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2011 - technology trends in IT

posted Jan 7, 2011, 5:54 AM by Francois Tricot   [ updated Feb 21, 2011, 3:04 PM ]

Everything digital

Books, pictures, music, movies, games, news, relationships, telecommunications, advertising, sales, education, health, government, services, ...
There is nothing new here, but it is worth telling it again.
Google has scanned 500 billion words from 5 million books published between  1800 and 2010, this being 4% of all what has been published during this period. And they made a part of it available for free on the web. e-readers such as Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad, among others, are sold by 10s of millions.
It is now possible to stream on demand movies to Apple TV, Google set top box, Boxee, Internet providers boxes (such as the French freebox), and many others, replacing traditional TV signals with digital one, transmitted through wires (ADSL, optic fiber) or over the air (TNT).
From now, I can watch YouTube HD on my brand new TV, and it looks great! 
US consumers can watch Hulu or Netflix movies streamed over the Internet on their TVs.
The budget of online advertising now exceeds the budget of newspaper advertising in the US, in UK it now exceeds the budget of TV advertising.
Skype provided something like 200 billion minutes of Internet enabled calls in 2010.
Facebook has now 600 millions subscribers over the world. Kids talk to their friends through Facebook. Moms too. They share pictures, videos, news. Everything.
Everything digital.
Books, pictures, music, movies, games, news, 
telecommunications, advertising, sales, education, health, government, services, ...

This has consequences for every business. This has consequences for us.
Among others, the more important to me is linked to "information". "Information" covers, in my mind, communication, knowledge, expertise, collaboration.
"Information" within Ceva from now MUST exist in a digital version we can copy, distribute, access to, send, ... easily. It also must be protected when required (confidential).
Ceva provides us all CevApps tools which allow to exchange many kind of 'unstructured' information : mails, pictures, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, videos, voice and video communications... digitally - using the Internet.
Mastering them to get the most of them is not an option. I encourage you all to take the time to learn these new tools, little by little.

Everything connected

5 billion mobile phone subscribers, since September 2010.
Millions of iPad and other tablets sold.
A Blackberry, an iPhone, an Android or Windows Mobile smartphone for free with a subscription including a data plan in many countries.
Digital cameras sending emails or uploading directly to the web pictures and videos.
Web TVs, connected to the Internet, to retrieve video streaming, browse the Internet.
Planes with Internet onboard. Cars with Internet onboard. Internet everywhere. Everything connected to the Internet.

In the near future, people will access the Internet through smartphones or tablets more frequently than from a wired place.
And most people will have access to these technologies.

Expectations are growing from users to access IT while on the go. In every business.
As well as privacy is dead in 2010 with Facebook (social virtual private network) reaching 600 million users, the VPN (virtual private network) is also dying.

This mainly has consequences for IT. IT was used to set-up software on its private network working with its private computers with a given corporate configuration. This no longer works in this new world.
We, at Ceva, started to open widely applications to the Internet but still need to be in Ceva office to access some applications. From time to time, we will make all applications securely accessible from any place you can get the Internet and from as many devices as we can. Communications between employee device and application server will be securely encrypted. We try to make new applications compatible with major Internet browsers so that all devices can access them.

For instance, CevApps (based on Google Apps services) services are accessible using PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android phones and tablets, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. The new Business Intelligence server (based on Microstrategy technology) will also be accessible through all of these devices and browsers. Quickbase, on which we build CRM, Market Authorization management, and many business apps, has similar accessibility. All these services will be accessible securely from any computer or tablet on the Internet.

The Rise of Apps

AppsApps are everywhere now : iPhone and iPod apps. Android apps. iPad apps. Blackberry apps. Google Chrome apps. Samsung Apps.
And yet, to my mind, that hype is only going to increase in the coming years -- and rightly so, as others fully discover that there really is an app for everything.

My morning ritual of checking e-mail, calendar appointments, industry news, general news, whatever -- it's all quickly, cleanly and neatly done via apps.
Along with touch-based interfaces, it represents one of the most exciting user interface paradigm switches for computing since the introduction of the mouse.

Finally, the Web works the way most users want it to.

I'm personally convinced that custom developed apps matching one specific devices will be soon replaced by web apps powered by latest browsers technologies, such as HTML5. Then my bet goes to web apps versus target specific apps (App Store, Android Marketplace and copycat)

Luckily, we also have got our App Store at Ceva. These apps are mainly web apps, but many apps working on the nice brand new devices you can buy work with our apps.
Our App Store is populated with apps to do many things, and in 2011, this will grow dramatically :
  • CevApps
    • Gmail. Gmail app for Android and Blackberry. iPhone and iPad Mail app compatibility.
    • GCalendar. smartphone compatibility
    • GDocs : can be edited from Android and iPad
  • CevApps extended services, to come in early 2011 :
    • Picasa app and Picasa web to share images.
    • YouTube. YouTube app on smartphones
    • Google Reader, the personal news aggregator. GReader on Android
    • Google News, the customizable news aggregator
    • Google Alerts, to receive an email each time new content match your keywords
    • about 60 new services are added to your CevApps account
  • Quickbase
    • CRMs
    • Insurances
    • Market Authorizations
    • Open jobs
    • At risk inventories
    • New packaging planning
    • ...
  • Business Intelligence : group of reports and dashboard become apps
  • All of this is tied by MyIdentity app.

There is a real paradigm shift between IT built around the ERP and the world of Apps. It may sound messy to some, compared to the old good way of doing things : adding custom functions into the ERP.
However, the old good way proved to lack flexibility and speed required by nowadays business.