Survey: IT pros see career potential in as-a-Service trend

Hewlett Packard Enterprise asked IT decision makers about how aaS is rolling out and changing job responsibilities.

Dell Tech Summit: Autonomous infrastructure, as-a-service models, and societal change The tech giant highlighted Dell EMC PowerOne, Dell Technologies on Demand, and sustainability goals at its opening news conference in Austin.

IT decision makers are optimistic that the as-a-Service (aaS) trend will create more career opportunities for them and allow them to focus on innovation and strategy. Among IT pros at medium and large companies, 90% say that the aaS model will advance their careers. The HPE As-A-Service: Driving Change report found that IT decision makers see aaS as crucial to innovation with 78% of respondents saying that progress will stall if companies don't transition to this way of working. 

"The aaS model means IT decision makers can shift their resources from managing the infrastructure and the app stack to writing new applications and driving efficiencies," said Paul Miller, HPE vice president of marketing for cloud systems.

Paul said that this transition is a fundamental shift in the way IT groups work and a way for IT to get out from under the "undifferentiated heavy lift" of maintaining a company's tech infrastructure.
 
"This is really a shift in the value IT delivers," Paul said. "The aaS model will help IT departments produce the revenue streams and the insights that will help the business move forward."

Hewlett Packard Enterprise surveyed 1,073 IT professionals to measure attitudes and activity around aaS.

SEE: Special report: The future of Everything as a Service (free PDF)

When it comes to the impact on job responsibilities, 83% think that aaS adoption will replace certain jobs, but only 24% are strongly concerned that their own jobs will be eliminated. IT decision makers in the C-suite were more concerned at 30%.

American IT professionals are more optimistic than Germans about the impact of aaS: 57% of Americans think that the technology has increased their job security, while 25% of Germans think it has decreased their job security.

Barriers to adoption

A majority of survey respondents (87%) say that the aaS transition are well underway. IT decision makers say the biggest barriers to adoption are:

  • Operating costs
  • Cyberattacks on company data
  • Customer data privacy concerns
  • Lack of clarity on return on investment

IT pros over 55 are most concerned with data complexity slowing down future data migrations.

One question in the survey suggests that instead of tearing down data silos, cloud migration projects may create new ones. Seventy-seven percent of respondents saythat data is siloed between public and private clouds.

Miller said to avoid this organizations need to choose the aaS model that makes the most business and policy sense.

"Companies need to adopt a model that is not tied to one cloud or one premise but has the flexibility to move data and applications to where business needs are best met," he said. "If you adopt the right aaS model, you're breaking down the silos and driving overall efficiencies."

While the majority of companies state that they have implemented at least some aaS projects, 66% of respondents say that IT pros avoid this new way of working out of fear of losing their jobs. The younger respondents (ages 22 to34) were most likely to think this at 70%, compared to 67% of 35 to 54yearolds and only 45% of 55+ year-olds. 

Embracing a cultural shift

Miller said that this new business model requires a cultural change among IT teams. 
 
"It's highly recognized by senior people that they have to change how they operate from day-to-day and culturally," he said. "Customers who embrace this cultural shift are much happier in their jobs and reinvigorated."

If aaS moves IT from an operations role to a more strategic role, there is the potential for IT decision makers to command more attention from the C-suite. In the meantime, IT pros are still looking for more support from the executive team. Seventy-eight percent wish the C-suite was more supportive of aaS adoption at their organizations.

HPE conducted the survey in October 2019 with 1,073 IT decision makers in the United States, the UK, and Germany. The respondents were equally split between medium-size and large companies with 44% in the C-suite and 56% in other roles. 

Miller said that several years ago customers were more concerned about the impact of cloud-based infrastructure and the impact of aaS. 

"Now they see the power and are starting to build up staff and reskilling people to adopt to the new model," he said.

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