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Disruptive Clouds

June 8, 2011

Rampaging clouds are in the news quite a bit these days. There are the ash clouds pouring out of mountainous holes in Chile and Iceland, and a cloud of charged magnetic particles that spurted from our closest star yesterday. It has the potential to disrupt power grids, satellites and other electronic devices. There’s also the dark cloud of social media stupidity hanging over a Congressman from New York, but I’ll save that for my other blog…

The “disruptive cloud” hovering over the playing field of technology services is of course, “the cloud,” and the disruption it represents could rain out the careers of IT professionals at every level.

This week I read a great article on CIO.com that touched upon this disruption for both front-line “infrastructure & operations” (I&O) professionals and CIO’s. For the I&O staff, the message is clear:

“If you are an admin or operations employee whose knowledge is basic installation, configuration and administration of software components, cloud computing is likely to make you redundant.”

For CIO’s, the pressure is to execute this inevitable business shift in the face of cultural and organizational resistance or face the same fate as those on the front-lines:

“Failing to rethink the delivery of services—and the organization necessary to deliver them—poses a threat to the job tenure of even the most senior IT executives.”

We’re hearing from our customers who are struggling to do more with less, and we’ve developed service offerings that help address the I&O squeeze they face. And business is booming.

Obviously, this is a difficult management challenge because it affects people’s jobs and livelihoods. Article author Bernard Golden uses the automation of automobile assembly as a metaphor for the shift. Car companies went out of business and thousands lost jobs. It’s Joseph Schumpeter’s concept of “creative destruction” in capitalism at work. As Mr. Golden states plainly, “…in the end, the economics won out.”

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