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Will Cloud Computing Mean Fewer IT Jobs?

Will companies reduce headcount within their infrastructure and application development groups?

Jordan Haberfield's "Agile Elephant" Blog

Cloud computing is bringing a new dynamic to the way companies are managing their infrastructure. One of the fall-offs from a move to the clouds is the potential ability for companies to reduce headcount within its infrastructure and application development groups.

The advent of cloud computing is bringing a new dynamic to the way companies are managing their infrastructure. This, in turn, creates a new corporate strategy for managing talent.

There is still quite a bit of discussion regarding whether or not the cloud is an IT revolution. Companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft are betting big on its complete adoption. And who can blame them? The reduced start-up costs, reduced capital investment, rapid scalability, access to diverse development platforms and the ability to have a flexible and powerful computing platform with a variable cost structure and no long term commitment...this, in my opinion, is certainly the future.

One of the fall-offs from a move to the clouds is the potential ability for companies to reduce headcount within its infrastructure and application development groups. I would like to hear from others who have experience in the cloud and find out if they are seeing a reduction in workforce. In my opinion, this is one of the cost savings of moving applications to the cloud. But let's not forget that this strategy comes with other costs. The monthly charges alone can add up if you are managing large-scale projects. But I would suspect that these prices will diminish over time and provide even more cost-effective solutions.

If you have experience working with a company that works in the cloud, I'd like to hear your opinions as to its effect on headcount.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can leverage the cloud in your company, contact me for a consultative session.

[This appeared originally here and is republished by kind permission of the author.]

More Stories By Jordan Haberfield

Jordan Haberfield is SVP, Information Technology Staffing at System One Holdings. He participates in all phases of the business, including strategic and financial planning, but is most active in maintaining strong client and partner relationships while also spearheading System One’s sales, recruiting and executive search efforts

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Most Recent Comments
brnbngls 12/11/08 06:18:34 PM EST

Obviously there is an ebb and flow to job growth especially in the technology arena. New technologies create new jobs.

My biggest fear is this; I've only just gotten into SQL database management and querying in the last couple of years. Coupled with my assigned job duties, home and family life and struggling to pay bills I just do not have sufficient time to bolster my skill set. Somewhere along the way I feel I'll be left behind too much to catch up. And all of these companies beginning to offer SAAS may indeed be hiring. But I'm concerned that my age and skill set will prevent me from obtaining a job should the need arise.

I certainly hope that Mr. Lynn's predictions are proven correct; that there will be plenty of IT jobs available. I realize that my job won't disappear tomorrow, but given how quickly the tech industry can shift it's something that conerns me.

bebopx 12/07/08 04:49:04 PM EST

Ultimately, No.

There is no doubt that,conservatively, Cloud Computing done right, Cloud Computing Without Compromise, will astronomically improve IT administration efficiency. But because Cloud Computing ithout Compromise lowers the cost of computing by SOOOOOO much, it will become much more affordable to automate things that are not automated today.

In short, when the dust settles, there will be as many IT employees, or more, after Cloud Computing is pervasive than there are today. But the total computing workload in the world will be hugely more than it is today. So, Cloud Computing Without Compromise results not in fewer IT jobs n the world, but in much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much more IT!!!

You know, if the telephone systems in the world were operated as they were 50 years ago, there would have to be 20 billion people working for the phone companies today to handle the current volume. Cloud Computing Without Compromise is inevitable as the computing demands of tomorrow will have to be met without increasing the world's population ten fold, which is what would have to happen if we continue to do things as we do them today.

Barry X Lynn
Chairman and CEO
3tera, Inc.

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