Cloud computing: Will it create or destroy IT jobs?
There has been some debate in the media recently on whether or not cloud computing will lead to the loss of IT jobs. The discussion brings to mind previous examples of disruptive technologies and the predictions about them that so frequently turned out to be inaccurate.
For example, here are a few innovations that people said would be a fad, fade away, or be too expensive for the mainstream:
- The automobile
- The personal computer
- The Internet
- The cell phone
- Commercially viable music downloads (Sorry, Napster and LimeWire. You were awesomely disruptive and cool!)
Hopefully, you’re getting the point. I don’t think the growth of cloud computing will mean a loss of IT jobs. I think it is more accurate to say that it will result in a shift in jobs and skills, similar to recent shifts toward network computing, mobile device computing, mobile app development, etc.
Why? Cloud computing requires additional data centers (see Amazon, Google, and Apple most obviously). More mobile apps will be created to take advantage of cloud computing. And mobile and wired devices will continue to spread as well. All of this means that more support will be needed for these platforms, software, and hardware.
Innovation breeds new opportunities. Human beings have always found a way to exploit and leverage technology in ways we could not have imagined at their inception. Whether that innovation and exploitation will ultimately lead to something better or not is debatable. Think “The Terminator” and “The Matrix.” A bit cynical, I know, but great movies!
I firmly believe, though, that cloud computing is just another in a long list of opportunities, and the motivated workforce will be there to take advantage.