Easter has come around once again so this time on the Top 10 we're keeping in theme with the season, and looking at the most fertile areas of the IT industry in the coming year.
Easter was originally a pagan festival designed to celebrate the return of the land to life as winter died and spring began. It was a time when the first green shoots provided much needed food and animals came out from hibernation. The holiday has been absorbed into the Christian calendar, but its pagan roots remain in fertility symbols like Easter eggs.
For the IT industry it's a good time to take a look at the prospects for the year. The major product launches at the start of the year are now complete, the conference season is starting to kick off in earnest and we have the summer announcements from Apple and others to look forward to.
There's been a lot of good stuff to consider, and this list was harder than most since the number of options was so high. If you think any are missing let us know.
Honourable Mention: LED lighting
Shaun Nichols: The use of LED lighting is a field that has been waiting to come around for several years, but has been held back in large part due to cost issues.
LED systems are particularly cool because, in addition to being far more energy efficient than older lighting methods, the lamps are far smaller. This allows for far slimmer and lighter displays, and lighting to be installed in a greater variety of formats.
Expect the rise of LEDs to bring a steady stream of smaller, greener displays and more efficient lighting in the coming months and years.
Iain Thomson: If you're looking for an example of bad design the light bulb has to come top of the list. The common bulb is primarily a heating device in terms of energy output, and is staggeringly inefficient at actually putting out light.
They are also easy to break, both the outer casing and the lighting filament, and burn out very quickly. The EU-mandated longer-lasting florescent bulbs are better, but are difficult to recycle.
LED lighting is now coming to the price point where it's making financial sense to switch to the new technology. They last years, use very little power and the quality of the light is certainty good enough once you get used to it. I predict a heavy sales year as people get thrifty.
Honourable Mention: Physical security
Iain Thomson: We write a lot about data security but physical security is increasingly becoming the problem of the IT manager.
The greater ‘smartness' of buildings makes the job of monitoring the physical perimeter increasingly IT's role. When smartcards first came into our company it wasn't the security guard who handed them out, it was the IT department. IT is going to be looked on to assume more of this physical security role.
We're now seeing the industry catch up, and there are a lot more management tools for IT managers to do this kind of job. The extra workload isn't pleasant, but it is necessary. After all, malware is being physically delivered in the form of USB drives (as we saw with Stuxnet) and a little perimeter security is certainly good for overall network health
Shaun Nichols: There's also the issue of retaining security information such as surveillance footage within IT systems. When footage has to be archived and stored for years, you're going to want IT overseeing the process.
Keeping IT equipment safe and secure is another big part of it. Back when everyone had a desktop PC, a simple lock and cable did the job. These days you have employees accessing data on mobile devices, external hard drives and tablet systems.
We'll get into this later on, but the market for systems that remotely track and wipe stolen mobile devices will boom in the coming years.
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