A recurring question in many environments follows along this line:
“If we no longer have servers, does IT need to maintain server management and administration skills?”
Organizations are virtualizing all manner of things – making some IT persons in specific environments and roles increasingly nervous. If you’re a server administrator, a technician for any specific piece of infrastructure, a programmer for an inside app that’s going to the Cloud, etc. – look out.
You’re seen primarily as an asset by IT governance… business. Sure, you’re “user-friendly,” supportive, well-liked… but – you’d better retool yourself and demonstrate ongoing value in some new realm, or look for a job elsewhere. Obviously, any IT professional has to support something, while progressing it, bettering it, and furthering its ongoing value to business. If something moves to the Cloud, or otherwise becomes virtualized, you’re going to be at a loose end – but not for long in the present organization.
A BTW tenet is that change is a continuum. Immerse yourself in assessments of change; read periodicals online and off; visit companies that are at the forefront of change, such as professional project management companies. Create friends and professional contacts at these sorts of orgs. Always be learning, both formally and informally.
As long as you’re taking stock of other organizations, keep something in mind: IT is pervasive – it has, after all, gathered virtually every human being around you and deemed them “users,” while simultaneously boosting their time spent using technology to nearly 100% of their workplace occupancy – all within an explosion of products, enablements, and services. See what other savvy organizations are doing, and how things are working for them. Evaluate their systems and services for possible furthering in your organization. Ensure your value – your business value.
Don’t wait for the organization to push you through awareness and training; get going yourself. You must remain a viable asset to the organization; in supporting it today and tomorrow; and you must change along with, preferably ahead of, all of the other change that is swirling around you… around all of us.
NP: Coltrane Plays the Blues, John Coltrane, Atlantic, original LP.