5 Tech Industries to Watch

5 Tech Industries to Watch

Many of these technologies are already buzzing, but some of them—due to recent breakthroughs or more players in the game—seem to be reaching a crescendo. Here, we outline what we see as the top technologies to watch and why:   Internet of Things (IoT): We are seeing IoT have an explosive growth in home technology—everything from your fridge to your thermostat. Not only is the technology being added to these devices, it is having an impact in a meaningful way.One reason for such growth is the number of players and marketplaces that are entering the market. This allows for more widespread adoption of this technology, and the next step will be integrated technology—and that is when IoT will take its next great leap forward.   Augmented Reality (AR): The lesser-known brother to Virtual Reality (VR), AR is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. It is not all immersive like VR; instead, it lies above or incorporates with the real world (think Pokémon GO!).Instead of kids chasing Pokémon, imagine the business implications. One business, Apple, is imagining in a big way. They have started down an ambitious road to bring AR to everyone—an effort Tim Cook, Apple Inc.’s chief executive, and his team see as the best way for the company to lead the next generation of AR devices.1   Digital Assistant: The most “famous” digital assistants in the market today are Siri, Amazon Echo, and Cortana. The base idea is to make it easier for us to interact and work with technology. While it is...
Top Three Posts of 2015 – Recapping the Year for A&A Search

Top Three Posts of 2015 – Recapping the Year for A&A Search

A&A Search offers highlights of the most read articles on their website from 2015. The articles represent significant developments and trends for 2015 and the issues faced by the business, finance, and information technology in 2015. How Will Technology Change Banking in 2015? In January, A&A Search reported on technology developments and a highly competitive retail banking sector. While retail banks seem unsure whether to close less crucial branch locations and focus on the mobile consumer, treasury professionals are demanding big data applications with mobile architecture and cloud technology. A survey revealed that 50 percent of treasury respondents would switch banks if doing so provided access to superior technology. Many still rely on Microsoft Excel and in-house software for financial analysis and predictions. With respect to the retail industry, the article predicted more prevalent touchscreen technology and smart, high-tech ATMS better suited to the customer experience. Fees for online banking channels and services were expected to expand for 2016. Bank staffing is predicted to change toward a universal model, whereby staff can manage a multitude of clients and services using new technology tools and central databases. Tips on Professionally Leaving Your Job | Quitting in a Positive Way Our March article reflects the extent of employee mobility. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, on average, a worker changes jobs every four years. This article offered advice to employees as to how to resign in a way that maintains important contacts and exploits rather than diminishes achievements. Suggestions included helping your employer to find a replacement and training the new candidate before you leave. Ensuring that all your work...

By 2018, Three Quarters of the World’s Data Traffic Will Use the Cloud

A study from September 2013 by TheInfoPro, a service of 451 Research, predicted explosive growth for cloud technology. The data was from the first six months of 2013. The results predicted that the cloud market would grow at a rate of 36 percent compound annual growth rate and reach a market size of $19.5 billion by 2016. By the spring of 2014, however, Forrester Research was reporting that the market will reach over $190 billion by 2020. Cisco’s report supports the reports of unprecedented growth in its Fourth Annual Global Cloud Index. The Index predicts that global data center traffic will triple from 2013 to 2018. Traffic will increase from approximately 3.1 zettabytes per year in 2013 to over eight zettabytes in 2018. A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes. A&A Search provides some highlights concerning cloud computing and its development: Cisco explains that eight zettabytes of data center traffic is equivalent to streaming all 500,000 movies and three million television shows ever made in ultra-high definition 250,000 times. Almost 40 percent of companies surveyed have a separate cloud computing budget in addition to their organizational IT budget, indicating changes in accounting and budgeting practices. To put the value of cloud technology into perspective, a typical enterprise cloud computing mean budget is over $8 million. The top cloud computing projects for organizations currently include internal private cloud projects at 35 percent and cloud assessment and strategy planning at 33 percent. Assessment and strategy have seen the greatest increase in activity as firms try to become more agile in terms of IT. Not surprisingly, security is the greatest problem with respect...

The Steps The Target Hackers Took | And How You Can Use This Knowledge to Prevent Further Attack

IBM Security Services reports that there were 1.5 million cyber attacks in the US in 2013. The greatest security risk to companies is, currently, data breach, and one successful attempt was the attack on the retailer Target. Thor Olavsrud of IT World reported on an investigation by the leading research company Aorato on the hacking incident that afflicted the retailer Target. The incident led to the theft of personal identifiable information (PII) and seized credit and debit card data from the point of sale system. The US Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service have reported that the hackers currently have possession of widespread data that they continue to sell. The hackers obtained the PII of 70 million customers by first penetrating Target’s system using stolen data from the HVAC vendor. An email phishing technique obtained data and provided access to Target’s web services. Vulnerabilities that existed within Target’s web applications allowed the hackers to upload a PHP file and execute commands. The attackers made little attempt to disguise their files. Their intent was to sell credit cards on the black market, and the window of opportunity was small before the attackers would be discovered by credit card companies. The attackers located the servers that hosted credit card information. Using IP addresses, Domain Admin privileges, and the creation of a new Domain Admin account attackers obtained password control. The attackers bypassed firewalls and performed processes remotely on targeted servers. Aorato’s lead researcher, Be’ery, stated that monitoring user lists and access patterns is a simple step that can alert companies of hacking activity. The payment card industry compliance...

Get Your IT Career on Track with These Four Tips

The warning signs are hard to miss. You may have been passed over for promotion, or you may feel stagnant and stuck in a rut. When the feeling that you are less than dynamic in your current position does not abate after a significant period, it may be time to proactively change your trajectory. Networking is always advisable, and joining industry groups such as the Association of Information Technology Professionals can broaden your horizons and change your perspective. The IT world is constantly evolving and staying on top of industry news can invigorate your outlook. An objective perspective can help you formulate the best strategy depending on your circumstances. Rich Hein of IT News presents some warning signs that your IT career needs adjusting and how to do it. If important projects and clients are not coming your way, or you have sensed criticism, you may have lost favor among your peers and colleagues. Take an objective perspective. Have you reached a comfort zone that has made you complacent? If you have lost enthusiasm, expanding your knowledge or taking a break may provide impetus to jump-start your creativity. Try engaging in industry trends and exploring activities that interest you. Attend an IT conference. Increase your industry knowledge and share it with colleagues by social media or through company channels. It is difficult to judge your own performance if you don’t receive feedback. It is also difficult to remain engaged, to know your strengths, and to improve upon weaknesses. Talk to your manager or your peers. There may be an interest by others to institute feedback mechanisms that can allow...

Simplify IT to Help Save Your Bottom Line

IT News contributor, Dan Muse, counter-intuitively espouses the simplification of IT systems and processes to improve company profits. This, at a time when cloud technology, mobile devices, and remote access are creating complex business decisions for companies unsure of IT future directions. Muse suggests that old infrastructure and established legacy systems and applications do not blend well with newer, remote devices and the social networking environment. A study by International Data Corporation (IDC), and sponsored by Oracle, included nine companies from various industry sectors found that simpler IT systems save considerable financial resources. The report found that IT complexity is compounded by mergers and acquisitions, organization decentralization, business demands, legacy systems, the rapid pace of IT change, conflicting systems and regulations, and mobile and remote device infrastructure and support. Companies often require complex IT infrastructure and resources to enter the competitive IT market. Ironically, as iphones, ipads, websites, and applications become simpler and more user-friendly, the systems required to support these devices are becoming more complex. Companies must assess existing applications, systems, and data centers and determine if they are really necessary, are up-to-date, and whether any can be consolidated. Additionally, functions that do not fit with new operating systems should be outsourced. IDC has created a Simplification Road Map to guide companies in simplifying IT infrastructure. The road map suggests the following: • Support from company leadership is required because IT simplification requires significant investment and culture change. Training may be required throughout an organization. • Avoid building new layers of integration or applications. Adopt an innovative spirit that does not include old infrastructure and systems. • Employ...