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!

Vacancy: Senior WSO2 Developer

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Project Manager

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role typeContract – 12 months

About the Role

A Senior WSO2 Developer will have to Designs, develops, and implements WSO2 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 Vitality Group, acts as a platform product SME, and plays a software governance role.

What you will do:

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

Analysis, Documentation & Design Skills:

  • 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.
  • Design and implementation of the following, in accordance with Vitality Group standards, processes, tools, and frameworks:
  • Integration solutions using WSO2 Enterprise Integrator.
  • REST/SOAP API’s using WSO2 API Manager.
  • Authentication/Authorization solutions using WSO2 Identity Server.
  • Test 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 by this software.
  • Participate in feasibility studies, proof of concepts, JAD sessions, estimations, and costing sessions, evaluate and review programming methods, tools, and standards, etc.
  • Maintain the system in Non-Production and Production environments 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.
  • Ensure underlying security best practices are adhered to across all implementations.
  • Ensuring that all external system that interact with the WSO2 ecosystem follow strict security best practices as not to compromise the integrity of the system as a whole.

Vacancy: Senior Liferay Developer

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Project Manager

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role typeContract – 12 months

About the Role

A Senior Liferay Developer will Design, develop and implement Java applications to support business requirements. Follow approved life cycle methodologies, create 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:

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

Delivery of Projects & Change Requests:

  • Play a vital role in the design, development, testing and deployment of Liferay DXP solutions.
  • Work closely with Business Analysts, Solutions Architects, and other Developers to analyse and understand the Business Requirements and Business Case, in order to produce simple, cost-effective and innovative solutions using the Liferay DXP product.
  • Design efficient Content Models, Security Models, Workflow and Templates for the Liferay DXP product.
  • Sound experience with producing technical documentation including Class Diagrams, Activity Diagrams, ERDs, operational and support documentation, etc.
  • Implement designed solutions in accordance with the Group standards, processes, tools, and frameworks.
  • Apply Usability and UX best practices to all deliverables.
  • Utilise data from external data sources and API’s.
  • Test 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 Tests, Regression Tests, Performance Tests and Stress Tests (and evaluating the results of performance metrics collected through the software).
  • Participate in Feasibility Studies, Proof of Concepts, JAD Sessions, Estimation and Costing Sessions, evaluate and review programming methods, tools, and standards, etc.

Support:

  • Act as a technical liaison between clients, other engineering teams, as well as Operational and Support teams.
  • Maintain the system in production and provide support in the form of query resolution and defect fixes (including improvement of application performance).

Security, Maintenance & Upgrades:

  • Review and audit existing Solutions, Designs and Systems Architecture.
  • Ensure Liferay DXP product is kept up to date with recent DXP product versions, Fix Packs, and Security Fix Packs.
  • Ensure development encompasses security best practices with the aim to introduce zero Security Vulnerabilities into the Liferay codebase.

Governance, Oversight & Mentoring:

  • Drive the skills development of team members, coaching of team members for performance and career development.
  • Ensure external Federated Development teams are developing on the Liferay DXP product in accordance with the Group’s governance process and standards.
  • Provide input into recruitment, staff training, and performance management processes.
  • Continuously discover, evaluate, and implement new technologies to maximise development efficiency.

Vacancy: Intermediate Liferay Developer

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Project Manager

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role typeContract – 12 months

About the Role

An Intermediate Liferay Developer will Design, develop and implement Java applications to support business requirements. Follow approved life cycle methodologies, create 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:

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

Delivery of Projects & Change Requests:

  • Play a vital role in the design, development, testing and deployment of Liferay DXP solutions.
  • Work closely with Business Analysts, Solutions Architects, and other Developers to analyse and understand the Business Requirements and Business Case, in order to produce simple, cost-effective and innovative solutions using the Liferay DXP product.
  • Design efficient Content Models, Security Models, Workflow and Templates for the Liferay DXP product.
  • Sound experience with producing technical documentation including Class Diagrams, Activity Diagrams, ERDs, operational and support documentation, etc.
  • Implement designed solutions in accordance with the Group standards, processes, tools, and frameworks.
  • Apply Usability and UX best practices to all deliverables.
  • Utilise data from external data sources and API’s.
  • Test 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 Tests, Regression Tests, Performance Tests and Stress Tests (and evaluating the results of performance metrics collected through the software).
  • Participate in Feasibility Studies, Proof of Concepts, JAD Sessions, Estimation and Costing Sessions, evaluate and review programming methods, tools, and standards, etc.

Support:

  • Act as a technical liaison between clients, other engineering teams, as well as Operational and Support teams.
  • Maintain the system in production and provide support in the form of query resolution and defect fixes (including improvement of application performance).

Security, Maintenance & Upgrades:

  • Review and audit existing Solutions, Designs and Systems Architecture.
  • Ensure Liferay DXP product is kept up to date with recent DXP product versions, Fix Packs, and Security Fix Packs.
  • Ensure development encompasses security best practices with the aim to introduce zero Security Vulnerabilities into the Liferay codebase.

Governance, Oversight & Mentoring:

  • Drive the skills development of team members, coaching of team members for performance and career development.
  • Ensure external Federated Development teams are developing on the Liferay DXP product in accordance with the Group’s governance process and standards.
  • Provide input into recruitment, staff training, and performance management processes.
  • Continuously discover, evaluate, and implement new technologies to maximise development efficiency.

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: Digital/Product Designer

The Basics


Industry
: IT – Software

Reports into:  IT Project Manager

Location:  JHB Area, remote

Role type:  Contract – 12 months

About the Role

Our Product Design team oversees the strategy, ideation, design, plan and execution of all digital products and features created for our members. 

We are seeking a Product Designer to join our growing product team. The Designer will determine the pain points and challenges of our users, identify opportunities, and implement workable solutions that are aligned with our business goals. The Designer will also contribute to the establishment of our design system, as well as our ongoing efforts to create a high-quality, consistent experience across our products. 

We are committed to improving the lives of our members and providing the best possible work environment for our employees. Come be a part of a team of designers passionate about creating the very best product for millions of users.

 

What you will do:

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

  • Contribute to multiple digital project solutions running concurrently and working collaboratively with a multi-disciplined team
  • Evaluate business requirements and define user needs, in collaboration with key stakeholders
  • Create flows, sketches, wireframes, prototypes and other design artifacts needed to effectively communicate specific features and functionality
  • Present designs and key milestone deliverables to peers and stakeholders and guide the collection, synthesis and integration of feedback
  • Confidently lead projects to success through clear communications, decisive action and stellar work
  • Conduct usability testing, document results and suggest recommendations
  • Work with, maintain and evolve a scalable design system to be used across platforms
  • Contribute to other initiatives for the team

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)