means of collecting usable customer data, helps to improve customer experience. By delivering personalised, user-friendly and streamlined interactions. 

Again, good strategy comes into play, as you don’t want your digital transformation to interfere with a good customer experience. On the other hand, digital transformation can be used to identify customer needs, and deliver them seamlessly.

 

Security

Access to so much data and a lot of it is sensitive information, means that it needs to be secure. Data and cybersecurity is quite a big hurdle to overcome when dealing with digital transformation.

You do not want to become a victim to a cyberattack, leaving your or your customers’ data vulnerable to cybercriminals.

Incorporating cloud services for the storage of information and data can be a valuable asset. Cloud services normally come equipped with security measures in place that are regularly updated, to keep up with cybercriminals.

Skills

It is important to ensure that you have the people with the necessary skills at hand when implementing digital transformation.

Trying to use your current workforce for your digital transformation could prove problematic. Firstly, they may not have the knowledge necessary to understand the technologies. Secondly, if they need to split their time between digital transformation and their normal jobs, it could reduce the results on both fronts.

You need to ensure you have a dedicated team, with the necessary skills. That will allow them the time and effort needed to focus and deliver. While having minimum impact on current business.

 

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Differences between Electronic and Digital Signatures

With Electronic and Digital signatures becoming more and more common and known to the average person. There are still a lot of people who are unsure about certain things.

In this post, we will hopefully be shedding some light on one of the main questions we get asked: “What is the difference between electronic and digital signatures?”

 

Electronic and Digital Signatures

 

 

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What is an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature is a digital form of making a mark on an electronic document, as a method for signing a document. It serves the same purpose as a wet signature, as it is meant to be a form of identification and consent on the document.

What is a Digital Signature

A digital signature is a form of electronic signature and is used for the same purposes. However, a digital signature is accompanied by public key infrastructure (PKI). This allows it to leverage cryptography to protect the document, as well as added steps to validate the identity of the signer.

What are the differences between these signatures?

Now that we have a better idea of what each of the signatures is, let’s dive into the key differences that there are between them.

Electronic signatures are a very quick and simple way to digitally sign an eForm, whereas digital signatures are a bit more complicated, as they require extra steps to validate the signer’s identity.

Electronic signatures can be used for most documents, however, digital signatures are recommended more for sensitive or legally binding documents.

When you sign an eForm with an electronic signature, they are not protected with cryptography. Digital signatures come with Public Key Infrastructure, to ensure they are encrypted, protected and tamper-proof.

Digital signatures are accompanied by a digital certificate that ties the signer’s identity to their signature. This usually includes additional steps such as password confirmation or receiving and entering an OTP when signing. Electronic signatures have no means of validating a person’s identity as the intended signer.

Digital signatures come with embedded time and date stamps, to ensure their longevity, whereas electronic signatures have no way of confirming when a document has been signed.

Conclusion 

While both electronic and digital signatures are digital ways of signing electronic forms, the digital signature is by far the better option. This is due to the additional protection and validation steps that come with digital signatures. However, electronic signatures can be just as good, if not better in terms of their simplicity to use and incorporate (keeping in mind, they cannot be used if you intend for a document to stand up in a court of law).

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Electronic Forms as Part of Your Digital Transformation

Switching from paper-based forms to electronic forms is a good starting point for any Digital Transformation strategy. 

We also know that digital transformation is a must-do, for any modern business.

If you would like to know a bit more about what digital transformation is, and why it’s so important, check out our previous blog post.

Electronic Forms | Digital Transformation

 

How eForms fit into a Digital Transformation strategy

Electronic Forms offer an easy to use way for businesses to create and complete the forms they need, as well as automating the workflows of said forms. 

This digital solution, and the streamlined processes, as well as the easy integration into business processes, make the use of electronic forms a good stepping stone into digital transformation.

Electronic forms eliminate the need to print or scan forms, as well as the need to manually process and store them. Secure, cloud-based storage, ensure you can find the document you need when you need it.

They also provide you with full control over the fields and data types of your forms, to avoid any hiccups or errors which may occur, and also give you valuable analytics and increased compliance assurance as you can track eforms from start to finish.

The most valuable asset that electronic forms bring to a digital transformation strategy has to be their ability to automate workflows. From the beginning, you can set who gets the form and when they get it, what details they need to complete and when the workflow comes to an end. This, alongside notifications and tracking, allow you to streamline any workflow process that requires a form, and provides an easy to use platform for your customers.

Conclusion

Digital Transformation allows all businesses to operate more efficiently, save money, increase productivity and cater to a wider base of customers. Now, implementing electronic form solutions is an important part of any digital transformation strategy, with all the benefits they offer.

If you would like to find out more about how electronic forms work, or get some helpful tips on Digital Transformation, check out our blogs on the topics.

How will Electronic Forms Benefit your Business?

The possibilities, uses and benefits of electronic forms are near endless, for modern-day businesses.
Introducing eForms into your workflow processes can save you quite a bit of time and money, as well as increasing productivity, efficiency, accuracy and reliability.

How will Electronic Forms Benefit Your Business?


Below we’ll be looking at some of the benefits electronic forms can have on your business.

 

 

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Accessibility

Since electronic forms are a digital way of creating, completing, submitting and processing forms, this makes access to them quite easily. Most people have access to a computer or smart device, meaning they can access the eForms from just about anywhere, as long as they can connect to the internet.

Providing easier access to your customers, when they need to complete forms or sign off on certain documents, will also increase customer satisfaction, which will benefit your business.

With electronic forms being securely stored online, it makes them far easier to search for and locate when you need them, rather than looking for hours through filing cabinets. (This also ensures the integrity of the documents is maintained.)

Accuracy

Electronic forms allow you to have full control over the fields you require the submitter to complete. This includes the type of data you need for a specific field, whether or not the field is mandatory and even character limits.

With this amount of control, the accuracy of the data in electronic forms is far better than the paper-based counterpart. Electronic forms eliminate most of the human error involved with filling out forms.

This also makes reviewing them a lot easier.

Time and Money

Switching from paper-based forms to electronic forms have a significant impact on saving your business time and money.

Without the need to print, scan, mail, file or revise forms, your business will reduce the amount of paper used throughout its workflows – and paper costs money.

Not only do these paper-based methods cost money due to the paper, but they also involve quite a bit of remedial administrative duties. This also interferes with productivity and adds additional overhead costs to pay employees to take care of these tasks.

Employees that spend their time doing these mundane tasks are wasting valuable time within the business that they could otherwise be using to add value to the business.

Electronic forms are a great way to automate workflows from start to finish and free up this time for the employees.

 

Ease of Use

Electronic forms are easy to set up, create, integrate and use. This is a big selling point, for both the business and the customers.

Allowing you to integrate eForms into any part of your business with little to no hassle, and providing an easy to use the system for your customers.

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How do Electronic Forms work?

We have touched on the topic of Electronic forms or “eForms” in one of our previous blog posts. We talked about what they are, how they can benefit you and what they can be used for.

However, you may still be unsure about how exactly electronic forms work, how you can use and implement them for your business and workflow processes.

How do electronic forms work?

 

How do Electronic Forms work?

Creator

Electronic forms are a very simple and user-friendly way to create, complete and process forms needed by a business.

Electronic forms allow the creator to compile a draft form in almost any word editor, with all the necessary field options that they require the filler to enter. This can be a simple field option, like their name and surname, a date field or a field for comments.

Once the draft has been completed, you can simply save it as a PDF, and upload it into your electronic form software (a single draft can be used multiple times, which can save you quite a bit of extra time).

With the draft in your eForm software, you can now start building your electronic form, adding the necessary field types to your document. When that is done, you can add recipients for the form, and send it out to be completed.

Another added benefit of electronic forms, is that they are embedded with time and date stamps for each part of their active workflow, to ensure they can be audited and remain untampered.

Submitter

The submitter will receive an email or link that contains the electronic form. They can then complete all the necessary fields, either on their computer or even using their mobile device.

When they are done, and the document is complete, it will then move to the next person in the workflow, or be returned to the creator for processing.

Processing

Processing electronic forms are far simpler than the standard paper-based methods. When the document is complete and returned to the creator, it is stored in a secure database, and contains all the embedded information, from each step of the workflow.

Since fields and field types are predetermined, and the document cannot be submitted without completing the necessary fields, there is less room for error. Making reviewing the document less time consuming and more accurate.

While the electronic forms are stored in a secure database, with the embedded time and date stamps for each step, this also ensures the validity of the form can remain intact for a longer period of time.


Conclusion

Electronic Forms are a very simple and user-friendly way of getting forms sent, completed, returned and processed digitally. They can save you quite an abundance in time, money and even effort, with less chance of errors, redos and incorrect filing. With electronic forms you can also track the date and time for each step of the workflow, to ensure nothing was missed and allow for thorough auditing when needed.

Machine Learning

What is Machine Learning also known as ML?

ML or as we call it ML is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI). ML uses algorithms in order to interpret data and information and provide a predictive outcome, without being explicitly programmed to do so.

AI and ML are often confused with one another, however, they have key differences. Where AI is designed to imitate the decision making of a human, based on instructions – ML is designed to learn from the data it is given to perform certain tasks or predict certain outcomes.

 

There are 3 types of Machine Learning:

 

 

 

 

 

3 Types
of
Machine Learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supervised ML – Supervised learning is a way to “teach” the machine by providing the algorithms with labelled training data, and defining the outputs you need. This allows the machine to classify and predict the data more accurately. This method is the most common form of ML and can be used to identify objects within a picture or identifying spam emails and moving them into a different folder than your inbox.

Unsupervised ML – Contrary to supervised learning, unsupervised learning used unlabeled data and unknown outcomes. With this method of learning, the machine is trained to look through the data sets in order to find clusters or anomalies within the data to create meaningful predictions or recommendations. This method is ideal for pattern recognition, online sales data for identifying the kinds of customers making purchases, and such.

Reinforcement ML – Reinforcement learning is similar to supervised learning, but the machine isn’t trained using data sets. Instead, the machine is taught through a trial and error model, and decides on the best course of action, based on either positive or negative feedback it receives. This method is best known for teaching a machine how to drive or to play a game.

Use Cases

There are many uses for ML today, especially with the access we have to big data (because the more data you provide to the machine, the better the output is). Some real-world applications for ML include Customer Relationship Management, Image Analysis and object detection, Speech Recognition, Self-Driving Cars, Fraud Detection, Computer Vision, Virtual Assistants, Chatbots, Medical Imaging and Diagnostics, and even Automated Stock Trading (among many more).

Machine Learning

Conclusion

Machine Learning is often used alongside Artificial Intelligence. It allows machines to “learn” based on the data it is given, performing tasks or predicting outcomes, without being explicitly programmed to do so. With 3 different methods to ML, there are many ways it can be utilised for your business, to improve the quality and use of big data, and accomplish things we as humans cannot.

 

Artificial Intelligence in Automation

What is Artificial Intelligence?

In its simplest form, Artificial Intelligence or AI is a field that combines computer programming and large data sets, to enable complex problem-solving. AI is the engineering of machines – mainly computer programs – to be “intelligent”. The goal of AI is to understand and mimic human intelligence, without the need to confine itself to biological barriers that we as humans have.

Artificial Intelligence in Automation

 

 

 

 

How does AI integrate with Automation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we briefly discussed in our previous post on Robotic Process Automation, AI shouldn’t be confused with RPA, or even automation on its own. Rather, AI can be incorporated with your automation, in order to achieve more complex methods of automation, this is better known as Intelligent Automation (IA) or Intelligent Process Automation (IPA).

Automation is designed in order to complete mundane or repetitive tasks, however, when you implement AI elements, such as machine learning or deep learning, you have a very powerful tool at your disposal. IA provides benefits from both the automation side – improved efficiency, accuracy, reliability, scalability and the AI side – insights, flexibility, ability to adapt and increased processing power.

Being able to combine your automated business processes with the AI capabilities such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), computer vision, facial/image recognition, allows you to utilise your automation, not only for completing simple repetitive tasks, but also delivering more personalised content, goods and services to customers, interpret and take action on data and analytics, change and adapt with business and market needs, and many other benefits

 

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence is not to be confused with automation, but integrating AI elements into your automation processes can be a very useful and powerful tool. AI is designed to mimic human intelligence as closely as possible, adapting and learning as it goes along to better deliver and perform its purposes, and provide valuable insight to many business strategies.

 

Vacancy: Senior DevOps Engineer

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Operations Manager

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role typeContract – 12 months

About the Role

The Senior DevOps Engineer will be responsible to collaborate with software developers, system operators and other IT staff members to manage system and code releases. Cross and merge the barriers that exist between software development, testing and operations teams and keep existing platforms and applications 99.99% available.

What you will do:

The successful candidate will be required, but not limited to:

  • Build scalable, efficient cloud infrastructure solutions
  • Implement automation tools and frameworks (CI/CD pipelines)
  • Build, Manage and Support environments in Azure and AWS cloud 
  • Deploy updates and fixes via automated pipelines
  • Troubleshoot production issues and coordinate with the development team to streamline code deployment.
  • Evaluate existing applications and platforms, recommendation and implement alternative solutions for enhancing performance
  • Conduct systems tests and manage security, performance, and availability
  • Design, develop, and implement software integrations
  • Analyze code and communicate detailed reviews to development teams to ensure a marked improvement in applications and the timely completion of projects.
  • Develop and maintain design and troubleshooting documentation

Robotic Process Automation

Robotic Process Automation

 

What is Robotic Process Automation? 

Robotic Process Automation or RPA, is the implementation and use of software robots or “bots” to carry out repetitive and mundane tasks that would normally be done by human input.

RPA is a part of Business Process Automationthat allows you to define a set of instructions that the bot will perform to carry out the needed tasks. These bots can be designed to learn, understand applications and things visible on a computer screen, and execute different inputs, like keystrokes, navigation and triggering certain responses.

Benefits of RPA

The main benefit of RPA is that it can do most of what humans can do on a computer, much faster, more reliably, more consistently and can operate without the need to take a break or stop. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to RPA.

 

 

Benefits
of
RPA

 

 

 

Simplicity – RPA is quite user friendly, allowing almost anyone to be able to set up and implement RPA software, without development skills, no custom software or system integrations.

Cost-Saving – Without the need to employ people to complete mundane tasks, and freeing up the time of current employees to focus on more value-adding tasks, RPA is able to save a business a substantial amount of money and ROI.

Productivity – Since RPA software is able to complete tasks faster and more reliably, this helps in increasing the speed of workflows. Allowing more to get done, and employees are able to focus on more satisfying aspects of their jobs

Accuracy – Since RPA software is executing tasks based on predetermined rules, this ensures the accuracy, reliability and consistency of the tasks performed, which eliminates human error and improves compliance standards.

These were just a few of the benefits which RPA will ultimately provide to you and your business.

 

RPA and Artificial Intelligence

RPA is not AI and AI is also not RPA. While it may seem like the 2 are the same, they are not. RPA follows rules and predetermined tasks set by the user, and cannot learn, change or adapt, where AI is able to do so. However, RPA can be given AI skills that broaden its abilities and give way to more complex tasks that RPA software is capable of doing. Such as understanding documents, visualising screens, carrying conversations and even image recognition.

Conclusion

Understanding RPA is a key factor in integrating into your business and making room for Digital Transformation. In our next post, we’ll go more into detail on AI Automation and how AI can help you with automating your business even further.

 

Business Process Automation

Business Process Automation

Business Process Automation or BPA is the implementation of technology within a business, in order to automate recurring tasks, or multistep business transactions. In order to streamline processes and reduce costs, it aims to reduce the need for human intervention in these recurring tasks.

BPA differs from other forms of automation, as it is usually quite complex, involving many aspects or departments within the business and tends to be specific for the business it is tailored to, and incorporates other forms of automation. Any Digital Transformation strategy generally begins with this step.

 

Why Automate Business Processes?

You need to be able to stay competitive, and with the increasing reliance on digital systems, data and real-time information, it has become increasingly difficult for ordinary people to manage these digital aspects of business and comes at a huge cost to allocate employees time and skills to manage them.

BPA allows you to take control of the tedious tasks within the business. With BPA you can have more reliable, cost-effective and efficient business processes. Streamlining and connecting different processes with multiple tools and technologies, allow you to accommodate changing business requirements quickly and effectively.

Allowing employees to focus their time and energy on the interesting and rewarding aspects of their job, instead of wasting time on tedious (but necessary) tasks, will add a lot more value to your business. As employees focus on adding value, their job satisfaction will increase, and in parallel, customer satisfaction will also increase.

BPA also offers much more standardized operations, offering more consistent business processes, more reliable outcomes, metrics and insights into these processes for monitoring and improvements, as well as ensuring that business processes maintain compliance and can be effectively audited.

CONCLUSION

BPA is your stepping stone to a successful Digital Transformation strategy, incorporating other automation processes within it. Using this type of solution you can automate mundane business processes across your entire company and create more efficiency and reliability – enabling you to provide better service to your customers and utilizing employee talent more effectively.

What is Automation?

Automation refers to replacing repetitive or mundane tasks with technology, which can come
in the form of hardware or software, where you reduce the amount of human intervention
needed to carry out such tasks.
It can be something as simple as a programmed on/off switch, but can also be
something very complex that requires high-level algorithms to be carried out, like collecting
data based on certain predetermined parameters.

 

What is Automation?

Why is automation important?

It is necessary in any modern business, and should be included in any  Digital Transformation strategy, as it frees up the time and skills of the employees, to focus on more important tasks, and let’s the technology take care of the mundane.

Not only does it free up employee time, but it also provides a much more reliable execution of tasks, where human error isn’t a factor. As it will do all the same tasks, the same way every time. This also makes these tasks more predictable and manageable.

Today’s businesses also rely heavily on “big data”. Big data makes it almost impossible for a normal person to make sense of, or manipulate the data to benefit the business – this is yet another reason automation is vital for modern business. And as a result, the software can be programmed to process all that data and present it in a way that businesses can use it for improvement.

 

Challenges of automation

While automation is a must-have for modern businesses, that doesn’t mean it won’t come with its own set of challenges you will need to overcome.

Firstly, you will have to find the right kind of automation system that works for you and your business. This means – not only finding it, but also implementing it into your business processes, and making sure it works correctly.

Secondly, there will be costs involved. You will need to get the technology, and once you’ve gotten it there will be some necessary upkeep (whether it be regular updates, bug fixing or general repairs). This also means you will need someone with the right skills to perform such tasks. But don’t worry, the cost of upkeep on automation is highly overshadowed by the ROI when you utilise automation in your business.

Lastly, you can expect some resistance from employees. For a lot of people, it means replacing people with technology. While this may be somewhat the case, the purpose of it is to take care of the rudimentary and allow employees to utilise their actual skills. And, as we discussed in the point above, there is also a big job market for those who are skilled in implementing, managing and upkeep of automation systems.

CONCLUSION

Automation is a move forward for modern businesses, and employees alike. As it takes care of mundane tasks, employees will harness their skills and create far more value for their company (a win-win situation). Now, automation is a vast topic, and we have barely scratched the surface. We will be going into more detail on different types of automation, in future posts, so keep your eye out for that!

Tips for successful Digital TransformationTips for Successful Digital Transformation

Not only do we have amazing solutions to assist you with your successful Digital Transformation, but we also have some awesome tips below…Go…Have a read!

There is no denying that we are in a digital era. Since the turn of the millennium, technology has grown rapidly and with it, came the birth of digital technologies. 

These digital technologies have helped organisations to improve and streamline business processes and improve the quality of delivery to their customers.

As we have discussed before, in our blog post about What Digital Transformation is, you need to have a strategy of implementation, and cover every aspect of your organisation, in order to be successful with your digital transformation. In this post, we’ll be going over some helpful tips you need to keep in mind, in order to succeed.

 

Check out Our Solutions

Define your goals and how digital transformation will help you achieve them

Whenever you implement a new strategy or practice, you must make sure it is aligned with your goals. Digital Transformation is not a “one size fits all” situation. You need to determine what technology is actually going to help you.

No matter what your objective is – cutting costs, improving efficiency, providing better customer service, expanding into a new market, etc. Your digital transformation strategy needs to fit into your goals.

Another important thing to keep in mind is, being able to measure the success of your strategy. You don’t want to put too much time, money and effort into something, and it produces little to no results.

Cover your entire organisation

Once you have developed a strategy and know your goals, it would be time to implement.

Implementing a digital transformation strategy needs to happen from the head to the toes of your organisation. You need to have the right leaders in place, to show the rest of the organisation how important the efforts of digital transformation truly are.

You must instil a culture for digital innovation. From the CEO to the managers, right down to the customer service agents, they need to be aware of the plan, be given the tools and information to execute it and be involved, to produce the best results.

Get the right tools

Now that you’ve got your team on board and you know what you’re aiming for, it’s time to get the tools and resources you need to execute your strategy.

While there are a plethora of digital tools at your disposal, you need to ensure you get the right ones. This is why defining your goals is such an important part of your strategy, as certain tools will help with certain things.

Identifying these tools will come from your own research, once you’ve defined your goals. However, there are a few basic technologies we could recommend, to get you started. Artificial Intelligence will help with customer engagement and personalisation, automation can help streamline business processes, data analytics will help with adapting to the market, and cloud computing can help bring different departments and technologies together.

Keep going!

Digital Transformation is not a once-off deal. Technology is changing rapidly, and your strategy needs to account for this.

Once you have started implementing your digital transformation strategy, you need to keep it going – making changes and adopting new or improved technologies to ensure you do not fall behind. Digital Transformation is an ongoing practice.

Digitally Transform NOW

How Quantum Computing will affect Current Encryption Methods

What is Quantum Computing?

How Quantum Computing will affect Current Encryption Methods

Quantum computers work quite differently from traditional “classic” computers. Classic computers process information in binary bits, in the form of ones or zeros. However quantum computers process information through quantum bits or “ qubits”, which can be either a one, a zero or both at the same time. This is known as “Superposition” and is the heart of quantum computing. The ability of quantum computing’s superposition allows significantly higher computational power.

What is Cryptography?

Cryptography is the practice of securing digital communications – protecting data and information from anyone who is not meant to see it.

Cryptography uses algorithms to change ordinary text into encrypted text and to decrypt the encrypted text back into ordinary text. In modern times, there are 2 forms of cryptography – symmetric cryptography and asymmetric cryptography.

The main differences between these 2 forms of cryptography are their level of security and the “keys” that they use. 

 

The current State of Cryptography

Symmetric cryptography is the simplest modern form of cryptography. It uses a single key, which both the sender and recipient must have, to encrypt and decrypt the data. This system can be vulnerable, as it means sharing the key in which the data is encrypted, and if an unwanted third party manages to get hold of the private key, they too can decrypt and access the data. And thus, asymmetric cryptography was developed.

Currently, the most widely used method of cryptography is asymmetric cryptography or public-key cryptography. This is because, unlike symmetric cryptography, it does not require the sender to find a secure way in which to give the “private key” to the recipient, in order to decrypt the encrypted data. 

Asymmetric cryptography uses the RSA algorithm to generate each user with a public key and a private key. The public key can then be shared and used to encrypt the data, and only the holder of the private key will be able to decrypt the data. The RSA algorithm makes use of 2 large prime numbers and an auxiliary value to create the public key. The security of and difficulty of breaking this form of encryption lies within factoring the product of 2 large prime numbers.

 

 

How Quantum Computing will Affect Cryptography?

Because of the computational power that quantum computers are capable of, the commercial availability of quantum processors could leave the current state of cryptography completely obsolete. As stated above, the current use of asymmetric cryptography and the RSA algorithm relies on how difficult and time consuming it is for standard computers and processors to compute the factors of the 2 large prime numbers used to create the keys. As an example, there was a 193 digit number produced, which took 80 2.2GHz computers 5 months to factor the number. However, a quantum computer of the same size, would theoretically only take 17 seconds to factor the number.

With these realisations, there have already been 2 solutions theorised, including a public-key system secure enough to defend even against quantum computers, and the second being quantum cryptography

We will have to wait and see how quantum computing develops over the coming years and how it might impact our entire digital world.


Vacancy: Senior Systems Analyst

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Project Manager

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role type:  Contract – 12 months

About the Role

Understand the business requirements, and through a structured process, document, validate and translate it into functional specifications that are used by developers to develop a technical solution. Test and validate the functionality of the technical solution against the business requirements. Ensure that the business requirements are delivered in the implemented solution. Interface between the business customer and the development team with regards to the business, non-functional and functional requirements.

What you will do:

The successful candidate will be required, but not limited to:

  • Business and technical requirements gathering and analysis thereof, and ensuring requirements and expectations are met, and that all possible scenarios are covered.
  • Formulation of analysis documentation, Functional Specifications, Interface Specifications, and prototypes in accordance with industry standards and team best practices. 
  • Perform analysis on system interfaces and create corresponding interface specifications.
  • Introduction of Business Process improvements, and formulation of Process Diagrams.
  • Provide support to business in implementing effective and efficient solutions.
  • Define application problem by conferring with clients, evaluating procedures and processes.
  • Implement, configure, and test feasible solutions, and evaluate alternative workflow solutions.
  • Analyze, model, and interpret data using different tools and techniques.
  • Pursue enquiries with clients to understand the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’ of the business request.
  • Challenge the business in their thinking, and develop alternative proposals, to ensure that the intent of the business requirement is met.
  • Ensure the solution architecture is aligned with the business and functional requirements.

Mobile Apps and their role in Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation plays a vital role for any business trying to thrive in today’s market. Whether it’s a means to connect with new or existing customers, cheaper marketing strategies or streamlining workflow processes, Digital Transformation is the way forward.

Incorporating mobile apps into your Digital Transformation strategy shouldn’t be optional, it should be a high priority. There are different mobile apps you can use, which will assist with different tasks, and we should consider most, if not all of them.

As shown by Statista, the amount of smartphone users in South Africa is incredibly high and expected only to grow in the coming years. With an estimated population of 59.62 million, as of mid-2020, you can see nearly half of the country are smartphone users.

Mobile Apps and Digital Transformation second image

 

With such high demand and usage, it would be bad business practice not to leverage smartphones and the multitude of applications that users utilise on them.

Why use Mobile Apps in Digital Transformation?

Seeing such statistics, it should come as no surprise that mobile apps can be useful to growing your business and assisting the Digital Transformation process. Mobile apps provide a convenient and easily accessible way to bring together and streamline different business elements.

Below are some of the key benefits that mobile apps can have:

  • Increased work efficiency
  • Reduced costs and time saving
  • Connected workforce
  • Improved customer engagement and loyalty
  • Improved data analytics and market insights
Mobile Apps and Digital Transformation
Benefits of Digital Transformation by Gengarajan PV via hakuna matata

 

Which Mobile Apps to use for your Digital Transformation

 

While there are plenty of mobile apps on the market, each of them has their pros and cons and may be useful to your business or not. We have gathered a few mobile apps, we have found useful and think can be useful to most businesses. Although we do recommend finding the right ones for you.

Vacancy: Senior Business Analyst

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Project Manager

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role type:  Contract – 12 months

About the Role

The Business Analyst designs or modifies the business or IT systems and interacts with the business stakeholders and subject matter experts to establish the business and systems’ needs. The incumbent also gathers documents and analyses the business and system needs. The Business Analyst interfaces between the business and the IT systems teams to establish the functional requirements. The incumbent will plan and implement and monitor the design and modifications to ensure that it meets the business needs. Works with multiple business areas and teams to provide deep integration solutions. Builds strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

What you will do:

The successful candidate will be required, but not limited to:

  • Understand at a detailed level how certain business processes work (Interviewing stakeholders).
  • Identify, analyse and document business requirements.
  • Analyse source systems and understand how information is stored and related based on the business processes (interviewing source system analysts and architects)
  • Based on requirements and source system analysis you will:
    • Produce source to target mapping documentation
    • Specify/document transformation rules
    • Undertake detailed data profiling
    • Document data quality issues and work with stakeholders to formulate resolution strategies
    • Propose/assist in solutions and create logical data models for BI source implementations
    • Create a mock-up dashboard/report specification
    • Write dashboard/report specifications once mock-up has been agreed
    • Play an active supporting role during the development of the warehouse
    • Play an active supporting role during the development of the report/dashboard
    • Assist the Quality Assurance team to produce test plans, test cases and test scripts and write test specifications (when necessary) to ensure the quality of the solution
    • Assist with testing to ensure the quality of the solution (Unit, functional and data testing)

Vacancy: Senior Java Developer

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Project Manager

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role type:  Contract – 12 months

About the Role

The senior Java developer will design, develop, and implement Java applications to support business requirements. Follows approved life cycle methodologies, creates design documents, writes code, and performs unit and functional testing of software. Contributes to the overall architecture and standards of the group, acts as an SME, and plays a software governance role.

What you will do:

  • Work closely with business analysts to analyse and understand the business requirements and business case, in order to produce simple, cost-effective and innovative solution designs
  • Implement the designed solutions in the required development language (typically Java) in accordance with the Group standards, processes, tools, and frameworks
  • Testing the quality of produced software thoroughly through participation in code reviews, the use of static code analysis tools, creation and execution of unit tests, functional regression tests, load tests, and stress tests and evaluating the results of performance metrics collected on the software.
  • Participate in feasibility studies, proof of concepts, JAD sessions, estimation and costing sessions, evaluate and review programming methods, tools, and standards, etc.
  • Maintain the system in production and provide support in the form of query resolution and defect fixes
  • Prepare the necessary technical documentation including payload definitions, class diagrams, activity diagrams, ERDs, operational and support documentation, etc
  • Driving the skills development of team members, coaching of team members for performance and coaching on career development, recruitment, staff training, performance management, etc

Vacancy: Senior Android Developer

The Basics


Industry
:
IT – Software

Reports into:
IT Project Manager

Location:
Gauteng Area, remote

Role type:
Contract – 12 months

About the Role

Designs, develops and implements Android mobile applications to support business requirements. Follows approved life cycle methodologies, creates design documents, writes code and performs unit and functional testing of software. Contributes to the overall architecture and standards of the group, acts as an SME and plays a software governance role.

Android developers must be able to technically support and maintain the deployed applications on dev, test and production environments.

Areas of responsibility may include but not limited to:

The senior Android developer must have a competent understanding of:

  • The system development life cycle and can explain the Java developer role in each stage
  • The defined system development tools, processes and workflows
  • The distinction between business, functional and non-functional requirements and how to implement them
  • The importance of delivering high-quality source code and how to achieve it
  • The technologies used and the system’s components structure
  • The domain and business terminologies and link them back to system implementations 

Senior Android developers should be able to demonstrate that they can:

  • Develop, test, and maintain the deployed application software with high quality
  • Collaborate with product managers and designers to ensure a successful, high-quality product and great user experience
  • Analyse, maintain and enhance existing application and troubleshoot issues with efficiency.
  • Perform accurate development estimation
  • Produce technical specifications and designs. Participate in new business development through ideation, prototype development, and project estimates
  • Research new techniques, tools, and best practices and share that knowledge with the team and community
  • Maintain high standards 
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Self-starter who takes ownership is accountable, and is able to work under minimum supervision
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Can help with quality assurance and provide comments   

Within 6 months of being in the position, an Android developer should be able to demonstrate strong domain knowledge and technologies in relation to the environment that they work in.

Vacancy: Senior iOS Developer

The Basics


Industry
:
IT – Software

Reports into:
IT Project Manager

Location:
Gauteng Area, remote

Role type:
Contract – 12 months

About the Role

Designs, develops and implements iOS mobile applications to support business requirements. Follows approved life cycle methodologies, creates design documents, writes code and performs unit and functional testing of software. Contributes to the overall architecture and standards of the group, acts as an SME and plays a software governance role.

iOS developers must be able to technically support and maintain the deployed applications on dev, test and production environments.

Areas of responsibility may include but not limited to:

iOS developers must have a competent understanding of:

  • The system development life cycle and can explain the developer’s role in each stage
  • The defined system development tools, processes and workflows
  • The distinction between business, functional and non-functional requirements and how to implement them
  • The importance of delivering high-quality source code and how to achieve it
  • The technologies used and the systems components structure
  • The domain and business terminologies and link them back to system implementations

 

iOS developers should be able to demonstrate that they can:

  • Develop, test, and maintain the deployed application software with high quality
  • Collaborate with product managers and designers to ensure a successful, high-quality product and great user experience
  • Analyse, maintain and enhance existing application and troubleshoot issues with efficiency.
  • Perform accurate development estimation
  • Produce technical specifications and designs. Participate in new business development through ideation, prototype development, and project estimates
  • Research new techniques, tools, and best practices and share that knowledge with the team and community
  • Maintain high standards
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Self-starter who takes ownership, is accountable, and is able to work under minimum supervision
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Within 6 months of being in the position, an iOS developer should be able to demonstrate strong domain knowledge and technologies in relation to the environment that they work in.

What is Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)?

Public Key Infrastructure

What is a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)?

Public key infrastructure PKI is a form of cybersecurity that helps identify people and devices that connect or interact with hardware and/or software.

PKI is meant to facilitate the secure transfer of data, particularly sensitive data, such as credit card details and personal information.

PKI utilises a public key and private key to encrypt the data, to ensure authentication, confidentiality and data integrity – where the private key is used to decrypt the data from the public key.

The most common PKI being SSL/TLS certificates used by websites.

PKI acts as a means to issue a digital certificate to authenticate the identity of people, services and devices.

The process of registration and issuance of the digital certificate is carried out by a trusted third party known as a Certificate Authority.

 

How is PKI used with digital signatures?

Digital signatures are still the subject of controversy, regarding the ability to authenticate the signer and the validity of the documents that are signed.

Using a PKI for the process of a digital signature provides an additional and secure way to validate their identity and the document itself.

 

When a user registers an account, they go through the process of providing means to validate their identity (ID Document, live selfie, etc) with the Certificate Authority.

Once their identity is proven, they are issued with a unique key. The user’s unique key will then be applied to their digital signatures, along with a server-side date and time stamp and an anti-tamper certification of the document from the Certificate Authority.

The public key will be used by the Certificate Authority or anyone else who needs to validate the authenticity of the signed document.

CONCLUSION

With an estimate of half the world currently having a presence online, it has become increasingly necessary to protect ourselves against cybercrimes.
As with normal crimes that increase when the population goes up, cybercrime is no different.
PKI is the safeguard that protects our data, information and provides secure online service delivery.

Contact us here…

 

Let us know what your thoughts are on our blogs!

Why do people hate recruiters?

What are recruiters?

Why do people hate recruiters? Let’s start the discussion with what a recruiter is…

There are different types of recruiters, which have been explained nicely in the post by Marissa Peretz on Forbes, but essentially they do the same thing. A recruiter is someone hired by a business or organisation, to assist in the hiring process, by going through CVs, interviews, and vetting processes to find the best-qualified person/s to fill job openings for the employer. You can find a more detailed breakdown of the responsibilities of a recruiter, in the post by SmartRecruiters.

While a recruiter is good for both the employer and the employee, by helping both parties through the hiring process, there, unfortunately, are recruiters that do not do their job very well, and create a bad name and image for the entire field.

Why do people hate recruiters?

Why do people hate recruiters?

The reason people hate recruiters as a whole boils down to the age-old mindset of “a person can do something right a hundred times, but they will be remembered for the one time they did it wrong”. There are many good recruiters out there who value the people they work with and value their reputation – doing the best job they possibly could.

However, some recruiters spoil the bunch, that value metrics and money above all else. There will also be recruiters who lack knowledge of the industry and are just ignorant of doing things appropriately. Recruiting is fairly easy to enter the field, and has high earning potential and incentives, this can explain the reasoning behind these shortcomings – as explained by Kenneth Ryu inhis reply on Quora.

What are the bad recruiters doing?

Bad recruiters often have the same practices they follow that give them the bad name that they have. 

The most common unethical practices they have include not screening CVs properly, which results in candidates being put up for positions they are either under or overqualified for, or not even interested in at all, ghosting candidates who do not get accepted, spamming candidates, or badgering them for intrusive personal information, and even lie or misinterpret either the candidates or the job.

All these unethical practices can lead to prolonged hiring processes, become an annoyance to candidates, and result in unhappy candidates and employers. They have put in unnecessary positions or career paths they do not want to be in. Most of these practices were explained quite thoroughly by Jeff Smith in his post on HireWell.

Conclusion

As with any field or industry, there are bad apples, with most of the problems in recruiting stem from the ignorance and incentives that this industry provides. But, do not let the bad deter you, as there are also many good recruiters out there that have your best interest at heart.

Do yourself the favour and look into recruiters you wish to use, just as you would want them to look into you when placing you into an open position. If all candidates do their homework on recruiters and make use of the good ones (of which there are many) the bad ones will eventually be filtered out completely.

Current Technological Business Trends…2021.

Technological Trends 2021 Post Image

It’s 2021 and it’s been over a year since COVID-19 changed the way we live, interact and run our businesses.
With vaccines being administered around the world, there does seem to be a light at the end of this tunnel, however, even if COVID-19 no longer plays a role in our lives, the way it has changed the world will certainly not – as said by Bernard Marr in his post on Forbes – “In many ways, Covid-19 will act as a catalyst for a whole host of changes that were already on the cards anyway, thanks to our increasingly online and digital lives.

Things will just happen more quickly now, with necessity (long acknowledged as the mother of invention) as the driving force.
And should it be the case that – as certain US presidents have predicted – Covid-19 “magically disappears” – the changes it has brought about will not, as we will have learned to do a lot of things more efficiently and safely.”

So, with the changes, we’ve all had to make and the way businesses have had to adapt, there are some technological business trends we would recommend you keep an out for.

 Artificial Intelligence and Machine   Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning are being used and implemented more widely and commercially, as businesses take on more and more data from existing and potential clients, digital marketing and consumer trend analyses – most of which is now done online – AI and machine learning will be able to help interpret and utilise that data to provide better customer experiences, improved service delivery and allow businesses to change and adapt with the world around them at much faster rates.

 

5 G

Mobile connectivity plays a major role in everyone’s day-to-day lives. Most people are using smart devices and spending many hours online – whether for business or pleasure. 3G made general via web-browsing viable, 4G made streaming and higher-bandwidth services possible, and it’s no surprise that 5G – with even higher bandwidth capabilities and reduced latency – will bring forth even more possibilities with advanced technologies like Virtual and Augmented reality, as explained by Nikita Duggal in her post on Technology Trends in 2021.

Cybersecurity

With everything we’ve discussed so far, it’s apparent that most (if not all) businesses are making use of digital and online means to provide their goods and/or services. With this being the case, the security of business and consumer data, as well as the integrity of systems and tools is of utmost importance. Malevolent hackers are always finding new ways to breach systems, which makes the growing field of cybersecurity just as – if not more – important as the other trends we are seeing in technology and business.

 

Digital Transformation 

Staying up-to-date, minimising costs, streamlining business processes and being able to cater to the people of the digital revolution is something all businesses need to adapt to. Eliminating paper-based methods, providing valuable analytics and saving your business time and money. That’s why digital transformation is vital to businesses looking to prosper in 2021 and the years to come. Incorporating new digital technology, like automated workflow processes, digital signatures and electronic forms, such as those offered by Conclude will help you achieve and accelerate your digital transformation journey

 

CONCLUSION

While there are many technological business trends that have emerged (forcefully) since last year, these are definitely the ones to keep your eyes on, as they pave the way for most of the other trends which will see growing success in the years to come. Make sure you evolve with the times.

 

Contact us here…

How safe is your date?

Read more about – Data safety and POPIA

What is the POPIA?

The POPIA is the Protection of Personal Information Act which sets forth the conditions which need to be followed by businesses and organisations, to protect the use, distribution, and processing of people’s personal information. The POPIA serves to protect the consumers involved from harm – such as theft, discrimination, improper distribution or unsolicited electronic communications.

The creation and implementation of the POPIA comes, as South Africa follows the lead of California with their California Consumer Privacy Act and Europe with their General Data Privacy Regulation. While each of these has its differences, they all stem from the same principles of accountability, data minimisation, data and consumer security, transparency, and the rights of data subjects.

How will the POPIA protect you? 

The POPIA is here to protect consumers or “data subjects”, by giving them more control over their personal data – with the way it’s collected, shared, and used by businesses and organisations.

The POPIA will give data subjects rights regarding their personal information. It will have 8 minimum requirements necessary for the lawful processing of personal data and covers a broad definition of personal information to allow for wider data subject protection.

The rights included for data subjects under the POPIA include the right to be notified on when and how your data is being collected, the right to access the data, and the right to correct or erase data.

This participation by the data subjects is only 1 of the 8 minimum requirements, with others, including:  Accountability, Processing Limitation, Information Quality, Openness, Purpose Specification, Further Processing Limitation, and Security Safeguards.

Security of data being the primary concern for businesses or organisations handling personal information, as it is their responsibility to ensure that data subject’s personal information is safe from data breaches, or that they have taken all possible measures to ensure the safety of the data.

As for the consequences for businesses or organisations that are not POPIA compliant, they can face lawsuits from data subjects that can carry hefty fines of up to R10 million and/or up-to 10 years in prison – not to mention the irreparable damage to their reputations.

Data safety and POPIA - How safe is your data?

CONCLUSION

The POPIA is a means for data subjects to have peace of mind when businesses or organisations are collecting their personal information, as it gives the data subjects rights to their information, as well as more control over their personal information.
It also holds the businesses or organisation accountable for the data and responsible for keeping the data safe, with the threat of legal action and/or the complete damage to their reputation.

Contact us here…

 

Data safety and POPIA should always be taken seriously.

Tips for the B-BBEE sector…

What is B-BBEE?

B-BBEE ie Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment is a strategy developed to give opportunities to the majority of citizens in South Africa.

Through employment equity, socio-economic development, preferential procurement, and enterprise development, B-BBEE aim to allow the entry of black entrepreneurs, especially in small and medium enterprises into the mainstream of economic activity. 


    B-BBEE Verification

Verification agencies have been tasked with the verification of companies trading in South Africa’s B-BBEE.

With strict compliance as set out by SANAS and the DTI – these verification agencies play a critical role in the economic transformation which has been set by the South African government.

There are many processes involved that must be adhered to in the strictest manner and follow all the prescribed processes, both in the verification and requirements thereof.

Tips for the B-BBEE sector

Electronic Signatures for B-BBEE Verification

The current systems used by verification agencies have a lot of room for improvement and adaptation with a bit of digital transformation.
Paper-based systems have many risks for all parties involved during the verification process.
Due to the multitude of documents moving between parties, which require strict protocol and processes.

Accuracy, speed, and verifiability are crucial.

With electronic signatures and electronic forms, these protocols and processes can be shared, reviewed, approved, and securely signed.
Electronic methods make for more cost-effective and time-efficient processes – and electronic signatures are also accepted under South African law.
Electronic signatures and forms are also fully traceable in a workflow process. They are tamper-proof with the use of cryptographic digital signatures that offer validity of the signer and ensure that the document is unchanged from the time of signing.

Conclusion

Electronic signatures have also been used in the banking sector for decades. This is proof of the traceability, accountability, and auditability of documents used with electronic signatures and/or forms. The legal weight, data integrity, and individually signed approval, together with the easy-to-access workflow process evidence and cryptographic digital signatures – make these solutions ideal for use in the B-BBEE verification processes.

Do you work in the verification sector and need more Tips for the B-BBEE sector, then give us a call or …

Read more here…


How Electronic Signatures (eSignatures) can save you time and money…

Electronic Signatures (eSignatures) have made their way into popularity over recent years – particularly over the last year, considering the way the world has had to adapt – and are slowly becoming a general consensus for signing a document, over a pen-to-paper signature.

While electronic signatures still have many hurdles to overcome before becoming standardised, they do have plenty of benefits, most importantly, their impact on you saving time and money.

Electronic Signatures (eSignatures) can save you time and money…
How you ask…?

Electronic Signatures (eSignatures)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Types

of
Savings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving you Time

As with most things nowadays, if it’s online, it’s going to save you time, and this is no different when it comes to e-signatures.

Being able to access a means of signing a document from a simple smart device, or being able to sign a document from distant locations, means that signees won’t have to go through time-consuming efforts to sign documents, no need to travel to a print shop or post office to sign, receive or send documents that need to be signed, particularly with original documents that are required to be sent through “snail mail” to ensure no tampering.

E-signature solutions also allow users to sign multiple pages or documents with a single entry.

Saving you Money

Every person and business wants to save money.

E-signatures can provide a very cost-effective means of getting documents signed, both for the creator of the document and the signee.

Not having to pay the costs of paper and ink to print or reprint documents, or mail/delivery costs to send and receive documents, both sides are immediately saving money from the use of e-signatures.

These electronic alternatives can also save on administration costs involved with filing, securing, and storing paper documents, as e-signatures incorporate these actions preemptively.

Conclusion

Switching from pen-to-paper signatures to e-signatures is most certainly a step in the right direction, for many reasons.

Some reasons can save both time and money simultaneously – such as errors on documents, missing information on documents, or missing documents entirely.

For the many reasons e-signatures are better and have grown in popularity over recent years, the most important one – legality – is making strides in becoming accepted.

With the moving times, saving time and money is definitely a reason to look into adopting an e-signature solution.

Benefits of e-Forms and Digital Signatures in the FinTech industry…

e-Forms and Digital Signatures can benefit most Financial Service providers that are continuously trying to improve their business processes.
Their aim is to provide a better customer experience by digitising their processes.
Adopting an electronic signature solution that makes use of digital signature technology provides this improved customer experience, along with secure, legal, and compliant means to automate transactions that require the customer’s signature.

e-Forms and Digital Signatures

Thanks to the leaps that digital signature technology has taken recently, increased security is no longer a worry.

Using identifying security and biometric data, which is permanently embedded within an electronic form, ensures that one can verify the authenticity of the signee at any time and that the document hasn’t been tampered with after the point of signing.

Digital signatures on electronic forms use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to provide a high level of assurance when verifying the signee.

 

The use of paper-based processes is quite archaic in this technology-driven age.

No matter the industry you are in, you need to look for ways to increase productivity and reduce costs, without sacrificing quality.

Digital signature solutions provide exactly this.

With less time being wasted on administrative duties, such as printing, scanning, collating, and capturing information, consultants and advisors are able to utilise the saved time to focus on building relationships with the customers.

It is also estimated that paper-based processes cost around 10 to 20 times more than the paperless counterpart.

Saving costs revolving around courier services, printing, storage, and the costs of human error.

With the intelligent systems built around electronic forms and digital signatures, workflow rules ensure that all the required data has been captured before a document can be signed off.

 

 

Conclude offers e-Forms and digital signatures that comply with local and international standards for privacy, data protection, and digital signature compliance

 

 

e-Forms and digital signatures are being more widely accepted around the globe as legally binding because the security protocols used for these solutions provide a higher level of assurance and are still compliant with regional and international standards.

 

 

Considering all these points and benefits, it is safe to say that electronic forms and digital signatures provide an easy, convenient and accessible experience.

This is ideal for building long-lasting and quality relationships with customers, by giving them the freedom to choose how and where they will transact.

Having a good online experience can be just as important as the personal touch of face-to-face interaction, and this is what electronic forms and digital signatures aim to achieve.

Electronic Forms (e-Forms) – What you need to know

Electronic Forms (e-Forms) and what to know…

We all know what a form is.

A document that requires the person to fill in the information in specified fields.

For a long time forms have come physically, using pen-to-paper-based methods – and are still used today.

Whether you have gone to home affairs, applied your child to a school, or opened a bank account, you have to fill in a form or forms to either start or complete the process.

Nowadays, with most of the world based online, or things needing to be done remotely – the world is shifting to a new norm – Electronic Forms or “e-Forms”.

Electronic Forms (e-Forms)

 

What are electronic forms (e-Forms)?

The same principle applies to e-Forms, where a user needs to fill in the information in specified fields – only now, it will be done using a web browser or software application, digitally.

e-Forms allow the data filled in to be captured validated and submitted for processing remotely and far more efficiently.

Benefits of Electronic Forms (e-Forms)

e-Forms have many benefits, for the creator, the submitter, and the processor.

e-Forms are very simple, easy to use, and quick to submit. Allowing users the ability to reach and complete forms electronically means they can access it anywhere with an internet connection, and save time and money from printing, scanning, and mailing costs (this goes both ways).

The creator of an e-Form can send the form to the submitter immediately, through email or IM apps, reducing time spent waiting to send and/or receive these forms, they also can have full control of the data needed for the form-making certain fields required, only allowing specific data types (numerical or text) and even setting character limits on fields.

This control over the data on e-Forms gives real-time feedback to the submitter if there is an error or missing information – this ensures only the correct and the completed form will be submitted for processing.

If forms are electronically received and stored, and their information is correct and complete, this saves time and money for the processor. The processor doesn’t have to waste money or space on storing large amounts of paper forms, or waste time going through all the forms to reject incomplete or incorrect forms.

 

 

 

What can electronic forms be used for?

 

 

 

With the control, the e-Form creator has over the data, data types, and even the visuals of the e-Forms, how easy it is to send, complete, and return, and how simple it is to process without error, and the technology we have at hand – the use of e-Forms is virtually endless.

e-Forms can be used in any circumstance where data needs to be collected and processed. From something as simple as a survey to general HR and even complicated accounting tasks.

e-Forms are especially useful when data needs to be collected in an agile manner, requires accuracy, and ideal data protection.

With the development of electronic and digital signatures, and their accuracy and legality – eForms can now even be used for certain legally binding documents, saving time and money in those processes as well.

Diagram illustrating types of electronic signatures

Electronic and Digital Signatures – Knowing your buzz words!

Electronic and Digital Signatures, the new “norm” as we know it?

Signatures have been a part of society for almost as long as civilization itself. Signing is an accepted method of confirmation whether it is an artist declaring their work, a binding agreement, or even receiving a package.

The evolution of cryptography and technology in recent years, means electronic signatures or e-signatures have become ever more common. Their security and convenience mean that they are replacing “wet” signatures in many contexts.

What are e-signatures?

E-signatures allow people and entities to identify and authenticate themselves, and even digitally sign electronic documents, data, and records. Much of the world – especially the business world – has moved online and this, coupled with the need to reduce paper waste has resulted in the wider use of electronic signatures.

Operating almost exclusively electronically and online is the new norm, and this has made e-signatures a crucial component of business in a post-COVID world.

Types of e-signaturesBlog Post image Digital and electronic signatures

There are many different types of
e-signatures, each of which varies in terms of how they are applied, how they are captured, and what they can be used for.

A Click-to-Sign signature is the most commonly used form of electronic signature. Click-to-sign allows users to enter a simple signature (usually a typed name or ID number, or template image signature) to acknowledge their signature and identify themselves. It is mainly used to sign simple documents like deliveries – they offer little legality or protection since it is difficult to confirm who signed them.

 Basic or standard electronic signatures offer a little more protection and help ensure the reliability of the signer, as they are protected with a cryptographic digital certificate, user confirmation and action (such as an OTP sent to their cell phone), and a trusted timestamp. In addition to cryptographic digital certification, the user and actions are used to verify the identity of the signer. The secure timestamp gives the signature long-term validity.

Lastly, there are digital signatures, of which there are two types: advanced and qualified e-signatures. The terms electronic signature ” and “digital signature” are often used interchangeably, however, a digital signature is a highly secure type of digital signature, and currently has the highest trust and authority for e-signatures.

An advanced electronic signature (AES) uses similar technology to standard electronic signatures but adds an extra layer of security and reliability by assigning a unique “signing key” to every signatory. This signing key links a user’s registered and verified identity to each of their signatures, allowing for proven identity.

A qualified electronic signature (QES) is slightly better than an AES, as the signer’s identity is verified by a qualified  Certificate Authority when registering for the digital certificate.

Current issues with Electronic and Digital Signatures

E-signatures have gained a lot of traction recently and some forms of e-signaturesmay even do a better job of identifying and confirming the signature of a signatory.

Some industries and authorities still do not fully accept the validity of documents signed electronically or digitally, however. Because it can be difficult to determine whether the correct signatory signed the document, knows they signed it, and that it wasn’t tampered with. It means that certain circumstances require the physical presence of the signatory and witnessing the document being signed.

Although AES and QES were developed to overcome these shortcomings and do it well, they are comparatively new technologies. It will still take some time to normalise their use and get them approved across the board.

That said, advances in technology, digital transformation, and the growing need to conduct business remotely and online mean that it’s only a matter of time before electronic signatures become the norm.

If you’d like to know more about how to implement digital signatures in your organization, then contact us!


 What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation uses Technology!

“Digital Transformation” is one of those terms that people bandy about so often you feel as though you should know what it means. At the same time, it’s used so broadly that it seems almost meaningless! 

So,  what is it really about?

In short, digital transformation is the process of transforming businesses utilising digital technology – replacing manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology.

Conclude Digital Transformation

Importance of digital transformation for your organization

You could even argue that it is even more critical for small businesses because it will reduce the time, resources, and costs associated with labour-intensive manual work!Whether you are a small one-person business or a large enterprise, digital transformation is a “must-do”. 

Read more…

The importance of digital transformation is a big topic. To make navigating your way through it a bit easier, we have curated a list of online resources where you can learn more: 

The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation 

A Framework for Digital Business Transformation

Six Stages of Digital Transformation

A Step-By-Step Guide to Digital Transformation

For example:

  • Digitising your business processes enables the kind of tracking tools that will help you monitor and improve service delivery, overall customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
  • Implementing electronic signatures will simplify your documentation and approval processes in a secure and legally binding manner. 
  • Digital marketing allows you to reach a larger audience at a lower cost while collecting valuable data and analytics about your campaign and target market.
  • An online store or makes it easier for customers to buy from you and has the added benefit of allowing you to track customer purchasing patterns.

Getting started: Common practices

In a post-COVID world, all organisations must adapt to how business has changed or risk falling their competitors who have embraced the “new normal”.

Digital transformation will be different for each organisation and the different challenges, demands and processes they face. However, some common practices provide a basic framework for how to approach digital transformation.  

As a starting point, you will want to consider in which areas of your organisation digitisation can help you:

  • Improve customer experience, 
  • Enhance operational agility, 
  • Empower and enable your team, and 
  • Integrate systems and processes.  

To sum up, digital transformation uses technology to improve or replace processes, increase efficiency and enables organisations to keep up with trends in a fast-paced, ever-changing digital world.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you Digitally Transform your organisation, why don’t you get in touch?

The Legality of Digital Signatures in South Africa

The legality of digital signatures in South Africa can be discussed by stating that they may seem like new technology, but they have been around since the 1970s! 

Digital signatures are legally binding under South Africa’s ECT Act, which firmly establishes their legal status.

The Legality of Digital Signatures in South Africa

The Past

The first “primitive” form of digital signatures was developed in 1977 by Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Len Adleman, who invented the RSA Algorithm. This technology was used for the first digital signatures.

With the evolution of technology in the last two decades, digital signatures have grown in popularity and developed broader applicability.

The Present

There are currently three different levels of digital signatures recognised as valid:

  • Click-to-Sign Electronic Signatures,
  • Basic/Standard Electronic Signatures,  and
  • Advanced/Qualified Digital Signatures.

Each level comes with increasing levels of assurance and verification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Types of electronic signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click-to-sign electronic signatures

Typically used as a way to sign off on a package received by a courier service, they provide little assurance or verification.

Basic or standard electronic signatures (SES)

An SES provides a mid-level of assurance and verification, as they incorporate cryptographic digital certification, user confirmation, and user action, with the use of an OTP, sent to the signer’s cell phone.

These signatures can be used for business purposes, like HR documents, agreements between businesses, consumer agreements, and short-term real estate documents. However, their legality is still questionable, as there is room for fraud or counterfeit.

Advanced digital signatures

Advanced Digital Signatures (also known as qualified digital signatures)  provide the highest level of legal assurance and verification.

These signatures use the same cryptographic digital certification as basic electronic signatures, but they also make use of biometric verification, assigning the signee a unique signing key, and identity verification through a qualified Certificate Authority. These all of which include an uncompromisable time-stamp for long-term certification.

Signatures of this level can generally be used for some legally binding documents, recognised in a court of law.


The Future

With the growing popularity of electronic and digital signatures, their cost, time and planet-saving capabilities, and the development of new technologies, one can be assured that digital signatures will most likely eventually become the only acceptable means of signing documents.

Technologies are being created to ensure 100% assurance and identity verification remotely. This combined with the tracking, data integrity, and storage mechanisms already in place for electronic forms and digital signatures, means that digital signatures will continue to provide more security, validity and be far more legally binding than the archaic handwritten pen-to-paper signatures we have used for so long.

Impress Your Customer Blog Image

Impress Your Customers in 2021 and beyond…

2020 was a bit of a shocker…but it’s time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to business.  Here’s how you can get started… and impress your customers in 2021!

Love your customers

Your customers know when you love them.  They really do.  Have you ever dealt with a business where the staff seemed “off” or bored or not really interested in you?  If you had the choice, would you go back there?

Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated!  Smile, be welcoming!  A little effort goes a long way in customer service and is a great way to impress your customers.

Be responsive

One of the best ways to show your customers that you love them is to be responsive!  At the very least, you need to acknowledge any contact that a customer or potential customer makes with your business. Pick up the phone, answer the email, respond to the Facebook comment or like.  People need to be acknowledged.

Make business easy

It’s really frustrating for your customers when they are trying to get a quote, find an answer, or source some information, and they have to dig around to find it.  Make it easy for your customers to navigate your website, find your phone number, or learn more about your products and pricing.  The easier it is to do business with you, the more likely it is that you will win the deal!

Making business easy is an important way to impress your customers.

Get comfortable selling online

Whether you sell physical products to consumers or focus more on sophisticated B2B solutions, doing business online is becoming more and more important.  If you are uncomfortable with it your customers will be uncomfortable doing business with you.  And guess what?  They will move to a supplier who runs a slick online operation.  The Internet and e-commerce aren’t going away any time soon.  Neither are Zoom sales presentations – after all, they are easier, more convenient, and way cheaper. 

Getting good at online business is no longer optional.  It’s a necessity.

Embrace digital signatures

Most business involves some form of documentation that requires a signature.  In the post-COVID world where we are all doing business online, digital signatures are a must.  They are easy to implement, inexpensive, more secure than wet/paper signatures, and legally binding. Talk to us about your options for an easy way to impress your customers by making your business more digitally secure.

Embrace the Cloud

No, we don’t mean the cloud of smoke above the dumpster fire that was 2020! (Haha)

Cloud computing simply means storing your data and managing your business using online tools and technologies.  Cloud technology is already pervasive – if you are using GSuite, Dropbox, Microsoft 365, or even Gmail, you are already using cloud technologies.  They are not just for big corporates anymore – there is a wide selection of secure, simple, free, and inexpensive online tools accessible from your laptop, tablet, and phone that anyone can use.

Need help with this? Talk to us.  We’ll help you get set up.

Love what you do

You spend more time working or running your business than you spend doing anything else.  For the sake of your well-being and sanity, and that of your customers, make working FUN! 

Business doesn’t have to be as dry as sawdust. Laugh, share a funny meme, treat your staff to something small that will keep their spirits up, and, most importantly, CELEBRATE your successes. Share them loudly and publicly. There are more people rooting for you and wishing for your success than you can ever imagine.  

People are attracted to positive energy – so make a point of enjoying every moment, and you’ll be amazed at the positive impact it has on your sales pipeline!

What are you doing to make your customers love you in 2021?  Share in the comments!

Contact Us

 

 

Recruiter

The Basics

 Available Vacancy: Recruiter


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  CEO

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role type:  Permanent

About the Role

This is an exciting opportunity for a Recruiter to grow in an exciting new technology start-up business, operating and recruiting in the ITC sector. 

The incumbent will assist in building an existing recruitment business by managing key accounts and recruiting top-level technical candidates, with a view to ultimately be building and managing a team of account managers and tech recruitment specialists.

Benefits include standard company benefits, as well as the option to work remotely and ultimately write your own pay-cheque while playing a key role in establishing a new tech-based business venture. 

What you will do but not limited to: 

  • Designing and implementing the overall recruitment strategy
  • Sourcing, recruiting, and placing of candidates in the tech industry, resulting in high-quality hires for clients
  • Manage Key Accounts  and delighting our clients by developing customised solutions for their recruitment requirements and needs
  • Develop powerful and innovative technology-based solutions