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Planning ahead for 2011, perhaps even making the odd resolution or two? Here are some tips and predictions from the experts to help you on your way.

3 tips from an IT chief

2011 will see a plethora of opportunities for the IT professional and IT professionals. More organisations will be looking for individuals who can unlock innovation, especially as Britain prepares for the 2012 London Olympics. Hard and soft skills will be required as more businesses look to IT to lead them out of the current economic situation and gain competitive advantage.

Government funding is now being channelled towards the skills employers say they want and need. "Technician" skills are becoming more important, with renewed emphasis on apprenticeships. These kinds of jobs cannot be outsourced.

B2B use of new media will increase and these skills and knowledge will be at a premium. Mobile data services will continue their stellar growth and video of all types, including conferencing, will become the medium of choice.
Thanks to David Clarke, chief executive officer, BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

3 industry predictions from Gartner

By 2014, catastrophic system failures will force 75% of banks to change their infrastructure approaches. Increasing rates of change and complexity and rising transaction volumes are stressing traditional bank processes and systems. Many banks are undertaking transformation initiatives such as service-oriented architecture (SOA) and core banking renewal. Cost advantages and improvements in open systems make the mainframe less attractive as "the" platform to run core banking applications – Unix is back in vogue.
Thanks to Kristin Moyer, Mary Knox, Don Free and Doug McKibben.

By 2013, the average revenue from mobile commerce will reach 1.5% of overall sales for large retailers. It may seem small but the average response for 2009 was 0.1% of retail revenue - mobile has very rapidly become part of multichannel strategy. More critical than actual revenues generated is mobile’s potential to impact revenue in both the e-commerce and physical store channel. By 2013, mobile may have an even greater influence on physical store sales than e-commerce.
Thanks to Hung LeHong.

By 2012, system failure involving software in manufactured products will cause at least one multibillion-dollar catastrophe. Best practices, regulations and software reliability organisations, will become benchmarks for software engineers in this sector. Get used to collaborative software development across the supply chain as recognition dawns, finally, that developing software is different from electronics and mechanical design.
Thanks to Marc Halpern.

3 tips for jobseekers

If you’re going to bring about a change in your life, you’ll need a very good reason for doing it. The reason has to be stronger than any reason for not doing it otherwise you’ll just stay within your comfort zone. It’s also harder to keep motivation going for any longer-term task where there’s a process or you might not succeed first time. Martin Luther King had a great motivational phrase during the civil rights movement: “Keep your eyes on the prize”.

Try this technique for keeping going and making the whole task more manageable: keep every task small and do-able. Set your goal as ‘research two new jobs to apply for this week’ rather than ‘get a new job in January’. This way, you set yourself up to win rather than fail.

Tell someone you trust that you are going to research your two jobs by next Monday. Then, when you’ve done it, tell them what you’ve achieved. That will provide the sense of accomplishment to gee you up for the next task.
Thanks to Joe Bitto, partner, Impact Factory.

And 1 for the contractors...

Despite a tough economic climate in 2011 we believe the need for freelance workers will become greater than ever. This was reflected in a recent PCG and ComRes survey of UK businesses: 60% of business leaders said that it would be difficult to operate without freelancers. To take advantage of this receptive market our advice is to be highly pro-active from day one in 2011.”
Thanks to John Brazier, managing director, PCG.

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