|By ManageEngine IT Matters||
|October 29, 2016 03:00 AM EDT||
What Changing Times Mean for IT Admins
By Vidya Vasu
Just as writing has come to mean texting, blogging or any form of digital writing, the cloud today means one or all of the three Cs: computing, connectivity and communication. And just as nearly all thought to putting pen to paper has disappeared, all reference to the natural cloud is long forgotten. The three Cs have altered the way we consume services. The adage, "change is the only constant," holds true in the IT landscape like no other, forcing IT admins to constantly learn new skills and make strategic decisions.
The changing times demand that IT admins become business-aware and are equipped to transcend to roles beyond enabling IT. For instance, a typical IT admin may need to play the role of a developer, a quality analyst or a data analyst, even while remaining in control of IT operations. Moreover, with 74 percent of enterprises moving into multi-cloud environments, another area IT admins may need to tackle is cloud heterogeneity. Market consolidation, the exponential rise in cloud adoption, and digitalization practically mandate blended expertise for IT admins of today and the roles that await them in future.
On top of all of that, IT admins are on the cusp of yet another digital revolution - dubbed by some as the third digital revolution - where they will have to keep up with market conditions to stay relevant. Until recently, it was widely speculated that IT admin jobs would be wiped out with these developments. Undeniably, traditional IT admin roles will fade away, but they will be replaced by far more exciting roles that deal with the cloud and digitalization. With the emergence of IoT and so many businesses being driven by user behavior, IT admins can foray into roles such as cloud architects, IoT architects, DevOps specialists and data scientists.
The impact of the digital revolution on the transition
Information technology and business are inseparable, as this survey by Computerworld confirms, whereas it used to be that virtualization aligned IT with business. According to the survey, 42 percent of the enterprises surveyed want to hire professionals who have combined tech and business backgrounds that will allow them to articulate the value of IT in meeting business goals.
This transition has replaced the uncertainty around IT admin jobs with the certitude of the same people being involved in IT in ways like never before. If an IT admin is now responsible for sourcing and deploying solutions to manage infrastructure or services, analyzing and troubleshooting problems, an IoT architect, according to Drue Reeves, research director for Gartner, "is responsible for the vision, strategy, architecture and shepherding of IoT solutions from inception to deployment."
IT admins step up to meet these challenges
Adapting to cutting edge challenges is nothing new for IT admins. In the 2000s when virtualization gained traction, IT admins stepped up their skills to manage IT and the new variables introduced by virtualization. The current transition is merely another opportunity for IT admins to learn new tools, technologies, processes and methodologies. The last decade has seen it all: components connected by wires, wireless technology, virtualization, mobility, cloud, wearables and now IoT. To rise to these challenges and grow, IT admins will need to extend themselves by learning about business, analytics and DevOps, not to mention developing a deep understanding of how every change will impact business.
Skills for the new role
IT communities are abuzz with discussions on what new IT roles will entail. The good news though is that IT admins are already aware of some aspects of these roles. Learning, deploying and implementing solutions; managing IT infrastructure on the LAN and WAN; and troubleshooting performance issues and bottlenecks are great examples. And, in some enterprises, IT admins are already involved in evaluating the flexibility, accessibility and cost of business applications. Most skills are acquired on the job, and there's nothing to worry about. On a broader level, during the transition, it's best to follow a multi-pronged approach of learning basic development, operations and analysis. Here are some suggestions to get started:
- Take a do-it-yourself approach to learning, including basic tasks such as getting an AWS account, creating cloud instances and using a few cloud-ready tools to manage them.
- Get an Opscode account and use Chef to deploy and manage applications or servers.
- Get the hang of configuration and build tools like GitHub, Jenkins and Docker.
- Learn about business intelligence, data science and cloud analytics tools for analysis and reporting.
- Actively participate in communities that discuss technology, tools and trends.
- Acquire soft skills as interacting with teams and users becomes a necessity.
Like so many searches on minor health issues that lead people to results on life-threatening ailments, the search for the future of IT jobs leads to voluminous information and can be as overwhelming. Getting acquainted with the concepts, trying a couple of tools and actively engaging with peer groups on relevant communities can make it easy to gear up for the roles in store.
Will IT admins remain relevant?
Yes, however there may not be IT admins in the traditional sense. Instead, they will fit into different molds, as their jobs demand. Their roles will not just be about enabling or keeping IT together but will also be about enabling business. Going cloud and digital will keep IT admins challenged. They will be on the constant quest for knowledge to keep pace with the changes cloud and digitalization bring. However, there will be one constant through all the transitions: their tryst with technical challenges and their ability to meet them. No matter what titles they go by, for this one reason, IT admins, in their new roles, will still be known as IT superheroes.
Vidya Vasu is head of the ManageEngine community and Free Tools.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
Feb. 22, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 5,204
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cl...
Feb. 22, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 1,776
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 22, 2017 05:45 AM EST Reads: 1,636
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Feb. 22, 2017 04:45 AM EST Reads: 531
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Feb. 22, 2017 04:15 AM EST Reads: 175
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, explained the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is rele...
Feb. 22, 2017 03:15 AM EST Reads: 5,478
Feb. 22, 2017 03:00 AM EST Reads: 2,019
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
Feb. 22, 2017 02:45 AM EST Reads: 1,996
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 22, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 12,964
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 22, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 6,036
Feb. 22, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 4,116
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
Feb. 22, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 3,520
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 22, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 5,517
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
Feb. 22, 2017 12:30 AM EST Reads: 5,321
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
Feb. 22, 2017 12:30 AM EST Reads: 1,640