IT World Canada’s top 5 blog posts of 2015

Star Wars. Hunger Games. Star Trek – Everyone knows them. Most people have seen them.

But what is it that draws us to them? Our curiosity about the future. While the 2010s are shaping up to be an exceptional decade for science fiction, this could be a direct correlation to the fast-pace at which technology is developing.

As we’ve entered an era of “smart” everything,  you can’t help but be drawn to topics such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. How will this change our world? What will our world look like in the future?

We’re looking back on 2015 and sharing the top five Community Blogger posts from this year.

Join me as I recap the articles to celebrate our community bloggers, why they did so well, and what other bloggers can take away from their success.

In Canada, the race is still on for a killer mobile payments app. Canadian banks are no strangers to the limitations in this area. Either the app limits the service to a single provider, requires a special SIM card, or isn’t offered by your bank.

Although the banks have made an effort, the experience around payment isn’t easy enough to want to use every day.

The exciting part? There may still be room for a forward-thinking Canadian startup to capture mass market share and win the race.

Why is this such a hot topic? It hits close to home. It’s safe to say the app craze is here to stay for a while as most people own a smartphone. With the unanimous acceptance of online banking, the next step seems clear — your wallet in your phone.

What can other bloggers learn from this? Sometimes readers are looking for an update on an initiative, movement, or product. In this case, Canadians want to know what’s going on with the status of mobile payments.

In the current app world, we have to individually search, download and engage with an app. When thinking of the rapid progression in artificial intelligence, this is an inefficient model.

Enter Roy Taylor, a successful senior technology executive, innovator, and entrepreneur, with a long history on tech-buzz and its impact on the enterprise. In this article, Taylor shares his insights on everything from Windows 10 to why 2015 is the year for virtual reality and his top five predictions for the next five years.

The exciting part? Virtual reality is a sign of things to come in how we consume content. It will mutate and change to take us to new places and ultimately deliver new experiences. The prediction: this will be an enormous new industry.

Why is this such a hot topic? Professionals in the tech industry are dreamers. They’re constantly searching for their next inspiration. With virtual reality, everyone wants to see what innovations will take over next.

What can other bloggers learn from this? Readers are curious about the future. Are trends here to stay? How will things evolve? How can you act on these new innovations? Combine those questions with key insights from a leading executive and you’ve satisfied their curiosities (for now).

In IT, generalists may not have the depth of knowledge in any one specialty that most specialists do, but being a successful generalist can be far more difficult.

Covering a much broader spectrum of knowledge, they have to know how and why subjects interact the way they do, and what can be done to make different applications work efficiently together in a given environment.

The exciting part? The need for IT generalists is much greater than most people are aware of. They must continually ‘keep up’ on the broad spectrum of technologies that make up the IT profession.

Why is this such a hot topic? The fear of becoming too specialized in a single track is a real thing. Often, the product the specialization was based on was no longer in demand. Keeping up is the name of the game and any advice on how to do so is greatly appreciated.

What can other bloggers learn from this? Turgeon takes a clear stance in this article. This can be refreshing and impactful when connecting with readers. Providing real-life examples gives credibility and can ultimately garnish more interest.

With its use at 90 of Fortune 100 companies, Microsoft Lync is positioned as a leader in Unified Communications. The next evolution? Skype for Business. A blending of Lync (that simplifies and unifies), and Skype (that breaks down barriers).

Chris outlines how Skype for Business unlocks the power of the group and makes every meeting great.

The exciting part? By blending the best of Lync and Skype, they’re bridging consumer and business while supporting both enterprises and the public Skype user community. This is a win for end users and organizations, giving them a communications backbone with high-quality connection.

Why is this such a hot topic? Everyone is looking for consistent and productive team communications and collaborative work environments. In the search for quality, it begs the question: what upgrades should you invest in?

What can other bloggers learn from this? Readers want to hear your opinion on new products and/or services. In this article, Chris’ personal touch makes one feel like they attended the Microsoft session themselves. This can spark interest to dive-deeper into the offerings, and conveniently enough, he provided online sources at the bottom of his article.

The Machine Learning mega-trend is essential for enterprise survival and competitive advantage. Currently, it is seen in familiar rapid adoption environments such as Windows 10.

Pedro Domingos, a professor of Computer Science, is a winner of many awards, but recently won the top Artificial Intelligence (AI) prize for his Recursive Decomposition into Independent Subspaces (RDIS) optimization approach. To put into perspective, the top AI prize is the Nobel Prize equivalent in data science. So it’s easy to say that when someone wins the AI prize, people pay attention.

In this interview, Pedro dives into the application and prediction of AI, Machine Learning, and RDIS.

The exciting part? We are reaching the point where AI can really take off because the computing power is there. It’s no longer a question of how to build the brain of the robot. This means powerful computers, large and small, will be embedded everywhere.

Why is this such a hot topic? If you care about global problems, technologies like Machine Learning are going to be a big part of solving them. Of course, not all the answers will come from technology. As we move closer and closer, the question becomes how do you make the machines solve the problem?

What can other bloggers learn from this? There’s something to be said about reading an academic’s insights on their world – readers are hungry for it. It’s like being mentored, without having to network. Being taught, without having to attend class. When publishing an interview transcript, it’s important to pull in-depth real-life examples from a credible and innovative source.


Want to contribute to our Community Blogger Program? Send an email to with a submission or pitch.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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