May 19, 2020

Are your app developers looking out for you?

apps
Technology
contributors
Adam Groff
3 min
Are your app developers looking out for you?

An unfortunate trend that's sweeping the app development world is plagiarism.

From mobile apps to proprietary business apps, business owners are beginning to find nearly exact replicas of their applications in use without their permission.

With appropriate app protection in mind, here are a few ways your app developers can protect your business apps from plagiarism.
 

Importance of Protecting Your Applications

If you hire an app development team for your business and they design apps that are specifically built for your needs, then those are referred to as proprietary applications. By definition, proprietary means the apps are owned by your business that is unless you've come up with a partial ownership agreement with your app developers.

When other businesses plagiarize and take advantage of your apps, they are taking away from the time and money you spent developing those apps.

This not only ends up hurting your business financially, it can also create a situation where others assume the app didn't originate with your business - none of these scenarios are desirable.

RELATED CONTENT: Are you driven by mobile apps?

In order to avoid a plagiarism scenario with your business apps, make sure your app development team registers and copyrights them. Doing so allows your business to take legal action if blatant plagiarism ever occurs.

There are also a number of other ways you can protect your business apps.

Consider an NDA

Keeping your apps under wraps until the completion of the development process is a crucial part of protecting your software. In looking at the article, “How can your app developers be sure nobody plagiarises your stuff” well, a non-disclosure agreement is a good place to start.

By having your development team and any other employees involved in the app development process sign an NDA; you can rest assured your software is kept secret.

NDAs outline confidentiality guidelines, secrecy guidelines, and the legal ramifications that go along with leaking classified information.

An NDA will help keep everyone on the same page when it comes to keeping your business app confidential.

RELATED CONTENT: Top 10 Canadian Business Apps

Update Regularly

There are occasions where the competition can mimic your business application, by not enough for your business to take legal action. To stay ahead of the knock off competitors, distinguish your application by updating it frequently.

If you put all of your eggs in one basket in terms of app functionality, plagiarizers will have everything they need to mimic your application.

However, if you regularly update the app's functionality and other features, competitors won't be able to keep up and your business app will naturally stay ahead of the pack.

Document the Distribution Process

If you're planning on distributing your business app to a massive audience, it's important to document every step of the distribution process.

Which app stores are you registering the app with? Are you selling the app to any third-party vendors? What are the download rates with your new app?

RELATED CONTENT: Does your company's mobile app need a jumpstart?

By documenting certain aspects of the distribution process and tracking download rates, you can quickly discover instances of plagiarism if/when they take place.

In addition, by documenting the distribution process, you'll have thorough records that can help defend your ownership if legal action is necessary.

In order to protect your business and its applications, make sure your app developers are looking out for plagiarism.


About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including app development and protection

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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