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          Emerging Technologies in the IT Industry: An Overview for CompTIA A+ Professionals

          In the fast-paced world of technology, staying updated on emerging technologies is crucial for CompTIA A+ professionals. This blog post aims to provide you with an overview of key emerging technologies in the IT industry. From the Internet of Things (IoT) to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing, and Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), we will explore how these technologies are shaping the future of IT.  If you don’t love emerging technology, it could be that IT isn’t a good career choice.  Technology changes so fast, that if you aren’t constantly consuming information about emerging technologies you will find your knowledge quickly out of date.  The rate of change is only increasing.

          Internet of Things (IoT):

          IoT refers to the network of interconnected devices that can collect and exchange data. From smart switches, to internet connected front door security cameras and home speakers such as Alexia and Google Mini devices, IT devices are all around us.  When functioning as designed, they normally make life a little easier.  However the greatest challenge with IoT devices is that they are rarely designed with security in mind.  While this may be changing as industry standards are developing, you need to have a way to isolate these devices from the part of your network that may have access to company assets.  I highly recommend running all these devices on a dedicated VLAN that only has access to the internet. 

          Artificial Intelligence (AI):

          AI is revolutionizing the IT industry, enabling machines to perform tasks that traditionally required human intelligence. This is the most exciting part of emerging technology.  It will be a productivity multiplier similar to the broad availability of computers.  AI is already innovating for us.  AI designed parts, that can only be produced by additive manufacturing (3D-Printing), AI has already designed groundbreaking health treatments.  AI has become a consultant for many businesses via Chat GPT and other large language models, and many tools are already beginning to integrate AI into every part of our lives.  Microsoft Office is currently getting integrated with a large language model, and Google may lose its search throne to AI enhanced Bing search.  This is an area that needs your attention.  You must stay on top of AI.  I highly recommend futuretools.io and the website owner’s YouTube channel to stay on top of emerging AI. 

          What they can do with images and videos now is truly amazing.  With deepfake technology it is now possible to make anyone do or say anything with just a few pictures and voice samples.  Anything on the internet can no longer be believed, and the technology is only going to get better.

          I’ve already seen a successful implementation of AI performing complex legal research tasks.  I’ve also heard of a lawyer using AI to research cases getting punished for using an AI that invented a few court cases.  The lawyer that may be punished didn’t fact check before using the AI research in a legal case. All highly paid positions are at risk over the next decade of being automated with AI reducing the number of people needed to meet the market need with a fraction of the previous humans.  

          We now officially have AI robots.  Sanctuary IA has released the Phoenix Robot, and Elon Musk is working hard to release his own Tesla bot.  This means that potentially in the very near future we could all be competing with AI for our jobs.  

          Cloud Computing:

          Cloud computing has become the backbone of modern IT infrastructure. CompTIA A+ professionals will need to gain an understanding of different cloud service models, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  However, don’t feel like you need to move to the cloud in every case.  Computing is like many other things, we see trends.  We started at centralized computing and dumb terminals.  Then we went to distributed computing.  And now in many cases we are seeing the switch back to cloud computing.  However, after testing those waters, we are now seeing a shift back to on prem from those who didn’t properly assess the benefits and challenges of cloud technology before jumping into the latest trend.  Super computers are now as powerful as the human brain (don't worry we still have an edge -- it takes a billion times more power).  This opens the door to do amazing things when coupled with the other emerging technologies.

          Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR):

          AR and VR technologies are transforming industries, offering immersive experiences and practical applications.  With the increase of work from home, we are beginning to see these technologies use cases multiply.  For Example, the overlay of what should be there when doing QA checks on a manufacturing line on basically anything allows us to quickly identify problem areas. 

          As CompTIA A+ professionals, continuous learning and staying updated on emerging technologies are vital for success in the IT industry. By exploring IoT, AI, cloud computing, AR, and VR, you have gained insights into the technologies shaping the future. Embrace the opportunities presented by these emerging technologies, and be ready to adapt to the ever-evolving IT landscape.  This is only scratching the surface of what is out there to learn about.  In the IT world, you should always be learning.  Hopefully, this blog helped provide a little direction.

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