In this case, the medical practice used a college student friend to set everything up and get it working, who then went off to school out-of-town. And since the office people at the medical practice knew nothing about how the backups really worked, they ended up “making backups” for months that didn’t really back up their data.
Remember: backups are only important when something fails in your system and important data is lost. That’s the moment when up-to-the-minute (or at least overnight) backups save much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But we’ll let Frank tell the rest of the story…
Beware the “Feel Good” Backup]]>
What I do see is an increased reliance on IT from companies of all types and sizes and an increased need for technical depth and breadth in our IT professionals. In my own opinion, advancement in and adoption of technologies like virtualization, services like cloud computing, and offerings like those of MSPs and SaaS providers will allow IT professionals to focus more on the technologies that have the largest impact on the business and to offload some of the more mundane, yet fundamental IT work that most companies need.
So maybe it’s best to stay in IT, a view echoed by Clark Atwood, VP of Concierge Communications, who writes:
Interesting. Note that he says, “The market is starving for qualified sales professionals that can distill complex, multi-vendor cloud solutions…”
The thing is, in this kind of sales a person who knows a lot almost always gets more business than one who just talks well or has extra-shiny shoes. Sometimes I think B2B (Business to Business) salespeople in the IT industry should be called “information resource people,” because, at their best, that’s what they really are.
And the sales pattern for both hardware and software is changing rapidly right now. Imagining the Converged Channel Model is an article that talks about some of Clark’s ideas. The most interesting position in it — at least to me — is the “Solution Agent” noted in the second graphic, who works with customers to put together the most efficient IT infrastructure possible, with some parts perhaps in the cloud and some in the same old server room where the computer have been kept for many years. Integrating all this stuff could be interesting, no?
Attorney Benjamin Wright suggests looking into Digital Forensics:
Here’s an article Ben wrote on this subject: Law of Data Security & Investigations. It’s well worth reading — and I think Attorney Benjamin Wright is worth speaking with in more depth sometime in the future, too.
Most of the other responses I got — from high-end recruiters, IT corporate officers, and others who have intimate knowledge of employment trends in the IT industry — say you should not move into another field; that if your current job is rotten, find another one. But everyone agrees: you should really think long and hard before you decide to make a career move away from IT, because the “IT sector” still has just about the lowest unemployment rate — 4% — of any industry in America.]]>
So this isn’t a one-month statistical blip. It’s a serious shift in IT employment.
Foote says, “The trend of employers no longer wishing to employ large numbers of their own full-timers in what are mostly pure technology IT jobs has been building over a very long period of time.” We now have managed services, offshoring, and “the cloud,” all of which cut the need for traditional (or at least traditionally-titled) IT workers.
But, says Foote, “by far the biggest force of all shaping change in jobs and in the overall composition of the IT workforce has been the fact that the role of information technology in the enterprise is now so pervasive that managing it is distributed throughout the enterprise.”
So over here you have a couple of people in the marketing department who just happen to have mad IT skillz. And over there you have a few who are pretty good programmers but are part of a mechanical engineering team instead of being locked behind a door with a sign on it that says, “Here There Be Programmers.”
Foote says his research shows that these “multiskilled IT-business specialists outnumber the traditionally skilled IT workforce by roughly four to one.”
But the federal government’s job statistics haven’t caught up with this shift in IT employment practices, so all we know about these new multiskilled IT-business specialists is that there are a whole bunch of them — he estimates around 20 million — out there, and that government agencies undercount them because they don’t fit into traditional job pigeonholes.
“Does this mean I should go back to school?”
Maybe it does. If there’s an employment field outside of IT that winds your stem, check it out. If you’re interested in marketing, Foote says you should look at marketing studies — or at getting some direct marketing experience, which is better to have in today’s business climate than a degree or other “paper” certification.
But whatever you do, be glad that you’re in a field where demand isn’t dropping the way it is for, say, American (and even Chinese) furniture factory workers.
A little adroit resume-wrangling, coupled, perhaps, with a willingness to move, can make a person with IT experience and skills among the most employable and best-paid workers in the world.
Link: Foote Partners study quoted above.]]>