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As more companies turn to the cloud for their computing needs, it is inevitable that the role of the IT professional will change.

According to CompTIA’s Third Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study, more than eight in 10 companies currently use some form of cloud computing solution, and more than half plan to increase cloud investments by 10 percent or more in 2012. But that cloud popularity also means that businesses are re-examining the functions of their IT staff.

“We are seeing the modern IT pro being moved in a number of different directions,” explained Antonio Piraino, CTO of ScienceLogic. “Firstly, there are the newer tasks of being the orchestrator and decision maker for a critical component of corporate budgets shifting toward IT. The IT pro is being seen as the trusted adviser for business productivity applications that are leveraged in critical ways, and by far more impatient and demanding users than ever before.”

IT pros will soon no longer be expected to hole up within the confines of a single function all too often under-appreciated or less understood by the rest of the organization, he added. Instead there are a variety of tasks, including being involved in project management, server administration, app development, social media strategy and branding through the web site or portal, amongst others, to be gaining higher exposure.

In order to answer many of the more complex questions around corporate governance, financial and human resource allocation, and appropriate commercial tools for use by say, sales or marketing teams, the IT pro has to have options at their disposal.

“Additionally there is the task of being far more development and operations savvy. There is a lot of talk around the practicality of devops,” Piraino said. “To that end, we are seeing more and more development expertise within IT operations, customer support groups, product management and the like.”

IT is not just seen as the guy that sits behind the curtain ensuring the desktop computers work, Piraino added. “Instead it is the understanding that there are new ways in which to demonstrate products online, access customer databases and real-time service views, integrate multiple facets of information for better business intelligence, create easy reporting for executive or financial requirements.”

The different job duties that come with putting your data in the cloud include more monitoring, either via automated systems or manually discovering or responding to bandwidth or other problems.

“The job is no longer setting up the physical environment. It’s knowing how things need to be set up in the virtual world to deliver the performance you need to accomplish goals,” said Brian Wade, independent telecom consultant working with business owners, IT managers and office managers.

Cloud computing was never intended to take away the IT managers job so much as introduce easier methods for controlling a far greater amount of work to be accomplished on these cloud platforms.


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