Enterprise migration of legacy technology services (storage, file sharing, email, CRM, HR Tech., chat, etc.) to new cloud based services (AWS, Box, Office 365, Salesforce, Workday, Slack, etc.) is accelerating. While we are still in the early innings, ultimately most companies will migrate their legacy services and will exclusively manage a portfolio of cloud based service providers. Let’s call the end of this transition period “Post Cloud” for the sake of this article.
Post Cloud, what types of IT people does the enterprise need? For simplicity, let’s bucket IT people into three main groups: engineers/admins, analysts/managers and developers.
System engineers and administrator roles will certainly not be needed, seeing as the cloud service providers own the systems and most companies will elect to outsource their local networking and security as it is a utility.
Developers that supported customizations to legacy systems will also look to exit the enterprise, and the continued growth and digital enablement of the freelance economy will make it more attractive and easier for developers to work either on their own or for product or services companies. Consulting companies will continue to be engaged for project based efforts and subscription model consulting offerings may become popular for companies looking to smooth out their spending.
Analysts and managers who partner well and have a good understanding of digital technologies will still be valuable enough to keep on staff. They will be key resources to interact with cloud providers and consulting partners. Seeing as most of their IT compatriots have moved on, embedding these people within business units will maximize their effectiveness.
Who does that leave standing in the traditional IT department? Best case, the CIO and well-rounded people who excel at partner management and cross cutting technology governance items. The CIO’s organization will get smaller, if not embed completely as the business units become inherently digital, a reality that will be difficult for those who have fought hard over the years to centralize control and grow headcount to cope with the multiple waves of transformation that have come before.