Aircraft IT Operations – February / March 2015

Aircraft IT Operations – February / March 2015 Cover


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The World according to IT …and me!



This article appears in Issue 17: the Feb/Mar 2014 edition of the Aircraft IT Operations eJournal. For your own free subscription to the eJournal – click on ‘SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE’ for full details.

The World according to IT …and me!

What happened next?

One of the best things about writing a column is that I can make wild predictions about the future of technology with impunity. Who cares if I get it wrong? You can only be 100% accurate about the future if you never say anything. Besides, the future of technology is only thwarted by our own limited imaginations, so anything is possible over time. Progress is like erosion: it’s just a matter of time and pressure before you see the results. If my predictions don’t happen next year, there is always another year after that. 

However, for this issue, instead of looking forward, as is traditional in a column to coincide with the New Year, I thought I’d look back at the accuracy of my previous predictions… Cue wobbly visual effect as we fiddle with the fabric of time.

Spec2300 (October/November 2014)
In my last column I wrote about the adoption (or lack thereof) of the new ATA Spec2300 flight operations data transfer standard. I since learned that one major airframe OEM is in the process of implementation and adoption. Hopefully this is the beginning of wide-scale adoption for the standard that so many of our industry colleagues worked hard for many years to deliver.

Net Neutrality (July/August 2014)
After reading my column, President Obama declared his support for Network Neutrality and has called on the FCC to make the “strongest possible rules” to protect a founding principle of the Internet. This isn’t a done deal yet with lobbyists and political heavy weights like Senator Ted Cruz still campaigning against “Obamacare for the Internet”; but it does not seem like the same certainty that the cable companies had hoped for a couple of months ago.

Identity (March/April 2014)
Back at the start of the year I predicted that identity would be a big issue in 2014. The celebrity photo leaks that occurred just a few months later have promoted this issue to front page news. There hasn’t been any major technological or legal breakthrough on this topic yet, but the higher profile that this topic now has in the media is bound to lead to progress sooner rather than later.

Phablets (August/September 2013)
With the rise of phablets and larger phones, I predicted that the 6th generation iPhone would be a whopper. Sure enough, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are huuuuge!

Windows 8 (Summer 2012)
My mantra of ‘If you want it bad: iPad. If you’re happy to wait: Windows 8’ proved to be appropriate advice for aerospace technologists. It seems that the adoption of the iPad in Flight Operations has peaked and the majority of new implementations are heading down the Windows route. Windows Pro tablets like the Surface and Panasonic’s ToughPad are in the comfort zone for most IT departments, supporting Active Directory and the majority of their existing business applications. We’re even seeing widespread adoption of more user-centric design in business software in order to contend with the improved user experience expectations of our users. I think the consumerization of aerospace IT will continue along the same path in 2015 with greater choice of solutions and platforms going forward.

Looking back, my tech predictions weren’t so far off after all…. 

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