Home > Blogs > What Separates IT Architects From Their Peers?
In this digital era of competition and ever-expanding technological advancements, software architects are required in mostly every tech organization to provide solutions to different problems which the organization faces.
Software architecture professionals provide Software application architecture which is the process of defining a structured solution that meets all of the technical and operational requirements while optimizing common quality attributes such as performance, security, and manageability. It involves a series of decisions based on a wide range of factors; and each of these decisions can have a considerable impact on the quality, performance, maintainability, and overall success of the application.
Since architects are experts in their own different fields, there can be a quite a difference in the roles and responsibilities of the architects.
IT architects vs Domain architects
An IT architect is an individual that architects and designs information technology solutions and services for organizations. They possess a strong business and IT background to architect software, hardware, network or any IT solution that gives the best results to the business. An IT architect is also known as an enterprise architect.
An IT architect primarily possesses technical skills in planning, architecting and implementing enterprise-class IT solutions and services. They usually develop IT architectures using methodical diagrams that define the specifications, business/IT models, implementation road map, and other guidelines. Based on the requirements and/or the environment, an IT architect can create:
- Software architectures
- Network architectures
- Enterprise application/ IT architectures
- Security architectures
- Database architectures
Roles and responsibilities:
- Laying down IT strategy and planning with the existing and future organizational goals.
- Working closely with solutions experts to constantly find solutions related to software problems.
- Optimization of information management strategies.
- Promotion of shared applications and infrastructure to cut expenditures and enhance the flow of information
A domain Architect is a specialist with deep knowledge within a particular domain of their expertise. A domain could be ‘Data Services,’ ‘Process Design,’ ‘Integration Services’ or ‘Domain Expert for SAP’. The word domain signifies the niche area of expertise. Domain architects only focus on specific areas and are experts in their particular areas. The focus of the Domain Architect is on enterprise-level business solutions within a given domain.
As software architects who are engaged in finding solutions, an IT architect relies on domain architects and Developers to get down to the process levels of solving problems.
Examples of Domain Architects include:
- Access Services Architect
- Integration Services Architect
- Data Services Architect
- Infrastructure Services Architect
- Process Design Architect
- Domain Expert for a COTS Application (i.e. SAP, Oracle, Siebel, etc.)
- Business Architect with business specific knowledge (i.e. Share Trading)
Roles and Responsibilities:
- To find problems and provide solutions within the domain through the use of technology
- Working with, and using the output from other architects and providing them with output so as to achieve organizational goals efficiently.
- Single face to the delivery teams for all solutions on integrations and landscape ensuring alignment with the other architects.
All in all, if you are looking to make a career in the field of Enterprise architecture, there are many enterprise architect certification programs and software architecture programs available. Of course, Manipal ProLearn offers a world class Architecture readiness program, which will help you get a thorough understanding of the world of Enterprise architecture.
Home > Blogs > The Top 5 Cyber Security Tools Used by Organizations
From small start-ups to world class organizations that has millions turnover, nobody in the corporate world is free from cyber security threats. Hackers are always on the move to find loop holes in security systems to put companies in distress and benefit from it. It would take only a matter of minutes to have the goodwill of the company damaged which is even deadlier than material loss for any organization. The wise ones of the lot have adopted foolproof methods to prevent such malicious programs from entering their networks. These are some of the best security tools used by organizations to stay away from cyber attacks:
Recently, the corporate world witnessed a ransomware outbreak which was known by the name WannaCry. This virus operated by exploiting the vulnerabilities of security systems that had Microsoft Windows OS. More than 400000 machines were affected by this ransomware that was capable of encrypting 176 file types and changes the file extension to .WCRY. The ransom was $300 in bitcoins which doubles by time and if the payment was not made, the threat was to delete all the files that is under it’s control. The delay in introduction of a kill switch for this resulted in slowing down the business and the loss was approximately $4 Million.
WatchPoint’s Cryptostopper is undoubtedly the ultimate tool for preventing ransomware attacks like WannaCry. It monitors the systems for bots encrypting the files and deletes the threat as soon as it finds them. Cryptostopper claims to detect encryption in 9 seconds and stops it from spreading to other files. It isolates the workstation that is affected with the ransomware and shuts down communications with the network. Cryptostopper operates with a deception formula that supplies baits for the ransomware to latch on. Once these decoys are caught by the ransomware, cryptostopper steps up and destroys them, making the data safe reducing the probability of infection to real corporate files by furnishing the decoys in their place. Its signature-less system beats the other anti-ransomwares in the market with its timely detection and closure.
Emails is the most targeted source of spread malwares and leaking personal information. Emails with suspicious links could take a toll on secure data and put company’s growth in jeopardy. A single employee in a Multinational Organization could place the entire business in danger with a click. Protection of personal information is something that also needs at most attention now as it has become a trend in cyber world these days to expose personal information about people online.
MailControl is a widely used security service to prevent attacks mostly through emails that tries to penetrate into a secure workstation and later to the network. MailControl tactfully protects email engagements and metadata from spymails that opens up opportunities for hackers to monitor the system and location activities of an individual. MailControl offers two-factor authentication that offers additional security by attaching a second factor for authentication other than the password. It could be knowledge factors, possession factors or even biometrics. MailControl offers its services for Exchange, Office365 and GSuite.
It will be great if you could have the same security service for all your gadgets; it makes tracking much easier and liberates the users from the dilemma of selecting different services to keep the devices secure. The licensing for multiple security services for your mobile and workstations would be an added expense for the enterprise. Hp Inc. has a widely used security solution for your gadgets in a single account. Hp provides this security service with all its devices too. It is a good practice for product managers that market hardware devices to the users, to integrate such quality security services as an add-on to their product.
Hp’s TouchPoint manager is capable of managing individual users and user groups wherever there is network access. It enables self-service in organizations by assigning security responsibly to each employee which literally makes security a joined effort. Along with the privilege to customize security levels for each device, Touchpoint manager also has device tracking capabilities, remote lock service. When potential threats are found, Touchpoint Manager creates alerts and reports security breaches that would save the systems from mass failures.
IBM QRadar Advisor with Watson:
As we move along to an era were human fallacy is replaced by cognitive methods that reduces errors, its no shocker that companies are adopting these methods for cyber security. If machines could figure out comparatively unknown and potentially dangerous programs in their systems all by themselves, it is an added blanket of protection. These cognitive systems keeps themselves updated with the latest information about attackers and patterns of their operations.
Watson, the Artificial Intelligence counterpart of IBM, is now integrated with its security services. It is the best security decision that an organization could take- adopting a self learning and self updated system that would kill off threats even before they become a trend in the market. IBM QRadar adviser starts by running Enterprise security analytics when it receives an incident. It uses the QRadar Advisor to understand the context and develop a strategy for elimination of the threat. Once the strategy is formulates, QRadar runs expert online searches that could fetch any information regarding the nature of the threat. The search makes the system understand the patterns by examining online blog posts and related articles. With the data collected QRadar applies its intelligence to investigate the incident. All this happens so quickly that decision making is made simple just by analyzing the numbers.
Security Awareness Trainings:
An organization could have all the security software in the world and still be in grave danger if its employees are not well informed and trained about the security situation that the organization is at. All companies usually has a lot of corporate training programs that makes the workforce become more alert about the links they click on and mails they open through their workstations. There are many training programs that would ease the struggle like SANS, Security Mentor etc. Bootcamp trainings for people aspiring to be ethical hackers is a great way to build up a company’s security assets. By making the completion of these courses mandatory and including learning checks in them, organizations can ensure safety at workplace.
Apart from the above tools, SharePoint sites and repositories where important files are dropped should be protected by https. Offering Work Integrated Learning Certification Programs would help organizations in getting their employees gain additional knowledge along with quality certification for their careers. Any security breach among the employees should be treated with strong decisions which would encourage the workforce to be more alert with the data they are playing with. If proper measures are not taken by companies, it takes only the snap of a finger for them to roll down from the top of the market into huge pile of loss.
Home > Blogs > The Top 4 Cyber Security Companies on the Planet
In a world were even national elections are not free from cyber attacks, the importance of cyber security is extremely vital. The cyber world is struggling to keep attackers from meddling with critical data from personal information of citizens to secret data that are of national importance. Things would get real ugly if corporate data is not stored securely by overseeing potential security threats. A job of a cyber security personnel is as important as the job of a soldier at the national border. Enterprise architect training plays a key role in modelling the desirable capabilities for the safe functioning of a business. Here are the best 4 companies that made sure that cyber security services made people feel secure and tried to make our world a safer place to live.
Root9b stands in the first position among the Top 10 cyber security companies, also claims to be the most innovative cyber security solutions company. The company extends its services in many areas like advanced technology training, operational support, and consulting services in the United States and internationally.
One of the major areas were the company’s aid is used is for the federal government. The advisory board members of this company includes ex veterans and law enforcement professionals who have worked in the fields of National Security with substantial experience in providing advanced solutions and with proven abilities for risk mitigation. Root9b recently won a $50 million worth 5 year sub contract with the Department of Defence.
The expertise of the workforce and the advanced technology used in their system brings about an impeccable glamour to the organization. Root9b runs Network Defence Operations and computer forensics along with developing strategies to enhance security and prevent security breaches on the cyber space. With the right amount of business analysis training and knowledge from corporate training programs, one can explore the possibilities of business extension without compromising on security.
In the second place we have Raytheon, who is one of the top US defence contractor that also has its interests spread across manufacturing of weaponry, mission control devices and other commercial electronics. Raytheon Engineers worldwide are working towards building cutting edge technologies to make the world safe for its citizens. In fact, Percy Spencer, one of the early engineers of Raytheon invented the capability of microwaves to cook food during the time he worked for developing microwave transmitter radars for WWII.
The company strives to ensure that it provides devices with very high level of security to prevent security leaks that could eventually put national security into jeopardy.
Mimecast, the cloud based email management system that helps companies maintain their business communications data. The corporate are usually targeted by hackers by peeping into their communications systems through security leaks and by using highly valued confidential information for illegal purposes. This is what Mimecast specializes on. Protection of corporate data from potential security threats on email is done by utilizing secured email gateways and Target threat which is the process of rewriting the URL at the gateway before opening the email.
Mimecast also provides services for encrypted cloud storage, protection against malwares, spam’s, phishing etc.
Watson, IBM’s super smart AI is helping IBM’s security solutions by drawing security information from various sources together and analysing them. This is the factor that makes IBM a champion in finding threats that are not detectable in many other security systems. Integration of cognitive technologies to find and learn about security threats by the new IBM® Cognitive SOC is an amazing innovation put forth by IBM.
Analytics from the older threats and the patterns in which the threats are progressing through can be closely analyzed and monitored to predict possible security gaps and trends in security breaches, by AI systems. Watson along with other security measures are used by IBM to detect bots, destroy them as early as possible with the help of in house hackers who can find vulnerabilities in the system.
Engineers who wish to pursue careers with these technology empires should prepare with best-in-market technologies and methods. Boot camp trainings for enhancing the hacker’s/coder’s mental control over stressful period is a wise move to tackle pressure dealing with security breaches.
As Cyber security threats find nastier and deeper ways to disrupt development for business, It is always good to be in a place where the detection and elimination of the threat takes minimal time and financial loss. The cyber space has expanded so much with the introduction of devices like health trackers, home automation systems, heart rate monitors and other smart devices which contain critical personal information. The Internet of Things is another area that could go unbelievably wrong if not used securely. Any personal information drawn from these systems can potentially harm a person even physically.
Home > Blogs > 3 Duties of IT Architects
An IT architect, also known as enterprise architect is the main expert for software architecture in an enterprise. IT architecture is the process of translating your business strategy into enterprise change by identifying, communicating, planning for and enabling your organization’s evolution to the desired future state and helps the organization in business process management. If properly executed, it helps bridge the gap between business and IT and enables organization’s leaders to make better-informed decisions.
IT Architecture has grown from being just a set of small pilots to being a fully sponsored and supported initiative within enterprises. With the growing demands to reduce costs, increase agility, and standardize IT environments, there has been a surge of enterprise architecture activity. Due to these ever expanding demands, the duties and roles of an IT architect are constantly changing, aimed at making the IT architect the backbone of the organization.
Among the numerous important duties an IT architect has to undertake, there are three fundamental duties which are required from an IT architect in an organization:
1. Defining Future states: The IT architect is required to define the future state of the organization. A future state solution needs to meet the requirements of the enterprise at both strategic and operational levels and enable the enterprise to meet its strategic goals and objectives. This is a crucial stage in work integrated learning programs and uses Business Scenarios as a means to identify business requirements and as a mechanism to identify aspects of a future state design.
Sometimes referred to as the “to-be” architecture, this basically provides a road map for the enterprise to follow, so that all the resources of the organization are spent towards achieving the future goals of the organization. This will also aid in building your transition state architectures and enables efficient business process modeling.
2. Capturing current state architecture: IT architecture captures the current state to figure out “what you have”. By doing this, you can figure out what is working, identify duplications in the enterprise, or measure the health of key business processes that are supported by your architectures.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘as-is’ architecture, this duty is to ensure whether the organization is following the road map laid out by the future state architecture or not. If not, problems are identified and solutions are founded by working closely with solution architect.
3. Building transition architecture: Transition state architecture is the process by which we connect the current to the future state by creating an iterative roadmap to get to the desired future state. This includes creating innovative ideas and new technologies and software so that the target goals can be achieved and the current state of the organization is on the right path to future state.
Transition Architecture is used for individual work packages and projects to be grouped into managed portfolios and programs, illustrating the business value at each stage. It takes the current and future state as the start and end points and considers the practical steps required to transition from one state to the next. This provides an ability to continuously monitor the problems and to ensure that the organization will achieve the desired goals in the future.
Home > Blogs > The IT Architect's Essential Toolkit
In recent times, the field of enterprise architecture has moved away from reactive one-off projects to becoming an increasingly structured field. IT architecture is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of an IT architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve it’s current and future objectives.
As the IT architect is responsible for finding solutions regarding the problems of IT management, he/she requires certain tools to enable them to achieve organizational goals effectively:
1. Telelogic system architect: Telelogic system architect enables to build an Enterprise Architecture - a fully integrated collection of models and documents across four keys architecture domains: Business, Information, Systems, and Technology. It is an extremely versatile tool with its support for standards.
Telelogic system architect enables you to:
- Support BPMN, the Business Process Modeling Notation. BPMN is the industry standard for modeling business processes. With BPMN, you determine how business processes depend upon one another and the order in which the processes are completed.
- Support for UML, the industry standard for object-oriented and component-based analysis and design. Support includes capturing of requirements, business-level analysis with use cases, modeling the dynamics of the system with UML sequence, collaboration, state, activity diagrams etc.
- Support for data modeling and structured analysis and design.
2. Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2003: Visio 2003 is diagramming program that helps to create business and technical diagrams that document and organize complex ideas, processes, and systems. Diagrams created in Visio 2003 enable visualize and communicate information clearly, concisely, and effectively in ways that text and numbers cannot.
Visio 2003 also automates data visualization by synchronizing directly with data sources to provide up to-date diagrams, and it can be customized to meet the needs of the organization. Visio 2003 can help business and technical user’s document, design, and communicate complex processes and systems clearly so they can collaborate effectively and take more effective action.
3. Casewise: Casewise Modeler allows a business to capture and document their enterprise architecture, visualizing powerful business processes, system interactions, organizational hierarchies and more. Casewise Modeler links business modeling and IT modeling within one multi-user environment.
Casewise Modeler is highly configurable and customizable, and its graphical business representation facilitates and accelerates the decision-making and planning that leads to lasting and effective process improvements and organizational change.
4. Adaptive Enterprise Architecture: Adaptive provides expertise, methods, and tools to help complex organizations align their capabilities with their strategic intent. Adaptive enterprise architecture manager is robust repository solution for organizing, integrating and analyzing information describing the key elements of an enterprise.
5. Alpha planning IT: Planning IT’s sophisticated metamodel allows to easily add newly automated computations and reporting capabilities. It covers planning the introduction and rollout of business services in complex enterprises. IT helps the IT architects to quickly identify weaknesses in the IT landscape, find solutions to business demands and turn business strategies into IT implementation plans.
Therefore it can be said that IT architects work with a wide variety of tools, and so a correct understanding of these tools in necessary if you want to make it big in this field. Therefore, if you are looking to make it big in the field of Enterprise architecture, there are many enterprise architect certification programs and software architecture programs available. Of course, Manipal ProLearn offers a world class Architecture readiness program, which will help you get a thorough understanding of the world of Enterprise architecture.
Home > Blogs > The 5 Must-Visit Security Conferences in India
Gone are the days when you had to hold back when the news of technology conferences and Hackathons in foreign countries makes you inner geek jealous. India officially hosts many international conventions in many cities. The huge group of technology enthusiasts makes these events a reality contributing their love and devotion towards the technological growth of India. These conferences open up numerous possibilities for the Indian crowd to be involved in international technology and business security. If you are into cyber security arena, you should definitely check out these conventions:
In a world that is going towards a trend where the largest numbers of crimes are committed by hackers, the need for awareness and invention of fool-proof security systems are essential. Null is the biggest open security community in India that brings together white hat hackers, security professionals and cyber security enthusiasts with the mission of making our world a secure place by streamlining their systems and business process. It was founded in 2008 with a vision of moving towards immunity from security.
NULL CON was born from the ideas from Null by sharing a common objective of finding new threats and advanced defensive technologies to fight them. NULLCON has various designated arenas where you can find a mix people from different segments of Government, Technology and Business who are eager to discover new tips and tricks of the trade. The convention has an ad-on section called ‘Desi Jugaad’ where researchers and entrepreneurs comes up with initiatives to tackle real life scenarios . There are brain storming sessions, informative talks from security professionals with proven records of excellence and plenty of opportunities to find and interact with people that shares common interests! NULLCON definitely lights up the security scene in India and provides immense exposure to the Indian crowd.
DEF CON is an International Hacker’s convention that happens once a year in Las Vegas. It is an unbelievably huge hacker’s party where admirers of cyber security technologies just geek out and have a great time! Keeping all the fun apart DEFCON is one of the world’s largest convention that started in the early 1993. DEFCON has a vast variety of audience ranging from journalists and interns to federal agents. This convention is not just presentations and seminars. Some of the topics discussed in DEFCON has gained vast attention in the news. Last DEFCON witnessed a row of Voting Machines being breached ‘Voting Machine Village’ event that even questioned the credibility of election results.
DEFCON has registered groups in India who is authorized to conduct conventions in the nation which encourages research and development of security tools in India. There are ample opportunities for our budding talents to come up and present their studies along with research results in this field. It is a great place to be for people in the cyber security professional to understand the implications of potential data breaches and ways to contain it by prevention and response. DEFCON promises technical hands-on experience by boot camp trainings on numerous subjects related to security and calls out for attendance even if you are not an expert.
Digital terrorism is on a rise and is shrinking our chances for growth and development. It is about time for us to do something to isolate and quarantine the real issues that are dwarfing our resistance towards these challenges. HAKON is such an attempt which was fuelled by a group of very vigorous and socially responsible ethical hackers in India. This year’s HAKON concentrates on safety implementations on IoT. Our metro, airways and roads are all connected with devices that is powered by the internet, which makes terrorist attacks to focus on such opportunities. As India is gradually moving towards a Digital Economy, the chances of personal information hacks and phishing attacks are going to hit large numbers.
This year’s HAKON is expected to have a huge line of Chief Information Security Officers, Business Analysts, Security Analysts, Digital Forensic Experts and Young professionals. This convention strives to guide and help consumers to make their transactions safer and hence helping the government to have a stable security paradigm in the country.
India Security Conference
According to Aspiring Mind’s research paper, our country lacks professionals for core engineering jobs. Engineering stable security systems is no cake walk if you are not skilled for it. It is great to see that our nation truly understands the vulnerabilities in our security systems and is progressing by taking rapid measures to improve the skills of our security professionals.
India Security Conference is such an event that equips the techies with cognitive tools that would enable us to build safer security systems and hence better business process modelling therefore contributing in national safety. The rise of smart devices has made the consumers a little less smarter, making them vulnerable to nasty hacks. The vision of the conference is to discuss ways to effectively collect, analyse, mobilize and deliver quality security systems. This convention creates an ‘Integrated effort between Government, Businesses and the Community’ to make use of all the information available to us, provided by cctv cameras, forensic labs, radios etc, for finding the patterns for future attacks.
The Leet Hacking Conference
If you are serious about pursuing a career in the cyber security world in India, Leet Hacking Conference is the place to be. There are competitions where hundreds of techies participate in, unfolds several ways to hack into a system. This makes businesses more careful about closing the loopholes in their security systems and protecting their data. Thought provoking discussions about Cryptography and Mobile System is another speciality of this convention. As we move all our transactions to the tip of our fingers using mobile apps, it is absolutely critical to have dependable security tools attached to those systems.
The Leet community has a bunch of energetic members who are passionate about what they do and how they do it.
With the launch of Iphone X, facial recognition is now a trend in mobile devices. With the coordinates of your face, think about all the things a hacker could do! It is even possible to simulate videos using this information plus if there occurs other threats in this area, biometrics being the safest way of authorization might just lose it credibility. This is why security should be given high value from the time of product planning. Like this, new threats will keep coming in as the technology gets smarter every day. That is why it is important to be there in the field, at these conventions, looking out for what could go wrong and take precautions before it’s too late.
Home > Blogs > The 5 Challenges Faced by an IT Architect
Compared to other industry practices, IT architecture is considered an emerging discipline which still takes the time to mature. As it is one of the most important practices undertaken by an organization and forms the base for software architecture models, IT architects face many challenges while fulfilling their duties towards the organization.
Challenges faced by IT architects:
1. Maturity: A mature organization is the most important prerequisite for a successful IT architecture program. Too many organizations try to undertake the IT architecture program when they are not mature enough to do so. IT architecture requires wide preparation and active participation of the shareholders. Immature organizations, without thinking ahead start the program thinking that IT architects will save the day and will fix everything regardless of the very little support their organization offer to the IT architect. This, in turn, weakens the architecture technology of the organization and poses a problem for an IT architect.
2. Budgets: In most instances, IT architects have no formal budgets, due to which they have to constantly justify why they need a share of the financial resources of the organization. This process is generally time-consuming and requires the IT architect to adjust his work according to the budget he has been allocated.
Apart from this, if the organization is facing budgeting issues, it becomes a major problem for the IT architect to ensure that the organization achieves its goals as, without a proper budget, it becomes really hard for the IT architect to find a solution for any problem the organization is facing.
3. Personnel problems: IT architecture is constantly undertaking various projects to identify problems and finding their solutions and in the course of doing so they need personnel resources as well as financing, So IT architects often have to go through another justification effort to get IT and business groups to provide personnel for projects. The personnel for the projects have to generally go through pre joining programs or bootcamp training before joining the project which can prove to be expensive and time-consuming.
Without personnel, the projects undertaken can stretch for a long period of time without yielding any fruitful result and create a problem for both IT architect and the organization in the long run.
4. Appetite problems: Every organization, new or old, small or big faces the appetite problem. Appetite is the will of the employees to work in an organization. As IT architects require employees to work according to their commands for the sake of the organization, they face a problem when the appetite of the employees working with them is low.
It requires hard work and constant monitoring of the future and current state of the organization to achieve organizational goals, but when the employees are not willing to work to their full potential, the hard work of IT architect alone doesn't yield desired results.
5. Communication: Lack of communication with the internal IT team and external stakeholders poses a big problem for the IT architects. Finding a solution is useless until it is effectively communicated with the upper level. This problem arises due to the lack of a proper communication channel within the organization and restricts the organization to rectify the problems the organization is facing, thus, becoming a barrier in achieving organizational goals.
Home > Blogs > The 3 Types of Product Managers
A product manager has the power to make or break the product that they oversee. A good product manager should analyse market conditions and plan out a path that will help the product excel in the market. To do so a project manager can be either design focused, business focussed or customer focused. Let’s take a look at what each of these types of Product managers do.
Design Focused Product Managers
A design-focused product manager is one who works hard to see to it that the product has a great User Experience. They worry about how good the product is in terms of design if it is something that will stand out in the market and beat the competition.
This type of Product Manager should also be able to translate what the customer needs and incorporate it into the design of the product. In order to do this, a design focused manager will usually have a basic knowledge of design as well as visual design and will be able to do things such as sketching, wireframing, make adjustments with regard to contrast, hierarchy and more. Their developed taste in design also allows them to think critically about what works best for the product while still meeting the needs of the user.
Picture Courtesy - UserVoice Blog
Business Focused Product Managers
Product Managers that are business focused tend to look for ways to maximise business value from a product. They look for ways to maximise their sales or business growth through the product and keep the investment that the product needs to a minimum.
These Product Managers have the company’s or the business’s best interest at heart while planning the product. They look for ways to create something that will do well in the market irrespective of if consumers look at it as an essential product. Think of what the team at Apple did while coming up with the iPad or iPod, it was not something that customers viewed as essential, but yet, they were able to create a market for it and meet their business goals. They believe that the customer might not yet aware of the use of the product, but once they use it, they will grow to appreciate it. This is Product management at its best.
Picture Courtesy - hr-portal.ru
Customer Focused Product Managers
This type of product manager is very focused on what goes into the product and that is – exactly what the customer needs. They look to align the needs and wants of the customer with the product and ensure that the right product is ready for the customer’s use.
These managers rely heavily on feedback via surveys, customer service emails, Tweets, blogs, comments in forums and even qualitative research. They listen carefully to what the customer needs and try to cater to them as carefully as possible while product planning. The aim of the product becomes solving a problem and not selling a product. This method of product management is what fosters an ongoing relationship with the customers, the customers that work for tend to feel heard and cared for and hence are more loyal to the brand.
Picture Courtesy - Linkden
Tell us what kind of product management you think will work best. Do you think it is possible to have a healthy mix of all three types? Leave us a comment with your views.
Home > Blogs > Product Management: A Look Behind the Scenes
In one word, the life of a pragmatic Product Manager would be best described as hectic. But would it justify the whirlpool of tasks they shoulder? You decide. They are responsible for translating a product vision into a valuable product. Their activities may vary depending on the complexity of a product and size of a company.
However, their ultimate goal is to develop a product that achieves business goals and maximises Return on Investment. So, you can agree that behind every great product is a driven Product Management team. But what really goes on behind the scenes. Let’s take a closer look:-
Their activities range from conceptualising to product development and product marketing. Product Managers direct the movement of the product through every stage of its lifecycle. As a result, they act as a liaison between many departments such as design, engineering as well as coordinate sales and marketing. Every product built has to meet customer expectations so a Product Manager’s top priority is to track customer engagement. They integrate that information into building an enhanced and long lasting product.
To keep up and compete in such a busy market, PM have to adapt their product to changes. They do so by staying updated with the latest technological trends, market behaviour, competitor launches, etc. For product effort to continue, Product Managers have to keep the Executives apprised with the progress of the product.
Ensuring companies produce quality and in-demand products, Product Managers require a comprehensive set of skills. One such skill would be their ability to stay organised at all times which means planning a schedule and prioritizing tasks. When developing a product, PM acquire programming and design skills to interact with the engineering team. When communicating a change in product features or requesting a bigger budget, Product Managers have the ability to negotiate or convince people to do things the way they want. Negotiating is a core skill used by PM on a daily basis to make minor or major decisions. Once they receive user feedback, their Data Analytics skills enable them to enhance product functioning.
Apart from having a passion for business process and strong soft skills, successful Product Managers make for great leaders.
Today, it is common for Product Managers to face speed bumps. The biggest challenge for them would be time constraint. They have to achieve short/long term objectives and meet multiple demands within a short deadline. With new trends and competitors, customers need changes. For this, a PM has the burden of constantly updating product features to keep up with changing market needs while satisfying customer expectations. This can get overwhelming at times. Creating and maintaining the product roadmap is another difficult task.
Tools for learning
Product Managers demand tools to organize requirements, build wireframes, manage roadmaps, etc. For instance, they use feature tracking tools such as JIRA, Pivotal Tracker, FogBugz which track bugs. To plan and organise the journey of their product, they use ProductPlan or OmniPlan as a roadmap planner.
Before a product gets built, a PM uses wireframes to prepare a draft of what they want the product to look like. Common wireframing tools used include Mockingbird, Pencil and Axure. For Data Analysis, Mixpanel, Geckboard or Optimizely are recommended tools.
In today’s agile world, the realm of Product Management is ever changing. It is tough and requires heavy commitment. The road to launching an impactful product is a fight to keep every task grounded in business goals. Also, in this day and age of immense opportunities in the field of Product Management, it would be wise to undergo Product Management training or even have a Product Management certification, and of course a world class option is Manipal ProLearn’s post graduate program in Product Management, which is designed to make you ready to take on the world of Product Management.
Home > Blogs > How You Can Get Going in the Field of Cyber Security?
In this age of technology revolution, our online data is constantly under the threat of being attacked. As Cyber crimes are on a record high, not one day passes by without the news of personal information hacks or ransomware threats. The world needs skilled cyber security professionals to prevent these attacks and make the web safer for Business and private usage. The most terrifying fact is that, we don’t have enough people like that who are well qualified for saving our planet from a cyber war. Interestingly, many young minds are curious about the possibilities of cyber world by exploring their security paradigms in search of loopholes. If you posses these kind of talents, it should be nurtured and must be put to good use. But how? Here are some pointers to get you going in the field of cyber security if you fancy the satisfaction of being the person who stops the attacker’s cold!
A Relevant College Degree
If you really like the excitement of being a security specialist and if you are one among the lucky ones who could figure out what career you want to pursue at an earlier age, it is very useful if opt for a degree which specializes on Cyber security. Though it is not mandatory to have this specialization on a graduation level, it will help you achieve your goals faster! Courses that includes basic IT scenarios and syllabus that has details on information protection, information assurance, confidentiality, data integrity, penetration testing, encryption etc will elevate your understanding about different kinds of attacks and methods for prevention.
Colleges will enhance your communication skills and will give you an overview about basic project management techniques as well. IT education and training is the basic prerequisite for pursuing a career in this field. It is also a good option to select a relevant IT oriented Certification courses like SSCP or CISSP. Even if your course is not core Cyber security, but your interest area is around it, you can find finishing schools which can cater for your needs.
Experience that counts
If you are an IT professional with a few years of experience, and have been planning your future in the field of cyber security, there are a lot of possibilities out there that you can explore. It is always a plus to have a relevant IT experience that makes you familiar with day to day project management activities in a business which will make your vision of security integration in a business easier. Even if your IT experience doesn’t include a security system, you can earn knowledge in this area by taking some time off your free time for joining in Work Integrated Learning Certification Programs, and on the field doing corporate or government internships and volunteer work.
A cyber security profile is something that someone in an IT field would aspire to conquer; not something that you can just learn from textbooks and land a job. It is very important to validate your interests before taking up courses for this career. It is extremely vital to learn things off the internet, be updated on the ongoing security situation and try things by yourself.
Certifications to get you going
Most of the organizations now provide corporate training programs and mandatory certifications for their employees to spread awareness amongst the workforce and hence protect their business from attacks. You could also find a lot of study materials and courses online that provides advanced Bootcamp trainings which lets you cover more topics in less time and asses you on your capability for the same.
Your employers will be always interested if you have IT certifications. But let us not forget that, real world experience and knowledge is all what counts when you are on the job. But a security certification can improve your job opportunities as well as earning potential.
Find versatile Careers in Cyber Security
Security specialist or Ethical hacker is not the only job profiles under this genre. Database administrators, system administrators, security analysts, business analysts, network engineers etc also has a critical role in shaping the security systems in organizations. For example, if you were working in a job role were you were performing database operations and you are well versed with how it works, database administration could be something that you could consider specializing in. Don’t get stuck up with typical security jobs without exploring the opportunities.
Be an active Member in the Community
India has a lot of International Security Conventions like NULLCON, DEFCON etc happening in its cities, organized by active groups that strive to make our nation’s vulnerability to attacks a little lesser every day. Being a part of such conventions will give more exposure to people who are looking forward to pursue careers in cyber security and will also bring clarity towards what they are supposed to do in such a profession. Take an initiative and be an active counterpart of the community.
As Security systems like IBM security adopts Cognitive methods to predict and analyze patterns in data breaches, a security professional needs to be more than an IT employee. When you are living in a world where even TV shows are not spared from being hacked, a cyber security professional must keep his eyes and ears open to threats. Anyone and anything that tries to breach the privacy we expect on the web, needs to be found and stopped as soon as possible before the damage is made.