The Most Important IT Skills in 2017

With the rapid advancement of technologies such as cloud computing, massive unstructured databases, machine learning and network security, it is more difficult now than ever before to determine the "perfect" set of skills and qualifications that the ideal IT person should have. The changing landscape of tech adds significantly to the challenge of identifying the right IT professional to hire -- or making yourself the most attractive IT candidate possible.

Whether you're looking to position yourself for upward career mobility or want to pick the best person to round out your IT management staff, you've come to the right place. These are the IT skills that companies around the world will demand in 2017.

Big Data

Virtually all enterprise software records some amount of data. Website analytics platforms record customers' browsing activities. CRM databases record customers' interactions with companies. Marketing platforms track campaigns and responses. All of these platforms -- and more -- have the ability to talk to one another and share data.

Advancements in cloud technology have made it possible to store and process data more reliably than ever. Making sense of unstructured data, however, is another matter. In 2017, more companies will begin to realize that generating meaningful conclusions from big data is an excellent way to become more competitive.

You can bet they'll look for IT professionals who specialize in big data analysis.

Network Security

Network security has always been an IT priority for most companies. The threats in the wild today are more advanced than they once were, though. Modern IT professionals must know how to cope with threats such as botnets consisting of thousands of Internet-connected cameras and other devices.

Enterprise software can create security issues as well. If a company has multiple local and cloud-based software solutions that all exchange data, a vulnerability in one solution could potentially compromise them all. Companies need IT professionals with the ability to find and correct faults in enterprise software.

Enterprise Software Integration

Interconnected software solutions may cause security headaches, but they also make businesses more efficient by giving them the data that they need to make better decisions and remain competitive. Many of today's most popular enterprise software solutions have the ability to easily integrate with one another.

Many also include programming interfaces that allow developers to create new integrations. In 2017, companies that need to integrate new solutions with existing legacy software will look for IT professionals with the ability to build API-based integrations.


Companies collect more data from their customers today than ever -- and data protection regulations around the world have evolved to keep pace. No matter where a company operates, it will need to comply with federal, state and local laws regarding the safekeeping of customers' private data. That responsibility will fall to the company's IT staff.

Website and Marketing Analytics

Because analytics data is structured, it doesn't quite fall under the umbrella of big data. Drawing the correct conclusions from analytics data, however, is no less difficult. Companies today engage in cross-channel campaigns that touch customers over print media, broadcast media, social media, display advertising, search engine marketing and more. To get the most out of each advertising dollar, companies need to perform complex attribution to identify the key touch points that contribute to sales.

Making sense of website analytics is equally important -- particularly with modern automated marketing systems that have the ability to market to customers individually based on their interests and previous interactions with the company. A marketing platform has the ability to recommend a course of action -- but it makes recommendations based on rules that you configure. To configure marketing, personalization and targeting rules that produce the best possible results, an IT professional needs to understand how to make sense of analytics.

User Experience Development

Smartphones have become ubiquitous, and mobile devices now generate more total web traffic than computers. Responsive web design has made it easier for companies to build websites that offer better experiences to mobile users -- but installing a responsive theme on a website often isn't enough to create a truly delightful user experience. In 2017, companies will look for IT professionals with the ability to create natural user interfaces that make websites faster, more usable and more intuitive for mobile users.

In 2017, companies may begin to look for technology professionals who have a blend of design and development skills and can create natural user interfaces that make websites faster, more usable and more intuitive for mobile users.

And remember, if you don't feel like finding that needle in the haystack, many companies are achieving success by finding reliable technology partners and outsourcing critical IT tasksIf you're ready to take a proactive step, we encourage you to visit the service offerings available from Continuous Networks.