IT leaders wanting to stay on top should watch these topics

IT leaders must track trends like cloud computing, SDN, SaaS, SDDC, IoT, big data, BYOD, and IPv6, alongside internal IT management practices.

IT leaders are expected to keep abreast of the goings-on in the industry. But with so many new products, processes and theories being developed, it can be difficult to know what deserves their attention most. Here is a list of topics that commonly cause a buzz.

The cloud

Although this has been a hot topic of discussion for quite a few years, the cloud has still not lost its allure. Millions of businesses are now moving their operations to the cloud, with many more to follow. And as that happens, more focus is likely to be on the security and privacy cloud users can expect.


SDN, or software-defined networking, offers management tools that enable IT leaders to virtualise network infrastructure, creating a layer over existing physical equipment. The fact that there is much disagreement over how SDN works and how it should work is enough to make it a topic of much discussion for a long time to come.


Software as a service represents another “old” topic. However, many are now re-discussing it with topics such as how vendors have and/or plan to change their SaaS software. Also up for discussion are infrastructure and platform as a service.


According to some, software-defined data centres may be a topic containing some confusion due to a lack of actual or solid definitions. However, using SDN along with existing technology continues to be a topic of much interest amongst IT leaders.

The internet of things

This continues to be a topic of concern amongst IT leaders. Even the idea of being able to connect to virtually any device is enough to make IT leaders cringe. But what if that equipment is smart enough to retrieve statistics from the internet and better inform users? It’s a tempting topic indeed.

Big data

There’s no way that big data couldn’t make the list of hot topics. It is everywhere, and it’s not going away. Big data affects IT departments, often becoming a burden. Keeping an eye on how big data affects compute cycles and understanding how that affects IT is a definite topic to keep up with.


Bring your own device continues to be hotly debated amongst IT leaders. The question of whether or not to block personal devices and whether or not there are advantages to allowing employees to have the choice are just two of many sub-topics to keep an eye on.


Networks everywhere have the potential for great suffering because of the implications of not keeping an eye on IPv6. This is especially frightening when considering how many types of modern operating systems have turned on by default.

In addition to the above topics are those that affect IT leaders directly. For example, the forming of procedures and policies, commitment building and managing expectations are just a few of several areas to which all IT leaders should be paying attention, as not doing so can directly affect the efficiency of their respective departments.

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