New Year, New Technology Trends

By: Crystal Miller
As 2011 begins, here are some of the technology trends we’re seeing that business IT Professionals should have an active eye on to increase their value… both for themselves and the companies they work for:
1. Cloud Computing – As Cloud Computing continues to evolve it becomes more of a reality in the investment schedules for 2011. There is the obvious economic business advantage of being able to essentially leverage operations’ expense budgets by reducing the capitalization needed in ASPs. When many sectors are still looking at decreased budgets in 2011 but increased project loads, Cloud brings forward a strategic model that’s both financially compelling to large enterprises and well-timed. Look for utilization of IaaS and PaaS to increase in 2011 – especially PaaS cloud stacks as it allows for a more nimble environment for testing, conversion runs and temporary processing power boosts with less drain on company resources.
2. ‘Business Unit IT’ – Since the 80s, IT has been organized along functional, organizationally-centralized service lines, but times are changing. Look for notable movement to the ‘business-unit IT’ model where IT is more of a business partner for individual business segments within a corporation.  It will act as both a project manager and an analyst that can turn data into information that the business can act on. This movement continues the trend of the ‘business-aligned’ services units that was started by the HR BP replacement of HR Managers in the last decade.
3. Project Management – More than 40% of US companies are looking to add permanent project managers to their ranks this year; many of whom say they’re looking to professionals with PMP certifications first. That being said, this may be the year to invest in your continuing education if project management is an intended notch on your career ladder. Also, as the aforementioned Business Unit IT model grows; new PM hires will also have the added responsibility of increased ‘remote team’ management, off-site data security, and vendor/third-party oversight.
4. Application Development – As mobile enterprise workers continue to increase in number, and the smart-phone and tablet computing continue to gain popularity, the demand for JIT development professionals with rapid programming or agile methodology expertise is high on the ‘must-have’ lists for CIOs, CTOs, and IT HRBPs in 2011. Also, look to an increase in development professionals with experience in security design as the financial sector moves more towards the Cloud, creating additional emphasis is on the emerging trend of 360 security.