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Trends to watch in 2017

CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2017 report projects global industry growth of 4.1 per cent in 2017. The recently released report also identifies 12 trends in technology, workforce and the IT channel that are likely to impact the industry

The tools of the cloud era emerge: New elements built from a cloud mind-set will play larger roles, challenging users to integrate the pieces into a comprehensive digital strategy.

Security gets worse before it gets better: Many firms remain unprepared for a cyber-attack even in the midst of a flood of headline-making security breaches.

Data teams bridge the gap between IT and business: Data specialists will move from backstage to centre stage to harness the power of organisational data.

IoT transforms physical environments and social conventions: The Internet of Things will be a major disruptor as more physical objects gain intelligence and connectivity.

New faces in the channel test traditional go-to market approaches: The line-up of sources for technology solutions is expanding as non-traditional entities get into the business.

Mandate coming to retool partner programmes: What was once valued – sales spiffs, discounts and rebates – are no longer as relevant in today’s services-based market.

An aging channel community hastens need to find new blood: An estimated 40 per cent of the channel universe expects to retire over the next decade. Where are their successors?

Opportunity spikes in cloud management arena: The number of cloud companies and services continues to proliferate, giving customers more options and more opportunities for channel partners.

Workers push the boundaries of ‘bring your own collaboration’: It’s a balancing act for employers, the benefits of greater productivity and employee satisfaction vs. security risks.

The blended workforce takes on new meaning: Match-making employment platforms create new options for employers, full-time, temporary and contract workers.

Debate intensifies over technology’s impact on employment: New questions arise over the use of artificial intelligence, virtual assistants and other knowledge-based systems.

Skills gap grows in scope and nuance, forcing organisations to rethink workforce strategies: All signs point to a widening skills gap in many areas. But many employers still lag in hiring or professional development best practices.

CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2017 is based on an online survey of 530 industry executives in the United States (310), United Kingdom (122) and Canada (98).