The 21st century exhibits increased establishment and advancement of information technology, which has become an integral part of modern society daily life. According to Pylkin et al. (2019), information technology refers to the study, design, application, development, and management of computer-based information systems. Information technology has served as an agent of change in various aspects of society and business. It is a game-changer in resolving social and economic issues. This paper seeks to discuss modern trends in information technology, including various software and hardware, and how they have transformed the lives of people. As part of information technologies, social media have become very popular in recent years and have changed the lives of different individuals, both positively and negatively.
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However, as technology develops and expands, the rates of cybercrimes have grown consistently and exponentially with the growth of information technology. Fortunately, the government has formulated cyber laws that assist in cabbing these criminal activities. Information technology, such as various software, hardware, and social media, has transformed modern society significantly. However, information technology has also brought vices, such as cybercrimes, which have negatively impacted the community, leading to the formulation of cyber laws as an attempt to combat the evil.
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Information Technology System/ Software
Information technology includes various layers of management systems, virtualization, and operating systems, among other system software. System software includes computer programs that use the primary computing systems. Some of the modern software trends include the following:
Blockchain software is synonymous to Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency revolution. The software has triggered a significant impact in modern development. The advantage of the software is its decentralization character. Blockchain can store any data in a public-facing database, which is almost impossible for hackers to corrupt or alter (Siddiqui et al., 2016). Blockchain is among the newest developments in information technology, and software developers are looking for exciting and new ways to implement it. Blockchain has impacted the financial industry significantly as it has eliminated the need for intermediation and reconciliation between traders by enabling direct transactions between business partners.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is among the trending software systems all over the world. From a smart microwave to Bluetooth trackers, devices connected to the Internet do not relegate to cellphones and computers. The rollout of 5G technology has enabled more users to take the opportunity of power efficiency and wireless bandwidth (Pylkin et al., 2019). The ability of IoT to write code for small Internet-connected and energy-efficient devices has remained a powerful achievement in recent years. The Internet of Things has transformed modern society’s life significantly. For instance, it has enabled doctors to access their patients’ information faster. Wearable Internet-connected devices track a patient’s blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate accurately, in a compact manner, and affordably.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence software is a program that mimics the behaviors of humans by learning various patterns, data, and insights. The future of the software includes voice and speech recognition, machine learning, and virtual assistance, among others. Through machine learning, deep learning, or wider artificially intelligent software, organizations rely on artificial intelligence to fundamentally transform their companies (Mauerhoefer et al., 2017). For example, artificial intelligence has significantly improved the quality of healthcare services. Artificial Intelligence software like IBM Watson provides more immediate and error-free answers with accurate and fast data mining. Additionally, the software has increased human safety due to the implementation of artificial intelligence sensors.
Cloud ERP Software
Cloud EPR software is a program that enables users to access Enterprise Resource Planning software through the Internet. The software has significantly reduced upfront cost since computing resources are ordered monthly instead of purchasing and maintaining the software within business premises. In recent years, companies have realized the increasing need for data recovery and high accessibility. This need has forced both public and private entities to adopt cloud technology for both business and human life significantly. Cloud technology eliminates numerous costs for firms (Pylkin et al., 2019). Store data with the help of the cloud allows eliminating most paper file costs. Moreover, the need for servers is unnecessary when a company transfers to cloud computing. Additionally, the system enables employees to access all of their data from any location.
Progressive Web Apps
In recent few years, android software developers have realized the benefits of mobile apps and websites. This software has led to the emergence of the progressive web app that appeared to have gotten a perfect middle ground. These apps are straightforward to maintain and to develop and therefore attract numerous mobile developers’ organizations. What is more, it is possible to upload these apps rapidly even with slow Internet connection. While a website provides accessibility convenience from any browser, apps entirely embrace the software and hardware capabilities (Siddiqui et al., 2016). Progressive Web Apps have combined the best features of both realms.
Information Technology System/Hardware
Hardware is the physical components of a computer. Hardware includes constituents inside a gadget, such as RAM, processing unit, sound card, graphic cards, power supply unit, and others. Some of the recently developed hardware include the following:
Mobile Payment Devices
Mobile payment devices are credit card readers from organizations such as Intuit, Payanywhere, Shopify, and other providers that have revolutionized the payment sector in recent years. The ability for entrepreneurs or organizations to receive payment from clients on mobile phones has made it easier to attract more entrepreneurship and has increased gross profit. The high demand for contactless payment from consumers is due to its security, rapidness, and its simplicity to use it. The account information then passes from a card or a mobile to a reader device (Mauerhoefer et al., 2017). However, a customer’s card credentials are not revealed to a seller, making it more secure than other typical card payments, hence its popularity.
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Smartwatches are closely related to mobile devices, and they are no strangers to the past decades. However, the modernized device facilitates better integration, app usage, and functionality. The latest trending smartwatch is Apple Watch SE. The watch contains numerous business applications, such as enabling communication via emails, phone calls, texting, managing to-do lists, receiving trip or calendar itinerary notifications, and translating texts (Siddiqui et al., 2016). Moreover, it is possible to explain the smartwatch popularity through its features of monitoring individual health and location tracking while exercising.
Amazon Echo, commonly known as Alexa, provides various potential business applications, mainly a consumer device. The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) was released in 2020 and operated not to be limited to native capability. Many additional functions are applicable in its talents’ repertoire, such as dictionary/spell check and time tracking translation. A business function provided by modernized Alexa is compelling and diverse. Some of the features that help improve workers’ efficiency include using vice-assistant calculation and research, coordinating meetings, translating, tracking travel details, and finding service providers, tasks, or expenses (Pylkin et al., 2019). A consumer ordering goods through Amazon can use New Alexa.
Virtual Reality/Augmented Devices
Virtual reality devices appeared as a game-related novelty concept. However, virtual/augmented devices may offer benefits to businesses as well. Virtual/augmented devices, such as Oculus Quest 2, allow the retail industry’s customers to interact with their commodities (Siddiqui et al., 2016). For example, Oculus Quest 2 assists in planning and designing to simulate the required business outcomes. Additionally, the real estate industry can utilize Oculus Quest 2 to show virtual tours. What is more, Oculus Quest 2 can help in training, education, and even in surgeries. Finally, it is possible to work with various data using Oculus Quest 2.
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Though drone devices have been there for decades, the technology advanced when Amazon started delivering packages using drones in 2017. Other companies have implemented the use of drones in their operations. For instance, UPS was awarded a certificate by the FAA to use drones on healthy campuses throughout the country (Mauerhoefer et al., 2017). Other business uses of drone devices include security surveillance, photography, and aerial exploration. Drones, such as DJI Mavic Air 2, are important devices in the photography industry. This device fits with OcuSync 2.0 transmission that offers a crystal-clear HD feed, making it perfect for long-distance flights as it enables a user to view everything on a remote control screen in real-time.
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Social media is an Internet-based technology that enhances the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and information through virtual network building and communities. Social media may involve a computer-based design that provides faster electronic communication content. Such content includes documents, personal information, videos, documents, and photos.
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Facebook is the largest social media site globally, with about two billion users engaging with it every month. About sixty-five million businesses and more than seven million advertisers promote their products on this social media (Mauerhoefer et al., 2017). Its popularity is associated with its compatibility with almost every content format, including stories, live videos, video clips, images, and texts. However, the social media algorithm prioritizes content that enhances meaningful interactions and conversations between individuals, especially friends and family.
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WhatsApp is a messaging app with more than 1.5 billion users in more than 180 nations globally. Initially, individuals only used this social media to communicate with friends and family. Eventually, social media expanded to allow business communities to share information via WhatsApp. WhatsApp has been developing their business platform to enable corporations to have a better business profile, offer customer support, and update customers on their activities (Siddiqui et al., 2016). For small enterprises, the social media has developed the WhatsApp Business app. Additionally, the social media has developed the WhatsApp Business API suitable for large and medium businesses.
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YouTube is a platform with 1.9 billion users and the second most used search engine after Google. YouTube is a video-sharing platform where individuals watch billions of videos daily. The reason for YouTube’s popularity among businesses in recent years has been that it harbors potentially massive audiences for corporations and the ability to tag keywords on videos to have a good opportunity for accessibility during searching. Moreover, YouTube has been assisting in studying languages, traveling, and other procedures. Real estate and travel companies have been using YouTube to show virtual tours of their properties and services.
Ethical Issues Related to Facebook, Whatsapp, and YouTube Uses
Most individuals live by their ethics and morals, and everybody has their own belief about what is wrong and right in life. However, it appears that when it comes to online presence and social media usage, some companies and individuals believe ethical behavior is arguable. Some of the ethical issues that relate to the use of social media include transparency. Transparency in the social media context implies accountability, communication, and openness. Many individuals and companies in social media tell white lies. Some businesses use social media to avoid losses and secure gains (Hosseini et al., 2018).
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Another ethical issue associated with the use of social media is anonymity. Each individual has the right to privacy; however, social media changes the concept of anonymity in some cases. Allowing individuals the freedom to log in as anonymous has caused issues to both individual and company reputation. Confidentiality is one more ethical issue associated with the use of Facebook, Whatsapp, and YouTube. For example, an institution’s, such as a hospital or a bank, code of ethics requires them to maintain high confidentiality about their clients. However, when these companies advertise their services on social media, they expose their clients to the public, which is a breach of confidentiality. Lastly, social sensitivity is the ability to understand, perceive, and respect the viewpoint and feelings of others. An example is when an individual posts disturbing content, such as photos taken in an accident scene or videos demonstrating other individuals’ private affairs without considering their feelings.
Cybercrime in the UAE
Cybercrimes are criminal activities targeting or using computer networks to undertake fraudulent activities. These activities are economically, financially, politically, and ideologically motivated. In the United Arab Emirates, cybercrime activities involving money laundering, identity frauds, cyber-extortion, and corporate data theft are rampant (Pylkin et al., 2019).For instance, Ramon Abbas displayed a lavish lifestyle to his followers on social media. Furthermore, he uploaded a video focusing on how he was tossing money, claiming he was a real estate developer. However, the federal government got suspicious of his extravagant life. On tracking the digital trails of evidence, the lifestyle he led was financed from money laundering, whereby he hacked millions of dollars from mega-companies in Europe and America (Al-Ali et al., 2017). Following this crime, Ramon Abbas was arrested and jailed for fifteen years as per the Anti-Money Laundering Law of the UAE.
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In conclusion, information technology advancement has become an integral part of society, promoting social and business changes. Computer software, such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud ERP, and Progressive Web Apps, are modern software developments that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of different activities in society. Computer hardware, such as mobile payment devices, smartwatches, Amazon Echo, Virtual Reality, and drones have enabled proper monitoring and learning through quick collection and dissemination of information. Nevertheless, these advancements have influenced ethical issues concerning transparency, anonymity, and confidentiality of data across agents. Furthermore, instances of cyber-crimes have become rampant, making governments to establish laws to deal with various crimes exclusively.