The recession saw many American companies reduce IT staff, budgets and held off from performing
any upgrades or even delayed implementing new systems
or altogether. Now this certainly seems changing and companies are now interested in implementing new projects hiring personnel and working on projects that have delayed or held off. Cloud EPA predicts Top 10 list of skill sets and domains that will be in demand for 2011.
1. Cloud Computing
In its simplest state, cloud computing is the delivery of hardware and
application services over the internet on demand. This is done as an alternative
to hosting and maintaining your own servers and application software. In cloud
computing, businesses only pay for the resources that they consume. Businesses
that host services and applications in the cloud improve overall computer
utilization rates, as servers are running at or near full capacity from clients
connecting remotely. Cloud computing offers several models:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) - Clients can access an application through internet.
- Utility computing - Storage and server computing power
available when required
- Web and Platform Services - Providing a platform where developers
can create applications that can be accessed by clients through the
internet. Instead of using your own server infrastructure, you use these
remote servers. Microsoft's Azure platform provides just such an
A computer programmer or software engineer is one of the most sought-after
and lucrative careers in the IT field. In today's business environment, companies
must be able to quickly adapt to new conditions. In this case, rapid programming
and agile programming are making a comeback. What are hot areas for programmers
in 2011 - Cloud Computing, Flash, HTML5, Silverlight, Touchscreen, and other such
Virtualization is having multiple physical servers moved to a virtual machine
environment. Virtualization vendors such as Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft are
making it possible for companies to improve the efficiency and availability of
IT resources and applications. Virtualization is being adopted by companies of
all sizes as a means to reduce costs through consolidation of servers and lower
cooling requirements. Application Virtualization has become very popular with
businesses. Having the skill set to deploy applications that connect securely
through a browser is critical for companies that have numerous offices.
This is one area that is going to be very interesting to watch in 2011 -
especially due to the dynamics between Cisco, Microsoft, and VMware. There is no
doubt that the demand for skills in this arena will grow exponentially.
Pick your voice flavor of choice, Lync Server 2010, Polycom, Avaya, or Cisco
to name but a few. They all require highly skilled and knowledgeable people.
This is even more so when trying to integrate conferencing or Unified Messaging
into the network. VoIP is growing rapidly. Businesses are demanding the
integration of voice with their messaging and conferencing networks. The problem
is there just aren't that many experienced voice people, especially ones who are
skilled in two or more platforms. If you happen to be a Cisco voice guru and
have also mastered the intricacies of Office Communications Server 2007 R2
Unified Messaging and conferencing, than you are set!
Project Managers are always in demand; this is especially for IT Project
Managers. IT Project Managers must have an understanding of the business on a
larger scale as well as knowledge of the IT world. This skill set will be in
great demand as companies will be upgrading their IT environments next year.
6. Business Intelligence
Companies are constantly compiling, processing and maintaining vast amounts
of data. Businesses will require developers who can work with the business side
and who also understand user requirements. These individuals can
develop the necessary codes and tools that can be delivered through
user-friendly portals (think SharePoint).
Security will always be a hot demand skill set. All IT pros must have a good
understanding of both physical and electronic security. One of the most
difficult tasks with IT security is educating users. More information about a
company can be gleaned through social engineering that they would rather not
have divulged. Training users (and IT staff) to be cognizant of and prevent
social engineering is extremely difficult. IT Pros must always be aware of
security issues and understand the vulnerabilities within their networks (from
operating systems, servers, even the lowly cable closet). This does not mean that
every IT Pro must be able to perform a penetration test against their own
network, but they must understand and prevent attacks against their network.
8. Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is commonly thought of as the interaction of social media, networking
sites, blogs, and wikis that facilitate communication and information sharing. A
Web 2.0 site allows users (customers) to choose their interaction experience.
Many companies now have Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites
established. Developers and other individuals who experience using Adobe Flex,
sought after in 2011.
9. Unified Communications
We live in a highly connected world (perhaps too connected at times) with
numerous communication technologies all competing for our attention. These
disparate communications technologies were all developed and have grown into
commonly accepted use separate from one another. In order to use these
technologies, we may have had several accounts: one for conferencing, another
for email, a third for instant messaging, and yet another for voicemail and even
perhaps other accounts. Each of these systems most likely had separate user
names and passwords. In order for users to access them, they would have had to
remember them (or write down). Network and telephony administrators had to keep
these different systems working, sometimes with limited success and much
10. Social Networks and Networking
It is a serious mistake to underestimate the power of social networks
(whether it be IMs, tweets, or the "old school" email). Social
networks have been used to help free people who have been incarcerated overseas,
organize popular social and music events and even keep in touch with family and
friends. Social networks have tremendous power and influence - far more than
most people realize (and probably want to accept either). The
"traditional" workplace is quickly changing; more people are working
from home or from other locations and want and even need this contact. This does
not mean the real-time interaction of the bricks-and-mortar work place
environment have been lost, just changed. If you are curious, tweet a friend
People keep in contact through Facebook or other social sites,
line between work and social boundaries. The use of Microsoft Office
Communicator will allow users to have both business and personal
contacts in one
IM interface. Business and IT leaders will have to learn to use these to
accelerate the business-decision process and maintain relevance with
workers. Customers will expect immediate answers to questions, and
accomplish more through these communications.
Trained and competent people at the helpdesk will be critical in 2011 as
companies continue to migrate to Windows 7. One of the most critical skills that
IT pros need is how to interact with non-technical people. The Help
Desk is the first interaction most users have with the IT department, and it
should be a positive experience. IT Pros are very good at their jobs, but
sometimes lack the ability to relate to their non-tech colleagues. Users just
want their computers fixed or their data recovered,l and are not concerned with
the processes behind our actions.