October 19, 2015. Business Data Intelligence Author: Paul Kelly

A generation of technology: 1985-2015

Back to the Future had just hit the big screen, the original Macintosh computer was launched, Michael Harrison made the first mobile phone call, Polaroid cameras were all the rage and Boris Becker won the Men’s Singles at Wimbledon; in 1985 things were very different, nothing more so than the technology. Five years later Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, and you could say the rest is history.

Over the past 30 years, numerous technologies have had an impact on IT, the channel and Arrow. However, in the last ten years technology has developed at a much faster rate than ever before – leaving many companies behind in the new digital world.

Today, more than 20 years after the first ever online sale took place (Sting’s album ’Ten Summoner’s Tales’), around 95 per cent of British people now shop online, driverless cars are on the horizon and many children are more interested in learning coding than a foreign language at school.

The introduction of e-commerce in the mid 1990s allowed organisations to complete transactions anytime, anywhere. Geophysical barriers disappeared, making all businesses potential customers and suppliers. It’s now predicted that by this year’s Black Friday (27th November) the UK will hit its first £1billion online shopping day – but with this increase in ecommerce comes increased corporate exposure to security risks. Reactive and perimeter security is no longer enough; data loss prevention, compliance, security remediation, intrusion prevention systems and secure sockets layer VPNs must all be considered in order to maintain a safe, open and secure cyberspace.


The challenge for the channel is to keep several steps ahead of the threats and the key to this is insight through data analytics. This is why Arrow has developed channel-centric services such as ‘Leveraging Big Data’, which collects possible threat data from security equipment, firewall logs and intrusion detection, and decides which threats to act on. Complementary to this is Arrow’s ‘Distilling Threat Information’ solution, which analyses security data in context to the user’s industry or market.

Another recent critical development in technology has been the birth of the smartphone and tablet in the late 2000s. Today, it’s estimated that 80 per cent of adults own a smart phone, and the way these devices have revolutionised the way we use the Internet has brought about the consumerisation of IT and enterprise mobility. A recent study revealed that Britain’s smartphone users look at their devices nearly 1.1 billion times a day. That’s a staggering 400 billion times a year. Our reliance on mobile phones has never been so prevalent, with many of us using them as our cameras, music players and diaries as well as for gaming, the internet and of course, to make a phone call.

So beware, if you don’t have a dedicated mobile app to complement your on-premise or cloud-delivered service, you’ll quickly be left behind! This global technological revolution has led Arrow to develop services such as ‘Mobile Application Management’, ‘Infrastructure Compliance’ and ‘Policy Controls’ that provide mobile solutions for security and connectivity.

kids, technologyx

In the mid 2010s, as Moore’s Law’s demise is being predicted but not yet realised, the UK’s development community has a very bright future. Coding classes are beginning to be introduced to primary schools to create the next generation of developers who will help businesses be even better informed, react faster and improve time-to-productivity. This will be crucial as supply chains become more ever complex.

IT has come an extremely long way in just a single generation and who knows what the next 30 years will bring. One thing you can be sure of – we’re working on the next five…

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