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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Future Of The IT Labor Market

    Chuck Hollis
    Dec 6, 2016

    If you're an armchair economist like me, you’ve spent time studying labor markets: how they're structured and how they evolve. When it comes to the IT industry, we have no shortage of analysts prognosticating the future of various technologies and vendors, but there’s almost no insight into the future of the people who make the technology work.

    It’s relevant because change is in the air. In a word: cloud.

    Public cloud is not only arbitrage of technology costs, but also labor costs. Cloud is already disrupting the information technology market. Before long it will do the same to the IT labor market.

    I can argue a case for pessimism (fewer, lower-paying jobs) as well as optimism (more, better-paying jobs). As with most of economics, the outcome will be all about demand and supply.

    The Case for Pessimism

    One of the best ways to understand an industry transition is to look for reasonable historical parallels.

    My best example is what happened in US manufacturing near the end of the twentieth century. (Read “Why Enterprise IT Will Go The Way Of US Manufacturing.”) In a short period of time, US manufacturers were forced to transform from laggards to leaders, or otherwise perish. But what happened to the US manufacturing labor market as a result?

    In the recent US elections, much emphasis was on manufacturing jobs going overseas. While that might be true to some degree (and it’s certainly a red-meat election topic), the data shows that automation is responsible for most of the decline in US manufacturing jobs. Once a task is automated, that job is gone for good.

    As a result, US manufacturing productivity is now at an all-time high. And US manufacturing jobs are at an all-time low.

    If one considers enterprise IT as a “factory” for delivering value-added IT services, the implications might be grim. Increasing levels of IT automation—whether on premises or in the public cloud—could decimate the employment ranks in a similar way.

    Although productivity per worker will be at an all-time high.

    The Case for Optimism

    The comparison between enterprise IT and manufacturing goes only so far. With manufacturing, we're talking about things—and there’s only so much demand for TVs, cars, jet aircraft, widgets, and so on. Providers compete by delivering a better widget at a lower cost than the other guy.

    IT services may be a different beast. There seems to be no boundary to our collective appetite for IT services. Look what’s on the plate now: advanced analytics, the Internet of Things, machine learning, and much more. And when we’re done with those, more will come.

    The market for IT services is also price sensitive: The cheaper these services become, the more aggregate demand appears. For example, I couldn’t imagine a 10GB data plan would be woefully insufficient for my daily needs, but there you have it.

    Yes, there are some practical limits on how much personal technology we can wear, or how many apps we can stack on our phones, but generally speaking the appetite for advanced information tech in the ultracompetitive business world shows no sign of slowing down.

    All that technology magic will always require smart people to make it useful and productive. Yes, they’ll have different skills and roles than before, but the jobs will be there—maybe even more of them than today. For example: How many people who work with IT tools every day are ensconced in business units outside of a traditional IT function? A vast army, and their ranks are growing.

    An analogy here is healthcare in the US. During the last 50 years, we’ve seen incredible breakthroughs in both patient outcomes and per-worker productivity. As a population, we are much healthier and are living longer than before. Yet, surprisingly, there has been strong growth in the demand for healthcare workers, even through a major recession. We tend to care greatly about our health, so we spend more on it over time.

    A Mixed Bag?

    Combining pessimism and optimism in equal measure yields an interesting scenario.

    Like manufacturing, many of our traditional IT jobs are going away, and they’re not coming back. Once they’ve been automated—by the cloud or otherwise—that’s that. If you believe in finite demand for enterprise IT services, it may be a grim scenario for the career IT professional.

    But, like healthcare, maybe we can’t get enough of a good thing. Under this scenario, the focus shifts to using IT in innovative ways to create better outcomes versus making heavy IT investments just to keep the lights on. As a result, there should be plenty of satisfying IT career opportunities, though they will look very different from those of decades past.

    Such are the perils and promises of the cloud era. Count me as an optimist.

    Chuck Hollis is senior vice president of cloud infrastructure at Oracle.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Businesses look outside the IT department for next wave of technology disruption

    Surpresa, surpresa.

    · Lines of business take charge of technology to drive speed, innovation and responsiveness

    LONDON, UK, 30 November 2016 — VMware, Inc., a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, today announces research finding that almost two thirds (60%) of UK business leaders believe the management of technology is shifting away from IT to other departments, as lines of business take charge of technology-led innovation in UK organisations.

    The research among 200 IT decision makers and heads of lines of business finds that this decentralization* of IT is delivering real business benefits: the ability to launch new products and services to market with greater speed (56%), giving the business more freedom to drive innovation (63%) and increasing responsiveness to market conditions (59%). There are also positives from a skills perspective, with the shift in technology ownership beyond IT to the broader business seen to increase employee satisfaction (53%) and help attract better talent (37%).

    This move, however, is not without its challenges. Leaders from across the business believe this is causing a duplication of spend on IT services (63%), a lack of clear ownership and responsibility for IT (62%) and the purchasing of unsecure solutions (59%). Furthermore, this decentralization movement is happening against the wishes of IT teams, the majority (67%) of which want IT to become more centralized. In particular, IT leaders feel that core functions like network security and compliance (79%), disaster recovery/business continuity (46%) and storage (39%) should remain in their control.

    “It’s ‘transform or die’ for many businesses, with a tumultuous economic environment and radically evolved competitive landscape upturning the way they operate,” says Joe Baguley, vice president & chief technology officer, EMEA, VMware. “Managing this change is the great organisational challenge companies face. The rise of the cloud has democratised IT, with its ease of access and attractive costing models, so it’s no surprise that lines of business have jumped on this opportunity. Too often, however, we’re seeing this trend left unchecked and without adequate IT governance, meaning that organisations across EMEA are driving up costs, compromising security and muddying the waters as to who does what, as they look to evolve.”

    The ownership for driving innovation within organisations is not disputed among business leaders. Almost 4 in 5 (77%) believe that IT should enable the lines of business to drive innovation, but must set the strategic direction and be accountable for security – highlighting the balance to be struck between the central IT function retaining control while also allowing innovation to foster in other, separate areas of the business.

    “This isn’t ‘Shadow IT’ anymore, that’s yesterday’s story – this is now ‘Mainstream IT’,” continues Baguley. “The decentralization movement is happening, driven by the need for speed in today’s business world: we’ve never seen such a desire for new, immediately available applications, services and ways of working. By recognising these changes are happening, and adapting to them, IT can still be an integral part of leading this charge of change. The latest technology or application will only truly drive digital transformation when it’s able to cross any cloud, to be available at speed and with ease, within a secure environment.”

    George Wraith, Head of ICT at New College Durham, also supports this view “Business models are being disrupted by the movement of IT services to outside the IT department. This is leading to cost, management and security inefficiencies,” he says. “This trend is not going away, and gives IT the opportunity to adapt, regain control and embrace it.”


  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    James Hamilton: Advice to Someone Just Entering IT Industry


    Play for the long term. Choose jobs working on technology that will still be relevant a decade hence. Choose jobs that build on your strengths but significantly stretch beyond them. Always say “yes” to requests to do more or take on more. Each is an opportunity. Choose jobs working with the best in the industry. Working with the best is the quickest way to learn. Never let go of the details even as you take on broader roles. Don’t worry about money, job title, or recognition. It’ll all come and never leave if you get these four goals right. Short term decisions often yield little and what they do offer doesn’t last. Play the long game.


    One recommendation I should have added to my short list was curiosity. I’m interested in absolutely all forms of technology and will grab every change I can to learn the details from another field or to see how other types of systems are manufactured.

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