The Worldwide Web and Its Impact on Economic Growth

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Not unlike practically every innovation the world has experienced, the technological advancements that we are seeing come to vivid life every single day are proof that we have become positively obsessed with our own progression as a species. As this realisation dawns on the world, it becomes exceedingly obvious that the introduction and constantly ongoing advancement of a technological innovation like the worldwide web is ever-exciting. In fact, if technologies are the prominent force in a surging new era, then the internet is the most powerful technological advancement the world has ever seen. Even so, the nagging question that refuses to budge, to back down, is how much impact the internet has truly had on economic growth throughout its relatively short existence thus far. While there have been some concerns surrounding the genuine impact the worldwide web has on economic growth, the reality is that the internet has had one of the most profound (if not the most profound) impacts on the economy and its evolution. But how?

The internet’s influence on global economic growth has been steady since the dawn of its inception, having recently kicked into high gear to establish a stronger standing point. Thanks to the internet, there is a whole new world of opportunities out there awaiting to be brought to thriving life. The internet has had an astounding impact on the evolution of our recent history. The internet has changed the way we work, socialise, create, share information and important data, organise, and travel. Practically every facet of life as we know it has been, without a doubt, fundamentally and profoundly transformed by the rise and continuous growth of the internet, and the economy is no exception. The worldwide web was a technological innovation that was special, right from the very first moment of its introduction to the world. At the initial time of its first steps in the world, it was thought by many that the internet would be but a passing phase, with no lasting impact or ability to move beyond the reputation of a niche concept.

This preconceived notion was quickly and swiftly proven definitively wrong. The internet gave the world a very real sense of instantaneous global connection that has opened doorways and windows to new possibilities, not only professionally but personally as well. The internet has opened a whole new can of worms for economic growth. Thanks to the rise of the internet, there is an entirely new frontier in the world of business. As consumer interest becomes exceedingly focused on the online market created by the internet, businesses are expanding at unprecedented rates. This has created more jobs, giving the economy a solid boost when it comes to professional progression and a healthy economy as far as financial standing and career evolution goes. More and more people are going to work driven to succeed by their passion for said work, and the internet has made it possible for practically any individual to have access to any career trajectory, so long as they are willing to do the work to get there.

Additionally, the internet is the single largest advertising platform and strategy. From the marketing tactics to steer users towards the best and most easily accessible local cables, to entire empires advertising their entire companies online, the internet has given businesses the world over an equal platform that spans the globe. This type of unstoppable worldwide exposure gives businesses the chance to drawn in more consumers – something that, prior to the internet, was not nearly as easily achieved. Economic growth has been given a significant (and ongoing, for that matter) boost, thanks to the internet giving businesses and consumers alike a global opportunity and platform to definitively lean into their respective positions in the marketplace; consumers, as the eager buyers, and businesses, as the exhilarating and rousing bridges for both the creation of more jobs and the more global platform for connectivity and engagement (both key contributing factors towards a stronger economic future). Through the internet, everything from medical discoveries to the latest event in one’s social circle, can be (and often is) executed largely online, making us more connected and capable than ever – a strong positive for the continuous growth of the global economy moving forward.

Of all the technological innovations that have had a significant impact on the world, the internet is arguably the most influential of them all. Hailed as the leading global technological innovation, the internet has proven its value time and again – and continues to do so with every passing day. Just as every innovation to roll out into the world’s eyesight, the internet has not come without its challenges, but even in the face of these challenges the internet has continued to go from strength to strength, changing the world – and improving economic growth in the process – from the inside out. There is quite a lot to be said about the immense power the internet holds, and all that it makes possible, and that is that global economic growth and ongoing evolution would not be nearly as fruitful as it is today, thanks in no small part to the internet. We have only just scratched the surface with what the internet can do for economic growth, but even so, the promise is exhilarating and thrilling.

New Construction Homes Are a Good Bet in the Recovering Housing Market

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Over a decade after the housing crash in 2008, the economy is finally recovering, but some sectors are recovering faster than others. People still need houses, but renting, leasing, and remodeling still remain far popular than construction of new properties. New property construction has been notoriously slow to recover, tanking more than 80 percentage points in the 2008 crash and eleven years later still sitting at less than half of its pre-crash level. Despite sounding like grim news, this kind of economic outlook can be good news for prospective buyers with some spare cash to invest in a higher-quality, more bespoke real estate opportunity. Low demand for new construction brings prices down and creates a buyer’s market. This is true in much of the real estate sector, but there are many advantages to ordering a new construction rather than buying an existing house.

There are still many so-called cookie-cutter homes on the market, especially in the suburbs, and some types, especially the higher-end ‘McMansions,’ are especially reviled. Because of the economic incentives driving construction of these suburban homes, construction quality is characteristically shabby, and both interior and exterior designs can become dated very quickly, leading to disappointing resale value or a second investment in remodeling in order to drive up the value of the house, which can potentially lead to headache-inducing struggles with local homeowners’ associations.

The easiest way to avoid issues such as this is simply to build a new property, allowing the buyer much more control over the design and construction quality of the finished product. However, when ordering construction of a new home, buyers must be more proactive and vigilant than when simply purchasing or mortgaging an existing home, and cutting too many corners or failing to consult an expert – or even a magazine – on trends in home design can lead to the same issues discussed above.

When deciding on the layout or type of home for a new property, there are several options, some good, and some bad. Split level home designs were once very popular and since then have significantly declined in popularity and desirability, but it’s likely that these types of homes will make a comeback as they allow for increased house volume with a smaller footprint, meaning you can fit more house into a smaller building lot. This will certainly be attractive to those looking to avoid breaking the bank while maintaining investment in an appreciating asset, and if housing prices continue to outpace wages, there should be no problem finding a buyer for the property in the future for the same reasons.

Once a plan has been decided on and construction has begun, the homeowner’s job has still only begun. Some even argue that the most important step occurs before construction has even begun. That’s the time when the buyer should be doing research on construction companies and crews, building relationships with potential contractors, and finding out what needs to be done and how for the design that they want. Two of the most important points stressed by experts in this field are getting to know the contractors and establishing expectations or guidelines for walkabouts or even inspections during the construction process. An experienced and reputable construction crew will have no issues with their client coming in to take a look at their work, and if they are skilled, they will likely take pride in showing off their work and explaining what they’re doing, as it can help to bolster their reputation through word of mouth and strong relationships with their clients. On the other hand, a crew that’s reluctant to provide transparency during the construction phase should be a red flag for the buyer. It’s also okay and even recommended to involve an inspector, as they can provide a keener and more experienced eye than the homeowner. That being said, it’s not a good idea to be overbearing. Construction is a difficult and demanding job, and occasionally dangerous for inexperienced observers wandering onto the building site. That’s why communication is key; the buyer should agree beforehand with the builder about how often and at what times or stages of construction it’s appropriate for them to visit.

Buyers of newly constructed homes generally have positive experiences. There is always the potential that things might go wrong, but the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. The most pressing complaints about life in these new homes is generally something like having to re-paint a few walls, or regretting putting in hardwood floors. But in spite of the possibility for missteps, there has never been a better time to build a new house. It may require a more proactive approach and significantly more involvement in the process than simply walking into a house and saying “I’ll take it,” but as with all things in life, the hard work pays off.

Modern Marketing a Marvel in Creative Work

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Creativity is something that is special and unique to each of us. For some of us, our creativity is more set, more structured, and for others it is a wild, flowing extension of ourselves. Some people are so creatively-tuned that they turn their creativity into a blooming career. There are so many careers that cater to the creative energy in all of us. When it comes to creative career paths, one that is often overlooked is marketing. It might seem to many like marketing is more of a structured-approach career path, but the entire basis of marketing today is set around creative license and bringing concepts and ideas to creative license for the masses to see and respond to. Creative work is something that we all aspire to in one way or another, but for those of us to turn it into a career, marketing is one of the most powerful ways we can harness our creativity and use it in a professional setting, to propel ourselves forward in our careers. In short, modern marketing is all about harnessing personal creativity to enhance professional reach and further exposure.

There are many different facets of marketing, as well. In many ways, photographers are marketers in their own right. Their work is a means of marketing images in an appealing way to clients, to audiences, and to companies around the world. Similarly, the same goes for videographers, artists, authors, musicians. The list goes on and on. The structure of modern society is that everything pivots and spins in a modem centred around marketing efforts. Everything anyone does is a direct action or response to some effort in marketing – even if not officially. We buy the clothes we see our friends and influencers we follow rocking. We listen to the bands that we find on Spotify. We read the books and watch the films our loved ones love. We buy the cars that companies promise are the most environmentally-inclusive vehicles on the roads. Quite literally, every motion in this modern world is driven by marketing in one way or another.

With this truth in mind, why not enjoy a career in marketing? Being in a career in marketing means that you are consistently working to achieve more ambitious goals, creative directions. But more than that, working marketing ensures that you have a release for all your creative ideas and expressions, while getting paid for it. And realistically, is there anything better in all the world than getting paid to do what you love? There isn’t. Freedom is something that we all crave in the deepest, darkest corners of our souls, and careers with creative cores are the very same professional pathways that bring out the creative energy and the freedom, in one neat little package. Never before has there been such an overwhelmingly positive nature towards these types of careers, and they are drawing in the masses more and more often, as everyone reaches for a career in the creative sector.

Businesses lean so heavily on creative marketing these days because that is the advertising and marketing strategy that modern consumers respond most positively to, and most consistently as well. Consumers run the world, and marketing is the way that businesses and individuals can reach their consumer bases with the most ease and velocity. There is no other branding strategy as concrete and broadly viable as creative marketing in all its forms. Creative marketing is the backbone of modern business success, but it is also one of the most overwhelmingly successful career paths for a creatively-inclined individual there is. Creative minds are the heart of our modern society and the subsequent expectations, and marketing is one of the most influential ways to turn creativity into a blooming career.

When it comes to being in touch with our creative side, for those who are more creatively-inclined than intellectually so, forging a career in marketing is one of the smartest professional moves they can possibly make. A career in marketing is something that is often overlooked when creative minds are considering their career options – until now. As the entire world practically revolves around marketing in all its forms, forging a career in marketing is a strong professional move that can – and often does – prove to be immensely valuable in the long run. There is a lot to be said about creative energy being utilised to bring exciting and unique ideas to the world, and that is the whole point of marketing. There is also a sense of freedom that is often difficult to match in other careers, because in marketing there is quite a lot of creative release that can flow relatively (if not wholly) freely. Modern marketing is often referred to as a marvel in creative work, and it is not at all difficult to understand exactly why. This is the new norm, and creative minds are driving this ideal.

Ads for the Millennial Mindset

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Advertising strategies and content changed from billboards to radio and TV. Now the Internet and smartphones in the hands of Millennials require greater change in ads

There was a time that manufacturers could say whatever they wished about their product, even if untrue, and customers believed every word. Not anymore. The Millennials generation’s plea to brands, is, “Authenticity, not advertising.”

Millennials, making up 25% of the US population, and spending $200 billion annually on products and services, are not a segment to be ignored. And they have their own views of advertising as manipulated messages geared to increasing sales. A recent survey carried out by the Illinois-based McCarthy Group, found that 84% of millennials dislike and distrust advertising. At the same time, 58% of young people will tolerate digital ads or Google Search Ads to support their favorite digital personalities. Also, according to a recent survey by the mobile advertising platform, Aki Technologies, they found that consumers respond to ads on their mobile as they watch TV and ads they see just before they go to sleep.

The perspective was different in earlier times. Americans became addicted consumers with the rise of advertising in the mid twentieth century, with annual advertising budgets increasing from $6 billion in 1950, to over $13 billion in 1963. As President of the National Broadcasting Company, Robert Sarnoff, said in 1956, “The reason we have such a high standard of living is because advertising has created an American frame of mind that makes people want more things, better things, and newer things.”

The radio, the initial TV and billboards blended into the golden era of advertising. As TV became a popular family leisure activity, advertisers used TV images to differentiate their products and to show the strength and quality of their particular products, like a Band-Aid bandage staying fixed on an egg in boiling water. In the meantime, advertising had to change strategies to encourage consumers to keep on buying when their initial demand was sated. Continuously improved products came to be advertised to create “consumption anxiety,” making people buy products that were not essentials.

As technology evolved, there has been a shift in advertising motive. Today, the focus is not selling mentality, but concepts like community-building, energy-saving and conservation and sustainability.

Furthermore, with the advent of the Internet and the ensuing ability to obtain information instantly, people were no longer enthralled by advertisements. On the contrary, they viewed advertisements with a sense of skepticism, because the exaggeration and overpromise of many ads became apparent when reality showed something different. Therefore, people started looking to other online users of the product to exchange frank and honest opinions.

With Millennials being the first “digital natives,” growing up with smartphones and the Internet, they are not gullible or ignorant, and take ad content with a pinch of salt if they do not completely reject it. Therefore, with Millennials, advertising requires a fresh and honest approach.

Nevertheless, the truth appears to be that consumers do not hate all ads. They just abhor the bad ones. About 83% of people say, “Not all ads are bad, but I want to filter out the really obnoxious ones.” Even as many people use ad blocking apps to suppress all ads, 77% of them say they would like to filter out distasteful ads rather than blocking ads completely. There are many people who have, in recent times, been introduced to products they have come to love, through appropriately placed high quality advertising.

What stands out in the advertising arena is that millennials refuse to be “talked at.” They are in the habit of being able to control the information in their daily lives, and they interact no differently with the online brands they are introduced to. They want to have control of the messaging. They want products they wish to have for the things they want to do. They will not be lured to buy a product just because it is advertised. And if they are brand loyal, such as following the brand, or liking it on social media platforms, they expect to be rewarded for it. They seek out coupons, and want to have priority in receiving product updates.

As British writer and businessman, Paul Marsden reminds, “Business is all about solving people’s problems – at a profit.” Indian author of self-help books, Siv Khera’s perception is “We don’t have business problems, we have people problems. When we take care of our people problems, most of our business problems are automatically resolved.” Founder of the Twitter app store, Oneforty, Laura Fitton, says, “Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm., and ideas about how to solve that problem.”

Thus, advertising of today revolves around being honest and open about resolving consumer problems. That is the way to reach the millennial mind.

Winning Clients and Closing Deals: The Key Concepts Behind Business Negotiations

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Negotiations are an inherent part of business. This can be as simple as purchasing inventory or as complex as negotiating a merger of two companies. In short, many deals and transactions require negotiations.

Make sure you get your perspective on negotiations right.  It’s not a friendly outing at Starbucks. It’s a challenge that you must win by playing cool while the other party falters. You have to extract the best deal possible. You will have to sell hard. It’s a tried and tested way that’s proven to work much better than a soft sell. However, negotiation, like most other processes is a certain skill that has to be learnt and polished over time, mostly through negotiation training.

Aggressive People Win

Your stance has to be clear. If you are meek, passive and timid then you are not going to win many good deals. This can clearly be evinced for example by checking out the best lawyers. Negotiations are routine for lawyers. The most fearless, ruthless and downright belligerent lawyers are the winners in the negotiations game. They can easily intimidate people into agreeing to their terms.

Be Nonchalant Under Pressure

Knowing the relative strengths of the negotiating parties is extremely important. For example, as a vendor you are confronted with the question ‘there are so many other vendors out there, why should I pick you?’ Present all of your strengths, expertise and experience. At the end, you should insinuate that if you don’t go with you then you will not be available for them in the future. The time to act is now. Don’t betray your trepidation. If you make that mistake then the other party will bully you into compromises and concessions. Just show that you are in no hurry and you can walk out of the deal with perfect equanimity. This is an old ploy successfully leveraged by the best poker players. They know that even with a mediocre hand they can play on the fears of their opponents to win. To execute this high-level kind of negotiation, you will need to learn from experts with some serious negotiation experience, for which there are negotiation firms out there that teach these skills.

Don’t undersell easily

The prospective buyer will prod you to offer your best price. Be stubborn and don’t be cajoled easily. If you naively give your best quote the conniving customer will still say that it’s not enough and will ask for more. If you have to give discounts then do so very slowly always keep some room to maneuver. This way you will wind up giving a 4 percent discount instead of going all the way into double digits for instance. A little obduracy can pay.

It’s More Than Just the Price

Pay very close attention to the terms in addition to the price. If you get a low price you should be concerned as to why the other party is underselling itself and you should ask appropriate questions concerning quality in a judicious manner. If the price is too high then you should confront the seller with market data and say that such a high offering is not vindicated in the light of current market conditions. Keep asking questions and pay very close attention. Be skeptical and don’t accept anything at face value. Seek upfront evidence for any claims. Negotiation consulting can teach you to be this savy in a negotiation so you never get a bad deal.

Write It Down

When you understand that the other party is no longer willing to compromise then have them write down their final offer on paper and show it to your lawyer. He will advise you whether or not it’s a good deal. A lawyer can tell which terms are problematic. You can then decide at leisure whether or not those terms are acceptable to you. Invite your partners and associates to pore over the details and ask for advice from knowledgeable persons who have experience and acumen in this regard.

Cultural Values Matter

Due to the international nature of trade, you must pay attention to cultural values and sensibilities. For instance, when Enron was negotiating with Indian authorities, it lost its bid to some other company because the government thought that Enron’s pace of negotiations was too fast. It’s true that time is money but in many parts of the world, people like to take their time when the deal is big.

Successful business in this modern era starts with sound morality

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The modern business market is vastly different from the one that existed fifty years ago. We have evolved and shifted through countless eras and innovations to get to where we are today. The present-day business model centres around a healthy workplace environment, a positive team experience, and a passionate employee mindset. And at the heart of it all, successful business in this modern era begins and ends with sound and consistent morality and it doesn’t hurt to have great IT support. Without a persistent drive towards morality, there is nothing. We are more inherently focused than ever on maintaining a happy, healthy quality of life and overall lifestyle, and seeing as we spend (on average) a third of the working week at our jobs, it makes perfect sense that there is more of a drive towards maintaining morally sound, overall positive environments in a business workplace. It is entirely fair that employees want to be treated with dignity and respect, and it is perfectly acceptable to expect all modern businesses to not only comply with this ideal, but to constantly strive to ensure that it is met with the utmost dedication and effort.

First and foremost, it is crucial to understand the difference between a boss and a leader. A boss is someone who stands at the forefront of a ship while their employees tirelessly work to steer the ship in the right direction. A leader, on the other hand, is someone who is amid the chaos, working with their team to bring the ship to the safety of the shore. While a boss steps back and allows his employees do all the hard work, often (if not always) taking credit for the results of that hard work, a leader makes his team stand with him, and even pushes them to the front when the crowd cheers wildly for their efforts. Any good employer aims to be a leader, but only the hardworking, truly great ones effectively become one. We exist in a modern society that, above all else, values the values of teamwork, respect, and positivity, and no modern business can hope to thrive without these ideals and a leader driving the business forward, onward, and upward into new elevations of exceeding success.

The key to creating a business that prospective employees want to be a part of is ensuring that the workplace functions in a healthy way. It is all well and good to say that your company can provide candidates with a great environment to work in and a positive team, but words are just words without action. When your employees are happy, they do their best work. the same can (and should) be said for circumstances where employees are, for whatever reason, unhappy. To get the most out of any business’ employees, and to ensure that the company thrives at its highest possible frequency, the most important thing is maintaining that healthy, positive business model. The core of the business should resonate with the most positive employee experiences. That is how businesses get reputations as highly sought after companies, that is all there is to it. Well, that and a lot of hard work and determination.

When it comes to running a successful business in this day and age, everything starts with sound morality. A leader operates with morality in the back of his mind because it comes naturally and effortlessly. A leader understands that to attract – and keep – the top talent in this modern marketplace, their business must create a sense of imminent drive and whole purpose. There must be a sound reason and a just cause for employees to want to choose to work – and stay – with the business. Anything less and the business is not likely to last very long, not in this modern era. Present-day society demands that any business in operation today can maintain all these positive values, even when the going gets tough (because it will…no path to success is ever a completely smooth one). When it comes down to it, nothing worth having comes easily, and when it does there is probably a bump waiting around the corner.

The world of modern business has successfully made it through countless eras and innovations to get to where it is today. The present-day world of business focuses on the health and quality of life of all employees and business owners. While one owns the company and the others work for it, there should not be a differing level of respect held dependent on which post an individual holds. These days, prospective employees expect and pull favour towards businesses that can and will adequately meet their expectations. Their expectations centre around working in a healthy, positive business environment while feeling driven, challenged, and impassioned by their work. Businesses that are thriving are doing so because they are not stupid – these are the businesses that have recognised the traits of a workplace that matter to candidates and prospective employees entering the workforce. Luckily, they are (most of the time) more than willing and able to comply.

The future of fintech in terms of security

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Silicon Valley has been the center of the tech world, but this isn’t necessarily the case when taking a look at the fintech industry. There are companies all over the world excelling rapidly within this field. This might be because it is the most applicable sect of the tech industry. Fintech opens up doors to nearly any company taking advantage of its developments.

According to a well-done webinar by Morningstar Inc., “FinTech companies are businesses that leverage new technology to create new and better financial services for both consumers and businesses. It includes companies of all kinds that may operate in personal financial management, insurance, payment, asset management, etc.” This should paint you an accurate picture of the possibilities that this industry holds for the future of companies around the world.

Fintech means a lot to the start-ups using the strategies and the traditional banks that are set in old strategies. Traditional banking will continue to become more and more outdated if these banks fail to adapt some of the innovations that are being presented in the fintech field.  This is especially true when we consider the fact that Millennials are getting older and looking to places to invest and save their money. Banks that offer more electronic ease and other features are highly likely to take the cake when looking at new clients.

This means competition will remain fierce in the financial industry, thanks to fintech and all its advancements.  Large banks like Capital One are at the forefront of fintech and taking advantage of the developments it will bring. Banks that keep their head above water will be the ones remaining relevant through the changes that fintech will bring to the industry.

Security is a proponent of fintech that most people are excited about in the industry. There is room for so many improvements regarding information security and the safety of important data. There are companies focusing on this aspect of fintech that will drastically improve our ability to feel safe banking online.

The wariness towards trusting money that you are storing online is one aspect of fintech that will constantly need improvement due to the constantly changing online tools and features. This is a great field to go into because there will always be jobs making online banking safer. As technology progresses, so do the hackers that can find work arounds. This is widely known, which makes consumers wary. This creates a steady need for financial security developments and precautions. Examples of fintech products that make consumers feel at ease are tools like fake credit cards with numbers connected to your real credit card. This makes it so credit card numbers can’t be stolen. It’s genius—really. We just need to see more of this moving forward to create a theft-free and hack-free financial space online.

Companies like Experian have released tools that can help companies track consumer behavior. Two of these tools are Ascend and PowerCurve. PowerCurve predicts whether someone will be receptive to a product and Ascend uses AI to track consumer behavior. Tools like these paired with impeccable fintech strategy will really make a company stand out from the competitors.  Experian is also huge in fintech because it can protect from identity theft. They also allow lenders to run credit-scoring so they can assess applications for car finance etc. Companies like this are allowing other companies to meet tech and financial goals through their innovation.

We will definitely see an increase in companies that can provide tools like Experian does. These small, but complicated technological advancements have the power to revolutionize how a company sells and completes transactions. Small tools like the credit checking tool allow for companies to focus on their message, branding etc. while another company provides their advancement in financial technology.

Another tool that more companies will need is the help of fintech consultants and experts. Since fintech is fairly innovative and fresh, the need for consultants to lead companies in the right direction is apparent. This field is opening up a whole new need in the job field as well.

Moving forward, we can expect a decrease in the amount of banks sticking only to traditional banking. There also will be further developments in security, which will make this industry take off. Once the security aspects are perfected, we will see a huge increase in the success of fintech. The field is already changing the way humans invest, spend and save money.

One thing that can be said for sure about the future of fintech is that big data, A.I. and machine learning will all have a hand in its success. Take for example Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies. They will definitely become the future of banking as they provide more accessibility to millions of people who have never had their own bank account before. Bitcoin is also used as an asset, investment, and trading. It’s often considered to be just like gold. There’s been large investments in developing new technology for this sector like trading algorithms and automatic trading robots such as the Bitcoin Trader, which analyse the trends on the market and place trades automatically for their users. This industry is taking off and encompassing nearly any business that complete financial transactions, manages money, invests money etc. Fintech won’t be slowing down in the near future, that is certain

The revolution of the food & beverage business

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The food and beverage industry has always had a prominent presence. Every living being needs to eat, and our consumption as a species has the most impact worldwide. Even as one of the world’s most integral industries, the food and beverage industry is one that has been through its fair share transitory eras. Over the years, the one steady shift has been the rise of experience-driven decisions – including our food. Food has always been an experience of sorts. Simply getting the groceries is an experience, for example. The shift, however, has come in the form of the importance that is increasingly being placed on the experiences that are associated with food. Rather than collecting material things, today’s society is now hyper-focused on collecting experiences. The food and beverages industry has not only noticed this gravitational shift, but it has been one of the pioneering industries in helping the focus to grow. From finally getting to eat at that fine dining restaurant you have been waiting to try, to travelling abroad and trying the street food, eating is all about the experience these days.

Evolution is a natural progression of all ongoing concepts, events, lives, and industries. The food and beverage business, for example, has always been driven to deliver food to consumers. The key shift in the industry lies in the importance being placed on providing more than just the food to consumers, but the experience as well. Consumers used to be driven by material wealth, but these days the modern consumer wants an experience they can enjoy. Food has historically been considered an experience on holidays, special occasions, and with family and friends. But the industry has noted that consumers want every meal to be an experience, and they have taken the hint and begun to produce a culinary experience that diners relish in.

Fine dining restaurants pride themselves on delivering food of the best quality in luxury surrounds. Cafes these days serve vegan and gluten-free food to cater to people with dietary requirements. Everywhere you look, food is now being treated as an experience – and that is how it should be. Not a single industry can survive without the support and supply of its consumers, and the food and beverage business is no different – from growing and purchasing the food, to using the ingredients to forge meals that will remembered long after diners’ stomachs are full.

From the way that consumers grocery shop to the way that food and beverage-focused businesses source their ingredients, the food industry is undeniably experiencing a resurgence in experience-focused business methods and models. One shining example of this is the recent ban of single use plastic bags in grocery stores throughout Australia. While grocery shopping is merely the collection of our food, consumers have made the conscious decision more and more often lately to call for the plastic bags that groceries have historically been packed into, to be banned. Single use plastic is harmful for animals that may choke on it, and the environment as well. Consumers began to make the conscious decision to shop at supermarkets that did not offer the single use plastics, and the supermarkets noticed and soon a ban had been carried out – and is still under effect – that saw consumers having to bring their own reusable grocery bags to stock their groceries into.

Just a single example of how the food and beverage industry has shifted to provide consumers with the types of experiences they want to have, the plastic bag grocery store ban is a mere taste of the importance of catering the experience with food to the consumers’ specifications. Failure to do so poses significant risk in this day and age. As consumers place more focus on what they eat, where their food comes from, and how their food gets to them, the food and beverages industry move towards a more adaptive consumer experience is one that has effectively given them a leg up. The interest in food has increased tenfold over the years, with a specific spike over the last few years in relation to consumers beginning to realise that their key focus should be not on the material things, but the experiences that carry them from one point in their life on to the next.

The food and beverages industry is one that has been through many great evolutions in its time. As the societal pull from material collections to experiences continued to take hold, industries around the world not only took notice, but took heed of the shift in consumer focus. Today, the food and beverages industry has a centralised focus on creating a seamless, extraordinary experience for its consumers. Each section of the industry does this in their own way, but the goal is always the same: to use food to sharpen fond memories into incredible moments. The food and beverages business is knee deep in its greatest evolution thus far, and it is interesting to note that its current era is derived from the core of what food is supposed to be about: the experience.

Keep out of it – Businesses go to new lengths to ensure their privacy

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Technological advancement is the basis for the future of the planet and the economy. Well past the days of dial up and solely letter written communication, we are too far gone to go back to a time where technological dependence was not a very real, very present reality. Most (if not all) industries have been touched by the introduction of technology and digitisation, and one of the most impacted of these industries is business. The marketplace of today is vastly different to the one that existed twenty years ago, as is the economy. Life as we know it has changed, and so has the way that we conduct and manage business. Years ago, businesses operated in the traditional brick-and-mortar establishments that still exist today, with the only real difference between then and now being all the additional facets and platforms that allow businesses to operate to global standards. Business no longer must deal only with banks, occasional theft in stores, and store security systems. Today, businesses run on multiple dimensions – brick-and-mortar, online, through apps, and via pop up stores. With technology bringing to rise the revolution of digital business, there has been an increase in the necessity to understand and implement online privacy structures.

Businesses can invest in internet protection via VPN protection systems like Pia VPN, or they can take it upon themselves to design (or have designed by a professional in the field) privacy and security systems within their very business’ foundations. This includes website encryption, mobile security systems, and other privacy measures that are designed to keep the sensitive information of the business as tight and secure as possible. The obvious goal of using these systems is minimising the potential for threats being able to successfully disrupt the balance between business security and privacy standards. VPN protection is just one of the many protective measures that businesses can invest in for this purpose, but it is arguably the most well-known and well-structured of them all.

When using a VPN, businesses successfully give themselves a sense of online security that safeguards that aspect of their business, leaving them able to focus on the brick-and-mortar aspects that require more attention to detail. Automation and AI are the gateways for online privacy and security, and businesses are embracing these wholeheartedly, allowing them to restore and secure the balance they work so hard to achieve in online business trading and marketing. The VPN market has evolved and expanded dramatically over the last few years as individuals and businesses alike seek to gain back control over their data and privacy. Protecting sensitive information does not come easily, especially at a business where multiple employees may have differing values. And it doesn’t just stop with privacy and security, either. Technology has advanced the industry to such a degree that businesses are having to recollect their branding to save face and restore the balance.

Technology has given way to a lot of advancements that have both hurt and strengthened the business industry, and the innovations just keep on coming. The current reality is that businesses are on the verge of collapse or rebirth. For some businesses, keeping up with the technological advancements that are revolutionising the industry will prove to be too much, causing them to fall into despair. For others, however, the advances in the industry will provide them with a renewed focus and a determination to make it in the industry, rather than fall back and let the transition defeat them. Either way, the message is clear; businesses must find a way to make technology work for them, rather than desperately trying to work themselves into the technology. Any other way will simply not work in the long run.

The current digital landscape is an unstable one, with businesses having to go out of their way to not only make note of changes, but realign their business structure with those changes – even if that means pivoting from their initial company ideology. The risk of becoming irrelevant in today’s (and tomorrow’s) economy is a very real threat and businesses must take heed of said threat and use it to their advantage. In turning their weaknesses into strengths, even the most ill-formed business can turn around.

The business industry has embraced technological advancement for what it is, using it to embolden their business models and strengthen their weaknesses. As technology continued to seep into the everyday more and more, we began to see cracks forming that could not be ignored. Online privacy became a genuine concern, and businesses the world over began to search desperately for a solution to the digital chaos. That solution has begun to become increasingly apparent, with the subsequent rise in VPN protection system implementation among businesses all over the world. Mounting concerns have started to give way to digital solutions, and the business industry is finally finding its footing again, successfully navigating its way into the digitised era and out of the danger zone… one VPN at a time.

Digital Banking in the Digital Age: Perceptions of Current Day Reality

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Money is the bloodline of the modern day life and its processes, while banking is the system that keeps it all together, regulating and operating the functions and features of such life. The digital transformation that the world is going through has affected the fields of banking and finance as well, giving birth to the age of digital banking. With supercomputers, gigantic super-fast databases, tens of millions of customers and fortunately in some cases, no fee banking services, digital banking of today’s world is a blessing to those who seek to access money and other financial instruments. Carrying out numerous functions for people of all sorts of intentions and interests, the modern day figital banking system is also a rapidly changing one, providing its users with new features on a daily basis. As long as one is on track with such developments and novelties, they have a higher chance of achieving success with their operations to minimize costs and maximize utility/profit.

Millennials are youngster who were born in or after the year 2000, ‘the millennium’, and as they have grown up, they have become the most dynamic generation among all generations of modernity, having access to virtually every opportunity and service that modern life provides. Mobile banking is one of such services and it has already become a hit among millennials, enabling them to utilize their money and financial assets with speed and ease. With easily accessible investment options, digital banking provides features such as ‘Electronically-Traded Funds (ETFs)’ to such millennials to make the most out of their money and invest into reasonable options. Virtual primary banking options are also available, enabling millennials to access their bank accounts from anywhere in the world to keep track of their finances and access money at the touch of a button, mobilizing them to travel, shop and enjoy life with financial security. Budgeting and wealth management also have become easier for the youngsters as the digital banking procedures and applications make it possible for them to keep track of their finances with ease. As a result, the millennials have become simply the most dynamic, capable and mobile generation in human history regarding finance and financial matters and there is no sign of slowing down for such leadership either.

As the market grows and data begins to replace physical money, many speculate that banks will also be eliminated as institutions of mediation, regulation and authority. The recently developed ‘Atom’ project is a great example for such a reality as the system is “actually a data company that happens to have a banking license.” Plagued with crisis and shocks, the credit markets have turned millions of customers away from reasonable financial management but companies like Atom are promising more than the traditional methods to regain their trust. The company entered the market with online options such as virtual savings and checking accounts, as well as debit and credit cards at 2% interest rate, which was a significantly lower number than its competitors at the time. Since traditional banks use 55-70% of all their profits to support and sustain their physical operations, digital banks such as Atom have a higher chance of survival and success in the business. In addition, these institutions utilize and operate on data analytics, which grants them a significant element of security not applicable to traditional systems. Consequently, digital banks also have a more direct and constructive relationship with their clients and such close proximity makes it possible for them to develop more reasonable and comprehensive business strategies.

Naturally, technological developments almost directly translate into investment for digital banking with CapWay being a great example of such harmony. Tech professionals such as Sheena Allen have taken notice of the unnecessary sums of money being spent on traditional procedures such as “payday loans and check cashing services” to put their computer skills to work and help improve the situation. The CapWay system seeks to bring easy and profitable banking procedures into the lives of “the unbanked, underbanked and people living paycheck to paycheck” by providing connectivity between their existent accounts and the CapWay database. Through online transactions and prepaid cards, such users can access money easily at cheaper rates. The system also makes user based recommendations based on the customer’s spending habits to maximize efficiency in investment and educate such users about the details of digital banking. The developers of the system have their eyes currently on the millennials market, seeking to attract their attentions before they enter the traditional banking market and face the consequences. To accomplish this, the company is partnering with schools, employers, financial institutions and community organizations to target younger people in the American society and explain to them the benefits of digital banking and why they should create an account with CapWay to enjoy secure, transparent and profitable banking applications.

In many ways, the given technological paradigm signs a drastic change in the banking business: the establishment and utilization of smartphones as bank branches. Today, banks send more than 16 text messages and notifications every second to their users, showing how smartphones are already operating as personal banks for millions of people. Ranging from salary information to obligatory monthly down payments, these notifications usually work in conjunction with installed banking applications to initiate processes immediately upon reception.  The banks are helpless against the developments observed in the communications technology industry and need to play along because 59% of millennials, people of 16 to 25 years of age, are currently using smartphone based banking applications while 69% of 25 to 24 year olds and 49% of 65+ year olds are also doing the same thing. Smartphones have already replaced computers in this sense, with numerous applications enabling direct access to financial data and records for billions of people every day. As transactions and transfers become easier and trackable this way, the banking industry is spending more time, resource and capital to develop more sophisticated and utile applications to integrate new digital users and expand their customer networks existing in their secure and functional digital systems.

Naturally, as the trend of digitalization in banking become more popularized, banks and retailers are seeking for ways to optimize their businesses by tracking user interactions such as typing, swiping and tapping to create customer profiles and fight fraud as well as identity theft. Such profiles are used to categorize services for increased protection against attacks and use ‘behavioral biometrics’ to have a more professional comprehension of such customers’ identities. The process is secretive, meaning that the users are not aware of what is going on and therefore the companies obtain the most honest and utile biometric data available to construct their security and identification strategies. Considering how common it has become for cyber thieves to attack bank accounts and steal information, such a measure has become a necessity for security officials to protect their customers and their assets. As identity is moving forward on its path to becoming the new digital currency, it is also becoming a weapon of sorts to be used against people, making information security a crucial issue and justifying the mentioned biometrics operations. However, there are also opponents of such procedures who believe that this is a direct violation of personal privacy and who believe that such procedures might lead to more catastrophic consequences in the future. With so much personal data gathered from such high numbers of people all around the world, the banks are becoming more powerful than any other institution, which might enable ill-minded employees or administrators to take advantage of the situation. In addition, in the case that such data is stolen by third parties, no one is really sure what will happen and who will be held responsible. Such a possibility is deterring millions of smartphone users to even touch such banking and retailing applications in fears of losing precious personal data to hackers.