Not Another 2016 Predictions Post! 5 for Business Technology Services

Yes, another tech prediction, one of millions. In fact, a quick Google search today revealed 180 million prediction posts for 2016, and 41 million tech predictions!

So why provide another tech prediction? Usually they’re just best guesses, wishful thinking and conspiracy theory-tinged, post-apocalyptic scenarios designed as click-bait to attract traffic and annoy readers (in fact I don’t claim to be free of this tendency myself).

But despite fantasies about robot DJs, mass media unemployment from artificial intelligence, and tired predictions of the coming “singularity event,” there are some pretty plausible, exciting and kind-of-amazing predictions.tech_predictions-2016.jpg

And what makes this post different is our perspective as a business technology services company based in the Americas, with one foot in Latin America, another in the U.S., and presence in three other continents.

So, without further ado, here are some of my tech predictions for 2016.

1.    Mass Adoption of DevOps Makes Offshore Outsourcing Untenable

2016 is the year the DevOps skills gap takes hold, at least according to the DevOps Digest. But what exactly is DevOps, and what has the DevOps skills gap got to do with making offshore outsourcing untenable? It's part of the equation to becoming an agile organization

The best description of DevOps I’ve seen is from John Rakowski, Director of Technology Strategy for AppDynamics, who said: “DevOps is the ability to be able to release new applications or updates at a speed expected by your customers, while maintaining quality. This requires collaboration between business, IT development and operations professionals.”

The constant collaboration, which takes place in real-time, and the uncertainty of not having defined requirements for software because of the constant development, test and release cycles, makes Nearshore outsourcing to the Americas a natural fit.

And the DevOps continuous delivery skills gap will drive companies to fill that gap with companies south of the border.

2.    The “Sofwarization” of Hardware and the Coming of the Software-Defined-Everything

The explosion of the Internet of Things, and the increasing sophistication of software, is driving the move towards software-defined-everything, which Wired magazines says is “…about decoupling the bare metal that executes the point data transactions from the software layer that orchestrates them.”

In fact, according to Antonio Manzalini of Telecom Italia:

“Imagine the multitude of services that could be created and provided through highly dynamic and borderless platforms of logical resources, fully decoupled from the underlying physical infrastructures.”

We believe we’ll see that happening in 2016 at greater speed.

3.    Next-Generation Automation and Machine Learning Will Be Bad for Low Skilled Workers, But Good for Highly Skilled Workers

The growth in next-generation automation and machine-learning does not mean the robots are taking over – but it does mean disruption.

The Harvard Business Review recently reported on an Oxford University study, which predicts that half of today’s jobs may vanish.

But there’s good news: if you’re an executive, the machines will help you, not hurt you. According to the HBR article, this automation will enable the rise of augmentation. As HBR states: “… in the very foreseeable future, as Gartner analyst Nigel Rayner says, ‘many of the things executives do today will be automated.’” Or augmented.

Executives will be able to focus on the higher order tasks, the human element, and go deeper on customer subsets with more personalized and relevant communications because of the deep analysis and micro-segmenting enabled by sophisticated and automated computer programs.

4.    The Blurring of Lines Between IT Services Towers

Clients are now requiring service providers to manage security, quality, and even analytics as part of application, development and maintenance contracts, instead of as separate services.

Increasing savings enabled by automation is freeing resources to include these components as value-add to core management services. 

5.    The Rise of Hybrid IT/Management Consultants

Finally, another area that is undergoing softwarization: companies and organizations in general. This is spurring the growth of the hybrid IT/management consultants who are uniquely equipped to help the hybrid, software-enabled company of today.

With business models becoming more dependent on software as the value differentiator, management consultants are becoming IT consultants, and IT consultants are becoming management consultants.

But older school IT or management consultants will find it hard to make the switch to this hybrid model, and will most likely be replaced by a new generation of millennial technical/business consultants.

Conclusion

2016 will be an exciting time for sure, with the rise of automation, AI, softwarization everywhere, the Internet of Things. But it also could be a difficult time, as the brutal start to global financial markets for the year can attest.

What are your predictions for 2016? Add your thoughts to the comments section below and let us know!

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