Cybersecurity and Cloud: Next-Gen Challenges and Risks and How Organizations Can Prepare Themselves

Cybersecurity is a significant challenge in the cloud environment with the rapidly evolving threat landscape. Furthermore, with more businesses adopting cloud computing and its amalgamation with emerging technologies, the challenges have increased correspondingly. Hence, the focus should be on identifying these next-gen cybersecurity challenges and preparing to overcome them.

Cloud computing has improved IT efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. However, all these features have one common challenge, security. The problem with cloud computing cybersecurity is that organizations must correctly distinguish where the CSP’s (Cloud Service Provider) responsibility ends and theirs begins. This gap increases the organization’s potential attack surface and enables malicious actors to infiltrate information systems. This article discusses next-gen challenges and risks and looks at how organizations can prepare themselves to overcome them to keep critical information assets’ confidentiality, integrity, and availability intact.

(Image Source: Pixabay)
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Progress powered through adversity

With technological advancements continuing to develop at an unprecedented pace, deciphering and analysing the digital landscape to determine when, if and how these emerging technologies will impact businesses is increasingly difficult.

While the natural evolution of the market used to be a reliable indicator of progress, the solutions to the challenges of Covid-19 and the continuing pressure of a global supply chain crisis, mounting inflation, environmental concerns and new net-zero regulations have both accelerated and destabilised the global tech community.

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Augmented Reality (AR) in E-commerce Business

Augmented Reality is a technology used in eCommerce businesses to provide customers with an immersive shopping experience. It is done by overlaying digital images on top of the real world.

The first use case AR was in the retail industry, which provided customers with information about products they were interested in. However, these days it’s being used for much more than just advertising products and has become an integral part of the retail experience.

For example, Amazon uses AR to provide shoppers with information about products they are looking for and allow them to see how different items would look on their bodies. This way, potential buyers can make better-informed decisions before buying something from Amazon.

Let’s take a look at augmented Reality in the eCommerce Business.

Stats for Augmented Reality eCommerce Business

  • According to PwC’s Global Consumer Insights study, 47% of customers preferred to purchase in-store non-food products, roughly equivalent to 30% who purchased mobile phones Before the deadly virus.
  • According to another PwC report, there has been a significant increase in online shoppers using smartphones and laptops and a rise in the percentage of people who buy online using their mobile phones, reaching 45%. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers have changed their shopping and increasingly rely on online retailers.
  • According to Insider Intelligence, by June 2020, 35% of US citizens prefer to use AR to simulate home furnishings or vehicle add-ons.
  • According to another insider intelligence report, 20% of people would invest in AR or VR to boost sales of their company’s online store, an increase of 8% from the previous six months.

How Augmented Reality differs from Virtual Reality?

Augmented Reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Virtual Reality is an artificial world that can be explored and interacted with through digital means.

The difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is that Augmented Reality is a live direct or indirect view of the physical world, whereas Virtual Reality is an artificial world.

You need to put on a headset and hold controllers in your hands to experience virtual Reality. To use AR, all you need is a smartphone and AR glasses. To experience this cutting-edge technology and take part in its adventures, you wouldn’t need to clear the room because you would be fully aware of your surroundings.

How AR/VR is helping eCommerce businesses

AR and VR are changing the way we experience things. They are making our lives easier and more entertaining.

The use of AR/VR technology in eCommerce is on the rise. This is because it provides a better customer experience, enhances brand trust, improves conversion rates and boosts sales. With AR, we can see how a piece of furniture might fit into our home or what a new car would look like parked in our driveway. With VR, we can see how that same car might feel to drive or what those new shoes would feel like on our feet.

Companies like Nike, IKEA and Zara have already used AR/VR technology in their marketing campaigns to create an immersive customer experience for their shoppers.

AR and VR are helping eCommerce businesses in many ways, such as:

  • Merchandising: AR can be used to display products in a more realistic way to customers by using their current view as a reference point. This is especially helpful for clothing stores that want to show people how clothes would look before they buy them.
  • Marketing: AR has been used by companies like Ikea and Wayfair to help customers design their own home or office space without leaving their couch.

Usage of Social Media Filters

If you’ve recently used Instagram Stories, Facebook Video Call, TikTok or Snapchat, you’ve probably used an AR filter. A rise in the number of brands using social media filters to participate in augmented Reality has happened since these filters were first used for amusement.

Here are some of the advantages:

  • It’s an excellent way to promote a new product by allowing people to see how it will look on them.
  • AR filters’ novelty factor can increase audience engagement and motivate people to tag you in their content.
  • The “wow” factor can assist you in standing out from the crowd of brands on social media and highlighting what makes you unique.

The Advantages of Using Augmented Reality in Your Online Store

Augmented Reality can help your business stand out by using this technology in your online store. This will help you make your product more accessible and give customers more information about it before they purchase it.

Let’s discuss some benefits of using Augmented Reality in your eCommerce Business.

1.      Improve Customer Relationships

Augmented Reality can be used for various purposes like marketing, advertising, education and training, and entertainment. It enhances the customer experience by providing them with information about the product or service they are interested in.

For example, it can be used to create an interactive product catalogue with 3D models, or it can be used to give customers a virtual tour of the store by guiding them through the store’s layout.

Retailers using augmented reality (AR) technology during the Covid-19 pandemic are reporting a 19% increase in customer engagement, according to research from Facebook’s AR partner Vertebrae.

2.      Help Companies Reach More Customers

Augmented Reality has become a big hit in recent years and has been used in many different ways. One of them is helping companies reach out to new customers by enabling them to place an advertisement in front of their eyes at any time and place.

Companies are using it to reach new customers by making them feel like they are part of the product or service instead of just seeing an advertisement. This helps companies increase their conversion rates by showing them what they will be able to do with the product or service and how it will improve their lives, like with Pokémon Go, where you could see the Pokémon characters in your surroundings.

3.      Reduce Customers Return

One of the most popular ways AR is used today is in online retail stores. Customers can use their smartphones or tablets to view an item and see how it would look on them with different colours, sizes and styles. This helps customers make informed decisions before they buy the product and reduces customer return rates.

Steps to bring Augmented Reality into your eCommerce store

  • Define the purpose of your AR app.
  • Create a user storyboard or wireframe of your app.
  • Identify what technology you will use to create an AR app.
  • Identify the business problem that you are solving with this AR app.
  • Develop a strategy for how to market and distribute your AR app.
  • Determine what content can be used with your AR app (e.g., videos, images, animations).
  • Choose a platform for your AR app (e.g., iOS, Android).
  • Develop an estimate for how much time it will take to create the prototype and beta version of your application and test it with users before launching it in the store or on other platforms.

FAQs

How can Augmented Reality help businesses gain a competitive advantage?

Augmented Reality is a new technology that has the potential to help businesses gain a competitive advantage.

Here are some ways in which Augmented Reality can be used to help businesses gain a competitive advantage:

  • Augmented Reality can be used as an interactive marketing tool. For instance, it can create an interactive and engaging experience for customers visiting the store.
  • It can also be used as a training aid for employees.
  • Augmented Reality is also a great way of educating students about complex topics, like biology and geography, by animating them in 3D space, making it a more immersive and visual experience.
  • It can also be used to create virtual tours of buildings or places which people may not have access to go.

How can businesses profit from an Augmented reality app?

Companies can use an AR app for marketing purposes and create their own AR game. They can also use it to make the experience more interactive for the customer. For example, if the company sells cars, it could design an AR app that shows what it would be like to sit in the car and try out its different features. This would make customers want to buy the car more because they feel like they know what to expect.

Why is AR important for eCommerce business?

Augmented Reality (AR) in eCommerce is not a new concept. In the past, it was used mainly to give customers more information about the product they viewed. But now, AR has created a more interactive shopping experience.

For example, some retailers use AR to show customers how a product will look when they wear it or how it would look in their homes by virtually placing it on their walls or furniture. This is one of the reasons AR is essential for an eCommerce business. It allows consumers to see and experience products before they buy them.

Happy to hear your thoughts!

Definitions

  • AR stand for Augmented Reality, which I have described in more detail here.
  • E-commerce is the activity of electronically buying or selling products on online services or over the Internet.

Virtual Reality (VR) 360 degrees

VR 360 degree videos is a booming trend in the world of video production, during the pandemic we saw tours being offered through VR headsets as well as museums and other attractions. They are immersive and offer a more realistic experience for the viewer than a fixed VR experience.


The immersive nature of these videos makes them ideal for many different industries, including retail, real estate, education, tourism, entertainment and more.

These types of videos are a great way to promote a product or service, especially in the tourism industry. It allows viewers to see what it would be like to visit the location and gives them a sense of what it would be like before booking their travel.

It is also an excellent way for companies to show their products or services in action without purchasing expensive equipment and hiring actors. In this article, we will discuss everything about VR 360 degree videos.

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How AR, VR, XR, and the Metaverse Will Benefit the World in Our (Near) Future

Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), and the metaverse are terms you’re probably hearing more and more. They’re also all interrelated, with AR and VR being specific types of XR and the metaverse referring to the virtual world made possible by these innovations. These technologies have not yet reached their peak potential. Each has only just begun to see adoption and use cases in the real world.

Despite this, we know that these trends are primed for success because they are applicable to our everyday lives. They provide us with new ways to experience the world and improve it at the same time. The way that AR, VR, XR, and the metaverse will impact our future is extensive and positive, so let’s take a look at how these emerging technologies can help reshape our planet and society for the better.

AR and VR in the Real World

Virtual reality is the creation of digital environments that we can experience through headsets and computers. On the contrary, augmented reality places generated graphics in the real world, where AR users view these artificial graphics in the real-world environment using a device like their phone. Both applications include video games, education and training, and tourism. AR and VR in the real world are still a work in progress, but they show great promise.

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Cybersecurity for Smart Cities: Challenges, Risks, and Security Best Practices

Smart cities have become a reality today, with governments, businesses, and residents, making use of advanced technology to increase productivity and efficiency at home and the workplace and make lives better. However, the challenges to ensuring safety, security, and data privacy have risen proportionately, leading to the requirement for a unique cybersecurity model for smart cities.

A city using advanced technology infrastructure and other cutting-edge solutions to improve its operational efficiency, provide better services, and improve the lives of its citizens qualifies as a smart city. The technology ecosystem often consists of ICT (Information and communication technology),  IoT (Internet of Things), AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning), Blockchain, Cloud computing, etc. However, using the latest technologies has its challenges of cybersecurity risks, compromising the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) of its citizens. Below is a closer look into cybersecurity risks in smart cities, their challenges, the threats they are exposed to, and the potential solutions to overcome such hurdles.

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Smart Cities Using XR/AR

What are Smart Cities?

In recent years, we see more and more smart cities emerging and governments competing over building the next great smart city. In turn, the country behind the city gains immense publicity, popularity and potential tourism revenue in part due to its enormous benefits to infrastructure, public health, and technological bounds.

It is essential to understand the meaning of “Smart City” because many people use the term interchangeably, which challenges its actual meaning. A smart city uses digital technologies to make cities more resilient, sustainable, adaptive and environmentally inclusive.
However, it is crucial to understand that a smart city is not merely the use of digital technologies; instead, it is an entirely new concept that transforms urban landscapes completely.

This article will explore augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR) technology in smart cities to understand how these technologies improve the smart city’s functions from transportation, infrastructure, building systems and more. In addition, these technologies enhance the city’s administrative management to make citizens’ lives smarter.

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OKRs Role in Strategic Management

Organizational goals and objectives are often divided by a thin line of what they want to achieve and what they can actually accomplish given their resources. Apart from effective communication and micromanagement techniques, companies have to set goals to motivate their workforce and other stakeholders to work towards that common objective. Companies struggle to develop a measurable, consistent, and predictable business model, which impacts their decision-making in one way or another. This is where OKRs, an acronym that stands for Objectives and Key Results, come in handy to help managers enhance their teams’ performance and productivity.

We see this becoming more and more apparent post-covid 19 outbreak (20′, 21′) and the transition from workplace management to remote management and an increased necessity in employee trust, transparency and measuring KPIs that matter.

OKRs is increasingly becoming a powerful strategic management tool for businesses. Several reputable international companies have adopted it, including Google, Intel, BMW, Oracle, Twitter, Disney, Facebook, and Dropbox (Post 2019, par 51). Although OKRs are not the sole reason for these organizations’ success, they have been of significant value and helped to redefine organizational management. Thus these companies continue to implement OKRs up to today despite having thousands of workers. OKRs have several benefits as they help provide a clear direction, effective communication strategy, accountability, and strategic alignment and enable managers to track their objectives and outcomes. This paper will examine how Objectives and Key Results support strategic management, thereby improving an organization’s effectiveness and performance.

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What is Azure Governance? Let’s look at the fundamentals

In this blog post, we will discuss the management and operational principles which underpin enterprise governance in Azure which is a necessity for successful cloud adoption and one of the first rails to enable a culture that facilitates digital innovation.

The core components of Azure management are the challenges of Enterprise Cloud Adoption and the components which make up the full set of governance capabilities in Microsoft Azure.

The Azure governance principles are a continuum of tasks, projects and initiatives, therein you build natively in Cloud and also migrate workloads into Azure, securing and protecting those workloads so that they are robust and resilient. You then proceed to monitoring these workloads, so that you can pick up any problems and ensure that they are consuming resources in a manner which is both performant and cost-effective.

Next, you invest in automated configuration to ensure that any changes to your workloads are holistic but also auditable and immutable. Governance ensures that your workloads and the platform on which they run are compliant with your company’s policies and regulatory obligations. This, in turn, creates a more robust enterprise platform, ready to receive new workloads and in turn, a becomes a hub for innovation with the necessary guard rails in place.

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Hyperscale Cloud in China? Microsoft? Mooncake? Alibaba Cloud? Gotchas, pitfalls and directions to successfully navigate it

When Westerners think of hyperscale cloud providers, the usual suspects that come to mind are named Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle, and IBM Cloud. Seldom do you hear another name, which tends to be odd since it is already the world’s third-biggest cloud service provider according to the numbers: Alibaba Cloud. And with yearly revenue growth between 60 and 140%, they sure are catching up fast.

 

Blog_AWS-vs-GCP-vs-Azure-vs-Alibaba

 

However, to operate a cloud within China there are some hoops you need to jump and you have to collaborate with the regional administration. Provisioning and relocation times, thus, are fundamentally increased, in no little part since tasks must be directed by the local partners. The truth of the matter is that, while it is conceivable, receiving a cloud foundation that does not have a physical presence in China places organizations that operate in China at a colossal detriment.

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