If you are working today as a system architect or engineer, here’s a heads up. Your job role is shifting and if you’re smart you’ll start bracing for the change. What exactly will this shift look like? To begin with, you’ll likely be spending more time as a strategic planner and business analyst for your enterprise, and be shouldering the responsibility for vendor management and integration processes. Moreover, you’ll be working to ensure your enterprise is appropriately set up to support cloud-based and other solutions.
What’s causing this shift shouldn’t come as any great surprise. It’s being driven by the migration of IT infrastructure—workloads and process—to the cloud. As that occurs, IT departments will be forced to shift away from traditional roles and toward ones that focus more on business management and efficiency, as well as security and vendors.
This doesn’t mean that IT departments are going away, or even that they are being marginalized. On the contrary, some believe future IT departments will simply evolve into something akin to a software company whose aim it is to solve customers’ problems.
But don’t think this shift will be easy. Along the way there will be a number of challenges to face; not the least of which is how to strike a balance between managing existing or legacy infrastructures and transitioning to the new cloud-based solutions and workloads. System architects and engineers will also have to learn to identify and manage the new risks that come with cloud adoption, such as Shadow IT. Keeping their solutions safe in the cloud era will be a chief concern. Finally, they’ll need to develop an array of new skillsets to ensure they can effectively implement new cloud solutions and collaborate with new technologies like the hybrid cloud more easily.
Developer tools will offer this new class of cloud-era system architects and engineers one way to be more efficient and productive in the hybrid cloud. But, they will also need ways to more closely work with application teams on new solutions. Doing so will be critical to meeting the enterprise’s business needs, while also enabling the speed, efficiency and agility needed to be competitive in a highly dynamic marketplace. Finally, education and training to develop the new skillsets required will be essential, whether from vendors, websites, forums, or industry groups.
One thing’s clear. If you are a system architect or engineer today you’d be wise to start preparing for your new job role in the cloud era.
If you’re a system architect or engineer who sees your job role shifting, drop me a line with your thoughts at [email protected]. And don’t forget to check back here each week for more information on the hybrid cloud and other important IT-related topics.
This blog is sponsored by Microsoft.
Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.