Data analytics continues to be one of the top areas of IT investments and organizations expect to substantially increase their spending in this area in 2016.

That is one of the predictions by industry trade group Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), which has just released its IT Industry Outlook 2016. The annual study looks at the top 12 trends that will drive information technology this year, and reveals an overall sense of optimism among IT leaders.

Whether that optimism will carry into the second quarter of 2016 remains to be seen, as a growing number of technology firms and top corporations have reported less than expected revenue numbers in the past two weeks. But until then, the overall mood remains upbeat – if only slightly -- for tech spending in a number of key areas.

Specifically, the report anticipates “strong customer demand for the next waves of digital business technologies.” That is based on CompTIA’s IT Industry Business Confidence Index, which recorded an uptick of 1.2 points heading into the first quarter of the year. While a range of economic concerns have affected the Index, the rating component covering the IT industry continues to perform well, the association reports.

“The Index indicates industry executives see far more positives than negatives,” said Tim Herbert, senior vice president of research and market intelligence at CompTIA.

The IT Industry Outlook 2016 is based on a December 2015 survey of 673 IT industry companies in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

For 2016, CompTIA’s consensus industry forecast projects growth of 4.7 percent for the U.S. market. Industry executives believe this will be a function of incremental growth in the staple categories of hardware, software, services, and telecom, supplemented with new revenue streams from emerging categories, the report says.

“Businesses of all sizes increasingly recognize the need to remake their workflows and customer engagement practices with an eye towards digital transformation,” says Herbert. “If investments in these technologies accelerate, and the economy holds steady, growth could lean towards the upside of the forecast.”

According to CompTIA, the top 12 technology trends to watch in 2016 are as follows:

Technology Trends                          

  • Cloud is the New Electricity
  • Companies Go On the Offensive with Security
  • The Chase for Analytics Heats Up (Again)
  • The Software Layer Gets Much More Attention

Macro Trends

  • Moving Beyond User Interface: User Experience Drives Technology      Initiatives
  • Tech Policy Gets a Seat at the Presidential Election Issues Table
  • Digital Business Encompasses More than the IT Department
  • Organizations Strive to Develop More Tech Talent In-house

IT Channel Trends

  • Vendor Partner Programs Strive to Reach Escape Velocity
  • So Who’s a Vendor Anyway?
  • Skip the Data Center Build-out – Everyone Else is
  • Getting Closer to the Customer

“Cloud computing, mobility, social, workforce automation, big data, the Internet of Things and other disrupters will continue to expand their reach in 2016,” Herbert says. “Many organizations will move beyond the experimental, early adopter stage into broader, more varied uses of these technologies as they seek to capture the benefits of becoming a digital business”
The entire 43-page report is available free of charge with registration. To download the report visit here.