A Time of Growth and Cloudy Ambiguity in IT

Technology innovation and proliferation is a constant and has been even through this rough economy. Will new technology growth spur staffing in corporate and government IT departments? Will trends like cloud computing become mainstream methods of operation?

Predicting specific growth trends in the IT sector is virtually impossible in an unstable economic environment. Trends can easily be thrown off course by technological, legislative or regulatory developments. Today, one of the biggest unknowns is the role of cloud computing and how large of a role it will play.

Implementing new technologies, increasing IT automation and enabling technology into more business processes all translate for bigger and better IT departments and remain key goals for IT leaders. But obscuring the strategic picture is cloud computing. Although the concept has its detractors, it has garnered much interest among IT departments due to the potentially lower TCO it offers and fewer in-house resources its administration will require.

Where do the lower costs and resources come from? According the experts, cloud computing reduces the need for local staff positions in areas like data warehousing, server maintenance and data storage. In a cloud environment, those services would be provided by an outside vendor.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean cloud computing will reduce the overall size of IT teams. Although cloud computing may reduce IT staffing levels for internal server and desktop support, it could also increase in-house needs in high-risk areas, such as networking and security.

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers and CXO Media survey of nearly 13,000 business and technology executives found that "62 percent of respondents had little to no confidence in cloud-provider security.” Until these security issues are resolved, it remains uncertain if and how cloud computing will change the size and make up of IT teams.


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