Another (tax) year, another forecast. But at least this one is positive. According to a report from market research firm MarketsandMarkets, the IT services sector is booming. It states that the annual growth rate of 8% in 2016 is expected to continue through 2021 at least.
What are the main drivers? The report names the shift from on-premises to cloud storage, growing IT complexities, and increased spending on IT activities to support core activities. But it also stressed the fact that the adoption of IT services by small and medium-sized enterprises is very much on the rise.
IT Service Adoption
There was a time when hardware ruled, and then software tried to dominate. But off-the-shelf software was never going to become the norm in enterprise environments – good for some functions, but not for many others. So service is king. IT services has been the biggest slice of the IT spending pie for some time. This includes system integration, , software customisation, software development, support and consulting. With complexity steadily advancing within IT infrastructures – via virtualisation, the cloud, the Internet of Things, analytics and machine learning – it is clear that organisations need all the help they can get to stay in control.
Perhaps the biggest growth area for services is in cloud deployment. It appears that everyone wants to move to the cloud. Attractive pricing compared to traditional on-premises deployment gives the cloud the edge in many areas. Add to that storage capacity constraints, the allure of greater flexibility and its on-demand nature. It’s easy to see why the cloud is so attractive. But the rush to the cloud has to be tempered by the correct strategy. And it has to be supported by custom software to tailor it to each specific environment. A cookie-cutter approach is going to deliver little or no competitive advantage.
Digitisation is the buzz word of the moment. The likes of GE, Dell and IBM are buying TV spots to extol the virtues of this new technological wave. While the hype is far in advance of its value and application, this trend is not going away. Digitisation will spur many opportunities for service revenue growth. After all, what we are talking about is tying yet more data streams, databases and information sources into enterprise IT systems. Those with decades of experience will hear a familiar refrain here – or perhaps recall old nightmare middleware and integration projects. Clearly, businesses will need all the in-house talent, and outside developer help they can get to make digitisation achieve its true potential.
Custom Software Development
This all adds up to growing demand for experienced software developers with the expertise required to:
a) Understand enterprise needs
b) Align technology initiatives to organisational strategy
c) Custom develop software tools to take full advantage of the cloud and digitisation without tying IT up in lengthy projects with uncertain budgets and intangible goals.
The best approach is to bring in the right help. A proven team of custom software developers can hit the ground running and take over strategic cloud, digitisation and application modernisation projects to get them done rapidly.
By Drew Robb, Contributor
Drew Robb is a freelance editor and writer, specialising in the Information Technology sector.