With all the leaps and bounds in technology software, it’s easy to forget the iPhone was only launched in 2007. To many, the smart phone and its associated cosmos of apps are more than indispensable in their day-to-day operations. In our industry, however, such applications would take a step into the realm of what I call a “truly applicable” app. This simply means our industry provides a unique venue that can demonstrate what is fundamentally useful about these products: information and ease of accessibility.

What good is information if it’s not easily accessible? The trade industry demands information, and the smart phone is an ideal avenue to provide it. Because the backbone of our industry is customer communication and engagement, the potential for the practical application of this technology is real.

Our collective businesses rank among the most innovative and up-to-date in the world. Because the trade industry is ripe for innovation, we are fertile ground for the viable creation, proliferation and practical use of smart phone technology.

Technology also has manifested itself in additional security measures, in the United States and elsewhere. Time and again, we have seen trade regulations filed, reported and enforced through technology. New regulations will proliferate as we move into 2011. At their core are demands for more information about the contents of the shipments and the parties involved.

Technology is a proven method for unbiased data validation when submitting such information. As we move further into 2011, we will see countries that have stayed on the regulatory sidelines make similar compliance initiatives through technology. The trend is proven worldwide and here to stay.