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Top 10 What’s Hot for IT in 2016

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Predicting the future is always fun, and here’s our top 10 predictions for what will be hot in 2016 for IT…

1. DevOps

Gartner claims that DevOps will hit mainstream in 2016 and we are not going to argue. Yes, it was big in 2015 but next year it will be even bigger as companies look to expand the use of DevOps to the enterprise level.

2. Agile

Pretty much all IT functions utilise Agile practices for delivery in some form or other, but in 2016 we may well be seeing the tipping point where Agile will be just as likely a delivery mechanism as the good old waterfall approach.

3. Data Scientists

Not to be confused with business analysts who can add up, these data nerds can turn your data into gold. Able to code, make use of the latest analytics (think machine learning) and even turn your information into beautiful infographics, the Data Scientist is a must to recruit for any forward thinking CIO in 2016.

4. Digital IT

IT has been increasingly playing with the new operating models espoused by pure digital functions and their teams. Agile, UX, Extreme Programming and other digital practices have slowly been working their way into the IT way of doing things. In 2016 this will exponentially increase as IT finally ‘gets’ Digital and undergoes a radical transformation to truly build and nurture digital capabilities.

5. Customer Experience (CX)

In 2016 it will not be enough for IT to think in terms of User Experience (UX). A more holistic approach is required to understand and plan for the full customer experience. CX looks at the relationship and interactions the customer has with the business – it doesn’t just constrain thinking to UX design. For IT functions looking to demonstrate that they are part of the business and able to able to think strategically, CX is the next big thing.

6. Innovation

Everyone says they are innovative but how many truly are? 2016 will see more focus on innovation with IT looking to finally nail this one through the appointment of Heads of Innovation and the creation of specialist innovation labs.

7. Laptop Tablets

IPad Pro, Lenovo Yoga, Surface Pro 4 – just a few examples of the laptop tablet hybrid which will be ever more important in 2016. Microsoft has just launched Continuum with Windows 10 which allows you (in theory) to seamlessly move from laptop mode to tablet mode. The rumour is that those folks at Apple are working on something similar so expect more hybrid machines next year as corporate IT users start expecting more than just a laptop from IT.

8. Microservices

The challenge for many long standing organisations is how to make changes to their IT systems which over the years have become spegetti junction in how they are connected. These means changing anything on these systems can be both an intellectual and costly nightmare. Service Orientated Architecture was supposed to help solve this problem but so far that hasn’t quite worked for most. Now we have microservice architectures to solve the problem. Whilst we love the idea of microservices we are sceptical over how easy it will be to track and maintain these on scale across a business, but that doesn’t change the fact that microservices will be big in 2016 as IT seeks ways to quickly and easily interface systems together.

9. Robots

Gartner likes to use phrases like “Autonomous Agents and Things” but we like to just say Robots because Robots are cool.  A robot doesn’t have to walk and look like us – it can be the computer in your car talking back to you, an automated online customer services rep, or Siri helping you to find the nearest kebab shop at 3 in the morning. The world of AI and machines learning is accelerating at lightning speed and in 2016 we expect many IT departments to start building out more skills and expertise in this area.

10. Cyber Security

We live in scary times – just ask anyone who was signed up to Ashley Madison. A data hack can literally kill a company overnight in the digital age so greater IT investment and focus on cyber security is a no brainer in 2016.