IDG Contributor Network: The next IT: What it is and what you need to know to be successful

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by Frank 132 Views 0

As an analyst, I am constantly pressed to answer a fundamental question: What is the future of IT? With the overwhelming amount of new technology being delivered to enterprise computing, IT professionals are understandably concerned about what the future holds. Will there even be a place for enterprise IT departments any more? The answer to this question has both good news and bad news.

Traditional IT: a focus on data

Let’s start with the bad news. Traditional IT—centered on datacenters and applications—is on its way out. The reason is simple: traditional IT has always been concerned, not with information as the acronym would suggest, but with data. As a profession we have learned how to create, store, manipulate, and transmit data. Information creation, such as it was, typically was generated between the ears of the data user. That is, data are facts, but information is facts in context; and context generation has been a uniquely human endeavor.

Now, though, with big data, we have broken the bank. There is simply so much data that people can no longer reliably make sense of it anymore. What decision makers crave is not more data, but more actionable insights generated by data. They want context on demand and in near real time, and this is a whole new ball game.

Next IT: a focus on information

The good news is that big data technologies, despite causing the conventional IT model to fracture, form the basis for the new IT. If too much data is now passé, then IT is essential to building the infrastructures necessary to access it. However, once the data has been made accessible, there must be the appropriate automation to derive context from it. That is where advanced analytics and AI come into play. AI, in particular, can digest enormous amounts of data, learn from it and generate insights informed by the data.