Businesses are big and ever hungrier consumers of technology, from software to hardware with a lot of overlap with consumer products. What are the directions in which hardware is being designed to appeal to business use?
The smart phone category is noticeably taking the needs of business more seriously with its latest high end smart phones, like the T-Mobile blackberry phones, with no specialized models aimed at business it`s the standard ones that are beginning to display a new generation of security and use features that make them better for business use. The Motorola Atrix is one of the first mobile phones to sport a finger print scanner, allowing only the registered users to unlock it, making data far more secure than it would otherwise have been following the loss of a smart phone. This kind of data security is becoming ever more important as smart phones gain more storage capacity and are used for more tasks that were formerly the preserve of laptops and desktops.
Encryption is also an increasingly available feature, with both storage encryption of data so that all files on a mobile phone or laptop are only unlockable with a key and are otherwise virtually impossible to crack. This is also being used for wireless data communication with built in support for full encryption in the new Samsung Galaxy S II. Similarly we are seeing encryption move into external hard drives and SSD, solid state disks, as a normal feature, making portable data far more secure against loss. GPS is also a growing security technology for businesses as phones and tablets have built in GPS, global positioning system, chips which can be accessed remotely through the use of a password and an app on the phone to locate it to within metres, as well as to remotely lock and even wipe the data on the device.
The big new thing in mobile phones for business use will be the new RFID format known as NFC, near field communication. This is a wireless, short-range payment service which will allow mobile phones to act as credit cards, train passes and general payment devices when swipped over the correct scanner. With the Google Nexus S sporting this chip and other manufacturers now including it businesses will need to begin investing in the payment infrastructure necessary to take advantage of this. For businesses it will offer faster payment which will allow the use of fewer staff at peak times.
On the software front the retail business technology expo will bring a number of exciting new products for businesses such as galleria`s programs which help manage store layout, product choice and to simulate how customers interact with that, including simulating predicted profits from price ranges of items and selections.
One of the great improvements for business IT has been the wide-spread adoption of VMWare to create virtual machines, this allows desktop computers to be run from a server that creates a set of virtual machines, each of which can be started or closed at a moment`s notice, cloned and backed up if there is any problem with the machine and so on. Making use far more reliable and in concert with a data backup, whether local or online and protection policy it adds significantly to the security of a business`s IT operations