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The cloud changes IT culture, demands new tech skills

Sharon Gaudin | Oct. 15, 2015
Business is now pushing IT to get over its job fears and go all-in on the cloud

As enterprises are moving to the cloud, it's changing a whole lot more than just where companies' data and services are sitting.

The emergence of the cloud is heralding a shift in the skills that IT workers need and the jobs they are doing. It's changing the entire culture inside IT departments.

"The cloud is part of the evolution of IT," said Mike Chapple, senior director for IT service delivery at the University of Notre Dame. "People can't be living in one particular technical silo anymore."

The trend is also altering the balance of who is pushing to migrate to the cloud. IT often is no longer shepherding the cloud migration. Business executives are dragging IT into the cloud and tech leaders are finding themselves being forced to keep up.

aws invent panel
Sharon Gaudin/Computerworld .Holding the microphone, Mike Chapple, senior director for IT service delivery at the University of Notre Dame, and other IT managers offer advice to companies considering a move to the cloud during a session at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Technology leaders told Computerworld about these changes during AWS's recent re:Invent cloud-themed conference.

How IT fits

Those shifts are starting with how IT sees itself fitting inside the business as a whole.

For some time now, IT managers have talked about aligning IT with the business side -- understanding business needs and trying to meet them. Today, though, that idea is taking a step forward.

Since the cloud is enabling IT workers to offload a lot of their work, they're now able to focus on projects they simply had no time for before. And with the cloud, programmers are able to build and test their apps much faster since they don't have to wait for a server to be ready to use.

That means the business is getting their IT-related requests through much faster. It also means IT has more time to focus on the business and not just on keeping email up and tending to data stores.

john trujillo pacific life aws
Sharon Gaudin/Computerworld .John Trujillo, assistant vice president of technology at Pacific Life Insurance Co.

"We're having some very fundamental conversations," said John Trujillo, assistant vice president of technology at Pacific Life Insurance Co. "I'm a technologist but I am in the business service business. We grew up being the rackers and stackers and the ones who tweaked the servers. The challenge now is to change that mindset from being a service provider to a service broker."

"IT shouldn't talk about aligning with business," added Trujillo. "We have to be as much a part of the business as anyone else. It's no longer about racking and stacking."

 

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