Every year, the information technology trade association CompTIA issues an industry forecast.
And every year we take notice. Because, as a leading advocate for more than “seven million technology professionals who design, implement, manage and safeguard the technology that powers the U.S. economy,” CompTIA’s understanding of our nation’s $1.5 trillion IT ecosystem bears consideration. After all, the group’s membership includes “companies at the forefront of innovation” and many of the “professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology.”
So, when CompTIA researchers released their “ IT Industry Outlook 2018” in January, we reviewed every page, seeking insights that will help our readers navigate the rapidly evolving business technology landscape during this unfolding year and beyond.
In projecting growth of 5 percent across the global tech sector, CompTIA’s researchers encouraged business leaders to embrace an “organizational mindset of proactively planning for a digital future,” which will compel them to “rethink their approaches to recruiting, training and talent management.” For example, entrusting more of their day-to-day operations to IT Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to accelerate their digital transformations.
The authors of CompTIA’s outlook also identified “complementary trends covering the business of technology, workforce dynamics and macroeconomic conditions” that provide “context and grounding.” Among these “forces shaping the information technology industry,” we saw three that we’ve been tracking because we believe these same energies are driving our readers’ businesses, too.
Here’s a digest of how CompTIA’s thinking parallels ours:
- “Cloud Enters New Phase of Maturity”
CompTIA researchers argue that, until recently, companies have been exploring cloud services mostly with non-critical systems, learning lessons about “system migration, integration with existing architecture and cloud security.” But now, many firms are ready to take the next steps, “moving to full production mode” in the cloud, which means their challenges will no longer be mostly technical. Instead, executives will need to reconfigure workflows and policies for cloud-based environments.
That’s why we advocate that our readers find MSPs with cloud acumen, so they can focus on their business while technical experts support their technology.
- “Artificial Intelligence Adds a New Layer to the Solution Stack”
“Not every company will necessarily need the skills to build new AI functions,” CompTIA researchers explain in their report. “But they will at least need the skills to manage AI components so that they are not just dealing with mysterious black boxes producing unexplained output.”
That’s why, in recent months, we’ve been posting educational pieces about AI, an emerging technology that may account for three of every four customer interactions by 2020.
- “Businesses Adjust to the New Normal of Security”
In their report, CompTIA researchers assert that “companies will shift their security mindset from technology-based defenses to proactive steps that include technology, process, and education.” We see the same shift toward “cybersecure corporate culture” happening, which is why we espouse adopting a strong cybersecurity framework for guiding policies and processes. Learn more in our “ Malware Manual” series of posts.