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Cloud ‘eliminating’ traditional IT

IDG New Service | May 11, 2011
System administrators in infrastructure support, particularly at risk.

With cloud computing becoming a discernable trend in the last three to four years in Hong Kong, IT pros with cloud experience are hot in demand, said recruitment agency Hudson that lately released its Q2 survey report.

"Cloud computing isn't a fashion and is something here to stay despite security concerns. But its impact on IT recruitment is still waiting to be seen," said Glen Joss, manager IT&T at Hudson. Since joining the company this year, Joss has been responsible for recruiting IT&T talent in Asia, mostly in Hong Kong.

Being an "IT savvy city," he said, the increased adoption of cloud computing in Hong Kong has somewhat impacted its IT hiring trends in the last two years.

No place for System Admins

On the down side, "some traditional IT sectors are being eliminated completely," said Joss according to direct requisitions from customers. An example of these is system administrators, who work purely on the infrastructure support side.

The demand for IT professionals working in the bread and butter functions, however, has not changed very much. Two "lucky groups" are project managers, developers and IT architects. "These two types of IT professionals generally have higher levels of thinking skills in high-end user organizations," Joss said.

The recruitment agency has been receiving many job requisitions concerning cloud computing talents in two areas: the vendor sales business and internal IT businesses. "The banking sector has the most demand for computing talents -- in fact, about 70 percent of the internal business users of IT belong to the financial services sector," said Joss.

Interacting with C-suite

The gradual increase of enterprise cloud computing adoption is driving the change in skill sets required. Instead of opening up "pure technical positions" which are diminishing in Hong Kong, "Recruiters are looking for IT managers with strong communication skills, as well as soft skills, which are required in all disciplines in Hong Kong."

"Good thinking skills" are normally required by recruiters, said Joss. "[The candidate must show] an understanding of the C-level's (CEO, CFO, CIO) requirements within a large scale enterprise, such as a bank, and be able to interact convincingly.

"Recruiters are also looking for skills in enterprise platform technologies, and candidates who understand the inner working of platforms within an organization, while can still talk to the C-suite," he said.

Examples of such enterprise platforms are Microsoft's HyperV, Windows System Center technology, data center strategy and planning, and newer technologies such as virtualization and platform migration.

Vendors seek 'hybrid positions'

Similarly, recruiters on the vendor side are also seeking cloud computing talents with a strong mix of technical and business skills.

For now, the vendors, who tend to be the most proactive and responsive to customer needs, will have the most prominent demand for cloud computing talents. These tend to be multinational corporations from middle to large size, foreign companies -- mostly US ones.


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