The rapid advancement of technology and IT security makes modern society feel like it’s straight out of a science fiction novel. You can download apps to sort your inbox based on previous actions, deploy machine learning algorithms to diagnose diseases, and adopt gadgets to handle tedious tasks, like vacuuming the floor.
But these impressive achievements come with the need for strong IT security. Many people provide data to corporations every day—often without thinking about it—and hackers are well aware of how valuable that material can be, from credit card numbers to social security numbers and health information.
The combination of fast-paced progress and a pressing need for IT security makes it the perfect time for IT professionals to pursue their individual interests and change the future of technology. Here are some of the many phenomenal developments driven by the tech revolution that you can get involved in, whether you’re an IT newcomer or a veteran.
Keep pace in the race for AI chips
The creation of artificially intelligence chips is one of the most significant tech trends currently dominating the IT landscape. NVIDIA is the leading provider of AI chips, but other companies in the United States, China, and elsewhere are attempting to break up the market monopoly.
Intel, a leader in other types of chips, acquired Altera—a company that makes chips to speed up AI tasks—in 2015 for $16.7 billion, signaling its desire to move into the AI world. China has already stated its desire to be the world leader in AI technology by 2030: One of its government-sponsored projects is even trying to come up with a chip 20 times more energy-efficient and performance-capable than what NVIDIA already offers.
Whether you work in AI chip development in the United States, China, or elsewhere, imagine the potential of the AI projects that could be part of your typical day at work. In developing or even simply adopting these technologies first, you could prove responsible for helping your users save time, access essential information, and make smarter decisions on a daily basis.
Don’t fall behind when it comes to cybersecurity
Recent high-profile security breaches make it clear that no company is immune to cybercriminal tactics. Simply put, anyone who uses the internet is at risk of stolen data. As a result, corporations and individuals have realized they can’t merely hope hackers won’t target them. Instead, you need to expect your business will come under attack at some point—taking this perspective will allow you to implement every precaution you can to keep it from happening. It’s essential to be proactive and stay ahead of a hacker’s plans.
If you’re working to defend an organization against cybercriminals, or you’re thinking about getting into the cybersecurity field, there are plenty of strategies you can employ to fend off infiltration attempts. As an IT team member, you’re the honorable defender of your business—which means you need to spearhead the installation of secure and intelligent peripherals to prevent hackers from gaining access to your networks. From threat detection software to printers that detect security risks and protect against them before they even happen, there are numerous technologies available to keep your company safe.
This relatively recent and growing concern makes the IT field particularly exciting. By keeping the company safe from threats, IT can boost the bottom line, helping the business thrive in competitive industries and protecting reputations—all while ensuring their own job security. And since practically every industry is concerned about cybersecurity, IT employees have a unique opportunity to seek out jobs in industries that fit their particular interests.
Pump some IT iron for fitness tech
One quick look at the fitness sector is all it takes to see how you could easily apply your tech skills to any industry—you no longer need to reshape your passions to align with employment opportunities in tech.
It may seem hard to believe: After all, technology can make users more dependent on their gadgets—they may want to stay indoors and stare at their screens instead of going outside for a walk. But, surprisingly, tech can also help you stay fit. For instance, fitness tech solution ClassPass streams sessions from fitness instructors into gyms around the country, and it’s also rolling out a home-based version that brings content directly to users. Aaptiv offers a similar service by providing audio versions of recorded classes, arguing that it’s sometimes hard to stay focused on videos while working out.
With more tech and solutions like these entering the world, IT has the opportunity to get involved, and they can take part in a variety of other industries undergoing similar tech revolutions, too.
Give retail technology a makeover
Retail, in particular, is a sector experiencing a massive IT transformation. Self-checkout portals make it possible to hire fewer cashiers, and Amazon recently opened a convenience store where people can shop without spending part of their trip in a checkout line—period. Walmart recently filed a patent for an end-to-end physical storefront that’s completely unattended, as well.
These retail innovations are full of possibilities for IT experts and cybersecurity specialists. To work properly, these high-tech stores need IT pros to build and maintain sensors, scanners, cameras, and other accessories to keep everything running. Plus, shops without cybersecurity workers may tempt criminals—both online and in person—increasing the need for robust IT security strategies.
Whether you’re currently in the IT sector and want to get more involved in the latest innovations, or you’re ready to make a career move into tech, this career track will continue to be a smart choice. As an IT pro, you’ll lead the way to a more high-tech future of technology, bringing exciting new concepts to life and enhancing current technologies to keep us all safe from cyber threats.