Cloud Computing – Threat or Opportunity? Part 2
In Part 1 of this two-part article, I had discussed whether cloud computing is a threat or an opportunity for IT companies (See: Cloud Computing – Threat or Opportunity? Part 1 ). In this concluding part, I discuss the same issue from the IT employee’s point of view.
Let’s start with a real-life example, albeit in a different industry. When Japanese automakers started using robots, there was obviously a drop in employment; one robot, effectively, could do the work of multiple humans. Consequently, there were cost savings and increased quality, leading to demand for Japanese cars spiking across the world.
As a result, the automakers began hiring more people, many of them to control the same robots that replaced human employees. Today, Toyota is the largest car-maker in the world; on the other hand, American car-makers face an uncertain future, and Detroit, once the auto capital of the world, is a dying city. Therefore, as is clearly seen, adopting and adapting new technology paid rich dividends for the likes of Toyota and Honda, and their employees are gainfully employed, unlike those of GM, Ford and Chrysler.
The ability of cloud computing to create jobs goes far beyond direct positions created to work on that technology; the multiplier effect comes into play here (See: The Multiplier Effects of Cloud Computing ). As I had explained in an earlier article (See: How Cloud Computing Can Create Jobs), the very fact that cloud computing improves efficiencies and reduces costs in businesses produces a climate more conducive to economic growth, and ultimately, creation of jobs.
Yes, cloud computing will be a threat to certain IT professionals who refuse to adapt, who refuse to learn. But that is true for almost any profession that has experienced radical change – when railways developed, stagecoach drivers lost jobs; but they could regain employment if they retrained to work on steam engines. In fact, their experience could actually add value over new recruits. In other words, those who manage to convert threats to opportunities will always survive, and in fact, flourish.
In the same way, IT professionals can adapt themselves to satisfy requirements of cloud computing jobs, and it would be easier for them than, say, an electrical engineer. Thus, although in-house IT departments may well decline in size, the slack would be more than taken up by expanding cloud computing companies. That is why, amongst all the industries experiencing phenomenal growth today, cloud computing and nanotechnology are at the top of the list. And understandably so, for they are the industries of the future.
Pete Drucker, the first management guru in the world, captured this phenomenon very succinctly decades back when many felt that computers would reduce employment, and his thoughts are as relevant today as cloud computing threatens to shake up established norms.
“Few companies that installed computers to reduce the employment of clerks have realized their expectations…. They now need more and more expensive clerks even though they call them ‘operators’ or ‘programmers’.”
By Sourya Biswas