Cost Efficiency and Performance Drives Organizations to Cloud Computing

In the past decade there have been various achievements for the IT world and amongst that Cloud Computing is a very important one. Cloud Computing has consistently evolved and has turned into an ultimate IT solution for any organizations computing needs.

With all the benefits that Cloud Computing offers to users the major ones being reduction in capital costs and improved efficiency it makes an organization very flexible. The USP of Cloud has always been cost savings for the organizations. It also brings the organizations load of looking after maintenance and support activities. In addition to that it also allows the users to shift focus to more important business activities thereby increasing productivity.

Even though there have been various issues with the cloud initially but now more and more businesses are moving to the cloud and making use of the latest in technology to give their businesses a competitive edge over others. SMB's also have embroidered the cloud given the cost advantages it provides to the company. And large organizations that adopt cloud computing usually do so as way to transfer their not so important aspects of business to the cloud resulting cost reduction for the company.

The Cloud is used in various ways:

Many people know cloud computing as a single solution. However, there are various ways to deploy a cloud solution based on an organizations requirements and budget. The Cloud is split into three delivery models viz. the Public Cloud, the Private Cloud and the Hybrid Cloud.

Many users adopt the Public Cloud model which is third party service often provided for a fee or rent for using the computing resources of the service provider. On the contrary, a Private Cloud is a set-up on the organization premises to be used exclusively by the business and partners only. It may be cost to deploy a private cloud but it has its own set of advantages as well including increased security and controlled access to data. A Hybrid Cloud on the other hand is combining the public and the private cloud. It makes possible use of both the cloud environments by shifting the work according to the needs.

With competition intensifying day by day it is necessary for businesses to switch to more modern and flexible IT solutions like Cloud Computing and reduce their dependence on traditional systems. However, it is also necessary to make a proper analysis of all the three models of Cloud computing before choosing anyone for the organization.

The Cloud is a very useful IT solution and businesses need to assess their requirements properly to deploy the correct model and make use of this highly efficient technology and boost their productivity.

5 Tips for A Creative Retail Branding and Design Strategy

Quality retail branding is meant to connect businesses with customers in a way that builds trust and desire in the consumer for the brand and their product. Branding has been around since ancient times (from Roman columns to Chinese stamps), but modern commercial branding is a new phenomenon. People are more involved with brands than ever, locally and globally, to the point where two golden arches are immediately recognizable by almost everyone around the world, without any words in the picture.

In the complex world of retail, which is composed of multiple elements and disciplines, a consumer can see connections, or a lack of connections, between all the different aspects of retail at a glance. And that is where design comes in. Retail branding and design aims to create a harmonious and holistic schema out of all of the elements of retail, from personnel to product presentation. Design is not just about looks, but about function. Without a good branding and design strategy, retail stores are a mishmash of unrelated ideas that can confuse and put off potential customers.

Design your layout based on traffic flow:

When customers enter the store, where do they look? Which way do they go? Position your best products in areas where customers are more likely to notice them. Pedestrian traffic is often influenced by vehicular traffic. That is, in areas where people drive on the right side of the road, in-store traffic patterns tend to move in a clockwise pattern. Use these patterns to your advantage.

Create a focal point in your visual displays:

Don’t just bring attention to anything and everything in the store, but draw customers in by featuring one item prominent, whether that’s in a window display or in the middle of your store. Strategically position lights and other items to point to your featured product and avoid distracting customers by putting equal weight on too many items at once.

Make window effects:

Windows make small spaces look larger and more inviting. Creating windows in the walls separating two rooms can give the entire building a more airy ambience, or creating visual illusions of windows such as white panels or drapes around mirrors, can also create a window effect, increasing the feeling of light and movement, especially if you are in a small space.

Avoid clutter:

Clutter feels noisy and uncomfortable for customers. Don’t overload your customer’s visual circuits with signs and patterns and displays galore. Instead, use neutral colors for larger items and accent the space with smaller items with brighter colors, and do not place your merchandise too closely together.

Use lighting to your advantage:

Lighting is important in any shop, and especially so in small corners. Make sure that your store is well lit, or else you will not be making good use of your space – customers don’t usually prefer to wander into dark, shadowy areas, so any merchandise displayed there will not receive a fair consideration. Use a combination of different lights to keep the space illuminated and to add variety and interest to the space.

Cleaning Your Home Without Any Use of Chemicals

We have gotten used to relying on a whole range of chemical products for the cleaning of our homes and offices without paying attention to how harmful such substances can be for the health or the environment.Every household actually uses stain removers and all sorts of solvents to get clean clothes, impeccable kitchens and germ-free bathrooms. However, with the development of the environmental awareness, some companies have started producing eco-friendly cleaning products. Most spot and stain removers in the eco-category are now derived from natural resources, with plant or vegetable ingredients in organic solvents.

It is false to absorb that eco-friendly cleaning products can not eliminate resistant stains and stains such as nail polish, wax, ball-point ink, glue, resins or dyes from solid or textile surfaces. If we manage to eliminate such prejudices and actually try some eco-friendly cleaning solution, we may be pleasantly surprised by the results. It is paradoxical how we soil and litter our planet while making efforts to remove the dirt from daily life. Why switch to eco-friendly cleaning? First of all your home will be clean from toxic fumes and chemicals, you will sleep better and enjoy a great sense of well-being.

There will be less health hazards for children and babies who may come in contact with toxic cleaning residues. Nor will there be any more fumes from spray bottles. Poisons should be a no-no in our lives. You can eliminate the hazardousous substances by using household pickup days, and replacing them with safer versions. Eco-friendly cleaning provides a safer environment for your children. Moreover, the fewer chemicals you use, the fewer toxic materials will be evacuated in the waste water stream. If you do not have eco-friendly cleaning products ready-made for a certain task, there are homemade solutions available too.

The Internet abounds with eco-friendly cleaning tips, you just need a bit of time, interest and patience to see how to deal with the issue. Not only the cleaning agents should be changed with eco products, but the cleaning accessories as well. Sponges, mops and rags should be all reusable and natural. A responsible human being living in the 21st century should mind the durability, health and environment impact of the products he / she purchases for home use. This kind of changes will also bring considered savings.

How Do Credit Card Companies Make Money?

Credit cards have gained much popularity in India over the last few years. Public sector banks as well as private banking institutions have come forward to launch a host of credit cards suiting customers with different types of needs. HDFC Credit Cards and SBI Card are the two companies with the largest market share. While banks are ready to offer you with a small loan in the form of credit cards, have you ever wondered how these banking institutions make money from these ventures?

The three main ways how card issuers make money is through the annual fee of the card, interest charged on late payment, penalties on skipping EMIs, etc. At the same time, they also earn from the businesses that accept these cards. Businesses are required to pay transaction fees to the banks which also makes up for significant earning of the card issuer banks.

But before we dig deeper into how they make money, let us first understand the term 'Credit Card Companies'. It is easy to get confused between credit card issuers and credit card networks. An issuer is the bank or financial institution from which you take the card. You are taking a loan from the card issuer and paying back to them. A credit card issuing company is usually a bank. On the other hand, credit card network refers to companies that process the transaction. Currently, there are three major networks in India- VISA, Master Card and RuPay. Apart from these, American Express and Discover cards can also be found.

So, when you make a transaction with your credit card, your money moves electronically from your bank through the network to the merchant's bank.

How do credit card companies make money?

As mentioned above, your bank makes money majorly from you and also from the merchants where you use the card issued by the bank to make the payment. Banks or financial institutions make money in the form of-

Fees

Banks charge different types of fees from their cardholders- some fees are to be paid by everyone whereas other types of fees are levied on condition. Let us talk about these fees and charges-

  • Annual Fees- You have to pay annual fees towards your credit card, especially when you are an elite cardholder and enjoy higher benefits than normal users. This is to be paid by all users. However, some banks may set a condition of spend based annual fee reversal scheme.
  • Cash Advance Fees- When you withdraw money from an ATM using your credit card, the bank charges a minimal fee for it which is normally correlated to the amount you withdrawal. This is also included in the card issuer's earnings.
  • Late Fees- Your card issuer charges fees from you if you delay your EMI payments. Banks make more money from late payers in the form of late fees.
  • Balance Transfer Fees- When you transfer outstanding balance from one card to another, the bank charges fees from you which again becomes its earnings.

Interest

The bank or financial institution has just gifted you a credit line. You have to pay the interest for the loan that is offered to you in the form of credit card. This interest cost adds to your expenses and is a method of earning for the banks. Interest on credit card is charged on daily basis for as long as the amount stands outstanding in your account. This is why experts always advise you to pay the total outstanding amount in full every month because interest will accrue on any amount that stands unpaid.

Let us understand this with the help of an example. Suppose the billing date is on 4th of every month and payment due date falls on 29th of every month. APR = 24%

  1. 10th March- Apparel Shopping- Rs. 5,000
  2. 13th March- Bill Payment- Rs. 2,000
  3. 19th March- Gadget Purchase (converted into 6 month EMI) – Rs. 12,000
  4. 22nd March- Dining Bill- Rs. 1,000

Now considering that the person does not have any outstanding amount from the previous bill, he will have to pay Rs. (5,000 + 1,000 + 2,000 +2000) = Rs. 10,000.

This will be the total amount due on 29th March. Now if the person chooses to pay only Rs. 6,000, the remaining Rs. 4,000 will accrue interest for each day until the amount is paid in full. Considering that the user again pays Rs. 2,000 on the 10th of April, let us see how interest cost works out-

Interest = (outstanding amount x 2 percent per month x 12 months) * (number of days) 365

In this case, the total interest charged would be Rs. 52.60 which is a total for Rs. 4,000 that lies outstanding for 11 days and Rs. 2,000 that lies outstanding for 18 days until the next payment. This is the reason why those who only pay minimum amount due tend to fall into debt soon sooner. Cardholders should also note that when an amount is outstanding in your statement, the new purchases that you make are not eligible for the interest free period. This is why interest charge is the easiest way how banks make money out of your credit card.

Interchange Fee from the Merchant

When you use your card at a merchant terminal, the merchant also pays a percentage of the amount to the bank as processing fees. This will also be added on to the bank's earnings. It usually ranges between 1 to 3 percent of the transaction value but may differ from merchant to merchant.

How to save yourself from paying too much to the bank?

Savvy customers plan their transactions and payments in a way that they have to pay the least amount to the bank. These are the habits you can adopt to cut your costs-

  • Pay your entire outstanding balance every month; just pay the minimum amount due is not a good practice.
  • Set alerts for your payment due dates to avoid missed payments which entail late fees.
  • Create an emergency fund to replace costlier options like cash advances from credit card.
  • Choose low annual fee or free credit cards and even if you select a card with high annual fee, make sure that the rewards are worth it.