The landscape of IT is shifting. As cloud computing, mobile, and other technologies that enable “anytime, anywhere” business continue to claim a more central role in organizations of all types, the need for IT to transform from a strictly “keep the lights on” service organization to an integrated, strategic business unit increases.
This is a major change, and with any major change there are bound to be growing pains. In the remainder of this blog post, we’ll discuss ways organizations and IT professionals can prepare and fully embrace this change.
Adopt New Technologies
In an interview, Chris Wolf, CTO, Americas at VMware, notes that when he asks Security Administrators about their work, they report that more than 80 percent of their time is spent managing service tickets.
Enabling IT to operate strategically means adopting technologies that automate the service tasks currently occupying the bulk of IT’s waking hours. Embracing Software Defined Data Centers (SDDCs) and Network Virtualization, which provides automation, micro-segmented security, and HA/DR, will free up time for IT to focus on contributing to other parts of the business.
“SDDC automates the mundane parts of the job,” says Wolf, “so IT teams can spread their time researching threats or building automated counter-measures – all the other fun things that you see on TV.”
Know Your Role
As IT organizations as a whole change, individual roles within IT departments will undergo transformations as well. Understanding how both the demands of business and the automation enabled by adoption of new technologies will affect the roles of IT individuals is critical in allowing for a smooth transition.
Software-Defined Shifts: The Evolution of IT Career Paths provides an in-depth glance at how individual IT roles will shift in coming days. Below are highlights from a few of the roles:
- Today’s Role: Configuring, monitoring, troubleshooting networks
- Tomorrow’s Role: Validating designs, automating network operations, agility champion
- IT Architect:
- Today’s Role: Design end-to-end solutions, align solutions to business needs
- Tomorrow’s Role: Design multi-cloud solutions, champion innovation, enable agility and security, reduce risk
- Virtualization Admin:
- Today’s Role: Ensure integration availability, ensure performance of all virtual resources
- Tomorrow’s Role: Integrate trusted modules with key services and tools
Get Smart, Get Certified, Close the Skills Gap
One of the greatest stumbling blocks to embracing the new role of IT is a skills gap among IT professionals. In its recent survey report, Ascending cloud: The adoption of cloud computing in five industries, The Economist Intelligence Unit noted that 31% of respondents indicated that the greatest challenge to implementing cloud infrastructure was a lack of qualified personnel.
Addressing this need for educated practitioners from another angle, ComputerWorld recently emphasized the importance for IT professionals of attaining certifications. Its survey on the topic reveals that 42% of IT professionals indicate that certifications have been helpful for landing jobs and promotions and that certification in specific technologies is the biggest contributor to career advancement.
VMware offers a variety of training and certification courses for IT professionals ready to level up their skill sets. Start your journey with our Learning Paths, designed to help you find the course you need based on the product, your role, and your level of experience.