Tuesday, Jan 27 2015

Upcoming Trends on the IT Horizon

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Upcoming Trends on the IT Horizon

Technology trends are moving faster than ever. In this age of digital disruption, every company is looking for the “next big thing” in IT—and the ability to capitalize on trends and adapt quickly to change represents the new competitive edge in businesses across every industry.

With the rate of change ramping up faster, what can you expect to happen in IT? Here’s a look at the near future of technology (which, sadly, doesn’t include hoverboards yet) and what your business can do to keep up.

Expanding the SMAC Stack

Relatively new in its own right, a popular trend in business IT is the use of the SMAC stack—Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud. But there’s an even more recent field that’s poised to make huge leaps forward in the near future: the Internet of Things.

Smart consumer electronics, wearable tech, and new business entries like beacon technology (the so-called “indoor GPS” that’s already making waves in the retail space) represent expanded opportunities for companies to increase their competitive edge. By capitalizing on the Internet of Things, businesses can reach potential customers in new ways and bring additional tools to their SMAC stack strategies.

Finding Real Use for Big Data

Big Data is a big idea. It’s not hard to see the potential in having endless streams of information at your fingertips—but the challenge has been mining those streams for useful, actionable data. Plenty of companies have climbed aboard with Big Data and dutifully collected vast amounts of information. However, they often don’t know what to do with it all.

But the increasing availability and accessibility of analytics, along with alternate strategies for mining Big Data that don’t rely on hiring an in-house team of data scientists, have made it possible for more companies to find real-world methods for data extraction and application.

For example, the Boston Police Department lacks the budget for a data scientist—but in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, during which they were flooded with information from social media, they’ve initiated basic data and geospatial analysis that gives them rudimentary use of data for everyday police operations.

Managing the March of the Millennials

The IT workforce is experiencing a similar disruption to the technologies it handles. There are more than 80 million millennials flooding the workforce—and managers who have followed traditional employee practices for years are finding it challenging to deal with this savvy, energetic, and motivated generation.

But for any company looking to survive and thrive, recruiting and retaining millennials is imperative. They’ll make up roughly half the workforce by 2020, and 75 percent by 2025. The good news is that it’s easier than most think to engage millennials. They’re into frequent feedback, they often value great benefits or a dynamic company vision over high salaries, and they like to be challenged.

IT is changing fast. By arming your business with information on the latest trends, and improving your capabilities to adapt quickly, you can navigate through digital disruption and come out ahead of the competition.