Last year, several of my coworkers put in their Technology Predictions for 2011. Did they come true? Let’s go back in time and take a look:
Richard Baker: Account Manager
1) The cloud discussions will move from “when” to “how”.
Cloud computing definitely took the spotlight this year and became a practical option for small and mid-sized businesses. Whether you’re talking about private, public or hybrid cloud solutions, the adoption rate for cloud computing skyrocketed this year and will only continue to grow in the years to come.
2) Verizon will launch a 4g iPhone.
The Verizon iPhone 4 launched in February, paving the way for other carriers to offer the popular product later in the year.
3) Cybersecurity concerns will remain a hot topic.
This is definitely true. Small and mid-sized businesses have become especially vulnerable. Hackers often identify SMB’s as easy targets because they have valuable information but limited resources to protect them. Click here to read 10 Security Tips for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses.
4) Facebook wins the location war. Foursquare loses.
This is not true…yet. Foursquare tripled in size over the last year, and now has over 15 million users and 600,000 merchants. Foursquare has become more than a way to share your location with friends; it’s now a tool you can use to find the best deals nearby. Facebook attempted to replicate this function with Facebook deals earlier in the year, but the project was unsuccessful and eventually pulled. However, with Facebook nearing almost a billion users, they certainly have the resources and power to make Foursquare obsolete.
5) U.S. wireless carriers will meter your data. Consumers will end up paying more, of course.
Unfortunately, this is almost entirely true. Sprint is the lone US carrier to offer a truly unlimited data plan.
6) Smartphones will be the targets of hackers and viruses.
Android malware traffic rose by 400% in 2011. As many as 4% of Android devices will be infected with malware at some point. iPhones are generally safe because they have a closed operating system that hackers cannot breach. However, if you jailbreak your iPhone (this is a process by which you “hack” your iPhone to unlock certain features–which we do not recommend), you will be susceptible to malware.
Five out of six isn’t bad. Are you psychic, Richard?
Gil Morris: Systems Engineer
1) I see Apple becoming the largest technology company on the planet, overtaking rival Microsoft, regarding market share and thus becoming the new “target” for cyber-criminals. That said, Apple security will be a “new” market poised for exponential growth as most Apple fans have rarely seen the need for enhanced security measures like their PC using counterparts.
This is a tricky one. Apple’s market share for tablets and phones definitely overtakes Microsoft– the iPad has as much as 75% of the tablet market right now. However, in terms of operating systems, Microsoft is still the clear winner, with 91% of PC users using Windows. However, Mac users were the targets, for the first time ever, of malware this year. The Mac Defender issue was resolved in May with a security update for the operating system.
Here is Gil’s response:
Given the malware epidemic we see out in the field, I think folks will be looking to alternatives to Windows (Linux, Mac) when their home PCs are shutdown (or worse they suffer some form of identity theft/financial loss) by one of the multitudes of rootkits I’ve seen in the past few weeks that are targeting Microsoft operating systems like never before. The security war is so bad now I just read the FBI is spending millions and hiring several new Special Agents to just help defend against cyber-criminals! (Link to FBI story: http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/fbi-likely-get-more-cybercrime-agents-121411)
2) The American FCC’s current attempts to regulate the Internet will (hopefully) fail and the so-called Net Neutrality push will dissolve. I do see some form of regulation but nothing as heinous as Big Brother watching your every move online. Most modernized governments can’t even police themselves much less the Internet.
In November, the Net Neutrality regulations were passed in Congress. These regulations were put in place in an attempt to prevent Internet Service Providers from regulating how heavily people use the Internet. However, Gil made a good point about how governments can’t police the Internet, as was evident in the Arab Spring uprisings this year.
Stay tuned. Next week we’ll reveal our Technology Predictions f0r 2012.