To me there are 2 key challenges:
- The use of multiple devices and software accessing the web
For the first one, we can observe in the last years that a huge amount of people (including myself) switched from a Desktop PC to a laptop. This change doesn’t require a lot of changes to websites, since the operating systems on laptops and Desktop PC’ s are mostly the same. But the shift didn’t stop here. Now, people start switching from laptops to even smaller devices like very high efficient smartphones. If we just look at the latest Samsung Galaxy S3, it comes with a 1.4 GHz Quadcore processor!!! However operating systems are still quite different from the ones we are used to use on our laptops. This means, that companies have to develop “mobile websites” of the same website or adapt the website to work properly and fit nicely to the screen of the mobile device. However, do you know how many different mobile phones there are out there? How many different operating software? How many different browsers?
This to me is quite of a challenge. Even if you have the best website programmer in the world and he assures you that he can make your website fit to all these devices and software, I am pretty sure that you don’t have all the devices to test if it’s true!
The second challenge is security. The topic is so big and important that I will try to focus on only two examples, which seem critical to me.
People share more and more information online. If you order something online (and even if it is only a Pizza) you give the website: your credit card number, your phone number and even your home address! How dangerous is that? A local Pizza restaurant that probably didn’t invest a lot of money in the website has all that information. Hello hackers!!
Another example is Facebook. For many people, Facebook knows everything about them. Where they live, where they go on vacation, who their friends are, which one they like the most and even where you are right now if you just “checked-in”. Since phishing and Trojans are quite common, somebody willing to access all that information about you doesn’t need that much effort to get it. A little more knowledge than average in IT and that’s it.
Regarding those two examples and having in mind that the amount of people accessing the web increases everyday, it will be very difficult to keep you information secure. But if you don’t accept to purchase online, you might not find the product somewhere else. And if you don’t accept to have a Facebook account, your friend will not be able to send you the “event” to invite you to his birthday party.