Looking into the Crystal Ball: Technology and Trends in the IT Industry
As the business world continues to evolve, outsourcing offshore hits all time highs, and technology continues to march on, many IT professionals are trying to peer into the future in an effect to identify trends in the IT industry and position themselves positively for the changes that are bound to come.
To be honest, even with the saturation of IT professionals, the future shows some promise, as long as you’re ready and willing to adapt with the industry. As technology companies continue to evolve, the lines between software development and hardware manufacturing are beginning to blur; creating new trends in the IT industry, promising new opportunites for the adventurous and new obstacles for those professionals who are not willing to change along with them.
One such example is Voice Over Internet protocol (VoIP). This technology is taking telecommunications and network hardware makers to new levels, opening positions for sales engineers as well as system designers and testers. Desktop Linux is another project coming out of the gate that is positioned to make a huge impact. While we won’t see anyone abandoning their Windows in the very near future, the need for tech support staffers, network engineers and systems administrators with Linux experience is bound to hit an all-time high. Software engineers are also in high demand as many companies have even turned in-house to offer education and training to people interested pursuing this career. In some cases, their employers are providing professionals with software education that is equivalent to a bachelor or master’s degree. This is obviously a new trend in the IT industry that suggests the marketplace is a little dissatisfied with the results of some of the university programs.
Information Security, the wave of the future
Other technological opportunities and new trends in the IT industry seem to bode well for software architects, as well as security and application development. Information Security is predicted to have the largest growth potential in the next 3-5 years than any other technical sector. In the Information Security sector, we’re seeing existing and emerging technologies undergoing changes to reflect new and definitely more rigorous standards providing new opportunities for IT professionals who have these skills or are able to make the switch. Applications development is running a close second. For IT professionals in an industry that is currently facing chronic unemployement and serious job deficits, a little light at the end of the tunnel is better than nothing. The good news in the industry is that analysts are predicting that IT staff salaries will increase by as much as 10 to 15 percent over the next three years. Employers however, are looking for more well rounded IT professionals, many listing previous experience and interpersonal skills as their top selection criteria.
Another new trend in the IT industry is industry specialization. The Health Care Industry for example is one that is seeing an increasing demand for IT professionals. Some of the largest health care companies are currently investing millions of dollars to develop some of the most advanced application and information systems in the health care industry. Kaiser Premanente, for example, is currently working on an application that will allow more than 8.3 million members to access their medical information in real time, 24 hours a day. The scope of this project is immense and is just one that this industry giant has taken on recently. Others include an advanced business technology that will allow KP to maximize claims processing and related transactions. This project requires experience in the insurance industry, medical industry and business industry.
The overall theme that we’re hearing among CIO’s and others regarding new trends in the IT industry is that opportunities do remain and in many cases, will provide greater job satisfaction, higher salaries and opportunitis for advancement. The key, however, seems to be in making sure your resume and skills are well-rounded and you’re willing to do what it takes to meet the demands of this ever-changing industry. It’s almost a given that anyone that does will continue to be successful, often in ways they may have never considered.