2018 State of IT Report: Five Industry Trends You Need to Know

Provided by Purdue University Global

It’s no wonder information technology (IT) professionals are in high demand. Everything from vehicles to homes to the devices we wear is becoming connected, and all types of organizations rely on technology more than ever. As the world increases its reliance on technology, the field of IT also grows.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook reports employment in the computer and information technology fields is expected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026. Computer research scientists, computer network architects, information security analysts, and many more skilled professionals are needed to drive innovation and protect systems from cyber threats.

Five Trends Affecting the State of IT Today:
1: Automation Hyperdrive
Faster actions that can be deployed immediately, without the need for manual work, make up one of the most powerful components of current technology. Automation enables IT systems to use data to predict cause and effect so they can self-monitor and fix problems quickly. Today’s IT professionals create the technology that makes automation more efficient, but the IT professionals of the future will recommend and develop unique solutions that use this technology.

2: Machine Learning
Effective machine learning is needed in order for tasks to be successfully automated. In addition to focusing on automation, expect organizations to ramp up artificial intelligence usage in both in-house processes and external services. Machine learning is already powering self-driving cars, online recommendations, and brand sentiment collection from customer feedback and reviews. IT professionals optimize machine learning and make it more accurate for organizations, and customers.

3: Cybersecurity
Although cybersecurity is nothing new, Cybersecurity spending is projected to exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021. The increase in threats could triple the number of cybersecurity jobs that are unfilled, reaching 3.5 million by 2021. Using machine learning and automation to detect threats, IT pros can alert stakeholders to risks their organizations are facing and more proactively manage such risks. Expertise in combating cyber threats will be an essential skill for IT professionals.

4: Cloud Computing
The exclusive use of physical servers continues to diminish as more systems move to the cloud. As the need for data collection becomes more prevalent, so does cloud adoption, CIO reports. Enterprise-level IT departments are taking a stronger governance role in their organization’s cloud decisions, advising executives on which apps should move to the cloud, how to manage cloud costs, setting policy, and brokering cloud services. Cloud computing expertise is a required skill for most IT professionals today.

5: Internet of Things
Connected devices are everywhere, from smart watches to in-car navigation systems. Forbes reports the global Internet of Things (IoT) market is projected to grow. Gartner projects intelligent things will become more prevalent in 2018 and beyond, and will include devices we already use that can be made more intelligent with technology. Businesses will come to rely on more intelligent things in the office, and will require IT innovators to create ways to make everyday situations more efficient with technology,

IT Is More Important Than Ever
IT is continually changing and evolving. With the projected job growth for IT experts, advancing your education in IT today can open the door to fulfilling opportunities tomorrow.

Purdue University Global, an accredited online institution of higher education, offers working adults the opportunity to earn an undergraduate and graduate degrees, and certificates in areas including information security, information technology, and cybersecurity, as well as softer skills programs like communications, which Computer Weekly predicts IT professionals will require to grow in management and strategic relationship roles.

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