Category Archives: IT

What Makes an App Successful?

An estimated annual revenue of $25 billion makes the app market one of the most exciting sectors of the IT business world. Androids are capable of operating more than 2 million mobile apps and the Apple store offers more than 1.5 million. Since people use apps 86% of the time on mobile devices, apps are a part of everyone’s day-to-day existence. A good app makes the user experience a pleasure.

An app needs to be a quality product. No app should simply be an afterthought. It offers an opportunity to engage customers or solve a problem. If the app is an extension of a business, the app should focus on an issue that the business needs to resolve or improve. Making the app user friendly and helpful ensures a happy customer. Stay informed about the app through data analytics. And keep growing your app with a viral element that encourages others to share it.

User Friendly

It’s not just the need for an application that makes people want it. If an application is difficult to use and confusing, it will not succeed no matter how important it is. Great user interface design is integral to the success of any app. Designers need to consider how users will interact with the app so that the experience is as streamlined as possible.


An app should be intuitive so that it is easy to use, but also remove obstacles that make peoples’ lives difficult. If an app can help someone succeed, then the app will succeed.

Data driven

If possible, your app should be able to report data on usage so you can improve it based on user interactions rather than hopeful guesses. Downloads aren’t the key to success. The average user has 36 apps installed, but only 26% of apps are used daily and 65% of customers stop using an app within three months. Worse yet, 25% of apps are never used. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) include downloads but also much more.

User experience is really about customer happiness. An app should make users want to use it, and even look forward to using it. Frequency of use and duration of use show engagement. Depth of use calculates how many pages (or screens) a user views and indicate level of engagement. Formal metrics help gauge the performance of the app in the market.


Having a viral component will help your user body grow. Consider how to help users share the app. Include triggers, promote social currency and emotion, enhance public opinion, provide ways for users to share stories, and reinforce its practical value.

Entrepreneur magazine recommends three “Cs” to keep in mind.

Classics over trends. Don’t settle for fads; the fate of Angry Birds should act as a good deterrent.

Catalyze Change. Find worthy causes that can be attached to your app. Millennials are do-gooders and you have to appeal to their sense of altruism.

Crack a real problem and get a real shot at success.”

Though apps are a hot market and offer a lot of marketing excitement, a successful app is built on the knowledge of its designer. New England Institute of Technology offers a Master’s in Information Technology to help develop the future of the industry. Courses like Software Architecture and User Interface Design ensure that graduates are prepared for a bold new arena in Information Technology.

Analytics is Everywhere

big-dataBig data is a buzz word these days and with good reason. In 2015, 1.9 million data analytics jobs were created and another 4 million in support functions for those positions, according to Bernard Marr, the author of Big Data: Using Smart Big Data, Analytics and Metrics to Make Better Decisions.

The term “data science” was first used in 2001 by the statistician William H. Cleveland. A career in data science came to the forefront in 2012 when Harvard Business Review published an article, “Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.” Previously, statisticians had been doing the same kind of work: they compiled, processed, analyzed, and interpreted data to generate usable information. Today, the age of data was now being (?) recognized by the larger public.

Data-related work  began at the end of the 20th century when people started referring to “Knowledge Discovery”, “Data Mining” and “Advanced Analytics” to discuss how computers could discover useful patterns from large datasets. The patterns came to be identified as cluster analysis for a grouping of data, anomaly detection for working with unusual data, dependencies for identifying associations by rule mining, generalizations for predictions of classification and regression models, and compact representations for summaries of the data set.*

“Up to 80 percent of the time and effort in big data analytic projects is spent on cleaning, integrating, and transforming the data,” explains Pete Ianace, chief strategy officer and executive vice president of No Magic Inc. Doing such work requires a thorough education in the languages, programs, and analytic capabilities that make data usable. Whether it’s a sexy job or not, it is undoubtedly one of the most valuable careers for the future.

Forbes magazine reported on research conducted across 2015 by WANTED Analytics, a job tracking and analytics company. They found that being able to work with data is lucrative; the median advertised salary for professionals with big data expertise was $124,000 a year. The top 5 industries hiring data analysts were:

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (30%)
  • Information Technologies (19%)
  • Manufacturing (18%)
  • Finance and Insurance (10%)
  • Retail Trade (8%)**

Jobs in this category include: Software Engineer, Big Data Platform Engineer, Information Systems Developer, Information Security Analysts, Management Analysts, and Data Quality Director. Sales representatives in many fields need data analysis capabilities.

Statistical and quantitative analysis is at the heart of data analysis but so is data mining, machine learning, a variety of programming languages, and creativity. Being able to use older languages like SQL is as important as developing aptitudes for more recent languages, but it’s the constant innovation that means a creative, problem solving mind is truly key to success in this growing field.

NEIT helps prepare tomorrow’s IT leaders with a course on Data Warehousing and Data Analytics in the Master’s of Science in Information Technology degree. Find out more about the course and your future options here.




Associations for Information Technology Professionals

accent-handshakeJoining a professional association is an excellent way to build your network, discover trends and issues in the industry, and expand your knowledge. While pursuing your education, learning about the organizations in your chosen field, even attending a national conference if convenient, is a great way to begin applying what you’ve learned in conversation with your future colleagues.

AITP – Association of Information Technology Professionals

logo-aitpFounded in 1951, the association changed its name to the Association of Information Technology Professionals in 1996. Through individual chapters as well as the national association, AITP “seeks to advance the IT Profession through professional development, support of IT education, and national policies on IT that improve society as a whole.”

AITP members work at every level of the IT industry –– mainframe systems, micro systems, PC-based LAN and WAN systems, as well as virtual systems and the internet. There are special niche groups within AITP for a variety of member interests. Members represent many industries from banking to education, from finance to government, from military to retail.

There are AITP student memberships available at low annual dues, as well as professional memberships so that you can build your future network by connecting with fellow students now.


logo-comptiaFounded in 1982, CompTIA is dedicated to “learning, growing and personal and business success.” There is a strong emphasis on life-long learning—CompTIA provides educational videos and guides, and issues 4 levels of certification across many topics. CompTIA also emphasizes the connections that members build at the annual convention, conferences and chapter events.

Members are expected to participate in events and share best practices:

“It’s not just about consuming, but also contributing – not just to the association, but more importantly to other members and the IT industry as a whole…. We draw on our members’ expertise and experience to shape our products and services. Each and every member brings something different to the table and it’s those unique characteristics that make CompTIA strong.” 

ISSA – Information Systems Security Association

logo-issaFounded in 1982, ISSA is an international organization for cybersecurity professionals. The association seeks to help its members advance, as well as stay current on technology risks and best practices for protecting critical information and infrastructure. ISSA has more than 100 chapters around the world. Members represent a diverse collection of organizations, including major U.S. and international corporations, leading consulting firms, world-class educational institutions, and government agencies.

Through local chapters, members participate in networking events and learn about issues in the industry. In addition to hosting an annual international conference, ISSA provides web groups, special interest channels, an e-newsletter and the ISSA Journal all of which fosters discussions on major topics in the field of cyber security.

There are many other associations that are appropriate based on your area of interest and expertise within information technology. As you build and learn your skill sets, you will discover additional organizations focused on your area of specialty.

At New England Institute of Technology, the Master’s in Information Technology provides a strong foundation in the knowledge areas you need to succeed. As your education helps you develop areas of strength and proficiency, you gain the knowledge to become a peer member at these professional organizations. Getting your MSIT helps you learn the technology and management skills for a great career. You gain the professional foundation to expand your network and associations.

Plan ahead. Enroll for the classes starting in the fall of 2016 so that you can build your knowledge and network base during the slower winter season.

Build a better career with an MSIT from NEIT.

Law and IT: Federal Considerations for IT Professionals

it-lawUnderstanding an organizations legal and ethical responsibilities is an important part of what information security professionals offer businesses. How a business approaches its liability for privacy and security risks is often guided by advice from IT professionals.

Businesses depend on  Information Technology and Security professionals to help them maintain security. These professionals offer guidance on how to establish and enforce policies that employees must follow within the workplace. These organizational regulations include employee acknowledgment of regulations and a clear description of penalties for any who do not comply.

IT professionals must therefore be familiar with the laws that govern their industry, including conflicts that occur between organizations and people  as well as behaviors that harm society and citizens.  Businesses have strict rules about how employees can use and share information, as information theft can lead to litigation and fines.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 is the cornerstone of many federal laws and enforcement efforts surrounding information technology. The National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996 was added as an amendment in order to update certain sections and increase the penalties for some crimes. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 provided law enforcement agencies with increased lee-way to combat terrorism-related activities, but posed immediate problems for many businesses who argued that they could not release private information received from customers. The 2006 amendment, the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act, made permanent fourteen of the sixteen expanded powers of the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

Businesses consider these federal regulations, as well as many state laws and statutes, when determining how to manage their information data. At the same time, with the increase in hacking and cybercrime, businesses must use firewalls and other security measures to protect themselves. Information Technology experts are at the forefront of many current issues facing the nation and business.

At New England Institute of Technology, the Master’s in Information Technology introduces students to the vital legal issues facing IT in today’s business world. IT professionals need the ability to identify and manage potential legal, ethical, and political issues that arise in computer, internet, cybersecurity, and other high-technology areas in order to support and protect the companies where they work.

In the MSIT course program, one course is entirely dedicated to IT and the Law, so that students have the opportunity to learn how to analyze the legal issues confronting today’s information technology arena. It provides a foundation of the basic legal concepts upon which IT activities and transactions are based so that students are better prepared for careers as industry leaders.

Discover more about how New England Institute of Technology helps you become a knowledgeable leader in the IT industry.

Enroll today and get your MSIT

The Need for Cyber Security Professionals in IT Today

cyber-crimeAs awareness in the general public has grown, Cyber-crime has become an all too common news topic. In 2014, The New York Times reported over 700 articles on data breaches alone. Cyber-crime can take the form of hacking someone’s personal information, to vicious and slanderous cyber bullying, to identity theft and even website obstruction. Cyber-crime has even overtaken the story arcs of many film and television series. Shows like ‘CSI: Cyber’ have come to exemplify the real life prevalence of our newfound online crime sprees.

As a society of individuals online, we all face the risk of falling victim to a cyber-attack on our personal information. Not only are we personally afraid of such attacks, but businesses also fear such strikes to their online infrastructure. In 2014, the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimated that cyber-crime causes a $455 billion deficit each year in the global economy. This loss can be attributed to resources required to halt the cyber-attack, cost of repairing damage, and loss of sales after private information has been leaked from vulnerable businesses.

Companies are now investing millions into cybersecurity measures to protect their information assets. The global cybersecurity market topped $75 billion in 2015, and is predicted to grow to $170 billion by 2020.* The Global State of Information Security® Survey of 2015 found that businesses doubled information security budgets compared to information technology budgets since 2013. The rise of attacks on retail and consumer companies meant that 38% of those companies increased their security spending by 20%, more than any other industry.

“The demand for security professionals is likely to grow by 53% by 2018.”***

The need for cyber security personnel is growing. A 2015 analysis of numbers from The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2015 that 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. were unfilled. There were 74% more job postings in 2015 compared to the previous five years.***

In 2001, the Council of Europe adopted the Convention on Cybercrime to oversee a range of security functions associated with Internet activities on a global scale. Thirty-four countries attended the signing in November 2001, but only twenty-nine nations have ratified it as of April 2010. Even though the United States is not a “member state of the council of Europe,” it ratified the Convention and participates in it.

New England Institute of Technology’s Master’s in Information Technology recognizes the growth of cybercrime and the demand for well-trained cybersecurity professionals. Understanding the latest technology is important to producing the most impervious strongholds for modern websites. NEIT also provides a course dedicated to IT and the Law. Students are introduced to many of the legal and ethical issues that they will face as information technology and security professionals as they wander through cyberspace, protecting it from all who may come to trespass.

Discover more about how New England Institute of Technology helps you become employer ready in this booming area of Information Technology.

Enroll today and get your MSIT




Soft Skills for IT Success: A Report from the Industry

Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s Bioscience and Information Technology Industry Association, and Bridge Technical Talent, an IT staffing agency, released the report “Enter IT RI” on the skills that are most important for professionals in IT in Rhode Island. The “Enter IT RI” report surveyed hiring trends since 2013 and pulled information on technical and workplace readiness among young professionals. This continues our review of the findings.

Students need to be ready for the workplace. “Employer-readiness” is a concern that New England Institute of Technology is tackling head-on. Soft skills such as communication, organization, teamwork and work ethic are crucial in the technology workforce. Preparing students in school can make a big difference.

New England Tech received a grant from the Davis Foundation in 2014 in order to help students become employer-ready. By reviewing and altering course syllabi, New England Tech incorporated new ways for students to interact outside the classroom. Helping students become more independent learners allows them to transfer that drive to the workplace. The time in class became more focused on group projects and communication skills that graduates could apply toward career advancement. As one respondent from an IT company explained:

“We look for people that have excellent work ethic and communication skills.

We provide all specialized training.

We look for people who are eager to learn and grow and who are comfortable with constant change.”

Businesses want employees who will work hard and keep learning — especially as the IT industry continues to grow and change. The report found that employees who had technical skills but could also demonstrate soft skills and a history of some Project Management academic work had a better chance of developing successful careers.

Many companies hire entry-level applicants with an eye toward these employees building careers in-house. Do you demonstrate a strong work ethic, an ability to communicate effectively, and curiosity? workers. Such attributes are in demand at the higher management level positions, which require significant interaction across teams and company departments.

The complexity of IT projects is increasing the need for the skilled Project Manager. While this position requires understanding the technical requirements for each task, it more importantly calls for excellent communication and organization skills. Currently, only 28% of the “Enter IT RI” respondents have Project Managers on staff. Companies know how important this role is; 60% of respondents planned to hire Project Managers in the next 2 years.

Those working at the management level need to communicate the project’s process to others. Most companies expect these employees to use PowerPoint (67%) and SharePoint (89%) as the means for transferring information. These briefing tools explain in simple, clear steps how the project is doing to the organizational chain of command.

At New England Institute of Technology, the Master of Science in Information Technology Program recognizes the importance of these business and management skills. Courses are designed to cover technical topics as well as the necessary business strategies, behaviors and characteristics that contribute to success.

Learn more about how New England Tech can help you become a successful part of the growing IT field.

Enroll today and get your MSIT.

How to be an IT Success: A Report from the Industry

it-successTech Collective, Rhode Island’s Bioscience and Information Technology Industry Association, and Bridge Technical Talent, an IT staffing agency, released a report, “Enter IT RI”, on the skills that are most important for professionals in IT in Rhode Island. The “Enter IT RI” report surveyed hiring trends since 2013 and pulled information on technical and workplace readiness among young professionals.

Occupations in IT are growing rapidly in Rhode Island and the United States. Employers complain, however, that too many applicants do not have the necessary skill sets. Some positions are even harder to fill than others: project management, programming, web design, software development, and business analysis. Only 1% of Rhode Island public high school students take computer science courses. A surprisingly small number of Rhode Island college students major in a computer science field. The shortage of potential IT employees means those with the education and training have a huge opportunity.

Employers look for applicants with Computer Science or Information Technology degrees from 2- and 4-year colleges when they are hiring. 17% of report respondents declared that their field of business was Information Technology and just under 13% described themselves in Software. Another 10% declared they were in Telecommunications and Media. The rest were from fields as diverse as Aerospace and Defense (5%), Education (7%), Health Care (14%) and Manufacturing (14%).

Five IT occupations have a projected growth rate of at least 15% by 2022: Computer Systems Analysts; Application Software Developers; Computer User Support Specialists; Computer & Information Systems Managers; and Web Developers. Such growth indicates that companies are increasingly dependent on skilled IT professionals to help their businesses grow. With 47% of companies seeking entry-level IT employees, many graduates of IT programs can immediately start building toward their success.

Companies use recruitment opportunities at colleges and universities more than any other method. Most companies seek a 4-year IT-related bachelor’s degree. A 2-year IT-related degree ranks second, and yet still provides more advantages than a bachelor’s degree in a non-IT related field. The companies surveyed reported needing additional employees in the next two years, with application development and operations infrastructure being the areas where the greatest need is foreseen.

The major challenge businesses experience in hiring entry-level IT professionals is due to employees lacking professionalism and a strong work ethic. Companies find that technical skills are not enough. Too many employees do not have adequate communication skills, lack self-motivation and/or the ability to work independently. They evidence no leadership traits. Too many do not understand business strategy and cannot explain their work to non-technical audiences.

84% of employers say that “motivation” is a characteristic important to hiring.

76% look for a “positive attitude.”

64% want to see a “work ethic.”

At New England Institute of Technology, the Master of Science in Information Technology recognizes the importance of these business and management skills. Courses are designed to cover technical topics as well as the necessary business strategies, behaviors and characteristics that contribute to success.

Learn more about how NEIT can help you become a successful part of the growing IT field.

Enroll today and get your MSIT.

Current Considerations in Cybersecurity

cybersecurity“A strong cybersecurity background is important to employers,” explains Timothy Henry, the chair of the Master’s in Information Technology at New England Institute of Technology.

All levels of society are increasingly dependent on Internet-connected computer systems and shared information. With that connectivity comes many risks. Cybersecurity seeks to protect networks from intentional or accidental harm. Digital assaults are rising. 2015 saw a series of high-profile cybersecurity attacks, beginning with infiltrating the health agency, Anthem, where 80 million social security records were stolen, and concluding with hackers accessing major hotel chains Starwood, Hilton and Hyatt.

Cybersecurity analysts predict increased attacks, making cybersecurity one of the most important areas in Information Technology. Major political periods, like the United States presidential election, find an increase in hacks.

Social Malware, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and Insider Threats are growing security concerns. Sham sites pretending to offer services that retrieve information and attacks within social media sites like SnapChat and Facebook have increased the sophistication of their approach and attacks. The rise of DDoS strikes has been extensively covered by the media; hackers are attacking small and large businesses as well as banks and governments.

Information security departments must observe the behavior of employees. Whether by intentionally sharing information or by doing so accidentally, employees can put an organization’s information at risk. Machines now exist that identify what is normal and abnormal behavior within a network, allowing them to identify in-progress cyber attacks. This is a major innovation, which helps security officers discover, and respond sooner to, unusual behavior.

Cyber threats will likely shift to phones as more people start using Apple Pay and Google Pay,. Information security will mean working with computer systems and all the personal devices that are now prevalent.

With such issues on the rise, information security is drawing the attention of corporate boards. The Computer Information Security Officer is a new and important addition to corporate management. In the past, the Corporate Security Officer reported to the Corporate Information Officer, since security was perceived as a branch of information. Increasingly, cybersecurity is not simply the purview of the IT department but also the concern of the corporate board, with the CISO or CSO holding a place at the table.

At NEIT, students are encouraged to learn more through the graduate level course in Information Systems Security to help them become knowledgeable about this increasingly important IT field. This key course covers risk management, security planning and incident response. Many other courses incorporate aspects of cybersecurity when addressing such topics as cloud computing and user interface design.

This high level of preparation allows graduates to pursue leadership positions such as Chief Information Security Officer. With a global reputation, NEIT offers students the chance to become IT leaders by pursuing an MSIT.

Learn more about NEIT’s program here.

Great Leadership Pointers

speaking-in-crowdBecoming a great leader means understanding the technology, effectively communicating its strategic application, and rallying employees to become better team members. Clear communication and adept people management are two key characteristics. With the ever-changing landscape, IT faces a set of challenges that makes the skills necessary for great leadership even more important.

Current trends and issues that IT executives need to address today include:

  • the fast pace of development in technology
  • the complexity of integrating systems, processes and applications
  • the problems of legacy systems
  • constant threats, i.e. cybersecurity

The challenges of constantly evolving technologies mean that IT leaders must stay current. Working with the frustrations of old systems demands strategic problem-solving. The complexity of any IT project requires cultivating effective groups. The real threat to all businesses of cyber-sabotage means that IT leaders are ever forecasting problems and finding solutions.

There are many leadership styles and tools available. Leaders need to find the right approach for who they are, and also must adapt to use techniques appropriate for the situation. Using Porter’s Five Forces, Gartner Magic Quadrant, S-curve, brainstorming and SWOT analysis can help identify a problem and begin the process of improvement. Gartner Magic Quadrant is particularly useful when leaders need context to grasp why the difficulty exists. Learning how and when to apply these tools is part of the management training that any great IT leader requires.

Leadership also requires an ability to galvanize a team, communicate a strategy and cultivate support at the highest levels of a business. These are some behaviors that effective leaders present. The guidance and training of teachers and mentors can help you identify and refine your leadership style. Good leaders everywhere know to:

Say what you will do and do what you say – Setting manageable expectations and being accountable are important as the temptation to overpromise can be great under pressure. Leaders know the importance of delivering results and negotiating expectations to ensure they deliver on what they promise.

Remain self-aware – Everyone knows the boss who yells at employees after a bad client lunch. Remain self-aware; recognize your own flaws or areas for improvement. Self-improvement is a constant process of learning about yourself.

Delegate – Leaders must be willing to recognize that members of their team may know more in some area than they do. Embrace that diversity of knowledge and delegate work accordingly. In a time of employee empowerment and engagement, leaders must encourage employees to build on their knowledge and strength. Only then will the team members feel a sense of commitment to the work and their leader.

Support collaboration – The complexity of technology these days requires people to work together. Group projects are inevitable. Leaders must recognize how to cultivate a collaborative environment by understanding how to combine personalities and tasks for the best outcome.

Refine people skills – A leader does not stand alone but works with and guides a team to help them succeed. Leaders need to be authentic, show integrity and express compassion while dealing with a myriad of personalities, all of whom have different issues and concerns. Leaders have learned the skills to manage people who often don’t yet know how to manage themselves.

Be strategic – A manager might simply follow orders, but a leader understands the business strategy and how to help solve current problems within that umbrella. Every decision is a part of the whole business and leaders must think strategically if they are to succeed.

Communicate – At the heart of all these recommendations is the need to communicate. This sounds easy but communication isn’t simply telling people what to do or how to do it. Making project expectations clear is important, and motivating your team to work well takes more effort than providing a list of demands. Effective communication is necessary at the strategic level to develop business goals that will work across departments and teams.

Learn, Learn more – Few other industries require the constant learning that IT does. You can never know it all, so a commitment to staying abreast of industry developments is vital. Similarly, management practices are evolving alongside technology so seeking educating resources in best management practices will ensure you succeed as a leader.

Becoming a leader in IT is about more than putting in time and building experience. A knowledge base in problem-solving techniques, management practices, communication approaches and personality styles is necessary. As the information technology industry grows, great leaders will be needed to manage the teams and changes of the future. An education in management and leadership will help you succeed.

NEIT Featured in Asian Correspondent

asian-correspondent-logoNew England Institute of Technology was identified by Asian Correspondent as one of 5 schools producing the “leading IT innovators of tomorrow.”* Described as being at “the forefront of computer science” by the popular Asian news outlet, NEIT offers an education that is internationally recognized. The United States dominates the computer science education market and NEIT’s computer and information sciences programs are ranked among the best by College Factual.** .

Students from all over the world seek the best education to be a part of the growing Information Technology industry. NEIT provides “courses that have been thoughtfully designed with input from industry experts.”*** This means that students learn the technical skills they need on the job. Students gain a concrete, practical understanding that they can immediately apply at work.

NEIT provides students with the environment to develop stellar technical skills. Equally as important. students can also learn critical soft skills, including leadership and management tools and techniques. This combination means that graduates may be “eminently employable.” Previous graduates have found work in a vast variety of businesses and industries including: Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, military contractors, non-profits, established tech companies and tech startups.

NEIT is proud to be recognized by Asian Correspondent for the high level training that students receive. International students introduce new ideas and approaches to the ever-changing field, meaning students are even better prepared for the international community of professionals that awaits them.

As Asian Correspondent expressed: “At NEIT, students gain timely skills so that they are work-ready when they graduate.”

* North American Universities: At the forefront of Computer Science studies. Asian Correspondent, 2016.
** College Factual, 2016.
** New England Institute of Technology – USA. Asian Correspondent, 2016.