Seven IT Trends

2016-2017 Issue 1

svetlanasidenkoSvetlana Sidenko left her native Russia to study in Montreal, earning both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in the Management of Information Systems. She’s now a leading expert in Montreal’s booming IT industry, serving as president of a boutique IT consulting company and holding a wide-ranging repertoire of professional IT certifications as both a practitioner and an accredited trainer. Sidenko has helped hundreds of IT professionals upgrade their skills, keep up with emerging trends, and achieve their career goals in IT service management, IT project management and IT governance.

“Information technology is my profession, my hobby and my passion,” says Sidenko. “The field is continually changing, with new trends emerging every two to three years.” She provided a list of trends she sees emerging in IT management; keep up if you can.

1. Speak My Language
Technical skills will never go out of style in the IT industry. “The technical career path is well-defined, with a known set of qualifications that in demand,” says Sidenko. These include developer languages such as Java, Java Script, .Net, Python and C++, technical certifications from Cisco and Microsoft, and specialized skills in SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, and Cisco network administration.

2. Diversify Your Skills
Those aspiring to be IT Managers must go beyond the technical skill requirements. They need training in IT management, as well as experience with IT project management, business analysis, IT Service Management and IT audits. Sidenko recommends earning additional certifications in various IT domains, such as ITIL, Lean IT, CobiT 5, PMP or agile project management.

3. Think Big Data
There is an increasing demand for Big Data experts and data scientists. Analytics and cognitive analysis are on the top of the CIO agenda this year, and business intelligence continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors.

4. Safety First
Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in light of numerous data thefts and attacks. As a result, demand is growing for IT technical security analysts, security architects, and security project managers.

5. Tame the Digital Dragon
The Digital Dragon refers to the digitization of everything in business. “It’s taking over, and it will never be the same,” says Sidenko.
Digitization requires more agile development, innovative partnerships, and developing industry-specific applications with reliance on the external partners, often-innovative start-ups. Skills such as iOS and Android development are in great demand in the job market.

6. Shine a Light on Shadow IT
Shadow IT is the emerging phenomenon of business departments bypassing the IT department to serve their own needs. An example might be the accounting department buying new software or acquiring a cloud storage solution without consulting with the IT department. “It’s an ongoing problem that signals a disconnect between IT and business.”

7. Manage your Relationships
If Shadow IT is the problem, business relationship management is the solution. “We as IT professionals have to repair our relationship with the business department,” urges Sidenko. “It’s a matter of rebuilding trust.”

As a result, there’s never a dull moment for IT professionals. “The demand for jobs is growing. It’s a very exciting place to be.”

Svetlana Sidenko leads the workshop Introduction to Business Relationship Management (BRM) at the McGill University School of Continuing Studies.

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