Do you have a vision of IT staff disappearing as cloud computing develops and ushers in more automation and self-functioning tools? This implies that there won’t be anything to manage in a network.
In a recent InformationWeek blog that I came across, the author says that about three-quarters of the systems people she spoke with at a recent end-users conference were concerned about losing their jobs to the cloud.
I think this is a worst-case scenario (and a downright scary story) that IT folks are conjuring up. What will likely happen is that roles will change – not go away – as more expertise is needed in managing an enterprise’s eventual and measured migration to the cloud.
Systems administrators and networking professionals will be responsible for helping their organizations transition to a new IT environment, as well as for ensuring that there is a smooth migration path from an on-premise network to a hybrid environment (which would include on-premise, a private cloud and some components of a public cloud.)
To prepare for greater cloud computing management roles, IT folks can learn how to work more closely with other business units within their firms, and to help them understand new requirements, limits, and benefits of the new model. These “soft skills” have “often been lacking in IT organizations,” says the author. But soon enough, they’ll be critical – because cloud computing naturally involves the collaboration of several different business units. After all, it is a major change in the way a company computes.
So the reality really is that IT roles will grow from solely maintaining a network to more strategic roles in order to assist their organizations in managing the new cloud computing infrastructure.
IT folks can also prove themselves valuable in helping their organizations monitor service level agreements (SLAs), uptime statistics, data breaches and other cloud performance indicators. Taking on the watchdog role will bring new respect and appreciation from upper management.