Are you ready for the transition from Hardware-Centric to Software-Centric?
Do you ever talk to an “Old” IT person? You know, like 40ish. Man, do they have some stories about how IT used to be back in the day. Things sure have changed a lot. You probably think to yourself “Man, they have no idea how things are now”. How about a “Middle-Aged” IT person? You know like 30ish. They have stories too, and things have changed a lot since then as well. You may be thinking “That guy is really losing touch”.
It seems to come in waves… change that is. Well another wave is crashing the beach, and if you are not paying attention, you too could soon be “that guy” who has lost touch, maybe you feel you are already slipping.
If you are not on the side that knows that “Cloud is Inevitable”, you are on the wrong side… or living in denial. Don’t believe me? Click the link below, to see credible information I found in about 10 minutes of searching:
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“There is no alternative to change the current infrastructure to cloud computing, i.e. the use of technology, services and storage over the Internet. The ‘cloud’ is inevitable, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon”. Steve Balmer, CEO Microsoft
“HR in the Cloud: It’s Inevitable” Deloitte
“Within the next decade, Capgemini and HP believe that enterprise IT architectures will shift fundamentally. Rather than controlling a static, centralized architecture, IT leaders will be responsible for managing and delivering a network of flexible services.” CapGemini and HP
A task force set up to investigate cloud computing for the federal Australian Government has found that the growth of cloud computing is “inevitable” and “probably unstoppable” because of the significant cost savings. “The growth of cloud computing is inevitable and inexorable… The Task Force considers that the cost advantages available under cloud computing are so large that Cloud is probably unstoppable,” it said.
The economy has a lot to do with a lot of things, but not this. The inevitability of the cloud is absolutely clear. When and how is not 100 percent clear. The preponderance of our partners are moving with us. Some partners may move slowly, and maybe a few won’t even move with us. But the new guys jumping into the fray are saying, “Hey this is new opportunity.” Steve Balmer, CEO Microsoft
“How important is cloud computing? I would argue that it’s a sea change—a deep and permanent shift in how computing power is generated and consumed. It’s as inevitable and irreversible as the shift from steam to electric power…” Harvard Business Review
“Saving Money and Improving Results by Moving IT Applications to the Cloud: The biggest change happening in IT right now is the movement of applications and data to servers accessible by many devices in any location, commonly known as the “cloud.” Through a “Cloud First” policy, we are moving strategies from asset ownership to a utility-based model, in which agencies pay for only the resources and services they consume. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is migrating 120,000 users across 5,000 locations to the cloud, reducing costs by $27 million over a five-year period, while the General Services Administration (GSA) is shifting 17,000 users to the cloud, reducing costs by $15 million over the next five years.”
“Never before have we been able to leverage such tools to do more with less. With the cloud-first policy and cloud migrations under the IT Reform plan, cloud computing has become an integral part of the government’s IT DNA. With our Cloud First initiative, agencies identified 79 services to move to the cloud in order to reap savings and service improvements. This year, agencies successfully migrated 40 services to the cloud and were able to eliminate more than 50 legacy systems in order to save taxpayer dollars while expanding capabilities. As part of this effort, agencies created six services in the cloud that they weren’t previously able to provide. With the ability to expand capacity at a moment’s notice without having to procure new servers, add new data centers, and hire new staff, the cloud is key to the Federal government’s ability to be flexible as demands change.”
“And this same logic accounts for our shift to the cloud. Cloud moves us away from a capital-intensive model and toward a more flexible operational model where agencies only have to pay for what they use. And shifting to the cloud doesn’t just save money – it often provides better service, including the ability to scale up rapidly in real-time to meet increased demand.”
“As we increasingly move services online, we must be ever vigilant in the face of new threats that evolve on a daily basis. However, we shouldn’t make the false choice between security and innovation. In fact, innovation can make us more secure as long as we build security into everything we do.
Consolidating data centers, shutting down legacy systems, and moving to the cloud all offer opportunities to enhance our cyber security posture. The private sector is already taking advantage of recent advances in cloud technology to make their systems even more secure. Going forward, we must build on top of a sound foundation of cyber security to ensure Americans and our government are safe.”
Here’s the problem for most IT leaders today: Their focus, knowledge, training, certifications and experience is almost all “Hardware Centric”. But the entire world is moving to the cloud, where hardware is almost irrelevant. The future, and for many it is already here, is Software Centric. SaaS solutions will replace on-premise solutions, you know it, I know it and everybody referenced above knows it. So the time is now to start becoming an expert in managing an external IT environment.
IT has long had the luxury of mystery. Nobody really knows what the hell they do, but it is assumed to be very necessary, and rightfully so. Holed up in a cubicle in the back surrounded by boxes and drives amid a frenetic pace of activity doing what? Nobody really knows. What they do know is if they call you about a broken mouse, it gets replaced…”ding-ding”. If their PC won’t boot you will come get it and bring it back a while later working…”ding-ding”. If they ask you how to create a report in their SaaS HR application … “errrrt”.
Now, we both know you do a lot more that replace mice and reboot laptops. You also manage that whole room full of servers! But what will you do when they are gone? It’s gonna happen. Sure, mice will still need to be replaced, but other than that, you are going to need some new skills, needed skills, every bit as critical to an organization as your current skills were. In the future your “Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)” or “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)” certificate will be far less valuable than say a “Microsoft Office 365” or a “Salesforce Certified Administrator” certificate.
It is not too early to start preparing yourself to not end up as “That guy”.