To Remain Relevant, Old Data Center Dogs Must Learn New Tricks


Will any IT job look the same in 10 years' time as it does today?


Maybe not. It's beginning to look as if a new set of skills will be required for folks hoping to navigate the shifting technology landscape. As tech priorities change, IT workers who aren't willing to change along with them risk losing their jobs.


On Friday, I wrote about the need for CIOs to become more process-oriented and in tune with the broader business picture. An MIT professor interviewed in a SearchCIO.com story I cited tapped cloud computing as one of the biggest drivers of this need for change.


Cloud computing will more directly impact anyone involved in running a data center. I said so back in March, suggesting that instead of developing a specific specialty, IT pros would do better to familiarize themselves with a blend of on-premise and off-premise applications.


Tim McLaine, global functional manager for data center services at Perot Systems, one of several sources cited in a Network World story, takes this idea even farther, saying he doesn't care if his new hires lack data center or tactical experience as long as they are enthusiastic, passionate and energetic. In fact, he adds, too much reliance on traditional skills could be a disadvantage in next-generation data centers.


Communication, not always a strong suit for IT pros, will become more important moving forward, says Paul Clark, data center manager at The Ohio State University Medical Center. They will need to engage with vendors to stay apprised of emerging technologies, then generate both tactical and strategic ideas based on this newfound knowledge and communicate these ideas to all levels of the business.