Information Technology: Watch out for these trends

modern-interior-of-server room-in-datacenter-by-digidreamgrafix.jpgAt the beginning of every year, industry leaders make prediction around the biggest trends and changes for the coming year. Although sometimes these predictions end up being just that, it’s always useful to keep an eye on this and consider it as you look towards your strategic planning for the year.

With the Information Technology industry and its data centres going through change at a breakneck pace, IT managers are sure to be kept on their toes. Changes are underway to the very fundamentals of how we create IT, how we leverage IT, and how we innovate in IT. Information Technology has always been about finding solutions by stretching the limits of creativity, but when so many fundamental elements shift at the same time, it becomes both exciting and challenging even for the most experienced IT professionals.

Restructuring IT’s role:
A recent article in Forbes suggested that in 2014 “IT becomes an agile service broker”. The numerous changes, specifically within the BI industry, provides opportunities for vendors to develop new products in which IT’s role will change from traditional gatekeeper to useful helper. The increase use of Mobile, Cloud and Big Data applications requires a shift within IT to focus more on product configuration and software development than issuing reports. Information Technology will ultimately provide the means for everyday consumers to access Business Intelligence by functioning as strategists who can grant business users’ fast-paced desires instead of prolonging the process of delivering much needed information.

A mounting skills crisis:
Although this is not new, this issue continues to be a challenge in the Information Technology industry. While organisations were quick to adopt and invest in social, mobile and cloud technologies, the unexpected rise of these technologies unleashed tremendous disruption within IT departments in all companies. The business benefit promised by these powerful assets is undeniable and therefore requires a dramatic change in the culture and skills base within IT.

Big data requires a completely different set of skills focusing on data analysis, the new mobility of employees and use of social platforms are creating a skills gap in terms of design and architecture of applications and user interfaces. Experts believe that nearly all of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will demand workers skilled in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). But the supply of these highly skilled workers is not growing fast enough to meet the demand.

Developers continue to rule:
If there's one common thread through all of these predictions, it's Marc Andreessen's two-year-old declaration that software is eating the world. There simply aren’t enough skilled developers to write code for the numerous platforms. The changes within data centre with infrastructure becoming programmable are adding to the increase on demand for these skills. With insatiable demand comes high salaries and status, at least for those with the right combination of skills.

Mobile Apps and Applications:
Gartner predicts that through 2014, improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream application development environment. This year developers are sure to focus more on creating expanded user interface models including richer voice and video that can connect people in new and different ways. The increase use of mobile devices will require the building of application user interfaces that span a variety of devices and knowledge about assembling this into optimized content for each device.

The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several.

Time will only tell, but one thing is for sure change will be a constant in this industry and that is one prediction that is sure to come true.

Do you think these are realistic predictions for the year? Share with us your thoughts on what will shake up Information Technology in the next 12 months.

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Image Credit: by digidreamgrafix