HP Technology at Work

The must-read IT business eNewsletter

Dateline: 2004

Dateline: 2004

December 2014

A lot has changed since 2004. Kids and parents alike had The Incredibles DVD on repeat, songs by Amy Winehouse and Usher were being downloaded, and some of us may have been updating our MySpace page, hoping to attract more friends than just Tom Anderson. But what was HP Technology at Work (T@W) talking about 10 years ago?
 
Since the beginning, T@W has strived to find topics and trends that help its readers make informed decisions. We’ve put together a list of the top four things T@W was discussing back in 2004 to find out what was important to readers 10 years ago. You might be surprised by just how much things have—and haven’t—changed since then.
 
New services
 
What we said then:
HP Care Pack Electronic Vaulting Service: HP took the impressive capabilities of the continuous backup and recovery services once available only to large enterprises, and configured and priced them as an ideal solution for small and medium businesses. This service provided continuous online backups and off-site storage of critical business data, along with additional safeguards and restoration capabilities. Another key benefit was that it eliminated the need for staff to spend time handling tapes for backups, taking tapes offsite for storage, as well as other mundane yet error-prone tasks.
 
What we say now:
Sound familiar? It should, because this service—and many other similar services offered by other organizations—has evolved into cloud storage as we know it today. While still a relatively foreign concept back in 2004, today businesses in the United States are expected to spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services [1]. Initially, there was some hesitancy on the part of businesses to embrace virtual storage, but it’s clear that it’s since become a mainstream option for businesses of all sizes.
 
New technology
 
What we said then:
Wi-Fi—the revolution continues: Adopting Wi-Fi wasn’t as much a matter of keeping up with the latest technology boom as it was taking advantage of a useful standard that promised to continue spreading and improving for many years to come.
 
What we say now:
We don’t need to remind you that Wi-Fi continues to be a really big deal. In fact, it’s changed the way we work. Once found chiefly in coffeehouses and cutting-edge businesses, now wireless networks can be accessed in virtually every office and almost every home. Over the years, Wi-Fi speeds have increased substantially with each release: 11a (54Mbps) in 1999, 11n (450Mbps) in 2009, and most recently, 11ac-wave1 (1.3Gbps) in 2012.
 
The popularity of Wi-Fi was spurred, in part, by in the rise in mobile device usage and more businesses embracing BYOD. In fact, by 2020, Gigaom predicts that 24 billion devices will be connected to the internet, and the vast majority of them will use some form of wireless for access [2].
 
Industry trends
 
What we said then:
The promise of handheld streaming video: A survey by In-Stat/MDR found that about 13 percent of wireless consumers were highly interested in buying video services for their mobile phones, exceeding the demand for other multimedia features such as music and gaming. While some of that demand might have been attributed to consumers who just wanted to send video postcards of a road trip or family reunion, handheld streaming video promised real business benefits, too.
 
What we say now:
Holy cat video! Today, it’s hard to get through a typical day without viewing at least one piece of streaming video content. Streaming video is now a staple of online content, accessible from virtually every device.
 
Whether you’re watching TV shows or movies on Hulu and Netflix, or a viral video someone posts to your Facebook timeline (“What Does the Fox Say,” anyone?), streaming video is part of our everyday lives. Viewing video on the internet averaged less than three hours a month in 2008; by 2012, viewing time increased to almost six hours a month, a year over year growth rate of 21 percent. By 2015, one report projects that Americans will be watching video for almost 11 hours a month, a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent a year [3].
 
Security
 
What we said then:
Beware of the infected JPEG!: On September 14, 2004, Microsoft issued a security bulletin alerting users to an image-processing vulnerability affecting several pieces of software, including Windows XP. Within days, proof of concept of a viral exploit was available on the internet. Shortly thereafter, sample code, called “JPEG of Death,” and a hacking tool for generating malicious programs were also circulating the cyber-underground.
 
What we say now:
Delivery methods may have changed, but security threats such as viruses, botnets, and malware are still very much a problem for businesses. Ten years ago there were fewer devices for hackers to attack, and as the number of devices has grown, so too have the threats. Just how bad has it gotten? In 2012 there was one breach of more than 10 million identities exposed, but in 2013 there were eight breaches—an increase of 700 percent [4].
 
The more things change the more they stay the same
While the complexity of products, services, and even threats has changed over the years, the issues that most interest business remain consistent. Trends, security threats, and emerging technology were all important in 2004, they’re still important in 2014, and we expect them to be important in 2024.
 
[1] Forbes, Cloud Computing: United States Businesses Will Spend $13 Billion On It, January 2014
[2] Gigaom, Internet of things will have 24 billion devices by 2020, October 2011
[3] Science Daily, Media consumption to average 15.5 hours a day by 2015, October 2013
[4] Symantec, Internet Security Threat Report, 2014