fewer devices." Samborski said. "We're definitely seeing more
interest in cutting costs."
Samborski said computer manufacturers are building systems that can handle more work with less power and equipment, leading companies to upgrade their systems, but not needing as much as before. "Five years ago, a company may have had 10 servers. Today they're able to operate with one," he said.
But by next year, the emerging trend will be the evolution of smartphone technology to personal mobile computing, said Iqbal Arshad, senior vice president global product development mobile devices of Motorola Mobility, Libertyville and Chicago.
"Tablets and mobile devices will start to replace traditional hardware, and consumers will have unprecedented flexibility to manage everything from their finances to their social circles anytime, anywhere," Arshad said.
Companies will see this industry step-change by developing faster, thinner and smarter devices which will soon make seamless connectivity even more of a reality.
And even in the medical industry, it's likely the technology will evolve for devices and supplies, Medline CEO Charlie Mills said.
"For the medical device and supplies industry, the hottest new technologies in 2013 won't come with an on/off switch or a power cord," Mills said. "Technology improvements are coming in the form of significant innovations in the way older products work. Take for example Medline's new BioMask, the first FDA-approved face mask that actually kills the flu virus."
Mills said that for decades, face masks just filtered the air. Now, with new technology from Ionixx, a simple face mask can protect the wearer from getting and spreading deadly viruses.
At NEC Display Solutions in Itasca, the hottest trend right now is being driven by advancements in interactive technology, said Keith Yanke, director of product marketing.
"Our customers, regardless of their industry, want to incorporate touch-screen displays into their signage strategy to better connect visitors to their facility and services. Operators of digital signage in public areas, like restaurants and retail stores, want to use digital technology to improve the customer experience, convey brand messaging and better communicate with the visitor," he said. We foresee many will start using "order-ready boards" that alert customers when their meals are completed, he said.
Meanwhile, consumer technology will always affect the corporate customer, LaMantia said. For example, "Laptops before iPad, iPhone becoming work devices. Security and support across enterprise will be the challenge."
2013 will be "the year of the apps" as mobile technology shifts from a consumer focus to a work-flow environment, said Alex Bratton, president and CEO of Lisle-based Lextech. "There will be apps that allow the business owner to do the job rather than personal productivity," Bratton said. "You will have the apps needed to do your job in your pocket."
New apps will let the owner of a small or medium business to basically conduct all aspects of his work, from bookkeeping to sales. Also, increased use of file-sharing sites coupled with the evolution of electronic forms and signatures will lead to businesses being able to move contracts and important documents through the Internet.
* Daily Herald Business Ledger writers Richard R. Klicki and Anna Marie Kukec contributed to this report.
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