Gartner: IT efficiency a political challenge

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Gartner: IT efficiency a political challenge

Staffing demands to drop as fabric, cloud computing takes off.

Internal politics may hinder organisations’ uptake of more efficient IT like cloud computing, fabric computing and automation, a Gartner analyst has warned.

Speaking at the firm’s Data Centre Summit in Sydney today, Gartner managing VP Matt Boon highlighted new devices, virtualisation and the cloud as technologies shaping modern data centres.

While legislation and security concerns would likely drive continued demand for internal systems, Boon expected the public cloud to play an increasing role in Australian IT.

“We’re not seeing large scale adoption of the public cloud in Australia right now; I think ultimately, we will do,” he said.

“[But] there’s a lot of [internal] political hurdles to overcome,” he told iTnews.

Analysts urged attendees this morning to make the most of de-duplication, compression, and other efficiency-increasing techniques.

Fabric computing, which involved a more consolidated, single-stack view of infrastructure, could also simplify IT environments and reduce maintenance requirements.

Those technologies and outsourcing may address the business demands of “doing more with less”, but Boon warned that decision makers would be the ones impacted by any decrease in internal staffing demands.

“Ultimately, I think as we see this move towards a single stack within organisations, towards cloud computing, I think we would probably need fewer people,” he said.

“They might [lose their jobs], or they might have to do something different.”

Analyst Phil Sargeant noted that IT operations staff would likely be tasked with meeting service level agreements (SLAs) using relevant metrics and processes.

Those professionals may also have a difficult few years ahead – Boon expected to see some significant IT failures come to light as organisations took up various service delivery models.

The challenge for CIOs would be to ensure they had an adequate talent pool via either reskilling or replacing existing staff.

With businesses relying increasingly on IT, Boon noted that IT staff would continue to be in demand, albeit with new areas of focus.

“Cloud, in essence, means getting rid of IT. We need to articulate the benefits of cloud, virtualisation, [so staff know] that by adopting it they’re not going to lose their jobs,” he said.

“I don’t think IT people will ever make themselves totally obsolete; all that data, all that connectivity will have to be managed.”

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