Information Technology (IT) has been around for decades and has been a major component in many company’s rise to the top of the tech world. The IT department is the preeminent group of techs that use computers and sources of telecommunications equipment in order to transmit, retrieve, store and manipulate data for the company. Cloud computing has changed computing as we know it and as we (and company’s) have gotten accustomed to using it over the years. This changes things up for the IT world as well and there are even some people that claim that cloud computing will force the demise of the IT department. While I agree that cloud computing has changed everything, I am going to show you why the IT department will change (and actually is already changing) to progress with cloud computing, instead of dying out as many have predicted.
The Current Responsibilities of IT
The current tasks of the IT department include controlling infrastructure and nearly always the operating system (OS), databases and middleware. This is required to provide support to the applications that is required by the business units in order to correctly perform the jobs needed.
With the emergence of cloud computing, IT is losing the control of the infrastructure as the cloud providers are now assuming this role. Dropbox, Google Apps, and Box are perfect examples- bypassing IT produced Microsoft Sharepoint.
The Future Responsibilities of IT
The future responsibilities of IT will be different from what they are now, although many are already changing IT to adapt to the many changes that cloud computing is bringing to the tech world. Here are some of the responsibilities (future and present) that IT must be prepared to handle:
Management of security
Management of authentication, data management, identity, authorization and other compliance and security-related operations and functions that will have to be coordinated throughout all independent operating entities.
Data protection (backup)
Cloud data backup and protection. This is one of the most important functions as IT will not have complete control over the data anymore. Now the cloud provider has control and sometimes there are issues such as accidental data deletion, malicious deletion from hackers, wrongful account deletion by the cloud provider, or other incidents that will lead to data loss. Backup is essential to cloud data security and protection.
Integration of clouds
Integration of different cloud services that may or may not be able to integrate very well with each other. On-premise tools should be used to effectively implement the integration of the cloud services.
Optimization of cloud usage
Other important responsibilities of IT will be optimization of the use of cloud services, as well as cost control. This is another area the cloud provider will not be useful and the IT department will be solely in charge of maintaining. IT should also provide support and help to users that are new to the cloud. There are many workers and employees that are not experienced with cloud technology yet and they may require some instruction.
Conclusion: IT Must Not Ignore Cloud
I think the scariest part is that most IT organizations are not aware of (or are ignoring) the fact that much, or all, of the company data is being moved to the cloud- including sensitive company data. Some organizations have even implemented rules eliminating cloud services, such as “let’s block Dropbox,” and they believe that this is the solution. What they fail to realize is that the future of computing is cloud computing and cloud services should be embraced and analyzed in order to provide the best and most efficient use for the company. By doing this and providing tools to manage security, data backup and protection, integration of cloud services, costs and optimization usage of cloud services and helping users make the switch and get accustomed to the cloud, IT will always have a place in the company, even as cloud computing brings about many changes to the IT world.