7 IT Trend Predictions for the Next 3 Years

IT Trend Predictions

We’ve just seen how effective opinion polling in Australia is – the election predictions were completely wrong.

So, what better time than now to state with some confidence that Computer One can see the future?  We’ll look back in on these in 2022 to see how close to (or how far off) the mark we were.

Here are Computer One’s predictions for 7 technology trends over the next 3 years.

1. Microsoft 365 takes off

Microsoft 365, the cloud subscription version of a combined Windows and Office 365 has been steadily making inroads since its release.  And as Windows 10 matures, Microsoft 365 will become the new dominant “product” purchased in the Operating System space. 

It will lock users in to the entire Microsoft OS and productivity suite eco-system, closing the gaps where previously they may have leaked out to other products.  It’s a good defensive play against the likes of Google Suite.

2. Automated support will increase

Imagine an organisation with a storage array that indicates it is about to fail.  In return, machine learning triggers an automated workflow involving several redundancy measures, back-up operations, alerts and a move of the data.  A chatbot reaches out to the customer and checks they are happy with the resolution – all without requiring human intervention.

That’s where the future of Managed Services Support is headed.

Here at Computer One, we’ve been monitoring clients’ networks 24×7 for years, but we’re now on our own transformation journey.  Within the next three years we’ll have a mature automated solution for many common or low-level tasks.

3. The default setting for two-factor authentication will be biometric

Fingerprint scanners are getting cheaper to produce and have become part of nearly every mobile phone, as are front-facing cameras with 8-megapixel or greater sensors.  Continuing weaknesses in telco providers that allow scammers to port mobile numbers to compromised devices will underpin a movement towards more secure two-factor authentication with fingerprint or facial ID recognition rather than soft tokens sent by SMS.

4. Scammers will get even better at English

Spear-phishing and whaling are two of the most effective forms of cybercrime ever invented.  They are remarkably effective, but not yet at their peak.

What limits their success more than anything else is English language conventions.  As scammers get better at writing in fluent English, they will become even more effective at getting accounts departments to pay fake invoices and stealing tens if not hundreds of millions.

5. The lines drawn between external IT and internal IT will become clearer, and an accepted convention

This isn’t so much a prediction as the continuation of a trend we have observed firsthand over the last 3 years.

By our reckoning, many businesses with 40+ staff see little utility in developing an in-house IT team that handles low-level technical issues.

Instead, we’re seeing a trend to outsource Level 1 and 2 technical support while developing detailed Level 3 system or application-specific knowledge in-house.  That way, your most senior (and expensive) IT staff are freed to concentrate on strategically important tasks while your business-as-usual support is handled at a lower “cost-per-ticket” than an internal hire.

For a full discussion of the pros and cons of this model, read this article.

6. Environmental Purchasing policies will require Green(er) Clouds

Cloud computing providers like AWS, Azure, Google and Alibaba are monster users of power.  Not only do the servers in a data centre require huge amounts of electricity to function, they require even more to run the air-conditioning to ensure they perform at peak efficiency. 

But the global environment is a very hot topic (no pun intended), and we predict more focus being placed on environmental sustainability in procurement decisions, so those providers using green power that can convince users of their environmental credentials will be able to charge a premium for a short while until other providers catch up.  In the long-run, market demand will determine what price business users pay for their cloud computing.

Climate heating is a multi-generational challenge and business-to-business procurement managers will increasingly be instructed to buy green while still negotiating good rates.  Energy providers will have to source more green options like solar and wind to meet the increased demand.

7. Increased e-waste diversion from landfill

What do you do with your retired ICT assets?  If you’re throwing them in the general waste bin you’re contributing to a global problem.

Manufacturers and importers of computers in Australia are required to contribute to a product stewardship programme that sees them recycled for free.

And we predict that at the same time as procurement managers are instructed to purchase greener energy, asset managers will be instructed to find better ways to handle e-waste.

State and federal legislation will help force the issue.  Victoria and South Australia have enacted e-waste regulations banning such products from entering the general waste stream.  And the federal government is reviewing its 2011 e-waste Act to broaden its application to even more categories of electronics.

So we predict that by 2022, we’ll see more companies reporting on (and taking pride in), diverting e-waste from landfill.