5 Questions Data-Driven Companies Should Ask to Manage Risks and Reputation

Originally posted by RONALD VAN LOON MAY 31, 2017 on Irish Tech News

Data is rapidly becoming the lifeblood of the global economy. In the world of Big Data and artificial intelligence, data represents a new type of economic asset that can offer companies a decisive competitive advantage, as well as damage the reputation and bottom-line of those that remain unsuccessful at ensuring the security and confidentiality of critical corporate and customer data.

Despite the severe repercussions of compromised data security, until recently, the fines for breach of data protection regulations were limited and enforcement actions infrequent. However, the introduction of a potentially revolutionary European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is likely to transform the way data-driven companies handle customer data by exposing them to the risk of hefty fines and severe penalties in the event of incompliance and data breach.

In this article, there is summarise of the implications of GDPR implementation for data-driven companies, as well as the measures businesses can take to ensure the security and privacy of client’s data and avoid the penalties associated with non-compliance.


For more information and the full article please visit http://irishtechnews.ie/the-gdpr-5-questions-data-driven-companies-should-ask-to-manage-risks-and-reputation/

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Outsourcing Development For Your Startup

This piece, written by BookingHawk.com founder Niall Smith, originally appeared on Irish Tech News.

“Some of the circles that I move in contain many founders and entrepreneurs in the making. I recently had a conversation with another founder about how difficult it would be to start an online or technology-based business without a technical background. Given that I come from a technical background myself, I thought that I could give some advice on the subject. Specifically, here are 10 things that a founder should consider when outsourcing the development of their online business.”

1. Non-Disclosure Agreement

When you hire developers, you are about to share your idea with them. You will need to be as in depth as possible so that the developer(s) can do what is known as ‘requirements gathering’. It is in your interests to tell them as much of your vision as you have imagined. Therefore you should have them sign a non-disclosure agreement.

2. Physical Location

Many people I have spoken to have suggested that they can just get someone in India to develop their software thus saving them thousands in development costs. I have worked with developers of various cultures and backgrounds and from my experience, no nationality/culture is better at writing software than any other. It all comes down to the team and the individuals. If you have done due diligence and are sure that the best team for you is based abroad, then so be it. However, even with great tools such as Skype and other remote meeting services, there is no substitute for visiting the office of your development team. Imagine for example that three weeks into your project, your team discovers a potential issue with how your system is supposed to work, or perhaps a new piece of legislation is signed into law. This would require some thorough discussion between you and your team. It would be much easier to visit their office, speak in person, sketch ideas on whiteboards to come up with a solution then have emails flying over and back attempting to arrange a time to meet online, a time that is not bedtime in your location or theirs.

4. Building Software Is Not Like Building A Wall

With software, adding a new developer halfway through the project does not immediately increase the productivity. New developers will need time to understand the type of system that is being built. They will likely need to familiarise themselves with the dynamics of the team and in some cases get used to some software tools that they have not worked with before.

When building software, if you want to keep your budget on track, you will likely not be able to change your mind about certain features/pages halfway through the project build. It may seem like a simple thing to add a new button to a web page, but often, there is much work to be done behind the scenes to make sure that button does what it is supposed to do.

5. Build A Website, A Mobile App Or Both?

You should think carefully about what form your online business will take. Will it be an app? Will it be a website only? Perhaps it will be an app and a website. Where possible, my advice is to start with a website and here is why. When a website is being written, there is considerably less work involved in getting that website to display nicely on a mobile than there is in developing an app that can be downloaded from the app store. Doing this ‘mobile optimising’ of the website means that it will display nicely on all mobiles, whereas an app needs to be developed for Apple and Android operating systems.

Another reason for my advice is something known as an API. Don’t worry about how technical it sounds. All an API is, is a way for your application (website) to talk to other applications.So if your website is built with some good API’s the development of a mobile app will be much easier. It will also ensure sure that the data on your mobile app is as fresh and up to date as the data on your website.

Lastly, when your website is built, you can analyse how it is being used. Once you find the top 3 things that users do on your site, your mobile app can be developed with this in mind. Meaning the buttons to do these three things are prominent and not buried deep in a menu somewhere.

6. Future Use

Ok, for now, you only want your application to do one simple thing. In the back of your mind, you think that once it is launched, you’d like it to be able to carry out another thing too. Whatever your vision, it is important you call this out as early as possible to you developers. The more your developers understand about your visions, the more flexibility they can build into your system. This does not mean that they spend weeks half building out parts of your system that you may possibly (but probably won’t) use somewhere down the line. Instead, it just means that the plumbing is in place should you ever need to add an extra bathroom.

7. Ongoing Costs

There will be an initial outlay for you to have your software program built. However, you will also have ongoing costs. So for example, with BookingHawk.com, we need to pay a monthly hosting fee for our program to be accessible on the internet. We also need to purchase our SSL certificate every year which is needed for us to securely process payments. We also need to pay to use the domain name BookingHawk.com. The cost of your ongoing fees will depend on the type of application that you have built, but it is something you should ask your developers about.

8. Reputation

Ask your potential developers to tell you about projects that they took on in the past that did not work out. If they are happy to discuss such projects, ask them for the reasons of the failures. Ask them what steps they have taken to avoid such failures in the future. You are interviewing someone to hand over a lot of money. Do not let them fob you off or overwhelm you with technical jargon.

The best way to predict future occurrences is to study past events. I advise you to ask for a list of projects that your team has delivered before. Then call up the people that own those projects. Ask them what the development team was like to work with. Ask them about the finished product. Did it do everything it was supposed to? What was the quality like? For example, did it display ugly error messages if something went wrong or did it handle issues gracefully? How was the follow-up support from the development company? Did they reach out often to see how everything was going or did they disappear into the sunset once the money was handed over? This brings me nicely on to…

9. Maintenance Contract

Even though I am an experienced software developer, I still make the most stupid mistakes you could imagine. These mistakes sometimes (not often!) make their way, all the way through our testing and quality checks and into the live system. When something like this happens, it requires a fix AKA an update AKA a patch. No matter how good your developers are, somewhere down the line your system will require such an update. Be sure to have agreed on prices with your team so that you cannot be held to ransom once such an update is required.

10. Open Source

In software, a concept exists known as ‘Open Source’. Building software with Open Source tools and languages is free. Not only this but because of its popularity, finding developers skilled with Open Source software is somewhat easier than finding developers skilled in bespoke commercial systems and languages.

“In my opinion, it is best to have your system built with Open Source software. This will mean that it will be easier for you to maintain and extend your system once it has been deployed.”

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Steffan Jolley from New Frontiers at the LINC in today’s Irish Times

OrderPoint aims to cut waste bills for hospitality industry

Dublin firm’s software lets managers keep in touch with waiters and the kitchen…

Like many young people before him, Steffan Jolley worked in the hospitality sector to earn money while at college. As things turned out, it was time well spent. Jolley has used his insider knowledge to set up OrderPoint: a hardware and SaaS system that can help reduce costs in the hospitality sector while improving turnover and staff performance……….

Read more on this young Entrepreneurs journey https://t.co/jn8xPIY4Hj

Steffan was a participant on the Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Phase Two Programme in the LINC.



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UPCOMING Event @ ITB – Impact of Brexit for Irish Business

“BREXIT in Blanchardstown: How changes in the EU can impact locally”

DATE AND TIME – Mon 29 May 2017 08:00 – 11:00

LOCATION – The LINC Centre, Institue of Technology Blanchardstown, Blanchardstown Road North, Dublin 15

The School of Business @ ITB invite you to a breakfast briefing which will provide a forum to hear perspectives relating to Brexit from Minister Leo Varadkar, from John McGrane, Director General British Irish Chamber of Commerce and from Anne Lanigan, Manager Brexit Unit Enterprise Ireland.

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce is the focal point for business activity between Ireland and Britain. Through its members and links to key stakeholders in government, it has become one of the main influencing, networking and promotion organisations across these Islands.

The Brexit Unit at Enterprise Ireland is helping SMEs assess the impact of Brexit and prepare for Brexit by plan to mitigate risks and leverage opportunities which may arise from Brexit.

A Q&A panel discussion will follow.

For more information and to register for this event visit https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/brexit-in-blanchardstown-how-changes-in-the-eu-can-impact-locally-tickets-34142559314 

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Increased Ransomware Attacks – A Prevention Guide

at May 12, 2017

In light of increasing Ransomware attacks, BH Consulting have been working on a guide with key recommendations to prevent infections by ransomware. 

The Ransomware Prevention Guide (http://bhconsulting.ie/guide-preventing-ransomware/) will detail several recommendations to help in reducing the likelihood  of future infections, or any other viruses or malware.

For more information and to keep up to date with all things Security follow BH Consuting @BHConsulting or visit http://bhconsulting.ie/




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Funded Post Graduate Projects @ the LINC

ITB is now looking for full-time Research Students to work on 3 Funded Research Projects. These are Masters studentships that have been funded for a two-year period.

Project One: High Speed Imaging for Automated Golf Swing Analysis

See Job Description

Project Two: A study of embedding an intercultural approach to youth work in higher education to inform teaching and learning and best practice in youth work in the Dublin 15 area

See Job Description

Project Three: An assessment of the effectiveness of second level educational policies and curricula at promoting students emotional and social wellbeing

See Job Description

To apply for these projects please email a C.V. with a covering letter to Shane Walsh shane.walsh@itb.ie

Closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon, Friday 2nd June 2017.

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Silicon Republic Start-up of the week: ThingBook

Originally published by John Kennedy

Start-up of the week: ThingBook

Silicon Republic start-up of the week is ThingBook, which uses AI to help internet of things and telecoms companies stay secure.


“With the buzz around big data and analytics technologies (and despite the investment), many internet of things (IoT) and telecom companies struggle to extract actionable insights from their equipment data,” explained Roman Ferrando, founder and CEO of ThingBook.

“In this sense, the primary purpose of ThingBook is to allow data-driven decision-making processes, reducing the time, cost and uncertainty in the adoption of advanced data analytics solutions.

ThingBook analyses large volumes of data, which are in turn processed in real time to perform data harvesting and mapping, data profiling and in-depth analysis, as well as provide visualisations for human consumption and integration with external systems.

Read more …. https://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/thingbook-startup-week

Find more on Thingbook


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Thingbook.io to raise €500,000 to fund cyber security product trials

New Frontiers Phase 2 Alumni Thingbook.io to raise €500,000 seed funding to commercialise cyber security technology developed with the Institute of technology Blanchardstown.

Thingbook.io is set to launch a product that uses Artificial Intelligance (AI) to identify potential cyber attacks and block unusual activity in IoT and telecoms equipment.

Thingbook.io’s mission is to become the first analytical provider in the telecoms sector.

Read more….Thingbook.io to raise €500,000

Thingbook.io on Twitter @ThingbookIO


Paul Stacey, Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, and Roman Ferrando, founder of cyber security company, Thingbook.io

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Green Alley Start-up Awards – APPLICATIONS OPEN

An opportunity for Irish entrepreneurs

The Green Alley Award is Europe’s first start-up competition focused on the circular economy.

The Green Alley Award is an annual European prize for start-ups and entrepreneurs in the circular economy, initiated in 2014 by a group of strong partners in Germany’s entrepreneurial eco-system. It’s the first start-up award to recognise promising business ideas that contribute to building a circular economy and improving the waste and recycling industry.

The aim is to find creative people with innovative ideas about how to turn waste into a sustainable business model. 

Find out more…..green-alley-award.com

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Seedcorn 2017 Competition – Closing Date Approaches

Early stage innovative companies need funding to help their business take flight. The Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition not only offers a total cash prize of €280,000, it helps companies get investor ready and introduces them to valuable networks.

For more information and how to apply visit http://www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn/


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