What does 2019 hold for business analysts?
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What does 2019 hold for business analysts?
Predicting the future is quite precarious. However, based on long-term trends, we can foretell to an extent what to expect in the immediate future.
Will the demand for business analysis work fall? Or will it increase?
Will AI take over the work of a business analyst’s?
Will the opportunities grow and reduce for business analysts?
Will our lives be better or worse?
Here are my top 5 predictions for Business Analysts for the year 2019.
1. A significant shift from building a software to renting the software – This requires new skills for Business Analysts
Organizations, the world over, struggle with legacy applications which they had developed. Legacy in-house applications require significant maintenance costs and are difficult to upgrade with respect to new technology.
The market for the products, especially products available as ‘Software As A Service’ (SAAS) has dramatically increased over the last 20 years. This trend will continue to increase, and organizations will be able to use a large number of products available over the cloud-based environments.
This shift from building a software to renting the software will require different kind of skills from the BAs. Business analysts need to understand the price features, compare products, as to how these products integrate between themselves and with the legacy applications. Business analysis will have more to do with integrating applications than constructing applications.
2. Near 100% percent dominance of agile methodologies – Get comfortable with Agile and DevOps
The dominance of agile on projects is nearly 100%. Whichever client we interact with, hardly any of them are considering the waterfall development model anymore. Business analysts who stick to the old methods of development will find it difficult to work. It is essential that every business analyst must adapt themselves to working in the new agile environment. In fact, many organizations are looking at methods which would possibly be called as extreme agile, something like DevOps where each requirement is turned over to production one at a time rather than waiting for a bunch of requirements to go into production together in a stipulated time.
3. The Rise of the Digital Era – Tremendous opportunity for Business Analysts
When we talk of digital technology, the 5 key ones are Social media, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and Sensors (IoT). Let us discuss the impact of each of these digital technologies on business analysis.
The rise of social media provides tremendous power to an enterprise to sell and market their products. Organizations are increasingly leveraging digital media. Business analysts will be asked to do projects which would enable the organizations to leverage new digital media channels.
Mobile devices are gradually taking over from desktop and laptop computers. We have noticed a major change in the way our customers are using content. This is going to be a permanent feature for businesses hereon. Users will be primarily using mobile devices as it allows them flexibility. Applications which were designed in the legacy environment have to be migrated to the mobile platforms. This provides a platform for the business analysts to go and talk to the businesses and figure out how all the applications developed over the last century can also be made mobile enabled.
Analytics is yet another interesting field which is growing very rapidly. As the web, cloud, and IoT, systems collect an increasingly larger amount of data, the importance of analytics will continue to rise. This will be a fantastic opportunity for business analysts to start leveraging the power of analytics. Of course, this will require a good amount of re-training and re-skilling on the part of a BA, as many of them may not be familiar with the statistical and analytical methods. But I am 100% confident that most business analyst would make great analytics professionals as they already have a deep understanding of business and technology.
Similarly, organizations are now more open towards adopting cloud-based approaches to deployment. Cloud provides extremely stable and scalable IT infrastructure at a very reasonable cost. This again requires a lot of work in order to move legacy applications from on-premise deployment to cloud-based deployment.
Sensors too will bring a whole lot of automation possibilities which was earlier considered extremely difficult. Sensors will revolutionize agriculture, healthcare, building management, autonomous vehicles, and many industrial scenarios. This provides tremendous potential for business analysts in contributing towards business growth.
4. Changing skills expectations
One thing for sure is that the skills which were helpful when business analysis was done in a traditional way, will possibly not be the right skills for the future as we move away from ‘building to buying to renting’ software. The skills are obviously different as the rise of the digital era demands a different kind of skill set than what we are traditionally used to. Some of the skills though will continue to have great relevance. Behavioral skills, communication skills, stakeholder management skills, etc., which were a part of the BA learning process, would continue to pay very rich dividends. The technical skills, on the other hand, would require a complete changeover from what we have known in the past.
5. Increasing possibility of working from a remote location – A better work-life balance
Another good news for BAs probably would be that the organizations, in accordance with the times and owing to improved infrastructure, may be open to working with a remote manager.
This would specially generate opportunities for women, who were unable to work due to travel constraints and family commitments. They would now be able to re-enter the workforce and yet, by working remotely, will be still able to meet their familial responsibilities.
My sincere suggestion to women employees, who were unable to work earlier, would be to hone their skills and then try and convince prospective employers to allow them to work from home. This would be beneficial to all concerned, the individual, by re-starting their career; the organization, by having a larger group of skilled professionals to choose from; and the nation- by generating more employment.
I would love to hear from my fellow BAs about what are their predictions for 2019.
About Adaptive US (Think BA. Think Adaptive.)