For years, IT organizations have been conditioned to think of managing IT in terms of horizontal slices of technology. That's led to the creation of specialists for servers, storage, applications and just about every other tier of computing imaginable.
But as virtualization and private cloud computing evolve, some companies are advocating for some fundamental changes to the way IT organizations are organized and managed.
One of those companies is CA Technologies, which recently acquired 3Tera, a provider of AppLogic tools that allow customers to model cloud computing deployments from the application layer all the way down to the IT infrastructure. CA Technologies today released its first update to the 3Tera toolset, which adds additional storage monitoring and security enhancements.
According to Jay Fry, vice president of marketing for cloud computing at CA Technologies, the days when organizations manage IT around horizontal specialties such as storage are coming to a close. Instead, IT organizations will be able to automate the deployment of cloud computing applications and the entire infrastructure stack on which those applications depend.
The biggest challenge, however, might not be the technology. IT organizations may have to be fundamentally restructured and, in many cases, certain jobs may be eliminated.
It's too early to say exactly how cloud computing will affect IT management. But it's also clear that senior managers are committed to reducing the total cost of enterprise IT. And given that labor is such a high percentage of that cost, there will be a definitive move to embrace more IT automation. The question is will that reduce the number of IT jobs in the enterprise or just keep the number of positions relatively stable as IT organizations struggle to manage an explosion of virtual servers? Or does it simply create a new type of job in the enterprise?
Only time, and the number of application workloads, will tell.