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How CIOs See IT Jobs in a Virtualized World

Back in the not-too-distant past, before virtualization and cloud computing radically evolved into disruptive--if not revolutionary--forces, changes in the world of IT were largely limited to doing more with less, as opposed to totally rethinking and reshaping the traditional technologies that comprised the backbone of corporate computing. Back then, each major organizational entity had its own data in its own silos, and its own team of expert to protect and propagate that data. The more, the merrier.

It was a world where traditional job functions and titles like systems analyst and systems administrator were the bedrock of corporate computing, and career paths were easily predictable and defined.

Suddenly, that hidebound IT world of the past was blown away by massive server purges, and clouds--whether they be private, hybrid or public--became much more than simply unadorned outsourcing. Alien concepts such as self-service and software as a service came out of nowhere to assume prominent places in enterprise IT architectures. The ground was clearly shifting under the feet of IT departments in businesses of all sizes, and that instability fostered insecurity.

Smart guys like Sanjay Mirchandani, CIO and COO, Global Centers of Excellence, EMC, sensed the changes occurring around them, and started thinking strategically about how to take advantage. Speaking on a panel of CIOs at the recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, he summarized the atmosphere of change by asking, "Why provision stuff when it can be automated?" and addressed future employment opportunities by noting "I think this is an incredible opportunity for IT pros. There are no longer well-defined IT tracks."

Anthony D. Christie, CIO and CTO, Global Crossing, another panel participant, also broke with the past when he said the time has come to re-evaluate and redeploy IT resources. In his words: "I don't want server admins, I want functional analysts who know the business."

VMware CIO Mark Egan also painted a picture of change, saying, "On the organizational side, the staff you have today is not necessarily the staff you need in the future."

Michandani stayed with the theme of opportunity, when he said of ambitious IT pros who want to work hard and get ahead, "Give them the room to make mistakes."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 06/02/2011 at 12:48 PM


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