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Will cloud computing cost you your job?

In a recent article, “Yes, you will lose your job to cloud computing – unless . . .“, consultant and author Greg Shields cites the economies of scale as a key challenge facing IT admins in regards to the cloud. He writes:

“An organization that hosts 1 million mailboxes can economically implement technologies that guarantee 100% uptime, unlimited space and ubiquitous access anywhere on the Internet. As the economies of scale grow, those organizations can accomplish this at a price that’s cheaper than your salary, and when they screw up, they’ll refund your business money. You can’t say the same.

That’s a big problem for your continued employment.”

OK, so that’s sort of a dreary assessment (which Greg himself acknowledges later in the article). Fortunately, he also goes on to list various ways IT pros can adapt to the changing industry, hitch their wagon to the cloud and, ultimately, remain employed.

But the question is, do you agree with Greg’s assessment of the cloud’s eventual effect on IT? Do you share these same concerns? What’s your current stance on cloud computing? Sound off in the comment section below and share your thoughts.

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well it sounds like my jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none IT skills may actually be a positive thing! Things are looking up! (at the clouds)
This article makes it sound like cloud computing is run by God. Up in the cloud there is a real machine and real people running that machine. We may have to learn how to implement cloud computing but real technology and our skills will still be in demand. Hopefully just not overseas.
I agree with Brendan, however the exact time line I am not sure about. For very small businesses, I see this as happening very quickly as long as you are not in a rural area. With LTE wireless, broadband speed connections will be available wherever you are. The savings in hardware and licensing, not to mention support for using cloud applications instead of hosting in house will be significant. Not to mention the reliability will be much better. I dont think that the applications are ready yet, to totally go cloud based, but i would say in 2-5 years it will be. At that point in time, acting as a consultant to help decide what cloud based services and how to integrate them into their infrastructure will be what is needed. Oh also physical networking to some degree.
We shall see. I think "Cloud Computing" will come about. The problems are likely to be how well those services are integrated with the existing data center. If say a "cloud service" is cumbersome, slow, or the Systems Planner did not properly analyze "the fit", then its promise could end up being more costly than the old way. I've witnessed Systems designers who are hell bent on implementing a pet design "to save costs" but in actuality what the end result was that the user organizations were burden with increased costs. Those increased costs were slower performance, clumbsy interfaces, downtime, etc. Better make sure the Systems Designers think before they act.
Greg Shields' example of outsourcing the growing of vegetables or raising cattle is committing a logical fallacy. Of course I trust others to grow my vegetables or raise cattle for my consumption. I'm NOT a farmer! He also said we now "trusted others" to mend broken bones or diagnose illnesses because they "do it better." Well, what if I were a doctor? Would I still "outsource" illness diagnosis? Cloud computing is much ado although not strictly about nothing. There are a good many instances where the bean counters will be only too happy to replace dealing with those pesky sysadmins with dealing with other bean counters taking their orders--I'm sure nothing would please them more. However, it is rather short-sighted to maintain jobs will be lost on a massive scale. If anything, this should make the hyper-concentrated folks sit up and take notice. It's no longer simply OK to be an Exchange admin, in fact, it never was and I always looked at these folks with some suspicion. There are quite a number of operational processes and systems that can simply not be migrated to "the cloud." As long as those exist, a good sysadmin will continue to have a job. Shields, on the other hand, needs to dust off an elementary logic text.
PR people certainly know how to bring an idea to the sky. From outsiders perspective "Cloud" is beautiful shiny object on the sky depicting business's managers wild wishes and dreams. But what is inside that "Cloud" is probably known only to those who at some point had been inside one, and I give you one clue - mist, mist that only IT pros can see through.