As it becomes increasingly apparent that cloud computing is here to stay, many IT support professionals may be wondering how the technology will affect their careers. Some have speculated that the cloud would diminish the need for the support professional, while others have asserted that it will make the job more important than ever.
But perhaps the most significant impact the cloud and other emerging technology will have on IT professionals will be its role in necessitating the development of new skills and training.
In a recent interview with the E-Commerce Times, IT expert Chris Tinker asserted that in today's industry it is no longer enough for IT support professionals to be "tech gurus." Instead, he said, they have to develop skills that allow them to address a client's particular needs, regardless of the situation.
"You have to have a good understanding of technology, yes, but you also have to understand the tools and realize that technology is simply a tool for business outcomes," Tinker told the news provider. "If you're listening to the business, understanding what their concerns and their challenges are, then you can apply that understanding to their technical situation to essentially work for a solution."
This belief was recently reiterated by York University research professor Marin Litoiu, who told U.K.-based technology publication the Register that "cloud computing does not mean the end of the IT professional." Instead, the rise of the cloud would likely result in a shift to skill sets that are more complex, he said.
Presumably, this would entail wider skill sets than previously expected from IT support professionals. Rather than focusing on one area, such as data security, for example, the IT professional may be expected to traverse a number of skills, including cloud computing, data protection and employee mobility - all of which are related, but require a wide range of experience.