Even in the best of times, being in IT is hard. The past year, of course, has not been the best of times for most people in general, never mind the folks working in IT.
It seems like somebody is always telling an IT person that somebody else can do their job better. The threat of outsourcing in IT is constant, and in the era of cloud computing it seems like the threat is looming larger with each passing day.
Despite all the things in enterprise IT to be scared of, as Thanksgiving approaches there are still many things to be thankful for in IT. And oddly enough, the technologies that public cloud computing providers are using to threaten the jobs of internal IT staffs are the same ones that IT organizations should be the most thankful for.
At first blush, that may seem absurd. But it turns out that many of those technologies, especially anything that has to do with virtualization, can be used to build private clouds. Those clouds can run on internal IT infrastructure, or they can be installed on public cloud computing infrastructure services and remotely managed by the internal IT department.
This gives internal IT organizations the ability to dramatically reduce the cost of IT to the point where continuing to run it internally is acceptable to the business. While the business may be tempted by outsourcing, business leaders are not all that excited about the implied loss of control, the challenges associated with managing third-party providers, and the regulatory issues that go along with that process.
Private cloud computing is not the only thing to be thankful for this year. Everything from security software to stimulus spending helps keep IT people employed. Times are tough and the special challenges that IT people face every day are largely unappreciated by the rest of the business. In addition, there may be fewer people to support in the workplace, but the sheer amount of data and the number of virtual servers that need to be managed continue to expand at an alarming rate.
When all is said and done, there are tons of good reasons to stay in IT. But without the right tools, the task of managing enterprise IT would be completely untenable. This year, take a minute to be thankful that there are IT problems in the first place, and that you've got the tools and skills needed to successfully manage them.