Business and economic factors

Globalisation and its effects in the global economy have a profound effect in shaping the global IT industry. There is great, unceasing demand for technology-enabled business transformation constant innovation in technology and technology-intensive products and services across all sectors.

 

» Offshoring

Offshoring is predicted to increase. This will mean that low-cost nations, such as China, Russia, Vietnam and Bangladesh, will gain a greater proportion of the international technology market. Indeed, China has already become the biggest exporter of IT goods, surpassing Japan, the European Union and the US.

» Technology

The new challenges presented by technology are likely to be driven by the next generation of ‘digital natives’, the generation that has grown up with technology. They are the ‘native speakers’ of the digital language of computers, video gaming and the internet.

 

The rise of social computing, powered by Web 2.0 technologies and the creation of new technologies to form and extend networks will shape future IT products, services and skills. This will have implications for the UK IT industry as the ‘digital natives’ enter the workforce and transform the way in which businesses operate.

Increasing environmental concerns will also drive the demand for green IT and environmental computing.

Such developments will also be underpinned by communication convergence and integration. This includes the development of the use of consumer-based products such mobile phones and wireless internet access to enable remote working in virtual offices.

» Social factors

 

The desire for ‘green IT’ and environmental computing is growing and intrinsically linked to the debate about energy in the 21st century. Other major social factors influencing the direction of the IT sector include the rise of social computing, increased consumer power in determining content and services and the impact of the new generation of digital natives and the expectations they bring to the workplace and the world market.

» Skills

The demand for employees to have advanced or higher-level IT skills is expected to increase. This will be a feature of all sectors in the UK as employers remain competitive and seek an advantage through IT.

 

IT professionals employed in all sectors will see the demands of their role change as the UK industry addresses the higher level skills required to remain competitive in a global environment. The Gartner Executive Programs Survey of Chief Information Officers (CIOs), 2007, highlighted the following skills gaps in key IT areas for the period 2007 to 2010:

  • business intelligence;
  • business process improvement;
  • enterprise architecture;
  • business relationship management;
  • program & project management;
  • sourcing & vendor management;
  • IS strategy & planning;
  • security & risk management;
  • customer service;
  • infrastructure & operations;
  • application development & management;
  • IS leadership support.

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