One last Fifth Estate blog post for the year.

Doing it tough

It may have been a good year for ITPA but not so good for some of our local tech companies. According to this report from channel champion ARN, plenty are doing it tough including 10 that hit the wall owing over $1 million.

It could start getting a lot tougher for local retailers as well with digital retail monolith, Amazon kicking off local operations. There is science behind the hype according to this piece which is also on ARNNet but they also suggest that there is a silver lining to Amazon’s Australian arrival.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Amazon but, nevertheless, it is aiming to take Boxing Day sales by storm. In case you were interested here are the top 10 selling items after the first week of sales action in Australia.

Other issues

All over the world, IT implementations continue to be plagued by mismanagement with Computerworld recently compiling a list of the eight biggest IT management mistakes.

It will come as no surprise that data use has exploded in Australia over the last 12 months but 43 per cent increase is a big jump by any metrics you care to use. Even with all of this additional data to be managed, the suppliers of tools and services to do so continue to elude the tax man’s tap on the shoulder with tech companies featuring way-too-prominently in the list of Australia’s worst tax-avoidance practitioners.

Meanwhile, our national auditor recently released a list of the biggest Australian govt IT suppliers, ranked for easy reference.

Hope you bought some Bitcoin

Bitcoin just can’t keep out of the news getting all the branding recognition despite being just one of the hundreds of digital currencies out there today. You’d have to think that all the exposure it gets as being one of the drivers of a ridiculous increase in value in recent months. Even the Reserve Bank of Australia is considering introducing a crypto-currency based on the block chain technology at the core of Bitcoin which has way more applications than just exchange of money.

As this technology and currency continues to develop, you can be sure that there will be a rise in the attempt to hack the technology in yet-to-be-thought of ways.

Is AWS out of control?

It has been revealed that over 70 per cent of the global internet traffic is now going through Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure.

All that data centralised through one channel must have potential disastrous consequences? Surely at some stage in the future, some Lex Luthor or Auric Goldfinger like oligarch is going to bring the free world to its knees by taking out a couple of pieces of critical AWS infrastructure?

This is exactly why some companies are deciding to go it alone; such as Dropbox. And, of course, that means that when AWS suffers an outage, it has ripple effects right across the internet. There are some rapidly growing  challengers in the infrastructure as a service space but AWS still owns the cloud.

Biggest tech stories of 2017

Finally there are plenty of features written at this time of the year that compile lists of the biggest stories of the year. No surprises in the fact that Bitcoin features prominently. What we don’t see quite so often (but we should) is a ranking of the biggest tech scandals of the year.

Meanwhile, Accenture has gone out on a limb to predict what the biggest tech stories of next year will be.