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The ‘human’ impact of cloud computing

Tech and Innovation

Posted on May 14, 2013

3 min read

A lot has been said and written about the business and economical benefits of cloud computing- agility, flexibility, speed, innovation, and efficiency just to name few.

But what about the ‘human’ impact of cloud computing? How will cloud impact people and their jobs as more organisations adopt cloud services?

Some earlier predictions suggested that the adoption of cloud would result in significant reduction in IT jobs as many of the traditional IT functions will not be required in the new model. In fact, some cloud providers even pitched staff reduction as a key benefit of cloud computing.

According to a new report by Deloitte, those predictions don’t appear to have been borne out. Their conclusion is-

‘Rather than eliminating corporate IT jobs, cloud computing offers IT professionals opportunities to learn new skills and advance their careers.’

The key findings from the Deloitte report, based on interviews with IT leaders at number of large organisations who’ve adopted cloud, are that job responsibilities are shifting in IT departments, such as –

  • Higher end software development work, rather than troubleshooting technical problems.
  • Much closer working relationships with the business who consumes IT services – better understanding of business requirements and need to train users on new services.
  • IT staff move into business analyst, architect, application development and end user support roles.
  • Ability to do more ‘big data’ and predictive analytics – IT staff better positioned to mine insights from corporate data.
  • Take more integration and vendor management functions as they weave their many cloud services into a common back end and manage interactions between internally and externally run IT services.

Another report by IDC concludes that:

‘Cloud will cause a breakdown of traditional relationships between IT and the business. Cloud adoption will likely be the source of unpredictable competition and cause turbulence within IT organizations as they seek to reskill themselves and their IT professionals to support the new model. However, in the end, most enterprises will benefit from the increased level of business value and opportunity that is a result of the cloud climate change.’

At Telstra, as well, we see many of our customers enjoy similar benefits as they move to our Cloud Services.

As with every major change, there are challenges and obstacles to overcome. There will be a need to reskill, train, certify, change job accountabilities and hire different skill sets moving forward.  However, if done right, the upside and opportunity are great for the IT organisation-

  • Become more valuable to the business by focusing on things that matter
  • Provide greater career and development opportunities to IT employees

Cloud cannot only transform the way we consume IT services, but also has the potential to transform and reinvent the IT organisation.

Keep that in mind as you progress your journey into the cloud so you don’t miss the opportunity to make your IT organisation a great one!