Cloud Computing Won’t Kill IT, But It’ll Definitely Transform It

Robert Shaw | Cloudtweaks

Around the country, many corporate and small business IT professionals are downright scared about the future of their careers. Due to slow adoption in the corporate world and general unfamiliarity with administrating cloud services in the small business sector, the IT field has yet to undergo any massive shifts. But IT workers shouldn’t count on that pattern holding forever.

According to Gartner’s research director, Bryan Britz, “Public cloud adoption is accelerating and public cloud services do, and will, cannibalize IT services spending in the coming years.”   In other words, more and more companies are likely to ditch their Exchange servers, Active Directory deployments, on-premises line-of-business applications, onsite data storage, and all of the administrative and personnel overhead associated with such infrastructure.   A recent survey by Gartner reported that 19 percent of U.S. companies are already using cloud services for all or most of their production applications, and 20 percent of companies rely on cloud storage for all or most of their data storage needs.

Those numbers are likely to steadily increase for the next several years—and possibly indefinitely.   In the small business IT sector, several authorities are projecting significant service provider attrition. Forrester Research has estimated a 15% decline in the SMB IT sector over the next several years, while Gartner has pegged the number as high as 40%.   But for all of the doom-and-gloom prophecies, IT is far from dead. System administrators and server technicians may be relegated to data center positions at a relatively small number of large corporations, but companies both large and small will still require analysts, managers, integrators, and system architects who understand technology and how to leverage a wide variety of services in the most efficient and effective means.

Companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Accenture understand the value of technological expertise and have already positioned themselves to cash in on the move to cloud computing. Large corporations are often willing to pay hourly contractor rates of $200 to $300 or more for expert system integration and migration planning and implementation services.   Among small businesses, a recent Microsoft survey found that 60 percent of small businesses feel that they do not have the expertise to deploy new cloud services, and 52 percent of businesses do not have the internal resources needed to train employees on new cloud services.   With businesses both large and small eager for cloud computing migration, deployment, and training expertise, the future may not be as dim for IT professionals as many of them fear—as long as they’re willing to learn and adapt to the new realities of cloud computing.

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