SMB Technology Trends for 2013

Many of the trends we discussed in 2011, and saw in 2012, were pretty much spot on. Technology like mobility, tablet style endpoints, cloud computing, big data, and virtualization were big in 2012. Even with the languishing U.S. economy, IT spending among the SMB subsector was slightly up for the bulk of 2012. That being said, what IT solutions will the typical SMB entity be putting hard-earned capital into for the next 12 months? For that we’ll turn to the leader on all things IT, Gartner Inc.

In early November, Research Vice President Robert P. Anderson discussed upcoming technology trends with a specific focus on the SMB space and revealed several interesting statistics. According to Anderson, “of all global IT spend, 44% is in the SMB category.” (Anderson, 2012) I must point out that Gartner classifies organizations with 1,000 or less employees as small or mid-sized; a further break down groups companies with 100 or less employees as small business and 101-999 as mid-market businesses. Unfortunately, there is no standardization on what really comprises a small or mid-sized business and the definitions vary across the board. Anderson listed the top three business drivers in the SMB space as “increasing growth, attracting and retaining customers, and creating new products and services.” (Anderson, 2012) Not too dissimilar with the trends for 2012, right? Anderson goes on, “the top five predicted technology items on the SMB purchase radar include mobile technologies, analytics and business intelligence, cloud computing, desktop server and storage virtualization, and collaboration technologies.” (Anderson, 2012) Other technology trends in the mix include modernization of legacy systems and applications, upgraded security hardware and software systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) applications.

Upon closer look, mobility is essential for all the micro businesses that are springing up as a result of several iterations of this recession. For many of these entities, technology as a consumable resource is vital because these organizations don’t have cash on hand to procure expensive office space and all the accompanying utility requirements. These small businesses need to be agile to gain market share and acceptance, so mobile technologies are critical to making this happen. With the increased deployment of mobile devices comes the surge of headaches with managing it especially as you look at the companies with more than 20-30 employees. This is where rapid growth in something called mobile device management (MDM) is making major inroads and will continue to do so in 2013.

Increasingly, employees want to bring their own devices into company operated network environments, so additional considerations are necessary. Generally speaking, MDM systems allow for the management of worker-owned endpoints such as an iPhone, iPad, or Galaxy Tab. As workers use their personal devices for work functions, additional concerns arise as these devices are not controlled, company-owned equipment. What happens if an employee leaves the organization? What if someone gets their hands on the device with malicious intent? What if the device is lost? What happens to all the company data on the device? Some of these issues are similar in regard to company issued laptops and other mobile devices, but it gets more complicated when equipment is not in the organization’s inventory. MDM enables organizations to manage employee owned and/or company owned devices. Functionality includes but is not limited to GPS tracking, remote locking, and remote wiping of corporate data from the endpoint without disturbing private data such as photos. MDM will continue to make large inroads in 2013; however, price and support could remain a concern.

Business Intelligence and analytics have been staples of the enterprise space for a long time. What exacerbates this issue is something called “big data” which is essentially massive amounts of data (structured and unstructured), and is difficult to organize and report on through either standard spreadsheets or database software. This has not been an issue for the majority of SMB organizations, but there is a need for those larger SMB entities that use up to a petabyte of data or over 1,000 terabytes.

Other trends that are here to stay are cloud computing and virtualization. In some ways, the cloud will be the method of choice for application delivery and access for many SMBs. The ability to take advantage of these once enterprise only technologies, without building out redundant data centers or acquiring expensive hardware and software, makes the cloud a very attractive option. Virtualization will accelerate with this shift making shared resources in a colocation space possible. While much of the virtualization work in the SMB space, to this point, has been on the server side, 2013 will usher in the new age of the virtual desktop.

This subset of the virtualization platform allows for a simple, easy to control user experience regardless of the chosen endpoint. An organization can customize the desktop experience for each user therefore lessening the need for full PC clients to run company applications. Lower cost options such as thin client terminals with no onboard storage or operating system can be used to do everything an end-user may need. This configuration also lends well to security functionality as less corporate information sits on individual, and sometimes vulnerable, computers.

Finally, collaboration becomes a concern as mobility is added to the mix. When multiple employees work remotely, it can be difficult to synchronize documents, workflows, or other application outputs. Thus, collaboration applications make sense as a growth area for the SMB. Take for example a group I’ve recently spoken to that produces conferences all across the country. They have no formal office space, and are often in different cities on any particular day. Sure, making a phone call is one way to communicate, but if you are trying to share documents and other information with a colleague across the country, it can be a challenge. At the very least, the ability to “check out” materials and create versions that are stored centrally would be invaluable to this organization, and Microsoft’s SharePoint application is built to do just that. Microsoft’s SharePoint application also has a cloud-based option for small business which makes it both user friendly and budget friendly.

As you can see, there is a great many solutions in the hopper for the SMB market space in 2013. According to Anderson, predictions for the coming year include “that tablet computing in the SMB market will outpace that of the enterprise space, desktop virtualization will finally take off, and mobile connectivity to business applications will rise about 25% from 2012 in the SMB toolkit.” (Anderson, 2012) There is a thought that the flagging economy and unyielding unemployment numbers in the US will lead to an explosion of a micro-SMB marketplace; entrepreneurs who strike out on their own or form small organizations of between two and five people. This fact would further push the adoption of cloud applications which are rising much faster in the micro-SMB market than in any other segment. In this day and age, being the trusted technology partner is a win-win for everyone concerned, so focusing on this relationship will go a long way towards enhancing the recovery for all parties in the future.

Works Cited

Emerging Technology Trends and Business Opportunities for Solution/Service Providers

The business landscape is changing due to rapid technology changes. Innovation, technology and product life cycles are getting shortened; business use cases and application scenarios are changing swiftly due to globalization and technology integration. Organizations need to be flexible to quickly adapt to these emerging trends and be nimble to respond to changing market dynamics.

Emerging technology trends such as Software Defined everything, Object Storage, Flash, Cloud, Converged Infrastructure, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Internet of Things, Big Data analytics etc. are becoming more and more relevant with the emergence of multiple data streams. These innovative trends are transformational and are likely to shape the future.

Trends and Opportunities:

1. Software defined everything

Software defined everything will result in true interoperability standards, forcing individual technology suppliers to abandon working in silos with proprietary standards. Service providers can only offer value if they have the capability to offer all the constituents of computing, storage and network.

Some of the opportunities for solution/service providers include:

• Software Defined Storage (SDS)
• Supporting software defined storage applications from leading storage vendors
• Support these SDS products to extend them to other platforms and make them feature rich, enable integration with other ecosystems etc.
• Building test strategy, tools and frameworks and various types of testing opportunities
• Software Defined Networking (SDN)
• Network orchestration and automation, manage and implement SDN in enterprise data center
• Professional services such as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) implementation consulting or SDN and NFV testing for telecom vendors

2. Flash

Flash technology will definitely show an uptick in the 3-5 year horizon. One has to stay invested in terms of money, time. There may not be much of immediate progress in Flash adoption by enterprises due to the prohibitive cost, stable legacy set up, evolving enterprise features. Hence, most enterprises are still in the experimental phase, but there are lots of business opportunities.

The below trends represent some of the opportunities for solution/service providers:

• Most flash players are start-ups and would like to keep core work in-house and outsource peripheral activities
• Immense product engineering opportunities will lie with the big industry players in the form of testing wherein they plan to move products from existing legacy to all flash based platforms
• Flash storage OEMs are consuming PCIe based cards, AHCI and NVMe interface and most of these solutions are targeted towards cloud service providers

3. Object storage

Enterprises are inspired by the Internet companies’ adoption of object storage. Demand for object storage is driven by big data challenges of storing and analyzing a huge amount of data to provide value to the business.

Factors driving growth of object storage

• amassed unstructured data
• ease of accessibility via HTTP and SMTP protocols and REST APIs
• growing trend of organizations building their private or hybrid clouds
• software-defined storage (SDS) approach

Some of the opportunities for solution/service providers include:

• Ongoing integration of newer versions of OpenStack swift with existing storage products
• Mergers and acquisitions happening in the object storage industry, which will result into new product acquisitions by large storage vendors. This opens up product integration opportunities for service providers

4. OpenStack

OpenStack is moving beyond the early adoption as more and more enterprises and service providers are moving towards its adoption. Telecom space will drive growth for OpenStack. Openstack is the main driver for NFV thus helping it to become a reality.

Some opportunities for solution/service providers include:

• Provide storage vendors to enable their storage for OpenStack
• Help enterprises setup their OpenStack cloud, offer professional services
• Large storage vendors are building platforms with OpenStack using proprietary underlying infrastructure. It opens up integration and automation opportunities

5. Server SAN

Server SAN is poised to disrupt traditional storage architectures over the next decade. It involves sharing and distributing storage across multiple nodes. It is an architecture that turns multiple direct-attached storage (DAS) devices into a pool of shared resources via a high-speed interconnection such as InfiniBand or Low-latency Ethernet.

Some of the Server SAN solutions include EMC ScaleIO, VMware’s VSAN, and Quantum StorNext. One needs to follow this trend and see which of the existing solution gains momentum and is likely to emerge as a front runner.

6. BYOD

Businesses are implementing BYOD to save costs on software and hardware or to address the expectations of their mobile workforce. Provisioning of all of these devices is a Herculean task.

Some of the opportunities for solution and service providers include:

• Solution accelerators and automation frameworks in area of desktop virtualization, image management, Content collaboration and Bring Your Own PC solutions
• In mobile cloud era, the user is increasingly beginning to rely on endpoints, devices with very limited processing power, smaller screens, maybe no keyboard which makes manageability an area to explore.

7. Hyper/Converged Infrastructure

Massive improvements in processing power are driving converged infrastructure trend and reason for quicker adoption of it by data centers. All major infrastructure providers are moving towards the converged space. Many industry players are competing for significant market share in converged infrastructure space to uproot legacy installed base or protect own share of the market pie. It includes majors such as HP, EMC, IBM, Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel, VMware, VCE and start-ups like Scale Computing, SimpliVity and Nutanix.

There are two trends emerging:

• Hyper-converged Infrastructure – One vendor builds an entire infrastructure by taking all the various pieces that make up a traditional infrastructure in the market today and put it in a box. It is entirely seamless.

• Converged infrastructure – Vendor takes the fundamental pieces of storage, network, compute and server virtualization, possibly from different companies, perhaps put a management layer on top of it to make the deployment and the management of those pieces easier and make them operate as a whole.

Opportunities for solution/service providers are in the area of consulting, design, implementation, and management services related to private and hybrid cloud deployments.

8. Internet of Things (IoT)

Other related terms for IoT used by industry giants are Industrial Internet by GE, Internet of Everything (IoE) by Cisco, and Smart Planet by IBM.

IoT is being driven by a huge increase in data volumes collected from various types of sensors deployed by business, and business benefits provided by the analysis of sensor data.

9. Big Data Analytics

There will be competition to develop optimized cloud platforms which can leverage real-time data streams and/or massive data as enterprises look for varied data sources as well as applications that help them to get insightful information about the markets, customers, and products.

Opportunity for solution/service providers to offer Big Data implementation and analytics outsourcing services is huge. Some of the opportunities include:

• Professional services related to big data like data migration among platforms, maintenance etc.
• Opportunities such as Big Data technology implementation, including data collection, integration and designing of Big Data architecture etc.
• Log and sensor analytics are also gaining traction as very insightful information can be drawn using them. It opens up opportunity for data science specialists.

10. Cloud Computing

Cloud promises a growth on every front be it IaaS, SaaS, PaaS or customized security.

Businesses are adopting a cloud-based infrastructure due to the upsurge of Hybrid cloud architectures which include an amalgamation of private and public clouds

Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions allows businesses to lower IT costs. It speeds up application development through more efficient testing and deployment.

Security policies need renewed attention with cloud-based applications are growing and taking over businesses. Hence there is increased demand for security solutions to bring new exemplars of security to the cloud.

Some of the opportunity areas for solution/service providers can be:

• PaaS enablement services, application re-engineering and migration services, assessment, advisory services etc.
• Consulting services requiring strategic direction and guidance in a broad range of areas which will help organizations to migrate critical systems and infrastructure to the cloud

The pace at which technology is driving the change is phenomenal. It is inspiring new business strategies across industries. Organizations are embracing technology to draw meaningful insights from their operations and leveraging it to explore growth and revenue opportunities.

The trend is turning into a demanding environment where companies are seeking more returns from their technology investments. This represents a unique opportunity for solution/service providers wherein they can help companies maximize their return on investment through their offerings.

In summary, solution/service provi

Installation of LED – The New Lighting Technology Trend

Unlike other traditional lights which require bundles of cables and drain a lot of power, LED lights are much simpler to use and easy to install. The cluster of these miniature size lights are fixtures made in such an efficient way that they are capable of illuminating any area of your choice. Installing LED lights in your residential or commercial application will help keep environment green, save your energy cost and above all, makes you a smart owner who follows latest technology trends.

Every lighting technology has some attributes that determines its nature and requirements of installation. Similar is the case with LED, you need to think, decide and plan precisely to get LED fixtures properly installed in your place. LEDs uses are versatile and so its type and specifications are also varied in accordance to the application. LEDs are applicable in both dry and wet areas, knowing the proper fixture available for each will surely make your installation process easier.

So let’s have a look at different type of LED lighting products available to decorate your desired region:

LED strip lights: These lights are in the form of a long run cable that have LEDs mounted in it. This row of LEDs are often used to illuminate sides, boundaries and edges of windows, decks, pools and many similar objects.

LED light fixture: Such type of lights have a cluster of LEDs enclosed in one unit. They provide adjustable angle and directed lighting with high lumen rating. They can be fitted beneath a cabinet, underwater pool surface and roof top application.

LED light bulbs: Look similar to traditional incandescent and CFL bulbs, but provide a brighter and more consistent stream of light using very low power. They are efficient and used to replace any conventional bulb fittings.

All these types of lights come in different voltages and current rating, and can be AC or DC. For wet application they come in waterproof form and greater intensity to enlighten under water features. Pentair, Zodiac, Philips are some of the renowned brands that provide these cool lights for all possible applications.

Some general steps that must be followed prior to any type of LED light installation are described here. These are common outlines that results in safer and effective LED set ups at your residence.

Determine the run limit for LED fixture: Run is actually a section of strip light that glows continuously with a single power source. Observing its limit according to your application will result in a safer installation.

Provide constant power supply (recommended 12V): Fluctuation in power supply results in reduction of LED lights life. Feeding it with a constant low voltage supply will improve the capacity and protect against power surges.

Use right gauge wires: Gauge or thickness of wire is an important factor that must be considered in large LED installations. Wire should have a low voltage drop in order to transfer electricity to the fixture efficiently.

Follow the instruction manual of LED kit: This one is really important for a safe and perfect installation. The manual contains the essential warning and safety information along with the well-defined steps to install an LED fixture. So it must be read out for a proper installation.

LED lighting technology is becoming common to use for dramatic swimming pool lighting. As it is not heated up and resistant to shock, it would be a preferable to use for underwater application. The installation tactics for lighting swimming pool with LEDs are somewhat different, but installed in a similar way like normal pool lights. It will prove durable and economical for wet applications and at the end result will look very attractive if placed properly.

The steps to consider while installing LED lights in your wet areas are:

The junction box that houses all essential connections and wiring should be located at least 8 inches above the ground and at least 48 inches from the edges of the pool.

All the light fixtures and metal objects are properly electrically bonded within five feet of the pool.

The wet niche or underwater lens is suitably installed at least 18 inches below the surface of water in the pool. It must be grounded well via AWG ground connector.

Install each light fixture spaciously to illuminate water with equivalent brightness and make careful electrical connections.

From safety point of view the pool lighting circuit has a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) for line voltage fixture and has a relevantly rated circuit breaker.

All these steps discussed here will lead you to complete LED lighting installation for both wet and dry area. Finally, after completing the installation, testing is performed to check the validity and performance of LED lighting.

Testing: The overall electrical system can be verified with a qualified test kit provided by the manufacturer. The inspection must be performed by skilled and certified personnel to ensure that system meets applicable requirements and specifications.

There are many popular brands available in LED pool lightening market that gives you brilliant multi-colors with spectacular effects. Some of them are Pentair’s IntelliBrite pool lights, Zodiac WaterColor LED light systems, Pentair Color LED IntelliBrite Lights. These all are pre-programmed and can be controlled remotely. Opting for these high-tech LED lights will surely enhance your pool light experience.

Pros and cons of LED light installation

Pros

Easy to install and replace: The level of difficulty installing the LED lighting is very low. They easily fit and can be replaced without much effort. Also, for underwater application you don’t have to drain out your pool water.

Low initial cost: Installing LED lights are a cost-effective choice. The cost typically ranges from $400-$900.

Even and cool brightness: LED lights create cool and pleasing aura without any glazing effect. Also, it spreads light evenly in the surroundings.

Safety: LED lights are operated with the same voltage as a car charger, so there is no risk of shock or any electrical incident.

Cons

Periodic replacement of bulb: ideally an LED bulb typically lasts for 7-15 years and also the only part that needs periodic replacement. The cost for replacement will range from $200-$400.

Dimmer: LED doesn’t work with standard dimmer. Highly rated dimmer must be required to dim the LED light bulb.

Difficult to choose: manufacturers provide different shades of same color under the same Kelvin rating. This makes it difficult to buy the desired color in LED.

Tips for installation

Purchase the LEDs according to the kind of light fitting install in your application area.

Use standard quality transformer in case of 12 V DC LED lights installation.

Power sources and wiring must be perfectly isolated, especially for underwater application to prevent shock.

Installation must be carried out by trained and certified professionals.

Always go for energy star rated product for optimum performance.

LED lights are significant energy savers and rate-cutters, opting to install LEDs will never let you down in terms of service and performance. At the end, LED installation is easy to carry out, requires less maintenance and will serve for a long lifespan.

Car Repair – Technological Trends

To explain the entire technological history of the car would be quite difficult; therefore, a focus on car repair will give a limited scope in which the causes of technological evolution can be explored. Technological change has created the car as we know it today, but the question is why? Through what circumstances has the car gone from a simple steam powered cart to the computerized, GPS located vehicles that we know today?

One aspect central to the study of technological change is control. The industry concerned with repairing vehicles has always had some level of control over the repair of cars. At the same time, there has always been the tinkerer and do-it-yourselfer. Car engines have been an object of fascination since their inception, and they were originally much less technically complex, giving the everyday person the potential to learn the craft of automotive repair.

Different movements in the technological evolution of the automobile have involved a movement toward complexity and the locking out of the everyday car owner from the process of maintenance and repair. Vehicle repair is becoming more about specialized knowledge and access to software than the tinkerer, who has become relegated to the status of “consumer”. Why has this trend affected different aspects of vehicle design? The answer is complicated; it involves everything from simplifying controls to meet consumer demand to the emergence of digital technology.

One trend in the evolution of the car is the simplification of controls, even at the expense of making the internal mechanisms more complex. Cars that were previously started via a crank mechanism were followed by cars that could be started from the inside. Currently, cars are made to start at the push of a button. However, the starting mechanism itself, from the transition from crank to button, has itself become more mechanically complex. This has an effect on car repair, necessitating ever more specialized technical knowledge of car repair workers.

Another trend affecting the body of knowledge of car repair workers is the increasing encroachment of computers into cars. Cars are increasingly software powered. This is part of the larger technological trend of digitization. Mechanical and analog processes are substituted by digital solutions whenever possible.

Car repair has become just as much about software as it has about hardware. Much of this software is proprietary, meaning that it is designed so that only licensed dealers have the knowledge and ability to repair it. The problem this causes is that people can no longer work on their own vehicles, and in fact, doing so would break laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that makes it illegal to tamper with or modify proprietary software.

As repair becomes more and more specialized, requiring more technically skilled and trained workers, it will become more important for automobile repair shops to be licensed by car companies and dealership repair will likely grow in its control over the process of repair. The digitalization of cars and their control will likely continue as technology further develops.

Enterprise Technology Trend – The Professional Guide

Enterprise technology, in one word is the growth chronicle of business industry. Since last decade growth and its innovative planning has become an integral character of business expansion and quality existence in market. Now due to global exposure, companies are emerging as a global figure, at least they are trying to achieve their global status in terms of technology or the services they provide, and that is why it is necessary to be up dated about industry knowledge and its implications on trade scenarios.

Enterprise technology is the knowledge for the competitive industry and enterprise technology trend is the development quotient and inclination of market towards a particular, product, service, and change of attitude toward a business process which helps understanding the market and the associated trend for existence in the market.

Customer requirement, interoperability, supply-side efficiencies and due leveraging are the prime most factors for analyzing industry trend. The specific factors, apart from these prime issues, which help in gauging industry trend for enterprise technology, are mentioned here.

Industry consolidation is one of the major issues of understanding enterprise technology trend, etc. The merging trend, the acquisition character and trends, and global business related service and product launches are the most reliable ways to observe and analyze the industry trend from the aspect of enterprise technology trend issue.

Global business models are one of the most reliable resources to understand the industry trend. It is the analytic study of pursued efficiency level, back-office-cost saving modules, offshore outsourcing strategies, and meticulous leverage of global supply chain etc. play dominant role in acquiring a concrete idea about Global business models. At the same time discovering new markets and finding new customer segments are other proven ways for utilizing and implementing growth strategies for a specific company.

Price consolidation is a prime factor in understanding the complete perspective of industry enterprise technology trend. The cost of a product remains competitive when there is great demand for the product for the low quality product. Product or service use related data analysis can be the benchmark for launching new products and services in order to be ahead in own business category.

It is often find the big brands dominate the market. This happens for their major market share, quality control, and customer satisfaction factors. While the big companies feel their monopolies in achieving these sustaining issues by implementation of right products and right lunching and marketing plan, understanding the general trend may help them to form the strategy in a specific manner which produced excellent productivity.

Value added service availability is one of the major reasons for the success rate of a leading brand. The necessity of value added services play a major role in market; enterprise technology trend analysis helps in getting into the market with a certain service or product with a firm hand.

Are You a Teacher or Parent that is “Up” on Music Technology Trends? To Find Out, Take the Quiz

Young people are amazing. They are able to keep up with technology without even “breaking a sweat”, while the rest of us struggle with some of the “easiest” of electronic technologies (remember the days of programming the VCR? tried your luck with TIVO yet?).

The simple truth of the matter is that younger people have an advantage; they are immersed in the new technologies. They have been since birth. For the rest of us, thankfully, we have those “younger people” to explain things to us!

I have compiled a brief list of questions that contain a few of the “hot” items and “buzz” words prevalent within the music technology culture of our students. Take the quiz and see how well you have assimilated the new music technologies of our current youth.

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Instructor: Prof. Pisano

Quiz one, lesson one- Music technology used by our youth

Name: ________________________________

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1. Is “Pandora” still only associated with misery and a box in your mind?

2. Does the term “bit torrent” sound like something that was in a Star Wars movie or can you dissect it and redefine the term into something a little more current?

3. Do… “YouTube”?

4. Is a “lime wire” just a green corroded battery wire in an unused transistor radio of yours?

5. Many of your students scribble on their tests, do you know if any of them are “scrobbling?”

6. Is “ripping” something you still only do with a saw or paper product? Does it “ring” any other “tones” in your mind?

7. “last.fm”? What! are you “Sirius”?

8. Do the acronyms R.I.A.A. and D.R.M. strike fear into the hearts of your students for some law they might be breaking?

9. iPod, Zen or Zune, which do you prefer?

10. Is “napster”, just another nickname for your overly sleepy child or can you “search” a little deeper into your archives and come up with something else?

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ANSWER KEY:

1. “Pandora” is a totally free, “web 2.0″, radio service that learns what music you like by comparing your choices of music to the Music Genome Project.

2. “bit torrents” are programs that use a specific protocol to allow the sharing of music, video and other files over the Internet by dissecting them into smaller pieces and sending them in chunks.

3. “YouTube” is an extremely popular video hosting web site. You never know what or “who” you may find in a video there.

4. “Lime Wire” is a “peer to peer” file sharing client that is used to share music and other media files across the web. Lime Wire has been recently subjected to a number of law suits initiated by R.I.A.A. (see number 5).

5. “Scrobbling” is a way to track the music that you are listening and share the list with others. last.fm uses this technology extensively (see number 7).

6. “Ripping” is the process of “lifting” the music from your CDs or the video files from your DVD and recording it to your hard drive or other type of storage device. One extremely popular program for ripping is “winamp”.

“Ringtones” are one of the hottest items available for your cell phone. They are customizable sounds for your phone that are enabled when someone calls you.

7. “last.fm” is a website using “web 2.0″ technology to provide you with an online radio. This service is similar to Pandora (see number 1).

last.fm also has the ability to “scrobble” your own music and share it with others (see number 5). Incidentally, the website last.fm is known as a “domain hack”.

“Sirius” is a satellite radio company. You may purchase the service for a monthly fee. The service can be taken along with you, in your car or anywhere you have their proprietary radio hardware.

8. R.I.A.A. stand for the Recording Industry Association of America. D.R.M. stands for Digital Rights Management.

R.I.A.A. over the last few years has unleashed a tremendous amount of lawsuits against corporate and individual citizens over D.R.M. violations.

9. iPod, Zen and Zune are all portable audio players. They are currently some of the most popular, coolest and smallest devices available today. All of them can, literally, hold hundreds, if not, thousands of songs.

10. “Napster” has been around a very long time (at least in Internet years). First, it was an illegal peer to peer music sharing service (see number 4). Now it is a pay service.

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ASSESMENT:

Number correct & Analysis:

1-4 Operating e-mail properly may be a real accomplishment for you… Thankfully, you may re-take this test to get a better grade! F

5 Half right sounds better than half wrong… D

6 You just might be able to have a meaningful conversation about these things with the students! C

7 Wow! you probably own an iPod! B

8 Yeoman’s work! Now, what’s a Yeoman? A-

9 Do some of your colleagues think you to be a little geeky? A

10 You are a music technological genius! Hey! are you under 25? A+

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What Are The Technology Trends For 2014?

What can we expect about technology in the coming years? What are the IT technological trends? We should be informed about what companies are doing, what technologies they are investing in and how they are served by technology.

Some trends are not new, as the so-called Internet of Things and cloud computing, but others are very new, such as 3D printing and Software Defined Networking. All these technologies will impact heavily on IT in 2014. There will be about 30 billion connected devices with unique IP addresses in 2020, most of which will be products.

Four major forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, will continue to drive change, creating new opportunities and generating demand for advanced infrastructure.

Among the trends that will define the way of IT in the coming years first we have the WebRTC (Real Time Communication) technology, which enables real-time collaboration through the web. With this technology, any browser may include video, instant messaging, voice calls without the user having to install any additional components.

Moreover, user services based on context are changing the way people interact with devices, allowing you to store information about users, so that we have accurate information in a timely manner.

The Internet of things, and machine to machine (M2M) communications enable connections between people, processes, data and objects, combining video, mobility, cloud, big data and machine-to-machine communications (M2M). With the Internet of Things devices will be part of the material world, like roads, supermarkets, biomedical devices and even animals and people, through sensors, generating terabytes of data.

Another trend will be video technology in ultra-high definition ( 4k – 8k- 2160p and 4320p ), which form an essential part of smart phones, augmented reality glasses, tablets, and other devices equipped with a camera. Furthermore, analysis technology that allow real-time data process in seconds or minutes could be applied in areas such as Business Intelligence, ranging from financial analysis tools to different segments such as advertising or transportation, and building value data in real time.

Also, changes at interconnection technologies are required. Right now the system is not sufficiently robust to support the expected growth in connected devices. New proposals are being developed to replace the infrastructure based on IP protocol, to technology based on a Named Data Networking ( NDN ), which allow conveying information by using host names rather than addresses.

Another approach is the software defined technologies (SD-X, Software Defined Any), which go beyond virtualization network (SDN and NFV), in order to increase its scalability across physical and virtual resources. It should be noted that networks may also self-managed in terms of configuration, security, optimization and troubleshooting using technology or Autonomous Networks SON (Self -Organizing Networks).

About public, private and hybrid clouds, these will move to dynamic environments and multi-provider clouds. New technologies such Intercloud will enable cloud service providers across multiple environments.

Ultimately the key technology trends for 2014 are Mobile Devices Diversity Management and Applications and Mobile Apps, the All Software Defined technology, intelligent machines, 3D printing, the Internet of things, cloud and hybrid IT as a service corridor.

Regarding the Management of Mobile Devices, the unexpected result of programs “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) is that the size of the mobile workforce in enterprises will double or triple. It is expected that, by 2018, the variety of devices, computing styles, contexts and user interaction paradigms strategies will make “everything everywhere” should be checked. Companies will define policies that fit expectations clearly about what to do and what not, balancing flexibility with the requirements of confidentiality and privacy.

Moreover, given the improvement in the performance of JavaScript, the browser will become the main development environment for enterprise applications. The Apps will continue to grow, while applications begin to be reduced. The Apps are smaller and focused on a particular need, while the application is greater and complete. In the coming years, it is expected that mobile applications and cloud services merge to form the so-called Internet Application or App Internet applications. These apps will use the storage and processing power of computers, smart phones and tablets as well as the scalability of the cloud to allow applications to communicate with other applications and devices. Mobile applications and cloud platforms offer a smaller TCO (total cost of ownership).

Software Defined Software incorporates initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, Open Compute Project and The Open Rack, which share a similar vision. SDN network technologies Providers, SDDC data centers, storage and infrastructure SDS SDI are all trying to maintain their leadership in their respective domains.

About Intelligent Machines, in 2020 the age of the smart machine will increase from smart personal assistants, advisors intelligent, advanced global industrial systems and public availability of the first examples of autonomous vehicles. Companies will invest in intelligent machines. These machines will enhance consumer forces against the first wave of early purchases by businesses.

It was expected that global sales of 3D printers increase 75 percent in 2014; sales will double in 2015. 3D printing is an efficient medium that will reduce costs in the prototypes.

Today, it is not only computers and mobile devices connected to networks. There is a variety of other devices such as cars, TVs. We are entering the digitalization time of the most important services and active ingredients. The Internet of Things will have a vital role in this period.

Referring to cloud computing, hybrid cloud and IT as a service provider represents technologies to work on. Personal and external private clouds are coming together, generating an increase in cloud services brokers (CSBs). It would be important the aggregation management, the integration and customization of services.

About Cloud Architecture, cloud computing models are changing. The demands of mobile users are driving an increase in computing server and storage capacity. Personal cloud will change from devices to services. Users can take advantage of various devices, including PCs, but not based on a specific device.

Finally, it should be noted that Business Intelligence has been ranked as one of the technologies where a major change is required. BI technology will create value in large enterprises; data mining and reporting tools will become more sophisticated. In a tough economy, business intelligence allows managers to justify business decisions with specific numbers.

We concluded that the Internet of Things, 3D printing, technologies associated with managing mobile devices and Cloud Service Brokers are some of the technological bets that eventually explode next year. They will have a high impact and spread to most of the organizations in the next three years.

Early adoption of technologies represents a competitive advantage for companies, so know the trends in the coming years, even though we live in a changing world, will help you make the best decisions and provide the best solutions that can highlight about our competitors.

2011 HFT Technology Trends

I had a chance to have a great conversation with Richard Churchill, Vice President of Sales for Europe. Given that we have been working with High Frequency Trading (HFT) customers recently I asked Richard what three things he would tell a technologist new to HFT were the three most important things to consider. He replied:

Speed, Integrity and Security

Speed is the most important thing to consider. Getting the market data, matching orders and placing bid/offers into the market in less than a millisecond takes a great deal of technological skill. Keeping the thousands of trade events in flight without busting the operational limit is so important that if the pre-trade and matching have taken too long the algorithm may as well drop the trade and save the exchange fee for placing an order that will not be fulfilled.
This is still trading and trading in regulated financial markets so all the pre-trade risk and post trade position keeping processing still has to be done. A small firm might offload that to a third party but larger institutions will still want to process in house. In either case, the infrastructure will need to be robust enough to survive an audit.
Security, in all its guises, from making sure the operating system is hardened against hacking to testing the trading algorithms to prevent a flash crash incident. Testing falls into this requirement and that means accurate measurement and timekeeping. The need for speed is important but maintaining the integrity of the infrastructure during trading storms is just as important.

What are the key technology trends that are will impact the HFT market place this year?

This is the year 10GBit Ethernet becomes pervasive

Enabling precision time protocol (PTP) in silicon on the network card will enable better time stamping and process integrity.
The new generation of switch ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) that is making low latency 10GBit Ethernet pervasive. This year will see a general upgrade from 1GbitE to 10GbitE. By the end of the year servers will be delivered with 10GbitE ports as standard. The subsequent aggregation at exchanges will cause them to behave more like ISPs (Internet Service Providers)
The insatiable demand for more and faster storage both of quantitative trading and regulatory requirements is going to see a move away from traditional monolithic solutions to more mesh based designs. Parallel file systems used in the high performance computing (HPC) environment will find their way into the financial sector.

Finally, I asked Richard for a prediction for HFT:

Not much of prediction but an acceptance that all trading will be done this way. I don’t see banks investing in new trading floors but exchanges are building ever larger data centres to house their customers’ computers.

Hottest Technology Trends for 2012

2010 and 2011 were known as the years of the tablets and Smartphones – where the hottest technology trends were those which were dominated by the touch screens. With Apple shinning brighter than any of its counterparts with the iPhone and the iPad, the precedence was set for the rest of the tech companies to follow.

If technology trends are to be kept in sight, then 2011 was also surely the year that the cloud-based services and their potential were recognized.

So with the year almost over, the question that’s popping up in everyone’s mind is, which technology trends will define 2012?

Here are a few top choices for definitive technology trends for 2012:

1. ‘Cloud’ is here to stay!

Yes, you read that right. With Apple pushing iCloud out in the mid-October, there is much more yet to come from cloud computing. As more and more IT departments move away from the traditional sharing of resources, over to cloud services we’re seeing ever shrinking private data centers which are sure to make their mark on not just technology but businesses at every front.

Moving everything over to the internet for IT companies is also an easier choice as it gives them much more freedom to move around their data between multiple centers. Industry analysts predict that in the next couple of years, businesses are likely to ‘rent’ their servers rather than maintaining their own. Thereby making sure that this is one trend that’s here to stay.

2. Internet Television

Google did dabble into the internet TV market in early 2010, but just like Google Wave (and very recently Google+, which got rave reviews but eventually failed to make its’ mark) it flopped. Though in all honesty, the reviews for Google TV weren’t all that great but coupled with poor service and lack of interest from the public made Google table the deal for a bit.

However, 2012 might just prove to be the year of Internet TV. With Sony’s Internet HD TV, Logitech’s Revue and Apple’s foray into Apple TV, Internet TV is certainly poised to make a comeback as one of the biggest technology trends for 2012.

3. Better, faster and cheaper Smartphones

As more and more inexpensive, faster and ‘good lookin” devices are coming into the market, the competition is getting tougher for Smartphones. One thing is for certain though; Smartphones define the future of technology.

The iPhones and the Androids have the market pretty much cornered but it’s an open field for their competitors who are out there making cheap Smartphones that cater to every need. Mark our words, this is the future and is probably going to remain one of the hottest trends for year 2012!

4. A Hybrid between a Laptop, Smartphone, Tablet and a PC

With more and more users opting for smart phones and tablets like the iPad and the iPhone the market is ripe for hybrids, thus making it one of the most eagerly awaited technologies for the coming year.

The PC market has taken a hit with its’ sales down in the year so far, but all is not wrong as the tech companies acknowledged that the consumer is looking for a cross over device that comprises all of the technologies that are part of their daily lives.

With Apple’s iPad providing some sort of cross over gadget between the above, Google has its’ Chromebook in the works whereas HP has its Omni PCs to thank and improve in the coming months. We’re waiting to see what magic the tech companies have in store for the next year!

Top ERP and Enterprise Software Technology Trends for 2014

As another year passed, the technology marketplace has been tumultuous in terms of adoption, trends, mergers and acquisitions. Large software players have broadened their portfolios and have started to target customers upstream and downstream from their typical customers. For the new year we have compiled a list of top technology trends – mostly for enterprise software. These trends include ERP, Social business, CRM, BI/EPM/Analytics, Collaboration, Project Failure/Success, Mobile and Security and others are the main areas of focus.

Looking back at the 2013 list of technology trends, most of them have come to pass and are still evolving as adoption continues to grow. Projects continue to fail, spending increases, infrastructures and applications are being remade using the cloud and other IT issues continue to appear and also be resolved.

Here is a list of what we think the top software trends will emerge in 2014.

1. Rise of BI/EPM/Analytic Vendors: This trend has become apparent as many new small start-ups have introduced some type of analytics or BI tool. We have seen very vertical specific solutions to broad all-encompassing software that can be customized by industry. A reason for this trend is that enterprise applications have become easier to integrate and require less technical knowledge to aggregate data out of a system. Organizations are requiring more real-time information, by implementing these systems unlocks the decision-making potential that is stored in the data.

2. Increased Consultant Use: This trend is a 180 from organizations wanting to bring back in-house technical expertise. CIO’s have committed to spending more money on contractors for the upcoming year and software selection is a key component of this spend. Other areas where organizations will spend money in IT and Business alignment are resourcing to support existing projects, project management recovery services have started to push forward as an important area to save failing IT projects to get them back on track. Organizations often do not have the resources or skill sets to properly evaluate enterprise software thereby, more attention will be attributed to lowering project failure. An impartial properly executed software selection greatly lowers the risk of IT failure.

3. ERP’s and Enterprise Software Projects Continue to Fail: Lack of expertise and accountability from both the organization and the vendor lead to failed implementations. There is no clear direction from organizations as to what should be implemented, by whom, what timeframe is acceptable, training, POC, management of scope creep, budgetary overruns, and how problems are resolved should they arise with definitive timelines and accountability. Clear business process definitions are often not revealed by the customer leaving vendors to guess how an organization does business. Organizations should be fully transparent with the vendors they select as they business partners with full two-way communications whereby the vendor can provide a smooth transition after implementation and the organization should also become a reference site for the vendor.

4. Changing IT/Business Selection Criteria: As delivery models continue to change organizations are evaluating different priorities and criteria. Previously organizations have relied too much on features and functions when selecting enterprise software. Many new selection criteria have started to emerge such as: nuances of data, cloud model, portability, scalability, TCO, SLA levels, Vendor lock-in, ROI and agility are areas that more closely scrutinized.

5. Enterprise Software Categories Continue to Merge: The creation of new enterprise software categories continues to emerge. Specialized software vendors have started to include additional functionality that expands the breadth of their solution but often times not the depth that is required. Customers are confused as to how to match the right type of software with what functions and depth they actually require. Vendors have started to include social, collaboration, CRM, project management, billing and BI within their software. This delineation muddies the water for the consumer as they may not know how to categorize their business to match enterprise software categories thereby contacting the wrong vendors to start out their software evaluation.

6. Paying More Attention to BYOD and Security: As use of mobile devices continues to proliferate mobile security and social user policies must be put into place and enforced. Additional security will lower organizational risk by securing multiple mobile devices. Employees should also have direction from the company as to what is acceptable and not for social media interaction, who owns the information, where it stored and clear lines of communication where social accounts differentiate if communications are from the company or an individual user.

7. Increased Spending for Social, CRM and Email Automation: Organizations have committed more IT budget to these softwares. Coincidentally, this is one of the enterprise software categories that are blending functionalities. An organization should comprehend its main business function as to what the organization requires and the auxiliary functionalities. A mistake often made here is that the auxiliary functionalities become the focus which strays the original intent of the software evaluation.

8. Shadow IT Emerges: This is caused by the CMO spending that does not often include the CIO. Usually, the new marketing, social software and BI software is implemented and rarely incorporates into existing IT infrastructure. The new software is independently supported, updated and managed proving difficult for internal IT management and integration to existing systems. Support also becomes a point of contention as the Shadow IT organizations are created as support is often non-coherent and difficult to manage.

9. Vendor Consolidation Continues: More vendors are increasing their portfolios by acquiring either complementary software to bolster existing functionality or even acquiring software that is completely different from current offerings. Organizations should carefully distinguish their needs and if the vendor can support their requirements, if the vendor has enough industry experience or is new to the space altogether are areas for companies to watch out for.

10. New Government and Regulatory Standards: These new requirements will require system upgrades and in some cases new system implementations. ObamaCare, New HIPPA and medical industry requirements will drive software spend in this sector. Also there have been many changes in food processing and manufacturing industries that will cause companies to re-evaluate existing systems or completely installing something new.

11. Salesforce.com Turning into ERP: Salesforce continues to grow its cloud presence by acquiring more SaaS solutions. Its recent acquisitions and cloud portfolio suggests that one of the few plays to increase company value is to increase its offerings. SFDC will acquire solutions that complement their SCRM business with more HR/HCM, Financial and possibly project management which will effectively turn into an ERP for Services. The Oracle partnership suggests that SFDC is targeting Workday customers with Oracle functionality – all to be offered in the cloud. This one should prove interesting to see where this ends up.

12. Further IT Specialization Being Required: New softwares are emerging and requiring specialized expertise. A new software category that enables integration and workflow capabilities are greatly reducing complex IT tasks. However, these new applications often require highly specialized expertise such as programming, business process mapping, API creation, administration, integration and design capabilities that may not have been part of the IT department.

13. Organizations Going Hybrid Cloud: Organizations are adopting a combination of public and private cloud creating hybrid clouds. Organizations are not comfortable putting some types of information in the cloud. They create an internal cloud and have less important information in the public cloud. The cloud provides a seamless integration for employees.

It will fun to see what unfolds this year as with each year. Did we forget any? What trends do you see?

Eval-Source is a consulting firm that provides enterprise software selection and strategic technology consulting services and products for organizations to achieve success in their IT initiatives. Our consulting practices include cloud and on-premise software evaluation services, Enterprise Software Project Management and Recovery Services, Corporate training and strategic technology consulting. Our Tru-Eval selection system allows organizations to avoid IT failure, receive greater ROI and provide accurate decision support for enterprise software procurement. What sets us apart is our unbiased best in class consulting services that provide our clients with value, direction and success in selection, planning and optimization of their technology systems.