Future-Proof Your Skill Set: Top-Demanded IT Skills
Looking to future-proof your skill set? You'd be wise to focus on mobile platforms and cloud computing for application development and IT delivery.
IT professionals broadly say that mobile and cloud computing will be a major focus over the next few years, emerging as the most in-demand platforms for both application development and IT delivery.
More than half of all IT pros, 55 percent, expect mobile application development for devices including the iPhone, Android-based smartphones and tablet PCs such as iPad and RIM’s PlayBook will outpace app dev on more traditional computing platforms by 2015.
That’s according to the 2010 IBM Tech Trends Survey, conducted online by IBM developerWorks, which polled 2,000 IT developers and specialists across 87 countries to gain insight into the most significant enterprise technology and industry trends.
IBM noted that with the proliferation of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, industry analysts are predicting mobile applications sales will increase sharply, with estimates of mobile application revenues expanding from $6.2 billion this year to nearly $30 billion by 2013.
Additional IBM Tech Trends Survey findings include:
- 91 percent anticipate cloud computing will overtake on-premise computing as the primary way organizations acquire IT over the next five years
- Mobile and cloud computing are followed by social media, business analytics and industry-specific technologies as the hottest IT career opportunities beginning in 2011
- 90 percent believe it is important to possess vertical industry-specific skills for their jobs, yet 63 percent admit they are lacking the industry knowledge needed to remain competitive
- Telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, and energy and utilities rank as the top four industries in which respondents identify as having the greatest opportunity to expand their careers.
"To best understand where enterprise technology is headed, one must pay attention to those who have a pulse on market demands – the developers and IT specialists responding to these demands and creating the next generation of business applications," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM Independent Software Vendors and Developer Relations, in a statement. "These survey results clearly demonstrate that IT professionals see a combination of disruptive technologies and industry-specific skills as key to driving near-term business growth."
The online survey was conducted by IBM developerWorks of its eight million registered users in August and September 2010, and includes responses from IT professionals with expertise in areas such as enterprise and web application development, system and network administration, and software testing and architecture.
To meet the demand for new skills going forward, IBM developerWorks is rolling out a number of free resources to member IT professionals including the following:
- New cloud computing resources including online workshops, skills tutorials, cloud computing technical resources, and social networking tools that enable users to build online relationships, share content, and grow a worldwide network of peers to drive innovation.
- Cloud Computing for Developers virtual events this October, with four dates when IT professionals can learn how to solve business and technical challenges in the cloud. IBM said that IT pros can build skills through real-world examples of specific challenges and solutions as well as live demos of techniques and products. Information will also be provided on how to use and build cloud-based applications such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) using IBM and open technologies.
- An online Industry Resource Site that provides technical resources, collaboration forums, articles, podcasts and tutorials on key IBM and open technologies-based best practices in banking, energy and utilities, healthcare, government and chemical and petroleum industries
- Technical information on the IBM Industry Frameworks, a combination of software and hardware that bridges the gap between general purpose middleware and industry specific business applications to help organizations apply technology more easily to their unique industry.
IBM has also introduced mobile computing technology resources for application development on mobile platforms including iPhone, iPad, HTML5 and Android.
IBM also launched the first developerWorks mobile application for the Apple iPhone, providing developers with mobile access to build skills and network with colleagues using the IBM’s professional social networking platform, My developerWorks, built on IBM Lotus Connections.