In a previous post, I talked about making your cloud DevOps ready and how agility isn’t just a question of technology. New methodologies like DevOps only work if IT upgrades and changes its skills – in particular, moving from highly specialised “break-fix experts” to converged operations teams. This sounds daunting, but I believe that Asian IT professionals are actually in a better position to make this switch than those in other regions.
As IT continues moving into IaaS, PaaS, and “everything-as-a-service”, we’ll start to see less of a need for in-house domain experts. Rather than pulling together network, storage, and security experts, IT will consist of developers and operations personnel who focus first and foremost on delivering ROI to the business. They’ll be responsible for ensuring that technology – and the products and services that it supports – are efficient, agile, and above all profitable.
This isn’t to say that domain expertise will become redundant: the technical aspects of infrastructure management and support will be outsourced to managed service providers. VCE, for example, looks after full technical support for its Vblocks, acting as the “domain expert” when it comes to our infrastructure’s uniquely seamless integration of network, compute, and storage systems. But most IT professionals will have to undergo a shift in their mindset – from trying to fix every problem themselves, to focusing on what has clear ROI, and outsourcing everything else.
Asia’s IT industry is, in a sense, already doing this. IT outsourcing is already standard practice in the region: countries like India, China, and the Philippines have built up thriving industry sectors as support and maintenance hubs. Most early adopters of 24-hour “follow the sun” support services were based, or relied on outsourcing in, Asia-Pacific and Japan: more than 1 in 2 Asia-Pacific executives were already outsourcing IT solutions in 2006, while more than 1 in 4 were doing so for data collection. As service providers like VCE continue to simplify the operational side of technology, Asia’s IT professionals are likely to find it easier to shift away from domain to strategic expertise.
How is “everything-as-a-service” changing the skill-sets of your IT team?