Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:

  • IT sector revenue is projected to grow 5% in 2018. — CompTIA, 2018
  • The top IT sector trends to watch in 2018 include advances in the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). — CompTIA, 2018

The IT sector is poised to hit one of its highest years of growth in history, according to a new CompTIA report: Revenue is projected to grow 5% across the tech industry in 2018, and could potentially hit more than 7%.

The evolving tech labor market will continue to present new challenges and opportunities for companies, the report noted. “With employer demand for tech talent routinely outstripping supply, the year ahead will force more organizations to rethink their approaches to recruiting, training, and talent management,” the report stated. “Additionally, questions surrounding skills gaps, diversity, alternative education/career paths and the future of work will demand more meaningful attention and resources.”

The projected growth of 2018 will be led by a number of trends, the report stated, one being that the democratization of technology will lead to breakthrough models. Dropping costs, advancing user interfaces, and a lower bar for entry to create new apps and products is leading to a democratization of technology in a way that could change entire industries, according to CompTIA.

SEE: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles (Tech Pro Research)

“As software becomes the driving force of many solutions, open source concepts allow far more people to build applications around blockchain, natural language processing, or context-aware computing,” the report stated. “Hardware is also more of an open toolbox, as makers explore novel use cases using drones, robotics, and 3D printing. Technical literacy has risen steeply thanks to mass availability, and that literacy can now tap into a diverse set of options in order to create groundbreaking new paradigms.”

The cloud entering a new phase of maturity will also help with IT growth, according to CompTIA. While most companies have moved non-critical applications to the cloud, many are now ready to take the next step and move into full production mode, where there are few restrictions on the type of applications that can live in the cloud.

“From there, the final stage is transformed IT, where the architecture has been rebuilt to maximize cloud characteristics rather than simply being forklifted,” the report stated.

Further, the Internet of Things (IoT) will expand technology footprints in the enterprise, the report stated. “From gathering new data to automation of infrastructure, companies are finding many benefits from adding connectivity and intelligence to physical infrastructure,” the report noted. However, IoT also increases the scope of IT’s responsibilities, and can complicate the IT function.

Another trend will be that artificial intelligence (AI) adds a new layer to the solution stack. AI is the emerging technology most likely to make major changes in the IT infrastructure. Adding a layer of intelligence to technical solutions can help solve a broader range of problems and manage a more extensive IT architecture, CompTIA said.

Finally, businesses will also need to adjust to the new normal of security, according to the report. As security incidents continue to grow in number, companies will begin to shift their approaches to protecting their assets. This may include building business processes that improve security, and implementing more end user training.

“In short, companies will shift their security mindset from technology based defenses to proactive steps that include technology, process, and education,” the report stated. “There is no doubt that companies are taking security more seriously, but now they must realize that modern security demands a different mentality rather than just more of the same.”

For more trends that will drive IT’s growth in 2018, click here.