If you’re like most people, by the time you get back from the holidays you’re lucky if you remember your password, let alone any valuable lessons from the previous year. That’s why we’re taking the opportunity here to summarize some of the major developments in IT that occurred in 2015. While you’re trying to remember to type 2016, you can glance over these.
- Okay, everybody’s using the Internet now. We’ve got big data and the Internet of Things in professional sports, such as the NFL using helmet sensors and the Cardinals using statistics to pick baseball players. Professional IT people have no excuse not to be doing these things, too.
- This year saw a lot of discussions about working conditions in the tech industry. How many hours should people work, even in major companies such as Amazon? Do they have to work in an office? Should they be on staff or on contract using the gig economy? Should the IT staff be outsourced or insourced? How many days of the week should they work? Above it all is the problem that there just aren’t enough good tech people to go around and computer science programs aren’t making them fast enough, so it’s important to keep them happy.
- And while we’re at it, just what platform are these people going to be using for their work? Windows XP is finally going away, slowly. Windows 10 has shown up. But is everyone too busy using their phones and even their own apps for IT departments to even bother with giving staffers computers?
- As with last year, a major news trend was security, whether it was the massive OPM break-in, the Ashley Madison disaster, or people breaking into systems to steal data that would enable them to break into other systems. This isn’t going to go away. Lock up the systems, monitor them for when (not if) someone breaks through, and have mitigation factors in mind for when data gets lost.
- A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on one item of clothing or another (depending on which version of the quote you believe). But these days, all sorts of information can spread worldwide in hours, whether it’s The Dress or having to post a copyright notice to keep Facebook from claiming control of your photos. It’s important to keep an eye on these things in case coworkers fall for something stupid. Besides, this way you can tell your boss you’re on Facebook for work.
- At the same time, we’re seeing more boundaries than ever between countries on the Internet. Whether it’s the European Union putting new restrictions on transferring data between its members and the U.S., or Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump wanting to shut down U.S. Internet access to other countries, the Internet is increasingly being subject to the same sort of geographic boundaries it was intended to transcend. We’re trying to get rid of silos in business; having governments adding new silos isn’t going to help anybody.
- To paraphrase Rhett Butlerin Gone With the Wind, there’s two ways to make money: when a company is building itself up, or when a company is breaking itself into pieces. Whether it was your customers or your suppliers, or even your own company, you probably had to deal with this. So we had the usual round of companies buying each other (Dell and EMC), companies divesting themselves of various pieces (HP and, reportedly, Yahoo!), companies going public, and companies taking themselves private. How much will it actually make a difference in how the companies operate? Hard to say. But it isn’t likely to stop anytime soon.
This will be our last new post of the year; we’ll be back bright and early on January 4 with our predictions for 2016.
Simplicity 2.0 is where we examine the intricate and transitory world of technology—through a Laserfiche lens. By keeping an eye on larger trends, we aim to make software that’s relevant to modern day workers, rather than build technology for technology’s sake.
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