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Is the IT landscape changing drastically?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Glock!9, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Linux3


    Dec 31, 2008
    Interesting but way too simplistic I think.
    1) Consultants; Everybody hates them. Sorry consultants but it's true.
    Maybe management likes them but IT staff and workers don't.
    I see small in-house IT staffs with contractors and a very limited number of consultants. The author is maybe a consultant?

    2) Project Managers; Yup sure. They always make the big buck. Until they finish their job and get laid off, then no one else wants them for the type of money they had been earning.

    3) Developers; Heck yes! We are short of Unix / Linux developers who really know C/C++.

    Note; My world is different. We use Linux and Unix almost exclusively and developers and network engineers and systems admins are in very short supply.
    Microsoft use to have something like 93% of all Internet connected devices. Now it's less than 50%.
    All those tablets and smart phones and appliances add up and they are fast becoming part of the business environment.

    IMHO all this puts more of a burden on in-house IT and makes it more important. But it's an in-house staff that is flexible and can deal with multiple platforms. The Windows only shop is going away.

  2. the monk

    the monk

    Jul 26, 2011
    Northern VA
    I agree with the premise but I think there is a forth & fifth line of work they are missing, those being infrastructure and architects. We can automate a vast majority of infrastructure setup but you will always need someone to build it out and architect it. In the article I think they are combining these roles into the “consulting” role, but I think in the future there will still be a need to have them as Full Time Employees (FTEs).

    I disagree with Linux3, he may hate consultants but companies love them. I can let them go whenever I want and don’t have any HR hassles. They are easy to replace and I don’t have to worry about metrics other than the deliverables of which we have a contract for that states, what they have to deliver, what the set dollar amount is, and in what condition it will be delivered to me in. With employees I get excuses and if I want to get rid of them I get HR hoops that I need to deal with.

    Project managers are the new IT managers and they will be integrated into the business landscape going forward, not just on the IT side but also for all facets of the business such as product launches, marketing, PR, and service industry jobs. If you are a successful project manager you have proven that you can deal with and motivate people, keep you work on or under budget, and properly handle requirements gathering and deliverables.

    Developers are the one area that will have a ton of growth going forward, especially on the mobile side. Those that will have the most success will be the ones who can not only code but also understand and invent new UI’s and creative solutions to everyday problems. The power of software is limitless; you just need to have the creative mind to see the solutions. Those developers that have the gift of both code and creativity will demand the most money in the new economy along with architects that can build out the foundation for the developers’ vision.

    Just my humble opinion
  3. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    "In other words, today’s users don’t need as much help as they used to."

    This is totally wrong. It isn't that end users don't need as much help it is that there problems are much more complicated. They don't call about the small stuff. They call about the large/complex stuff. (The ERP will work, but not XYZ. Then XYZ will work, but not ERP. Someone on the business/procurement side screwed up in their specs and their world is not compatible. So tech teams are sent in to do FM.)

    1. Consultants
    It depends on where you are. In the midwest, we brought in consultant contractors to make it over a hump or to implement something. Where I am now, 99% of all the technical staff are consultant/contractors. It is a governmental style of IT. With fixed price contracts, this is not a flexible model and is getting people in trouble.

    Then there are the fun cases. I have seen one organization outsource their IT and then in source it and now they are looking to outsource it again. The grass always looks greener on the other side. (I could solve this problem for them, but it is really a corporate culture issue that they are not addressing. It can be outsourced or in-sourced. Either way will be more cost effective than what they currently are doing.)

    2. Project managers
    I see more project coordinators in the world and less real project managers. IMHO, project coordinators are not very useful.

    I don't see very many project managers. A good project manager has leadership and negotiation skills. They are able to work with the Owners to make the right decision for the organization.

    3. I don't see a lot of developers in the future. COTS software has come a long way. Why build it yourself when you can buy it and it is more cost effective overall.

    Where I see growth.
    IT Security, Just because they are attacking my organization and trying to bring me down doesn't make me paranoid, it makes me aware. With every new technology, there is a need to review the security risk to the organization.

    I also see Program Manager as part of organizations in the future. It is a different way to organize staff and projects. These guys should be with companies for a long time and be able to make the big bucks after they have spend enough time at an org. to be known as a "getter done" person. I expect many will try to do this position and FAIL because they don't have the leadership skills or the project/time management skills.

    I forgot the integrator. This is probably the most important role in the future. In many companies where they are buying cots software, they will need someone to write an interface between cots1 and cots2. This person will also be responsible for figuring out which cots vendor is responsible for issues and working with them to find solutions.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  4. I think more consultants is just symptom of companies trying to control costs using fixed price contracts. However, in many cases, this is generally more expensive then doing it inhouse, less effective or makes little profit for consulting companies. This push towards consultants sounds like "THE CLOUD, THE CLOUD WILL KILL YOU ALL" but I'm not seeing that.

    Furthermore, while younger people are more "tech savvy" and they don't call about "My Excel formula" is wrong, they still have tendency to screw things up or be told "no" because most people have it their way, they would ignore any and all security requirements. I see this all the time with people complaining about password requirements on their iOS devices.

    As for Microsoft disappearing from environment, I have slightly seen that on desktop side, getting replaced on desktop side by either Apple or iOS devices, it's been nothing but Microsoft server side. If you think next couple of years is year of Linux servers, you are nuts. Let me know when you get Exchange replacement with ALL the features.
  5. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    Next year will be the year everyone converts to linux.

    (It is kind of like "free beer tomorrow". The same sign will be there tomorrow, and the next day and the next day and the next day. Tomorrow is always a day away.)
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  6. Linux3


    Dec 31, 2008
    Evolution client and Zimbra server can and have replaced Exchange in many places.
    But the point is as more and more people use tablets and smart phones they will not be connecting to Exchange, that's so 20th Century.
    I didn't say MS will disappear, at least not any time soon but have a look at desktop and laptop sales. They are dropping fast as they get replaced by new technology and it doesn't run Windows.

    On the server side. Do you really believe MS owns that space? I'm not nuts, the replacement has already happened. Sure there are more MS servers but that's because
    1) They are small, can't scale and thus you need a lot of them.
    2) It's really, really hard to track Linux servers because so many of them are customer built and there is no one single vendor of the software.
    Look at the growth of Red Hat stock vs. Microsoft.
    Look at the growth of Apple vs. Microsoft. Nothing Apple sells runs Windows.
    Apple now has a larger market cap than Microsoft. They got out of the server business but OS X is BSD Unix under the hood and the most common server for them is Linux.

    Look at the 500 most powerful servers in the world.

    Look at Wall Street, Google, Amazon. Look at Hollywood.

    Sure, Windows sells a lot of SMALL servers. But the web and e-commerce and the cloud is all big iron.
  7. jpa

    jpa CLM

    May 28, 2001
    Las Vegas NV
    Interesting perspective. I've worked for 2 global companies in their IT department and I saw the exact opposite. Sure the technical staff got smaller, but it also got more CENTRALIZED. Think one help desk with about 200-300 techs to support every office across an entire continent. There was also a big push toward automation. We created a central database of common solutions to problems with hardware and software, standardized software as well as in-house proprietary stuff. For hardware support we had 2 strategies. The first was to have a backup of a critical PC (data was all on the server, it just needed the right devices attached and software installed) on site that could be brought up by anyone smart enough to power on a PC. The second strategy was to overnight ship a replacement from a central location and have the defective one shipped back regular service. Either way it was a guaranteed money saver for the company since it required no real technical expertise to set anything up.

    For software support, our strongest tool was remote access connectivity at the help desk. The best was being able to sit at your PC and watch how the user F'd up the first time and you could stop them in the middle to show them how to do it right.