The channel firms that thrive in 2020 will be the ones that invest in training, reach new customers, partner (even with potential competitors), and embrace emerging tech.
That’s according to trade association CompTIA’s senior director for industry analysis, Carolyn April. “For many,” she adds, “this will mean getting out of their comfort zone.”
To take us even further out of our comfort zones, CompTIA this week published its 10 tech trends for the new year. The list is part of the trade group’s new report, CompTIA Industry Outlook 2020: Taking the Next Step.
And here’s the top 10 list:
1. “Tech-washing” fades in favor of real strategy: The new cliché is that every company is a tech company. But that’s too simplistic. Instead, every business will need to define its own unique strategy, then apply IT thoughtfully and appropriately.
2. Workforce diversity grows — and in many ways: Yes, “diversity” means employing more women, people of color, etc. But it also means seeking expertise in not just IT infrastructure, but also software development, cybersecurity, data and more.
3. U.S. elections put tech front-and-center: The public’s increasingly negative perception of “big tech” could affect the 2020 presidential elections. Top issues include data collection and privacy, the threat of AI on jobs, and how tech can help counter climate change.
4. Emerging tech’s hype meets reality: Everyone loves the latest and greatest tech, but the reality is that their effects may not be felt for years. That includes such hot topics as drones, blockchain and quantum computing.
5. The Internet of Things continues to redefine IT architecture: Unlike some other emerging technologies (see #4 above), IoT is being rapidly adopted. What's more, it’s becoming a permanent new part of IT. The channel needs to invest in developing the new skills needed to support this shift.
6. AI eats the world: Artificial intelligence is poised to push software to the next level. But AI will also require a new kind of oversight to counter unconscious bias and unreasonable outputs. For those with the right skills, the opportunities appear enormous.
7. Integration demand drives automation: The need for integrating various platforms, applications and data types is huge. But SMBs lack the manpower needed. So instead, they're turning to automation to reduce routine work (such as manual data-entry) and create room for innovation.
8. Cybersec becomes more operational: As cybercriminals get more sophisticated, the security measures taken by companies have shifted from reactive to proactive. That means adopting not just new cybersec software tools, but also training and new processes. With the rise of the CISO, cybersecurity is also emerging as a distinct discipline, one that is separate from but related to traditional IT.
9. Data management is challenged by ‘deep fakes’ and 5G: Deep fakes are video and voice applications that give the appearance of real people doing and saying things they never said or did. Their potential for wreaking havoc is frightening to consider. As a result, companies will have a great need for sophisticated data-management tools that can identify data with its true source. Another challenge will come from 5G networks. They’re likely to create an exponential increase in data volumes. That, in turn, will lead to companies needing even more capacity for data management.
10. Regulation of tech industry stirs fears: The public's concerns around privacy, data protection, election interference, and other issues have thrust the tech industry uncomfortably into the spotlight. Could new government regulation be coming, too? Or can the industry take the lead by owning these issues and working with the government on solutions?
Not out of your comfort zone yet? Then download the full CompTIA Industry Outlook 2020 report.