I’ve been in the IT industry for what seems like an eternity sometimes, and I have seen many changes occur with technology and how data/technology is used throughout everyones daily life.
With the emergence of cloud technologies and data being consumed in different ways, we are beginning to see a real shift in IT and one that could see the demise of ‘Traditional IT’ within 10 years.
Here’s the way I see it:
Until recently, Cloud computing and services from the ‘Cloud’ have only been seen in pockets around the world. You may have some websites hosted on centralised systems but the majority of the world still had physical systems sitting in a data centre or onsite, providing the compute power and storage for their applications and data. With the continual improvement of services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and the take-up of people adopting either a Hybrid-Cloud or full Cloud based solution… we are finally beginning to see the emergence of a new IT.
If I had written this blog a year ago, I would have said that Cloud for the masses is still a number of years away. Over the past year, there has certainly been a change in perception of the Cloud and with the adoption of Cloud by both small and large companies, I can believe that the days of having all that physical equipment onsite or in a data centre owned by each company will be gone (on the whole) within 10 years.
So, over the next couple of years, more companies will take the plunge into Cloud computing and this will require the skills of the traditional IT staff to assist with getting the servers / applications transitioned across to the Cloud. Over time, the reliance on traditional IT skills around hardware etc. will begin to reduce. This will then see an abundance of IT professionals with these skills with a dwindling number of companies to support them. So, what can be done… I don’t think that we should slow down the progress that is being made on the Cloud front, but I would encourage the IT professionals who purely rely on their traditional IT skills to seriously consider enhancing their available skills to avoid being put out to pasture with limited options available.
If we were to look at VMware, as an example, it isn’t inconceivable that over the next 5-10 years we may see their original core product ESXi being phased out. I’m sure that a variation on the product will still exist running their cloud solutions in the background but public consumption of the product may stop. If you believe that this is unlikely to happen because of the revenue that is seen from the licensing of the software, then I would encourage you to think about the fact that VMware and the other cloud providers will make more money through the Cloud than licensing software. With Cloud solutions, providers can charge, what is seen as, a reasonable amount per VM per month… if you were to calculate that cost across all of the VMs that a company hosts with a Cloud provider and compared it against the license costs, then the cost of the Cloud solution will usually be higher. The benefits come when the company doesn’t have to manage and pay for the hardware, storage, cooling, power etc. that is part of hosting a similar solution themselves. I suppose what I am trying to say here, is that you shouldn’t look to moving to the Cloud as a way to save money but instead see it as a way to transition your costs from a capital based cost model, to a services based cost model.
I think that one of the key takeaways from this blog post is that IT is constantly changing (which we all know from years of experience in the industry), we should adopt the change (as we always have) but we should also look to change our own skills to better suit the changing IT landscape. Technology changes, it’s time for us to change to.