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Ready or Not: The 4 Technologies That Will Impact IT in 2019

Written by Shelley Osborne, Head of Learning and Development at Udemy

With the rise of automation, the world of work is experiencing the most significant job transition since the shift from agriculture to manufacturing jobs during the Industrial Revolution. 

Given the rapid rate of technology's evolution, IT professionals specifically find themselves in a difficult situation. They constantly have to learn the latest IT skills to be competitive in the job market. This tends to create the cyclical process of skilling and then re-skilling.

So when it comes down to specific skills and technologies, what should IT professionals be considering for 2019? At Udemy, access to billions of learning data points on our platform gives us insight into what individuals and businesses are learning around the world. We took a look at our data for a better understanding of which tech skills will continue to see massive adoption in 2019. From what we saw, Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, blockchain, and Kubernetes are projected to have an enormous impact on the industry and here's how:

Artificial Intelligence

The field of AI is experiencing explosive growth. In fact, venture-based AI startup deals in the US alone have grown from a handful to 750 startups between 2008-2017, reaching a total investment worth around $5 billion. As a result, 70 percent of executives are investing more in AI technologies than they did in 2013, according to Accenture.

AI is fast becoming a go-to technology for business transformation and is shaking up the status quo when it comes to IT roles. IT professionals now not only need to understand how these technologies affect the businesses they support, but they also need to begin developing the skills needed to manage and work with these technologies as they evolve. AI technologies also present significant opportunities by freeing up IT pros for higher-value tasks by taking over repetitive work. Going beyond basic knowledge, by becoming well-versed at deploying AI technology for maximum business value, IT pros will inevitably see new AI career paths open up.

Deep Learning

As evidenced above, AI is growing exponentially. Self-driving cars are clocking up millions of miles, IBM Watson is diagnosing patients better than armies of doctors, and Google Deepmind's AlphaGo beat the World champion at Go -- a game where intuition plays a key role. But the further AI advances, the problems it needs to solve become more complex. And only deep learning can solve such complex problems.

Deep learning is becoming wildly in-demand amongst organizations as its benefits are quickly being uncovered. When exposed to massive amounts of data, deep learning systems can develop basic pattern recognition, enabling algorithms to train themselves to perform tasks and adapt to new data. While deep learning has been around for a while, its recent resurgence (and commercial viability) is the result of two forces: colossal data and significant improvements in hardware speed. For IT professionals, the benefits of deep learning range from tireless accuracy to job creation and finally to cost savings. By applying deep learning, IT pros can analyze large datasets to identify anomalies, cluster patterns, predict outcomes or ways to optimize; and automate specific workflows.

Blockchain:

Blockchains are on the rise and it's not just in the finance industry. Thirty percent of manufacturers and retailers will rely on blockchain services to enable collaborative supply chains by 2021, predicts IDC.

From logistics to real estate and digital ID management, corporations around the world are making tremendous strides in the adoption of blockchain technology. There are a variety of reasons IT pros should be familiar with blockchains. First and foremost, because blockchain databases are distributed across a large network, they offer a greater degree of data availability. As blockchain records transactions on a public, distributed ledger, it gets rid of the need for a third party and serves as an excellent form of supply chain management. Although the technology is still in its infancy stage, becoming acquainted with what's happening in the space right now and continuously learning about it will undoubtedly pay off in the long run as it continues to make its way towards mainstream businesses.

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes skills are in high demand, in fact, a survey from CyberArk found that IT jobs with the container orchestration tool in the title have soared year over year. Kubernetes is very popular right now and in just a little over four years' time, the project born from Google's internal container management efforts has upended the best-laid plans of some of the biggest tech behemoths.

Kubernetes courses are trending on Udemy's platform as the system itself is open-source and free, highly scalable, and built on top of Google's years of experience with in-production containers. Often times, organizational IT infrastructure is so antiquated that it takes upwards of six months to deploy new microservices (a software development technique), but with Kubernetes, microservices can take less than five days to deploy. Some organizations are even working on getting it to an hour. By using Kubernetes, applications are easy to deploy, easy to run, and easy to keep running. This is critical for IT pros because as new applications are created and brought to maturity in the public cloud, the sign of success will be how soon enterprises can implement a "lift-and-shift", or the act of moving an application or operation from one environment to another - without redesigning the app.

Organizations across all industries are rapidly redefining their IT architecture and adding a new layer of tools that allows operations to be more efficient and easily scalable. While it may seem daunting to constantly keep up with the pace of technological change, it's our duty to accept our roles as proactive, continuous learners. IT pros who actively seek out learning these specific skills will reap the benefits once they become even more widely adopted.

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About the Author

Shelley Osborne 

Shelley Osborne is Head of L&D at Udemy. She has 14 years of experience in the education sector and in corporate learning and development. Previously, she was VP of Learning & Development at Farside HR Solutions, specializing in talent leadership, management training, and soft skills development for startups. At Udemy, Shelley leads and executes the learning strategy for Udemy employees. She has a master’s degree in Education from the University of Calgary and a bachelor of education from the University of Alberta.

Published Monday, January 07, 2019 7:54 AM by David Marshall
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