Who’s Afraid of the Cloud?
In a previous article, A Brave New Cloud Computing World: How do You Transition From Traditional IT to Cloud Computing? I have started to discuss how the cloud has a massive impact on the IT infrastructure industry and services. Of course, the shift towards computing as a service means great changes for the industry and the professionals working within it, and especially for the enterprise IT infrastructure sector.
Recently, I have been reading a very interesting piece of research from the Info-Tech Research Group called “Is the Cloud the End of Infrastructure?” and the title got me thinking. If we are to reach that point where all computing services are delivered as a service via the Internet directly to end users, does this mean the end of the road for enterprise IT: hardware (except the devices used to access the services), software, IT professionals?
Let us look at some numbers in the research. When asked about how they see the role of cloud computing in IT in three to five years, very few IT decision makers, under 5%, envision everything completely cloud based. Most of them, around two-thirds, believe the future will more of a hybrid model, with selected applications and processes hosted in the cloud and others continuing to run on internal IT infrastructure. Which would translate to this not happening overnight but it also means it is time for infrastructure IT professionals to look at these new directions and start becoming more business oriented.
For enterprises this is what the cloud is all about. Cloud computing comes with a value proposition, fast, efficient and cost effective access to services. It’s not about competing technologies or platforms, but a new model, more business oriented, providing access to what a company needs, when and how is needed, and without upfront or extra costs.
Infrastructure professionals will need to embrace the cloud model and adapt. It is more important than ever to be proactive and find ways for how the cloud can help your business. Building a private internal cloud may be a better alternative for your company, or combining public and private services, but it is important to consider alternatives from a business point of view and help implement them.
Going forward, the role of enterprise infrastructure professionals will become more complex. Yes, a company may need fewer people to manage the IT infrastructure, but those people will need to manage systems with internal and external components and also more and more complex networks and relationships with suppliers and partners. So, in my opinion it really is not the end, but only a new beginning.
By Rick Blaisdell