We live in a fast-paced world these days, and we’re connected to our lives and our jobs more closely than ever. The way businesses and workplaces operate is changing quicker than ever, and the tech sector is changing alongside it. These changes are impacting in the technologies and skills that are most in demand, as well as the dynamics of workplaces themselves.
Adapting quickly and thinking creatively will be essential skills for the future of technology and to prepare for changes that are happening now and that will happen over the course of this decade.
Mauro F. Guillen has just written a new book titled “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything”. In this book he explains that preparation needs to be done in order to think laterally, adaptively and creatively. Below are the trends that we are seeing emerge in the market that are likely to continue to play a significant role in the future of technology between now and 2030.
While in 2022 cloud technologies are not new to the New Zealand tech sector – a Cloud-First mentality is, and it’s becoming increasingly prevalent within New Zealand organisations.
While there are still plenty of on-premises systems and applications in play, more and more of these tools are being phased out in favour of their cloud counterparts. Tidy integrations and scalable resources available on-demand enable businesses to manage costs and only pay for the resources that they use, allowing them to tackle larger projects that require greater computing power, and in return scale back down to reduce costs in the case of Business as Usual (BAU) operations.
The key players in the cloud space to date are Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) asserting small pockets of influence. Azure and AWS have concrete plans to establish data centres onshore, minimising concerns over data sovereignty. Based on this, we expect Azure and AWS to continue to be the most infl uential cloud organisations and grow in the NZ market for the foreseeable future.
The impact will be that more NZ businesses will consider cloud-based solutions in the first instance, with on-premises solutions being implemented where needed. This is a significant shift from the current status quo, where in most cases cloud is used to augment an existing on-premises base of technology. As the on-premises solutions reach the end of their lifecycle this trend of cloud adoption will continue to accelerate.
Historically, engaging third-party suppliers of cloud solutions has presented some level of risk, however, ever-improving security capabilities continue to mitigate this risk. This has numerous benefits for smaller organisations, who may be unable develop a bespoke in-house capability or hire full-time technical experts for ongoing support.
DevOps is a buzzword that is becoming increasingly more common and is quickly emerging in many development practices throughout the New Zealand tech sector.
DevOps refers to the partnering of tradition development and operations, and their consolidation into one holistic approach in environments where the applications being developed will require ongoing support and maintenance.
Because development teams build applications – sometimes from the ground up – they are in the best position to understand the inner workings and optimise the ongoing performance with the sufficient technical knowledge to do so.
Application monitoring tools such as Dynatrace and AppDynamics and automation tools such as Terraform and Ansible are closely linked to DevOps. DevOps Engineers with cloud skills are in high demand as many applications are hosted or migrating to cloud environments.
The DevOps approach also ties in well with the ongoing adoption of a variety of different agile methodologies in the NZ tech industry.
‘Agile’ is a term that has been thrown around a lot in the tech sector recently, although we are seeing significant variances in how this has been adopted throughout the market. Scrum, Kanban and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) are common methodologies in the NZ market. Some organisations operate outside of formal agile structures, while some others are operating in a hybrid manner, with both Waterfall and Agile delivery existing.
Businesses still operating in a pure Waterfall delivery environment are beginning to be seen as behind the times, with IT professionals looking to gain agile certifications and work in agile environments to keep their skill base in line with the industry standards and drive their employers in the same direction. Agile transformations continue to be a common feature in the market, as businesses look to meet this transition. With tech environments continually becoming more complex and dynamic, the ability of agile delivery methodologies to adapt to evolving situations is making them a popular choice as businesses look implement emerging technologies into their businesses.
Best highlighted by popular media such as the critically acclaimed documentary, ‘The Social Dilemma’, concerns over security and privacy are coming to the forefront of conversations within both corporate environments and in the general public.
With Europe’s GDPR regulations leading the way, we expect to see similar adoptions of legislation over the next few years globally as pressure mounts on regulators to control the use of data and information. While the spotlight has been on the giants of the global tech industry, NZ organisations are also seeing an increase in interest around how they use and protect personal data of their customers/users.
Local events, such as the Waikato District Health Board hack in 2021, have contributed to this increase in scrutiny, and has led many organisations to evaluate their own cyber security tools and protocols, ensuring that they are fi t for purpose, in an era where global connectivity provides ever increasing opportunities, as well as increased exposure to risk. Trends towards strengthening security will continue, and it will be essential for NZ businesses to ensure that their cybersecurity capabilities rise to meet these demands.
Remote Working – Virtual Collaboration Facilitation
Remote working is not a new concept but is a practice that has been more forcefully adopted over the two years, necessitated by the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In our most recent IT Job Market & Remuneration Report, remote and flexible working options are the single most important benefit that our candidates are looking for when considering a new job. These working arrangements come with the expectation that employers will be well equipped with technologies and policies to enable effectively working from home or anywhere.
We are already seeing the rise of applications designed to support effective online communication and collaboration. Microsoft Teams is a prime example of a popular solution that integrates with Office 365 as a first party tool. It also boasts a chat function, shared team workspaces, and options for fi le sharing and collaborative editing.
Tools and platforms that can successfully facilitate closer communication virtually are likely to be rising stocks as the global workplace continues to become more and more virtual.
Industry Specific Technology
With tech solutions becoming generally more adaptable, we are seeing more tools and technology being adapted to meet industry-specific purposes. One such example of this in the MedTech sector, where 3D printers have been adapted to produce replacement human organs.
A study by McKinsey & Co in 2021 demonstrates that there is variance between industries and the impact and employment of new technological innovations.
Corporate Social Responsibility & Clean Technology
Social and corporate responsibility initiatives are becoming an important and essential part of business strategies for all sizes of organisations. These extend to the tech sector, with a particular spotlight on how emerging technologies are employed to make a positive impact to corporate responsibility policies and initiatives.
Tools and technologies associated with ‘Clean Tech’ are expected to become more appealing to organisations as they look to benefit from the associations with these technologies.
While we expect to see the trends referenced above play a major role in the IT sector, there are several technologies beginning to come to the forefront of conversations in the workplace, at boardroom tables as well as in wider society.
The Metaverse is still a very new concept to the tech sector, and therefore the shape it may take and influence it could potentially have in the corporate space is still somewhat unclear. With the number of resources being thrown behind it, most notably by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, it is difficult to see the Metaverse not beginning to play a role in modern workplaces by 2030.
Many ideas of what this could look like involve the adoption of 3D avatars being used to virtually create office spaces, meetings, training and education and more dynamic customer and client interactions.
It is likely that more ideas of how the Metaverse could grow and support organisations will arise over the next few years. This will certainly be one to watch.
Artificial Intelligence & Digital Assistants
With “Hey Siri”, “Hey Google” and “Hey Alexa” becoming more common in our collective societal vocabulary, we expect similar trends to emerge in the corporate world soon. Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools have already been employed as customer facing support Chatbots in many large businesses, and it will become more popular for them to service internal communication channels.
With improving voice technologies supporting AI, it is quite possible that your average professional in 2030 could be talking to their virtual assistant, using it as a key tool in managing their workflow.
Outside of directly interacting with users, we are already seeing the employment of AI in order to automate and facilitate business processes, and this will certainly become the norm as we progress towards the new decade.
This information and opinions have been informed by our interactions with the tech employment market including in-flight projects, demand for skills, and conversations with our wide range of clients across the tech sector.
We aim to deliver insights into where we expect the tech market to head in the build-up to the new decade and have explored the dominant technologies and methodologies based on our experiences.
It’s a privilege to be able to play a key role in ensuring effective staff resourcing for the tech sector, and we look forward to continuing to support the market as it evolves and grows in the future.
Written by Ben Dickson.
- Download the Future of Technology 2030 Report.