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A New Kind of Sys Admin

I’m going out on a limb.  I predict that demand for IT professionals who keep complex systems running will grow in the next 5 years. Or 10 years. Or forever.  Until people and businesses realize that tech is a fad, and start relying LESS on technology to do good work, connect with people, make life better.

For this topic, let’s accept the claim that new technologies that abstract and automate resources in the data center or the cloud simultaneously reduce costs AND improve IT responsiveness.  Double value.  Good for business.

But what about people.  Are new technologies good for careers in Infrastructure and Ops?  More importantly, are they good for YOUR career?

Assume that a growing global population coupled with a bigger global “tech footprint” means ever growing IT industry and overall more jobs. More specifically, for IT admins pondering the impact of “the cloud” on their future prospects – job prospects for:

  • Single system specialists – cool
  • Multi-function generalists – warm
  • Admins who can program a little, and get things done with tools that abstract away system details – hot hot hot

Bottom line – even though much of the savings derived from more dynamic and distributed service delivery models (read “the cloud”) is Opex savings, there is and will continue to be exciting opportunity working in IT.

There will be more opportunity to focus on adding business value, and less focus on managing the fine grained details of compute, storage, or network functions.

Here are a couple links for further reading:

Luke from Puppet Labs describes, “The rise of a new kind of administrator.”
Jasmine McTigue discusses, “IT Automation – good for business and IT careers.”

IT Joke – what people say about the water glass picture:

  • Optimist – sees a glass half full with lots of opportunity
  • Pessimist – sees a glass half empty with lots of waste
  • IT Engineer – sees glass that is twice as big as required capacity

Follow us on Twitter at @VMwareCloudOps for future updates, and join the conversation using the #CloudOps and #SDDC hashtags.

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About Kurt Milne

Kurt Milne is the Director of CloudOps marketing at VMware with more than 20 years of experience in various executive management, engineering, and analyst positions at leading tech companies, including Hewlett-Packard, BMC Software and several startups. In 2011, he released a book called “Visible Ops Private Cloud: from virtualization to private cloud in 4 practical steps”. Formerly the Managing Director of the IT Process Institute, he was the primary investigator and author of 6 major research studies on private cloud, virtualization, IT controls, change configuration and release, strategic alignment and IT governance. He has written dozens of white papers and articles on topics as diverse as semiconductor design and manufacturing, manufacture shop-floor automation, supply chain integration, IT controls, IT service management, datacenter operations, virtualization, and private cloud.