Where Are We Heading? Four Speculations on the Future of IT Consulting in Australia
The future of information technology is a moving target. New technologies play an ever-increasing role in how our businesses operate, and services and demands can change at an alarming rate. We have made four speculations on the future of IT consulting in Australia’s business landscape.
Cyber Security Will Become a Primary Focus for Organisations
Organisations are becoming more aware of the potential for financial and operational damage that cybercrime poses. We think that most businesses will soon look to hire security experts, either full-time or external, to work actively in defending against the rise of cybercrime. By hiring devoted security experts with a mandate to defend against online invasion, Chief Information Officers will be under less pressure and can focus more on other operational needs.
With regard to application technology, we believe that blockchain will become more commonly used due to its inherent traceability and design that prevents tampering. Blockchain utilises a distributed network that prevents hackers from targeting specific areas of weakness, and we feel that more organisations will look to reap the benefits of the technology in the near future.
Data Will Become More Accessible Across Business Hierarchies
The days of detailed data reports being the exclusive domain of IT managers are coming to an end. In a tech-savvy business environment, it is likely that roles such as HR Manager and Marketing Manager will become able to access and interrogate large amounts of data through easily managed tools similar in feel to using Google Analytics.
While currently a General Manager might rely on an information officer to provide detailed reports for a presentation, GMs will soon be running business intelligence dashboard reports themselves and presenting their findings with confidence.
Fears Related to Automation Will Grow, but Should They?
Automation is a concern for workers in many industries, with employees across the country facing an uncertain future as our processes change shape. While some industries will fall by the wayside, the advent of automation will allow new careers to form. Research commissioned by Google posits that Australia could potentially make $2.2 trillion from automation by the year 2030, but for this to come true our nation must embrace technological advance and reskill workers wisely.
With regard to IT consulting, the advent of automation will likely have a positive impact on cyber security. Programs such as Cisco Umbrella and Darktrace already utilise automation in providing advanced threat protection. Both programs are good examples of software that apply machine learning to identify subtle, yet dangerous, security threats that a human couldn’t detect.
Cyber security applications will become more and more autonomous (and require more and more processing power – driving up investment in data centres as a by-product) in how they defend the networks they are charged with protecting. Humans will fine-tune network defence policies and provide general oversight rather than being on the front lines handling every instance of Cryptolocker 2030 and its remediation.
Heads of IT Will Be Represented at Board Level
It is becoming apparent that cyber security breaches can cause serious repercussions from a business development or public relations perspective. A noted example was the attack on American bank JPMorgan Chase in 2014, where the personal information of over 100 million customers was compromised. In industries where consumer confidence is of paramount importance, IT security professionals will be given greater precedence from an operational standpoint.
We think that professionals responsible for IT consulting within medium-sized and large businesses will liaise directly with CEOs, and may even be represented on advisory boards. The disastrous potential of major security breaches will lead to upper management wanting to know exactly how their organisations are fortified against attack.