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IT Industry Outlook 2017: Tech Continues to Shape the World

Technology continues to shape the world around us in ways that are almost always interesting and sometimes unsettling. With the groundwork of cloud, mobility, data and connectivity laid, 2017 will see evolutionary advances on many fronts. Digital business transformation remains a driving force for small and large enterprises alike. Organizations on the right path will have the opportunity to explore advances in areas such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, the Internet of Things, and, perhaps, a few unexpected breakthroughs. Those playing catch-up will face growing and potentially new forms of competitive pressures.

Technology industry trade association CompTIA projects global IT industry growth of 4.1 percent in 2017. If this growth materializes, it will push the $3.4 trillion global IT industry (as estimated by research consultancy IDC) past the $3.5 trillion mark by year’s end.

As part of its IT Industry Outlook 2017, CompTIA has also identified 12 trends – in technology, workforce and the IT channel – likely to impact the industry in 2017. It comes as no surprise that the impact of these trends will be felt in both the private and public sectors.

“In fact, due to the abilities of cities and counties to be nimble and flexible, many have already positioned themselves as the incubators of government technology and are often the first to adopt cutting-edge tech initiatives like IoT, open data, and digital service delivery,” said Jennifer Saha, CompTIA’s Director of the State, Local Government & Education (SLED) Council.

“As the federal government and states pick up the pace on these initiatives, they can turn to a technology industry that already has excellent examples of successful technology implementations in cities and counties across the United States,” she added.

Four trends – cybersecurity, the growing importance of data, the Internet of Things, and the workforce – are especially worthy of keeping a close eye on this year. Here’s a closer look.

Data Teams Bridge the Gap Between IT and Business – As the demands on data grow (in both quantity and complexity), database administrators and data specialists will move from backstage to center stage to harness the power of organizational data. These data teams will focus on aggregation, analysis, and visualization, and they will be the most likely to interact directly with business units to most effectively connect the data dots.

Security Gets Worse Before It Gets Better – The DDoS attack on DNS provider Dyn placed security back in the spotlight thanks to the nature of the target and the use of connected security cameras as botnet attackers. However, another theme emerged from the aftermath of that attack. Massive security incidents are not yet driving organizations to revolutionize their security approach. The headline-making breaches of the past three years have not put companies out of business, and research studies show that most firms are not fully prepared for a cyberattack. Unfortunately, the event that creates a tipping point will need to have greater consequences before there is a broad shift in transforming security technology, processes, and education. Until that tipping point comes, mega-breaches will still make headlines as businesses play catchup on the cybersecurity front.

IoT Transforms Physical Environments and Social Conventions – Beyond the buzz and the backlash, the Internet of Things is primed to be a massive disruptor. As physical objects gain intelligence and connectivity, new opportunities will rise across all industries. Beyond individual business applications, a prime driver for IoT will change everyday life. Smart City initiatives will bring about societal change as they also pave the way. But the transition will take time. Though the pace of technology has accelerated, the complexity of IoT and the regulations and protocols required for integration will drive a long adoption cycle.

Skills Gap Grows, Forcing Organizations to Rethink Workforce Strategies – Given the breadth and pace of innovation, all signs point to a widening skills gap in many areas and for more types of workers. CompTIA workforce research consistently reports concerns among employers in finding candidates with the right combination of technical and soft skills. This is not a one-sided problem, however. Many employers lag in their use of best practices for hiring and professional development. Only one in four IT professionals believe their employer utilizes their talent and skill to the fullest extent. In the year ahead, expect a renewed effort to explore ideas such as always-on learning, immersive learning, apprenticeships and other means to expand the pipeline of non-degree credentials, talent management systems and more.

For more on these trends – and eight others- download a free copy of CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2017 at

About CompTIA and CompTIA’s SLED Council

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a non-profit trade association serving as the voice of the information technology industry. With approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners and more than two million IT certifications issued, CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. To learn more, visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CompTIA’s State and Local Government and Education (SLED) Council is a consortium of executives from leading technology companies who share a common mission to be ‘The Voice of the IT Industry Serving the State & Local Government and Education (SLED) market.’  Our members, guided by an Executive Council of leading industry executives, collaborate with CompTIA staff, state government affairs advocates and other resources to drive member-led initiatives focused on advancing the interests of the IT industry in the SLED market. Conduent SVP Juliane Swatt is a member of the CompTIA SLED Council.