After years of tight budgets and cost-cutting measures, the IT industry is back on track, with worldwide spending expected to reach nearly $3.5 trillion this year alone. And there’s even more growth ahead, say industry watchdogs, who predict a compound annual growth rate of four per cent over the next five years.
Fuelling this growth is a wide range of business and technology developments, they say. From cloud computing and social media, to smart devices and green computing, there are several top trends to watch for, explain organizers of the upcoming iTech Infrastructure Technology Summit (iTech Summit), Canada’s largest IT exhibition and conference.
“There’s no escaping today’s digital world,” says Chuck Wright, Director of iTech Summit. “Whether you’re an end-user, system integrator, value-added reseller or IT decision-maker, you need the latest solutions or services out there and iTech Summit is the place to learn about them.”
Topping the list of industry trends is sustainability, notes Wright. “The current focus on energy, water and greenhouse gas emissions is expected to continue, making environmental performance just as important as financial and operational performance,” he said. “IT has a critical environmental role to play, from helping to ensure compliance to enabling green computing.”
Based on Gartner, Inc. research, iTech Summit organizers predict the following additional IT trends for 2011 and beyond:
Social Media: Enormous amounts of money and time will be dedicated to understanding how social media is changing the way business is conducted, and how IT leaders can capitalize on the growing power of social networks.
Cloud Computing: Strip away the industry hype and cloud computing is simply a shift in the way IT services are delivered. According to Gartner, Inc., all Global 2000 companies will be using cloud computing services by 2016.
Smart Devices: There’s no doubt smart phones are becoming an employee favourite, even if they remain an IT management concern. Watch for slimmed down, low-cost desktop replacements to make their way out of the consumer store and into the enterprise.
Context-Aware Computing: According to Gartner, Inc., unlocking the potential of context-aware computing—solutions that take advantage of location and time—will be one of the next major challenges to face IT.
Network and System Maintenance: IT executives are rethinking how and where they use employees as more and more companies turn to strategic outsourcing of non-core maintenance tasks.
Innovation: The recent recession has spurred the need for innovative thinkers who can find new ways to stimulate growth. Five years from now, innovation accomplishments will be one of the top three selection criteria when hiring new CIOs.
Featuring a comprehensive conference program, large exhibitor area and live product demonstrations, iTech Summit offers the educational content IT professionals need to maximize their business operations.
Session topics include: How to recognize virtualization “stall” (when the expected benefits of a virtualization strategy fail to materialize) and what to do about it; How to use the lean six sigma methodology to more effectively manage a data centre; The five keys to increasing IT infrastructure return on investment; and How to implement flash technology as a means to speed up a database.
A keynote speech entitled Changing the Economics of IT with Smart Computing, sponsored by IBM, will explore how the world of corporate computing is in the midst of a profound shift. With businesses being driven by the infusion of intelligence in all areas, and users driving higher expectations, more diverse demands are being placed on IT systems. IBM will explore the next wave in the evolution of computing and how it is having a profound effect on IT systems design, data management and the way in which business and IT services are delivered, managed and consumed.
“The IT industry is constantly evolving,” says Wright. “At iTech Summit, we provide all of the information that professionals need to develop an IT strategy for today that is also ready for tomorrow.”
We will be bringing you coverage of the Toronto iTech Summit in the May issue of The Canadian Business Journal.
The next iTech Summits will be held at the following locations:
Calgary, September 20, 2011
Telus Convention Centre
Vancouver, September 22, 2011
For more information, please visit www.itechsummit.ca