Why Today’s IT Admins need to be Data Center Superstars
by Scott Hogg, on Mar 3, 2014 4:14:23 PM
The IT industry is in a time of transition, and many IT employees are finding they must adapt or be left behind. It’s no longer enough to know the server OS inside and out, or to be an IP routing guru. Today’s IT admins must become masters of many talents – superstars, if you will – that can support advanced technologies such as virtualization, the hypervisor, layer-2 data center interconnect protocols, and much, much more. Together, these technologies form complex systems that must be understood and addressed as a whole.
While a more holistic view of the IT infrastructure is arguably a good thing, it also requires a larger commitment from admins to constantly be learning and growing their skill set. Those who are willing to do this – and who are able to operate in a cross-functional environment – will successfully evolve into superstars. Those who can’t (or won’t) may not only find themselves undereducated, but perhaps even replaced by automated technologies (think Software Defined Networking and orchestration software).
However, it’s not only the admins who need to adapt. Organizations need to support and budget for top-tier IT resources. Why is this important? Because most IT departments spend 75 percent of their time maintaining existing systems, leaving only 25 percent of the time for new projects that help evolve the business. By deploying automated systems, a number of mundane tasks could be assigned to machines instead of manpower, freeing up much needed resources.
As they say, you can’t step into the same river twice. It seems the currents of change are also moving the IT organization in a new direction. Will you go with the flow, or settle to the bottom?
For a more in-depth look at this topic, see my recent article on Network World, The Erosion of IT's Middle Class.