New Heights for Cloud, New Challenges for Tech Vendors and New Experiences for Tech Users Ahead in 2016, CompTIA Researchers Say

Cloud computing will become almost as common as turning on the lights; technology vendors and their partners will wrestle over compensation; and businesses will demand better end user experiences from their technology in 2016, according to the research team at CompTIA, the information technology (IT) industry trade association.

Each January CompTIA produces its annual IT Industry Outlook, examining the key trends and growth drivers that will shape the IT industry, channel and workforce for the next 12 months. As a prelude to its 2016 report, CompTIA has unveiled three trends to watch in 2016.

Cloud as the New Electricity

Cloud computing has been a significant trend for several years and its transformative impact on IT operations and technology shows no signs of abating. In the New Year, it’s highly likely to take another big step forward.

“While cloud will not quite become a pure commodity like electricity, it will be so prevalent in IT architecture that cloud-specific focus will give way to overall solution planning,” says Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis, CompTIA.

Wake-up Call for Technology Vendors

The “everything-as-a-service” universe made possible by the cloud is impacting the financial relationship between technology vendors and their channel partners. For many partners, vendor-provided margin plays second fiddle to what the partner earns on its own through services.

“Program staples such as upfront discounts and back-end rebates are declining in relative importance,” says Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “That’s a wake-up call for vendors, who need to be thinking differently about partner compensation models for the future. Newer cloud vendors with no heritage in legacy hardware or software are wisely building partner programs that recognize this.”

User Experience Drives Technology Initiatives

Efforts to provide better end-to-end experiences with technologies for business users will intensify.

“Some of these efforts will be ‘pushed’ by technology providers or employers who want to encourage or influence certain behaviors,” says Tim Herbert, senior vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA. “Others will be ‘pull’ efforts, as users accustomed to user-friendly consumer applications will exert influence over corporate IT to replicate these same experiences.”

CompTIA’s 2016 IT Industry Outlook also will include results of a brief poll of 400 workers on their views of technology. About half the workers surveyed (51 percent) say technology will play a greater role in their job in 2016, while 42 percent say its role will be unchanged in 2016.

Asked about their tech “wish list” for the New Year, workers lean toward the basics of new technology:

  • 24 percent want a new computer.
  • 24 percent cite the need for more reliable and usable technology.
  • 19 percent want a new mobile phone.
  • 14 percent selected new software applications.
  • 14 percent named communications and collaboration tools.
  • 13 percent chose emerging technologies, such as 3D printers and smart watches.

CompTIA’s 2016 IT Industry Outlook Preview is available free of charge with a simple registration at