Workflows in the cloud are on track to expand to the point that by 2018, three quarters of all workflows will be done in the cloud. Think about that for a moment. Within four years, three quarters of data processed will be processed in the cloud, if an article I came across in CloudTech is correct. The article goes on to present some interesting statistics from Cisco’s latest Cloud Index study, such as a predicted quadrupling of global cloud IP traffic over the next five years.
Further figures from the article worth mentioning include:
“By 2018, 69% of global cloud workloads will be in private cloud data centers, with the remaining 31% in [public cloud data centers]. More than half (59%) will be software as a service workloads, compared to 28% IaaS and 13% PaaS. This represents a downturn for infrastructure as a service, which currently represents 44% of cloud workloads, however, over five years each sector will still see a significant compound annual growth rate (CAGR)—33% for SaaS, 21% for PaaS and 13% for IaaS.
Two billion people will be using cloud storage in 2018, while the global data created by Internet of Things devices will top 403 ZB each year. These are huge numbers, but the current figures are still impressive—113.4 ZB of IoT data and 922 million users of cloud storage in 2013.
The report notes that in the private cloud, the majority of deployments have been IaaS and PaaS, while the public cloud saw predominantly SaaS deployments.”
Those are some pretty impressive numbers with regard to people and data processed in the cloud: wouldn’t you agree? Now let me reference another set of statistics, from the United States Census Bureau. According to the Census Bureau, most of the companies in the United States have fewer than five hundred employees. I would consider these to be small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).
If a majority of US companies are really small and medium-businesses, what conclusions come to mind when you think about the future of IT? These numbers, in my opinion, may suggest that the future of SMB will be processed and performed in the cloud, which could mean the beginning of the end for the IT professionals who specialize in the SMB marketplace.
In my humble opinion, one of the effects of automation is the reorganization of IT staffing needs. As these needs shift, IT requires fewer junior level administrators with hands and feet–type responsibilities and starts switching focus to the development side of things. The number of people may not change that much, but the roles and responsibilities of the IT staff will.
Unfortunately, there seems to be an ever-widening technology gap with regard to this skillset, and the gap is widening every year. For the professionals who have adapted to this changing technology, the future looks extremely bright. There is a great demand for these high-end skillsets, and with this great demand comes the opportunity for greater wages and rewards. Companies must be willing to offer increased wages and other incentives to remain in competition for the best and the brightest of these limited resources. If you were working in IT in the 1990s, then I think you might have a good understanding of what I am taking about. Those were the years where there was just not enough talent to go around. For lack of a better way to put it, life was just great if you were in IT during those times.
They say history tends to repeat itself. I believe this could very well be one of those moments that will be great for some but, unfortunately, not so good for the others who are caught between skillsets. Employment shortages tend to work themselves out over time as the word gets out and the training path is established. Finally, the balance of power shifts to the point where there is once again an overabundance of employees fighting for limited positions. However, I do not believe that this shortage of IT talent is going to really mirror the ’90s; the skillsets and requirements for competing today are much more demanding now than in yesteryear.
What is your vison of what a typical IT professional will be like by the year 2020? That is an interesting thought to ponder in itself. Now, what about the idea that technology might move so fast that it will become harder and harder for us mere mortals to be able to adapt, learn, and keep up? Imagine what IT might look like then.