Editor’s Note: Constant expansion

The worlds of technology and business are in a state of constant expansion. You have to expand your own horizons to keep up.

Lafe Low

There is constant expansion. Just as scientists have determined the universe is in a constant state of expansion, so, too, is the state of technology and the IT profession right here on Earth. This constant expansion represents equal measures of challenge and opportunity.

First, there’s the undeniable and incessant expansion of available technologies. We’ve always had word processors and databases, but now other technologies have also assumed that mantle of being truly indispensable tools for conducting business in the modern world. Business activities such as collaboration, unified communications and business intelligence are just as much a part of day-to-day work as finance, accounting and sales. Think back to a few years ago, when there weren’t any products like SharePoint or Lync. Now that both are stable technology platforms, you can hardly imagine doing your job without them.

Every technology that comes into play for doing business has experienced that constant expansion of its feature sets and capabilities. Think about the first time you used a database. Now think of how you’re running multiple instances of SQL Server on virtual machines.

Also, there’s the expansion of job responsibilities—not just your own personal job responsibilities as you advance in your IT career, but also those of IT itself as a profession. After years of existing as a shared service or the department everyone in the company “loved to hate,” IT has truly assumed its place as a bona fide partner and business driver.

The impact of technology has also expanded continuously and well beyond what we may have imagined just a few years ago. Many of you have surely heard of the concept of big data. The amount of data generated by our collective business activities has resulted in a massive store of data available for work and analysis.

Thankfully, there has also been an expansion of technology and techniques for getting more out of this data store that continues to grow on an exponential basis. We must drive the expansion of our collective ability to manage and monitor big data, not merely passively watch it follow along on some natural growth path. In his piece this month on big data, Rob Sobers explores how it's poised to completely overwhelm current systems if we don't develop new approaches to managing volumes of data.

There is constant expansion on many fronts. We, too, must constantly expand our own abilities and capabilities as IT professionals.

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Lafe Low

Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine*. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s* Redmond magazine.