Sometimes the inspiration from a post comes from a question. This is a question I recently received from someone that is in the IT industry. Specifically, the question revolved around where IT is heading and what are the skills and training that are advisable to anticipate where IT is heading.

Sometimes I look around and I am amazed that this is the same company I joined in 2010... awesome.

Schrödinger’s Floppy Drive

If I was looking out 3-5 years the areas I would focus in on are an understanding of the characteristics of matured and highly evolved environments. Areas and topics like automation, orchestration, and security posture principles are key.

A paradigm shift is underway for the coming wave of outsourced IT as a Service, continuous integration, and continuous deployment. Catch that wave.

Things are changing fast in IT. Assumptions about IT are changing faster.

Chewing Gum Stackages

It’s going to be an increasingly portmanteau world.

Basically, there will always be a place for datacenter environments that house compute, storage, and networking elements. For the past three years and going forward they will increasingly converge into simplified ordered stacks (example: Vblock Systems) that allow for applications to be stood up and used by non IT staff.

The Future is Eventually Consistent

However, over the next 3-5 years there will be marked shifts in the ability to consume resources normally associated with private datacenters to ones that are service provider maintained or located among several service providers. The current and future generations of developers already use Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, and an almost algal bloom of niche service provider offerings. They got it a while ago and get it now. These are the next creators of what is next in mobile and the Internet of Everything and they already live a partially realized reality to this assured eventuality.

IT will be compelled to deliver on built-in analytics for the growing data that is increasingly used to make business decisions. IT will be the sieve and perhaps just perhaps the I in IT will stand for intelligence vs. information in just a few years.

Continuous Deployment of Knowledge

The new toolsets used by increasingly mobile developers and application creators will democratize and further isolate and abstract those groups from the very infrastructure they consumer, tear down, and recreate multiple times per week, day, hour, or even by the minute. This is the notion of continuous deployment. This is the notion of the so-called DevOps movement. IT is and will continue to blur and shift from the way we think of it today. That knowledge — that very intelligence technology will indeed be the new IT.

If I was starting over from scratch again I would start with a regiment of courses (most freely available btw) on agile methods, devops, and explore any interviews or internships within teams and companies compelled by new mandates to be increasingly in those settings.

Homework Assignments

1.

Now, listen to what Trey Layton, CTO of VCE has to say about the future.

2.

Now, listen to what Praveen Akkiraju, CEO of VCE has to say about the future.

3.

Now, read what Jeramiah Dooley, Office of the CTO at VCE has to say about the future in addition to who you will meet along the way to the future.