Here in Portland and across the country, businesses are constantly looking to the future of technology, with one foot in today and the other in tomorrow. As a result, it’s tempting to latch on to an exciting tech trend and ignore how it interacts with other innovations. While blockbuster advancements in big data, AI, and the cloud are all powerful in their own right, true success in IT is found when technologies like these work together to create synergy.
If you’re still wondering what tech’s “next big thing” will be in 2019, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has an answer: there isn’t one. This isn’t just an attention-grabbing headline; it’s a strong and accurate statement. Several emerging technologies of the last couple of years are responsible for 50% of tech sector revenue growth. There is no longer one single technology to go all-in on, but rather, today’s technologies work in conjunction with each other.
After all, can you imagine having one of the best data analysis functions in the country without also having top-notch architecture, networking, cloud, software, and security capabilities? They go hand-in-hand, often building on top of each other to create something new and innovative. Compare it to the evolution of the automobile where the invention of the wheel led to the horse-drawn carriage that then led to engines replacing horses and metal frames replacing carriages. Today’s GPS systems, autonomous driving technologies, and even Bluetooth car stereos exist because of those inventions that came before them.
While there’s no single piece of technology that will dominate 2019 and the foreseeable future, there are a handful of areas that, together, will drive the IT industry forward:
Augmented Data Analytics – While big data often appears on “top tech trends” lists, expect to see machine learning shape the way data is prepared, managed, and analyzed to form stronger predictions and insights.
Edge Computing – A cousin of cloud computing, edge computing is a way to process information more locally, closer to endpoint devices instead of sending data all the way through the cloud and back constantly.
Software as a Service (SaaS) – CompTIA reported that out of all the new tech jobs created in the last decade, the most (nearly 400,000) were software development roles. Since software is the backbone of most other technologies, this may not be a surprise.
Quantum Computing – Able to solve complex problems too difficult for traditional algorithms, quantum computing is an area that businesses should seek to understand in the next three years before implementing it thereafter.
Hyper-Personalization – User interfaces are changing as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality change the way people interact with technology. Efforts to immerse consumers in hyper-personalized experiences will continue well into the 2020’s.
With so many important technologies to consider, you might be left wondering how to implement and integrate them. Doing so requires a holistic and strategic IT initiative like Staffing Lifecycle Management. It’s necessary to not just connect different pieces of tech, but to connect the dots within your organization. Most businesses thrive on a mix of resources, combining in-house talent, traditional staff augmentation, and outsourced software development while connecting them to business objectives.
CompTIA points out that today’s technology is more vital to reaching business goals than ever before. IT doesn’t just support other functions or departments anymore, it works strategically in conjunction with every business unit. As organizations increasingly adopt and rely on emerging technologies to set themselves apart, technology professionals have a responsibility to anticipate and adjust for unintended consequences stemming from those technologies. That requires connecting tech pros to the entire company and thinking holistically.
Like the rest of the country, Portland faces a dramatic tech skills shortage that leaves so many roles related to emerging technology unfilled. A staggering 40% of U.S. tech firms have job openings they are actively seeking to fill, and 53% say it’s more challenging to hire in 2019 than it was before. Emerging roles that magnify this shortage include Chief Data Officer, Robotic Process Automation Engineer, Machine Learning Scientist, 3D Printing Engineer, Industrial IoT Engineer, Cybersecurity Architect, Cloud Services Engineer, and many more. Landing these individuals will require creative recruiting strategies and a new way of looking at hiring.
Today, very few technologies exist on their own or in a bubble. It’s essential to consider what the right mix of IT means for your business alongside what mix of talent can make it happen. If you’re looking for long-term success, where technology is harnessed to help drive business goals, then broadening your vision is the only way forward.