With the rise of cloud computing, some IT professionals are worried that businesses will no longer need their skills and services. In reality, the opposite is true. Small businesses, that may be relying on the cloud vendor for all technical support, are less likely in the first place to have a dedicated, full-time IT team for storage server maintenance and data management. Mid- to large-sized businesses, that tend to have an IT department, will not change course. Instead, they will leverage their IT resources to grow. If you’re in IT, learn to love the cloud for the freedom and flexibility it’s poised to deliver.
Benefits of the Cloud for IT
If a company still maintains an in-house server, IT team members will still need to maintain it. Since the cloud vendor performs all of the maintenance, upgrades, and troubleshooting on cloud storage and cloud-based applications, IT staff will be relieved of the burden of this tedious work. Many individual staff members will have more time to devote to higher-level projects or skill development. In general, this means less time spent on “help desk” tasks and more time spent on enterprise work. Some IT workers may even find themselves in more of a liaison capacity, working with other department managers to ensure that IT capacity is meeting the needs of employees.
Jobs will Shift
While there may be a decrease in some of the entry-level IT jobs, IT employees with demonstrated experience will find an increased need for project managers, business analysts, security specialists and infrastructure specialists within IT. Information professionals who are skilled at organizing and integrating data will also find additional opportunities, as the current cloud models trend toward large silos of data that will eventually need integration. Consider this a call to gain these skills and leverage your portfolio for the future.
In the end, the cloud will actually strengthen the IT industry; more IT professionals will hold higher-level jobs and will become more valued in their organizations. Those whose skills can translate to both public and private clouds will be in demand for positions dealing with data storage in hybrid clouds. Some IT professionals may find themselves recruited away from business jobs by cloud vendors for some of the same work they are doing presently, providing services to clients. Other trends, including big data, are also poised to have an impact on the role of IT professionals.
Additionally, even IT skills people think are obsolete never really fall out of demand. You never know when knowledge of older programming languages, legacy equipment, and operating systems will come in handy. If you’re concerned about the cloud’s impact on traditional IT positions, diversify your skillset so that you can take advantage of new opportunities and keep attuned to new trends. All industries experience changing roles and skillsets; for IT, this is something that people may need to get used to. However, it certainly doesn’t mean that jobs are going to dry up or that IT will become a dead-end.