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Cloud computing: What does it really mean for IT jobs?

As adoption of cloud computing services takes off, some argue demand for certain IT jobs will all but disappear.

Just as manual labourers were replaced by the machines of industry in the 19th century so certain IT roles will be swept away by cloud computing.

That's the argument put forward by Gartner research director Gregor Petri - who believes that many roles managing IT infrastructure will all but disappear.

Manual management of IT infrastructure - for instance provisioning additional storage, servers or network capacity for a particular application - will increasingly be automated as software layers in the cloud automatically divert IT resources to where they are needed, he said.

"It is very much like industrialisation," he said.

"Take the very old example given by Adam Smith of the pin makers who used to take a day to make four pins, then a factory is built that can make 10,000 pins in an hour.

"That is what cloud computing is making possible: you can carry out these computing tasks on an industrial scale."

Petri said that just as people no longer make pins manually, so in general people won't perform tasks like monitoring an app's storage demands and purchasing and installing new storage for it.

"The cloud computing app is already programmed in a way that allows the application to access additional storage when it is needed, as a result nobody is needed to do that anymore,"  he said.

"Cloud is allowing the industrialisation of IT, that is why to some people it is very scary."

While Petri believes that traditional infrastructure management roles will become all but defunct, allowing IT systems to be run with fewer people, he said it doesn't necessarily mean the individuals who carried out those roles will find themselves out of the job.

Instead he sees new roles being created that use that individuals' technical skills to add value to the business, for instance working with managers in other departments to make company IT systems better fit the needs of staff or customers. "People in those roles need to flexible in the idea of what their role is," he said.

The changing landscape of computing - for instance real-time big data analytics or the provision of scalable cloud services to always connected mobile computers - will also create new roles, he said.

When will it happen?

While today's cloud platforms are already automatically provision these resources today, Petri said that the effect of this industrialisation of computing will not be felt until more applications are shifted to the cloud.

That could be some time off. Although adoption of cloud services is growing rapidly - Gartner predicts that the market for cloud compute services will grow 48.7 per cent in 2012 to $5bn, up from $3.4 billion in 2011 - spend on cloud services is still only a fraction of global IT spend. However, by 2020 the majority of organisations will rely on the cloud for more than half of their IT services, according to Gartner's 2011 CIO Agenda Survey.

Will jobs really disappear?

Not everyone is convinced that cloud computing will have such a profound effect on the IT jobs landscape.

Some believe that while roles will likely transition from in-house IT teams to cloud providers as companies consume more cloud services, the roles and demand for skills will remain.

As a TechRepublic reader who works for a large cloud provider pointed out: "I still deal with the daily hands on from thousands of customers / clients, some pretty huge ones at that. Between dealing with their AD, LDAP, Windows / Linux deployments, configuration and code issues, I can say that server administrators will still be needed in fact more than ever."

Other readers have pointed out that IT roles tend to endure far longer than expected and certain technical skills remain in demand. Old programming languages never die, as another reader points out:"Back in 1977 I attended a COBOL Summer class in my university. The first thing the instructor told us was that it was dead language, as new technologies were pushing it to extinction... Guess what, early this morning I reviewed (part of my duties as a DBA) some SQL embedded in a COBOL program to run in the z196 Mainframe".

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

44 comments
JackTheSwagger
JackTheSwagger

Hi, here I am after a major windows crashdown (Vista, you SUCK!) with bright new, legal (!) Windows 7, but angry as shit: I’m an amateur photographer and I’ve lost all my photos which were stored on both my hard drives. Luckily I had some copies on an outside drive, but some pieces are gone for good and the lost is still unthinkable!!! I don’t know what happened, I had antivirus (Avast), but one day a blue screen was all there was… I had to format the hard drive and install new system. My first question is: is there any chance, any program that can restore the lost data for me after the format..? And, secondly, can You advise me a good cloud storage which is not Googledrive (yah) or Dropbox? I don’t need it to be for free, but I want my files to be safe and accessible from any computer. A chance of editing photos in the cloud (meaning access to a virtual computer of some kind) would be very appreciated! So far I googled Comzetta, but I wanted some opinions. Do you know any other cloud-storage-systems?

 

eUKhost
eUKhost

Cloud servers are secure and one can easily make use of it without any worries.

leyonchung
leyonchung

I have been witnessed of the Importance of Cloud Computing . This industry has been generating lots of Jobs opportunities as it is the growing one. Cloud Computing has changed the whole infrastructure of Organizations as they are totally re engineered the System through the way of IT. For more useful features and get more updates about Cloud computing i refer to this blog http://www.cloudreviews.com/blog/best-cloud-hosting-providers

rsieb
rsieb

Nobody bothers to question the numbers quoted from Gartner about how many people are going to move to the cloud. My experience is nobody is even considering putting their mission critical apps anywhere but in their own backyard. I for one do not want to give over control to someone else. I think the real story here is the mis-judgement of the business's moving to the all mighty cloud. No cloud, no lose of jobs at the company level.

jk2001
jk2001

Broadband has made it feasible to sell online services at lower cost, to more people. That's all "cloud" really is, because a lot of these services have existed for a long time, but were either expensive and hard to buy, or privately operated by companies with branch offices. Back in the bad old days, you needed to run a raft of servers to not only accept data, but to make it available to the LAN, because the internet would go down or would get congested. With more reliable internet, you can move those server tasks to the cloud, and access the data on an as-needed basis. (I make this sound rosier than it is.) Pricewise, though, the costs of the cloud vary. It may be less expensive than IT staff, for smaller businesses. For larger operations, though, the costs might be higher, because you're paying for more services, and more profit margins. It's not that different from the "rent or buy" question. Some equipment makes more sense to buy, other equipment is better when rented or leased. Complex software, I suspect, is best rented. Commodity things like storage, however, are probably better to buy, for the most part.

TheSwabbie
TheSwabbie

I agree with Cyberscan, I'm old school as well, having started in IT before there was an internet.. In the US Navy back in the mid 70's (communications). I've seen it since it began. Many "PROFESSIONAL" IT people see the cloud as what it should be, a TOOL that you can use.. SOMETIMES. Its not a magic freakin cure all for every ill that IT Has. The thing is, yea, some jobs will change over but like has been said MANY times already... when there are severe outages that last hours.. DAYS then people are going to really think hard about putting what? "All their Eggs in One Basket". For years IT Experts have warned people to back up and to do the best to make sure they have the highest availability possible. Well, if you take EVERYTHING and put it in a "cloud".. you have just put your entire basket of eggs onto someone's invisible hand. You may be backing it all up, but if that hand goes away due to something dramatic .. you're screwed - Royally. Its sorta like having a VMWare server hosting 5 of your most critical servers .. sure you can back up those VM machines.. but if you HOST goes down, you're screwed. If you haven't prepared for THAT restoration you are in deep crap. With the cloud, its completely out of your hands.

cyberscan
cyberscan

I do admit, I am from the old school. I see some advantages to cloud computing. One advantage is the fact that cloud computing allows access to information from any point where there is an Internet connection. However, I tend towards keeping things in house. For me, the "cloud" is installing and hosting web applications as well as information on a server on my network. I do back up data to another server that is in a different location, but that computer is also owned by me. If there is a problem with the Internet such as a cable being cut, I will have access to my information at the office. If my main server goes down, I will have access to my information either via the Internet or by taking a short drive. There is no company telling me that they will be charging me extra for access, and that I need to pay up or else. I also have control over who has physical access to each computer as well as the ability to set security parameters such as encryption, etc. When I have something that needs to be done urgently, the last thing I need to see is a message informing me, "We are currently performing maintenance. Please be patient. Service will be restored shortly." That message is not my data or application which I need to run. For those who do not have access to qualified I.T. professionals, cloud computing may be the way to go, but when their Internet connection goes down while they are working on a time sensitive project, they may change their mind, especially when there is big money or client satisfaction at stake. In my area, Internet connection problems are infrequent, but they do occur.

bruceburdette
bruceburdette

I have been a consultant for many years and I see the cloud question a little different. Sure some people wouldn't mind haveing a Hotmail or gmail account instead of local Exchange account. But another question is where does the data live. Most of my clients would rather have complete control rather than conform to the data center one size fits all aproach.

Dyalect
Dyalect

Food for thought. Tire marks on your front of your shirt, and a knife in the back.

snixon
snixon

This actually exposed me to both sides of the coin. We first looked at a "Full" Cloud solution. There is a Provider out there that is teamed up with our major application vendor. Their second stated goal on their web site is "To reduce or eliminate your IT department", so yes I was researching myself out of a job, due to the Cloud. We did not go for it as it was VERY expensive (about $35K start up and $180K a year in fees with a 5 year commitment). Going to a Private Cloud cost us about $250K with about 50K in yearly costs. The big downside to all of this is... no Internet access NO WORK for people in the field (yes we have mobile hot spots). We have clients who have no internet access or are still on dial-up. The Cloud doesn't work everywhere and isn't as cheep as buying a few desktops and a server.

cybershooters
cybershooters

Provisioning extra storage space for a server application is something that rarely comes up in my experience and less and less often because of the growth in storage space. This is my objection to the "cloud", because the cost of storage is falling so dramatically, why would you bother to rent it from someone? What that does is obscure the capital cost of it and the capital cost is falling steadily. I doubt their prices will fall steadily. Also I find that the "cloud" actually provides just another level of IT support to plough through, rather than doing it yourself you have to contact them and then they try and resolve it, but you still need someone technically competent to find and raise the issue in the first place. Another thing I've found is with provisioning of services - one size does not fit all, at the end of the day if a server is in-house on a box or it is virtualized and out in the cloud, you still someone who can set up the server and knows how servers work. You can't just press a button and have it all done for you.

viProCon
viProCon

There's so much to say on this subject. You can easily compare this current evolution of IT (the cloud thing) to the industrial revolution and it would be a very fair comparison. Not that I wish to come across as knowing it all as I certainly don't, but the following is hard to argue against: if CloudProviderA can hire 100 IT people and provide cloud services to 5,000 variably sized customes who themselves would on average have 10 IT staff but now only need 5 to do the needed on-premises work, then you have 100 people with jobs and 25,000 who have just lost their job. This of course is if all things were equal etc. Naturally some will transition to other roles, but will all 25,000 people suddenly "innovate" themselves? I thnk it's fair to say no. Question: does Wal-Mart or the like have a net contribution that positively or negatively affects a local communities' economy and employement levels/standards. And when Wal-Mart comes into town, what happens to existing local, small shops? We all know at least some of those 25,000 will not just be cut, they'll be re-positioned somehow to be an asset in another way. But what percentage? Doing that requires innovative thinking and usual re-education for either an individual who is "managing their career" or by their managers/CIO's. Such innovative thinking rarely exists in larger groups (the enterprise for the most part). When an enterprise company is performing poorly, or needs to adjust to circumstnaces, what do they do? Do they lay off 1,000's of workers or do they find innovative ways to retain them? Of course they lay them off. Nothing would be different in IT at least on larger scales I think. So, multiply CloudProviderA by however many cloud providers you can think of that would replace existing in-house IT functinality and that's your job market impact. The door is wide open here for counter-arguments of course as I'm intentionally leaning to the negative impacts in this post. So yes, if all things remained as they are now, cloud computing will cause massive job loss. You could always try to work at the cloud provider of course but they'll have their pick of the litter to be sure so you better be damn good at what you do. That's one factor in the equation. Another is: what new jobs will come along as par tof the overall technology evolution and will that offset the level of loss of traditional IT jobs? How many unemployed will evolve to fit the new job market?. Again, some will, but many won't or just can't. IT is already quite the slave trade as it is. Just to stay relevant we have to spend huge percentages of time on training and learning, let alone "doing" the job. Find me another field where the level of learning is so highly necessary and yet poorly supported by the parent organization (the Employer). Factor in that IT pros with families, with personal problems resulting in motivational loss, etc. etc. will have a harder time transitioning than the typical young, single IT guy (or girl) who has nothing else to do but read Sybex all night and you can see another angle at where the job situation will move towards once you have legions of IT pros trying to find a place in the future. Anyway, also consider this: there is only so much technology can do or evolve to before it sort of doesn't evolve much more. Though maybe that's 100 yars away, who knows. The tech job market over years and decades will probably shrink overall. As we slowly come to realzie the promisess of technology (to make life simplier, requiring less maintenance), I suppose in theory there will be less jobs. To take a simplistic example, what will all the companies and engineers and such that work on voice analysis do once we've perfected that? will they move onto say, other kinetic and perhaps neuro interfaces? What happens once we've perfected those too? Take that idea to all current areas of tech: hmmmm say database analytics. Deep diving into databases to learn new things or predict something. Data mining with a twist? Or just more of the same. I'm sorry but "Big Data" is such a stupid phrase. It's just stamping a point in time label on a concept that has existed and evolved alongside everything else for years. And in typical fashion: What will they call it in 5 years? "Bigger Data", and then later, "Ultra Big Data"? Why oh why do we let marketing people run the lingo machine? My opinion is that this current push to focus on Big Data analytics is probably, and arguably, not going to "take off" the way people think. Don't forget, we have humans developing the algoritms and what not that govern how data is analyzed. I'm sorry but I've forgotten the specifics but I recall IBM Watson on Jeopardy answering "What is Toronto?" when asked what the largest airports in America were that were named after WWII people or something. If anything, that tells it all right there. People can program one heck of a relational database and search algorithms on a machine, but invariably it's a human in the end that needs to determine if the machine is spitting out nonsense or not. So hopefully we'll always need hyumans to keep things running but I don't think it'll stay status quo - I think you'll eventually have people that are so highly skilled that they border on MIT graduate level just to keep a job, because the "lower" level tech like say, systems maintenance, will not be such a big issue since either cloud will do it because the system is theirs (or they'll offer to do yours), or perhaps systems will eventually be made to do it themselves. So this Big Data thing has a lot of room to move, but perhaps this is a useless example since how many IT pros are going to get into Big Data anyway unless they're maybe a DBA specialist or advanced programmer. So to the original point, and question, how many new markets or tech will create new jobs, vs. the level of job loss incurred by such automations as what cloud offers? In the end, who knows, so we all must try to adapt to whatever comes. It helps to be postive though - whether accurate or not, any distopian perspective won't amount to much for the individual unless he or she also attempts to create a new reality for themselves by adapting to this change. So, the more things chnage the more they stay the same. Or so it seems. I would enjoy a conversation about how this current perception of the changing world truly differs from the changing world of any point in time in the past. With an ever-expanding population, are we going to need more technies to fix stuff like the Google self-driving car, or will we need more security consultants than ever since we now have acknowledgement that cyberwarfare is not for the movies? Or whate other job types should we expect that aren't here yet?

therlacher
therlacher

What is all this stuff about clouds? I have heard the term used for several months but I have no idea what its all about so it couldn't be very important. It sounds to me like a bunch of techno geeks just need something to talk about so that non techno folks like me will remain puzzled.

phlcidrolin
phlcidrolin

While the all blue-sky picture about cloud computing shows smiling new IT professionnals making IT better aligned on business, it is only the nice side of the coin. In the real world, while less people will be needed to run the systems, more and more people will have to be employed to monitor contracts, SLA's, to check which cloud operator is buying out which, to make sure the data doesn't sneak away to some country where law is less touchy about, say acces to medical records by health-insurance companies, etc... These activities in an all-clouded infrastructure are due to occupy many an FTE. So IMHO believing that the cloud will make so many IT'ers available for better enduser service might be just a bit shortsighted. By the way, who runs the systems at the cloud operators' ?

rhyous
rhyous

Everything going cloud means that the network is extremely critical. In house network administrators will be untouched. Sure, you might lose a couple IT peons that build servers but you will replace them with Salesforce (or put your cloud service here) developer/administrator. Also, with the cloud, comes in more mobile devices. So before, where IT only had to manage a bunch of windows desktops and a few windows laptops, and maybe a handful of OS X machines, now they have to manage a phone, a tablet, and the users choice of a Windows or Mac computer. So their work just increased. It didn't decrease. Also, internal clouds are still part of "the cloud" and who is going to build, manage, administer and develop those, such as your internal SharePoint website. Oh, and the internal site doesn't look so good on the iPad, so lets get an IT guy on it...

stephanie.white
stephanie.white

The problem with being in this industry for so long is that what went around, comes around... again and again. The cloud is nothing more than another platform and our industries way to control the proliferation of stand-alone apps and data repositories brought about by the 90's wave of desktops and laptops - aka the "distributed" time. Then charge for it. Now we are getting i-Things (aka phone calling or game playing dumb terminals) simply hooked up to the Big Iron, uh excuse me, the cloud, via an ever growing length of "cabling" (wifi, 3gl, 4gl). Does it affect jobs? You bet it does. See any "specialists" running twin-ax cabling lately? I bet these guys can all set up a wifi router now though. Just like my assembler and cobol days have passed their prime, it's now (still?) VB, Visual .net, Java, C, C++, SQL, and a I am sure, something around the corner that will be the flavor of the day to deliver the same things we delivered in the 1980's: Business Intelligence. That is our ultimate goal to support the business and the platform (cloud) is only one of the methods of achieving these goals. Use it where it makes sense, ignore it when it does not. It is not the one-size fits all that some "experts" are touting it to be, but neither is it Big Brother lurking to control our thoughts.

Alienwilly
Alienwilly

The Obama admin wants to set the salary for jobs in the private sector. I think you should be more concerned with that.

M Wagner
M Wagner

The cloud will undoubtedly wring more efficiency out of the system - much like every other technological advancement of the last 200 years. Just as the PC made computing accessible to untold millions of businesses and users world-wide, the tablet has taken the next leap in ease of use for the consumer with little or no understanding of the underlying technology. So? The cloud makes it possible for these new devices to access data from pretty much any device from virtually any place in the world. That doesn't mean that the industry will need fewer people. It will mean that fewer jobs for highly trained people will go unfilled because - 1) highly-trained people will be working in the cloud, serving a larger pool of customers than they could if working outside the cloud. 2) the cloud will enable more access to data and information by less highly skilled employees. Making accessing said information less expensive as the need for highly-skilled people is reduced. You can look at this as fewer opportunities for the highly-skilled (most of whom will be gainfully employed until they retire) or you can look at this as more opportunities for less-highly-trained information workers in an environment in need of more workers than positions to fill. We are not talking about anyone losing their job opportunities. We are talking about jobs opportunities being adjusted to be more efficient in the delivery of services. In 1998, I was dialing-in to my company's modem pool and waiting as much as five minutes for my laptop computer to fully open MS Outlook and connect to MS Exchange at work. Today, my smartphone is connected to Exchange as soon as it wakes up in the morning and stays connected until it goes to sleep each night. My Windows notebook connects to Exchange via a wi-fi connection whenever I login. These advances have not displaced me. Instead, they have allowed me to do my job more efficiently.

wizardjr
wizardjr

"cloud" is the new buzzword and IT fad. As always, centralized computing is dangerous. If the pipe or the power disappears, all the users tied to the central facility are out of luck. What happened to several social networks and phone services should serve as cautionary tales. For critical apps, I have always espoused distributed apps/data with updates to the central database. A manufacturing plant cannot be 'down' due to a data pipe disruption. We used batch data dumps from the central computers to the plants and vice versa. This way a disruption was merely a delay in updating, not a disaster for the plants. We did centralize the various manufactuing apps on a central server setup at each plant with dumb terminals or at least not too smart computers at each manufacturing process station. By now they've also enhanced the system to talk to smart phones and/or tablets so process supervisors and managers out on the floor can get realtime views of the product flow. Never put all your eggs in one basket still has meaning IMAO.

Karl Popper
Karl Popper

As a modern accountant, I am finding the internet to be a boon to automating a lot of data entry tasks and the "Cloud" has become in a sense fundamental to my operations but........the talk above is about YOUR information in the cloud. My problem is that its not my information, its my clients and I am starting to become very uncomfortable about where I stand legally with, say employee's personal details, stored in a foreign country on a private companies servers. In the real world, Clouds tend to come and go, are fluffy and lack substance. Perhaps Cloud needs a rebrand. What scares me most however is a comment by one of my providers wondering publicly how they could leverage this vast data store. Excuse me, but when did my data become your information

Stevelew
Stevelew

Everything goes in cycles, and this is just another cycle to keep IT busy. A decade ago "Outsourcing" was the big fad. But cloud computing is just a glorified Outsourcing. There is very little benefit to cloud computing in our organization. It comes down to nickles and dimes. Host your own hardware, or pay big bucks to someone else to host for you. Just like property ownership, Rent or Own. I sleep better at night being responsible for my own data in house.

call.center
call.center

Computing refers to programming not to office document typing or database entry. IT is a very vast field. now even electricy and TElephony installation decision is left to the IT person. The cloud technology is a threat to business security and secrecy. your documents can be scanned by CIA or any other spying agency. If the cloud serivce provider gets bankrupted, you may loose every thing. You may stop functioning if internet connection is lost. etc. The best solution is for any organization is to hire some one for IT Job or have a contract with a third party based on the size of their IT problems.

farhad4uk
farhad4uk

If cloud computing do indeed last long enough to be economically viable, then may be some jobs will disappear, but do you all remember IBM OS Warp ? Everything suppose to be centralised, I think once they have flogged enough servers, and other widgets, then they are going to say, " Too much control in the hand of a few ", so everybody should buy these fancy little machines at a cut down prices and have the full control of their data and their future. Seen all before.

Snak
Snak

I really do not like the term 'cloud' computing. It gives the wrong impression to non-computerate people. I have come across opinions that 'cloud' computing is both free and infinite. Most people are quite surprised when I tell them that their cloud data is not in the sky, but on a normal file server in a building on the ground. And it's not infinite, and it will not be free. The future however, will eventually see us all using dumb terminals attached to one of a marketplace of ISP's who will provide all applications, data storage and other 'computing' services. Sign in will be by hand/face/voice recognition and you will hire app-time, $x per minute/hour you spend using the application and $x per period for data storage. It will be possible to print out your data, but there will be no need for data media as you will be able to access your computing resources from any one of a multitude of (secure) public terminals anywhere in the world, as well as on your own terminal/TV screen. ISP's will retain records of what you have done/uploaded/looked at, which will be a legal requirement. Cron jobs (or their equivalent) will automatically troll your activities looking for subversiveness. Courts will mete out punishments by cancelling your login rights for set periods. You will no longer need cash or cards, as the terminals in shops/on buses/taxis etc will auto-deduct charges from your bank account. Everything you buy will be done online and automatically charged before delivery. It will be both a boon and a bane; a boon if you are in work, in credit, and a bane if not. Losing your ISP-ID will effectively make you a non-citizen. This will generate a black market for almost everything which will cause the governments much angst and legislation will be introduced to make black marketeering a more heinous crime. You will not have any real 'freedom' as you realise that government exists not to look after us, but to keep us under control. You simply cannot have 7 billion uncaged monkeys being individual and having freedom of thought/speech. The 'cloud' is just the beginning. When it starts raining control over you, I think you will lament the loss of autonomous computing.

Rembrandt1
Rembrandt1

Every time a new technology becomes accepted and in common use a whole structure of developers, maintainers, checkers & auditors, supervisors, etc, etc. grows up around it. New technologies are a very good way of soaking up the semi-skilled workforce.

framefritti
framefritti

Sorry, but I am not entirely convinced... I know I am going to sound heretical, but I do not see "clouds" as such a fundamental revolution, more as the "buzzword of the day." I am not saying that a cloud approach could not be useful [b]in some context[/b], but I am pretty sure that it will [b]not[/b] replace local computing in [i]many[/i] contexts. If cloud apps are like, say, Google doc (and I believe that Google doc can be considered a cloud app), I must say that my experience with cloud approach is very, very, very deluding. Interface and performance are often poor, it requires me to be on-line (and, please, do not recite the mantra "...connection pervasive and ubique...," there are many cases where I cannot or do not want to be online), it forces me to give my data to a third party (and in many cases that data are not mine anymore, just check the conditions that you must accept) and it causes a strong lock-in with the provider. (I use Google doc just as a convenient notepad and I do not keep important files on it, but what if I had and Google [or your preferred provider... Google, do not get angry with me, you are just the most known example:-) ] suddenly said "Oh, we were joking so far... pay few thousands $/year or you will never see your beloved files again"?) To be honest, after all this thrashing about cloud, I must say that we considered a cloud solution for a start-up of ours. It gave us the convenience of having a scalable system (we did not know how much resources we would have be needing at the beginning) and avoided us to hire from the start some IT stuff to baby-sitting the server. It must be said that in our case what we needed was, more or less, a server with some specialized software of ours on it. Another context where I see cloud solution convenient is when you need computations that require lots of computational resources (e.g., aerodynamic simulation). In that case you would need to invest lots of money to buy (and feed) powerful super-computers and renting CPU time (as it was done 30-40 years ago..., sometime over the network too... ;-) could be an interesting solution. However, this case and the previous one are just, as I said, special contexts... So, I do not believe at all that cloud will swipe away IT jobs, not at all. It will make easier the life in some special (and important) niches, but for my local needs (word-processors, electronic sheets, databases, development stuff...) I would prefer to have my data and applications in local, so that I can control them without depending on the good will of some third part.

Doc_Lalana
Doc_Lalana

Possibly some of the basic jobs will dwindle. However, IT jobs will be redefined and IT departments restructured.We will still need IT experts, programmers, and hardware experts and troubleshooters. I might use the analogy of the Health Profession. Not just because you can buy some Tylenol in your favorite drugstore that means we don't have Doctors, Nurses, or Pharmacists. We still have hospitals staffed by all categories of Professionals.As a matter of fact, the small clinic is also becoming the choice for many of these Professionals. Nobody is a have-it-all, know-it-all and do-it-all in IT.

christian.verstraete
christian.verstraete

I fully agree that a number of traditional IT jobs will disappear and that new ones will be created. But with the digitization of the world, with the consumerization of IT there are tremendous opportunities for IT literate people outside the IT department. Information Technology increasingly percolates enterprise products, processes and services. We need people having a good understanding of the possibilities of IT to help evolve and innovate. If you want to understand my point of view, you may want to read http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Cloud-Source-Blog/IT-of-the-future-Getting-a-real-job-in-information-technology/ba-p/119221

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

for management types. About the only secure in Cloud servers is the strenuous (and admittedly necessary) step to make sure no one could break out of their cloud process and into some other person's. After that it's as secure as the internet (not very without extreme diligence), and of course the trust you place in your provider. Anyone who keeps up with general news on that front, knows they need big help on that front. On the latter note , this isn't the sort of the help they need, is it. What's your next message. "We're here to help" Sort yourself out

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

main security needs are never going to be there in any cloud server: 1. Data owner control over physical access to the server; 2. Data owner input and knowledge of the people who have physical access to the server; 3. Surety of electronic access to the server held data from the main HQ 24 / 7 / 365 when needed. Then we can get into the fact that 90% business can't put ALL their data on a cloud server without being in major violation of various laws with penalties big enough to shut down most businesses.

TheSwabbie
TheSwabbie

Amen Bruce. I HATE not having control.. just because I AM an IT Professional. I know the pitfalls and the issues that can happen.. if it can happen to ME and everyone else.. it can happen to the "Cloud" too - they are US as well. LOL

cyberscan
cyberscan

I taught I.T. and I know of many "unskilled" 19 year old kids that can replace a 250 GB hard drive with a 2 TB one. With all of the free tools online, not only can they accomplish this, they can also accomplish it in such a way that after the new hard drive is installed, all of their programs and data will still be available and work the same as before but only faster. This may not be something that the people at "Best Buy" know how to do, but it is something that many of my former students can do easily. I think the cloud providers are marketing to those who want a push button or turnkey solution as opposed to doing a little reading and research. If companies would concentrate on hiring I.T. workers with real life I.T. skills as opposed to those with college degrees and certifications, many would be much better off in their day to day operations. I would put my former students against just about any A+ "Best Buy" technician and expect them to come up with the less expensive and more reliable solutions. Besides, I would like to see how these businesses that put their I.T. infrastructure "in the cloud" function when the the cable is cut, router failure or other trouble at their ISP.

TheSwabbie
TheSwabbie

You DO understand this is a site for TECHNICAL IT People right? Your comment "bunch of techno geeks just need something to talk about".. Is INSULTING. "How the H*** do you think we're going to talk? This is our NATIVE LANGUAGE dude.. either LEARN it or sit back, shut up and listen. You are Complaining that we're talking about our EVERYDAY STUFF ...yet you are BELITTLING us? Oh H*** no..

viProCon
viProCon

Well, to be fair, you are at TECHrepublic, not NonTechRepublic :) Whataya expect.

cybershooters
cybershooters

You become completely dependent on the internet even when employee A sends an e-mail to employee B in the next office.

GAProgrammer
GAProgrammer

"Clouds tend to come and go, are fluffy and lack substance. " Sounds accurate to me.

JCitizen
JCitizen

as much as they can to the Google"cloud". This is not the future, it is now. I don't like Google's attitude about privacy, and am not surprised they got hammered in court over that very issue. They deserve it. However, local IT will be restricted to cable pullers/troubleshooters, modem/router/switch replacement. Local network troubleshooters, printer and PBX/VOIP technicians, will become contracted and consolidated. The local LAN will shrink in personnel size. Actual programmers and server tech will move to the big cloud providers. The work force as a whole will shrink, but will consolidate to large provider corporations. This is what I see in Snak's world; but I hope the free world revolts at some of his darker scenarios - and they need to now.

cybershooters
cybershooters

This has already happened with things like Napster and Megaupload, have all your data with them, gets turned off because of copyright violations, you no longer have access to your data. Another reason why I don't like "cloud" computing, e.g. you use Office 365 and have Exchange in the cloud. Employee X sends and receives kiddie porn through it, Microsoft turns it off when they find out, your entire mail infrastructure is then screwed. Or worse yet, the FBI turn off the whole datacenter because threre are lots of Employee Xs out there and everyone is screwed.

Professor8
Professor8

Ho hum, another day, another set of privacy violations which must be vigorously combatted despite the billions the corrupt execs are pouring into these crooked schemes.

mrpekarik
mrpekarik

Snak - I agree with you. All I see is a return to the bad old days when you rented time and storage on a server and did not have total control of your data. If anybody thinks that this is "new" tech, they don't know their computer history very well. I like to say "Cloud, the new name for the Internet" Oh, we'll still need to monitor storage requirements for apps and purchase additional capacity, because no matter how "smart" an application is, it can't install the hardware... yet.

GAProgrammer
GAProgrammer

Wow, that's quite a distopian future you are imagining. I don't think you are right, but I guess we'll see.

call.center
call.center

Computing refers to programming not to office document typing or database entry. IT is a very vast field. now even electricy and TElephony installation decision is left to the IT person. The cloud technology is a threat to business security and secrecy. your documents can be scanned by CIA or any other spying agency. If the cloud serivce provider gets bankrupted, you may loose every thing. You may stop functioning if internet connection is lost. etc. The best solution is for any organization is to hire some one for IT Job or have a contract with a third party based on the size of their IT problems.

Snak
Snak

And, well, here it is :)

mckinnej
mckinnej

I think you just hit on one of the big problems with cloud. Much like your definition of "computing", "cloud" means different things to different people. It really depends on which vendor you're listening to.