What should data analysts and IT managers expect in 2016?

It’s no secret that 2015 was a big year for technology.

Its impact on both business and individuals were everywhere, with tech stories hitting the mainstream headlines frequently, for good and bad. We saw some major developments in how tech can be used to drive business forward as well as some red flags that we all need to watch out for.

2016 is set to be another year of dramatic and fast-paced change, where business and technology come even closer together. Forrester predicts that 2016 will be the year of ‘real-time’ data.

So what can the data analysts and IT managers among us expect to make waves in our world this year? Here are some of my thoughts of what is on the horizon in 2016.

Data analysts

Gartner predicts in-memory computing will ultimately become a commodity and 2016 is the year it is set to take off. Thanks to advancements in technology, its price has fallen significantly, making it affordable for more businesses to leverage its benefits, which includes big data analytics in real-time.

In-memory’s capability should not be underestimated; it can create the environment that allows business management and technology to become synonymous with each other. It will no longer be on the periphery of IT; technology will be integral to the business, which is a key strategic success factor.

Its defining factor is its ability to quickly and effectively process growing mountains of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data in real-time. Real-time operations are helping businesses to improve relationships significantly with their customers, generate add-on sales and pricing based on demand.

IT managers

When it comes to IT, the concept of solutions-as-a-service has been building momentum. Increasing amounts of IT managers are now seeing the success that early adopters have been enjoying throughout 2015 and will look to implement their own solutions this year. IT managers meanwhile regard SaaS as a legitimate solution to their IT problems and are seeking the benefits it has to offer. It should be top of their New Year’s wish list.

Public clouds will be a key driver as we’ll see more SaaS offerings at a better price. This will enforce the shift in the relationship between the IT department and the business as public clouds enable departments to be much more agile, adopt new solutions more easily and deploy on demand.

Ultimately, I think that the deciding factor for success this year will be whether companies are able to adopt new technology as it becomes more readily available, and whether they can integrate it into their decision-making processes quickly. Is the company prepared to manage data and act upon it in real-time? If you are not up-to-speed, then neither will the business be.

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