Anthony Caruana: This is the technology I found most useful in 2013

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Anthony Caruana: This is the technology I found most useful in 2013

Agree? Disagree? Click to see Anthony's picks for the technology he thinks made the most difference this year.

Opinion: 

It's been a busy year with lots of new products, services and technologies. So, what do I think was big in 2013?

Storage continues to get cheaper

It was only a couple of years ago when 1TB of storage cost over $200. Now, you can buy three times more storage for less than that – despite floods in Thailand that devastated the factories that make most of the world's hard disks that drove prices up for a while.

The only downside with this is that you'll need to get smarter about how you organise your data and manage backups.

The cloud got easier

Over 2013, cloud services made the move from early adopters and nerds to the mainstream. Although Dropbox has been popular for a while and Google Docs has pushed the envelope of online productivity, 2013 saw many established players increase their online presence.

Microsoft's online version of Office saw significant improvements and MYOB gave their online accounts system a substantial facelift.

From the start of 2013 the biggest change in cloud services is that there are far more of them to choose from, it's trivially easy to set one up and there's almost no functional difference between what can be done with cloud software and locally installed hardware and equipment.

Risks get more complex

As we started to store more data and embrace the cloud this year, life became a little more complicated.

Small businesses now need to get their heads around contracts and agreements as they sign on for more cloud services.

Mobile security is more complicated – there are now over a million pieces of Android malware in the wild.

Protecting business information is trickier as our data is likely spread more widely than ever before.

2013 is the year that managing business information risk became much more complicated.

The beginning of biometrics

Apple introduced the iPhone 5s with a new fingerprint scanner earlier this year. While it's had its share of detractors, it signals that biometric devices are coming.

I doubt that we'll see lots of biometric scanners next year but I expect to see two things happen as a result of Apple's move.

Firstly, we'll see an inevitable flood of copiers add scanners to their devices. Tread carefully if you buy one of these devices as the data they collect could be used to identify you.

Biometric data will become increasingly important as an identifier. Already, India has embraced it through the ANDHAAR project.

 

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