A new year is upon us again, which means its time to analyze upcoming tech trends and issues that will make an impact in our lives.
According to IT research group Gartner, by 2013, more people will use mobile devices than PCs to access the Internet. Mobile users are more likely to make fewer clicks on a website than users accessing sites from a PC. While a growing number of websites have become mobile friendly, many still aren’t, which could become a barrier to reaching out to current and new markets, including a rapidly growing number of people in the developing world.
Broadband Deployment & Infrastructure
Prior to the UN General Assembly in New York City last September, the Broadband Commission for Digital Development released a report – The State of Broadband 2012: Achieving Digital Inclusion. It is their first ever country-by-country analysis of broadband deployment worldwide. The Commission wants to achieve global digital inclusion by 2015. Specifically, the Commission’s targets include having all countries adopt a broadband policy, making broadband affordable in developing nations and setting up broadband connections in 40 percent of homes in developing nations. More governments will spend the next two years attempting to meet this benchmark.
As the economic downturn continues to march on, many are turning to new entrepreneurial opportunities in the technology sector. Many governments around the world are seizing on the opportunities tech start-ups provide for the economy, as well as helping to level the playing field for women, racial and ethnic minorities and poor communities. During Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the U.S. State Department, her “smart diplomacy” was implemented through such programs as TechWomen, an initiative that brings tech savvy women from the Middle East and Africa to the United States to train with their American counterparts in Silicon Valley. The Obama administration also launched similar entrepreneurial projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean last summer, with more projects to come in the near future.
According to a new report from McAfee, a potential cyberattack is a real worry in 2013. “State-related threats will increase and make the headlines,” the report says. “Suspicions about government-sponsored attacks will grow.” McAfee also reports that hacktivist group Anonymous will cease to be relevant as too many “un-coordinated and unclear operations” have made them less credible. Instead, they will be replaced by “more politically committed and extremist groups.”
Free speech supporters dodged a major bullet in December when a treaty that would have implemented stricter Internet regulations was struck down at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai. However, recent censorship attempts in Syria and China shows that Internet freedom will continue to be an issue for the forseeable future. Many believe that Internet regulation will come up again at the World Telecommunication/Information and Communication Technology Policy Forum (WTPF) next May.