The 2004 Top 10 Technologies list includes an unprecedented seven first-time entries. Information security was once again the top technology affecting the accounting profession. Spam Technology, a completely new issue to the list, came in at number two. Rounding out the remainder of new items are technologies that lead to paperless or virtual office environments, foster synchronization and exchangeability, and ensure swift access to data.
|2004 Top Technology Initiatives
- Information Security . The hardware, software, processes, and procedures in place to protect an organization's systems. It includes firewalls, anti-virus, password management, patches, and locked facilities, among others.
- Spam Technology .The use of technology to reduce or eliminate unwanted e-mail. Technologies range from confirmation of the sender via ISP lookup to methods where the recipient accepts e-mail only from specific senders.
- Digital Optimization . Also known as the Paperless Office. The process of capturing and managing documents electronically (that is, PDF and other formats).
- Database and Application Integration. The ability to update one field and have it automatically synchronize among multiple databases. An example would be the transfer of data between disparate systems.
- Wireless Technologies. The transfer of voice or data from one machine to another via the airwaves without physical connectivity.
- Disaster Recovery. The development, monitoring, and updating of the process by which organizations plan for continuity of their business in the event of a loss of business information resources due to theft, weather damage, accidents, or malicious destruction.
- Data Mining. The methods by which a user can sift through volumes of data to find specific answers.
- Virtual Office. The technologies, processes, and procedures that allow personnel to work effectively, either individually or with others, regardless of physical location.
- Business Exchange Technology. The natural evolution from EDI to greater business transaction and data exchange via the Internet using datasets that are transported easily between programs and databases (for example, XBRL.
- Messaging Applications. Applications that permit users to communicate electronically, including e-mail, voicemail, and instant messaging.
The initiative also explored Emerging Technologies, expected to affect businesses and individuals in the next several years.
- ID/Authentication. Verifying either the identity of a user who is logging onto a computer system or the integrity of a transmitted message.
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). RFID tags, which consist of silicon chips and an antenna that can transmit data to a wireless receiver, could one day be used to track everything from soda cans to cereal boxes. Unlike bar codes, radio tags do not require line-of-sight for reading.
- 3G Wireless. Designed for high-speed multimedia data and voice.
- Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). A message-based protocol based on XML for accessing services on the Internet.
- Autonomic Computers. Tools and strategies to manage and maintain all systems across the enterprise, including system maintenance, upgrades, automatic patching, and self-healing (for example, ZenWorks, Unicenter TNG, management alerts). This is an approach toward self-managed computing systems with a minimum of human interference. The term derives from the body's autonomic nervous system, which controls key functions without conscious awareness or involvement.