Clouds are already taking control over IT away from IT

Give up the headache of maintaining something and you give up control over it, too.

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Selecting, integrating with and deploying those apps and infrastructure will put pressure on internal IT departments, which will hire help from outside in the form of support and integration companies who will do much of the heavy lifting, the report said.

Though he left out the role of predictions by analysts and blanket coverage of cloud by the news media (which is so dizzy and weakened by spin by now that many will use incompatible metaphors like "blanket" and "cloud" in the same sentence).

What Gens didn't say, and much of the report avoided, is the degree of change IT will have to go through in order to make all this cloud goodness happen.

No one is predicting internal IT will disappear, but it will change – a lot.

As more things go to the cloud, fewer will be left inside the data center and fewer traditional IT people will be there to do them.

Sysadmins and hardware techs will never go away, but as the cloud grows, more of those jobs will be with service providers, not within IT, which will become far more focused on managing contracts, verifying the bona fides of potential service providers and negotiating the best possible contracts.

The change may only be a few percentage points per year shifted from the hands-on-IT world to one focused on virtualized service management. It won't eliminate IT or convert it into something unrecognizable so quickly that a sysadmin returning to the data center after five years in a coma or in World of Warcraft won't recognize the old cube farm.

The change will be real, however, and it will be steady enough to make a big difference in the job description of every professional geek between now and 2015.

"The winners of the cloud platform wars will likely be the new power brokers of the IT industry," IDC's press release crows.

Probably true, though not to the exclusion of the infrastructure makers who build products that make up the private end of the cloud inside the data center and the kinetic end of it within the software users actually use.

Thirty years ago the most important vendors to an IT exec were probably hardware makers. Twenty years ago it was probably software; ten years ago it was networking (then software again as people realized networks are ugly and they'd rather look at a GUI on top of it even if the GUI is called something icky like the Web).

Five years from now the first vendors an IT exec will have to worry about will be cloud providers – who will be able to behave more like telecommunications vendors with near-monopolies on service to specific geographic areas.

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