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Read some great articles on the latest businesses and tech topics from our leading practitioners. From cloud computing to Artificial Intelligence, this is the place where new ideas come alive.

The modern Cloud Ecosystem

Fri, Feb 12 2021, Zora Neale Hurston

The hardware and software infrastructures of various companies have continuously transformed digitally over the years. There has been a massive migration from "on-premise" systems to cloud deployments. Cloud computing has spurred the technologically advancing industries and continues to be the fundamental factor of an organization's infrastructure and product deployment.

To be simply put in a sentence, cloud computing is the process of migrating computing resources such as servers, databases, software, etc., from a local location to a remote cloud location and accessing these resources over the internet.

When we hear of cloud computing, the major cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform pop into our heads. But cloud computing is not limited to just the services provided by these companies; it is much bigger than that. At its core level, cloud computing is simply a notion for any computing done over the internet, from the software you use on a daily basis to the infrastructure your favorite applications run on.

Presently, the interdependent components that work together to facilitate cloud services form a complex system, and this system is called the cloud ecosystem. In nature, an ecosystem includes living and non-living things that are connected to work together. In the same way, a cloud ecosystem consists of hardware and software but also includes cloud customers, cloud engineers, consultants, etc.

A public cloud provider is at the center of a cloud ecosystem. It could be a PaaS or IaaS provider. From the center radiating are the software companies that use the cloud provider's anchor platform. It also includes consultants and companies that have an alliance with the anchor provider. Since the companies overlap to make a complex ecosystem, there is no vendor lock-in.

New business models can be build using a cloud ecosystem. In a cloud ecosystem, it is easy to analyze data on how a new change or update might affect the other parts of the system. Cloud services are on a pay-as-you-go basis which, makes it efficient for customers. With all your resources set up in a cloud-based environment, it is easy to collaborate from anywhere in the world since these resources can be accessed over the internet, thus providing flexibility.

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Data Mining and its significance in Business Analytics

We have always heard people in the business world say how data is valuable and must be secured. But, data generated by a single organization is so much that it would be impossible for a team of humans to filter out the essential data from tons of raw data. Here is how data mining comes into the picture. Data mining is a process that organizations use to turn raw data into useful information. Organizations utilize software to analyze large sets of raw data and look for patterns. These patterns help organizations learn more about their customers or even the general public.

This information pulled out helps to improve the decision-making process. Thus, strategies to increase sales, market, and deploy upcoming features are further apparent. Data mining is an indispensable part of any organization's intelligence. It helps perceive valuable insights by identifying patterns in raw data, thus turning them into useful information. 

Frequently data mining is confused with terms like machine learning and data analysis but, these terms are very different and unique. Data mining and machine learning both use patterns and analytics. Data mining looks for patterns that are already present in data. Patterns bought to light by data mining need human intervention to make decisions. Data mining gets patterns (information) from large datasets, and data analytics is when organizations decide to take this information and dive into it to learn more.

Businesses that make use of data mining have an advantage. They have a better understanding of their customers, oversight of business operations, improved customer acquisition, and new business opportunities. Also, they acquire a perception of potential customers, new ways to market and improve their systems. Data mining helps businesses advance without any obstacles. 

Data mining helps organizations with the detection of fraudulent activity and forestall potential fraud. Instead of relying only on the human experience, patterns generated from data mining can help you make a creative and innovative decision, one which might be beyond human analysis.

Headless CMS: The Solution to Top Challenges in Ecommerce

In a rapidly evolving environment with technology and content demands existing in a multi-channel—and devices—world, Marketers in ecommerce face many unique hurdles that are both challenging and exciting—but can be very stressful.

In conversations in the last few years with prospects, most retail organizations believe they lag behind their competitors when it comes to marketing performance and managing the right CMS technology (web content management system). We often see these three common problems that online retailers face today:

  1. Large number of SKUs. The number of SKUs and configurations retailers manage can easily reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of options.
  2. Breakneck speed promotions. Working at a breakneck speed with weekly sales, promos, and campaigns in between major sales events like Black Friday.
  3. Juggling different content. Handling multiple, unique sales events and projects, all with varying content, different phases and timelines.

Traditional CMS in Retail

In a traditional CMS, you have to set up many individual installations and, they are all siloed on their own database/infrastructure. Migrating content and pages from one instance to another is often a manual process, or you’ve maybe spent the time and money to automate it with scripts and other technologies that have to be constantly maintained.

Headless CMS in Retail

With Headless CMS, all of your company’s content is stored centrally. You set up one installation for content and then different "view" for each project.

Unfortunately, most Headless CMS solutions have only two “views” (APIs) to access content – preview and production.

“Preview” will deliver all content for all projects in the same view whether it’s ready for testing, and regardless of whether the content is relevant to this week’s or next week’s project. “Production” will show all live content, regardless of where you want it to appear. This can make it a nightmare to properly test and stage content each week.

For example, every week you may have sales, ads, and related content to set up and stage. test next week’s promotions if in the same view, you also saw the discounts queued for the week after and some of the marketing content for the upcoming Black Friday sales event.

The Solution – Project Spaces with SampleSite

SampleSite solves this by supporting as many project spaces as needed. You can create a project space for each individual event and deliver only the relevant content.

For example, you may have three discounts to set up: one for next week, one for the week after, and a third that spans both weeks. A CMS solution like SampleSite lets businesses create a project view for each testing before the promotions even begin.

An added advantage to this approach is that you can easily update the discount and roll it out to both weeks when you need to change it.