Reflections: Tan See Ghee, AMD South Asia

<a href="<a href=",39052083,39307480,00.htm">Virus writers or hackers will continue to be a major threat to the PC industry. Always-on, always-connected devices will be the easiest targets for hackers.</a> -- Tan See Ghee, AMD's microprocessor solutions sector manager for South Asia

Q. What was the top security issue of 2005 and why?
Identity theft. The emergence of more commercially viable authentication technologies, products and tools to counter identity theft and fraud, signal businesses' response to combat the threat. Increasing corporate governance as well as heightened concerns from consumers regarding the use of their identity to commit crimes, has resulted in more businesses, governments and individuals seeking more tools as well as education to develop their defense and awareness in this area.

Andrew Namboka, chief technologist for Nokia Enterprise Solutions Asia, is looking forward to more developments in the mobile IP TV space

What was the top IT news of 2005?
Packetized voice: Many contenders here include search technology, IP TV, RSS feeds and so forth. However, a technology area that really came of age in 2005 was packetized voice. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are now ensuring that when it comes to voice communications they look at VoIP (Voice over IP) based services, either self-managed, or deployed by an IP Telephony provider. Previous provider concerns about lost voice revenues are being replaced with comprehensive outsourced voice offerings with rich call handling and management capabilities usually only available through state-of-the-art IP PBX software. Consumers have also gathered momentum in VoIP and, in fact, the organization that led the consumer drive for VoIP was acquired by a large online auction house last year.

What were the top 3 most important industry developments in 2005?
Search technology: the familiar Web search engine technology is increasingly making its way into enterprise infrastructure and organizations are maximizing the use of their Web services investments and intranet infrastructure by deploying competent search platforms. Search Technology extends to personal search on the desktop as well as corporate intranets.

Virtualization: Whether its servers, CPUs, hard disk storage or applications, cost pressures and hardware consolidation are all factors driving organizations to consider virtualization technologies. Concepts such as utility computing, services orientated architectures take virtualization to further levels and promise great returns, however, more immediately, these technologies can now be seen as shipping products, in proven customer deployments in reputable corporations and vendors. Complexity has been the hurdle to date, and this is slowly being reduced with improved products ad architectures.

Whether its servers, CPUs, hard disk storage or applications, cost pressures and hardware consolidation are all factors driving organizations to consider virtualization technologies.

Unified threat management: Until recently, the threats and exploits on the Internet leveled at businesses have been fairly one-dimensional for the most part, and for most threats there would be a capable, proven countermeasure that could generally be adopted. The ease with which Internet-borne malicious code can be developed and the growth in the numbers of combinations and permutations has brought about a set of new security tools. The earliest defense against these more sophisticated threats would be corporate or network-based intrusion detection systems. However, new technologies which compete and, in some cases, replace IDS include IPS, a proactive form of IDS technology, and most recently the emergence of a defensive tool that has gained popularity along the more medium-sized businesses--unified threat management.

Which emerging technology has the potential to enter mainstream in 2006, and why?
Unified threat management: At present, unified threat management is gaining success particularly in the SMB market because it addresses the challenge of shrinking budgets, for example. As the areas of performance, management and event correlation are addressed by product vendors and implemented by solution providers, the value and strength of unified threat management will only rise beyond a cost-effective approach for the SMB.

Which product/technology launch are you particularly looking forward to in 2006?
Enterprise voice convergence: Businesses are looking to increase their competitive edge through improved cost efficiencies by leveraging existing IT investments. Enterprises are looking for mobile device platforms that support advanced voice services, such as Internet (Voice over IP) phone calls, push-to-talk, and other SIP-based rich call services. These will give businesses a variety of ways to make it easier for employees to collaborate and work, in or out of the office.

Mobile IP television services: There are already some very powerful products on the market, however, 2006 looks very bright for the collaboration of carriers, content providers and handset manufacturers to offer consumers even more powerful, more compelling services and user experiences.