The future of IT is always a hot topic and we recently surveyed 418 IT decision makers to find out their predictions for the next three years.
The findings were interesting, to say the least. We found that 61% think the Internet of Things will take off and the world will become uber-connected by 2018. And 13% say that Blackberry will make a comeback. Talk about far-fetched predictions. I don't know about you, but I stuck my Blackberry in a drawer several years ago and I've never given it a second thought.
More seriously, consumers, businesses and IT professionals know that technology is no stranger to change. But change for the sake of change isn't enough to provoke a shift in the tech realm; it's meaningful change that determines the course of events.
In our survey, we wanted to find out how the technology landscape itself will evolve. We wanted to know which products and vendors will stay relevant and which will diminish.
We also wanted to find out what companies and IT departments will do to stay on top of the game and embrace change because this is the information needed to make the right technology decisions.
We polled both CXOs and non-CXOs and then compared results to get their views on what the next three years will bring. The opinions were largely the same, but some interesting insights can be found where they differed. It's always interesting to know what the boss thinks versus those in the trenches.
When we dug in deeper and analyzed technological priorities on a company-wide basis, we found that everyone across the board considers the most significant priorities to be improving security, improving applications to better fit business processes, lowering costs and project management. The biggest gap between CXOs and non-CXOs was in the choice of project management.
IT security ranked as the top emerging technology to IT departments by both CXOs and non-CXOs.
Mobile device management ranked second for both groups, and big data/analytics rang in at third place.
An interesting discovery was that more than one third of respondents thought that 3D printing and wearables will not be important emerging technologies.
Another question focused on the importance of endeavors to IT departments. Deploying mobile devices was seen as the top long-term plan for both groups.
But what about challenges and changes? The most significant challenges IT departments are expected to face over the next three years are protecting/securing the network and data, and survey respondents also predicted that a big challenge will be changing business requirements and improving service responsiveness.
Neither CXOs nor all respondents overall were significantly concerned about the pressure to outsource or offshore certain IT capabilities, which paints a rational picture of the current state of IT rather than the depiction of money-hungry executives moving vital functions elsewhere at the peril of hardworking staff.
The survey shows that there are many priorities afoot in technology and our survey demonstrates that IT professionals and leaders recognize their duties and are keeping up on the trends. Topics which are hot today will continue to be relevant in the future. Security, mobility and data will remain top priorities. These will advance into new areas as developments arise, but the core concepts behind them will remain critical.
Overall, the future looks bright for technological progress and there is enthusiasm about learning new things and an optimism for what's to come.
Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.