Looking back at the top trends of an eventful 2005

Although it won’t quite be the end of the year just yet when this paper hits your desk, this is our last issue of 2005: meaning it’s a fine time to think about what the past 12 months were like in the world of IT and examine just what this rather eventful year will be most remembered for.

One of the biggest trends that we saw flourish in ‘05 was the continued growth of IT in the overall business picture for most large enterprises.

The people in the back room full of servers and wires have slowly been gaining a more prominent role in the higher-level business decisions ultimately made by the CEO and his team of upper-level executives. It’s no longer a question of whether IT is important to the company, or whether it can act as a differentiator in crowded markets.

Today, the question is, How can we most effectively spend a tight budget on IT and get the kinds of returns on those investments that we need to stay at least competitive and hopefully dominate our market?

The Chief Information Officer is no longer the person who is invited at the last minute to the executive meeting. Today, he or she is front and centre. Indeed, 2005 has also seen a growth in other CxO positions around IT, such as Chief Security Officer.

It is a trend that will surely continue to grow throughout 2006, as the IT department assumes an ever larger part in running your everyday enterprise.

Another notable trend of 2005 was that of wireless mobility. Again, this was not something that popped up on New Years Eve of last year and took off throughout the present calendar, but one that had been growing for some time.

It seemed that this year, having access to public networks and a corporate private data almost anywhere at almost anytime transformed from a “Wow” to a “Ho-hum”. Travellers expect quick and reliable access in airports and hotels; field workers expect apps to be ready on their handhelds 24/7.

Finally, 2005 also witnessed a widespread acceptance of outsourcing as an often imperative course of IT action. This set of circumstances should continue to expand in 2006 as lingering doubts about the practice’s safety are dwarfed by its convenience.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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