This has been bugging me for a long time and I have to let it out.
First of all, cloud computing can mean a million things coming from different people. I am still in a haze sometimes of where this cloud thingy could lead too. Every IT vendor is “cloud-something” and I am not going to contest that because I am no cloud expert myself.
But one thing is imminent. The entire landscape from the IT infrastructure to the economics of IT, is changing into the utility model. This-as-a-Service, That-as-Service and so on. Customers and companies are beginning to realize the opportunity and the ability to lease IT services as a pay-as-you-use utility just like any public utility such as electricity and water.
In IT, we are used to the model of manufacturer –> vendor —> distributor –> reseller –> end customer. This has been the scheme of things and for those of us working as professionals for vendors, distributors and resellers, that’s our livelihood. But the cloud computing model is in the horizon. We are not too far off from such a scheme, where IT is operated as a utility company. This means that IT is directly provisioned to the end customer, likely to be bypassing the reseller model. Suddenly the model becomes manufacturer –> end customer. You get it, right?
We can still include the vendor, distributor and reseller into the new cloud computing landscape, but there is little value-add, and with market dynamics, the end customer would want to get their IT services supply directly from the manufacturer, in this case, the cloud service provider.
So where does that leave us? We could be the end-user OR we could work for a cloud service provider. That would mean little differentiation for IT engineers and sysadmins, IT sales reps and marketing people.
But this is not a doom-and-gloom story. In my opinion, this is the best time for IT geeks and nerds to become one notch better. Know your subject well in what you do, learn and grow your knowledge in the right direction, AND be DAMN good! That is where we can differentiate ourselves; move ourselves up the value chain and enhance our position. Don’t take the easy way out and be one of the ordinary. Be X-TRAordinary!!!