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IT Administration – Change is as good as a holiday

February 7, 2014 • Opinion, Southern Africa

Heino Gevers, Security Specialist, Mimecast. (Image source: Mimecast)

Heino Gevers, Security Specialist, Mimecast. (Image source: Mimecast)

To suggest that the adoption of cloud computing at an enterprise level has fundamentally changed the manner in which corporate entities do business would be an understatement.

A few years ago it would have been tough to predict just how significant a paradigm shift this new approach would usher in. Although analysts and users alike have been largely able to forecast and adapt to the technological considerations associated with the cloud – both from an off premise and operational costing perspective, this new archetype has gradually begun to alter the job descriptions of those closest to the transformation.

IT systems administrators and support engineers – professionals trained and tasked with the management of technical infrastructure, have most keenly felt the impact.

As business services gradually move into hosted cloud environments these individuals are evolving to occupy new roles that require risk assessment, business acumen and an operational understanding that often extends beyond the reach of a traditional technical tertiary education.

For some, this challenge presents an opportunity to evolve as business services move towards a new pattern of operation. In response many IT administrators and engineers are now seeking to gain new skills via distance learning or internal courses that will equip them for the future.

Others regard this evolution as a threat to the status quo – a platform for transformation that could potentially leave them wanting. These individuals are hesitant to embrace change, choosing to grasp at conventional models in the hope that things will remain the same.

This attitude drifts further away from the reality of the South African business reality as each day passes.

The simple truth is that as cloud services mature so Chief Information Officers will no longer have the capacity to assess risk, identify granular challenges and manage Service Level Agreements. Their mandate will become increasingly focused on operational capacity and legal compliance.

These figures will require support from within the organisation. As on premise infrastructure is gradually replaced by Software as a Service (SaaS) models so technical staff must step in to fill the gaps, or face redundancy.

In this way, IT systems administrators and engineers have an opportunity to either promote cloud adoption within the business by learning new skills, or defy it by fostering an on premise agenda. These decisions could have a very tangible impact on the wellbeing of a corporate entity down the line.

With this in mind it is vital that technically orientated professionals begin to skill up in preparation – both for their personal wellbeing and for the good of the business.

Cloud has shown itself to be an unstoppable force that is gradually moving across the business landscape. The cost benefits associated with this model are simply to great to ignore. Remember – change is as good as a holiday, but don’t let the holiday last too long.

Heino Gevers, Security Specialist, Mimecast

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