ITIL

IT Trends for 2017

Like any year before, 2017 will bring its own problems and solutions, shaping up both the way we use and think about technology.
So without further ado, take a dive into the future and check out some of the most exciting tech trends to look forward to in 2017.

Virtual Reality

With forecasts predicting its growth into a $30 billion market as early as 2020, much has been said about the bright future of virtual reality.

Although the technology remained on the verge of mainstream culture throughout most of 2015, things finally started to pick up over the last 12 months – and it seems this time around VR might legitimately reach the masses next year.

VR has come a long way since Google thrusted it closer to popular culture with the release of Cardboard back in 2014 – both in terms of performance and availability. In a window of one year, a number of leading manufacturers launched their own headsets, steadily pushing the technology to mainstream adoption.

While Facebook-owned Oculus kicked off the relay with the release of Oculus Rift in late March, HTC quickly followed up with the launch of its Vive headset in April. In August, Samsung dropped the revamped Gear VR headset alongside the now-discontinued Galaxy Note 7, keeping the momentum going until Sony delivered its long-awaited PlayStation VR companion in October. Closing the cycle, in November Google unveiled its pimped up Cardboard successor Daydream View.

In addition to this, Microsoft, Nintendo and Qualcomm have also expressed ambition to pursue developing hardware for VR, but details and timelines remain hazy.

One of the more pressing concerns with the wider appropriation of VR has always been the scarcity of content and experiences, but with Google, Oculus and Valve opening their own dedicated VR marketplaces this barely presents a hurdle anymore.

Another development to factor in is the recent announcement of the Global Virtual Reality Association which will unite the biggest names on the tech scene – including Google, Oculus, HTC, Sony, Samsung and Acer – to make better content for VR.

With the sheer volume of headset manufacturers and content creators, it’s hardly surprising VR is finally starting to garner the attention of consumers and mainstream media – and you can bet this trend will grow even further over the next year.

Augmented Reality

Meanwhile, augmented reality is also making progress – and the staggering success of Pokémon Go proves the technology has immense potential to influence consumers in engaging and meaningful ways.

In line with business analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook has consistently voiced out his belief AR has the potential to be bigger than VR and it seems the iPhone-maker is hellbent on getting a piece of the action.

Back in 2015, Cupertino acquired augmented reality developer Metaio, but while the company has since kept quiet about its AR initiatives, numerous reports began surfacing on the Web over the last year.

Earlier in November, Apple was rumored to be working on their own AR glasses in the style of Google Glass. Around the same time, news outlets further speculated the company is prepping an iOS update that will brush up the iPhone 7 with boosted camera capabilities and also introduce a heap of augmented reality features.

Though we’ll have to wait a little longer to see how this pans out, one thing is for sure – you can expect to see a whole lot more AR in 2017.

Autonomous driving

While it would’ve been a terrifying sight a few years back, chances are we’ll be noticing vehicles without drivers more often next year.

As technology continues to evolve, industry titans are gradually venturing into building autonomous vehicles. In fact, the competition in the self-driving market is heating up at exponential rates – and the good results aren’t falling behind.

Since initially introducing its ‘Autopilot‘ feature back in 2015, Tesla has been steadily touching up the autonomous capabilities of its vehicles, demonstrating the vast potential self-driving technologies hold for the future. In fact, CEO Elon Musk has said the car-maker has plans to cram even more self-driving hardware into its future models in hopes of facilitating entirely hands-free rides.

Tesla isn’t the only company experimenting with this technology though.

Google has been running trials with its own autonomous cars in Mountain View, Austin, Kirkland and Phoenix, and while some driving sessions have been less successful than others, its vehicles have clocked over two million miles in the meantime.

Uber is also in on the action. The ride-sharing giant recently acquired self-driving hardware developer Otto and has since successfully put its first fleet of self-driving trucks on the road; and although it wasn’t the first one to do it, the company also ran some real world self-driving tests with its cabs in Pittsburgh.

In addition to this, Apple and BMW are also said to be planning their first forays into self-driving technologies in the near future, but latest reports suggest the Big A might wait a few more years before going all-in with building its own vehicles.

On another front, researchers have also been pushing the envelope, developing new robust systems and algorithms for real-time object detection which could potentially make self-driving vehicles even safer and more reliable. This ought to also help eliminate mishaps like this one and that one.

What else

In midst of all these autonomous cars driving around, another thing to look forward are drone deliveries.

Once a viral publicity stunt, drone delivery might finally be a thing in 2017. Google, Amazon and Domino’s have all been messing around with the technology over the last year, conducting a series of field tests in various locations including the US, the UK and New Zealand. Meanwhile, UPS and Walmart have also been gearing up to begin delivering packets over the air for some time now.

Still, it remains to be seen which company manages to take the technology to large scale. In any case: Having drones drop your pizza from the heavens no longer seems like such an outlandish idea.

Perhaps slightly less exciting, our homes might get much more functional and interactive next year.

Following the less than anticipated success of the Amazon Echo, earlier this year Google unveiled its own Google Home smart speaker to rival the e-commerce giant. Recent rumors further suggest Apple and Samsung might be considering

Taking into account Amazon and Google both leverage their respective Assistant and Alexa artificial intelligence systems to power the smart speakers, the speculation doesn’t seem that far off.

Apple recently opened up Siri to third-party apps and the next logical step would be to integrate it into other devices. Samsung has also been developing its own voice-assistant service with plans to integrate it into future home appliances and wearable devices. So get ready for some frustrating conversations with your home.

One last thing: We’ll probably have to wait a few more years before the wireless evolution, but you can also expect to see a lot less wire next year. In light of Apple axing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, Samsung is also expected to ditch the standard audio port on the Galaxy S8, slated to arrive early next year.

This should give headphone manufacturers a little more incetive to put the new Bluetooth 5 to good use.

What do you think will be the leading tech trends in 2017? Spur up the discussion and share your opinion down in the comments.

Reasons to get an ITIL Certification

ITIL is the most widely accepted foundation framework, a set of practices, used by companies to manage IT services. It provides the structure to manage and deliver different services so that users have a consistent experience. The ITIL practices help achieve good quality service and also helps overcome difficulties that may crop up in the development of IT systems.  Many international companies like the Microsoft, IBM, Caterpillar and Boeing among others, have benefited from the successful implementation of ITIL in their IT service management.
Through the use of the ITIL Service Lifecycle, the framework helps organizations transform and adapt to the changing economic climate and the market place. This helps with implementation of further improvements to practices that are oriented at achieving high levels of business performance.
A good knowledge of the ITIL basics is therefore going to help the entire team working with ITIL. The need is so much so that more organizations are providing on-site training on implementing the ITIL framework and in some cases also sponsor employees’ ITIL certification journey.
 
The ITIL Certification Path
There are four levels to the ITIL certification:
  • ITIL Foundation – offers a basic look at the fundamentals of ITIL and gives those new to the concept, the information they need to understand everything the ITIL entails
  • ITIL Intermediate – details the five primary ITIL framework phases
  • ITIL Expert – gives more advanced students a look into the finer details of the ITIL structure
  • ITIL Master – shows that the certified person is able to take the ITIL phases and implement them into a real-world framework

 

Organizational Benefits
With ITIL, organizations are assured of the following benefits, resulting in heavy demand for certificed ITIL professionals:
  • Increased productivity
  • Greater customer satisfaction through a professional approach to
  • Right use of skills and experience
  • Improved Return over Investment (ROI) in IT
  • Reduced service cost by better and efficient utilization of resources
  • Prevents redundancy of the work conducted
  • Provides better third party services by improvising on the uses of available skills and expertise
  • Identifies weak areas and further offers solutions to strengthen it
  • With an increasing number of IT professionals getting an ITIL certification, organizations are able to save on training and L&D costs
  • Increased staff retention
  • Greater visibility of IT costs and assets
  • Why You Should Consider Certification
ITIL is a globally recognized set of best practices that finds implementation in the IT Services Management, in many organizations. And as is, there isn’t a dearth of ITIL qualified professionals in the IT arena. This adds on as a benefit for organizations as increased availability in ITIL qualified professionals translates to cost reduction on training and successful implementation of the framework.
Thus, getting certified in the different levels of ITIL gives you the edge over the rest of the competitors seeking the same role as you are, or rather as Neil Wilson, an ITIL expert states: it’s a foot in the door, and it gets you on the shortlist!
 
Benefits of being ITIL Certified
#1: Better Pay
As with other certifications, a certification facilitates a pay-rise and promotion to higher tier roles and positions. Payscale.com’s report on ITIL-skilled professionals in the US states that certified ITIL program managers earn an average salary of $119,248 a year, which makes ITIL experts among the highest-paid professionals in the IT industry. As per the report, certified IT architects can earn anywhere between $86,062 and $131,247.
#2: Skills Honed
Three main features of ITIL contribute to the growing demand and popularity of this framework across international organizations. They are:
a stable foundation or IT environment that the set of practices help achieve
keeping up with changing technological demands by constantly evolving and
yet being able to provide the reliability through maximizing the value of  new technological strategies.
With that said, it is evident that IT departments will need implementation of this framework at a greater scale. Furthermore, ITIL framework is simply a set of techniques and procedures that have been proven successful and effective than others. Gaining knowledge in the framework, will make the professional makes work easier and helps you accomplish tasks in cheaper, faster and easier ways; and also produce better results. This in turn makes employees as strong assets to organizations and professionals to be sought-after in the job market.
#3: Familiarity with ITSM’s Common Language
While getting onto the certification training, professionals tend to get familiarized with the terms, phrases and methods of conveying information that are common norms among IT professionals. This acts as a strong differentiator that identifies certified professionals from the non-certified. Using the right terms not only means that you can communicate the right idea to your team, but also saves up a lot of time and on wrongly directed functions/processes.
While on the preparation journey to the ITIL certification examinations, candidates will also find that access to preparatory materials is quite easy – there is a wealth of online study guides, practice books, and mobile apps that can help you with every level of the certification process. This eases their path to being certified.
#4: Growing Demand for ITIL Certified Professionals
ITIL is closely tied to the ISO/IEC 20000 standards, suggesting the framework’s popularity isn’t going to drop any time soon. Also, with a little over 800 organizations being ISO/IEC 20000 certified, demand for ITIL professionals continues to remain very high.
Professionals with the certification stand a good chance as being recognized as potential employees to roles that demand ITIL knowledge. The demand is especially high in the field of incident management, process management, service management, release management and ITSM related project management roles. Underlining the certification’s importance, ITIL has also been ranked among the top 15 highest-paying certifications for 2015 by a number of researchers on the web.
#5: Paves the Road to Better Roles and Organizations
With the number of acclaimed organizations implementing ITIL being large, the certification gives that edge to candidates to be chosen for the best jobs in the job market in ITSM arena. Also, certified candidates can make their choice of organizations and roles, rather than waste precious years of their career on roles that are a poor fit to their profiles. It is to be noted in relation to the previous statement that certified professionals no longer have to wait for recruiters to short-list them for a prospective role, but instead choose their desired role and organization.
#6: Global Implementation
As a certified ITIL, if you decide you want to move abroad, you won’t have to change jobs. There are over 10,000 companies and organizations world-wide that have adopted the ITIL framework. If you prefer to stay in the country, you can check to see if the companies you want to work for have adopted the framework. Even companies that would traditionally not be pegged as ITIL-implementers, such as Disney, utilize the framework.
In concrete terms, what this translates to is – no shortage of job opportunities for a certified ITIL professional!
The benefits that come with this demanded certification are thus plenty and with the growing demand of the framework itself, the certification is setting that essential requirement factor among employers and recruiters, to primarily filter-out certified professionals who get translated as candidates of assured potential. Being certified in the different levels of the ITIL certification, helps professionals in all levels of the IT sphere – from help desk workers to IT Directors. Hence, being certified helps fast-tracking your progress in the IT career-ladder. With a couple of years laden in professional experience and a couple of ITIL certifications in hand, one is bound for higher altitudes in their IT career.

 

The Power of ITIL and The Problem with Gurus: Is just being good at your job really still enough?

For a long time, it was only results that mattered. As long as you delivered those, people tended not to be overly concerned about how the job got done. It didn’t matter if you had to pull a last-minute all-nighter, or re-jigger everything in the system that could ever be jiggered. You were kind of a black box where needs went in and something came out to meet those needs.

While there’s a lot to be said for having those skills (especially in an emergency) as a way of getting things done, on a day-to-day basis the slap-dash, jury-rig method has a lot of problems. For one thing, what if the person who knows how to do the magic act leaves the company? If your only concern is the outcome and you don’t know how to get to it then you’re out of luck. For another thing, what if he just gets something wrong one day? He hits the wrong button, enters the wrong code and things go haywire? To err, as we all know from experience, is human.

Undocumented processes are very, very difficult to replicate and make it a nightmare to figure out where something went wrong. That’s why ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is so important. It provides a framework to identify, plan, deliver and support IT services. Even better, that framework wasn’t created by a single guru, ninja, rock star or whatever else we’re calling them these days. No matter how great one person is at a job, he or she can’t know everything. So ITIL is based on best practices developed and refined by many people at many businesses in many different sectors. In other words, the problems have been looked at from every angle possible.

The result of all this is the processes, procedures, tasks and checklists that make it possible to integrate IT services with the organization’s strategy, while at the same time delivering more value and maintaining standards of competency. It lets you demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement.

So what’s not to like?

Nothing really, it’s just that there are so many issues around implementing it and making sure people are using it. Doing that can eat up a lot of time and resources that would be better used taking advantage of ITIL’s benefits and not making sure that it’s being adhered to.

If only there was some way to automate it. Some way for a single program to check and make sure ITIL was being applied to hundreds of thousands of endpoints – in real time. What would be even better is if this could be done continuously, so you didn’t have to wait until the next audit or for a problem to cause other problems to find out something wasn’t right. As long as we’re dreaming, let’s make it a program that updates the ITIL definitions automatically for all the devices it manages and that can be managed and monitored from a single console. Finally, while we’re here in the land of make believe, how about a program that can do all this right out of the box, so you can do all this within hours and not days or weeks or months.