Tag Archives: IT trends

IT Trends: How Will You Access Your Data in the Years to Come?

shutterstock_91611515I have been thinking lately about information technology trends and I want to highlight a few in the blog this week. This helps me to keep up on the latest in technology and I hope that it helps you as well.

The Cloud

According to a recent list from Gartner, one of the emerging trends over the next couple of years is that the cloud will become the most important data repository. This will have significant impact on IT organizations in the fact that devices such as PCs and laptops will be merely a window into the data and the applications. The computer will not actually house information; it will all be hosted in the cloud. Laptops could become simple terminals and more computing will be pushed to the tablet, which could serve the same function. With this push to mobile devices, the desktop PC could drop out of the scene completely. Device management will change dramatically, especially as employees become even more mobile.


Another trend identified by Gartner is an increasingly mobile workforce. This includes not only telecommuters, but also those working in a progressively 24/7 world on company-issued devices as well as on personal devices. The line is blurring between the two, and IT organizations need to get a handle on who and what devices have access to their proprietary information. This goes beyond a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy and enters into the area of network design with an eye toward mobile security.


With the movement towards the cloud and mobile devices, Sophos—the network and server security vendor—predicts there will be more attacks on personal and corporate data. They also predict mobile devices will leave personal data more vulnerable to theft, particularly through the use of apps. With larger numbers of employees working remotely and passing corporate data across their mobile devices, this trend spells trouble for the IT organization. The spotlight will be on them to keep the corporate data safe on the inside and keep viruses and intruders on the outside. More emphasis will be put on security, particularly the mobile variant. The upside to all of this is an increase in opportunities for security professionals. According to Robert Half, the staffing specialists, security professionals are one of the technical specialties in highest demand. If the trend towards mobile and cloud computing continues, this demand will become even more acute.


One of the benefits of trend spotting is that it points to where future opportunities lie. There is a need now for security professionals, cloud computing professionals, and those that can integrate mobile platforms with enterprise applications. If you are at a crossroads in your career, I would explore one of these areas. If you are just starting your IT career or education, I think any of these will be solid fields for years to come, with options to branch out into the periphery. Have you seen any other IT trends worth noting? Let me know. I will highlight other trends in future blog posts.

Author Kelly BrownAbout Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an IT professional, adjunct faculty for the University of Oregon, and academic director of the UO Applied Information Management Master’s Degree Program. He writes about IT and business topics that keep him up at night.

Looking Through the Google Glass: Trends in IT

Trashed computer hardwareI have been thinking lately about trends in IT and specifically about Google Glass. The prototypes are out now with full introduction expected in 2014. I think that the introduction of Google Glass and other alternative computing platforms and applications points to a world of much smaller computing devices and the separation of the client and the processor/data storage.


Throughout history, each new computer model has generally been smaller, more powerful and came with a friendlier, more intuitive interface. Compare today’s smartphone with the room-sized ENIAC computer of the early 1950s. It is smaller, friendlier, and far more powerful. We came from a room-sized computer to a computer that you hold in your hand within fifty years. How far can we take this paradigm? What does the future hold? How much smaller can we go?


With desktop computers, we have by and large mimicked the typewriter, which was commercialized in the 1860s. The typewriter in turn was just a portable printing press, which was developed in the 1400s. When we needed a portable version of the computer, we came up with the laptop and the tablet and the smartphone. It has the same display and often still a QWERTY keyboard. So, in effect, we are still modeling 600-year-old technology! With Glass and other similar technologies, I feel like they are finally trying to break that cycle. It is voice-activated and the heads-up display is integrated into the product itself. If you did need to create a document using Glass, I am not sure how you would do it (voice recognition?) but I am ever hopeful we can finally break our dependence on a 150-year-old keyboard design.

Processing and Storage

Because client devices are becoming smaller, they cannot maintain the level of on-board processing and storage that we have enjoyed in earlier versions. This is where the cloud comes in. It is almost as if smaller clients and the cloud were meant for each other. Remove the computing power from the client and move it to the cloud. Now, all you need is a client that can stay connected to the cloud and can find your setup and storage. With megadata centers hosting everything in the cloud, and increasingly reliable network connections, computing suddenly becomes much more efficient and clean. Small client, large storage and processing.

Trends For The Future

What does it take to break our dependence on the “product that came before”? How can we break out and truly reinvent how we communicate with each other and with our world? Can we find clues about our future in current and historical science fiction? We have been discussing a utopian “paper-free” world for at least thirty years. With new trends in IT, will we finally realize that utopia? Can we finally break free? These are things that I wrestle with and ponder as I envision the future of IT. How do you see the future unfolding? Are you hopeful or skeptical? For more on IT and internet trends, see the report from a recent All Things Digital conference.


About Kelly BrownAuthor Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an IT professional, adjunct faculty for the University of Oregon, and academic director of the UO Applied Information Management Master’s Degree Program. He writes about IT topics that keep him up at night.