For the third consecutive year, information security - the processes and procedures designed to protect information technology systems from internal and external threats - remained the country's No. 1 technology concern, according to the results of the 2005 Top Technologies Survey of the American Institute of CPAs. The poll, now in its 16th year, attempts to define the 10 most important technology-critical issues for the upcoming year. This year's poll surveyed some 300 participants, 30 percent more than the number surveyed in the 2004 poll. Predictably, in second place for 2005 was document management - reflecting the snowballing trend toward a paperless or less-paper office. Electronic document management captures, indexes, stores retrieves and manages documents in such formats as Adobe's PDF. Data integration - the ability to update one field and have it automatically synchronize between multiple databases - finished as the third most-cited technology issue. Data integration also involves the application-neutral exchange of information - such as the increased use of the Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL by companies worldwide - which provides for an exchange and aggregation of financial data using different applications to read, present and analyze data. The remaining top 10 technology issues for 2005 were: 4. Spam technology 5. Disaster recovery 6. Collaboration and messaging applications 7. Wireless technologies 8. Authentication technologies 9. Storage technologies 10. Learning and training competency. Each year the institute also compiles a "watch list" list of emerging technologies that are currently flying just below the radar screen but have the potential to impact businesses and individuals in the ensuing 24 to 36 months. The top three emerging technologies for 2005 are: 1. Radio frequency identification 2. Search 3. Fuel cells For more information visit: www.aicpa.org/infotech/technologies/toptechs.htm.
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