Twelve months is a long time in the IT world.

So now that tablets have thoroughly saturated the market and desktops now have touchscreen capabilities thanks to Windows 8, what else does IT have in store for us?

Skipping the obvious ones—like the evergrowing increase in the number of daily YouTube video streams and the growing onslaught against Facebook’s questionable privacy policies—we instead chose to focus on some of the more “bigger picture” predictions that will change the way we use IT.

1. Demand for data scientists will grow, but only one-third of jobs will be filled. The Harvard Business Review says “data scientist is the sexiest job of the 21st century.” Pay attention, kids.

2. India’s IT outsourcing companies will take a big hit, as the EU brings in legislation to keep jobs at home and curb offshoring by 20% by 2016.

3. Most IT jobs in the West will come from the East, as double-digit growth companies headquartered in Asia snap up top recruits. Many major Western IT companies will continue to struggle.

4. We’ll soon forget what privacy means, thanks in large part to Facebook. Up to 40% of all business contact information will soon be on the popular social media network via employees’ widespread use of mobile device collaboration applications.

5. Prepare to say good-bye to your company’s BYOD policy (or at least expect to see much tighter rules), as a growing number of organizations tighten or ditch their BYOD policies in response to more and more employee-owned mobile devices becoming compromised by malware. It’s forecasted that personal devices will be compromised at twice the rate of corporate devices. …Or not, if you follow the tips in our two part series on Mobile Security (see part one for organizations and part two for employees).

6. The Internet of Things will explode and smart operational technology (M2M) will boom, leading to a 25% increase in software spending.

7. Work will become all fun and games, as a growing number of organizations turn to gamification to boost employee productivity and performance in an attempt to tighten business operations. In other words, employees will soon be doing their work in a “game-like” experience. Some predictions are saying that up to 40% of “Global 1000 organizations” will turn to gamification by 2015.

8. Wearable smart electronics will be a $10 billion industry within the next 3 years. Apparently, our shoes, accessories and tattoos will soon be more than a simple fashion statement; they’ll be monitoring our metabolism and all other sorts of things, which could potentially lead to longer, healthier and more productive lives.

9. Most businesses will simply ignore Windows 8 and wait for what some industry insiders are calling “Windows’ Next”. Why? They’re worried that Windows 8 may simply an interim solution—a perception perhaps caused by Microsoft’s decision to shift back to Win 7 mode for many apps. If you’re debating the “To 8 or not to 8” question, you can get a balanced look at the pros and cons of Windows 8 for SMBs in our two part series (Part 1 on the pros, and Part 2 on the cons).

10. Up to 20% of the top IT services providers will disappear within the next 12 months thanks to market consolidation. Employees working at these organizations might want to carefully reread our first prediction.

11. The top 5 mobile handset vendors will come from China within the next 12 months. Specifically: Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Yulong and TCL.

Did we miss anything? You bet we did. But we did it on purpose so that you can add your own predictions, which you can do below.

Or weigh in on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.

Written by JP Mercier Employee @ SherWeb

JP is SherWeb’s community manager. He has been working for IT companies since 2010, in both the software and cloud computing industry. JP has a degree in communication and specializes in online marketing. As a good Canadian, he is (overly) polite and loves hockey.