Technology

CompTIA: Cloud, Workforce Automation Among Major 2016 Trends

By / Feb 1, 2016 (IStock/Thinkstock)

There’s an exciting new year ahead in information technology development, trends, and growth, CompTIA forecasts in its annual survey.

Could 2016 be the year that tech experiments receive a full-fledged embrace from the enterprise?

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), which represents thousands of information technology firms, thinks so. According to the association’s latest trends list, there is potential for emerging sectors to mature to the point where they’re worth bringing into the mainstream.

“Cloud computing, mobility, social, workforce automation, big data, the internet of things, and other disrupters will continue to expand their reach in 2016,” Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s senior vice president of research and market intelligence, said in a statement.

Global IT industry growth is forecast to rise to 4.9 percent, the association reports in its “IT Industry Outlook 2016.” If the industry exceeds expectations, CompTIA predicts an “upside potential” of 7.1 percent growth.

“Many organizations will move beyond the experimental, early-adopter stage into broader, more varied uses of these technologies as they seek to capture the benefits of becoming a digital business,” Herbert added.

What to Look For

The report, compiled from a December 2015 survey of 673 IT companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, highlights a dozen trends that are expected to affect the IT industry and the U.S. economy in the coming year.

Among macro trends, CompTIA predicts that tech policy will be a hot topic in the presidential election, companies will strive to develop more technology experts in-house, and businesses will make technology issues and strategies a focus in every department, not just in IT.

As for technology trends, cloud services will continue to grow, according to the report. Security, analytics, and software will rise in importance, too. Turning to IT trends, CompTIA notes that because the customer is more savvy about technology today, channel firms need to change their marketing strategies based on customers’ varying needs. Companies should also stop focusing on building cloud data centers as a way to set themselves apart from competitors and figure out beneficial vendor partnerships, the association recommends.

Expect to see more on the internet of things, the gig economy, mobile wallets, commercial drones, augmented and virtual reality, and even cyberinsurance. Watch for the emergence of gesture technology, visual search, 4D printing, and location-based authentication.

Looking Up

What’s more, the industry could skyrocket above expectations, CompTIA says. The global IT space made $3.7 trillion last year, and it could make $3.8 trillion in 2016, through hardware, software, telecommunications, and other IT services.

“Businesses of all sizes increasingly recognize the need to remake their workflows and customer-engagement practices with an eye toward digital transformation,” Herbert said. “If investments in these technologies accelerate, and the economy holds steady, growth could lean toward the upside of the forecast.”

A webinar on the survey results will be hosted by Carolyn April, senior industry research analyst at CompTIA, on February 10.

Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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