The Relevance and Importance of measurement and metrics in the IT world

Information technology metrics and information technology systems are only part of the story. Metrics and measurement are vital in the world of information technology, and provide tangible proof that an application or system is or is not working up to expectations.

RELEVANCE OF METRICS IN THE IT INDUSTRY

Leaders in information technology seem to have mixed feelings on the relevance of metrics as they relate to the large picture. Recently, a survey was released, based on input from over 900 IT leaders finds somewhat less than robust adoption of the key metrics and SLAs or service level agreements. Do metrics truly make a difference?
The fact is, SLAs are important in IT programs. They are relevant since they are the contractual form of assurance between service providers, internal IT teams or cloud vendors as well as consumers. SLAs are what could be used to hold the feet of the provider to the fire and find recourse when the performance drops. Based on the survey still, it also shows that the role of the CIO’s today has gone far beyond just ensuring that apps and systems are up and running. Among more inspiring work places in the survey, 81 percent state that their CIOs has a prominent place in the C-level executive suite.

measurement and metrics in the IT world

CLOUD-ADOPTION PLANS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The survey looked at cloud-adoption plans and artificial intelligence also. Nearly a quarter of the leading companies use predictive analysis than only four percent of reactive companies. Additionally, more than half of leaders expect to have deployed cloud services, SaaS, IaaS or PaaS. In comparison, only percent of reactive companies use cloud services. This again makes SLAs more important than ever, since it commits cloud providers contractually to deliver the performance expected.

THE ROLE OF METRICS IN ACHIVING EXCELLENCE

Metrics could play a crucial role in the achievement of excellence since they force an organization to pay attention to performance as well as prompt management to make adjustments when the goals are not achieved.

The critical metrics for IT success include the following:

OPERATIONAL METRICS

  1. Online application performance. The average limit to render a page or screen. Also, it’s important to measure the performance’s variability.
  2. Online app availability. The time percentage the app is functioning properly.
  3. Supplemental operational metrics. Other metrics that could be used to boost operational effectiveness include the number of unscheduled changes on production systems, complexity scores for major apps, throughput of batch processes, architectural integrity apps on preferred techs and variability of online app performance.
  4. Production incidents. The number of issues in production by severity.

DELIVERY METRICS

  1. Project satisfaction. The average score form post project surveys accomplished by business partners. After every project, it’s important to solicit feedback from business. The survey must contain a summary question for the project satisfaction metric, a few more specific queries and a space for written comments.
  2. Project cost. The percentage of projects delivering within the estimated cost. The post design cost estimate could also be used.
  3. Project delivery. The percentage of projects that are delivered on time. For projects that use the waterfall method, the delivery date projected could greatly vary once the team engages in the design process. For agile projects, the metric is not relevant as the date of delivery is almost always met by adjusting scope.
  4. Defect containment. The percentage of defects to the test environments. It’s well known that defects are more costly to fix in production. The metric counts the defects corrected in the process of development and compares the count to any defects discovered in the first thirty days of production.
  5. Supplemental delivery metrics. Are additional metrics that may be include, such as how well interim deliverables, like design completion, are hit on time. How well the first estimates are than the final cost of the project.

ORGANIZATIONAL METRICS

  1. Attrition. The percentage of employees moving to other tasks. For this, it’s necessary to include only voluntary separations. Also, it’s important to distinguish between employees who leave the organization from those who leave to take another position within the organization.
  2. Supplemental organizational metrics. There are a lot of metrics that could be useful in building an engaged workforce. These include making certain that employees have written performance expectations and goals at the beginning of the years, set targets like CPAs and highlighting how many employees are in formal mentoring relationships.
  3. Performance reviews. The percentage of staff with current written reviews. Providing employees with constructive feedback is one of the most relevant steps to take to boost productivity.

Metrics and measurements could indeed help organizations become more proactive in determining and resolving problems. Furthermore, metrics are key to make certain that the organization addresses symptoms properly before they turn into real problems.

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How to Choose the Best Ecommerce Platform for SEO

Why is SEO important for e-Commerce? Forty-four percent of each online purchase starts with an online search. Making certain that the products could be easily found on search engines, like Google could spell the difference between an e-commerce business that succeeds or fails.

THE RELEVANCE OF SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

A huge part of effective search engine optimization or SEO is to make certain that the pages of the website appear as relevant as possible to a search engine for the search terms or keywords that the prospective customers use. Most business owners could be unaware that their e-commerce platform may not be equipped with the needed features to make their online store search-engine friendly. Some software only offers the most basic SEO features, some at a premium cost while other packages do not offer them at all.

Best Ecommerce Platform for SEO

WHAT SEO FEATURES TO LOOK FOR

Majority of the most popular e-commerce platforms claim to be SEO-friendly. Yet, there’s no objective definition for the terms ‘SEO friendly’. Some platforms claiming to be SEO-friendly are actually lacking in important SEO features. Whether choosing a shopping cart, more customized e-commerce solution or hosted e-commerce, it is necessary to compare the SEO features, which the platform offers against the list of 20 SEO features.

SEO FEATURES THAT EVERY E-COMMERCE WEBISTE NEEDS

  1. SEO-Friendly URLs. Find an e-commerce platform that supports static, keyword-rich URLs.
  2. 30-1 Redirects. Select a platform that allows setting up 301 redirects. Most e-commerce websites often delete pages as categories are altered, products discontinued and more. 301 redirects enable redirecting the link juice and visitors form the page deleted into a new page.
  3. Granular Page Title control. Probably, the page title is the one most important SEO element on a page. It is paramount that the e-commerce platform allows editing individual page titles for each kind of page. Some platforms enable product page titles editing but not category titles.
  4. Search-friendly navigation structure. Visitors and search engines alike need an easy way of moving around the website. Find a navigation structure which meets the SEO criteria, such as:
  • site could be navigated without JavaScript or Flash
  • duplicate and superfluous links are kept at minimum
  • primary navigation links are text and not images
  • navigation menus may be edited at an individual link level
  1. Canonicalization. Canonicalization correctly rank and index content that could be seen using multiple URLs. For instance, a single category page can be viewed using various URLs.
  2. Selecting the domain. Choices include example.com or an http://www.example.com. 301 redirect is the alternate version to the chosen main version. In particular, the canonical link for every version of a page. Set a canonical URL for every page. The canonical URL is the URL one wants to be displayed in Google SERPs.
  3. Automated XML Sitemaps. An XML sitemap offers another way of making the website more crawlable. Adding an XML sitemap would not increase rankings, but does help Google locate, index and craw new pages faster. An e-commerce platform that has an automatic XML sitemap generation would make building and upgrading the sitemap easier.
  4. SEO Features that most websites would find useful. The features, although not essential are without doubt useful. The better e-commerce platforms also would have the features included as part of the package.
  5. Robust Taxonomy choices. The ability of creating a well-organized category and brand taxonomy would help in navigating the website and boost SEO. Brand pages could be optimized for branded keywords, which could often drive high visitors’ conversion.
  6. Robots Meta tag. The robots noindex meta tag is the preferred solution for keeping certain pages from appearing in Google search results. Choose an e-commerce platform that allows setting individual pages to display noindex meta tag.
  7. Custom landing pages. A platform which enables creating custom landing pages lets one target more keywords as well as to custom-tailor pages to reach specific market groups.
  8. Google Analytics for e-commerce. Although this feature may seem rather obvious, most platforms support basic Google Analytics code but not Google Analytics e-commerce tracking. When asking pre-sale queries, make sure to ask if the platform supports Google Analytics e-commerce transaction tracking. While this isn’t a strictly SEO feature, it helps in making better SEO decisions through linking revenue to certain keywords and landing pages too.
  9. Blog. Because Google has repeatedly recommended content marketing as effective strate3gy for creating backlinks, a blog is a vital tool in the arsenal of an SEO. Find a platform that provides full-featured blog that’s complete with commenting, anti-spam, social sharing and RSS feed features.
  10. Analytics enabled site search. The e-commerce website must let users search products on the website. Nevertheless, just returning results to the visitors is not enough. The platform must integrate with Google Analytics site search reporting feature. This allows seeing the keywords that visitors use when searching on the site and could be powerful data for keyword research.
  11. Frictionless social sharing. As social media continues to play a bigger role in SEO, it is necessary that the e-commerce site would be optimized for social sharing. This includes support for the Open Graph Protocol wherein one could specify the title easily, the image and URL that would be shared when a visitor clicks the ‘Share’ button and prominently displaying social sharing buttons to encourage visitors to share pages.

When it comes to choosing an e-commerce platform for SEO, it is necessary to balance the features required against cost and practicality.

 

Technological advancements in Energy and Utilities

Fundamentally, the one thing that would drive the future of the energy and utility industry would be the changing mix and pattern of production and consumption of energy. Energy and utilities are transitioning several fronts that include generation, transmission, distribution and most of all on the customer end. The traditional utility model of a centralized grid that’s connected power generation structure with utility at the core now is being questioned by the fast deployment of distributed energy resources from smart, renewable grid technologies, market changes, smart customer service and distribution and regulatory frameworks as well as more engaged customers and competitors.

Significant changes would come through distributed generation, energy storage technological advances, energy efficiency enhancements, electric vehicles, micro-grids and intelligent management of home energy. The next few years would be very important for utilities to reinvent themselves.

Energy and Utilities

SOME TECNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS AND INNOVATIONS IN THE ENERGY AND UTILITY INDUSTRY

  1. Web 2.0 and Social Media. Utility IT leaders have opportunities to use social media. This is for the acquisition and retention of customers. Consumer engagement channel drives customer application in energy efficiency programs. Furthermore, social media is also growing in relevance. Opportunities to use social media to boost internal utility business processes are emerging.
  2. Mobile and Location-Aware technology. Boosting accuracy and effectiveness and lowering costs of the field force are the major drivers for utilities to deploy wireless and mobile technologies. Mobile and location-aware technology spans hardware like smart phones and laptops, communication products including GPS and navigation and service such as general packet radio service, WiFi.
  3. Big Data. Development of smart grid would increase the quantity of data by several levels of magnitude, driven by several edge devices as well as new OT and IT applications, like an AMI or advanced metering infrastructure, smart applications, advanced distribution management, micro-grids, remote asset monitoring and self-healing networks. Aside from considerably impacting the volume of data, smart grid initiatives also produce various data, like spatial, temporal, streaming, transactional, structured and unstructured.
  4. Sensor Technology. Sensors are extensively applied via the entire supply, distribution domains and transmission of utilities. Sensor fusion, the addition of onboard digital signal processing and associated development of software capabilities is accelerating potential apps. Widespread adoption of utility is challenged by specific implementation requirements, like electromagnetic shielding, temperature extremes, remote access and cyber security.
  5. Cloud computing and SaaS. Even though the energy and utility industry trails other fields when it comes to adoption of cloud because of security and reliability issues, solutions are starting to emerge in areas like big data analytics, smart meter, GIS and demand response coordination. Utility cloud early implementers and SaaS include companies that are interested in providing a common app and data services to several utility entities with less impact on production systems.
  6. Advanced metering infrastructure. AMI consists of a cornerstone of the smart grid via potentially giving a communication backbone for low-latency data that is aimed at boosting distribution asset utilization failure detection as well as facilitating consumer inclusion in markets. Various market structures, benefit expectations and regulatory drivers build different ownership models for the AMI technology components stack that favor various technology solutions all over the world.
  7. Convergence of IT and OT. All new technology projects in utilities virtually need a combination of IT and OT investment and planning, like advanced distribution management systems or AMI. More than any field, the energy and utility sector faces the challenge of the separation between management of IT and OT, along with the relevance of hybrid projects which link IT and OT systems. The industry would benefit through aligning their OT support, procedures and standards with those used for IT, minimizing the time to develop governance over OT. This ensures that when IT and OT integration is done, there would already be some alignment in standards.
  8. In-Memory Computing. Increasing IMC or in-memory computing app infrastructure technologies usage would result in fast IMC adoption by mainstream IT organizations. The ability to support high-throughput, high-scale and low-latency use cases would make it possible for IT firms to implement innovative situations, like those that address the processing of smart-grid generated metering and also real-time sensor data.
  9. Predictive Analysis. This has been used generally to describe any approach to data mining with four attributes. These attributes include prediction emphasis, fast time to insight, emphasis on business relevance of the resulting insights and a growing emphasis on usage ease. Common applications comprehend the future failure patterns of equipment. By understanding probably future scenarios, energy and utility firms are better able to allocate investments in order to maximize returns.
  10. Communication technology. The utility assets’ distributed nature, along with the need for more efficient management of asset and labor use, makes mobility and supporting communication technologies high priority for utilities investment. The smart grid aim towards better distribution network observability needs machine-to-machine monitoring systems which are similar in function to low bandwidth SCADA.

Fitting Static Code Analysis into Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration or CI is one of the hottest topics in DevOps. Continuous integration is a software development practice in which members of a team incorporate their new code often, probably numerous times per day. Every integration kicks off automated build and test process for exposing any report status and defects as fast as possible.

CONTINOUS INTEGRATION A PERFECT COMPLEMENT TO DYNAMIC TESTING

Continuous integration is a perfect complement to dynamic testing since it:

  • Is more cost-effective when it comes to detecting bugs earlier in the lifecycle
  • Has the tendency to be more thorough in coverage
  • Needs less time to run

DEVELOPMENT ACCELERATION WITH CONTINUOUS STATIC CODE ANALYSIS

Development could be accelerated with continuous static code analysis. The adoption of agile methodologies, continuous integration and DevOps has taken the software development velocity to unprecedented levels. Continuous static code analysis is where extensive safety, security, reliability and performance checkers meet CI tools to offer fast feedback regarding the health of incremental check-ins across the software development team. This is made possible through the one-of-a-kind architecture static code analysis engine. It is designed to maximize performance and scalability for numerous concurrent analysis at a time.

STATIC CODE ANALYSIS, BRINGING A SUITE OF AUTOMATED CHECKS

Testing manually is out of the question to meet development velocity in which it counts, the same as automated testing forms wherein a person must spend time on research, creation and validation new tests before deployment. This is where static code analysis or SCA comes in. It brings in a suite of automated violations to compliance to industry standards gaps. The answer lies in the static code analysis engine itself. A lot of static code analysis tools, by their very nature, operate on holistic, huge code bases to make sure that their analysis takes into consideration as much components and execution paths as possible. This is the same as the old waterfall development method wherein testing only occurs after big code pieces have been integrated. Not a very good fit for fast release cycles and continuous integration. Changing engine itself to analyze just the modified code, instead of processing all code all the time, and running at check n brings agility to static code analysis and the process of testing. With SCA, developers get results of all automated checks in the shortest time possible, since the checks run only on their incremental code changes. It is truly the only way of testing through analysis to keep up.

HOW DOES SCA ENGINE WORK ACROSS NUMEROUS DEVELOPERS?

The answer again is to break up the problem. Through deployment of analysis to CI agents across machines, the workload is completely distributed and could work within the individual developer’s context. Also, it helps to scale up as more developers are added. The simplest method of doing this is integrating with current continuous integration systems, taking advantage of their architectures as well as making the set up easy for the development teams using them already.

THE RELEVANCE OF STATIC CODE ANALYSIS

For years, software code security and quality went from being ‘nice to have’ to a necessity. More and more organizations, including banks are making it mandatory to pass SCA test, security and penetration testing before deploying code in production. Static analysis tools are getting popular each and every day. Furthermore, more companies are making SCA mandatory for all new software development. SCA finds patterns, which are defined to them as rules, which could cause vulnerability of security or other issues with code quality, necessary for producing quality code. However, like any other technology SCA has its advantages and disadvantages, which also is the best way of judging any technology.

Code review, unit testing and static code analysis makes a nice combination, together with continuous integration.

THE BENEFITS OF STATIC CODE ANALYSIS

There are a lot of reasons to use SCA in a project. One is complete analysis of the code, without executing them. Static code analysis scans all code. If there are vulnerabilities in the corners of an app, which aren’t used even, then static analysis has a big probability of finding the vulnerabilities.

Another great thing about static code analysis is one could define project centric rules and they would be ensured to follow without manual intervention. If any member of the team forgets to follow the rules, they would be highlighted by SCA.

The third major benefit of SCA is that it could find bugs early on in the cycle of development. This means less cost of fixing them. All the benefits of a static code analyzer could be used only if they are part of the build process.

Nowadays, it is of the essence to use a static code analyzer. It is a very good tool for finding potential vulnerabilities in code.

Knowing Windows 10

Windows 10 has arrived. It would be free for a year for those who run Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF MICROSOFT

The ultimate goal of Microsoft is to make Windows 10 the only operating system that powers all devices. Moreover, Continuum is the driving force behind this. Windows 10 determines when one is interacting with a mouse and keyboard or a touchscreen and would accordingly react. When using a keyboard and mouse, there would be standard Windows experience. If on a tablet, there would be full-screen applications and finger-friendly Start menu. Pop off the keyboard on a two-in-one device such as the Surface Pro3 and the interface would transform smoothly into a tablet mode.

WINDOWS 10 ON PHONES

The scenario on phones is as bit different, as there would be a Windows 10 Mobile. However, Microsoft has shown Windows Phones that change into PCs the moment a mouse and keyboard are being connected.

Windows10

APPLICATIONS ON WINDOWS 10

Microsoft wants users to purchase an application from the Windows Store once, and expect it to run on all devices. The universal applications would then adopt whatever form is right for the device that one is using, whether one is using a tablet or a personal computer. A taste of this could be seen with the Office suite of Microsoft, which is the full Office experience in a format that is appropriate for the device. Editing spreadsheets on a smart phone is not recommended but it works and one could have all Excel and PowerPoint and Word as well and the rest at one’s disposal.

Windows 10 brings about several truly surprising changes along with it, together with expected tweaks for relieving suffers of Windows 8 and attract more holdouts from previous versions. It’s available for preview, thus it would continue evolving in the months to come.

THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGES

WINDOWS 10 WOULD HAVE HOLOGRAM TECHNOLOGY

The Microsoft Holographic is a set of technologies that enables 3D hologram and imaging projection for Windows 10 applications. A live demo and video showed people wearing HoloLoens projection googles to interact with remote coworkers, explore a 3D projection of Mars and play a 3D version of Minecraft. Developers could use HoloStudio software for developing 3d apps. Nobody expected Microsoft to unveil 3d capabilities. Even though it appears first in niche apps, it definitely provides Windows a halo of innovation it has not had in a while.

WINDOWS 10 INCLUDES ‘UNIVERSAL’ OFFICE APPLICATIONS

Microsoft is making universal office applications that’s touch-friendly and run on all device. Future Windows tablets and Windows phones would come with pre-installed Office applications. All this is part of the bid of Microsoft to take back territory it has lost to the free productivity apps, namely Google Drive. What is now clear is how the universal applications would relate to Office 365 or the upcoming Office 2016 desktop software.

CORTANA

Cortana, the female-voiced, somehow sassy digital assistant that debuted in Windows Phone 8.1, would be part of Windows 10. Closely tied in with the Bing search and notifications features of the new OS, one is able to talk or type to acquire information via the personal computer. Of course, it is a work in progress, yet it is nice to see the highlight of Windows Phone arrive in Windows 10.

TWO BROWSERS

Windows 10 would have it both ways in terms of browser. It would ship both Spartan and Internet Explorer 11, the new, uncluttered browser, which Microsoft apparently develops to replace IE. However, keeping good old Explorer is Microsoft’s method of preventing wrenching changes that can alienate users.

GREAT FOR GAMING

Windows 10 would be great for gaming, with the debut of DirectX 12 API that promises closer-to-the-metal, faster gaming performance as well as greater efficiency. Windows 10 also includes a ‘game DVR’ mode for enabling recordings of the last thirty-seconds of play, all better for social gaming. Windows 10 would have a lot of new features for gamers, which include a DVR feature to record the last thirty seconds of play.

WHY UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10

Windows 10 inherits a Secure Boot feature from Windows 8, making it much more secure. This requires any code running right when OS begins being signed by Microsoft or the maker of the hardware. Windows 8 and Windows 10 personal computers could be set up so the feature may not be bypassed. Three other security feature for Windows 10 include Microsoft Passport, Device Guard and Windows Hello.

Windows 10 has many beneficial changes that could truly boost user experience, whether on personal computers or phones.

SharePoint development provided by professional service providers in Australia

SharePoint, a web-based app, could integrate with Microsoft Office. Furthermore, it could be used for building websites, organize enterprises, host files and many more. The platform further could be used in storing and accessing information in a secure and organized place. SharePoint enables collaborating and sharing documents for efficient management of a project.

TALENTED SHAREPOINT CONSULTING SERVICES IN AUSTRALIA

A lot of software developers in Australia opt to use SharePoint for many reasons. The platform is simple to set up and use and could be customized easily for a business’ specific requirements. Tasks are managed quickly, with constant collaboration and continuous feedback. Moreover, SP offers an improved document management with all staff and employees having access to the same information, wherever their location may be. This enables sharing of knowledge within the team, making a more productive and stronger workplace.

Talented developers abound and there is a lot of SharePoint jobs in Australia for software programmers and developers to consider. Talented developers could customize SharePoint to meet various requirements. There are service providers in Australia that specialize in streamlining business processes as well as automate them with workflows and web parts. Additionally, they take digitized and paper forms to make them available online. This boosts workplace productivity, since documents are more readily viewed and accessed.

BENEFIT FROM SHAREPOINT DEVELOPMENT IN AUSTRALIA

SharePoint consulting companies in Australia could offer a lot of benefits to any business. The service providers always deliver on-time projects, which result in 100 percent customer engagement. This is done by making the user interfaces intuitive, user-friendly, and colorful and with great feel and look elements. Certified and expert developers could configure and customize the platform to meet different client needs. Furthermore, they specialize in simplifying processes as well as automate them using web parts and workflows. The processed-focused development approach cuts down the time it takes to deliver a wonderful product, thus one is sure of a fast turnaround. Service providers also perform end-to-end development with specialist skills in all aspects.

Microsoft SharePoint development

EFFECTIVE SHAREPOINT SERVICES ON OFFER

Professional services could offer:

  1. Improved document management. Boosts document and record management by making processes more consistent and clearer to all employee or personnel, wherever they may be located.
  2. Enhancement of the business process. SharePoint provides staff access to accurate and current information, thus they won’t have to send an email or calls in the old way again.
  3. Enhanced staff training. Helps boost company productivity via minimizing the learning curve, from trainee to professional. By using SP services, a company reduces the time to train for new staff via implementing multi-skilling strategy.
  4. Better collaboration of the team. Boosts collaboration between teams through providing continuous feedback process within the platform. It keeps track of projects and tasks easily.
  5. Make online forms in SharePoint. This helps organizations store and filter information in a more effective manner.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A SHAREPOINT DEVELOPER

The world of the developer constantly evolves and at lighting speeds. Therefore, staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the ever-changing field is paramount. To provide clients with customized solutions, developers should be searched consistently out-of-the-box to look for new ways of delivering results or risk being left behind. There are several areas to take into account when choosing a developer, such as the following:

  1. Experience in the preferred SharePoint version.
  2. Experience of regulatory requirements that are particular to the industry.
  3. Ability of providing ongoing app support.
  4. Ability of meeting the procurement requirements.
  5. Experience in working on development projects at the business scale.

It could take a considerable time to complete some projects and often they need high input levels from the business and the developer. For this, a business may want to ensure that it chooses a developer that could work with the business in a long-term basis. If the company is huge, there may be a lot of people involved in a project, thus make sure to be kept informed of all phases and aspects of the project, particularly the achievement of huge milestones. Opt for a developer who has worked with similar projects and organization since they would have the experience that’s necessary in handling anything that occurs and could occur during the project. Hire SP developers in Australia to be sure that the project is accomplished on time and with as little additional costs as possible. With proper research and reference, an organization could find a developer that would fit well with the business and would have a robust understanding of just what the company needs all throughout the project.

The Microsoft platform offers numerous benefits, which include efficiency, better collaboration and accountability. Also, the program provides the ability of extending with custom apps as well as function configurations.

 

Colombia has allocated millions for the Tourism Technology Innovation

Colombia allocates millions for its Tourism technology innovation. Furthermore, the government has warmed, pointing to the significant increase in hotel and flight bookings done online.

STRENGTHENING TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE AND INNOVATION IN COLOMBIA

The first phase of the project of strengthening science, innovation and technology innovation systems in Colombia has been approved by the IDB Board of Directors in June. It devotes $2 million to finance impact evaluations. With the resources and technical support of the IDB, the COLCIENCIAS or the Colombian Institute for Scientific and Technological Development would carry out impact evaluations in three major areas of intervention. These areas include the elementary and middle school science education, building human capital and promoting sciences research and innovation by Colombian organizations. On the first area, the IDB project supports impact evaluation of grants for doctorate and masteral students, scientists and researchers. The evaluations would focus on the career achievements and scientific productivity of the beneficiaries of the grants. The beneficiaries of COLCIENCIAS would be compared with control groups of researchers, students and scientists who applied for the grants but not chosen. The evaluations of the data would be constructed from COLCIENCIA’s administrative database of CV or curriculum vitae as well as international bibliometric datasets. The programs effects would be estimated with the use of quasi-experimental techniques, which include difference-in difference and regression discontinuity.

In the second area, the project supports evaluating the ONDAS program that aims in promoting science among elementary as well as middle school students. Particularly, the program finances training of teachers on pedagogic approaches that’s based on developing scientific research projects with children. The evaluation focuses on the learning achievements of students that would be measured via specific surveys and standardized sets. In the third area, the IDB project would support evaluating programs that are aimed to promote innovation in Colombian companies. COLCIENCIAS would provide grants, credit and matching grants to support developing specific innovation projects.

IT programs

AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE FOR INVESTMENT

Colombia now is more attractive for investment. In the technology sector, there are many information technology online courses and information technology careers available. Companies such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft turn to Colombia to build innovation centers that would focus on the development of apps for lower income populations. With all the initiatives and the growing cooperation not just between Colombia and the United States, but also states such as Massachusetts, in a few years the country would emerge as a standout leader in technology from the emerging economies in the world. When it comes to international travelers in the US, Colombia ranked thirteen last year, with 845,000 travelers with a one percent yearly decrease. The slight decline could be attributed to the weak Colombian peso and also the weaker consumer spending last year that resulted from a tax reform package, which raised the consumption and other taxes of the country.

TOURISM TECHNOLOGY IN COLOMBIA

The government of Colombia aims to rejuvenate the major economic sectors with the help of new digital solutions that particularly focus on tourism. IT organizations willing to develop applications and software to simplify the sector could avail of the funds as stated by the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication, adding that it has started inviting proposals already. The best tourism proposals would receive funding, technological knowledge and support for building applications. Travel agencies in Colombia are rising by an average of seven percent in income growth. Foreign tourists contribute $5.6 billion to the economy of the country every year.

Despite the revenue growth, the tourism industry barely consumes eight percent of software that’s locally developed. However, there are efforts going on by local technology firms to tap into the demand of the industry. With the growing internet penetration in Colombia at lightning speed, businesses would find it easier to digitize the operation. In 2010, it has two million internet connections and today has grown to more than twenty-eight million connections. The government of Colombia has installed 6,000 kiosks in tourist sites across the country and the minister declares it soon would set up around 800 free WiFi hot spots in major cities of the country. With the millions invested towards the tourism sector, it is expected that tourism will of course rise and there would be more people from all over the world coming in the country. The boost in the tourism will help the economy.

The government of Colombia has invested millions to tourism technology infrastructure. The IT infrastructure will help boost the tourism industry and to make the process of booking flights, hotels and destinations in the area much easier and could be done with just a few mouse clicks. IT investment will make Colombia within reach of tourists from anywhere in the world.