Security concerns plague the public sector, while two major tech firms are banking on enterprise attraction to tablets to rebound from their recent woes. These issues, and others, dominated business technology-related online searchers this week.
The federal government has seen an uptick in cybersecurity threats, and is expected to keep spending to protect against them. According to research firm Input, the federal government will increase its cybersecurity investments at a 9.1 percent annual rate, reaching a total of $13.3 billion by 2015. A 445 percent increase in security issues during the past four years justifies the expanded investments.
The growing federal trend to improve cybersecurity is expected to overlap with internet privacy – especially with the scandal that spread across the web this week. The issue dominates online social conversations, with Google Realtime results showing constant "WikiLeaks" updates.
The Federal Trade Commission and other lawmakers have already begun discussions over instilling a "do not track" mandate on digital consumer data. This could have a serious impact on ecommerce and marketing, as new federal regulations may create obstacles for online advertising.
In the private sector, the cloud continues to dominate the international conversation. Research firm Gartner released a report this week that reiterated what most companies already know – cloud computing will reduce costs and make businesses more efficient. Specifically, the firm predicted cloud's automation tools will reduce labor hours in IT services by as much as 25 percent by 2015.
More surprisingly, however, Gartner predicts 80 percent of businesses will support tablets within their workforce by 2013. Google Realtime results for "Gartner's Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2011 and Beyond" reveal that this is a trending topic in the business tech sector.
Realizing the growing enterprise market for tablets, SAP and Research In Motion, two large companies coming off a series of unfortunate developments, announced they will collaborate to capitalize on the emergence of tablets in enterprise mobility. SAP announced it will adapt its enterprise solutions for Research In Motion's upcoming PlayBook tablet, which RIM says will be available in Q1 2011 for less than $500.
Research In Motion is looking to the PlayBook to reverse a recent slump. Since the beginning of the year, RIM has seen its stranglehold on the smartphone market loosen, as Apple and Google have substantially cut into its market share.
News about surprising recent BlackBerry developments have spurred optimism for RIM and made it an important part of online conversations this week. The Canadian company's stock value shot up 5.4 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday, reaching $63.25 per share after spending the past few months in the $45-to-$50 range. Since AT&T dropped the BlackBerry Torch's price from $199 to $99 early last month, citing disappointing initial sales, the Torch has been AT&T's second-best selling smartphone, bested only by Apple's iPhone.
RIM can thank its users for another small victory this week. Shortly after ChangeWave Mobile's survey found the Torch is the most popular BlackBerry device ever, separate research from Pingdom found that BlackBerry devices claimed the top position in mobile web page views, at 34.3 percent. In comparison, Apple, which previously led the mobile web page view market, has lost 51.9 percent of market share since 2009.
Analysts, experts, executives and bloggers are all likely to address these issues as they continue to unfold next week. Keep up on the latest developments as the online conversation in the industry gets louder.