Information Security is once again the number one issue for the American technology community, according to the results of the 2003 Top Technologies survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. It took the lead spot in the Institute's 2001 ranking and came in third place last year.
This year's list was one of exceptional change as six new items made their way into the final listing, including: Business Information Management, Application Integration, Wireless Technologies, Intrusion Detection, Customer Relationship Management, and Privacy.
While Disaster Recovery Planning and Remote Connectivity held their own on the list, survey participants moved Web Services up to the number four position from number eight in 2002.
The Top Technologies list consists of areas destined to have a significant impact on business in the year ahead.
"It should come as no surprise that Information Security is the top issue," said Roman Kepczyk, Chairman of the AICPA Information Technology Executive Committee and Chair of the Top Technologies Task Force. "Information Security always makes a significant showing on the list. We can expect it to be a major issue for the foreseeable future."
"We are very impressed with the number of issues making their first appearance on the Top Technologies list," said J. Louis Matherne, the AICPA's Director - Business Assurance and Advisory Services. "The AICPA will continue to address the impact these issues have on our members, their clients and employers in our initiatives, including Trust Services, XBRL, Privacy, and the annual AICPA TECH Conference. They will also serve as a basis for providing education and information to our members in the Institute's Information Technology membership section."
The AICPA Top Technologies for 2003 are:
- Information Security: The hardware, software, processes, and procedures in place to protect an organization's information systems from internal and external threats. They include firewalls, anti-virus, password management, patches, locked facilities, internet-protocol strategy, and perimeter control.
- Business Information Management: The process of capturing, indexing, storing, retrieving, searching, and managing documents electronically, including knowledge and database management (XML, PDF and other formats). Business Information Management brings to fruition the promise of the "paperless office."
- Application Integration: The ability of different operating systems, applications, and databases to "talk" to each other and for information to flow freely regardless of application, language, or platform.
- Web Services: Applications that use the Internet as their infrastructure and access tool, including both web-enabled and web-based applications. Examples include Java applications, Microsoft's .Net initiative, and today's Application Service Providers (ASP) and business portals.
- Disaster Recovery Planning: The development, monitoring, and updating of the process by which organizations plan for continuity of their business in the event of a loss of business information resources due to impairments such as theft, virus infestation, weather damage, accidents, or other malicious destruction.
- Wireless Technologies: The transfer of voice or data from one machine to another via the airwaves without physical connectivity. Examples include cellular, satellite, infrared, Bluetooth, wireless (WiFi), 3G, and 2-way paging.
- Intrusion Detection: Software or hardware solutions that list and track successful and unsuccessful login attempts on a network such as Tripwire. Intrusion detection capabilities are being built into many of today's firewall applications.
- Remote Connectivity: Technology that allows a user to connect to a computer from a distant location outside of the office. Examples would include RAS (Remote Access Services), WTS (Windows Terminal Server), Citrix, MangoMind and PCAnywhere.
- Customer Relationship Management: Managing all customer touch points, including Call Center Technologies, E-commerce, Data Warehousing, and all other technologies used to facilitate communications with customers and prospects.
- Privacy: Today, more and more personal information is being collected and converted to digital formats. This information must be protected from unauthorized use by those with access to the data. Privacy is a business issue, as well as a technology issue, because of state, federal and international regulations.