I read an interesting article this morning that talked about the recent declines in data center consolidation projects and how the move to cloud services is shaping the look of professional service and consulting divisions. Although I do agree with a lot of the points regarding the fact that a lot of the big, multi-year consolidation projects are going by the wayside due to clients looking to cloud services as a way of consolidating and streamlining existing data centers, I do find the concerns around the fate of the traditional data center and other corporate IT jobs a little bit off the mark.
Yes, the roles of sysadmins and and other in house IT personnel is going to change but I don’t think that they will be going the way of the Dodo anytime soon. Once the dust has settled in the new found Valhalla of the cloud, companies the world over will still require highly technical people to innovate and move the business forward. What will change is that every person in corporate IT will need to be very much more business aware. They will need to be the bridge between business need and whatever tools that are the best for the job, be it services that reside in a public, private or hybrid cloud.
The role of corporate IT professionals will start to change from keeping the lights on and engaging in large scale engineering projects, to integrating together all of the different services that the business wants while maintaining security, data integrity and ease of use. The in-house IT pros of the future will be both technically skilled and extremely business aware.
Corporate IT will still be with us for a long time to come, but they will be doing far less dictating and a lot more listening. If sysadmins want to stay in corporate IT, it may be time to learn how the business that they server wants to operate and work with them to deliver truly innovative solutions