DUBAI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Two global IT congresses held in Dubai this week indicated that the path consumers enter due to smart phones and cloud computing will lead to a major shift in the employment world and create new dangers.
The annual IT trade fair GITEX and the ITU Telecom World, which ended Thursday, ran parallel for five days in Dubai, attracting together some 140,000 professional visitors and delegates.
Chinese telecom equipment giant ZTE, Saudi Telecom Company and Japan's Mitsumi participated for the first time at the GITEX, which was held in its 32nd year.
Visitors were bombarded on almost hourly frequency with SMSs, invitations to speeches, roundtable discussions and networking events as some 3,500 GITEX exhibitors from 54 countries launched some 1,000 new products.
The rising number of smart phones and the increased connectivity will lead to major shift in global employment, Wim Elfrink, chief globalization officer at U.S. IT network firm Cisco Systems, said in a key note at the ITU summit on Wednesday.
According to Cisco, global market penetration of smart devices stands at 15 percent today. "That is just the beginning," Elfrink said.
In order to demonstrate how far the world is still behind the next technological leap, Elfrink gave a simple example during his keynote address at the ITU Telecom World conference in Dubai. "I once had a meeting scheduled at six o'clock in the morning, so my alarm bell near my bed was ringing at five a.m.. At 5:30 I saw an SMS that the meeting was cancelled. If my smart phone was connected with the alarm clock with the message that no alarm at five was needed and I could have slept an hour longer."
Elfrink, who is also Cisco's Executive Vice President and Emerging Solutions Officer, said that connectivity in information technology will no longer be a fashion in the future, but a necessity. "If hospitals in the underdeveloped markets like in Africa would be connected with healthcare units in the developed world it would increase the healthcare standards in Africa which is crucial to reduce diseases and to increase productivity."
The Dutchman added that Cisco identified healthcare, education and housing as the three key sectors in Africa, Latin America and Asia in order to create millions of new jobs and to reduce poverty. "The so-called developed countries must find ways to create new jobs as old industries will come out of age. South Korea for example plans to set up 450 smart work centers until 2015, which means workers will work from home with their smart devices and avoid going to work, because work comes to them. It will save 1.6 billion U.S. dollars in transit costs."
Elfrink, however, did not point out what will happen to the lost jobs in the car industry due to erased trips by vehicles.
Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and CEO of the same-named Russian anti-virus software producer said he was skeptical about the growing connectivity between humans, organizations and states. He warned of an escalation of the cyber-warfare in 2013 "because hacker attacks, whoever might be behind them, intensify and get more planned and professional."
Kaspersky's firm said in a press release it discovered MiniFlame, a new malware program which spied out financial transactions mainly in the Middle East. However, Kaspersky urged the global IT community and governments to join forces in order to fight cyber-terrorism efficiently.
The GITEX also saw a large presence of government agencies of the host country United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Dubai Health Authority DHA launched its new website which allows residents to re-schedule or cancel doctor appointments. "We invite all patients to become partners of the DHA by signing up on our page and using all new features of our revamped portal in order to reduce paper work and administration costs."
China's telecom and data storage giant Huawei said at the GITEX it appointed Mindware, a leading distributor of IT products, to the Middle East and North Africa, as it distributor in the region.
Dong Wu, vice president of Huawei Enterprise Middle East, said "As Huawei grows, we rely on our family of channel partners to provide extensive support to customers. The technical support Mindware provides is vital in the early stages for customers, especially when they are opting for a combination of products or support across multiple levels of their organisation."
Huawei aims to take a market lead position in cloud computing in the region. Clouding describes the sharing of data, information or data storage hardware from many departments within an organization or even among different legal entities.
The UAE is so advanced in e-governance that almost casts a shadow on the country. UAE citizens are today the most scanned and observed people in the world as the oil-rich Gulf state holds the largest biometric database, the Emirates Identity Authority said.
Everyone of the 8.5 million UAE citizens (of which 80 percent are foreigners) has to hold a UAE identity card with an enclosed chips that holds all 10 finger prints and an iris scan.