The Week’s Technology News – 28th March 2014

A little more seasoning with that sensor, Sir?
The first international factory for ingestible sensors, is to be built in the UK by US company, Proteus Digital Health.  The factory will have the NHS and the UK Government as partners.   Portable devices such as these are decentralising healthcare and will transform the way healthcare can be delivered in partnership with the patient. The technology is swallowed and the stomach fluids power the sensor by transporting it via stomach fluids.  A body worn patch sends information captured to a mobile device.  Such technologies have the potential to be transformative to healthcare, as the collection of data and mobile management tools enable diagnosis, faster assessment and more accurate treatment, linking the patient, their carer and clinician to help them stay well.  The technology will become more affordable and convenient as specialists in consumer technology are conjoining with medical technology and identifying commercial opportunity.  For an already overstretched NHS this sounds like a welcome IT technological advance.

Irritation with spammers creates collaboration amongst mobile giants and ICO
EE, O2, Three and Vodafone and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are working together to prevent nuisance text messages of spammers and fraudsters spreading across the UK’s four major mobile networks. This is being done by the mobile group signing up to the GSMA Spam Reporting Service. This will be coupled with mechanisms in real time to find the perpetrators. Those who have breached the Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR), will have monetary penalties issued against them.  In 2012, the ICO issued a £440,000 fine to two men running a spam texting operation.  The GSMA platform will collate and analyse the details of users’ reported spam to id patterns and origins of attack. The collaborative aim of the group is to isolate and prevent spread to other networks.  The ICO is also looking to extend this into nuisance calls.  Vigilance against threats to mobile devices are an ongoing challenge for MSPs, as mobile workforces become ever more commonplace. Reducing fear and threat should certainly get the thumbs up from the marketplace.

Keep your MITs off our data
A group of MIT researchers have created a new platform for creating spy proof websites by building secure sites, services and applications, called Mylar.  This is in response to the high profile Snowden leaks of government agency incursions in the USA to capture people’s private data and to counter the increase in identify theft and hacking efforts internationally.  With Mylar, the data remains encrypted all the time in its servers and only decrypted when accessed from your computer, with correct password authentication.  The system is being tested by a group of patients in the US to share medical information with their doctors and the designers are exploring their own chat, photo sharing and calendar applications.   Whether this leads to a more commercial take up remains to be seen, as web providers may be reluctant to use a technology which restricts clients’ websites from accessing user data to serve targeted ads.

Gartner take time out to stare up at the clouds
One of Gartner’s leading Storage Technology and Strategist Directors, Valdis Fink, has been thinking afresh about how Cloud needs to develop, versus how it has been used.   For organisations, a primary benefit of Cloud has been to shift capital costs to operational costs.  SMEs who have had their own servers or back up options, are increasingly taking up the opportunity to outsource to secure data centres.  However, data centres have remained the same with centralised grid computing architecture which has got larger and the offerings cheaper, so data (and apps) has essentially just been re-centralised elsewhere. Fink maintains that real cloud computing should be location and device independent, safe and accessible from anywhere, within the internet, on peoples’ computers and devices, in data centres and in hyper-scale data centres, using information dispersal algorithms.  Such technologies are available today, which synch and secure. So the challenge for forward thinking MSPs is to drive the thinking, rather than follow major vendors to ensure your service is “leading edge” and right for your clients who have every right to expect the best.

This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS

Cloud security fundamental to BYOD

A recent study suggests that cloud computing plays a vital role in the success of BYOD in the work environment. The study stated that although 54% of respondents identified BYOD as an area for growth, 78% stated that the trend could pose a ‘significant’ risk to information security. We believe that with increased efforts to educate users on cloud computing, fears surrounding BYOD may begin to dispel and the benefits, including operational costs and user experience, can be rewarded.

NHS to become paperless by 2018

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced his plans for the NHS to become paperless by 2018. The NHS will be joining a list of organisations already paperless, including 38% of Fortune 1000, saving them costs of up to £4.4 billion. We believe that this is overly ambitious and the concept of a fully paperless office is far from reality.

Gartner show shift in PC market

This week Gartner have stated how there is a current “structural shift” in the PC market as tablet demand continues to grow. The research firm has stated that shipments of PC’s are down by 4.9%, due to users opting for tablet devices instead of laptops and PC’s. So what does this mean for mobile device management? We believe that this shift will continue through 2013 and into 2014 with mobile devices becoming more prevalent in the workplace as they become more adaptable for the workforce.

What technology skills will be needed in 2013?

MSP mentor have released a list for top technology skills needed in 2013. Topping the list for in-demand technology knowledge include; business intelligence, mobile projects and cloud technology. These skills can cover a multiple of sins including, virtualisation, big data and app development. We believe a number of organisations have already made the move in understanding mobile and cloud technology.  However, business intelligence is still seen as a specialist area, and requires a different level of expertise and investment for organisations to fully understand and capitalise on this opportunity.

New Year, New Technologies

With so much information in the public domain it’s difficult to get a snap shot of the areas which are important and how it affects you, so here’s my breakdown for the week.

Gartner Says Worldwide IT Spending Forecast to Reach $3.7 Trillion in 2013

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 4.2 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. The 2013 outlook for IT spending growth in U.S. dollars has been revised upward from 3.8 percent in the 3Q12 forecast.  Time to increase marketing expenditure!

NHS needs to embrace future technologies

This week Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, stated that the NHS needs to embrace future technologies in order to improve patient care and reduce costs.  This comes as no surprise as many other industries are beginning to see the substantial rewards associated with using advancing technologies.  By doing this we believe embracing future technologies enables the NHS to reduce costs, free up hospital bed space,  practioners time, whilst offering a vast range of new healthcare solutions.

CES 2013

At this year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Lenovo demonstrated its sought after preview of the new Idea Centre Horizon Table PC, a 27-inch all in one desktop with around the house portability.  This new product has been especially designed for multiple use, where up to four people can use the device at any given time.  It is to be seen if this design can be used in a wide range of environments, which one maybe the hospitality industry.

2013: make or break for Blackberry

RIM has been busy creating its new touchscreen OS for Blackberry’s upcoming phone and tablet.  BlackBerry 10, which is expected to be released worldwide this quarter, has the support of all major UK and US carriers.  This is a good start for the upcoming platform, however, we believe this is truly the make or break year for RIM whose market share has been falling steadily over the past few years.

Cloud Computing in 2013

The Government have announced their plans to pledge £5 million in R&D to address the perceived issues hindering the adoption of cloud computing.   We envisage, with the help of this Government funding scheme, this year organisations will begin to let go of their security qualms and the adoption curve for cloud computing will take off.

Amicus ITS – A Big Week for Mobility

Microsoft release Windows 8 and Surface RT

Windows 8 is officially here, and with the release of Microsoft’s latest Operating System also came their first ever tablet – The Surface RT. Both are expected to revolutionise the way in which people use their PC’s and tablets and as CEO, Steve Ballmer explained, Windows 8 is hoping to “make people fall in love with their PC’s again”.

Gartner release top trends for 2013

The world of IT is forever filled with the latest update of information; either being important trends for the up-and-coming year or simply a passing fad. Technology research firm, Gartner, have released their top trends for 2013. The number one spot is given to the continued rise in mobility and consumerisation driving tablets in the enterprise. Amongst other trends mentioned in the survey included cloud computing, enterprise app stores and HTML5 web apps.

Windows Phone 8 launches worldwide this week

Windows Phone 8, Microsoft’s latest generation of smart phones, launches worldwide this week. The new mobile platform is Microsoft’s attempt at regaining a section of the smartphone market. CEO, Steve Ballmer, stated that Windows Phone 8 is unlike any other mobile device on the market. He states, that the “killer hardware” and “personal approach” is what makes the devices stand out from the rest. Nokia, HTC and Samsung are providing the launch phones running Windows Phone 8.

UK’s first 4G service launches in selected cities

Mobile network providers, EE, have become the first company to offer fourth generation (4G) mobile services to users in the UK. On Tuesday morning the 4G service was made available to a select few cities including, London, Manchester, Cardiff, Liverpool and Southampton. Network EE, which owns Orange and T-Mobile, promises speeds of up to five times faster than the current 3G network, offering higher quality video and audio streaming, combined with faster connectivity.

Apple has executive reshuffle

Earlier this week, Apple announced the company’s major boardroom reshuffle, replacing many of its existing executives. Amongst the names raised at the announcement included, Scott Forstall, previously Head of IOS Software and John Browett, Apples Head of Retail. The reshuffle also saw Apples hardware designer Jonathon Ives, taking on the responsibility of Human Interface in addition to Industrial Design