July had several interesting technology announcements in the arenas of organizational change, market performance, cybersecurity and hardware. Here are the 8 I found most noteworthy along with my assessment of how they may impact your long-term business strategy.
Top Tech Announcements for July
LinkedIn Introduces Native Video Feature
LinkedIn users will soon have the ability to record, upload and post original videos directly into their LinkedIn feed using the mobile app. This feature will occur on the desktop later.
Business Impact: Professionals will now be able to attend events and give their perspective on it, walk someone through a product demonstration, teach others a skill or give their 30-second commercial to recruiters. Think of this feature as a cross between Facebook Live and YouTube.
AI: Differences among Tech Leaders
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, have widening opinions on the future of Artificial Intelligence. Musk is pushing for proactive federal and state regulations of AI because he believes humans may become dominated by this technology, much like the Matrix or Transformers movies depict. Zuckerberg believes AI will be used for altruistic applications, such as driverless cars that can prevent accidents due to human error or emotion.
Business Impact: It is important to keep tabs on AI and follow what visionaries such as Musk, Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, are saying about it. The next big breakthrough in this technology will be driverless cars, but much more is coming in other areas as well.
U.S. Technology Firm Implants Employees with Chips
Three Square Market is putting RFID microchips into 50 employees. This chip will be between their thumb and forefinger. This program is entirely voluntary and the firm is picking up the cost of the chip. It will allow employees to pay for office snacks, open secure doors, use copy machines, log into computers and unlock company phones.
Business Impact: This is something more and more enterprise organizations will implement as a way for employees to access their office, physical devices and data. In addition, they can pay for items, such as cafeteria and company store purchases. Here’s the burning question: Is this the start of a slippery slope of gathering more employee data, including health records, tracking GPS positioning and monitoring break times? It may very well be which will require companies to examine their ethical standards.
Adobe Abandons Flash
Flash will be gone by December 31, 2020.
Business Impact: Schools and businesses that rely on Flash-based instruction modules will have to migrate to a different platform. Old websites that are built on Flash will need to be updated.
Twitter and Other Tech Stocks Performed Well
Twitter’s stock has risen more than 40% since April, which has really surprised investors who thought it might land in the social media cemetery, much like MySpace, Vine and Meerkat. However, President Trump and others have certainly given it a boost. In addition, the S&P 500 information technology index, which is made up of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Visa, Intel, Cisco, Oracle and IBM is up 11% since April 17, 2017.
Business Impact: Don’t count Twitter or the other tech companies out. Continue to look at innovations within each company and product acceptance among your employees, clients, prospects and stakeholders. Social channels should change as bandwidth and devices become faster, more secure and much more robust.
Unhackable Networked Launched in China
The Jinan Institute of Quantum Technology will launch a fully-functional quantum communications network next month in Shanghai and Beijing. Known at quantum cryptography, it has been found to be unhackable due to the way it transmits data. The data is transmitted in two parts, the first part is the encryption key and the second, is the data. A user has to go through the encryption key to get to the data. If the first part is attempted to be hacked, the connection is broken, making the data unreadable.
Business Impact: If this works in China, there will be a huge demand for this product. Developers will start to develop similar solutions in the U.S. As much as we can obtain accurate information out of China, a product like this is very encouraging in the fight against cyberattacks.
USB 3.2 Announced
New USB 3.2 hosts and devices will allow for up to two lanes of 5 or 10 Gbps data transmission.
Business Impact: This effectively doubles the performance of today’s cables and will allow for a 2 GB/second data transfer performance allowing for more speed and better bandwidth performance of most devices.
Girl Scouts Focus on STEM
Starting with Daisies and ending with Teen Ambassadors, all Girl Scouts can earn 23 new badges focused in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Scouts will learn about robotics, computer programming, AI and big data.
Business Impact: This is good news for businesses because currently there are a minority of women in STEM-related jobs. If your employees have children already involved in Girl Scouts, encourage them to be mentors. Lastly, look to hire women college interns that focus in these areas of concentration.
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