Will Virtualization & Cloud Lead to Fewer IT Job Opportunities?
I typically try to write posts about how stuff works, or some cool tech, but something has been bothering me about the trends of cloud computing and am wondering if anyone else sees things moving in the same direction that I see them.
To illustrate my point, I’ve used some Bitstrips to tell a story about a hypothetical, Engineering team leader named Sean, who works for a small business. One of his responsibilities is to manage all of the physical computers at his company. Sean is no dummy and is able to convince his manager to virtualize the desktops and put them into a VDI environment.
Once the desktops have been virtualized, he thinks, “Maybe I could save myself a lot of time by moving these pools of virtual desktops to a public cloud like Desktone”. He has some decent success with this plan and now has more time to spend managing other business processes and working with servers instead of all those desktops.
He also has more time for vacations
Since Sean has had so much success with this VDI environment he’s now moved on to fix other areas of his infrastructure. He looks around and sees that he has 4 System Administrators on staff to manage the virtual infrastructure for his company. They are responsible for backups, tapes, hardware failures, setting up new servers and doing firmware maintenance and testing.
He thinks to himself? “What if we move these virtual servers to a Public Cloud and have another company manage the underlying physical infrastructure?” He takes his idea to management and since he’d had so much success with the VDI program, they give him approval to move forward with his very well thought out plan.
He moves the servers to a public cloud and the company pays a higher Operational cost for servers, but ends up saving money on their capital expenditures, and needs fewer people to manage those servers which saves them money on payroll. Sean is commended for helping the company save money and things are going well.
The company is doing so well in fact that they are bought by a larger company. Unfortunately, during the acquisition, Sean is let go because of a lack of need for his position. Sean isn’t too worried though, he has plenty of experience building networks, designing virtual infrastructures, some storage experience, and general tech knowledge.
But what he finds is the number of positions he can apply for is drastically smaller than he anticipated. He finds the reason for this is the same as it was at his previous job. Smaller businesses can leverage cloud providers to lower costs and fewer people are needed to manage systems.
Sean is applying for positions at these larger cloud providers but there are a lot of people just like him looking for work and the cloud providers can pick the very best candidates since there is such a large pool of workers. Sean is good at what he does, but isn’t one of the upper Echelon so he struggles.
Hopefully, this is a fictional tale, but something that I think about from time to time. I see many smaller businesses leveraging one of a few large companies for their IT infrastructure. What do you think? I’d love to hear some responses.