IT growth, budgets and talent pool tightening in 2016, says IDC Canada

Despite all this belt tightening, IT managers will also face C-suite calls to upgrade or adopt analytics, database systems and collaborative software.


Sorry to be the bearer of a bah humbug moment just after the holidays, but as my dad used to say back in the ’70s, things are going to be a bit tight around here next year. (The man had eight kids, so nobody knew more about squeezing value out of a dollar than him.)

According to IDC Canada’s technology outlook for this country, a few things could tighten up in 2016. Like IT budgets. Or the C-suite’s grip on IT spending. Or a supply of IT talent that’s already stretched paper-thin.

We learned all of this when, following IDC’s recent global predictions for 2016, IDC Canada issued its own prognostications for the Canadian market. Here’s what it could all mean for Canada’s enterprise network managers during the year ahead.

Do more with less

With low oil prices putting pressure on the Canadian economy overall, IDC Canada expects businesses to tighten their spending next year, including IT budgets. In fact, IDC Canada just revised its 2016 forecast for the Canadian ICT sector to 2.4 per cent, down from an earlier estimate of 3.4 per cent.

Despite all this belt tightening, IT managers will also face C-suite calls to upgrade or adopt analytics, database systems and collaborative software, according to IDC Canada. In other words, Canadian IT managers will have to do more with less.

LOB control

Speaking of the C-suite, IDC Canada said line of business units will continue to assume more control over Canadian IT spending next year, in step with the same trend happening globally. So Canadian network managers will increasingly see their IT budgets (and priorities) decided by executives from outside the IT department.

Cloud catches on

Although businesses here have lagged behind their global counterparts in adopting cloud, it looks like “Canadian enterprises finally get it,” said Tony Olvet, group vice-president of research at IDC Canada. As he explained during the Canadian predictions webcast, Canada’s businesses are finally embracing cloud in a bigger way, driven by the desire to enable mobile apps, big data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Most Canadian enterprises favour hybrid cloud, Olvet said, because they see it as an easier way to integrate all those aforementioned newer applications with core legacy systems. He predicts hybrid cloud spending in Canada will surpass $1 billion in 2016 and become the dominant model in Canadian enterprise within two to three years.

HR in IT

In light of that cloud trend, Olvet suggested Canadian CIOs need to invest in training of existing and new staff on hybrid cloud models. They’ll also want to add some IoT specialists to their hiring list, since Olvet continued the webcast by declaring 2016 “the year of the IoT developer.” Later on, IDC Canada’s general manager, Lars Goransson, dubbed cognitive computing “the buzzword” for IT in 2016 … but then said Canadian enterprises will lag in global cognitive computing adoption due to a dearth of analytics talent.

To sum it up, there’s a lot of exciting technology for IT managers to play with in 2016, including analytics, cognitive computing, IoT, collaborative apps and the continuing growth of hybrid cloud. To actually put that technology into play within the enterprise, however, they’ll have to find sufficient funding and appropriately skilled talent — and neither of those will be easy to come by over the next 12 months.

Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos

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