I have been making annual IT predictions for a couple of years. Last year I gave myself a solid C, an average grade, for what came of my 2016 predictions. As I look at my 2017 predictions, I feel a lot better because the majority of the trends I anticipated have been or are on the way to being realized.
Feeling increasingly brave, I now look ahead to 2018 and beyond. I am going to use the People + Process + Technology framework, which has been around for some time. Most CIOs acknowledge that these three pillars work and operate well in tandem. Each has to be considered in context of the other two pillars to have a holistic and satisfying approach to workplace success and individual career development.
1. Talent will increasingly come from nontraditional channels (for IT), including community colleges, vocational schools, organizations such as Year Up and the National Academy Foundation, and even self-education channels. We need people who dream code!
2. IT career paths will continue to be more formally defined and established, continuing recent trends. CIOs will be viewed as serious candidates for CEO roles, especially in technology companies or in companies that are preparing for digital transformation.
3. We will see a rising acceptance of an agile mindset and the deployment of small teams to test and accelerate innovation—whether it leads to success or failure, both of which yield learning opportunities.
4. IT teams will find greater success by integrating their customers (external or internal) at every step. We will move away from a process of reporting milestone-driven progress to one of ongoing collaboration.
5. Rapid change will require that IT teams remain tech savvy. Therefore, we’re likely to see professionals brushing up on the latest programming languages and tools, and adopting a continuous learning model via courses at local colleges or online.
6. Enterprises will increasingly embrace transformation using agile methodologies and DevOps teams to launch apps to meet the growing needs of their business. Building microservices-based mobile apps that leverage the cloud will be the go-to model.
7. We will move beyond the artificial intelligence hype, and businesses will harness AI for data-driven “thinking tasks.” Yes, AI will replace some jobs, but it will also create new ones, including new roles for IT professionals that include soft skills. The key here will be that individuals are trained to succeed in these new roles. Digital transformation initiatives at enterprises will consume AI services to make significant decisions and provide real-time instructions. And when you combine the Edge and AI (including machine learning) you will get the Intelligent Edge, where self-driving cars and IoT edge devices exist.
We are living in a moment of accelerated change. The technologies we use, the ways we work and play, and how we interact with each other are all in flux. Change always breeds uncertainty, but I’m optimistic that we will combine human ingenuity with emerging technologies to bring about a better world for all.
For insightful predictions on emerging technologies in 2018 and beyond, check out Dell Technologies 2018 Predictions – Entering the Next Era of Human Machine Partnerships.