Time to Embrace Our IT Halloween Fears

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    The 13 Scariest Things in IT for 2012

    Fear stems from a loss of control. People only become scared when they become powerless to influence the course of events, which obviously causes a sense of dread when no one knows what’s going to happen next on any given day.

    Arguably, 2012 has been a year where IT organizations are losing control on multiple fronts, resulting in more fear, uncertainty and doubt about the role of IT at any time in memory. From mobile to cloud computing and everything in between, forces beyond the control of the IT organization are driving fundamental changes to the way IT is managed.

    The good news is that we can at least identify the factors driving those changes. That’s critical because the first step towards not being afraid of something is to name it. After all, once you can name it, you can make fun of it, which always makes something less scary. To help start that process, we’ve identified 13 of the scariest IT things that go bump in the night in 2012.

    In most cases, these trends are beyond the control of any one IT department. While each trend can be troubling, collectively these trends to one degree or another actually increase the dependency of the business on IT. The way IT is being delivered and consumed will never be the same again, but the role IT plays in the business has never been more important.

    Once you realize that things become a whole lot less scary, IT will never go away. But people delivering IT, along with the skills required to do that will change. The real challenge is staying ahead of those changes in a way that ensures there is always demand for your particular IT skills.

    IT on the whole is comparatively recession-proof. There have been thousands of layoffs, but nothing on the order that has been seen in, for example, manufacturing. Obviously, when there are fewer employees at a company, there tends to be a corresponding drop in the number of people on the IT staff. But at the same time, we’ve seen people with IT skills that are in high demand do fairly well even during the toughest of economic times.

    That may be cold comfort to all the people who have been adversely affected by the so-called “Great Recession.” But with time and ingenuity, things usually get better; or, as a wise man once put it when faced with even worse circumstances, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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