Information technology plays a vital role in the success of any contemporary business organization. IT is responsible for the vast majority of communication between parties, and is integral to the preservation and storage of information that pertains to a particular organization. With advances in technology occurring at an increasingly rapid rate, companies are often left with just two choices -- to embrace modern technology and the nearly daily changes it brings, or fall behind. Many organizations do not have the resources to stay in business if they pursue the latter option, which is why most companies make a point to stay abreast of technological innovations and their effects upon today's global marketplace. Therefore, it is important to look ahead to see what the future of technological innovations will bring, and to determine how such changes can best benefit a particular company.
One of the most formidable pieces of technology to shake-up the market is the projected development and implementation of the memristor. Since the latter portion of the 20th century, this microscopic building block has been theorized to revolutionize several aspects of computing, most notably those pertaining to memory. Essentially, memristors can recall states of electricity even when a device is turned off, which enables them to present a plethora of uses for storage that make it more advantageous to use than other conventional methods -- such as flash memory, hard drives, RAM, and virtually any other storage alternative. The implications of this component are manifold, and extend themselves to the realms of circuitry and the consolidation of components that can enable products utilizing this technology to be significantly more affordable and flexible than virtually anything in the market today. The principle drawback to this technology is that after almost 40 years of conceptualization and development, products utilizing memristors have yet to hit the market. A Hewlett Packard representative recently alluded to the fact that the delay is not due to the facilitation of the technology itself, but rather due to commercial aspects of producing it.
"It's sad to say, but the science and technology are the easy part," Williams said… Development costs at least 10 times as much as research, and commercialization costs 10 times as much as development. So in the end, research -- which we think is the most important part -- is only 1% of the effort." (Garling, 2012).
HP is working with a Korean company, Hynix, on its commercial product for memristors (Mellor, 2012).
Other relatively new IT technologies include those that pertain to cloud computing. While the technology of cloud computing in and of itself is not necessarily a recent development -- cloud users have been fairly frequent since the greater part of the last decade, recent developments include the access to and usage of private clouds. One of the chief concerns with cloud computing was always that which pertained to security. Cloud resources -- whether they are platform as a service, software as a serviced, storage as a service or virtually any other type of service -- are accessed remotely upon demand via the internet and require users to pay for them only when they are used. However, since the aforementioned services are accessed remotely, they are essentially in the hands of a third party -- a fact of which inevitably leads to concerns regarding the security of proprietary information, particularly for storage as a service customers. The great benefit of private clouds is that they are accessible only to users within a certain environment, such as that of a particular company or organization. Security concerns are therefore considerably improved -- yet not all the way eliminated, since there is still a third party host that conceivably has some form of access to the information companies are accessing via the cloud.
Another fairly recently developed technology that appears to be gaining credence throughout the realm of information technology is that of gesture recognition systems. This technology allows people to control the various operating processes of their computers, mobile phones, or other electronic devices via the manipulation of various hand gestures. This technology was initially conceived as a viable alternative to the traditional usages of computer mice and for voice recognition systems -- both of which ultimately served their purpose yet still leave a lot to be desired in terms of efficaciousness in a remote environment. The boon of gesture recognition systems is that they are more reliable than voice recognition systems and have the potential to revolutionize television watching, video game playing and other recreational pursuits. The principle drawback, at this point, is despite the fledgling efforts of a few companies to place products utilizing this technology in the marketplace, these products are not yet fully refined and are still barely out of the development stage. In a few short years' time, however, this technology should be a lot more viable and trustworthy.
Another fairly recent development in the world of information technology is the development and implementation of USB 3.0, which effectively trumped the 2.0 version in the latter portion of 2.0. The ramifications of this upgrade are highly significant, as this technology is responsible for "pushing the theoretical maximum throughput of the connector all the way up to 4.8 gigabits per second, or processing roughly the equivalent of an entire CD-R disc every second" (Mellor, 2012). With this drastically increased speed comes even greater power efficiency for devices that operate via USB ports. The one potential drawback is that USB 3.0 uses a different form of connector than that which has traditionally been used for USB. However, some USB plugs should still be compatible with the 3.0 version. Additionally, the implications of this device certainly allow for improved accessibility and convenience for devices that operate out of this port. However, in and of itself this development does not have the potential to revolutionize information technology the way some of the other innovations discussed in this document do.
The technology that has the potential to provide the greatest amount of use to a particular company is that provided by memristors. The specific forms of integration for usage in a company such as T-Mobile are actually fairly multi-faceted, primarily due to the myriad uses of memristors in their applications. As previously denoted, at the moment this device is touted as a replacement for other forms of storage devices, Hewlett Packard predicts being able to introduce such products into the marketplace by 2014 (Garling, 2012). However, the uses for memristors include everything from simple storage devices to the replacement of hard drives in computers, to computers that are run entirely based on memristors, which the following quotation readily demonstrates.
Memrisotr's made to replace flash memory (at a lower cost and lower power consumption) will likely appear first; HP's goal is to offer them by 2012. Beyond that, memristors will likely replace both DRAM and hard disks in the 2014-to-2016 time frame. As for memristor-based analog computers, that step may take 20-plus years (Garling, 2012).
With all of these widespread possibilities a reality in the near future, integration primarily requires companies to become compliant and compatible with this technological development. Doing so would require companies to transfer what data or proprietary information they have stored via conventional memory methods, to those which utilize memristors. Such a transfer of data would initially be a time consuming process, particularly for a larger organization such as T-Mobile. It therefore would be necessary to preserve a copy of valued data in the conventional form of memory usage until the transfer is complete and the data is safely preserved in the hardware devices HP is touting will be available in 2014 at the earliest (Garling, 2012). Enacting this transfer process would inevitably require placing all valued data onto a flash drive, and then placing the drive into the new devices with memristor hardware.
The value in doing so, of course, is primarily attributed to the vast potential that memristor supported devices can eventually achieve. In addition to being a more simplified version of traditional flash-drive memory, memristors consume less power and cost less to produce (and to retail) than other methods of memory. At one end of the potential uses for this technology is the fact that companies who expediently become compliant with memristor-based equipment will be able to access the methods of computing that this technology will eventually produce. The following quotation alludes to the capacity of such computers.
"This lowering of cost and consolidating of components may lead to affordable, solid-state computers that fit in your pocket and run many times faster than today's PC's. Someday the memristor could spawn a whole new type of computer, thanks to its ability to remember a range of electrical states rather than the simplistic "on" and off states that today's digital processors recognize (Mellor, 2012).
The possibilities for such computers also include the performing of tasks that are far more intricate than those which contemporary computers perform. This is largely due to the fact…