The cloud is scary. Without a doubt the idea of outsourcing parts of your organization’s technology department should concern you if you manage systems. Anything outsourced, whether to another firm or automation, means there is less work for you to do. Even in the places where automation grows, we find that sometimes the growth of systems occurs so fast that there are still things for a worker to do, but that’s a losing battle in the long term. At some point the automation will catch up and less people will be needed to manage the systems.
However the news isn’t all bad. There are some systems that will always be managed inside of a company. Whether because of regulatory requirements, performance needs, or even just the stubbornness of management, I am sure that some percentage of systems at most companies will remain in-house. Those will be the minority of systems in some places, and since many of us change jobs at some point in our careers, we should be concerned.
I would argue that all of us working in technology should be looking to improve our skills in whatever field we work. However we should be growing the skills in the hard parts of our jobs, in the parts that we struggle to automate or describe. The easy parts of our jobs will become more automated, more likely to be managed by a tool or outsourced. The hard parts, the thoughtful parts, those are the skills we should concentrate on when improving our skills.
Outsourcing isn’t all bad. As Toyota has outsourced some of their systems, they are not looking to shrink their IT department. Instead they are focusing on delivering new products and services for their customers. Make sure you are prepared to take advantage of new opportunities if your company follows a similar path.
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