May 21, 2012, 1:40 PM — Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader:Allan Hackney
The CIO at John Hancock Financial Services answers questions about cloud computing as a career and more.
My friends in IT seem to be moving toward jobs at cloud computing firms. I'm in IT operations at a traditional company. Am I missing the boat? There are two sides to the cloud computing coin: the buy and the sell. I surmise from your question that your friends are moving to sell-side consultancy and delivery firms. This is a fast-growing industry, and as a result, there's a willingness among employers to make attractive offers to find talent. But don't lose sight of the fact that in due course the buy side will be a much larger employer of cloud talent by orders of magnitude. If you're at a traditional company, now is your moment to step up and lead the charge. You can really distinguish yourself as your company's cloud expert (as opposed to being one of many at a cloud vendor or consultancy).
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I've been out of work for over a year. As much as I love the tech life (15 years, mostly in networking), I'm thinking about bailing out of IT. Do you think it's worth hanging in there? If so, what can I do while unemployed to make myself more marketable? When I recently received an email from my eight-year-old niece (who's using computers at an age when I could barely scrawl my name with a pencil), I realized that the role of the IT function as the gatekeeper of the technology domain was changing forever. You may needlessly constrain the universe of possibilities if you define your role narrowly to networking or the IT function. Ask yourself about problems you've dealt with, how you successfully solved them and the business value that resulted. If you describe yourself to the world this way, you'll find there are a lot of opportunities to pursue.