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February 5, 2020

Information Technology

Top IT trends in 2020.

Bright lights of computers and machines - IT trends

Are you invested in information technology? Do you follow global IT trends? Are you pursuing an IT degree so you can take your career even further? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s important to stay on top of current IT trends so you can be ready for whatever your future has in store. At WGU, we work to make sure our curriculum and programs are up-to-date with all the top global IT trends and global technology standards so you get the best education possible. Our curriculum is created by IT professionals to ensure that relevant and critical material is included in our programs. 

Learn about some of the top IT trends in 2020 and how they can directly impact your degree and your future in the field. 

Software development life cycle (SDLC).

As technology and software evolve, so do the processes that help direct and organize software. This is called the software development life cycle. When you boil it down, SDLC is an IT strategy execution plan that helps produce high quality software in shorter time periods. It often includes a detailed plan for development, alterations, maintenance, and replacements for software systems. This IT operational plan is vital in organizations around the world.

At WGU, we teach about software development life cycles as a significant part of our IT management core. We understand that being able to manage the system development life cycle is vital for IT managers to be successful.

SDLC lowers the cost of software development by cutting down on the time needed, while also improving the quality. 

The steps to SDLC are:

  • Identifying current problems and issues. This involves evaluating current systems for deficiencies. 

  • Plan what you want to accomplish. Define the requirements for a new system and consider the best ways to make it happen.

  • Design and get working. Software specifications are decided on and the design is created.

  • Build and create. This step involves taking the software design and actually creating it.

  • Test the software. Testing and retesting is needed to ensure the software actually works the way it’s supposed to.

  • Deploy, limited at first. Most of the time deployments are limited at first so that software programmers can see how the software works in a real environment during a gradual roll-out.

  • Maintain your software and system. SDLC involves maintenance of your software as well, and that’s built into your overall plan.

There are many SDLC models used in the IT industry today, but one of them stands out as a huge IT trend. And that is Agile. 

Agile project development.

Agile development is an approach to the software development lifecycles. Agile is a set of frameworks and approaches to software development that focuses on collaboration and organization of cross-functional teams. Agile project development has a strong connection to adaptive planning, early delivery, continual improvement, and flexibility when it comes to change. Agile project development is a major system for thousands of organizations around the world, and is growing in popularity daily. 

Agile project development utilizes the word “agile” on purpose—the general idea of this software development system is to be quick and responsive with customer and user needs. At WGU, we teach Agile project development in our IT management courses, focusing on how this kind of development can help you be a better manager.

Agile project development was born from The Manifesto for Agile Software Development, which rests on 12 principles:

  • Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of software

  • Welcome changing requirements, even last minute changes

  • Deliver working software frequently, in weeks or months

  • Close collaboration between business people and developers

  • Projects are built around motivated individuals, giving them support

  • Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication 

  • Working software is the primary measure of progress

  • Sustainable development that is able to keep a constant pace

  • Regular attention to technical excellence and good design

  • Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential

  • Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams

  • The team reflects on how to become more effective often and adjusts accordingly

One main difference from Agile and other software development approaches is the focus on collaboration and self-organizing teams. There may still be managers, but the team as a whole decides what projects to take on and when they can get their work done. 

A chip with a cloud icon on top begins to integrate with a circuitboard.

Machine learning.

Machine learning is an element of artificial intelligence that involves computers and software programs getting smarter based on the data they receive. This technology surrounds us in the world today, and if you’re studying to get an IT degree, machine learning will certainly be in your career future. Machine learning uses algorithms to help it learn from the data and progress moving forward.

Machine learning works in the following way:

  • Data collection. This is when the program or machine collects data for an algorithm to learn from.

  • Data preparation. The program formats the data, extracting important features and reducing elements that are less important. 

  • Training. This is sometimes called the fitting stage, where the algorithm actually learns by showing the data that has been collected.

  • Evaluation. This is where the program will test the model and see how well it performs.

  • Tuning. This area is where the model will adapt and shift to maximize the performance.


As technology advances, so do the threats and attacks on it. Cybersecurity is a crucial IT trend that helps keep data and organizations safe. And more organizations than ever before are recognizing that there is a threat and that they need protection. More companies and businesses are hiring technology experts or firms to help guard their data. Data breaches are continuing to crop up, so more software is being developed to keep data safe. Blockchain systems, penetration testers, and ethical hackers are all important elements of global IT trends that help to keep an organization secure. 

As automation and AI also continue to advance, more cybersecurity trends are popping up to help keep those systems safe. Technology companies and developers are working to secure the algorithms that are involved with machine learning to make sure they can’t be weaponized. 

The demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals is continuing to grow, and the trend of cybersecurity threats is making even more organizations aware of the fact that they need professional help.

Cloud computing.

Cloud computing is a hugely popular IT trend that allows organizations and individuals to access data and programs on the internet instead of relying only on the servers in their data center. More businesses than ever before are using cloud based programs and data management to help free up costs and labor for their organization. 

Cloud experts are needed to help organizations learn how to use programs and cloud systems. Business examples of cloud systems are things like software-as-a-service (like and platform-as-a-service where you can create your own custom applications. There’s also infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) where big organizations like Amazon and Microsoft provide rentable space, like Netflix who uses Amazon to provide services to you.

There are many benefits that cloud computing can offer an organization including:

  • Reduced costs. Cloud computing can help you cut down on costs of local storage, time delays, and energy consumption. 

  • Scalability. Businesses can scale much more easily when their information is on the cloud instead of just on local storage. 

  • Collaboration. Individuals and businesses alike hugely benefit from the collaboration options that the cloud offers. 

  • Flexibility. When you or your organization utilizes the internet as the home-base you have increased flexibility for how to do your work, who you do it with, and where you can do it.

There are many IT trends that are gaining popularity today, and as technology continues to develop, it’s anticipated that many more services will arise. Earning an IT management degree can help you have the basic skills and credentials you need to be prepared for whatever comes for the industry. Our curriculum is created by industry experts so you can learn about every global IT trend and be prepared to implement it in your career.

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