It’s that time of year where we sit with family and friends, enjoy a very hearty meal and contemplate the things we are thankful for. Given the pervasiveness of technology (and the fact that we’re a technology company) it got us thinking about the technology that’s had the biggest impact on our lives in the last year.

The Cloud

The cloud has become ubiquitous, touching the lives of anyone that uses the Internet. Whether you realize it or not, your data is in the cloud. While there have been a number of studies that highlight fears over this very idea, these fears are more often than not unfounded. There is a saying, “with great power comes great responsibility.”  The cloud is the perfect example of this. Whether on a public or private instance, the cloud is a powerful tool with the ability to make us more efficient and provide greater flexibility on when and where we access data. The cloud even protects our data, ensuring that the information that matters most to us is stored in a location accessible from any device. How many times have you changed computers or phones only to lose every file and photo you had saved there?

Mobile

There is probably no other technology that has had a greater impact on our everyday lives than mobile. In the last 20 years mobile phones have gone from a luxury to a necessity and in the last 10 years these phones have transformed from “simple” communication devices to powerful pocket-sized computers. Mobility has completely changed the way we communicate. Anyone remember the days of setting up a designated time and place to meet? If the person you were meeting didn’t show you had to find a pay phone to call them at home. It also means that we’re no longer tied to our desks – we can work from virtually anywhere, even on the move.

Two-Factor Authentication

Many of the technology changes in the last decade have also introduced increased risk. I doubt there are very many that would give up the increased functionality these technologies have provided us due to a little risk. So what is the solution? More technology of course! Two-factor authentication (2FA) is simple in principal and practice and is quickly becoming a standard for online transactions. Much like in the physical world, where we are often required to show two forms of ID, 2FA simply adds a second level of authentication to an account log-in.

Single Sign-On

On the other hand we have single sign-on (SSO). Simply put: SSO makes our lives easier. Everyone can relate to the fatigue caused by creating and remembering multiple passwords, and every IT person can relate to the fears that employees are just using one password for every account. SSO alleviates the burden of remembering multiple passwords, while reducing the strain on IT – a win-win.

The Internet of Things

From Nest to the Apple Watch (and its counterparts) and connected cars, there is no doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a full-blown reality this year. Even the Target around the corner from us has a store dedicated to the smart home. While this is certainly a trend to keep an eye on in the years to come, it’s already had an impact on our lives, providing more flexibility and helping stay more informed and more connected at all times.

As we near the end of 2015 we’re sure to see a slew of prediction pieces highlighting the technologies and trends we’re likely to see in the year to come. There is no doubt that each of the technologies listed above will continue to have an impact as many go hand in hand. After all, we cannot have IoT without mobile.


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