2013 has undoubtedly been another big year for the IT industry.
Enterprises everywhere were trying to cope with how to respond to disruptive trends like big data, mobility, SaaS and DevOps and to keep up with tech-savvy customers.
Change is nothing new to the industry but it makes you wonder what the New Year will bring.
1. There will be a mounting skills crisis:
The rise of social, mobile and cloud unleashed tremendous disruption in the enterprise. Organisations were quick to adopt and significantly invest to see the business benefits promised by these technologies.
However, to truly unleash these powerful assets, a dramatic shift in the culture and skill base within the enterprise is required.
Big Data demands a new breed of data scientists and mobility, social, and sensing technologies are predicated on a reset in the design and architecture of applications and user interfaces.
These are highly specialised skills that are currently lacking and impossible to find cumulatively within any one organisation. Experts also believe that almost all of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will demand for workers skilled in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
But the supply of those workers is not growing fast enough to meet the demand. By investing in tailored programs for different age groups and grade levels, enterprises creating opportunities for youth to excel in STEM, will ultimately create a new generation of innovators and leaders.
In 2014, the companies that take a proactive approach to understanding and managing this skill shortage by embracing an open approach to community-based development will emerge as winners.
2. IT will gain an “APPetite” and fuel the API economy:
Widespread adoption of cloud computing, mobility, and other recent technical advances has created a new reality for CIOs and enterprise IT teams.
These advances have driven fundamental changes in how applications are created and deployed. No longer monolithic and hosted on a single platform, applications can now be rapidly assembled from in-house and/or provider-built components that reside independently, either on-premise (on any hardware platform), in a cloud, or both.
In such an environment, the CIOs who are willing to move up the value chain to focus more on managing apps and services will succeed.
More than ever before, IT is well primed to become application assemblers and brokers of business services. As SaaS, PaaS and IaaS provide turnkey access to compute capacity, IT will increasingly focus on composite business applications—rather than the buy-build-manage model –to achieve new levels of speed, innovation, performance and cost/risk efficiencies.
To successfully make this transition, IT will need to increase its leverage of service-oriented style architectures through more efficient use and better control of APIs.
3. We’ll see a rise of experience-centric everything:
Organisations today are no longer in control of their brands. Both customers and employees are embracing disruptive technologies faster than businesses.
Recent research shows that 70 percent of the decision-making process has already been completed by a customer through online research and peer-to-peer recommendations, before a customer contacts an organisation directly.
The consumerisation movement will continue to have a profound impact on IT. Today, IT services are all about the consumer. This is driving dramatic changes in how applications are developed, which will lead to a rise in experience-driven design and, in turn, necessitate DevOps-style development.
There will be increased exploitation of sensing technologies available in most modern mobile and wearable devices. “Mobile First” development will give way to “Experience First” multi-channel approaches that will leverage smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, gaming consoles, laptops, or any other platform that a consumer is likely to be using when they want a product or need a service.
The management of mobile/social IT will become less about managing and securing the devices themselves and more about managing and securing the mobile applications and mobile data, all while delivering a compelling and engaging user experience.
4. There will be a greater demand for accelerated delivery:
We now have a new generation of self-informed consumers who are very comfortable sharing their experiences via social media. Not only do you have to consider the disruptive customer landscape but also the competitor landscape, which has changed dramatically.
Barriers to entry have been removed – competition comes from nowhere to everywhere overnight.
In this reality, social, mobility, cloud, and DevOps are becoming one movement. Consumer and employee demand for more engaging experiences will continue to increase at a dramatic pace as they become more comfortable with experience-driven, atomised, multi-channel applications and technologies such as sensing.
These evolved experiences will drive a need for the same level of agility from every business thus fueling the DevOps movement that necessitates the reconstitution of traditional frameworks like ITIL; extracting their most valuable concepts and adjusting them for modern, agile development.
5. Security will top the IT and business agenda:
Mobility, social, DevOps and cloud adoption have effectively opened the enterprise and invited new business risk into today’s workplace.
This new, rapidly expanding and collaborative open enterprise diminishes IT control and requires the CIO and CSO to find the delicate balance of enabling and protecting the business.
By incorporating new IT trends, the business demonstrates willingness to take on additional risk and security must adapt and figure out how to accommodate that risk while securely enabling the business.
Ensuring that security is convenient for users— simple for them, while automated on the back end—is one way to ensure productivity and business enablement.
Couple that with a “predict attacks, prevent attacks, and prepare for a possible breach” approach, and IT has a good start at a recipe for balancing business enablement with business protection.
By Bill McMurray, Managing Director, CA Technologies ANZ