The Shift to Cloud Computing – Will It Shift the Jobs?

Workforce reduction has affected millions of people worldwide since the latest world economic downturn, making this is an overly sensitive subject. People have been out of work for long periods of time and many were forced to find new careers. This is the premises of Larry Dignan’s argument in his article “Cloud Computing Will Destroy Jobs” is based upon, workforce reduction. His argument is not fully representative of the destiny of the IT workforce. Dignan’s claim, that the trend toward cloud computing is threatening jobs worldwide, fails to take into account the possibility that a shift of the workforce could take place.

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Furthermore, that there would not be a total loss of the IT jobs due to this shift, but maybe a displacement. The outsourcing of computing in the cloud will not result in a loss of IT jobs worldwide, instead we will see a shift of the workforce to the cloud providers and a move by many organizations to create and manage their own cloud infrastructure remote job categories.

Cloud computing is a term for a technology that has evolved over the past few years as the commercial use of the internet has increased. The cloud as we refer to it is not a cloud in the sky, but the use of the Internet to transfer data in an electronic form and store your data in an off site location. The organization, the client, will contract with a vendor company, the provider, to store data in a remote location to keep it safe. The vendor supplies the client with applications that run via an Internet connection that the client uses forms with the data in them. These applications, then save that data in the provider’s servers usually in two or more locations, because in the event of a natural disaster the data will be retrievable. The applications are running on the provider’s computers and the client accesses them from a web page or web portal. These computers known as servers are very powerful computers capable of running multiple software applications at one time. This storage of data in the remote location, and the computers storing this data, comprises a “cloud infrastructure.”

The majority of the larger health organizations se to this this for one primary reason, the cost of HIPAA compliance. The definition of HIPAA is a standard for the Privacy of individually identifiable health information and it regulates the confidentiality, integrity and availability of patient’s health information in electronic form. There are also many other organizations that are utilizing this technology by using the vendor’s web based software to store data in cloud storage facilities. Organizations have always and will continue to look for cost cutting measures and this recent move to cloud computing is no different. The cost is a reduction for the organization, but shifted the cost to the provider who can do it more effectively.

Getting back to Dignan’s claim the two main arguments, “Dire Prediction” and “Heading toward Full Automation,” are biased because they are coming from the theory of two research analysis interpretation of surveys from CIO’s they solicited. (McDonald and Aaron) The evidence from the Gartner symposium that is used is not based on solid evidence, but the researcher’s interpretation of the survey responses. The report has some collective opinions of CIO’s, but not solid evidence. The CIO’s opinions were their proposed plans, not their concrete plans, collected from surveys sent out by the Gartner research firm.

(MacDonald and Aron) While these predictions are useful to help other industry leaders get a glimpse into what the future might bring we should not jump to conclusions. College students in these degree programs could misunderstand these predictions and get discouraged about their career choices.

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