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National BILT Ends 2018 Discussing IT Progression

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The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) recently convened its Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) for one last time in 2018.  Regular blog readers know that these BILT meetings are a forum to discuss future trends in the IT workplace.  The hope is that these quarterly BILT meetings can keep educators regularly updated on the ongoing evolution of IT to better inform students and adjust curriculum.  You should likewise be meeting with your BILT as often as possible (twice a year at least, once a quarter is best) to make sure your program stays aligned with workforce trends.  To learn more about what the CTC calls the “BILT model,” take a look at our new informational brochure.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more interesting statements that came out of that meeting.

* Software-defined networking is evolving and expanding into “enterprise-defined networking” that goes far beyond the data center.  Consider that the routers, the switches, the wi-fi, everything – it’s all becoming part of an “ecosystem of IT.”  It’s no longer just a data center anymore.  Software-defined networking makes a lot of decisions, but machine learning and AI are going to give the ability to start making many more decisions.

* Industry bias against community college degrees continues.  Many jobs exist that should only require an associate’s degree, but industry still by default usually believes bachelor’s degrees are essential.  For example, for every data scientist with a PhD or a master’s degree with a lot of experience, you will often need a team of six people.  Four of those six could be people with associate’s degrees and do things like data visualization or data mining.  It would be more cost effective – and more fulfilling for the employees – to have these jobs set at the correct education level.  Why not hire the associate’s degree holder and then let them grow into the other jobs?  Perhaps community colleges should look for ways to better market their degrees and convince employers that associate’s degrees deliver the same critical thinking and innovation that bachelor’s degrees deliver.

* Technology no longer stands alone.  Innovation comes through integration.  In the 1970s and 1980s, there wasn’t much integration possible with new technology.  But in 2018, integration is essential – and much of it happens through APIs.  As a result, transformation is now driven by the sum of AI, machine learning, faster mobility platforms like 5G, augmented reality, IoT, and mobility.  It’s all tied together.

* It sounds like science fiction, but li-fi – the equivalent of a wireless LAN transmitted through an LED lightbulb – is coming.  It’s already a $6 billion industry in Europe.  Li-fi could deliver 200 gigabits of speed, which is far faster that contemporary wi-fi.  It’s very possible that when you’re constructing a new building in two years, you’ll be installing li-fi and not wi-fi.

* One popular buzzword has long been “DevOps.”  That is starting to change.  More and more, you hear “SecDevOps” or “DevSecOps.”   Now, not only do you bring in your operations team into development, but you bring your security team also.

What unexpected statements and observations have you heard lately from your BILT?

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