Top Strategic IT Trends for 2012

Having an information systems degree is fine, but with technology’s rapid change, it’s not enough to ensure your career competitiveness. It’s vital to keep pace not only with new technology developments, but corporate IT trends. A handle on what’s popular can help you in various ways:

  • Career Development — When you know where the market goes, you can better plan additional training and study. You can even try to get on projects that will help advance your learning and highlight your abilities.
  • Job Search — When companies look for potential employees, they heavily use buzzwords. By knowing the trends, you can emphasize the parts of your experience that will match what employers are most likely to seek.
  • Current Job Performance — If you’re not looking for a new position, match IT trends to what your company does to see how you could become more valuable at work and ready yourself for upcoming projects that could also make you more desirable and competitive in the wider job market.

According to Gartner Vice President David Cearley, there are 10 major IT trends that people in the industry should watch this year. Here are some of the top ones for IT professionals:

  • Media tablets become an irrefutable part of the IT landscape. According to Gartner, tablets will represent 50 percent of laptop sales by 2015. Better get ready for a client landscape that is no longer dominated by a single operating system.
  • Applications become mobile-centric so employees can work from home or the road. That means IT has to understand touch, voice, and gesture interfaces. There will also be a lot of consolidation and winnowing in the app development tools space, so knowing what will remain becomes critical.
  • Context-aware computing superimposes knowledge about user preferences, their locations, devices, and other environmental issues to deliver better experiences. That includes more effective computing by anticipating what users will need.
  • Internet connectivity is increasingly integrated into devices of all kinds. That gives companies an enormous boost in the amount of information available. Taking the useful and culling the mass of uninteresting data will be a challenge both technically and analytically.
  • In addition to information available from many devices, there is also the issue of big data — enormous amounts of data that can provide sometimes subtle clues to what a company should do. But managing the enormous datasets needs specialized tools and knowledge.
  • Cloud computing has dropped toward the bottom of the trend list, probably because it is starting to hit real adoption rather than remaining the subject of talk only. Companies will want to integrate cloud with other types of technology and eventually add an API layer to major business systems to increase strategic flexibility.

Now’s the time to revisit your New Year’s resolutions and add a big one to the top of the list: get yourself ready for business in 2012.

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