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Emerging technologies

James Stanger |

As the world becomes more digitalised, companies are transforming to use technology more intelligently and strategically. This leads to the creation of new jobs in the IT sector even as some evolve or get obsolete.

The following are a few key job roles of the future in four different spheres of infrastructure, development, security and data:

  • Technical support / help desk / service desk worker: The technical support role is increasingly described under the term "Information Technology Service Manager." It has evolved from PC support to network troubleshooting, mobile phone device support, login and authentication support, and sophisticated troubleshooting. This is a fast-growing job role, and is more vital to companies than ever before. It can be fulfilled by internal IT workers, or by workers who are part of a managed service provider.
  • Cloud: A chronic shortage of cloud-savvy workers continues. Surveys show that more companies wish to move to the cloud, but are hindered by the lack of skilled, knowledgeable workers. Automation, orchestration, and more sophisticated uses of virtual machines lead the way for cloudbased implementations. New requirements include more knowledge about security, how to use cloud technologies to control costs, and conduct migrations. Migrations, interestingly, can be from enterprise to the cloud, and vice versa. In the future, migrations from one vendor's cloud solution to another will be increasingly common.
  • Data programmer: Regardless of language, programmers will be asked to work with data more and more. This means that instead of just creating sequential programmes, they will also need to analyse data, consider business problems, and then interpret and turn it into information. A programmer, then, must become more business-savvy than ever before.
  • Automation developer: Programmers will be expected to automate various repetitive skills in the workplace. Therefore, the job role of automation engineer will become increasingly important.
  • Artificial intelligence developer: They will be asked to either help create the AI of tomorrow, or leverage services for business purposes. Workers will also be asked to create applications that self-improve. 
  • Security analyst: This is an increasingly vital and fast-moving job role. It will continue to morph over time. This person is very much the “blue team” worker who protects systems from hackers.
  • Vulnerability assessor: Also known as the penetration tester. This individual will increasingly be asked to work alongside security analysts. These assessors help to penetrate systems, and do threat modeling. They are the “red team” worker, in many cases, who helps do test incursions into systems to see where defenses have failed.
  • Business continuity/disaster recovery: This job is vital in helping companies plan against man-made or natural disasters and events. Individuals currently focus on creating plans to recover from ransomware or terrorist attacks, as well as events such as floods, hurricanes, or events that cause any sort of major business interruption.
  • Analytics: The world of the Internet of Things brings us a tremendous amount of data. Companies are moving fast to learn invaluable lessons from this data.
  • Big data jobs: This means data that is seemingly random, variable, and comes in at a tremendous volume. There will be a greater demand for big data engineers, big data developers and data architects. 
  • Small data jobs: Small data means data that is organised, repetitive, and yet very useful. For that the system will need more trend analysts, focus group facilitators / consultants who use technologies to help process focused feedback from groups of people. Instead of looking through random, unstructured, and unorganised data, this individual helps draw critical conclusions by working with key groups of people to.
  • Project Manager: This is a key job role of the future that applies across all four parts of the job role framework. Today's project manager works on traditional as well as development operations teams. But in future they will apply ever- more refined ways to initiate, track, and evaluate projects. This is because companies are fast learning that they can apply project management concepts to help speed time to market.

Finally, it is important to consider the role of the managed service provider. Jobs that will be provided by MSPs especially include help desk, cloud, security and development. This will also focus on specific tasks and technologies, rather than any one business solution.

They will also need to learn how to listen well to business requirements so that they can map technologies and solutions to meet business problems.

The writer is senior director, products, comptia.