Daily Archives: July 24, 2009

Cloud will change the roles in IT

Anytime something is commoditized, jobs change. Cloud is no exception. As enterprises move applications into off-premises cloud infrastructure, jobs will inevitably be eliminated, and roles will change. We’ve observed this effect for many years at Layer 7. New technologies like SOA demand that people break out of existing roles and take on new vision and responsibilities. The silos and job descriptions that were developed over the years in traditional IT departments cannot easily function in SOA (or by extension, in cloud). This is a great opportunity for the ambitious people to shine, but it also leaves people in its wake who can’t (or won’t) change with the times. When these people dig and and resist the change, they threaten the initiative and often stall the entire project. Cloud is going to face this significantly, particularly when it is being mandated from above.

Infoworld has an interesting article about how cloud will threaten certain IT jobs (and create new ones) here.

with the move to SOA is that new technology often demands entirely new roles and responsibilities be defined

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Do Cloud Initiatives Come From IT or Corporate Mgmt?

Here’s a good example of how cloud initiatives will often be driven not by technical staff, but by management. Washington State Representative Reuven Carlyle is questioning the state IT department proposal for a traditional, $300M IT processing center in Olympia. He maintains that the proposal is not well thought through, and that the state (famously home to Amazon and Microsoft) should be instead looking at embracing cloud technologies.

I wrote about this in my white paper Steer Safely into the Clouds. Cloud is one of those rare technical trends that easily captures the imagination of non-technical organizational management. It’s just that accessible and compelling. My argument in the paper is that IT needs to be ready with a rigorous cloud strategy because the impetus to go to the cloud is likely to come from the boardroom, not the cubes.

More details here.