Cloud computing is no longer an up-and-coming technology--it's here to stay. According to Gartner's 2011 CIO Agenda Survey, the majority of businesses will rely on cloud services for more than half of their IT infrastructures by 2020. This shift to a more integrated IT model arises as organizations seek ways to save money on their technology needs in a challenging economy.
What will this mean for the future of IT professionals? The migration to the cloud heralds a definite change in the industry landscape, and certain positions may become obsolete as IT systems are further automated through visualization. However, as with most changes in technology, the shift will also create new opportunities for those willing to diversify.
Careers that will vanish in the cloud
Drawing on data from Gartner, an article on TechRepublic predicts that an increasing reliance on cloud computing will cut down, or even eliminate, the need for server admins and other IT infrastructure specialists. Hands-on administration is unnecessary for many functions of the cloud, and the remaining non-automated tasks do not require the technical expertise that server admins possess.
Ever since computers have been firmly integrated into the business world, "tech people" have carried a certain aura of mystique. Most IT specialists have focused only on technical knowledge, but the rise of the cloud will require professionals to differentiate, and acquire further skills in the business side of technology.
New opportunities for IT professionals
Competition in the IT industry has always been stiff. With more of today's organizations looking to conserve resources in every possible way, IT specialists often struggle to compete not only with their peers, but also with graduate students and overseas providers, who are attractive to employers because they'll settle for lower salaries.
Diversification is the key to remaining competitive in the IT landscape. Current professionals with the initiative to broaden their skill sets and take on more business-oriented tasks will find a range of opportunities as cloud computing becomes more prevalent. Every IT professional, from graduates to veterans, should be prepared to make a commitment to lifelong learning and adaptability.
The TechRepublic article also reports that specialists can breathe easily, as there will be plenty of jobs to go around. The combination of retiring baby boomers and low numbers of qualified graduates ensures that new business IT models will welcome professionals who develop the skills to navigate cloud-based infrastructures.
Clearpoint is a staffing agency for jobs in information technology, marketing, creative, and other professionals. We do business by building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our employees and clients.