Vidya Vasu, head of CommunityManageEngine
With change being the only constant in the IT landscape, particularly at today’s rapid rate of development, the future will bring a slew of questions for sysadmins, says Vidya Vasu, head of Community at ManageEngine.
One of the most significant changes is what many are calling the “third digital revolution,” which will shift the focus of traditional IT roles to new roles that heavily involve the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud technology, and digitalisation. The growth of connectivity between devices that IoT has introduced has had an enormous impact on IT, changing the way we consume services both inside and outside of the workplace.
Research from Statista indicates that there are roughly 22.9 billion connected devices worldwide, which is expected to grow to 28.4 billion by the end of 2017, many of which will be in the workplace. This surge in IoT technology, along with market consolidation and digitalisation, is ushering in a new era in which IT admins must bring a blended expertise into their roles.
While there is speculation that this third digital revolution will result in a massive obsolescence of IT admin jobs, some experts now predict that the fading traditional IT roles will be replaced by far more exciting roles revolving around IoT, the cloud, and digitalisation. With more businesses now being driven by user behavior, the IT admins of the near future will likely transform into DevOps specialists, data scientists, and architects of the cloud and IoT.
Research from Computerworld has also indicated a growing desire for IT professionals with a firm business background, who can properly articulate the value of IT changes to board members, as well as a general shift in the skill sets of IT professionals.
If an IT admin is currently responsible for sourcing and deploying solutions to manage infrastructure or services, as well as analysing and troubleshooting problems, then an IoT architect is responsible for the vision, strategy, architecture, and shepherding of IoT solutions from inception to deployment.
While there is certainly a disruptive quality to these increasingly ubiquitous technologies, IT admins have never been strangers to change. A similar shift occurred in the 2000s when the rise of virtualisation saw IT admins increase their skills to manage the new variables it introduced. In the past decade, countless technologies have emerged and left their mark on the profession, from wireless technology to mobility and wearables.
Going forward, IT admins must acquire a deeper understanding of business, analytics, and DevOps. The next year will see IT professionals sharpen their expertise through cloud-ready tools that deal with business intelligence, data science, IoT, and other areas that are becoming increasingly important to businesses.
While IT admins won’t be obsolete soon, as some have prophesied, this year will definitely see a shift in what these roles entail. Their roles will go beyond the IT department and include more input to the business as a whole. Going digital and embracing IoT will ensure IT admins are challenged.
They will be on a constant quest for knowledge to keep pace with the changes these trends entail. However, one thing will remain constant through all the transitions: the admin’s tryst with technical challenges and their ability to meet them.
The author of this blog is Vidya Vasu, head of Community, ManageEngine
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