Needed Skills for 2017’s IT
The world is more interconnected than ever before. The constant advancement of information technology is not a march. It has become more like a mad dash at breakneck speed. Constant improvements in both hardware and software not only upgrade existing markets, new arenas are opening up and expanding at a phenomenal pace. The natural side effect of this are inevitable gaps in the talent available for the upcoming year. In order to be ready for the challenges of 2017, top experts in their fields are on the lookout for what might become issues. For IT, multiple top members of the community were asked what areas were likely to have a more dire need. This translates to opportunities for up and coming techs to focus on and step into an environment of high demand.
Business is key
While IT is a field that focuses on the way technology operates, it also is a part of a larger whole. In any business, experts must be able to not only thrive on their specialty, but also interact with those around them. An understanding of how the components work within your system is a great foundation. However, moving forward will require the understanding that regardless of how complicated the IT section is, it needs to function within the business as well. This understanding of business allows any expert to integrate better into the company he or she works with and only enhance their efficiency. Certifications are also in high demand this year, as in 2016 a trend for more generalized IT was emphasized. Because of that, many sectors have an abundance of experts that can do just about anything well enough- but lack those specialists with certifications to do any specific task exceptionally well. IT experts should not be afraid to specialize and stand out in the upcoming year.
The ability to help programs be more user-friendly is also an invaluable skill. The tasks of IT specialists include not only ensuring the systems run efficiently, but also to ensure that non-experts can operate the systems without issue. Combining the expertise of IT with business acumen can lead to greater levels of automation, machine learning, and advanced analytics. While certification and education leads to having talented experts in the field, the programs they create and maintain should be ones that can be operated easily and smoothly across a workplace. This inclusive effort makes experts stand out among their peers in a business environment where dynamic adaptation can be vital.
One arena that has been growing at an exponential rate has been the mobile market. The ubiquitous nature of phones and tablets are only made even more available by the growing number of free Wi-Fi hotspots. Most businesses are either developing apps specifically for their customers, or need to maintain them. This emerging aspect of business is the future of business, and the pool of talented workers that understand the nuances of the mobile market is small. Worse yet, there is not a standardized operating system. Thus, the app must be maintained over several inputs at once. IOS and Android are the major contributors, but some smaller ones also exist, and each needs support. Development on the mobile platform uses unique tools and programming language like Swift and Reactive that make it even more vital to have the specific skill sets required to thrive.
Another area that businesses are apt to capitalize on is the Cloud. With the ease of access it provides, companies are interested in using the cloud to supplement their existing processes. Doing so has its own unique challenges to incorporate cloud-native applications. The network of the cloud has outages and downtime that must be managed so businesses are not affected any more than necessary. In the meantime, specialists should be ready to deal with issues such as cloud migration of data, analytics, and of course security. The greatest challenge and most opportunity will be the interplay between cloud networking and the on-site systems. Until the cloud becomes more stable, no company wants to go completely to that platform. To ensure all goes smoothly, IT specialists should have a well-rounded skill set that includes software engineers. The technology is important, but so is the ability to troubleshoot the programs and work around errors. This becomes even more important when dealing with various systems that interface such as the cloud and more traditional mainframes.
The idea of security is both complicated, and a constant need for experts. Rather than a single person or dedicated team of security members, all members of IT should be both aware and able to tackle any security threats. Threats are constantly evolving using back doors, innovative tests of security, and indirect means to access information. As such, no single individual can catch any and all threats and breaches. As the inverse of software, having multiple IT specialists be on the watch for any breaches can increase the chances of catching an issue before it becomes serious. This is true from basic workers, to experts, to management-level employees.