There is a natural fear of change and moving to “The Cloud” can be a frightening proposition for IT staff regardless of role, department or industry. Moving to new technology and “outsourcing,” brings up bad memories of assembly line machinery taking away blue collar jobs and the massive layoffs that were seen in the automotive industry. As the number of applications and servers hosted on-premise decrease, the natural question is “How much IT staff do I really need now that these applications are provided as a service in the cloud?”. While it is true that moving to the cloud typically reduces the needs of support and administration staff, this oversimplification does not paint the full picture of organizational change that often takes place as part of a migration to the cloud.
Working with clients of various sizes and across industries, a common theme I’ve observed for cloud migrations is the need to be more agile with the ability to provision and de-provision servers on the fly and overcoming the limitations of on-premise infrastructure and oversubscribed staffing to provide the level of agility that the business desires. Cost savings and staff reductions are not typically at the top of the list for cloud justification.
What a shift to the cloud means is that current IT staff must to be willing and able to see technology with a new and different perspective. IT is no longer just the servers, switches, and software installed throughout the organization. IT is a service that is provided to the business and its users. Jobs that were once focused on keeping technology and infrastructure running are now focused on business enablement through process improvement, technological innovation, and quality/availability optimization. The move to the cloud supports this by shifting the focus of staff from the day to day activities of maintenance and operations over to a strategic focus based on the business requirements.
To summarize, roles will change but the adoption of cloud services does not necessarily spell the end of the IT department and your job. If you have not already, you should understand and embrace all that the cloud has to offer. Most importantly, you need to understand not just the services that your business users consume from IT but how they are consumed, their goals, and the value the users/business currently receives (or doesn’t receive) from those services.
For more information on how your business can benefit from the cloud and how to plan an orderly migration to cloud services, please see our other Cloud Insights blogs..
- Nathan Aeder, Associate Director, Cloud Advisory Services – Senior Cloud Strategist
Post Date: 1/22/2015