By Bernard Golden
CIOs and senior IT managers are not immune from the employment risks that cloud computing poses to lower-level infrastructure and operations workers. Failing to rethink the delivery of IT services–and the new organizational structures that will be needed to deliver them–poses a threat to their job security
CIO — Left unsaid—typically, anyway—in most discussions about cloud computing is the implicit threat that it will be the cause of job losses. The clamorous suspicion that many IT groups display toward public cloud services seems to have a large emotional component to it, and highly-charged negative emotions typically reflect visceral fear. It’s difficult to conclude that some (if not much) of the resistance from internal IT groups to the use of public cloud resources boils down to simple worry about unemployment.
To quote novelist and firebrand Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” Certainly, we’ve seen many internal IT groups refuse to acknowledge any potential benefits or use cases for public cloud computing, while citing all the potential drawbacks at length.
Take a survey in which only seven percent of all IT respondents said they would embrace public cloud computing, while 47 percent said they’d prefer a private cloud. (The rest, presumably, are busy finding a rock to hide under.) It’s awfully tempting to interpret the results as reflecting a self-protective desire to avoid outsourcing because that’s how many IT personnel see public cloud providers—as an outsourcer that will impact IT employment. After all, that was the result of the last outsourcing boom.