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Enterprise IT in 2020: The Technology and Generational Shift Shaping the Future of Work

Vijay Kurkal. Enterprise IT departments have undergone drastic changes in the last decade, with new technologies like Cloud, AI and IoT creating an IT environment unrecognizable from that of years past. These technologies have brought an explosion of data and unprecedented complexity – far beyond what traditional IT infrastructure can support – as well as a need for new skills in the IT workforce.

According to a Deloitte CIO survey, the responsibility to keep business-critical technology running has absorbed up to 70% of IT’s budget, not to mention employee bandwidth. With these budgets always tightening, finding ways to shift financial and human resources from operations to innovation remains a top CIO goal. As CIOs continue to grapple with this new world of IT, they will need to turn to new tools, like Automation and AI, and new generations of workers as integral parts of the solution.

Read more: Why AI is Both a Risk and a Way to Manage Risk

Looking ahead to 2020, these are my predictions for how both will shape the IT landscape in the year ahead.

IT Automation: A Shift From “Nice-To-Have” to “Must-Have”

Digital Transformation has gone from a future possibility to a present priority as 96% of executives have acknowledged. The astronomical increase in infrastructure data and alarms has created much more noise than the average IT team can handle with manual analysis, making problems even more difficult to solve. Nevertheless, IT teams are still expected to monitor this constantly evolving infrastructure and keep up with demands to address requests, incidents, and issues in seconds.

The growing expectations placed on these teams has pushed automation, especially of baseline processes and tasks, from an option to a necessity that is critical for success. IT teams that don’t adopt Automation and AIOps will struggle to keep their heads above water.

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On the other hand, those that do implement Automation and AIOps will reap the benefits of a more agile, autonomous IT environment, including the ability to focus time and resources on innovation and digital transformation initiatives. As more and more organizations deploy automation and AI technology in IT, they’ll see greater operational efficiencies, reduced time to address alarms, and an increase in performance from their teams.

Millennials Usher in a New Era of the IT Workforce

The introduction of new technology into the world of enterprise IT has also reshaped the work being done by IT teams and created a need for new skills in areas like AI, Cloud-based software development, and Data Science. According to a Gartner survey, 63% of Senior executives indicated that an IT talent shortage was a key concern for their organizations – and with Baby Boomers retiring in droves, this presents a compounding problem for many companies. To address this skills gap, businesses are turning to the largest generation in the workforce – Millennial workers – adding fuel to the fire in the already tight job market.

Millennials, attracted to positions at disruptive tech companies or opportunities to work on innovative projects, place value in opportunities that offer satisfying and meaningful work more than just a paycheck. In 2020, companies that can offer employees the opportunity to further develop expertise in technologies like Automation and AI will have the leg up in the hiring market and the skills race, effectively addressing their workforce needs now and in the future. As the new IT environment continues to evolve, the companies that can successfully attract, retain and develop millennial tech talent – and the Gen Z workers that follow – will not only see the most operational efficiencies, but also remain ahead of the innovation curve.

There’s no doubt that 2020 will be a watershed year for the new world of IT. Gartner’s prediction that IT budgets will remain flat this year leaves CIOs in a precarious position, needing to improve efficiencies without adding costs.

With unemployment remaining at an all-time low, addressing the skills shortage must also be a top priority. As data continues to exceed human capacity, we’ll see automation become a critical necessity, and millennial workers will form the foundation for thriving IT teams in this era. With these new tools and resources, organizations will be better positioned to tackle the IT challenges that this new decade brings, and bring us one step closer to self-healing IT.

Read more: The CIO’s Dilemma: AI-Powered Innovation Without Chaos

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