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The Year of the Horse rides in on mobility

Computerworld Hong Kong staff | Dec. 10, 2013
Our tradition of inviting local IT leaders to share their thoughts of the tech trends continues. Our trio of questions reviews last year's overrated tech, forecasts next year's tech trend, and explores different tech wishes.."

Our tradition of inviting local IT leaders to share their thoughts of the tech trends continues. Our trio of questions reviews last year's overrated tech, forecasts next year's tech trend, and explores different tech wishes.."

This year our answers cover the latest tech terms from big data, cloud and mobility to the hottest tech acronyms, like SDN, NFC and IoT.

What was the most overrated tech hype of 2013?
Big data wins big on this topic.

A few IT leaders find the concept of using both structured and unstructured data for making better and faster business decisions idealistic rather than realistic--at least during 2013.

"The entire industry is talking about big data," said Ted Suen, head of IT, MTR. "However, I haven't seen many actual implementations. Rather, I see challenges."

Suen said one major challenge is a collective misunderstanding of what defines big data and its related technologies. This observation is shared by other IT experts, including Tony Mok, head of IT, Hopewell Holdings.

"Many companies still have no idea about what big data is," said Hopewell's Mok. "There is a general lack of peripheral solutions for big data."

Computerworld Hong Kong did a survey on big data this year. The findings indicate that over 40% of our survey respondents have no plans to implement big data deployments, suggesting Hong Kong enterprises remain sluggish in embracing this much-discussed technology.

"Big data's time has yet to arrive," said Charles Mok, legislative councilor, IT functional constituency. "Most Hong Kong IT decision-makers haven't grasped how it can make an impact, or what problems to solve with big data."

Data privacy issues
The use of enterprise data--particularly personal information--is a privacy landmine. "We want to get the most benefits out of big data, but sometimes the data includes personal information," said Suen. "This raises issues related to personal information confidentiality."

Nevertheless, the IT gurus we spoke to remain confident about the technology and its potential for businesses. "I believe big data can provide business benefits," said Suen. "But let's not get too excited about big data infrastructure technology."

"I hope to see more business applications of big data," said Mok from Hopewell. "In the retail space, big data helps analyze both positive and negative comments from social networks. Big data analytics can reveal useful insights from unstructured data."

Government CIO Daniel Lai also hopes to see more big data application implementations. "We need to see more big data applications that provide significant impacts and benefits," he said.

Other confusing acronyms: NFC and SDN
Another disappointment in 2013 is the development of near-field communications (NFC), particularly its use in mobile payments, said Sunny Lee, VP (administration), City University of Hong Kong.

 

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