Tag Archives: BDC

Forecast CLOUDY For IT Jobs and Vendors

AWS_sysadminWake up and smell the drought. IT infrastructure jobs fast evaporating…

via The Morning Download: Cloud’s Impact on Traditional IT Vendors Looks Increasingly Serious, JPMorgan Chase Says – The CIO Report – WSJ

“41.6% of corporate workloads at big companies are expected to be running in the public cloud within the next five years, up from 16.2% today.”

Hey, this is no happy blog post. Techwite wants to help, Techwite wants to be positive. And Techwite also wants to speak the truth. Sometimes that means taking a look at what is happening and discussing it. If that’s not for you, skip this. I’ll have a Tip soon about iCloud Calendars. Otherwise, if you have more information or comments about this post, join in.—TW 

Make no mistake, moving to “the cloud” is part of a trend to shift as much of corporate IT as possible into a commodity subscription service, like electricity.  Billed monthly by volume used, managed offsite, no local server upgrades or software updates, maintained by somebody else. The WSJ article referenced here concerns itself chiefly with the effect on the investment world of mega-cloud vendors Microsoft and Amazon on their smaller rivals Oracle and IBM. But from a human standpoint, your local IT, your local data center, your local administrator, your local Help Desk, THEY (and if you are one of these people, I am talking about you)—ARE ALL GOING AWAY.

“Hybrid Cloud” and “Middleman” Hosting is a stepping stone. You’re company isn’t putting everything in the Cloud? Not yet? Accenture, IBM, Dell—somebody like that—can take care of your local IT administration requirements! They’ll manage your relationship with Microsoft, and for now you can tell everyone you are “going to Office 365” although technically, you’re not. (That would be using Microsoft totally as your host for Office…)

Your IT Infrastructure Director may optimistically tell you, “Don’t worry, we’ll need someone to engage in ‘vendor management‘, someone who understands Infrastructure…, and heck, if you get on well with them, maybe you can work for the hosting vendor!”

If you know your stuff, you can probably point out that your “hosting vendor” is missing the boat with Microsoft Exchange backups, mobile security, a proprietary and non-standard archive solution that “locks you in”, and inefficient mail routing. But how long will that save your job if you are seen as a bump in the road to “the full Cloud”? And will that endear you to your potential new employer? Remember, the CIO wants his IT Infrastructure to be as easy to manage and replace as an iPad.

Meanwhile, the data center/hosting company is getting squeezed on both ends and trying to survive a similar change. How long can they compete with their big brother—and former mentor? Does anyone need a middle man?? Your Account Manager’s boss is telling him, “Don’t worry, we’ll probably get absorbed by Microsoft. And either way, you can probably work for them!”

We are seeing a massive consolidation and centralization of data and processing, and elimination of jobs. In addition to the stripping of jobs as the infrastructure ascends to the cloud, much of the work that was outsourced to cheaper labor sources will soon be automated—think robots and “chatbots“. There are going to be fewer and fewer jobs in IT Infrastructure. (Coincidentally,  last week the Verizon strike provided an example of this shift:  The Verizon Strike Signals a Larger Economic Battle.)

What about the people? The overall trend is clear for companies, especially large companies, and service organizations. But what about at the individual level? The level of the gal or guy in IT today? IT is the “service economy” equivalent of the Detroit factory job in the manufacturing economy of 20 years ago. This is just the beginning. Clearly there will be some jobs in hands-on management of Cloud services, such as AWS, and there is still time and opportunity for corporations and small businesses to hang onto that shred of control. As for other opportunities in IT? Infrastructure is going to shrink drastically or disappear altogether. That leaves software development. Web development, mobile apps, databases. The skills will be needed and they are constantly churning, so those who can stay on top of the latest development trends will likely stay employed.

Many of these trends are going to affect the rest of the economy as well. The Uberization of driving jobs will soon shift to autonomous cars and robot assisted shipping. Even the old saw about finding a job “flipping burgers” will not hold true for much longer. Where will people find work? That I would like to know.

“…we have to make sure that we have the kinds of policies here at home where we provide people with the skills they need to get the jobs that are available in the economy…”
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, interview with Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace

Yes, Jack, we need to be sure that people are trained up for those jobs. But what are those jobs? And where are they? Where are they?

— Techwite

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Dear #Millennials, The “Z’s” are coming. 😱

 

ted_scott_2016-02-07 at 5.49.12 PMDear Millennial, you are aging. 

No, I’m not talking about this GREY HAIR THING. Stop a minute, put down the phone, fingers off please, now listen to me. YOU ARE AGING. By most definitions you joined us on this planet as early as 1982. That means the oldest amongst you are approaching their mid-thirties. Many are easily within 10 years of the age of 40. Mark Zuckerberg, the icon of your generation, will be thirty-two in 2016. Sorry. I know you were busy texting and trying to get corporations to understand how to hire and retain you, and you didn’t see it coming, but it’s true. You are aging. In fact, you are not even “the new generation” anymore. Corporate Human Resources departments are already trying to figure out how to recruit and retain the next generation. Not you. I’m talking about “Generation Z”.

Got that? Take a deep breath. It will be okay. I’d like to offer some advice for what to expect, and how to move forward as the universe pulls away from you as its center.

First, although many of you hate the term “millennial”, by now you should be used to it.
I know,  “Gen Y”—being just an iteration in a series—was not as cool as it was for your predecessors. They got “Generation X“. You got “Generation Y”. They got to affiliate themselves with the “X Files” and “X Box“, and even, “OS X“. They gave you the “Y”, and then they changed it to the “M” word. “Millennial”. Jeez. For you gals and guys, someone might confuse your generational nom de plume with “Perrennial”, or “Centennial”, but not much else, and neither of those mean much. A flower that comes up every year? Okay. But  certainly “Millennial” isn’t as bad as being called a “Boomer” or even: “Baby Boomer“! What does that bring to mind? So PUH-LEASE, it could be worse; stop whining about what people call you and get over it.

Next, be prepared for the marginalization of the systems that you have created and used, whatever they are, and no matter how well they work. “Change for the sake of change” is the byword here; that’s what generations do. Can you remember these favorite Boomer tools that are now nearly non-existent?

  • “paper”
  • “book”
  • “telephone”
  • “pencil”
  • “calculator”

A similar fate may fall upon the favorite tools of you and your cohorts. Be prepared!

Keep your ears open for the “big proclamations” about change that come from the media and corporate CEO offices. These will affect you. There are precedents. Look backwards. Forty years ago futurologists told the Boomers, “Paper is obsolete. We are going to the paperless office. Nobody will print anything!”. They said this every year for years. “This is the year we see the paperless office!” It was a joke. No Boomer believed it. But here’s why you should be wary: “The Paperless Office” wasn’t about getting rid of paper, it was about getting rid of Boomers! The Boomers became complaisant. And what happened? Filing cabinets disappeared. Giant shredders materialized in hallways. In the midst of this melee, jobs were outsourced. And the final blow, Boomers were bushwacked by “the Cloud”.

Today the futurologists say—as if telling Millennials what they want to hear—”Email is obsolete, email is going away. People don’t need email. The ‘M’s’ communicate with texting. (‘Snapchat’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Tinder’, ‘Slack’—fill in the name your favorite social media app that the Big Heads don’t use, and don’t understand)”. Who cares about email? You don’t use it. But getting rid of email clears the queue to put your technology on the guillotine. What do you suppose will go next, when the “Z’s” take over?

You “M’s” are big on “the Open Office”—no walls, lots of collaborative open space. Want privacy? Use headphones. And there’s the whole “remote work”, “working offsite” thing, which really means, “working from home”.  I wonder what will happen with that? I’m guessing next it will be the “office-less office”. Maybe it’s the texting apps? You tell me. Expect things to be dashed to pieces and cast aside as “old fashioned”—certainly “not as good” as whatever the “Z’s” come up with. Oh, and hang on, you won’t like this next one.

In the workplace, expect the senior people in the company to lavish great praise, and without actually comprehending it, to marvel at the creativity of the new changes that the next generation has brought forth, even if those changs have no practical business use. They’ll fall all over themselves trying to figure out how to get their old lumbering organization to look attractive to this new group of people. To anyone looking at this objectively, the obsequious nature of their actions appears pathetically desperate and says more about the incompetence of their leadership and the inability of their organization to innovate than it does about a new generation in the workplace. You might see really weird things happen, like the whole giant corporation change its branding to something that is just weird. Or the IT department may abruptly switch platforms, forcing the whole workforce to change how they work, because the CIO attended some conference where the “technology of the new generation” was discussed.

You may begin to feel marginalized in the workplace. At first, this might seem like your ideas are just not getting the respect they deserve. You have to work harder, or fight harder, to get your colleagues or managers to do what you know—because you are smart, and from your years of experience—to be the right thing. But when you begin to feel that you are being humored or ignored, take a breath. Pause. Evaluate. When it seems that your creativity and experience are no longer valued, perhaps even mocked, then it’s time to step back and appreciate your excellent Benefits package and consider your options. If the company begins to have “town meetings” about “change management”, and suggests that you all read, the latest faddish management book for companies in transition, then move quickly, because you will probably not be there long enough to retire.

Focus on what is important. In your home life, with your children, hopefully you realize by now that not everyone on the soccer team deserves a trophy. (Probably least of all, the coach.) There are those who are better than others at some things ,and there are those who rise to the situation, and there are those who just do the work and get it done and they’re all valuable. They all make worthwhile contributions, and if they are your children you appreciate and love them no matter what. With that in mind, step out of the way, and move on gracefully, and hopefully to something better. But, like it or not, now it’s someone else’s turn.

—TechWite

Operate Like Airbnb and Uber with the New DNA for IT – The CIO Report – WSJ

“Similarly, the key to the next 20 years of enterprise IT is not to provide more and more technology, but to manage a platform that enables any application to exist in your environment.”

via Operate Like Airbnb and Uber with the New DNA for IT – The CIO Report – WSJ.

Thanks, Pat Brady. To paraphrase a source I can’t locate, I think you’ve got “the beginnings of the kernel of an idea somewhere in here”. I’d summarize your suggestion for Future IT as: “Manage a platform that enables“. But without more details for this hopelessly generic message to CIOs, some will probably figure they understand and use the slogan to promote bold initiatives to house traveling employees at Airbnb locations, and get to their destinations using Uber. Your “new” IT will enable users by “allowing” those apps on their mobile devices.

The “DNA” is “Awareness”, “Identity”, “Integration”, and “Insight”.
What? What are you saying? What “Awareness”? Really. This non-specific mumbo-jumbo is just a tease! You’d never get away with this kind of writing at the New York Times. But okay, maybe I’m missing something here…maybe this is just a “concept piece”, you’re talking to CIOs. They don’t want to be bothered with details.

Let me translate. Guys and Gals, you want your people to be more productive, creative, efficient. You want them to like the tools they use for work. You want the tools to work well together. You don’t want to waste your resources managing a bug-riddled platform with a swiss-cheese of security holes that performs like an exhausted dull-eyed old mule struggling on the trail up the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. My advice? Buy Macs. Use Evernote. Support iOS. And please find a way to keep that stuff from being hamstrung by your old legacy data and security infrastructure. If you can’t do that, then go ahead, you might as well promote Uber and AirBnB. Cause that’s all you’ve got left.

Why your colleagues…

Ever wonder why some IT colleagues still look askance at you using a Macintosh in the Windows dominated office, but don’t seem to have much trouble with you pulling out an iPad? Why is that? Because the Macintosh is a full-bodied complete operating system and environment that competes directly with (or to be honest, devastates) the brain-dead Windows that BDC IT has invested in for the last 30 years.

And the iPad? I think there are two reasons. First, they don’t yet see the iPad as a real, complete tool to get things done. (They’ll change that opinion over time…) But mainly, because for the iPad, there is no competition. Heck, most of the IT guys have their own iPads, and LOVE them.

The Time of Darkness

The early to mid-Nineties of the past century. A time when Steve Jobs had been ousted from Apple and the company, lead by a dizzying array of corporate Big Heads, was always referred to in the press as, “beleaguered”. The Big Heads worked hard to kill all creativity at Apple. Their goal? Make Macs just another tan box, indistinguishable from Windows PCs, so, as they thought, Big Dumb Corporations would buy millions of them. But of course, they failed, fortunately.

—from “Geek Speak Review” Unpredictable Issue #81