Robotic Process Automation and the future of intelligent machine work

Robotic Process Automation and the future of intelligent machine work

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

The reason why humans build machines is that they want to make work easier and faster. That always has been true; machines help us accomplish tasks that would otherwise take a long time with just human labor alone, or even be impossible for a human to do in the first place. They also help us save space, energy, and time — after all, resources are precious commodities, so if we can utilize them more efficiently through machines, why wouldn’t we? And more importantly, machines also increase our industrial production rate, more so than what could be achieved without the use of machines. Humans often look to make activities effortless, and advances in technology give us the capability to automate tasks.


And of course, this process of automating tasks and processes is pretty important in every industry imaginable. Let’s look, for example, at software development: A solution already in popular use is Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a way to automate specific tasks within a process, so people don’t have to do them manually. The main advantage of RPA is that it can save time and be more accurate than humans because it’s not necessary to have someone actively monitoring how the task is performed, and ultimately means that businesses can get more done faster and with fewer resources. This allows developers to focus on more complex projects while reducing the time spent performing mundane tasks.

By its very nature, RPA works well with larger applications due to its ability to organize data into streamlined processes, reducing the overall development time and cost, reducing development hours, and making sure everything runs smoothly. Robots make this easy as they don’t need the same amount of troubleshooting, testing, and debugging time as we humans do. In other words, the reason why RPA has become an increasingly popular tool in the software industry is because of its ability to speed up development for faster technology deployment. As stated by IBM:

“[RPA] combines APIs and user interface (UI) interactions to integrate and perform repetitive tasks between enterprise and productivity applications. By deploying scripts which emulate human processes, RPA tools complete autonomous execution of various activities and transactions across unrelated software systems.

However, with more and more businesses migrating to digital tools and platforms, and software development continues rapidly expanding with no signs of slowing down, the demand for innovative technology solutions also grows. It’s no wonder the development of automatic tools is booming to keep up, helping to optimize tasks during a software project in a way that was unthinkable barely a decade ago. There is no bigger leap forward in automation technology than Artificial Intelligence, which promises to change the field in ways that we maybe cannot grasp yet.

Automatic Intelligence

Empathy Design Disorder 1

The use of AI technology is certainly booming at the industrial scale and with good reason. By deploying these kinds of applications, businesses can automate many mundane, time-consuming tasks that would otherwise require a lot of manual labor, while reducing wasted resources and increasing efficiency in the production process. With AI driving efficiency gains, businesses benefit from reduced labor costs and improved production times, making it a no-brainer as far as implementation is concerned. 

It’s no surprise, then, that use of AI technology is booming. This capability has generated enthusiasm from those who understand its vast capabilities, leading to an explosion of use at an industrial scale. And as AI continues to expand, it may become a fundamental component of modern business operations around the world. However, is the implementation of AI tools and an automation process the same thing? Or do these ideas refer to fundamentally different concepts with distinct goals and desired outcomes?

AI is not the same as automation. Automation is a machine executing a series of instructions exclusively set by humans. If an action isn’t explicitly described in the instructions, the machine can’t do it. With AI, however, the machine can take broad rules outlined by humans, and determine its own pathways to success”, explains the Artificial Intelligence Institute. “Automation can be used in tandem with AI such as machine learning and deep learning to produce even better results in a process we might call AI automation [which] allows us to reap both the business process benefits of automation — increased speed, efficiency, time-savings, and ability to scale — with the insights, flexibility, and processing power of AI technology.

That way, AI is revolutionizing the robotic automation process and has opened up virtually infinite possibilities for all sorts of industries, enabling robots to react faster and make more accurately timed decisions without direct human input. AI can even give robots the ability to learn from their mistakes, so they don’t repeat them and cause unnecessary delays in production or other processes. All of these advantages offered by AI give RPA tools a new lease of life, making them even better players in today’s automated world. And this can only get better, right?

The “artificial” in Artificial Intelligence

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It might seem cut-and-dry to think that AI is an overall net positive on automation processes, but companies should approach AI with caution instead of putting too much trust in it, outright replacing manual decision-making processes without due consideration, because there are often large discrepancies between initial expectations and actual outcomes when working with AI. In other words, while these new tools may promise optimal performance, they don’t always live up to expectations, so any organization interested in these kinds of automation tools needs to bear the limitations of AI in mind at all times.

When companies place too much confidence in AI, they may miss key opportunities to inject creativity or human judgment into decision-making processes which can lead to misguided actions with unintended consequences”, says Adolfo Cruz, PMO Director, and Partner at SCIO. “For example, AI tools are limited when it comes to making decisions; they can only provide insights based on data and algorithms, and do not possess the same level of judgment as a human. Additionally, these tools lack intuition and creativity and may not be able to think outside the box or come up with creative solutions to unique problems”. 

That is to say, AI has come a long way in developing industrial advancements, yet there are still certain tasks that should be left off limits. AI should not be involved in any decision-making processes due to their lack of understanding of the potential implications of their actions. Allowing the robots to take over tasks such as operating complicated machinery and making decisions over them could do more harm than good when it comes to safety measures for both the workers and the products being created. Even with the best technology and programming, mistakes can still be made due to inevitable flaws in their programming. These risks outweigh any saving benefits that AI machines may provide, therefore we must prevent them from causing any further damage by restricting them in what they can do within an industrial context.

In short, automation and AI represent a powerful combination of resources with exciting potential. With no tedious tasks to weigh them down, people can focus their full power on the challenge or problem at hand and work in tandem with AI automation to create dynamic systems that save time, energy, and money. This combination is already being used across industries to great effect — streamlining production processes that were once complex and solving problems more quickly than was ever thought possible. All of this leads us toward an exciting future where these amazing technologies will continue to do even more positive things for both businesses and consumers. All in all, it’s truly amazing how much these two forces are capable of when we use them together.

The Key Takeaways

Robotic Process Automation
  • The point of building machines is to reduce the amount of work a person needs to do to produce something, and in software development, this is no different.
  • It should be clear that AI and Automation tools do not refer to the same concept, exactly, but should be combined to get the most out of them.
  • The main advantage of AI is that it can make its own decision and correct courses, which can be powerful when used with RPA.
  • However, this AI application should be careful and considerate, or any organization runs the risk of over-rely on this technology, which can have unintended consequences.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!

Scio Interviews: Cybersecurity expert warns where the real risks lie in the software businesses

Scio Interviews: Cybersecurity expert warns where the real risks lie in the software businesses

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

What is cybersecurity about? With the advent of digital networks, businesses and individuals have become increasingly reliant on the Internet infrastructure to communicate and store all kinds of important information, making it easier and more convenient than ever to stay “connected” to the world. However, this increased dependence has also made us more vulnerable to a specific risk that has become a major concern for businesses and government agencies alike: cyberattacks, which necessitates effective measures to counter them. But what exactly is cybersecurity? And what is its role in protecting our digital data and infrastructure?


First, let’s talk about definitions. In its simplest form, cybersecurity is protecting electronic information from unauthorized access or theft in a specific environment, consisting of every component of a digital network: hardware, storage, ROM, RAM, Firmware, Input/Output devices, connections, etc. Everything that can take place in these points is the concern of cybersecurity, where implementing measures of control and defense are of critical importance for any organization relying on these networks, which are most of them.

However, what is the actual difference between the popular image of cybersecurity stemming from pop culture, and the reality of it? What exactly is the goal of real cybersecurity, and what is the approach that this discipline takes to secure and protect an infrastructure that grows in importance every day? And what are the challenges when it comes to protecting information and access on a system that humans have to interact with daily? To answer these questions, we talked to Dennis Hackney, an OT Cybersecurity Practitioner for a wide range of industries, and who has worked in the field for more than 20 years, to get a close overview of cybersecurity and the actual goals and applications of this area of technology, along with some insights that might tell us the direction where cybersecurity is headed towards.

A challenge of size and numbers

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We all know that cybersecurity is something to be aware of. Just turn on the news and you’ll see stories about the latest data breach or cyberattack. And it’s not just large businesses that are at risk — individuals are increasingly vulnerable to cyber criminals, as more and more of our lives are happening in online spaces. But what most people don’t realize is that cybersecurity is not just about protecting computers from viruses or keeping passwords safe; it’s taking a proactive approach and working to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities before they can cause damage. 

As Dennis tells us, cybersecurity is a kind of social behavior applied to a digital space. For most people, it’s possible to read a real-life situation more easily to know if there’s a risk involved (for example, learning how to cross a street, or if it is acceptable to accept a gift from a stranger) and act accordingly to that. But in digital environments, whose complexity and invisibility are so much bigger than we can instinctively understand, it’s very easy to miss if a problem is occurring, or if we should be aware of a risk. And depending on the level of computer literacy of the people involved in that situation, it can be challenging to know what to do if a problem arises. “Think of it like going to the doctor for severe pain. You wouldn’t operate on yourself, would you?”, explains Dennis. “If you have certain symptoms and suspect there’s something wrong with you, the best idea is to see a qualified expert  to diagnose the problem. 

And the most effective way to do so is with awareness of the operational technology (OT) involved in any system or network. While information technology (IT) specializes in the communication and data that travels through a network, OT, on the other hand, “is a category of hardware and software that monitors and controls how physical devices perform”. And having a complete view of these devices is critical to secure the networks and their users from unwanted intrusions, so the biggest problem here is numbers, and the scale of the measures necessary that comes with it. Can you know the number of devices interacting with a network in any given organization? Or could you be sure that authenticated users will not bring unwanted connections to this system? And if that happens, how can you be sure that any device connected to the network is being used by a validated person? As this article from CyberArk explains:

The connectedness of OT environments, IT-OT convergence and the proliferation of cyber-physical systems have expanded OT owners’ attack surface. Considering the importance of industrial process continuity, value of trade secrets, and public safety-related impacts of a critical infrastructure (CI) compromise, it comes as no surprise that both organized crime and state-sponsored actors view industrial organizations and CI as lucrative targets for financial gain, espionage, or cyberwarfare operations. Correspondingly, cyber-attacks on this sector have intensified.” 

According to what Dennis tells us, one important aspect of cybersecurity is access and identity control, which results in a “Zero Trust Architecture” (ZTA) where the identities of everyone connecting to a network must be verified thoroughly, with enforced policies that diminish the risk of anonymity among users and devices with access to a system. A holistic view of the network where the administrators can see every single user/device connected is a must. In that sense, frameworks like D3FEND might hold an answer.

Knowledge is essential to estimate operational applicability, identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop enterprise solutions comprising multiple capabilities. To address this recurring need in the near-term, we created D3FEND, a framework in which we encode a countermeasure knowledge base, but more specifically, a knowledge graph. The graph contains semantically rigorous types and relations that define both the key concepts in the cybersecurity countermeasure domain and the relations necessary to link those concepts to each other.

In other words, the single most important element when securing a system is knowledge, and how to manage it to address any risk or invulnerability within a network. What D3FEND offers is a new way of thinking about security, helping organizations to proactively identify and understand potential threats, and then design effective mitigation strategies. This framework is based on the principles of in-depth defense, and it provides a comprehensive approach to security that can be tailored to the needs of any organization.

 “Like ATT&CK, D3FEND is designed to help create a standard vocabulary by defining the specific functions of countermeasures. By doing this, the matrix can help organizations understand countermeasures in detail, which supports both high-level executives comparing the cost vs. risk of a new security tool, and the security architect looking to build or test a strategic toolset”, according to CSO.

Security in an ideal world

AI in 2023

However, while the D3FEND framework can help organizations protect their assets and reduce their risk exposure, it’s not an end-all-be-all for cybersecurity. By adopting tools like the D3FEND framework, organizations can ensure that they are better prepared to defend themselves against the ever-changing threat landscape, but without networks with zero-percent invisibility when it comes to OT, the fight has to continue. An ideal network where every single device is visible and authenticated by an administrator would be the pinnacle of efficiency. No more lost devices or unauthorized access. But is such a thing even possible?

As we keep expanding our technological footprint, cybersecurity is not a means of defense but a proactive approach. Sure, a system or network where every single device can be controlled and taken into account in such a way that no unauthorized user might get in sounds great, but it brings challenges beyond our capabilities. Such a network would be incredibly difficult to manage, especially if it included devices not under the administrator’s control. For these reasons, it is unlikely that a digital network where every single device is visible and authenticated by an administrator would be feasible. 

And that’s without going into the question of whether or not such a network is desirable in the first place. For many people, the appeal of a digital network lies in its ability to provide anonymity and privacy. If every device on a network is subject to authentication and monitoring, then that takes away much of the freedom that users enjoy, a major concern for many people in the age of the Internet. So, while a digital network where every single device is visible and authenticated by an administrator is possible, it might not be something that everyone wants. Hitting the right balance is key here, finding solutions that respect the users, but also gives the degree of control necessary to ensure no intrusions are possible.

What we can guarantee, though, is that waiting until something goes wrong is not an effective strategy. Too often, users adopt a passive attitude towards cybersecurity, assuming that their network is secure as long as they don’t see any evidence of an intrusion, a dangerous way to think about network security, and always there will be new threats emerging, impossible to know when or how they will strike. 

So, the only way to truly protect a network is to be proactive about cybersecurity, stay up-to-date on the latest threats, and take steps to keep ahead of the curve to defend against them. It may seem like extra work at the moment, but it’s the only way to ensure that the information flowing through a network remains safe and secure, helping to thwart threats before they have a chance to do damage. And if they do manage to get in, you’ll be better prepared to deal with the consequences. 

Because one thing is clear: cybersecurity must be constantly evolving to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the digital world.

The Key Takeaways

  • More than the popular image of “passwords and antivirus”, cybersecurity is about social behavior, knowledge, and proactivity in the face of threats.
  •  A key element of this knowledge is having a complete view of a network, and measures to validate and control who has access to them.
  • The practicality of this is up for debate. So, the answer to cybersecurity concerns is to remain proactive, aware of potential risks, and have a clear plan of action (like a D3FEND framework) in case of risk is critical.
  • As our digital networks grow, keeping ahead of the curve in terms of security will make this proactivity more significant than ever.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!

Tech and AI: Trends to watch out for in the coming year of 2023

Tech and AI: Trends to watch out for in the coming year of 2023

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

Without question, the wide strides that AI technology has made in the last few years have brought it from a niche novelty to a serious force in the tech sector, enabling the development of tools that will change the way we use and create software, art, and writing, as well as bringing a level of efficiency that could change the industry as we know it. Truly, 2023 seems to be the year where AI will leave a profound mark, and being aware of what to expect will be important for an industry where change can happen overnight.


We’ll see a lot more AI-enabled devices in our homes and workplaces, as well as a continued increase in the use of AI for things like facial recognition and target marketing. We may also see some interesting new applications of AI, such as using it to create more realistic virtual worlds or to help automate complex financial transactions. Of course, there will also be plenty of challenges to overcome, such as ensuring that AI systems can operate safely and ethically. But I remain optimistic about the future of AI, and I think it has the potential to truly transform our world for the better.

The AI of today and tomorrow

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AI is still in its early developmental stages, which means that a limited number of tools are available for implementing AI. However, some of the most important tools currently available include natural language processing, which is used to analyze and interpret human language, which is essential for developing intelligent assistants and chatbots, predictive analytics to make predictions about future events, trends, and behaviors, and machine learning, used to create algorithms that can learn and improve from experience. These three tools are essential for developing AI applications and will become even more important as AI technology advances. With these rapid developments, AI will become one of the most important tools in various fields, and the trends for 2023 will include…

1) A wider democratization of this tech

AI is no longer the exclusive domain of scientists and engineers. Today, anyone with an internet connection can access powerful AI tools and resources. This has leveled the playing field, allowing people from all walks of life to create and experiment with AI. This increased accessibility has already had a transformative effect on the world, and it is only going to become more pronounced in 2023 and forward. As AI continues to evolve, it will become an increasingly important part of our lives, changing the way we live, work, and interact with the world around us, with a level of quality expectation that will certainly affect the products and services offered by almost every type of business.

2) The rise of prompt engineering

The topic of prompt engineering is one we have touched on before, doing an overview of how this field will become a career in demand in coming years thanks to the increasing popularity of AI tools for general consumption. For those not in the know, prompt engineering is a “Natural Language Processing” area, where you design the final output of an AI system by carefully constructing the instructions for its generative engine. With an application in everything, from art to coding, prompt engineers will become a very in-demand position for organizations heavily investing in AI toolsets, so 2023 will bring a very interesting change in the job landscape.

3) No-code platforms and other generative tools

Speaking of which, generative tools are here to stay. With applications like Dall-E opening to the general public, generative tools are becoming a unique way of approaching problem-solving, allowing their users to explore and experiment with different possible solutions. This approach is well-suited to the rapidly changing field of artificial intelligence, where new challenges and opportunities are constantly emerging. Additionally, generative tools can help to automate the process of creating training data sets, which is essential for machine learning. As AI generative tools become more sophisticated, they are likely to play an increasingly important role in the advancement of artificial intelligence in 2023.

4) Ethical AI

Artificial intelligence is often lauded as a transformative technology that has the potential to revolutionize industries and change the way we live. However, AI also raises significant ethical concerns, which need to be addressed to ensure this technology is as useful and safe as possible. One of the most pressing issues is the lack of diversity in the field of AI, which creates a risk of bias being built into algorithms, as we have seen before, for example, with Application Tracking Systems within the HR field, which tend to be easily gamed, proving inaccurate (or worse) when selecting the appropriate candidate for an open position.

Another major concern is data privacy. After all, AI systems are becoming increasingly adept at gathering and analyzing data. In some cases, they may even be able to eavesdrop on our conversations or track our movements. As a result, there is a real risk that our personal information could be leaked or mishandled.

Finally, there is the issue of transparency. Due to the complex nature of AI algorithms, many experts fear that the opaque nature of AI could be exploited for nefarious purposes, such as mass surveillance or even control of public opinion. Furthermore, the rapid pace of development in AI is outstripping our ability to understand and regulate it, and as a result, there is a real risk that AI could be abused in ways that we cannot even imagine. For these reasons, 2023 will be an essential year to demand greater transparency from those who are developing and deploying AI technology. Only then can we hope to prevent its misuse.

5) Leaps in autonomous systems

In a world that is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, it is no surprise that autonomous AI systems are gaining in popularity. These systems can perform tasks that would normally require human involvement, such as monitoring inventory levels or providing customer service, and even historically riskier fields, like transport and industrial applications are becoming more reliable and cheap enough that 2023 will likely see mass adoption of these tools in everyday tasks. The clear advantage they have by operating around the clock without needing breaks, and their lack of susceptibility to emotions or fatigue is a huge advantage over traditional systems, helping to improve efficiency and productivity in a variety of industries. As more businesses begin to recognize the benefits of these autonomous systems, their popularity will likely continue to grow in the coming year.

Final notes

AI in 2023

With all this said, 2023 is shaping up to be the “Year of AI”. The sheer amount of data that will be generated by businesses and individuals will continue to grow exponentially, allowing for better training of AI algorithms, and making them more accurate and efficient. And the cost of computing power and storage will continue to decline, making it more accessible to businesses and organizations of all sizes, with breakthroughs in AI technology enabling humans and machines to work together more seamlessly than ever before. And as long as AI’s ethical concerns will be addressed more seriously, this technology will be increasingly ubiquitous in daily life, both inside and outside of work. All of these factors together make 2023 the year that AI will come into its own and begin to transform the world as we know it. Are you ready to embrace it?

The Key Takeaways

  • The rapid evolution of AI technologies has made them a viable tool in plenty of industries, and 2023 can be a landmark year in its adoption.
  • Although still in the early stages of development, disciplines like natural language processing, machine learning, and predictive analytics have pushed AI into mainstream usage.
  • Specifically, AI will increase the popularity of prompt engineering, generative tools, and autonomous systems.
  • This democratization of this tech, while bringing innovation at an unprecedented pace, also has ethical concerns that the industry needs to solve to guarantee a safe implementation of AI in daily life.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!

The rise of the industry-specific Cloud: Here’s everything you need to know

The rise of the industry-specific Cloud: Here’s everything you need to know

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

At some point in the past, software companies had to rely on complex and often expensive hardware infrastructure to operate and deliver their products to customers. This, of course, made it difficult for new companies to enter the market, while limiting the ability of existing companies to scale up their operations, essentially acting as a barrier that stifled innovation. Cloud computing changed all of that. By allowing companies to manage their products and operations remotely, cloud technology leveled the playing field, introducing the concept of “As-a-service” that had a profound impact on the technology sector, and is likely to keep shaping the market in the years to come.


However, what’s next for cloud computing? Now that this technology has become a linchpin for many companies, businesses, and industries, the evolution of the cloud is starting to take shape, and 2023 is likely to be a year when the adoption of these platforms and tools will take their biggest step yet. 

And the main reason is that a new era of possibility is dawning; while cloud computing is allowing businesses to scale their operations quickly and efficiently, without having to invest in expensive new hardware or software, offering new ongoing business models, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Emerging trends like the Metaverse, cloud gaming, and AR, among many others, have specific needs and challenges that demand a different angle. 

That’s why industry-specific cloud solutions will be such a game changer for businesses, but what will this future look like? What is the future of cloud computing, and what can we expect to see in the coming 2023?

The sky is the limit

The rise of the industry-specific Cloud: Here’s everything you need to know

Microsoft, for example, is already pushing the envelope of what this technology can do, experimenting with the possibilities of cloud computing with applications like the most recent entry in their Flight Simulator series. This entry on the 40-year-old franchise implemented Microsoft’s Azure technology, among others, to render a real-time map of the whole Earth, enabling players to visit pretty much any place on the planet with a precision and fidelity unheard of before, even duplicating the real-life weather conditions and air traffic of every place you want to visit. Realistically, handling this amount of information would be impossible for a user to do locally, which demonstrates the capabilities of cloud computing when applied to a specific end. As explained in the Game Developer article we liked above:

It’s a complex process with many moving parts, and what’s more fascinating about this technical feat is that Microsoft and development lead Asobo Studio in France were relying on cloud infrastructure that did not fully exist when work on the game began in 2016. […] At the start of development, there were three main challenges: storing, processing, and streaming the world of Flight Simulator. Storage wasn’t so much of an issue–there’s plenty of room in the cloud–but the efficiency of processing and streaming would depend on future expansion of Azure datacenters.” 

This push in the implementation of cloud technology was not only a literal game-changer but also a first step into showing how an industry-specific application of cloud computing can bring all kinds of advantages for companies and organizations looking to implement these tools into their operations. From easy examples like healthcare organizations taking advantage of cloud-based patient records and telemedicine solutions, retailers using the cloud to manage inventory and customer data, or manufacturers connecting disparate machines and systems into a single whole, there are also obvious advantages like implementing certifications, processes, practices, and regulations that not only can vary a lot from one industry to the next but also have not shared functionality whatsoever.

Vertical software is far from a new idea and bringing this kind of specialization to the cloud is actually a sign of the maturity of SaaS. It’s now powerful enough that services can be customized and interconnected to deliver not just the generic workflows that every business uses, but the very specific requirements of different industries”, says this analysis by TechRepublic. “An industry cloud has a common data model, cross-cloud connectors and APIs, plus workflows, components, standards and certifications for that industry that are used to create different modules that customers can choose.

In a world where generic off-the-shelf software solutions are the norm, it can be easy to forget that every business is unique. One size does not always fit all, and that’s why industry-specific cloud-computing customization will become increasingly popular in the coming years, with businesses seeking out software that is tailored to their specific needs. And theoretically, industry-specific customization services can provide a higher level of security and compliance with industry regulations. As businesses become more aware of the benefits of industry-specific clouds, demand for these services will continue to grow.

The risk of the intangible

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However, this doesn’t mean that this transition will be easy, or that it will not bring concern and challenges when it comes to reliability and cybersecurity. Anytime you outsource something as important as your company’s data storage, you’re exposing yourself to a certain amount of risk. And when you move your operations into a purely cloud-based environment, those risks can increase exponentially. Here are just a few of the potential dangers any organization needs to be aware of:

  • First and foremost, cloud computing involves placing a lot of trust in the hands of a third-party provider. If their infrastructure suffers any disruption, or if they experience any kind of security breach, your business could be seriously impacted, especially if an industry-specific standard makes it difficult to migrate operations elsewhere.
  • A business might also lose a certain degree of control over its data. When it’s stored on their own premises, the organization can physically secure it and restrict access to it as they see fit, but in the cloud, relying on the security measures of your provider is obligatory.
  • Finally, you need to be aware of the possibility of data loss. Even with the most reliable providers, there’s always the chance that data could be corrupted or lost due to hardware failure or human error.


And this is without mentioning how an effective cloud implementation would require clear standards and guidelines to be properly used; after all, if an industry vertical standard exists, developing a solution that is not compatible with such could limit the appeal of the solution to potential users within that industry. Furthermore, if an industry-specific solution is not well adopted, the sunk costs associated with development and deployment may never be recovered. And that’s without mentioning that, by definition, an industry-specific solution is less likely to be adopted by a broad base of users, which could limit its long-term viability. However, the competitive and operational advantages of an industry-specific cloud computing solution could be enough to offset this.

For now, the future seems bright. The technology sector has become diverse enough that the development of industry-specific cloud computing solutions will become a necessity going forward. And as businesses increasingly move their operations and data to the cloud, they will require tailored solutions for their specific needs. As the cloud computing market matures, it is clear that the development of industry-specific solutions will be the key to success for the technology sector.

The Key Takeaways

  • One of the biggest technological steps of the last two decades was the development of cloud infrastructure and computing.
  • Not only has this technology changed how we deploy products and ushered in the age of “As-as-Service” options, but also helped the tech sector to break away from local constraints.
  • However, the diversification of applications, solutions, and technological needs means that a “one-size-fits-all” approach might not be enough.
  • That’s why 2023 will bring a new paradigm of industry-specific cloud computing technology, closing on the needs of individual sectors.
  • Although these platforms present a challenge (in standards and security), the advantages outweigh the risks, and soon will see a big jump in these kinds of cloud computing applications.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!

React: The challenges of keeping ‘up to date’ in the software development world.

React: The challenges of keeping ‘up to date’ in the software development world.

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

Software development is an essential aspect of modern life. From the operating system on our computers to the apps on our phones, software developers create most of the tools we use every day. However, it’s no secret that technology is constantly changing, and keeping pace with the latest trends can be difficult, with new technologies and approaches constantly being developed, so it can be hard to stay abreast of the latest trends. In addition, the industry is becoming increasingly competitive, and companies are constantly trying to one-up each other with new features and capabilities that any skilled programmer needs to keep up with.


For example, let’s look at React, which has been gaining popularity for a few years now. As a JavaScript library, React can be used with a variety of different programming languages, making it easy to integrate it into existing software development projects. It’s also known for being fast and efficient, using a virtual DOM that helps to improve performance by only re-rendering the parts of the DOM that have changed, and the large scalability it offers makes React really popular with some of the biggest companies in the world, including Facebook, Netflix, and Airbnb. In short, this means there is a lot of demand for React developers, which should make this library part of the basic toolset for any skilled developer. However, reality is very different. 

React is a very common requirement among our clients when they are looking for a developer to augment their in-house teams”, says Helena Matamoros, Head of Human Capital at Scio. “And is not that React is uncommon or anything, but we have noticed that, for some reason, programmers who know React usually learn it on their own free time, taking courses or experimenting with it on personal projects. React is not really part of most college curriculums around here, so there has to be an actual commitment from most devs to learn it and offer it to any projects.”

But why is that the case? Why is such a popular skill not something to be found on a curriculum in most programming courses? To answer this, today we want to take a look, not into React precisely, but into a broader question about the expectations about learning software development, and the realities of the industry and these technologies, so you can shine as a developer anywhere you want to collaborate.

Programmers programming themselves

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Let’s start with something you might suspect already: “Self-taught developers dominate technology: 69% of the developers who responded to the survey are at least partly self-taught, and fewer than half hold a formal degree in computer science. In a trend spreading to other fields, many are choosing ways to learn that offer everything but a degree: online courses, bootcamps, on-the-job training, and collaborating with peers”, an interesting fact shared by this Quartz article in relation to the modern state of software development and developers in the US. And this number will likely keep increasing in the coming years.

The root of this curious situation could be that, since the very beginning, software development has been driven in great part by hobbyists and amateur developers who see programming as more than just a means of employment; for many, programming is a lifestyle. Often, a programmer lets their own sense of challenge and curiosity guide them towards learning new things, so people becoming self-taught in this field, at least in specific tools and frameworks, is usually seen as pretty normal. In fact, as a part of the software developer experience, this cultural norm has become a defining part of our industry.

Considering this, one could see why learning React on your own time is not a weird thing to do, or arguably difficult to do. However, the truth of this depends on a few factors: how much experience you have with programming in general (if you’re coming from a background of working with HTML and CSS, then React will probably seem easier than if you’re starting from scratch), and how much time you’re willing, or able, to invest in learning it. React is not the quickest framework to pick up, but it’s not the hardest either, but it makes you wonder why it tends to be a “learn on your own time” library instead of a basic topic in programming courses, seeing how useful it is as a powerful tool for building user interfaces. 

But what is React? This framework was created by Jordan Walke, a software engineer at Facebook (now Meta), first deployed on the FB timeline in 2011, and later released to the public in 2013 with an open-source version. It was named as such because it can be described as a “reactive” framework, meaning that it can respond to changes in data very quickly. This makes it well-suited for applications that need to handle large amounts of information or that require real-time updates, which of course has made it incredibly attractive for corporations such as Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, and Uber that need to handle a massive number of requests and users every minute. Moreover, React also has a number of features that make it appealing to developers, like its declarative syntax, its ability to render views on different devices, and its performance advantages. In the years since its release, React has become one of the most popular tools for front-end web development, designed to be easy to use, that enables developers to build complex web applications with less code than other frameworks. 

Taken together, these factors make React an appealing option for software development in a world with lots of different frameworks and libraries to choose from, so learning React can open up a lot of doors for future programmers, giving them a practical skill that is in high demand by employers. The thing is, colleges and universities offering React as part of their Computer Science programs tend to be few and far between, thanks to how (relatively) recent this framework is, and the high cost of entry that official boot camps and courses have. But many programmers need to do this regardless, in order to master this framework.

Continuing education is especially crucial in software development. This field is constantly evolving, with new languages, frameworks, and tools being released on a regular basis, so to stay competitive, it’s essential for software development companies to invest in the skills of their employees”, explains Helena. By providing opportunities for employees to learn new skills, companies can ensure that they are keeping up with the latest technology and trends. Additionally, continuing education can help employees to feel more satisfied with their jobs. Ultimately, investing in employee education is a smart business decision that can really pay off.

Growing skills matter

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That’s why companies that know the value of continued education are the ones bringing the best talent aboard. Although curiosity and motivation to learn new things for the sake of it are great qualities for a software developer, leaving them all of the work is not the best strategy to ensure a team is ready and ahead of the curve when it comes to tools, approaches and frameworks to innovate in the software space. After all, the key to a successful business is its people. 

Many companies focus on hiring employees with the specific skills they need to get the job done. And while this is certainly important, it’s also important for an organization to invest in the skills and development of its staff, for one very simple reason: this is investment in success, both for the organization and for the collaborator. Well-trained employees are often able to work faster and more accurately than those who are not. Second, employee development can help to reduce turnover, and when employees feel like they are learning and growing in their jobs, they are more likely to stick around. In the case of React, the best approach could be having more senior developers, whose experience with this library is top-notch, to lend a hand to their teammates to develop their own skills, with the company giving the opportunity to comfortably do so. 

Scio, for example, has the “Sensei-Creati” program, where a Sensei developer can take on “Creati” apprentices to teach them about a specific tool or skill, remaining open to discuss issues, solve questions, and all in all share knowledge to whoever would benefit from it. The result is that, when everyone is on the same page, it makes it easier to identify areas that need improvement and come up with new solutions. Furthermore, sharing knowledge helps to build trust and collaboration among team members, which can lead to better code quality and a more efficient workflow. Ultimately, sharing knowledge is essential for any software company that wants to be successful, and attract the best talent available.

The bottom line is that learning is part of the normal experience of a software developer but offering the opportunity to do so on the job is the best way to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to popular technologies like React. So if you are looking to join the best company to work with, see what their position is regarding sharing knowledge and growing skills. Maybe you can find a place where the proposition of learning something like React is not something you do in your free time, but part of the job itself.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!

Superapps: A trend to watch closely in 2023

Superapps: A trend to watch closely in 2023

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

After spending years building up Tesla, SpaceX, and other cutting-edge businesses, Elon Musk has turned his attention to Twitter. He’s been a longtime user of the social media platform, and he’s become increasingly frustrated with its shortcomings, but it was still quite a shock when he announced his intention to buy the popular social platform in early 2022. Since then, Musk has been locked into a battle regarding the acquisition of Twitter for quite some time, getting ready to take ownership of it. According to sources close to the matter, Musk has already made an offer to buy it for $26 billion. But why, exactly? What will Musk do with Twitter if he were to get his hands on it? Well, according to Business Insider:


Tech mogul Elon Musk would consider turning Twitter into a Superapp with a prominent role for payments should he finalize his planned purchase of the social media platform, according to comments made in a recent All-In podcast. […] Musk’s pitch to investors to fund the acquisition involves bringing in as much as $15 million from a Twitter payments business in 2023.

If you are familiar with the latest news in the Technology sector, then this idea might not sound as strange as it might seem. After all, 2023 seems to be poised to be the year of the Superapp, and Musk is simply getting ahead of the curve with one of the biggest trends will see in the app market. But what is a Superapp? 

Simply put, it’s a mobile application offering a wide range of services, including messaging, social networking, e-commerce, and payments. Superapps are becoming increasingly popular around the world as they offer users a one-stop shop for all their needs. In China, for example, WeChat (which Musk specifically mentioned) allows users to send money, book taxi rides, and even pay utility bills. In India, the superapp Paytm is used for everything from mobile phone top-ups to movie tickets. And in Southeast Asia, Grab offers everything from food ordering to investments, with plans to expand its scope even further. All in all, it can be said that Superapps offer convenient and efficient services, so it’s not surprising that they are gaining popularity in an ever-more digitized world.

A difference in approach  

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You might notice that the biggest Superapps in the world right now are focused on the Eastern hemisphere of the world, with Asian countries such as China, Korea, and India leading the charge by focusing on their local markets to great results. Why hasn’t the concept of the Superapp caught on in Western countries?

Well, there are several possible reasons for this. First, western users are already comfortable using multiple apps for different tasks, like using Google Maps or Waze for navigation, Uber or Lyft for ride-hailing, and PayPal or Venmo to make payments or transfer money. This is because people from these cultures value having a choice that better adjusts to their preferences, so switching to a single app that does all of these things would require a major change in user behavior. Second, western countries tend to have a well-established infrastructure that makes it less of a hassle to juggle between multiple applications, feeling less of a need for an option that centralizes everything into a single package. And in that same sense, westerners are generally more privacy-focused, making it less likely for them to give a single company access to all of their personal data.

However, this doesn’t mean that Superapps are destined to fail over here, but rather that the appropriate angle has not been found yet, or that the idea has not been tried before. Facebook (now Meta) tried to open its reach by starting to offer a multitude of services through the decade of 2010, like Facebook Marketplace for online shopping, Fundraiser for crowd-funding projects, and Work to create and share job resumes similar to LinkedIn, to say nothing of the option to use your Facebook account as log-in credentials in plenty of external websites. Even buying platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus was a bid to become the Internet’s definitive “One Stop Shop”, and while some of those services didn’t pan out, it still showed the value of breaching to create a platform that could be considered essential. However, this example differs from the current model of the Superapps in some key ways. After all, the idea is not to consolidate different platforms into a single one, but rather to build an application from the ground up that offers everything a user might need in a single step, with the appropriate scalability already accounted for in the system. Forbes Magazine explains it best:

As the name suggests, these apps are single purpose and focus on solving one consumer pain point and have a clear, easy to use interface. These apps are built to be scalable at the global level with architecture that enables them to expand globally without changing much. […] Users will be very loyal to an app that is easy to use, friction free, functional, provides good services and allows for a multifaceted experience.” But inside an environment that already seems to have an app for every single thing instead of a single app for everything, can the Tech industry crack the code for our local markets?

In search of the everything app

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We may be already moving towards this endgame, with more and more software giants looking to create the only app you will ever need. For example, let’s look at Microsoft Teams. At first glance, Teams might seem like just another instant messaging and video-conferencing app, but slowly (especially since the remote work boom of 2020), it has started to offer a wide range of features and integrations that make it an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. Users can easily store and share files or create task lists, making it an ideal platform for collaboration, integrating a variety of other productivity tools, such as Office 365 and OneDrive. As a result, Microsoft Teams is posing itself as an app that can help businesses boost productivity and streamline workflows, without the need for separate accounts for separate services like Zoom or Slack. But still, this is primarily focused on businesses and productivity, outside of that, other companies want to make their services as inclusive as possible.

Uber, to give another example, has expressed its intent to become an “operating system for everyday life”, expanding the scope beyond ridesharing, down to partnering with the famous chef Rachel Ray to open the “first virtual restaurant” through Uber Eats, implementing freighters into their transport division, as well as experimenting with an entrepreneur program to bring new ideas to the company and grow the platform even further. And finally, Amazon, following the steps of WeChat more closely, is experimenting with features such as Amazon Pay for e-commerce and even offering flight bookings in certain regions for no additional charge.

Still, this is just the beginning. The value of Superapps has started to become attractive enough to bring the biggest tech companies in the world, but that doesn’t mean that the next platform taking the world by storm has to come from them. 2023 is definitely going to be an interesting year for software and app development, and here at Scio, where we look to achieve the best software development in Mexico, we are ready to take on this challenge. Building a Superapp is no easy task, but this battle will require the kind of the best talent you can find. Which will be the first Superapp that conquers the western hemisphere. Maybe next year we will find out.

The Key Takeaways

  • As our world becomes more digitized, having platforms that offer a variety of services has started to become more and more attractive for the average user.
  • Throughout Eastern countries like India and China, big applications known as “Superapps” have become a fact of life, offering all kinds of services, like payments, ridesharing, and e-commerce, condensed into a single product.
  • In Western regions however, these kinds of applications have yet to catch on, but that has not stopped giants like Microsoft, Uber, and Amazon to find the right approach.
  • Yet, with the recent acquisition of Twitter and revealing his intentions to turn this social media platform into an “everything app”, Elon Musk might trigger this as one of the biggest trends of 2023.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!