Top 10 IT trends of the last 20 years

Two many years in the past some folks nevertheless applied dial-up modems, and now the environment is at our fingertips. Read on to get a feeling of how a great deal has improved in the IT business office considering the fact that 2000.

Picture: Denis Isakov, Getty Illustrations or photos/iStockphoto

I beforehand wrote about the leading data storage tendencies of the final 20 decades. Now let us consider a seem at the prime tendencies in enterprise IT in general of the very same timeframe.

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As in the storage variation of this subject matter, I’m hesitant to use the word “innovations” since the underlying technologies largely developed from computer science labs in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. I present the record alphabetically—feel no cost to debate their order of importance between your colleagues, or include your opinions beneath.

Huge knowledge

This is a thought, not a detail. In my definition, massive details starts at the position when your organization’s knowledge grows more rapidly than your IT department’s capacity to deal with it. Laptop or computer office staffers utilised to depart function on time, except probably when they have been extinguishing a fire or writing code. Now, info administration is a specialty area.

SEE: How to get with prescriptive analytics (ZDNet distinctive report) | Download the cost-free PDF book (TechRepublic)

Browser-very first

We wrote client plans to interact with eco-friendly screens, then we coded for DOS and Windows PCs, and now the person encounter is all about responsive browsers (and cellular apps, much too). That indicates extra organizing is required for different user interfaces, alongside with prioritizing data states when connectivity is interrupted. On the plus aspect, it truly is easier to find out than in the aged days.

Cloud computing

You will find a Facebook meme where a minimal boy asks, “Daddy, what are clouds built of?” and the father responds, “Linux servers, typically.” The moral: It is really (nonetheless) just another person else’s computer. There are public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds, and exclusive-reason clouds. You belief them with your purposes and with your facts. In concept, it’s more affordable, less difficult, and additional safe than carrying out that work internally. In reality? The jury is out. One particular key issue about cloud computing is seller lock-in.

SEE: Handling the multicloud (ZDNet/TechRepublic unique aspect) | Download the totally free PDF variation (TechRepublic)


The key IT vendors needed to promote you overpriced hardware in the 2000s. Then low-cost hardware turned good sufficient, so the top rated sellers transformed their aim to software program in the 2010s. From backup appliances to firewalls to PBXs, off-the-shelf became standard. You however may possibly want a thing exclusive for a transactional database or other higher-conclusion purposes.


It was challenging to predict in 2000 that by 2020 people today would want anything to perform like their telephones. Customers want to carry their have units into get the job done, and specialized personnel (builders, engineers, researchers, etcetera.) are not pleased when IT tells them “no” to spinning up their possess server or setting up undocumented networks. We dwell in a consumer-centric world now.

SEE: BYOD (deliver-your-personal-product) policy (TechRepublic Top quality)

Machine administration

All of these telephones, tablets, laptops, hotspots, projectors, and charging stations have to be documented, secured, and maintained. The challenge is, Apple and Samsung are interested in fulfilling our gadget cravings, not in sticking to aged-college company shopping for cycles. Machine administration is a huge marketplace. Its practitioners are coming up with new techniques to keep track of anything, again up data, roll out more than-the-air updates, and maintain gizmos harmless when they’re in the wild.


What if programmers and IT labored together instead of separately? That is DevOps. On paper it qualified prospects to applications that function superior, make end users happier, and interact smoother with the rest of a firm’s computing devices, all even though remaining constructed and up-to-date a lot quicker. In reality, whether or not these separate and in some cases aggressive breeds of Speciesus Nerdus can peacefully coexist remains to be witnessed.

Programming language proliferation

C, COBOL, and possibly (for the children) some Java were being fantastic more than enough. Toss in SQL, and you’ve bought a performing info-tech office. Quickly-forward a couple of decades: C is even now a stalwart, but Java is not for children any longer, Python is a detail, and now even Google has its personal programming language. Also, what utilised to be documents and libraries is now microservices and APIs tied into cloud services.

SEE: Python is having the environment: How 1 developer’s facet task grew to become the most popular programming language on the planet (protect story PDF) (TechRepublic)


Oh boy, this is a huge one. Stability utilized to be an afterthought. Maybe you would put some duplicate security onto your software package and passwords into your networks, but right now one particular hardly requires to be an elite hacker to get by way of that stuff. Chief Security Officer is a extremely significant job. As the CIO at one particular of the world’s largest legislation corporations advised me a number of a long time back, it is no lengthier about blocking your company from being hacked, it’s about how to keep units secure in a 24/7/365 cycle of frequent hacking deluge.


The strategy goes back again a lot of decades, and in the 2010s it became enormous. Most non-critical servers these times are functioning many operating systems and purposes, while the software package applications blissfully consider they are the only kinds the server loves. Pros: Preserve a ton of income, help you save place, help save electrical power, lower sound, decrease components management hassles. Negatives: Good luck to you if that server crashes.

A closing take note: This is my very last short article for TechRepublic, as I am starting up a new profession chapter. Thank you for examining my get the job done these final 4 a long time. I can be attained at evan@snarc.internet, however do NOT send push releases or story pitches.

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