We’re coming to the end of the annual raft of year-ahead technology trend predictions, but Deloitte has their annual Technology, Media & Telecommunication predictions in under the wire and there are several that Canadian small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) should be aware of.
Key among them is crowdfunding, which puts them on the same page as our own Brian Jackson . Deloitte predicts that crowdfunding portals will raise $3 billion globally in 2013, which would be an increase of 100 per cent over 2011. It seems likely that regulatory changes will make this funding source available in at least some Canadian jurisdictions in 2013, so SMBs should be ready to tap this potentially lucrative capital channel.
We should also be ready for the end of the user-generated passwords, predicts Deloitte, as anything we could come up with will be increasingly vulnerable to speedy hacking. The answer? Additional forms of authentication, such as token devices, as well as biometrics and two-factor authentication, such as a code sent my SMS to your smartphone to complement your password.
“Passwords containing at least eight characters, one number, mixed-case letters and non-alphanumeric symbols were once believed to be robust. But these can be easily cracked with the emergence of advance hardware and software,” said Duncan Stewart, director of research with Deloitte Canada, in a statement. “A machine running readily available virtualization software and high-powered graphics processing units can crack any eight-character password in about five hours.”
While some corners still predict the death of the PC, not Deloitte. Noting it’s about usage, not units, Deloitte said more than 80 per cent of Internet traffic registered in bits will still be generated on laptops and desktops, and when total time at work and home spend on PCs, tablets and smartphones is totaled, more than 70 per cent of that time will be on a PC.
Finally, Deloitte is predicting a peak for the bring your own computer trend (separate from bring your own smartphone), noting that while 50 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted a policy of employer-paid, employees selected PCs, they don’t see many more companies adopting such a policy.