Cloud computing as the new electricity, a wake-up call for technology vendors and more demanding business customers will help shape the IT industry, channel and workforce for the next 12 months.
That’s according to CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook for 2016. A preview unveils three trends to watch in the coming year.
Cloud computing has been a significant trend for several years and it’s likely to take another big step forward in 2016.
“While cloud will not quite become a pure commodity like electricity, it will be so prevalent in IT architecture that cloud-specific focus will give way to overall solution planning,” said Seth Robinson, CompTIA’s senior director of technology analysis.
Everything-as-a-service, a subset of cloud computing, is impacting the financial relationship between technology vendors and their channel partners. And for many partners, vendor-provided margin is secondary to what the partner earns on its own through services.
“Program staples such as upfront discounts and back-end rebates are declining in relative importance,” said Carolyn April, CompTIA’s senior director of industry analysis. “That’s a wake-up call for vendors, who need to be thinking differently about partner compensation models for the future. Newer cloud vendors with no heritage in legacy hardware or software are wisely building partner programs that recognize this.”
Also in 2016, businesses will be demanding better end-to-end experiences with technologies, pushed in part by technology providers, or employers who want to encourage or influence certain behaviors, said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s senior vice president of research and market intelligence.
“Others will be ‘pull’ efforts, as users accustomed to user-friendly consumer applications will exert influence over corporate IT to replicate these same experiences,” he said.
The outlook also includes the results of a brief poll of 400 workers on their views of technology. About half the workers surveyed said technology will play a greater role in their job next year, while 42 percent said its role will be unchanged.
When asked about their tech “wish list” for the new year: Twenty-four percent want a new computer; 24 percent cite the need for more reliable and usable technology; 19 percent want a new mobile phone; 14 percent selected new software applications; 14 percent named communications and collaboration tools; and 13 percent chose emerging technologies, such as 3D printers and smart watches.