The economic upheaval of the last few years has had a transformative effect on many industries. Some have weathered the storm somewhat better than others – and the IT industry remains relatively buoyant in spite of the buffeting the wider economy has received over the last few years. This is reflected in the demand for IT jobs. Graduates tend to gravitate towards the IT industry in large numbers in part because they see it as a relatively good bet for the future, at a time when there aren’t too many good bets around. Of course, the ever-changing nature of the IT industry makes it difficult to work out precisely what the future holds for it. Nevertheless, certain trends are becoming apparent.
A gathering cloud
Anyone who’s been paying attention to the discussions surrounding the IT industry and its prospects for the near future surely can’t have failed to notice that cloud computing is generating a great deal of debate. It’s certainly undeniable that the cloud holds immense potential, allowing users to access files from wherever they are in the world and thereby possibly going so far as to revolutionise the way we work. Still, there are security concerns which continue to hang over it and deter some firms from embracing the cloud with more enthusiasm. Data security is naturally a very sensitive issue for businesses and other organisations, but there have been efforts to promote best practice and provide education on how to make use of the cloud. These efforts could prove crucial to encouraging its more widespread adoption over the months and years ahead.
The next generation
It’s not quite clear what will be the catalyst for the next spurt of growth in the IT industry. Third-generation computers, PCs and networking technologies each represented major milestones in the development of the nascent IT industry, whilst revolutionising the way we work, communicate with one another and buy goods and services. The mobile revolution, however, is continuing to gather pace and still holds the potential for further exciting developments. There appears to be some degree of convergence between tablet computers and smartphones, and this is a trend which is likely to continue over the next few years.
A more mature industry?
Although some have argued that the IT industry is approaching maturation, there are still a number of new technologies which hold out the promise of further innovation. Holographic displays, micro-miniaturisation and the latest generation of speech recognition software could have a major impact on the way we live our everyday lives. Likewise, information technology continues to play a more prominent role in education, healthcare and transport. These innovations may spur a new wave of investment, which in turn may drive the process of creating new technologies even further.
It’s important to remember that the IT industry remains in a generally healthier state than the global economy as a whole. Growth rates might not be quite what they were in the mid to late 1990s – this is itself in large part due to the global economic slowdown – but the IT industry remains the envy of other sectors. This means that now is as good a time as any to get involved – and the strong demand for IT jobs indicates that the industry’s appeal remains as great as ever.