The past year seems to have been one of the most evolutionary years in tech history, as our phones and computers got lighter, thinner, and smarter in so many ways. As we say goodbye to 2012, we spoke with some of the tech industry's top gurus to see which technology trends they think have been the most interesting or influential this year.
For analyst Charles King, who works with information-technology research firm Pund-IT, the top three tech trends of the year were Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Bring Your Own Device, better known now as BYOD. Analysts Laura DiDio, Ross Rubin and Al Hilwa concur in part, and also chimed in with their take on other emerging trends, ranging from enterprise mobility to smart technology for the home.
For anyone still unfamiliar with the concept, "cloud computing" refers to the use of computing resources over the Internet or other networks. It's been called the next step in the Internet's evolution. Actually, the "cloud" in cloud computing doesn't exist in reality. Instead, it refers to the practice of using a cloud-shaped symbol in network diagrams to represent all the hardware and software that users can access remotely via their computer or other devices like tablets and smartphones.
Cloud computing, King said, "seems to be gaining increasing definition, both in the way companies and consumers are using it, and also in the maturity of related services and solutions." In fact, the cloud has forever changed the way people work, by enabling them to access company programs and data from home or virtually anywhere. Of course, Internet access was the first step in that direction, many years ago. But, cloud computing takes remote access a step further by giving employees and other workers access to secure files and enterprise applications, allowing collaboration from afar.
The more people talk about Big Data, King mused, "the more confusion seems to result." This is partly because vendors are trying to reposition the discussion to benefit their own offerings, he said.
In basic terms, Big Data refers to the massively large or complex databases that companies and government agencies need to manage, manipulate, analyze and store. Proper handling of such large databases requires secure systems with more powerful processors and data analytics programs that can crunch data efficiently with minimal wait times.
While large databases are nothing new, many vendors have jumped on the Big Data wagon this year in particular, with software-as-a-service solutions, cloud computing offerings, and more powerful servers and data storage hardware. (continued...)
Posted: 2012-12-30 @ 5:18pm PT
Love my iPad!!
Posted: 2012-12-30 @ 5:16pm PT
I started working from home 2 years ago and love it. I couldn't do it without cloud computing, so it definitely gets my vote for best technology -- but also tied with my smartphone. Being able to see and respond to my customers' email anytime, anywhere is so helpful.