Cloud computing has become a reality for many large enterprises. This is causing concern for staff in enterprise IT departments, as they are rightfully worried about a potential job loss. The natural question becomes – if managing servers and infrastructure is outsourced, what is left for IT staff to do?
In our experience at Synergy Technical, there is still a lot of work to do. In some cases, while infrastructure may be moved to a cloud provider, the management of that infrastructure is still left to the existing IT organization. Even with Exchange Online, it may still be necessary to have an individual that is responsible for configuring mail rules, whitelists, and all of the various other duties that typically fall to an Exchange Administrator. We have been involved in implementations that have created significant reductions in IT headcount, but that is the exception, not the rule. It is far more common that the IT organization experiences a reduction in an already overwhelming workload and is able to be more efficient.
The better answer to the question is that implementing cloud technology redefines the existing jobs. A network administrator might shift from managing on premise servers and infrastructure to virtual servers at a cloud data center. Backup and disaster recovery strategies may change to take advantage of the environmental and data controls inherent in cloud computing. Quite a few companies redefine IT roles to focus more on business strategies, rather than back end infrastructure.
In our experience, very few jobs have been eliminated through the implementation of cloud technologies in a large enterprise. IT staff that feel threatened by a migration to cloud technologies often become the largest supporters of the technology. Because, really – who likes to get a phone call at 2 am that a server is down?