Some time back I wrote about the life expectancy of CIOs and recently I was having a beer with an IT pro who expressed concern that his job was life limited with the anticipated adoption of cloud computing and outsourcing through PAAS outlets.

As with so many things when people feel threatened, especially in this delicate economic climate, they have a knee jerk reaction so I started rooting around and the picture isn’t as grim as my friend feared.

Managed services bandwagon

Cloud computing won’t put IT professionals out of work, according to Tim Griffin, Dell’s global vice president (VP) for services and solutions who categorically states “ IT pros are here to stay.”

“This has been a problem for the IT profession for years,” said Griffin, in an interview with Cloud Pro. “We’ve been through the [rumours] managed services were going to put everyone out of a job, but not everyone jumped onto the managed services bandwagon and I don’t think you’ll see everyone else jumping onto cloud.

Keeping the lights on

“An awful lot of what companies need out of their dedicated IT resources never actually gets done because they’re tied up with the relatively mundane ‘keeping the lights’ on versus the more strategic projects that are enabling the future of the business,” said Griffin.

UK national newspaper The Guardian is also bullish providing people change their mindset. In its career section it reports: “Cloud computing technologies, networks and data systems that store data virtually are now one of the most talked-about topics in IT.

Businesses are looking for more cost-effective and agile ways to build and operate their IT infrastructure. More efficient ways of sharing information and collaborating can offer real competitive advantage. This means cloud is more than just a passing fad, but a real step change for the industry. It’s changing the way IT professionals need to think and work.

Which services technology to deploy

“As a result of this move towards virtualisation and cloud computing, the physical aspect of IT systems is reducing, and workers in IT may find themselves working less and less directly with large data storage units. That’s why, if you’re looking to work with this emerging technology, you’ll need to be good at more abstract thinking instead, and an active imagination comes in handy as well.

“But you mustn’t forget to link it back to the needs of the business – you can’t only focus on which technology to deploy. You also need good project management skills to be able to take a vision, no matter how enormous it seems to be, and break it down into sizable chunks of actions.”

Optimism in Asia

In Asia there is strong optimism based on equally strong growth but it can be argued that the Far East has an advantage because it has pretty much bypassed the mainframe stage of computing evolution and gone straight to the cloud honeypot in much the same way as their cities are growing with fibre optics as standard whereas in the UK we are suffering from cotton wrapped cable legacy communications!

So, it would appear that what is needed is instead of downing a beer or ten and crying into your pretzels for the IT community to start having cognitive processes outside of cardboard packaging (sorry, but I hate the expression thinking outside of the box) which can be easier said than done when malodorous solids start hit rotating blades.

But in the past economic and social “prophets” have cast their equivalents of the yarrow stalks and chicken giblets, interpreted the patterns and decreed that some of our most important progress has been made following times of economic and social upheaval. It’s that time again.