3 skills IT managers will need in 2025

No one knows what the future will look like, but we can look around us and predict where developing trends may lead. For example, current changes like automation have some firms predicting that 50% of the jobs that exist now won’t in ten years’ time.

So the managers of today have to prepare to work in an environment that’s malleable from multiple angles. And how can IT managers prepare for something that might not even happen? Liz Bentley, founder of the leadership development firm Liz Bentley associates, has some opinions on where to start.

Develop long-lasting technology policies

Technology is going to shape how the future world communicates and how users interact with co-workers, bosses and friends. The smart phone shook up the workplace, and that was just a single technological advancement. IT needs to keep abreast of any other developing trends in order to spot potential areas where skills, workplace roles, data management and user privacy will be targeted.

Not every product that hits the market is going to be gold and stick around for a decade, but many will – and then users will adapt these devices into their routines. It’s important that the business is prepared for how to handle these new devices and how they may, or may not, merge seamlessly into the workplace.

Focus more on results

In the future, the focus will be less on the where and how users will work, and move on the results. With the influx of contractors and mobile workers, it’s not hard to imagine that users won’t always be working that 9-5 desk job. And when that shift happens, their needs for technology are going to shift as well. IT should be prepared to meet those demands, but managers should also switch their perspectives on what work will look like in the future.

Managers will have to look less at the process of how work is getting done, unless there’s an output problem, and more on the actual output itself. Flexibility is offered at many workplaces as a benefit, and as the workforce becomes more and more autonomous and mobile technology more broad, this trend is likely to continue in the years to come.

Global collaboration

Often collaboration is confused with consensus and harmony. But as technology shrinks much of the world and brings global teams together, it’s less about working homogenously and more about working together as a group. Managers will learn how to manage teams in non-traditional ways. Contractors are part of this equation, as are office-based users and remote workers. Even when companies don’t have branches in other parts of the world, generational differences may occur as more and more of the younger generation find jobs and Baby Boomers hold onto theirs way past the retirement age.

One major way IT can ease any building tensions is by meeting the communication needs of users. When technology fails, that can be the spark that ignites potential conflict. Try to get ahead by doing test runs of new devices installed at the office and routine maintenance to make sure they’re working as needed. To be even more prepared, see about getting a poll together to ask user groups their preferred methods of work, how mobile they consider themselves and where they get their best work done. Their results may provide some insight on the direction your IT department should be heading in the next decade.