“The sky is falling!”
For many IT professionals looking to the cloud – as in the off-site technological infrastructure service – that cry of despair grows louder. But just as the proverbial Chicken Little’s claim proved false, fears of change within the industry shouldn’t cause panic for everyone – but for those not ready to capitalize on opportunities growing from change, the sky may get uncomfortably close.
The most common concerns about cloud computing is that it will replace IT professionals. This view, so the logic goes, is fueled by the very real possibility that companies will reduce overhead, outsource computer operations and store data externally.
With these new opportunities come questions of how professionals in this field, particularly those working in information technology, will continue to be employed as more and more of their jobs are moved to centralized locations servicing the cloud rather than individual businesses.
Make no mistake: cloud computing is expected to revolutionize how businesses and organizations approach computing. As the old mentality of purchasing computers as a product gives way to paying for computing as a service, tech professionals will also have to adapt. Those professionals who choose to ignore these advancements will eventually find themselves facing tense job prospects and a considerable disadvantage against professionals who have kept up with industry-current technology trends.
Ultimately, the demands placed on information technology professionals will change over time, and some jobs may be reorganized within the tech industry to service the ever-expanding cloud. But most businesses and organizations will continue to have very practical reasons for maintaining on-location IT personnel.
Limitations in cloud support services
When a company chooses to move some or all of its in-house computing operations onto the public or private cloud, the service costs associated with that hosting and service include IT support. Even on the cloud, IT is critical because the potential for security breaches, data loss and other service failures still exists, and it's only a matter of time before such a malfunction affects your cloud-based data and software.
The problem is that, even though you're paying for IT support, those professionals aren't working exclusively for you—companies share them with other cloud customers, and when wholesale disaster hits the cloud, it could be impossible to wrangle IT staff that will devote time exclusively to your needs. If a cloud customer has unloaded their former IT staff in a cost-cutting move, they could be up the river without a paddle—and all the while incurring unwanted costs and productivity roadblocks.
The enduring need for in-house IT professionals
Information technology professionals may see their roles within a company change, but if nothing else, these staff members can still be of great value to businesses in several different ways. First and foremost, many businesses and organizations continue to manage in-house computer operations like data backup, and these need to be continually updated and tended to.
And when security breaches do strike on the cloud, in-house staff can work to minimize the damage and rectify the situation, allowing for a much faster recovery while protecting consumers and the organization's operations. These security measures can relate to serious breaches of personal information including passwords, credit cards, and other confidential data that could destroy a company's reputation in one fell swoop.
The need for information technology professionals isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but to remain relevant in their industry, those professionals need to stay up-to-date on how cloud computing will affect business operations. Those professionals will also need to understand how to best integrate cloud computing services with in-house operations, and they'll also find themselves working with IT professionals employed by the cloud. But with a greater understanding of cloud technology and improved communication between both sides, IT professionals should continue to provide timely, essential services that any business would be wise to maintain.