Mark Myers, director of cloud services at Datalink says, the Information Technology (IT) industry is shifting and five jobs are coming to the forefront and are transforming the IT department. In some ways, internal IT is now competing for their jobs. Mark said, “As powerful forces like the cloud, mobility, and big data reshape the IT industry, the job roles within it naturally grow and evolve.”
He’s noticed five roles in particular that are shifting in that direction, and recommends a three-year plan to help companies change IT into service providers.
1. Business analyst
Scott Wolf, a business analyst for a large payment processor, described the role as bridging the gap between business people and IT. Myers, concludes that IT has interacted with the business [units], but have not had a role with the authority to drive what IT should be doing to meet the business needs. One reason may be that, they did not have staff that truly understood the business. Scott says that “he has to be respected by the business, the developers, and outside vendors.” Establishing successful relationships will be critical. Myers said that the right person is probably already within the company and would be a good candidate to fill the analyst role.
2. Infrastructure architect
Keith Stevenson has been an IT architect for five years and explains his job to family and friends this way; “I figure out which technology Lego bricks we need and how to click them together to deliver a service or a project.” The IT architect, in conjunction with the business liaison are important roles in aligning IT with business, Myers said.
Keith sees his job as a translator the business needs of the organization into concrete things that my IT specialists can develop or implement. If the role performed effectively, it will not be made obsolete by the cloud computing because you need architects, even if you don’t own any of the hardware.”
3. IT programmer
Myers said IT departments will continue to need a group of its own programmers that can write the Application Interfaces (API), the automation, and bring all the components together. The IT infrastructure team will need a staff or team of IT people who actually understand how to program the infrastructure. This team could arise from brand new discipline of people who are actually learning how to program the IT infrastructure from a service delivery point of view.
4. IT generalist
In the 1990s and 2000s, Myers said, IT had three pillars – storage, service, and network – but now the trend is shifting back toward converged infrastructures. A generalist can understand each of the three areas and work closely with the infrastructure architect and specialists to make everything work.
This is similar to the business analyst because it is about connecting the dots and filling in the gaps, but instead of translating between the business and IT it’s about translating between different technologies and vendors to make different solutions interact smoothly.
5. Applications liaison
“As data center evolve and network devices become more programmable, software applications can and should take advantage of that,” Myers said. The applications liaison will work with the applications development team, to leverage all of the available technology for required software applications. This role would most likely fit someone already in the industry, versus someone freshly trained. “I don’t think that’s something you can just casually teach in school,” Myers said.
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