10 Technologies’ Confirms Interest in Information
Security, Spam Control
AICPA recently announced its list of the Top 10 Technologies
that will most affect the accounting profession in 2004.
Seven new issues debut on the list. Information security
held the top spot for the second year in a row. Spam technology,
a new issue, came in at number two. Some older issues remain
relevant, although their importance has shifted slightly.
Information security. The hardware, software,
processes, and procedures in place to protect an organization’s
information systems. It includes firewalls, antivirus,
password management, patches, and secure facilities.
2. Spam technology (new). 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.
3. Digital optimization (new).
Also known as “the paperless office.” The
process of capturing and managing documents electronically,
in .pdf and other formats.
4. Database and application integration (new).
The ability to update data in one place and have it automatically
synchronized between multiple systems.
5. Wireless technologies. The
transfer of voice or data from one machine to another
via the airwaves.
6. Disaster recovery. The development,
monitoring, and updating of the process by which organizations
plan for continuity in the event of a loss of business
information resources due to theft, severe weather, accidents,
or malicious destruction.
7. Data mining (new). The methods
by which a user can sift through volumes of data to find
new connections and relationships.
8. Virtual office (new). The
technologies, processes, and procedures that allow personnel
to work effectively, individually or with others, regardless
of physical location.
9. Business exchange technology (new).
The natural evolution from electronic data interchange
(EDI) to greater business transaction and data exchange
via the Internet. It uses datasets that are transported
easily between programs and databases (e.g., extensible
business reporting language, or XBRL).
10. Messaging applications (new).
Applications that permit users to communicate electronically,
including e-mail, voicemail, and instant messaging.
survey also noted five emerging technologies that may not
have current commercial impact but are likely to affect
businesses and individuals in the next two or three years:
ID/authentication. Verifying the identity
of a user who is logging onto a computer system or the
integrity of a transmitted message.
2. 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 every product and inventory item.
Unlike barcodes, radio tags do not require line-of-sight
3. Third-generation (3G) wireless. Designed
for high-speed multimedia data and voice communications.
4. Simple object access protocol (SOAP). A
message-based protocol based on extensible markup language
(XML) for accessing services on the Internet.
5. Autonomic computers. Tools
and strategies to manage and maintain all systems across
an enterprise, including system maintenance, upgrades,
automatic patching, and self-healing. This is an approach
toward self-managed computing systems with a minimum of
human interference. (The term derives from the human body’s
autonomic nervous system, which controls key functions
without conscious awareness.)
information on the Top 10 Technologies is available online
at the Information Technology Center on CPA2Biz (www.cpa2biz.com).