Future trends


Future Trends will shape skills demands for IT & Telecoms professionals in future years and identify their relative impact on UK businesses

Technology is changing everything – from business and the economy to social interaction. Our research looks at the factors determining the directions technology is taking and how these are impacting on wider society.

Find out about the key forces influencing IT & Telecoms.

Our research has identified 15 key trends which will impact on businesses in the coming years, and their implications for skills demand

The research was undertaken with employers to identify the degree and timing of the impact of a number of trends, and the results categorised into three groups:

  • Immediate issues
    Those that many employers say will have a major impact on business, and typically in the next 1 to 3 years. The immediate key issues for employers appear to be security and data protection. 
  • Developing issues
    Those that will have a major impact on only a selection of businesses. Some of these issues have been around for some time, for example green IT and the transformation of businesses using IT, but it can take time for the impact to be felt.
  • Horizon issues
    Wider, ongoing issues, impacting at different times, on different businesses, but not affecting a majority of businesses all at once. 

Many of the future trends that affect IT & Telecoms utilise similar technologies and/or require similar skills and knowledge from IT & Telecoms professionals.

Five cross cutting skills themes emerged across the trends:

  • Security skills
    Security and data protection will have one of the clearest and most immediate impact for the skills of IT & Telecoms professionals.
  • Business skills
    Increasingly IT & Telecoms professionals must have core business skills. Creative, technical and entrepreneurial skills alone are not enough - as professionals need to manage lifecycles of product development, and solve real business issues.
  • Technology specific skills
    Central to nearly all future trends is specific and high level technical knowledge. For example, the systems that underpin the convergence of communications and IT, networks and devices that support voice, video and data communications and mobile devices.
  • Interpersonal skills
    As information technology and services become more embedded in everyday life, both business and social, IT & Telecoms professionals need to be able to deal with and better understand customer challenges and consumer choices.
  • Analytical and research skills
    Analytics is a vital component of connection information and technology to business problems. 

Find out more about future trends in the Technology Insights 2012 reports.

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