How Not to Be Automated Out of a Job

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2010-09-30 Print this article Print

It's becoming more and more difficult for the IT layperson to survive in an industry that is continuously using faster and more advanced technology to automate functions that would have been a person's sole job only a few years ago.

What's a job seeker to do in an increasingly commodity-driven IT world?

Advice from one industry analyst is to become an expert in automation technologies. Learn a spectrum of systems management technologies and get intimately familiar with cloud technologies. Don't be one cog in large, fast-changing wheel. Be at the center and know what is happening everywhere. Every automation technology needs human oversight and needs to work within a given company's networked system.

But more than that, Forrester analyst, James Staten, is telling executives that IT needs to be a whole lot more flexible in its approach to working with the business, and that the perception of most IT departments is that they are in the business of saying no. Staten promotes applying aspects of the agile application development process to IT practices in general to help IT and its workers get in line with flexible business needs, according to a post by Ann All of ITBE who attended the itSMF Fusion conference. All wrote of Staten and his take on automation's perceived affect on jobs:

Staten acknowledged automation creates worries over losing jobs. But, he said, the industrialization of IT is already happening. And, he added, "Those who keep an entire system running, not individual components of a system, are the ones who add real value to an organization."

Using agile methods will help IT organizations standardize their services, Staten said. Among the practices followed by agile developers: They start with a clean slate, build applications using reusable code and take an iterative approach to address problems during the development process rather than waiting until an app is finished. Similarly, said Staten, IT should strive to create an infrastructure in which as many elements as possible can be easily moved and reassembled.

Staten then discussed how IT departments, especially those involved in infrastructure management, be involved with using cloud services like Amazon's EC2 and Google Apps and keeping things reusable. At issue are business users, and the drive of many technologies toward populist use. Business people will be driving more and more technology strategy based on ease of use and rapid deployment. The cloud and automated applications are only going to assume more of the IT management space.

Get busy on them. |

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